News : DCUC Insights

CEO Update - Value of a DCUC Membership

Monday, April 30, 2018  
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Anthony Hernandez, President/CEO, DCUC
There has never been a better time to be a DCUC member credit union. Each of our members enjoys benefits uniquely tailored to the defense community we all serve. The most obvious benefit is the lowest dues structure in the entire industry coupled with tremendous value for each dollar in dues. In fact, the highest amount any member credit union will pay is $7,500 annually—for our largest credit union members. From there, a graduated scale (based on asset size) is applied with a minimum of $250 annually for our smallest-sized credit unions.

These low dues are possible through our co-ownership in the Armed Forces Financial Network (AFFN). AFFN provides the bulk of our operating revenue, allowing DCUC to give back to our members while increasing our profile in the military community. AFFN adds another exclusive member benefit provided to those members of the AFFN Network.

AFFN was founded in 1985 at the request of the U.S. Army in support of the Surepay direct deposit system to provide U.S. military personnel (active, reserve, dependents and retired) with access to their funds through ATM and point-of-sale (POS) terminals at or near U.S. military bases worldwide. Initially, AFFN was the only way for Defense Credit Unions to electronically transfer funds as no other network was willing to serve the military. Today, AFFN remains a robust network brimming with innovative product lines such as the newly released Merchant Solution program for veteran/civilian entrepreneurs and service organizations.

Plus, AFFN always gives back to the community via generous direct sponsorships in addition to a matching grant program for participating credit unions. For member credit unions on the AFFN network, AFFN remains focused on its mission of serving our troops one transaction at a time.

As for the plethora of other DCUC member benefits, here is a sample breakdown by each of DCUC’s eight lines of effort:

In addition to collaborating with DoD (in many cases at the senior level) on 25 strategic
issues (i.e., those that impact all Defense Credit Unions) such as:

• Military Lending Act (General and Credit Card Guidance and recent GAP Insurance
• Annual NDAA Language (military banking and installation/force structure perspectives)
• Unauthorized Government Terminations of Credit Union Operating Agreement
• Prohibited Source Interpretation on Donations and Sponsorships
• Termination Clauses in Land Leases that Transfer Financial Liability to Credit Unions
• Personal Commercial Solicitation Policy
• Executive Order 13658 (Federal Minimum Wage)
• Base Access (Domestic and Overseas)
• Establishing TGA Accounts for Installation Support
• EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
• AAFES Star Card Expansion to Retail Banking Operations on Base
• Financial Readiness and Education (Partner with Personal Financial Managers)
• Blended Retirement System Updates and Statistics
• And many more…

DCUC researched, worked, coordinated, and responded to nearly 40 individual DCUC member issues, pertaining to regulatory, policy, procedures, and legislative matters in 2017.

Conferences and Events
DCUC plans and executes a large annual conference, an overseas conference, several defense forums, and a Midwest Sub Council throughout the year featuring educational content, regulatory updates, and network opportunities unique to defense credit unions. The cost to attend conferences is relatively low and provided at cost to DCUC members (i.e., DCUC does not look to the conferences as a source of revenue).

DoD Relationships and Strategic Partnerships
In terms of advocacy, DCUC establishes regular dialogue and meetings with senior leaders (primarily at the Under Secretary of Defense level) inside the Pentagon and with Congressional members and staffers on Capitol Hill. DCUC also maintains working relationships at both the Service level (Deputy Assistant Secretary) and installation command level.

In terms of Strategic Partnerships, DCUC maintains close relationships with over 20 Veteran Service Organizations headquartered in the DC area, providing and gaining access to other DoD and Congressional leaders as well as emerging markets where DCUC member credit unions can expand their reach.

Staff Operations
It is important to note DCUC does not employ a large staff. There are only five full-time employees and two contractors that make DCUC a superior value for the money collected from dues. Yet, DCUC maintains high-quality products and events, exceptional audit compliance, and a clean opinion on our non-profit status.

DCUC keeps a close eye on all cash flows and focuses on providing exceptional member value for every revenue dollar collected and spent on day-to-day operations. Any left-over funds are reinvested into an asset management account to keep DCUC viable in the ebbs and flows of our AFFN revenue stream and membership changes due to base closures and/or acquisitions and mergers.

DCUC leases commercial real estate to provide essential office space necessary to conduct day-to-day operations. Currently located in the Army Navy Building, DCUC maintains centrally located offices in conjunction with the Army Navy Club which is a regular meeting location for senior DoD officials.

DCUC also utilizes its unique membership in Plexcity LLC to handle HR, IT, Payroll, and Accounting services at a reduced cost making all other operations affordable.

Marketing and Outreach
DCUC is focused on providing 21stcentury communications and information to our credit union members, our DoD, and strategic partners, and DoD members and their families. DCUC recently launched a new website, a revamped newsletter, and extended video content on social media to re-brand our mission and message.

DCUC also sponsors and donates to a variety of member credit union, DoD, and Veteran Service Organization events and charities to increase our visibility in the defense community, which highlights the role our credit unions take in each of their communities. This is made possible via our members’ participation in the AFFN network.

DCUC provides a number of educational opportunities for credit union members, DoD professional organizations, and members of the military. Our educational conferences and forums are one way we educate credit union CEOs and Directors. Our sponsorship of events like the Defense Leadership Academy, the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, the American Society of Military Comptrollers are other ways DCUC supports education. DCUC also sponsors the Army War College and the Air War College in addition to the Military Child Education Coalition.

Finally, DCUC provides four $3,500 scholarships (the George E. Myers Scholarship) for credit union staff members to continue their professional growth in support of our members.

Again, there has never been a better time to be a DCUC member credit union. DCUC will continue to find ways to bolster the value proposition for each of our members; ensuring they continue to enjoy the world-class support and the best dollar-to-benefit reward for the dues paid each year. Thank you to all who continue to support DCUC and a special thanks to those on the AFFN Network. We could not do it without you!

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