CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 68 John Lanza on The Money Mammals + Kids and Finance

Teach them when they are young.

That’s the approach to financial education taken by John Lanza of the Money Mammals, where the focus is on financial education for children 11 and under.

A key: the education becomes a family project.  That means credit unions – and credit unions can sign up with the Money Mammals to access its library of teaching materials and workbooks – will be attracting younger adults with small children.

The material also is branded with the credit union name.

And the financial education itself of course is a key credit union mission.

Lanza stresses that good as it is for kids to get financial education in school, it’s crucial that they also get it at home because they need some money to learn with. Call it allowance and know it can be small.  But that money becomes a teaching tool.

Lanza said he presently is working with 15 credit unions and he wants more.  Some are under $200 million, one is bigger than $3 billion.  So the program will work in just about any size institution.

Give a listen and just maybe you will be persuaded to focus on financial ed and children, the Money Mammals way.

Listen here.

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

Find out more about CU2.0 and the digital transformation of credit unions here. It’s a journey every credit union needs to take. Pronto

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 67 Jesse Boyer COO NIH Federal Credit Union on Branch Reinvention

Biophilic.

That’s your word for today and it is complements of Jesse Boyer, COO of the $600 million NIH Federal Credit Union in Maryland which is moving at a high speed to open a new branch in Silver Spring that is biophilic in design – meaning it puts you in touch with nature and, in this case, there’s a living moss wall.

Of course you want to hear more about this. 

What this podcast is about is a search for a new, more welcoming branch format and, at the new NIH FCU location, ITMs – interactive teller machines – replace ATMs and oldfashioned tellers.

The idea is to produce a comfortable setting that is both warm and techie.

Some balancing act but the NIH FCU folks think they have the roadmap and in this podcast you will hear about it.

You will also hear candid musing about what a $600 million credit union has to do to insure longterm survival.  Think acquisitions.

This podcast revolves around extremely candid and frank assessments of what needs to be done – in terms of branch reinvention and credit union survival.

Listen to the NIH FCU podcast here.

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

Find out more about CU2.0 and the digital transformation of credit unions here. It’s a journey every credit union needs to take. Pronto

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 66 Amy McGraw Tropical Financial on Get Beyond Money

Do you want to talk about money – or would you prefer to talk about sex?

Many of us today would choose the sex conversation, mainly because we know we don’t know much about personal finance and we also know we don’t anybody to ask for advice.

Enter Tropical Financial in Florida which has introduced a new website Get Beyond Money where the purpose is to provide people (target audience: older millennials) with the financial education they need and want so that they can make smarter, shrewder financial decisions.

The website has plenty of blogs, quizzes, and even offers a free appointment with a financial counselor.

This podcast offers an insider’s view of how this campaign was created – and know it was three years in the making. There were stumbles along the way but that enriches this story.

Also know that Tropical Financial is willing to share its content with non competitive credit unions. Don’t be shy about asking.

Today’s guest is Amy McGraw, the first repeat podcast guest. Last year she starred in episode 10 on the student loan crisis and what Tropical Financial is doing to help.

Now she’s leading the charge in bringing meaningful financial education to older millennials who – in many cases – really don’t know who to ask for advice.  Tropical Financial wants to step into that role.

Listen here

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

Find out more about CU2.0 and the digital transformation of credit unions here. It’s a journey every credit union needs to take. Pronto

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 65 John Weinkowitz on Credit Unions Buying Banks, Live from Finastra Community Markets

Credit unions are buying so many banks the Wall Street Journal refers to this as a “spree.”

Just in the first eight months of 2018 there were 21 transactions, compared to 12 in the prior five years, by the WSJ count.

What is going on here?

We put that question to John Weinkowitz, Head of Product Strategy, Community

Markets, Finastra, and himself an m and a expert.

Is this doing business with the devil?

Should this put into jeopardy the credit union tax exemption – as many bankers are insisting?

What drives the transactions? The need to grow, said Weinkowitz. FIs below a certain size find it more difficult to compete. So some put themselves up for sale.  And others go hunting for acquisition partners.

The allure for credit union execs is an immediate increase in members, deposits, and also – in many cases – branches.

But are they factoring in predictable attrition?

Do they have a strategy for employee retention – which may be critical to making an acquisition work?

Before buying a community bank listen to this podcast. You don’t want to ignore that advice.

The podcast is here.

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

Find out more about CU2.0 and the digital transformation of credit unions here. It’s a journey every credit union needs to take. Pronto

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 64 Carla Bienz Partners 1st CU, Live from Finastra Community Markets

Carla Bienz is CEO of Partners 1st Credit Union in Fort Wayne IN – an institution where she has worked since she graduated from college and where she now is CEO.  And she has keen insights into the plight of smaller credit unions and what they need to do to survive and prosper.

