The Growing Pains of Business Ownership

February 4, 2016
/   Insights

This article by Stefanie O’Connell first appeared on in November 2015. Confession – I’ve made a major mistake in growing my business. Though my earnings have climbed exponentially over the past two years, I found...

The benefits and challenges of the Internet of Things

February 3, 2016
/   Insights

The convergence of operations technology and information technology presents new and expanding market opportunities. The “Internet of Things” is a center point of this convergence. IoT can bring remarkable benefits to today’s ever-changing business...

Mobile Banking Surprises Yet to Come

It had to happen, and apparently it has: In the year just passed, according to the new report “2015 Mobile Banking, Smartphone, and Tablet Forecast” from Javelin Strategy & Research, 30% of customers used...

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

In a few sentences, can you tell us about Ventura County Credit Union?

Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) is the oldest and largest community credit union headquartered in Ventura County, California. Our mission is to deliver unparalleled services — from checking and savings accounts and credit cards to auto, personal, home loans and beyond — in order to improve the financial well-being of our members and the community at large. VCCU has almost 70,000 members and over $700 million in assets.

What is a recent initiative that Ventura County Credit Union launched to connect with the local community?

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we raised money for the Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Foundation — a nonprofit dedicated to providing breast cancer education, advocacy and support to Ventura County — throughout October of 2015. Employees wore pink every Wednesday and sold buttons to members to raise money. At the end of the month, we had raised a total of $2,545 for the foundation.

Additionally, we run a can tree donation program, which raises money and food for FOOD Share, Inc. Our goal is to raise $15,000 and to build 30 can trees for the local foodbank.

Why did Ventura County Credit Union see a need to get involved with Moorpark Police Department’s “Operation Take Back the Pump”?

VCCU felt it was important to participate in any county-wide action that allowed us to help mitigate/thwart fraud attempts in our community. We are able to trace back several common points of compromise back to skimming devices at local fuel stations, which ultimately resulted in significant fraud losses for the credit union and posed an inconvenience to our members.

What feedback has Ventura County Credit Union received from this initiative?

As a result of the initiative, we, along with Ventura County law enforcement, businesses and federal agencies, were able to identify and remove three skimming devices from the community — all within the City of Thousand Oaks. Additionally, the initiative raised awareness on the issue of illegal skimming devices and served as a way to educate our members and the general public on ways to prevent identity theft at gas stations.

How can other financial institutions learn from this initiative?

Proactively working with law enforcement has provided relationship-building opportunities throughout the county. VCCU in particular has been able to build connections with our local law agencies. As a result, law enforcement is more apt to help track down other fraudulent reports on our behalf.

What results have you seen, if any, since the launch of “Operation Take Back the Pump?”

We still are seeing skimming devices show up from time to time. However, because of the relationships we have built through working with local law enforcement, we are able to identify the skimming location right away and therefore can act quickly to prevent future losses with our cardholders.


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Brad Strothkamp