CU 2.0 Podcast 23: Sitting Down with Gabe Krajicek, CEO of Kasasa

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the twenty-third in a series of podcasts from Robert McGarvey. Welcome to the CU 2.0 Podcast, regular interviews with credit union leaders, thinkers, movers, shakers and more.

If Kasasa were a bank branch network, it would be the nation’s fourth largest and it says that sometime this year it will overtake Bank of America and be the 3rd biggest.

Surprised? You bet. Probably you know that Kasasa has been building up its customer base for digital banking products – checking in particular – but now it is big enough where it’s tooting its horn.

This”branch network” isn’t a consumer-facing product – CO-OP Shared Branching it is not – but what’s interesting is that lots of FIs, some 907 community banks, and credit unions, now have joined together to offer Kasasa products, particularly the free, rewards-based checking.

And that’s also where Kasasa has a real plus – according to company CEO Gabe Krajicek, Kasasa consumers have free access to essentially every ATM in the US. When fees are imposed, the consumer is reimbursed.

And that’s an enormous perk for credit union members when many institutions have ATM fleets that can be counted on one hand.

Think about the enormity of that plus for credit union members in Kasasa institutions.

Kasasa also aims to put high-quality digital products in the hands of consumers because, said Krajicek, often consumers say they couldn’t belong to a credit union because the digital is no good.

But what if it, in fact, is good? With the right digital products, community institutions can and will survive, said Krajicek.

Along the way, Krajicek- whose company serves both community banks and credit unions – says community institutions would better serve their interests if they recognized that they have more in common and in particular they have in common a shared enemy and that’s the money center banks.

It’s an interesting thesis. So often community banks and credit unions are reflexively Hatfield and McCoy. But what if they joined together to oppose a shared foe?

What if? What if cooperation flourished? It’s a big vs. small battle, he said.  And nowadays it’s becoming a life or death struggle where many community institutions are vanishing.

Krajicek tosses out big ideas. Come along for the ride in this CU.0 podcast.

Listen here.

credit union banking, credit union member experience, credit union podcast

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CU 2.0 Podcast 22: Talking Payments and Data Analytics with Trellance’s Lou Grilli

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the twenty-second in a series of podcasts from Robert McGarvey. Welcome to the CU 2.0 Podcast, regular interviews with credit union leaders, thinkers, movers, shakers and more.

What do you think when you get an alert from your credit union offering you a 2.9% car loan – and you already have a 1.9% car loan that you got two years ago from the same institution?

Duh, right?

Lou Grilli, an executive at payments CUSO Trellance, thinks a lot about exactly those kinds of questions and he believes that for credit unions the solution will come through smarter, faster data analytics.

His opinions are rooted in information gleaned from the experiences of the roughly 2000 credit unions that own Trellance.

What your member will do, or need, tomorrow already is known in today’s data. You just have to look at it.

And Grilli thinks data analytics can unlock tactics for encouraging more member use of your institution’s cards – which is a goal of just about every credit union.

Along the way, Grilli also talks about the future of contactless cards, also what to expect from digital wallets such as Apple Pay.

Payments in the past five years have changed much more dramatically than they had in the preceding 25 and Grilli has a ringside seat.  That’s why he is worth a long listen in this podcast.

Click the photo below to listen now!

credit union data analytics, credit union payment trends, credit union podcast

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CU 2.0 Fintech Friday: Coalesce AI

It’s CU 2.0 Fintech Friday! Today, Chris Otey sits down with Coalesce AI to discuss all things credit union, fintech, and digital innovation.

fintech partnerships

Coalesce.ai helps credit unions introduce the power of AI and machine learning into their operational ecosystem. Their platform utilizes User-Defined Machine Learning, which allows clients to train Coalesce.ai’s automation platform how to gain expertise in a certain set of tasks.

Coalesce.ai’s systems helps credit unions and financial industries reduce error and increase efficiency while saving time. By reducing or eliminating the possibility for human error and the necessity for manual labor, Coalesce.ai lets ten credit union employees accomplish the work of a hundred.

