CU2.0 Podcast Episode 98 James Robert Lay on the Real Meaning of Digital Transformation

You want to read James Robert Lay’s Banking on Digital Growth.  It’s a book not about digital tools but rather about the transformation of community financial institutions, credit unions included, into organizations that can compete with and win against the mega banks.

Too small to do that? Nope, says Lay. That size can be a strength. It means a credit union can turn on a dime – if it chooses to.

It starts with recognizing that the traditional branch first marketing model is broken. Today’s consumer is digital first. And yet at most credit unions digital is simply a bolt on onto the old branch model.

Time for a refresh. Think digital first. Flip the business model and that’s the path to success.

Lay also believes that “Covid is a wake up call.” He is not trivializing the damage it is doing to the health of the nation, or the finances of many of us. What he is saying is that this is the time to look for new opportunities. Many credit unions will fail because of Covid. Many others will find new prosperity.

Why haven’t more credit unions seen the need for big changes? Precisely because they have had a good 12 year run since 2008. Why fix what ain’t broken?

But now breaks are showing.

Make the most of opportunities.

This podcast is about digital transformation but what you won’t hear is propellerhead talk. Lay is a marketer at heart and that’s what you will hear. And it’s what you need to embrace to get ahead in 2020, a year of immense challenges.

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CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 97 PPP Loan Forgiveness: Fast Take

Do you have 10 minutes?

That’s all it will take to listen to this CU2.0 Fast Take on PPP Loan Forgiveness, a topic that suddenly is bedeviling thousands of credit unions as they confront the reality of how time consuming it is to navigate the loan forgiveness process.

Make no mistake: you want to get that loan forgiven. Best guesses are that many of the loans that aren’t forgiven will in fact default.

You don’t want that on your books.

How long does the loan forgiveness process take a credit union that manually tackles even loan?  Figure 10 to 20 hours.

That cannot work on a $100,000 or $50,000 loan.

No way.

Enter Capiform, where CEO Sherif Hassan tells in this Fast Take how to get the credit union staff time down to a few minutes, maybe an hour, max, per loan forgiveness application.

The secret: Capiform screens that guide the borrower as he/she inputs the needed data.

Call it a Tom Sawyer moment of brilliance.

And Capiform gamifies the process so it almost becomes fun for the borrower.

10 minutes.  Spend them wisely. Listen up.

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Want to listen to more of the Credit Union 2.0 podcast series? Click here to view the series.

Like what you are hearing? Find out how you can help sponsor this podcast here. Very affordable sponsorship packages are available. Email [email protected]

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 96 Steve Winninger Talking Boards and Governance

Steve Winninger is the man to talk with about credit union boards and governance.

A longtime credit union CEO – 20 years at Lake Trust – now a $1.6 billion institution based in Michigan – plus he also served as CEO at IBM Lexington and since retiring from Lake Trust he has put in stints as CEO at four credit unions (only one of which merged out of existence).

But Steve is a rare CEO.  He loves talking about the role of the board and – done right – a board should be crucial in a credit union’s prosperity.

But many CEOs grumble about board meddling. In other credit unions – mainly larger ones – it’s the board that grumbles that they are ignored.

Sigh.

Hear Winninger’s views on that dichotomy in this podcast.

In this podcast Winninger spells out the four steps a good board must take. Must. No exceptions.

We also talk about whether boards are ready and able to help in the immensely difficult decisions that loom as credit unions wrestle with the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this podcast we talk about some writing I did on Partners Credit Union – click the link and read about it.  There’s a mention of Maine Harvest Credit Union, also the effort to form a student credit union at George Washington University.  Follow the links to hear the CU 2.0 Podcasts.

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Want to listen to more of the Credit Union 2.0 podcast series? Click here to view the series.

