Virtual conference screenshot Jack Henry & Associates Senior Director of Strategy Lee Wetherington presents during CUBG’s virtual conference.

The economic upheaval resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic may have left some credit union leaders wondering if it’s wise to serve small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), but now is in fact an opportune time to do so – as long as they commit to engaging with them via full-service digital tools, according to Jack Henry & Associates Senior Director of Strategy Lee Wetherington.

Wetherington, who presented Wednesday during a virtual conference hosted by the Portland, Ore.-based business services CUSO CU Business Group, explained that despite a stalling of small business revenue since June and numerous bankruptcies happening in industries such as travel, hospitality and food services, new business applications jumped between April and August and according to Cornerstone Advisors research, the pandemic exposed a $371 billion opportunity for financial institutions to provide accounting and payments services to SMBs.


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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.

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