It is on you – credit union executives – to beat the digital banking bogeyman into submission.

It most definitely is not on members – even though, too often, credit union executives act as though it in fact is primarily the job of the member to protect him/herself.  Off the record they will complain about member gaffes and there are a lot (tell me about writing passwords on Post It notes!).

But that’s reality. Members are human and that means they will make mistakes.

And that also means protection in the digital sphere isn’t their job. Anymore than it is the member’s job to protect him/herself against armed robbers in the credit union.

The first – sharpest – lines of digital defense need to be drawn by the credit unions themselves.

And yet every day I see credit unions trying to push responsibility back on the members. For instance, many in financial services pat themselves on the back that millions of us have signed up for mobile transaction alerts that, they say, serve as a kind of first line of defense against fraud.  I agree such alerts are great and, personally, they saved me a lot of grief when I noticed a charge come in to an American Express card for lunch at a restaurant I had not eaten at in 20 years.  I called Amex, they cancelled the card, and other than a $25 fast food lunch tab nobody was harmed.  If I hadn’t seen the alert – and acted on it – the damages would have been bigger.

Nonetheless, I say again: the bulk of this load needs to be carried by the financial institutions. Getting me to look at alerts isn’t the end of the job here.

The future of digital banking – both online and mobile – hangs in the balance.  Maybe half of all consumers continue to hang back from plunging into the digital pool because of expressed fears about online and mobile fraud.  And they are not crazy to have those fears.

Those justified fears would be relieved by more proactive financial institutions  That means you.


Here are five easy steps to shrink the volume of digital fraud: