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In a Digital Revolution, Focus on What Can Be Done

By: Zac Streelman, Vice President of Technology, OnPoint Community Credit Union And Jeff Platt, Digital Channel Manager, OnPoint Community Credit Union

Zac Streelman, Vice President of Technology, OnPoint Community Credit Union

These days, you can find much information about how COVID-19 and natural disasters have revolutionized how we work, socialize and access our money. Behind the scenes, information technologists in the financial services sector work around the clock to adapt to and meet society’s increasing digital needs. All while moving our industry and economy forward through momentous disruption and change.

OnPoint Community Credit Union, the largest credit union in Oregon with $7.5 billion in assets and 406,000 members, meets this challenge head-on by creating a culture of possibility that asks:” what can be done?” Our culture of possibility has allowed us to implement solutions in record time throughout the pandemic, leading to better service for our newly remote workforce and membership base. Focusing on what’s possible creates the opportunity to automate previously manual tasks quickly and more effectively. For example, we provided solutions for updating address data and implementing custom applications such as an internal portal for loss prevention and negative account closures.

As offices closed across the country, we tapped into this possibility mindset. We quickly converted a large percentage of OnPoint’s employees into remote workers while remaining secure and continuing the excellent service for which OnPoint is known.

Jeff Platt, Digital Channel Manager, OnPoint Community Credit Union

Without this mindset in place, we may not have been able to help small businesses in our region stay afloat during the early days of the pandemic. When the country went on lockdown, we had mere days to set up a system for providing loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) Payment Protection Program (PPP). Under normal circumstances, it could have taken up to six months to create a process for vetting and approving loans. But 2020 has required anything but a normal response. Our “what can be done?” approach made it possible to extend this lifeline to our small business members in just four days. The outcome? 2500 loans were approved for the small businesses in Oregon and Southwest Washington grappling to retain workers and continue operating during unprecedented times.

Niles Todd, the owner of Portland Motor Works, received his SBA PPP loan funds through OnPoint. He later described the impact of being able to quickly and easily access a PPP loan:” We are in better shape as a business now than we were before the outbreak. Using the entire loan as payroll and rent, we could use our income for marketing and improvements. That directly impacted our ability to stabilize sales during the worst parts of the pandemic. I was also able to continue with my plan of purchasing the business property.”

Digital convenience became digital necessity overnight due to COVID-19. While we continue to face momentous change and many unknowns, we encourage you and your teams to join us in embracing a culture of possibility. Asking “what can be done?” will not only help advance your organization, it will strengthen your team’s resilience as the digital revolution continues. 

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