CU 2.0’s Top Online Account Opening Vendors of 2019

Let’s face it. if you are about to join a new financial institution and they bring out the dreaded paperwork stack, the game is over. Just get up, walk out, and find someplace that isn’t stuck in 1995.

With everyone talking about digital transformation, we thought it would be helpful to provide an overview of the top providers of online account opening vendors in the credit union industry.

Continue reading “CU 2.0’s Top Online Account Opening Vendors of 2019”

CU-2’s Top Online Banking Providers of 2019 (Part 2)

While mobile banking dominates much of our focus these days, the reality is that the desktop favorite of online banking isn’t going anywhere. We all know credit unions rarely kill off an old delivery channel, so we can expect it is going to be around for quite some time.

In CU2.0’s Top Online Banking Providers of 2019 (Part 1), we examined many of the strategy considerations for Online Banking selection. In Part 2, we will delve into some of the more tactical but important components.

These components include some things that may greatly impact your members’ experience. For example, for each online banking provider, we’ll evaluate the quality or their assurance testing or the ability to authorize your members into things beyond the online banking world. Many of these items go beyond innovation cycles or road map, but are often represent the feature functionality that directly impacts your members.

Continue reading “CU-2’s Top Online Banking Providers of 2019 (Part 2)”

CU-2’s Top Online Banking Providers of 2019 (Part 1)

Online banking is a dynamic and ever-changing landscape. Since Paul Fiore and Digital Insight launched and dominated the market almost 20 years ago, the marketplace has morphed, changed, and innovated.

Yet, in some ways, things haven’t changed at all.

Online banking is still the most dominant member connection point. Aside from the credit union’s website, there is no place that is more influential on member brand experience than through your online banking portal. If you have a clunky product or a stale design, that is how your members see you every day.

On the other hand, if you have a great user interface, where it is easy to add products, make changes, or help members understand their financial life better, then you will seem sophisticated, transparent, trustworthy, and innovative.

Continue reading “CU-2’s Top Online Banking Providers of 2019 (Part 1)”

2019 Credit Union Technology Trends to Watch

Wow.  What a year! The credit union and FinTech worlds are frothy and lots of change is underway. This year, some of the walls came down and credit unions saw more of the real world. Digital Credit Union has an incubator fostering FinTech Startups and the Boston FinTech Community. NACUSO’s Next Big Idea Competition brought in new concepts and innovative ideas to solve age-old credit union problems. A great example of this is LenderClose, a digital lending platform, which allows community lenders to streamline the lending cycle. Everywhere I looked this year, credit unions were actively looking to do things differently. It was great! Now, let’s keep the momentum going. To continue last years methodology, I thought we should compare last year to this year in terms of comparing each trend in the “Real World” versus its presence in “Credit Unionville.”

For 2019, there are seven technology trends that Credit Unions need to keep top of mind.

credit union trends

1. Cloud

Credit Unions continue to lag behind the Real World in Cloud adoption. However, we did see some major progress here this year. Ongoing Operations now has 40+ credit unions ”All-In” on the cloud and even has its first $1 Billion+ credit union client that no longer owns a server, storage, or its own network. The credit union has fully embraced the cloud, and it is awesome.

We continue to come across credit unions that have adopted “Cloud First” strategies. This is an improvement but it isn’t far enough. Adopting a Cloud First strategy at this stage is like going from a horse and carriage to a car when airplanes exist. We must rip the Band-Aid off and go faster.  If we don’t, all we are doing is widening the gap between credit unions and the Real World. Credit Unions will miss out on the next major trends like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Cloud stays in the #1 trend to watch spot because in my mind itis the #1 impediment to credit unions moving faster and being competitive in today’s environment.

2. Digital Transformation

 Like last year, this term is still way overused. Trust me, I know. In fact, I wrote a book on it. The good news here is that I think credit unions understand the urgency. No longer do I see tons of non-responsive websites. Credit unions are working hard to modernize their service delivery and make it more digital.

In fact, the good news continues with this trend. Digital transformation is a major issue for all legacy businesses, not just credit unions. So, we aren’t alone here. Furthermore, the tools, technology and collective experience necessary to be a digital ninja are becoming cheaper, improving quickly, and are more accessible than ever. I continue to believe this is a top issue and priority that every credit union marketing and technology team should be addressing in their 2019 plans.

3. FinTechs

First off, let me just say wow. The number of FinTechs in my database has nearly doubled (approximately 400). The number was high when I first started tracking the trend, but there are roughly twice as many now than when I wrote the book Credit Union 2.0 in 2017. I monitor this landscape closely, and every week I come across at least five additional FinTechs that interest me. It is increasingly difficult simply to keep track of what is out there, let alone figure out who to partner with.