For credit unions, Coalesce.ai found that “the operations of a financial services firm like a credit union today requires—especially in the middle and back office—a lot of tedious, manual, repetitive work: opening spreadsheets, scanning emails, filtering through PDF documents. And with this new AI technology, we’ve been able to automate the way that some of that gets done at credit unions.”

If this sounds like an intriguing credit union–fintech partnership, check out the video and Coalesce.ai snapshot below!

Credit Union Fintech Snapshot: Coalesce.ai

Top 3 Problems Solved

  1. Workflow automation
  2. AI and User-Defined Machine Learning
  3. Streamline operations

Coalesce.ai Founder: Greg Woolf

Coalesce.ai Market Strategy

Credit Unions.

Credit Union Fintech: Coalesce.ai in the News

Coalesce.ai introduces AI elements to workflows

Coalesce.ai works with IBM’s Watson

Interested in seeing more fintech entrepreneurship? Check out the CU 2.0 fintech infographic, Death by 1,000 Cuts. You can see firsthand the impact fintechs have had on the credit union industry, as well as how fintech innovation can improve your income statement, balance sheet, interest margin, services, and more.

Credit Union 2.0 believes fully in the power of credit union and fintech partnerships. With the shared goal to redefine multifaceted financial services models look like to members, more credit unions are looking to partner with forward-leaning fintechs.

If you want to learn more about credit union–fintech partnerships, click here.

CU 2.0 Podcast 21: Ron Shevlin on “Is the Party Over?”

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the twenty-first in a series of podcasts from Robert McGarvey. Welcome to the CU 2.0 Podcast, regular interviews with credit union leaders, thinkers, movers, shakers and more.

Cornerstone Advisors’ Ron Shevlin’s report on “What’s Going On in Banking 2019. Is the Party Over?” is out and he’s in the CU2.0 Podcast to share some of his findings.

Read the report here.  It’s free.

To compile the report Shevlin surveyed some 300+ senior executives in financial institutions – around 120 in credit unions – and they spill their views of their tomorrows.

Has the Trump bump become the Trump slump, asked Shevlin.

A lot of the report focused on technology and what financial execs see as musts.

Some 63% of credit union executives describe their digital banking as future ready – which prompted this reporter to choke and then ask, are they doing marijuana-related banking and smoking too many samples?

Listen to the podcast to hear Shevlin’s views.

As always, Shevlin is an independent, sometimes quirky viewer of financial services. That’s why his viewpoint matters.

Listen up and learn. Here’s the podcast.

Click the photo below to listen now!

credit union podcast cu 2.0

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CU 2.0 Podcast 20: Up in Smoke, Credit Unions and Cannabis, Part 2

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the twentieth in a series of podcasts from Robert McGarvey. Welcome to the CU 2.0 Podcast, regular interviews with credit union leaders, thinkers, movers, shakers and more.

Welcome to Up in Smoke, Part 2 – more formally, Credit Unions and Cannabis, Part 2.

In last week’s episode, we heard from lawyers, a lobbyist and two credit union consultants in a no holds barred exploration of the potential, and pitfalls, of cannabis accounts in credit unions. Catch up with that podcast here.

This week we are digging deeper into a pair of interviews. One is with Judy Britt Cavanaugh, VP of Compliance with the Connecticut Credit Union which is actively attempting to educate its members about the realities of cannabis and credit unions.  The Connecticut League also is working with Green Check Verified – which talks at length in Part 1 – to establish safe, compliant procedures for handling marijuana accounts.

Also in this podcast is Katrina Skinner, interim president of Safe  Harbor Services, a CUSO set up by Sundie Seefried.  It also is working to provide credit unions with the tools needed to stay compliant when servicing marijuana businesses.

Marijuana business just may be the answer for some credit unions. But it could also be the ruin of some. That’s why you need to listen to the podcasts.

Click the photo below to listen now!

credit union cannabis banking cu 2.0 podcast

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CU 2.0 Podcast 19: Up in Smoke, Credit Unions and Cannabis, Part 1

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the nineteenth in a series of podcasts from Robert McGarvey. Welcome to the CU 2.0 Podcast, regular interviews with credit union leaders, thinkers, movers, shakers and more.

