By Todd Clark, President/CEO
In my opinion, right now is an exciting time for our industry and, particularly for our credit unions. I’ve heard a lot of things that make me feel so optimistic, and I wanted to share some you.
We can all agree that traditional banking is changing pretty quickly nowadays:
- A Gallup study found that more than half of banking customers prefer a digital banking relationship to a physical one1
- One-third of all purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone
- 76 percent of consumers believe companies should understand and anticipate their needs2
It’s no wonder that only 22 percent of financial institutions feel they have access to effective payments processing and IT infrastructure to meet their members’ needs.3
So why am I so optimistic?
As the above statistic highlights, most of the financial services industry is in the same boat: everyone is competing for greater market share and to be top of wallet with their members but most are struggling to keep up with the pace of innovation. But credit unions are different; instead of competing we’re collaborating with each other on digital innovation. And are already we’re seeing incredible results.
For instance, recently we pilot-tested new enhancements to our card controls and alerts solution CardNav with Michigan First Credit Union and heard great feedback about how the new API integration helped them significantly lower card reissuance costs and meet their members’ expectations.
In general we believe APIs will play a significant role in the future transformation of our industry, as my colleague Pam Brodsack (Chief Technology Officer) recently highlighted in Credit Union Times; and the good news is that future is closer than you think… (stay tuned for an upcoming announcement from us on that front in the coming weeks)
The other reason I’m so confident is because we have the opportunity to be the torch-bearers for the future of member service. Providing exceptional service is in our DNA as credit unions and the more that we embrace that within our member-facing Contact Centers, the greater the opportunities will be.
For instance, Sierra Central Credit Union recently partnered with us to help them process auto-loan applications happening outside of their normal business hours. Not only did this enable them to better serve the lending needs of their members but it also drove an additional $5-$8 million in monthly auto-loan revenue, they informed us. That’s a great example of how improvements to member-facing technology and processes can translate directly into revenue opportunities.
Cooperative Spirit: Spreading the Word
October 17th was International Credit Union Day and in the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to give a quick shout out to some of our credit union partners that have been making waves and headlines in the industry lately:
- There was a great profile on Patelco Credit Union in FinTech Magazine about how they weave collaboration into their culture of innovation
- Kudos to Simplicity Credit Union for taking an unorthodox approach to opening branches in rural areas, and highlighting the unique opportunity credit unions have to support underserved communities
- Congrats to Teresa Freeborn of Xceed Financial Credit Union, John Fiore of Andigo Credit Union and Maurice Smith of Local Government Federal Credit Union on receiving the Herb Wagner Outstanding Individual Achievement award from the National Credit Union Foundation. We look forward to celebrating with you at GAC!
- Last week, I was at Money 20/20 helping to promote the incredible achievements our industry. I enjoy getting the chance to connect with many of you on ways we can partner together for future growth.
I am excited for what’s to come – let’s make 2020 the Year of the Credit Union!