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.