The Importance of Board Portals for Credit Unions

Nicholas J Price
5 min read

Credit unions are an important staple in the business world. In addition to being a resource for the financial needs of their customers, credit unions play an important role in every economy and in every environment. The main reason for this is because credit unions cater to everyday people. Large numbers of Canadians put their trust in Canadian credit unions.

Across the globe, credit unions and other financial institutions are being attacked in record numbers. For example, the Desjardins Group became victimized by a major data breach that affected all 4.2 million of its credit union members. A malicious employee was found to be responsible for the attack.

Large and small financial institutions are equally at risk. The Bank of Montreal and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s Simplii, two of Canada’s largest banks, were hacked and had about 90,000 of their customers’ data stolen.

Board portals offer an economical way for credit unions to enhance their communications while safeguarding sensitive, confidential information.

Board Portals for Credit Unions Have Clear Advantages

Today’s credit unions need digital solutions that help them conduct their everyday activities and improve customer service without fear of opening themselves and their customers to undue risks. The number-one solution is a secure board portal software system.

In addition to the advantages of being able to ensure security and communicate securely, a board portal software system offers a host of additional important governance tools and features. With a Diligent board portal, board directors can access information quickly, securely and remotely. With the rapid pace of business, timeliness is of the utmost importance.

No matter where your board directors are from a geographical standpoint, they’ll be able to connect and collaborate with one another before, during and after board meetings on the secure Diligent platform.

As the time for board meetings nears, boards will appreciate how the portal streamlines board meeting preparation, often cutting down meeting preparation time from weeks to hours. Board directors will have access to their board agendas and other materials in real time as they become available, which enables them to review materials early and have the chance to ask clarifying questions before the meeting begins. Board directors can also use the portal to add notes to documents and share them or keep them for personal use.

Whether boards seek efficiency by being able to vote online and get immediate results or make quick work of getting e-signatures for approvals, Diligent puts valuable information at their fingertips within seconds.

Diligent’s board portal software provides a centralized electronic space for their every communications need. The platform incorporates state-of-the-art security programs to ensure that board communications have the most secure protection possible. It’s simply not worth the risks that are associated with less secure personal and business email platforms. Board directors can count on having a reliable system where all their documents are well-organized and easily searchable.

It goes without saying that security has always been an important concern for the financial industry, where the concerns about espionage are far greater than in other industries. The rise in frequency and the sophistication of cyberattacks makes it paramount for boards to address them responsibly. Diligent’s board portal helps to address this issue by offering granular permissions. Board administrators or corporate secretaries can set up the system so that users can only access areas of the portal for which they have authorization.

Some of the recent data leaks and breaches have been due to non-secure file-sharing using digital apps that are not connected to secure corporate systems. With Diligent, board directors can send files of any size through the fully contained platform, so there’s never a reason to conduct business outside the security of the platform.

No longer must board directors forsake security for the benefit of convenience. Diligent’s platform is mobile-friendly. Board directors can access the system using any mobile device online or offline and the system syncs automatically when board directors go online — all without risking security.

Canadian Credit Unions Are Vital to Canada’s Economy and Society

Canadian credit unions are people-first establishments and they work hard to serve their members. About one in every five Canadians belongs to a credit union. Credit unions care about their communities. According to the Canadian Credit Union Association, credit unions return about 5.4% of pretax profit to local organizations within their communities. This is well above the industry standard of 1%. In fact, Canadian credit unions gave $54.2 million through donations, sponsorships, charitable foundations, scholarships and bursaries, volunteers, financial literacy programs and much more in 2018 alone.

Credit unions help to strengthen the Canadian economy by creating jobs, increasing capital and contributing to tax revenues. In 2018, Canadian credit unions contributed over $6.5 billion, either directly or indirectly, to Canada’s gross domestic product.

Canadian credit unions are also environmentally friendly. Most credit unions practice waste reduction by working to improve their environments by reducing their environmental footprints in the area of paper and IT waste. Implementing a board portal software system is an easy and efficient way to reduce paper, office supplies and other waste. Also, having the ability to conduct meetings through teleconference and videoconference cuts down on needless travel expenses for board directors, not to mention reducing harmful air emissions.

Many credit union members are also interested in making environmentally conscious decisions. To support their efforts, some credit unions now offer eco-friendly loans and other eco-friendly financial products to help their communities to be mindful of the environment when doing business.

In essence, when we talk about issues of security, efficiency, accessibility and accountability in the business world, what we’re really talking about is modern governance. We can define modern governance as giving companies the ability to get the right information at the right time to effect the best decision-making possible. Board portals are affordable, secure and user-friendly. A Diligent board portal software system is a modern governance solution and it’s your credit union’s best asset for positioning itself to do even more for your customers than you are already doing.