Call this podcast Up In Smoke, Credit Union Style. The more formal moniker: Cannabis and Credit Unions: The Opportunities and Risks, Part 1. That’s right. There is also a Part 2 because there just is so much to report about cannabis and financial institutions.

In Part 1, you will hear from a couple of lawyers, a cannabis lobbyist, a pair of credit union consultants, and more. Why the hubbub about a little weed? For one, a commonly tossed around market size estimate is $50 billion in the US and much of that is unbanked cash. For two, there are big differences between state laws regarding cannabis and federal. In two-thirds of the states, cannabis is legal – either for medical uses or, in some cases such as California and Colorado, for any use. That’s right. Recreational use is legal in some states. And yet marijuana remains illegal in federal law.

There’s the sticking point. Pragmatically speaking, few oppose medical use of marijuana. But many still oppose recreational use of it. So what happens if the federal government comes in and arrests a bunch of credit union employees for drug trafficking? Don’t say it can’t happen because it could. Is it probable?

Right now credit union executives are wrestling with exactly such questions. Answers don’t come easily. Know this, however: around 110 credit unions now have marijuana-related businesses as members. The core argument for doing this is that it’s good for the community.  It takes cash off the streets and it also helps small, local businesses stabilize. The only downside is that marijuana remains illegal in federal law. Uggh.

There’s the dilemma. A credit union can do a lot of good by plunging into the marijuana business. But it also may be risking all. Thus this podcast series.  There may be no knottier problem for credit unions than marijuana. There is information to know and that’s what we are delivering.  In a two-part series.

In Part 1, you will hear a range of viewpoints.  Listen to the end so you hear all the perspectives. It’s a 45-minute podcast but the content is rich. In Part 2 you will hear in some depth from the Connecticut Credit Union League, which is helping its members serve marijuana businesses, and also Safe Harbor, started by credit union veteran Sundie Seefried to help financial institutions serve the needs of marijuana businesses. And then what will you decide to do? Listen up to make smart choices.

Click the photo below to listen now!

credit union podcast marijuana banking

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CU 2.0 Fintech Friday: Hound Software

It’s CU 2.0 Fintech Friday! Today, Chris Otey sits down with Hound Software to discuss all things credit union, fintech, and digital innovation.

CU2.0 credit union fintech partnership innovation

Hound Software accomplishes workflow automation for credit unions. They partner with credit unions, for whom they collect, integrate, and analyze member data. From there, they initiate and direct an automated workflow to guide members through relevant services.

Hound Software focuses on customer satisfaction and experience. Through data collection and analysis, they strengthen relationships between credit unions and their members. Hound Software helps credit unions stay in front of their members so they stay engaged and satisfied.

Hound Software’s primary roles are in customer retention, revenue management, and upselling. Hound Software helps credit unions create multiple-stage processes and workflows on the fly. Hound Software also integrates with communications, analytics, and machine learning systems to keep your credit union smart and well-connected.

If this sounds like an intriguing credit union–fintech partnership, check out the video and Hound Software snapshot below!

Credit Union Fintech Snapshot: Hound Software

Top 3 Problems Solved

  1. Customer retention
  2. Revenue management
  3. Upselling

Hound Software Founder: Manrique Feoli

Hound Software Market Strategy

Credit unions, financial institutions, commercial businesses.

Credit Union Fintech: Hound Software in the News

Hound Software debuts in Florida

Interested in seeing more fintech entrepreneurship? Check out the CU 2.0 fintech infographic, Death by 1,000 Cuts. You can see firsthand the impact fintechs have had on the credit union industry, as well as how fintech innovation can improve your income statement, balance sheet, interest margin, services, and more.

Credit Union 2.0 believes fully in the power of credit union and fintech partnerships. With the shared goal to redefine multifaceted financial services models look like to members, more credit unions are looking to partner with forward-leaning fintechs.

If you want to learn more about credit union–fintech partnerships, click here.

CU 2.0 Fintech Friday: PayByCar

It’s CU 2.0 Fintech Friday! Today, Chris Otey sits down with Pay By Car to discuss all things credit union, fintech, and digital innovation.