As long as capital is cheap (although getting more expensive), this trend will continue. The average entrepreneur sees the pain and challenges with modern banking and is working to close the gap. The best news here is that more and more often FinTechs intend to go to market by partnering with banks and credit unions.

If we look back over the past 20 years, we went from having one mainframe to having one server and business application for every 2.5 credit union employees. Sadly, I think we will see something similar happen with FinTechs. The ability for a FinTech to profitably serve a key group of members or a single business function will be huge. Four out of every five presenters at NACUSO’s Next Big Idea Competition were FinTechs. Furthermore, itis the gateway tools are being built. Cloud Platforms, Middleware companies, i.e. AlphapackConstellation, and OnApproach, are creating entirely new ecosystems that will speed up creation and adoption. This will lead to financial success.

4. Marketing Automation

Personalization in marketing is key. In our 2018 work, Credit Union 2.0 partnered with a handful of credit unions to implement and transform things such as the attrition process and 2nd chance checking members. I won’t lie, this was really challenging at first. It took almost nine months and 1,000+ man hours to figure out the right formula. I’ll share that formula with you today. In order to pull marketing automation off, a credit union needs to unwind the 20+ platforms it uses. Next, you need to document key business processes and transform your entire way of thinking. We have found that you can’t simply start by fixing one platform or one tool. The answer is to pick one product or service and then build and test all the components on a new platform that is as integrated as possible to the old.

Get good at that one thing, optimize it, and then perfect it. An example of this is 2ndchance checking. This product requires 100-200 blogs and twenty different nurturing campaigns to take a prospective member from finding you on google to signing up for the product. To transform all of your credit union’s products and services, the average credit union will need 200-300 nurture campaigns, 50 landing pages, and about 3000-4000 blogs, videos & content pieces. I know that sounds daunting and perhaps as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest, but you had better get started. If you don’t take these steps, you just won’t exist in twenty years. In 2019, plan to ditch your dated email marketing platform and switch to a true marketing automation platform that can leverage web, social, and other delivery channel components.

5. Analytics

 Credit Unions are definitely working hard on this trend. Within the credit union industry, many credit unions have purchased analytics platforms. Other credit unions have hired data scientists. There are even two distinct credit union analytics conferences now that are phenomenal: AXFI and CUAnalytics.

The industry is aware of the power of data and is actively working to leverage analytics. A terrific example is CU Rise, which was built on the OnApproach platform. CU Rise took data pools, ran them through machine learning and watched as their initial attrition model went from a 6x better prediction to 9x within a few weeks. This is the future.

However, analytics go hand in hand with Marketing Automation. If you don’t know how to leverage and use the analytics or you aren’t prepared to invest in both sides, analytics alone won’t do you much good!

6. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

This trend is hot and it is only getting hotter. Every single FinTech I saw at the latest event I attended was using Machine Learning in their product. All of them…

When thinking about AI/Machine Learning, I want to provide a key perspective here. In March, Bank of America launched Erica, a natural language/AI based chatbot. Within six months, approximately 45% of BofA’s customers were using it. It took 25 years for ATM’s to get that same adoption rate. It took Amazon’s Alexa two years to get that adoption rate. This trend is speeding up and getting hotter. Be on the lookout in 2019 for my book on this very topic. AI and Machine Learning is the future.

7. IT Security

This topic is still cyber hot, and credit unions continue to be well aligned at the forefront of key cyber trends. The main thing I noticed this year is that the hot labor market that I predicted for 2018 has gotten even hotter. This tight labor market is making it difficult for credit unions to find cyber experts. Furthermore, the NCUA’s focus on SIEM (Security Incident Event Management) continues to crank up the pressure.

So, as we approach 2019, sit down with this list, your executive team, and your Board. Start talking (out loud) about each of these trends and how each trend may impact your Credit Union. How might each trend change your members’ perceptions and/or expectations? What should your Credit Union be investing in? Now is the time to set yourself up for a successful 2019 because tomorrow is too late.

If you’d like to talk to discuss how any one or more of these trends specifically affect your Credit Union, please reach out to me directly at [email protected]. I love to talk about technology trends.

Happy Holidays!

Credit Union Strategic Planning Topics

Ahhh, credit union strategic planning topic season. Let’s take off our pessimistic blinders, pull out our beanies and start thinking of the credit union world we want tomorrow. Soon, our credit union will disrupt the local banks. We will put them those evil bankers out of business and take over the world… cooperatively (of course).

