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When Mike Upton became a member of First Tech Credit Union in 1993 while working for a start-up in Portland, Ore., little did he know that the move symbolized a foreshadowing of his future career as a technology executive. He went on to work for several large software companies that service banks and credit unions, as well as with Capitol One’s Enterprise Digital team in Richmond, Va., and as SVP of mobile/online banking and consumer payments at Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C. Now, he’s chief digital and technology officer for First Tech, a $14 billion credit union based in San Jose, Calif., whose members include the employees of Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

In part one of this two part Q&A with CU Times, Upton discussed how prior digital investments help prepared First Tech for the pandemic, remote work, and how COVID-19 has shaped digital strategy and member experience. Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha has served as an editor for CU Times since March 2015. She also served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta FCU) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer for more than 16 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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