CU2.0 credit union fintech partnership, credit union fintech innovation

PayByCar is a payment system that streamlines purchases made in and from cars. Instead of going through the often-clunky process of handing a debit or credit card back and forth between driver and cashier.

In-vehicle purchases exceed $200bn yearly. From toll roads to car washes, drive-through coffee stands to fast food restaurants, paying on the go accounts for a significant portion of daily purchases. If you can imagine paying at the pump with an E-Z Pass, then you’re on the right track to understanding PayByCar.

PayByCar allows people to forego the usual card- or phone-based transaction. PayByCar transponders reduce in-vehicle transaction times by eliminating the need of a middleman.

Credit unions who wish to partner with PayByCar can offer their members a simple, easy payment system for in-vehicle transactions. In-vehicle payment systems are a growing technology with increasing demand. Giving members an in-vehicle payment option can reduce their transactional friction and increase their appreciation for their credit union’s services.

If this sounds like an intriguing credit union–fintech partnership, check out the video and PayByCar snapshot below!

Credit Union Fintech Snapshot: PayByCar

Top 3 Problems Solved

  1. In-vehicle payments
  2. In-vehicle transaction times
  3. Drive-through sales

PayByCar Founder: Kevin Condon

PayByCar Market Strategy

Credit Unions and individual drivers.

Credit Union Fintech: PayByCar in the News

PayByCar simplifies in-vehicle payments

PayByCar partners with E-Z Pass

Interested in seeing more fintech entrepreneurship? Check out the CU 2.0 fintech infographic, Death by 1,000 Cuts. You can see firsthand the impact fintechs have had on the credit union industry, as well as how fintech innovation can improve your income statement, balance sheet, interest margin, services, and more.

Credit Union 2.0 believes fully in the power of credit union and fintech partnerships. With the shared goal to redefine multifaceted financial services models look like to members, more credit unions are looking to partner with forward-leaning fintechs.

If you want to learn more about credit union–fintech partnerships, click here.

CU 2.0 Podcast: Series 18 – Al Pascual on Biometrics

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the eighteenth in a series of podcasts from Robert McGarvey. Welcome to the CU 2.0 Podcast, regular interviews with credit union leaders, thinkers, movers, shakers and more.

**Pop Quiz**

How long have passwords been around?

How many credit union members want never to use one again?

What are the three must-have biometrics modalities?

When will biometrics effectively supplant passwords in financial services?

Flashback time: when did Apple introduce Touch ID, a tool that thrust biometrics into everyday use for tens of millions of consumers?

Consider the above your pop quiz. How did you score?

Al Pascual, a researcher with Javelin, who recently co-authored a report on biometrics and financial services, knows the answers to these questions and he tells all in this CU 2.0 podcast.

It moves fast, you’ll want to hear it.

A sliver of good/bad news: it’s the biggest financial institutions that are carrying the weight of persuading regulators about the efficacy of biometrics and that just may be a blessing for smaller institutions – credit unions included – who can follow behind.

Click the photo below to listen now!

credit union biometrics, credit union security

Check out other podcasts in the series here!

CU 2.0 Podcast: Series 17 – Victor Corro on Hispanics and Credit Unions

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the seventeenth in a series of podcasts from Robert McGarvey. Welcome to the CU 2.0 Podcast, regular interviews with credit union leaders, thinkers, movers, shakers and more.

Ask Victor Corro, of Coopera, the Hispanic focused consulting firm for credit unions, on why Hispanics matter to credit unions and he gets impassioned.  Hispanics need credit unions, he says, just as credit unions need Hispanics.  He tells in detail exactly why that is so in this edition of the CU 2.0 podcast.

Note: the audio quality has imperfections in parts of this podcast.  We live in a world of imperfect telephony. But the audio is understandable. So give a hard listen and you will be rewarded.

Corro also tells exactly what a credit union needs to do to really pursue the Hispanic demographic.  It’s a multi-step process and he spells it out.

And he explains why many Hispanics are cellphone first consumers – and savvy credit unions need to truly get that if they hope to prosper in their pursuit of Hispanics.

Just remember: you need each other. And that makes this a perfect scenario for doing credit union good.

Click the photo below to listen now!

credit union hispanic demographic coopera

Check out other podcasts in the series here!