We do not need a crystal ball to figure out what tools financial institutions will need to compete in the 21st century. The internet has disrupted many business models, including the credit union business model. While the internet provides credit unions with the opportunity to connect to their members remotely, the internet has also enabled credit union competitors nationwide to access members. Some of these competitors have technology that is extraordinary and improving every year. The latest example is Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. While the eight-minute approval it advertises is rarely a reality, its approval process takes a fraction of the time for conventional underwriting.

The bar on what constitutes swift, effective and convenient service keeps rising as do the expectations of consumers. This trend is irreversible. If a financial services provider cannot keep up the pace, it will be left in the dust. You remember Kodak, Blockbuster and Borders. Advances in technology and their refusal to react to change in a timely manner turned their business model from vibrant company to business school case study.

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