If you are looking for quick strategic questions to ask your board at your credit union planning session, you are in the right place.


Credit Union Strategic Planning Topics About Growthstrategic planing for credit union topics

  1. If you had to process 3x your normal loan or member growth volume, how would you?
  2. Where do you want to be in 3 years?
  3. What market trends support that vision?
  4. What client demands support that vision?
  5. What are the tactical plans to support that goal?
  6. What are the known risks?
  7. If you could rebuild the credit union 2.0, what would it look like?
  8. What are the top 10 questions we have about our credit union (analytics based)? What would you do differently if you knew the answer?


Credit Union Strategic Planning Topics for Critical Self-Evaluation

  1. What is the one thing your credit union was worst at this year? What needs to happen to fix it?
  2. What is one thing your credit was best at? How can you double down on it?
  3. What is the single metric that you least like hearing about this year? Why? What can you do to change it?
  4. Where do we use analytics well?
  5. Are we moving or reacting fast enough in the marketplace?
  6. In each department, what should you start? What should you stop? What should you continue?
  7. What are our best service experience and memories?


Credit Union Strategic Planning Topics About Culture

  1. What are some examples of living your core values?
  2. What are some examples of failing to live your core values?
  3. If you could change one thing about the credit union, what would it be?
  4. What are the top 3 credit unions we admire and why?
  5. What does the perfect member look like? Where do they hang out? Who do they know?
  6. What makes an ideal board member?
  7. If you were the new CXO and were brought in tomorrow, what were three things you would fix immediately?


Credit Union Strategic Planning Wildcard Questions

  1. If a perfect competitor opened across the street tomorrow, what would they look like?
  2. If we were to rebuild our credit union with no branches, what would it look like?
  3. If the NCUA got merged into the FDIC, what would change?
  4. If your largest SEG went out of business, what would you change?

Any of these credit union strategic planning topics can help you and your board plan for a brighter, warmer future.


Credit Union 2.0 — Credit Union Strategic Planning Facilitators

Kirk Drake and Chris Otey take a unique approach to planning sessions. Their goals are to deal with some of the real issues facing credit unions. These include:

  • Who is your ideal member?
  • How do we improve board governance?
  • How do we get our board to look more like our membership?
  • How do we deal with the onslaught of fintechs and technology?
  • How do we change our culture to be more like a fintech?

As the author of Credit Union 2.0, head of a large technology CUSO, and founder of CU Wallet, Drake has great insights from both his time working at a credit union through his entrepreneurship and board experience.

As board chair of South Bay Credit Union and former CU Wallet and Fiserv executive, Chris has worked with hundreds of credit unions to help them deal with board governance, CUSOs, and other technology challenges.

Click here to book us for your next strategic planning session.

If you’re looking to bring in vendors or partners, check out our Fintech Friday series. And don’t worry! We keep the digital distractions for CEOs to a minimum.


Credit Union 2.0 — Strategic Planning Options

DREAM (Based on the CU2.0 Book)

Credit Unions are under unprecedented attack from all angles. Thousands of fintechs are collectively hurting the bottom line. Regulators are slowing the industry down.

Credit Union 2.0 outlines the DREAM (Differentiation, Repeat and Reinforce, Educate and Excite, Automate and Motivate) methodology that will help your credit union begin the process of digitally engaging your members, building fierce loyalty, and making them feel the credit union difference.

The Credit Union 2.0 movement teaches why we need to change. It emphasizes key case studies from awesome credit unions, lessons learned from other cooperatives, and strategies for creating fierce loyalty.

Some highlights from Credit Union 2.0 include The ultimate first 100 Day Experience, Hacking your CU’s Repeated Mistakes, and Education = Trust | Trust = Sales.

Finally, Credit Union 2.0 will provide an optimistic outline of the credit union of tomorrow. Such a credit union digitally engages members, builds fierce loyalty, scales gracefully, and makes your members feel like they own the place!


Kirk Drake, a serial entrepreneur focused on credit union technology and author of CU 2.0, reveals his P.A.I.N.T. strategy you can use to make your credit union more competitive, more creative and more in tune with today’s digital expectations.

If you have struggled with corporate culture, agility, moving faster, or competing with the onslaught of new Fintechs, the P.A.I.N.T. methodology will help your credit union quickly iterate and apply key “Operating System” Strategies to better engage your members.

Take home these 5 tools:

  • Painted Picture
  • Analytics Plan
  • Innovation and Agility Hacks
  • Nimble Algorithms
  • Terminate

Related Content

Credit Union Planning Session Facilitators

Credit Union Planning Session Process