Are CUs Behind the Tech Evolutionary 8 Ball?
The dinosaurs didn’t have the brains or the tools to see it coming, but credit unions do. Fiserv’s Mark Sievewright discussed ISIS among other threats to credit unions last week at the New Jersey Credit Union Leagues’ Reality Check (see coverage, page 6). CUNA Mutual’s John Lass told attendees that CUs are under a serious threat as financial delivery services evolve rapidly, and at least in the ISIS case, credit unions aren’t even at the table. CUNA Mutual was working on that.
Several interlocking pieces to this puzzle can help CUs get invited rather than an afterthought.
Gen Y, the Millennials and each younger generation will require more and different technology from their financial services providers, whether that’s a credit union or eventually Verizon Wireless. The window of time to jump in and immerse your credit union in the evolution of technology or get out is narrowing quickly. Every business, from credit unions to newspapers, needs to face reality and not cling to what we think they should be. Of course, principles like proper underwriting and accuracy, respectively, must be upheld, but we need to figure out how to continue adapting to evolving technology and consumer behavior.
Another demographic for credit unions to focus on is women. According to the blog She-conomy, American women spend about $5 trillion each year, which is more than half the GDP. Women buy more than half of the new cars, influence up to 80% of all car purchases, 22% shop online at least once a day (there’s that pesky technology again), and 92% pass along information about deals or finds to others. Each of these points can translate into lending and membership opportunities for credit unions.