Credit Union 2.0 Podcast 31: Mike Reuter Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions

Welcome to episode 31 of the CU 2.0 Podcast.

From Ukraine to Ireland and Dominica, this podcast travels the globe with Mike Reuter, executive director of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, as he shares stories of the challenges faced by credit unions and also the generous willingness of other credit unions executives to help. Exhibit one may be the rebuilding of the Dominica credit union sector after that island’s economy was flattened in a 2017 hurricane.  Credit union execs want to help and they do. It’s an inspiring podcast that shines a light on what’s special about credit unions.

Stay tuned. In a week or two, a second podcast will post with another WOCCU executive as we travel around the world to see the challenges internationally and how the US fits in.

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Credit Union 2.0 Podcast 30: Brett King on Banking Tomorrow

Welcome to episode 30 of the CU 2.0 Podcast.

You don’t want to listen to this podcast.

But you need to.

What banking futurist Brett King paints is a dystopian picture of financial services tomorrow where, increasingly, consumers want frictionless money transactions, they don’t give a hoot about banks vs. non-banks, and they have no interest in a relationship with a one-stop financial services provider.

Credit unions still think they are special. Think again, warns King.

What matters today is digital. Period. Sure, King, as the founder of digital bank Moven, has a bias.

But he very probably is right.

Financial institutions are getting left behind as the biggest banks get bigger – lots bigger – and fintechs gobble up profitable slices of the financial services pie.

Along the way in this provocative conversation, King talks about the new Apple credit card, why Apple Pay has stalled, and the inevitability of real-time banking.

It’s a look into tomorrow.

And, yes, it may sound like a horror film.

But at least when you know what’s ahead you can start preparing for it.

Listen here.

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CU 2.0 Podcast 29: Teresa Freeborn on Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union

Welcome to episode 29 of the Credit Union 2.0 Podcast.

$100 million. That’s the projected three-year budget for the CUNA “Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union” campaign.

Teresa Freeborn, CEO of Xceed Financial Credit Union, chairs the CUNA effort which she – make no mistake – sees as crucial in the long-term survival and prosperity of credit unions.

The campaigns blends research with marketing – much of it online – to reach out to a generation of consumers that simply may not even consider credit unions as a financial services option.

Ouch. It hurts to be ignored. But that is a credit union reality and that also is the why of the CUNA campaign.

A central mission of the campaign: raising consumer awareness of the benefits of credit unions as a different, better category of financial services providers. That’s ambitious. But it just may be critical in the industry’s survival.

In this podcast Freeborn tells the story of the campaign’s launch, it’s current status, and it’s hoped-for future. She also blends in her perspective as the longtime CEO of a large credit union.

Listen up – your survival may depend on it.

Listen here.

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CU 2.0 Podcast 28: Patrick Conway PCUA on Lobbying and Much More

Welcome to episode 28 of the CU 2.0 Podcast.

Consider this podcast a crash course on credit union lobbying, 2019 style. Our instructor: Patrick Conway, CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, a very large league with upwards of 370 members.

PCUA lobbies both in Harrisburg, the state capital and in Washington, DC.

A lot of what PCUA does, however, could be considered credit union education. For instance, PCUA has played a lead role in the new Philadelphia ID card – designed to give Philadelphia residents a low-cost ID card. Will it be adequate for opening a new account at a credit union? That’s still being sorted out and PCUA is in the mix, offering education and counsel to its members.

PCUA is doing likewise with cannabis banking, a topic of significant interest to Pennsylvania credit unions.

Along the way we also talk about credit unions haves and the have nots and, in Pennsylvania, assured Conway, the big credit unions offer plenty of assistance to smaller institutions.

Other topics on the agenda: credit union tax exemption, the CUNA-league relationship, and what credit union can do to win greater consumer acceptance.

This is a rich podcast.  Give it several listens.

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CU 2.0 Podcast 27: Hakan Nordfjell Gemalto on New Account Fraud

Welcome to episode 27 of the CU 2.0 Podcast.

You want to make new account opening easy and fraudsters want to exploit that loophole to rob your credit union.

That is the gist of today’s podcast with Hakan Nordfjell, head of digital banking at Gemalto. He tells about fraudster tricks and also the way financial institutions are fighting back.

He also warns that all your personal information is on the dark web and ready for fraudsters to exploit. PII – personally identifiable information – just isn’t enough to open new accounts securely today. You need more weapons. Nordfjell tells what.

This is information you need to know to protect your institution in what could be called the New Account Opening Wars.

Who’s winning?

Listen here.

Hakan Nordfjell, head of digital banking at Gemalto

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CU 2.0 Podcast 26: Carl Memnon, COO Grain Technology on an End to Overdraft Fees

Welcome to episode 26 of the CU 2.0 Podcast.

Just say no more to overdraft fees. And make this decision good for your members and also good for your credit union. You may even grab a few customers away from Chase and the other money center banks.

That’s the promise of fintech startup Grain Technology.

In this podcast Grain co-founder and COO Carl Memnon tells about the company’s proprietary algorithm that lets it devise strategies for making fast loans to users who are about to trigger an overdraft charge and to also help those users find easy ways to start saving.

The latter is the why behind the company’s name – users will see their assets and their credit score grow “grain by grain,” said Memnon.

Memnon also talks about being in the Arizona fintech sandbox and the benefits for a small startup in playing in this sandbox.

Grain is actively seeking to align with credit unions that want to offer its overdraft protection service to members. In the podcast, Memnon tells about the benefits to credit unions but a big plus is having cool technology that in effect lets the member know they will see no more overdraft fees.

Listen up, you’ll find plenty of interest in this podcast.

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BTW, the sirens you’ll hear are ambient noise in New York where Memnon was during the call.  If you’ve spent any time in New York you won’t even hear the siren. I couldn’t scrub it out so decided just to enjoy the New York moments.

 

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CU 2.0 Podcast 25: Joe Bergeron on Vermont Credit Unions

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the twenty-fifth 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.

Say congratulations to Joe Bergeron – he’s in his 40th year of service to Vermont credit unions and he presently serves as CEO of the Association of Vermont Credit Unions where he has a close up view of the issues and ideas that rock his state’s 19 credit unions, which vary in size from a $1billion+ institution to tiny ones.

In this podcast, Bergeron also talks about the relationship between the state leagues and CUNA, state government and the federal, and how small credit unions sometimes matter way beyond their size.

For a topical hook, he also talks about CUNA’s GAC and what Vermont credit unions get from that confab.

It’s a wide-ranging talk with an eye always planted on the future.

Listen to this podcast here.

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CU 2.0 Podcast 24: John Pembroke, CUES on the Talent War

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the twenty-fourth 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.

It’s a war for talent. That’s the flat out statement of John Pembroke, CEO of CUES, the organization that probably knows the most about senior level and board level recruitment at credit unions.

The good news: Pembroke in this podcast offers up plentiful tips to help credit unions win the talent war.

The bad news: the war is real and many credit unions just aren’t winning, in the war for talent, in efforts to diversify the board, in efforts to field a board that is suited to leading an organization that increasingly is tech-centric.

That’s why you must listen to this podcast.

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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.

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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.

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