Like what you are hearing? Find out how you can help sponsor this podcast here. Very affordable sponsorship packages are available. Email [email protected]

CU 2.0 Podcast 95 Carma Peters, CEO Michigan Legacy Credit Union on Digital, Covid-19 and CU Survival 2020 Style

Michigan Legacy Credit Union just may be a unique $220 million institution – it’s the product of five mergers in five years, said Carma Peters, the CEO.  And now she said the institution is on a huge digital push, an initiative that had been in the works but Covid-19 has intensified the effort.

One Michigan Legacy employee has died from Covid-19. So did a former member of the board.

All this hits Peters hard and, she said, she tells employees and also members that there is no rush to re-open the credit union’s six branches

“We sent out a strong message from the start of the pandemic that the safest way to bank was for members to use online and mobile banking and webchat, rather than coming into the branch,” Peters said. “While we were hopeful that members would comply, the shift to online banking has been dramatic, with 50,000 more online transactions in April than we had in March. That’s a 38% increase.”

Peters thinks that shift is permanent and she is deep into a total revamp of the branches. The remodeled ones will be around 1200 sq. ft apiece. “We are downsizing 35,000 sq. ft.” said Peters.

There won’t be a teller line.  There will be a couple ATMs, also a drive-through teller.  And Michigan First will provide members with video banking (and she tells about a much more affordable option that she is installing in her credit union).

The big question: can credit unions the size of Michigan Legacy survive?

You bet, said Peters.  And she goes a step farther – she helps smaller credit unions survive by helping them with tasks that may be beyond their staff’s skills.  Why? It’s the credit union way: helping others.

This is an optimistic podcast about small credit union survival.

In this podcast, there’s mention of Jim Blaine (podcast here), also Randy Karnes (podcast here), and a video tool named Popi/o (linked here).

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Want to listen to more of the Credit Union 2.0 podcast series? Click here to view the series.

Like what you are hearing? Find out how you can help sponsor this podcast here. Very affordable sponsorship packages are available. Email [email protected]

CU 2.0 Podcast 94 Nabil Hannan on Cybersecurity, Remote Workers, Mergers and Your Credit Union

Cybersecurity starts with you.

“It’s about people,” said Nabil Hannan, managing director at cybersecurity firm NetSPI when asked when cybersecurity goes right and when it goes wrong.  He added in this podcast that Covid-19 and credit union responses have triggered their own cybersecurity issues that are very particular to today.

But they also need timely responses to thwart hackers.

Case in point: some workers are instructed to take their desktop computer home to work.  Question: does that box have full disk encryption set up? Many office computers do not. But what if it is stolen from the home?

Maybe even worse, some organizations sent workers home with older machines running old versions of Windows – including XP – and the bad news is that hackers already have bots scouring the net looking for XP machines because there are readily available hacking scripts that effectively automate an attack. No computer skill is needed by the hacker who has found an XP machine.

Hannan also has worked on cybersecurity issues that arise when two institutions merge – something many experts believe will happen with accelerated frequency among credit unions dealing with the fallout of the Covid-19 impacts on the economy.

In one case he worked for 2-1/2 to 3 years sorting out cybersecurity issues that arose when two large financial institutions merged.

Two credit unions probably won’t have that much complexity.  But even a merger of small credit unions raises cybersecurity complexities because generally the two institutions will have divergent approaches and a common ground has to be found and implemented. ASAP.  Because hackers hunt for gaps and exploit the ones they find.

A bottomline problem: too many credit unions see cybersecurity as a cost. Period.  It does cost. That’s a fact. But think of the enormous costs of a security failure.  What hurts more?

Don’t think this is a techie podcast. It’s not. It’s an enjoyable – intelligent – look a what a credit union executive needs to know about cybersecurity in today’s Covid-19 world.  It’s not just for propellerheads. It’s news you need to know.

Listen up.

Fyi: Hannan has his own podcast, Agent of Influence.  Hear it here.

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Want to listen to more of the Credit Union 2.0 podcast series? Click here to view the series.

Like what you are hearing? Find out how you can help sponsor this podcast here. Very affordable sponsorship packages are available. Email [email protected]