Kent Lugrand

President & CEO, InTouch Credit Union

Kent Lugrand, President and CEO

InTouch Credit Union

What achievement at InTouch are you most proud of?

The biggest organizational achievement is the one we’re in the process of doing now: Given the pandemic and the challenge with inflation and society, we’ve created a goal of raising $1 million for food pantries in our markets. We’ve made our first contribution of $75,000. We plan to match that this fall. Then as participants get more involved we hope to do more. 

The great thing about the process that we made is that we wanted this to be all-inclusive – a community effort – it really takes a community and lots of people to solve lots of big problems.

We have created a methodology to where a portion of every member’s loan payment and a portion of every member’s debit charge and credit card charge. We take a portion of that and we set it aside for food and security. So it’s not just the credit union, but it’s all the members we serve, collectively, are helping to solve our local food and security problem

We know there are problems that we can’t fix. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t try. And so this is our effort to get involved and do our part.

What have been your challenges?

The biggest challenge we’re facing from an institutional standpoint is how to stay relevant with our membership. Technology and banking and payments and things are changing so fast. The pandemic exasperated that pace. Just trying to keep information secure and being able to get our members to access it in a frictionless way is proving to be challenging – especially with lots of threat actors out there that are trying, through phishing and fraud and various nefarious ways to try to get access to money that they shouldn’t have.

Our members, and the individuals that we serve, trust us and expect us to keep their information safe.

What were you hoping to solve with Eltropy?

The key to banking today is communication. And being able to communicate with the member constituency that we serve, in a way that they’d like, in a timing that they would like. We live in a 24-7-365 world, but [our credit union isn’t] big enough to staff every single office and facility for every minute.

This is where we are looking to Eltropy to help us leverage systems and opportunities to be able to create digital communications challenges to fulfill that need.

Has it been successful?

So far so good. We’ve been using texting quite a bit. We’re on the cusp of rolling out video banking (face-to-face banking)

The exciting part about partnering with Eltropy is the ability to shift from one communication platform to another within the same call, the same chat, the same text, seamlessly, keeping all of the authentication and security in place. I think that’s going to make a big difference for us.

What are your hopes and expectations going forward?

The expectations today are for things to be frictionless. There’s only so much time in the day that the time that you have, on the things you want to spend it on, and the things that you must spend on – you want those to be as small as they possibly can be. Unless they’re part of the advocacy of what you want to do.

Being able to frictionlessly manage your money gives you that much more time to do the things you want to do.