Listen here

https://www.buzzsprout.com/268738/1934348-cu-2-0-podcast-episode-64-carla-bienz-partners-1st-cu-live-from-finastra-community-markets

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 63 Steve Hoke on Data and Mortgages, Live from Finastra Community Markets

There was a time when community financial institutions owned the home mortgage market. No more.  Fintechs dominate and mega banks aren’t far behind. Most credit unions are left to squabble over crumbs.

But just maybe there’s hope. At Finastra, Steve Hoke, Vice President, Product Management, Consumer and SME Lending, says the company’s Fusion Motgagebot Data Insights puts the power of data analytics in the hands of a community financial institution and the upshot is just maybe it can compete – successfully – against the fintechs and mega banks when it has data at its command.

Listen here

What percentage of your mortgages actually close? How does that compare with competitors? Don’t guess. Know. That’s the promise of this data.

Understand, the data is anonymized.  You cannot ask it to tell you how you fare against a specific competitor. But if you want to see how you do against others, it has the answer.

This is powerful stuff.  Hoke said Finastra is adding capabilities and hopes to extend it to more types of lending (auto loans for instance).

“We are giving community institutions insight into data that before they were flying blind about,” said Hoke.

This is one of a half dozen podcasts recorded at Finastra Community Markets in Chicago, October 2019.

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 62 Lucy Donaldson of Canvas Credit Union on Digital Banking, Live from Finastra Community Markets

What would it be like to go from being Head, Digital Customer Experience at Lloyds Bank in the United Kingdom – a trillion dollar institution – to being the VP for digital innovation at Colorado-based Canvas Credit Union, with assets around $2.5 billion?

Ask Lucy Donaldson, this week’s guest at the CU 2.0 Podcast. Listen here.

She made exactly that journey and she candidly talks about what a money center bank can do that a credit union usually can’t – but she also talks about the huge advantages a credit union has, from much better agility to strong, genuine community ties.  

She’s seen both sides and she says what she likes about credit unions.

A key point Donaldson makes in this podcast is that it’s time to stop talking about a credit union’s digital transformation – and time to accept that has become its business transformation. A credit union is its bits and bytes and knowing that makes the job of plotting institutional success that much easier.

Here’s a related podcast with Tanan Miles of ENT, Colorado’s biggest credit union.

This is one of a half dozen podcasts recorded at Finastra Community Markets in Chicago, October 2019.

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

Find out more about CU2.0 and the digital transformation of credit unions here. It’s a journey every credit union needs to take. Pronto

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 61 Allan Brown on the Digital Revolution in Banking, Live from Finastra Community Markets

Listening to “CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 61 Allan Brown on the Digital Revolution in Banking, Live from Finastra Community Markets” at https://www.buzzsprout.com/268738/1904291-cu-2-0-podcast-episode-61-allan-brown-on-the-digital-revolution-in-banking-live-from-finastra-community-markets #podcast # #cu #creditunion

Ask Allan Brown – a VP and GM, Digital Community Markets at Finastra – what keeps him up at night and his answer is simple: it’s trying to stay on top of the digital revolution that is transforming credit unions and community banks.  Brown also is very optimistic. His belief: community institutions that partner with the right fintechs can not only keep pace with the big banks digitally, they very well may be able to beat them at this game.

Along the way Brown discusses mega trends that are changing how financial services are delivered and two key trends, he says, are real time banking (it’s coming!) and much shrewder use of data to deliver better and smarter services to consumers.

“The future of financial services is going to be phenomenal,” says Brown.

This is one of a half dozen podcasts recorded at Finastra Community Markets in Chicago, October 2019.

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

Find out more about CU2.0 and the digital transformation of credit unions here. It’s a journey every credit union needs to take. Pronto

Forget the Branch, It’s the App That Matters


By Robert McGarvey

The CUtimes headline is a slap upside your head: Consumers Care More About Your App Than Your Branches.

Read it again.

Now explain this to me: I am a member of two credit unions, 2300 miles apart, both with assets over $1 billion – and yet they have the identical mobile banking app. Oh, sure, the branding window dressing differs – that is, the names and similar. But the actual guts of the app, what they in fact do, are identical.  Not kind of similar. Identical.

How can that be considered thoughtful branding, 2019 style?

And how many credit unions are on mobile apps that literally 4000 other credit unions have?

Which is where this explosive report from card issuer Marqeta blows the doors off oldstyle thinking.  According to it, Propeller Insights surveyed more than 2000 US and UK adults for Marqeta and the giant conclusion: the front door to a financial institution is an app not a branch.

Reported Marqeta: “One of the most striking results of the survey is how much more greatly people value the digital banking experience over the physical equivalent: 62% of Americans already do the majority of their banking online, compared to just 31% of Americans who say they primarily bank in person.”

Marqeta added: “When asked about how they would feel if every physical bank branch was closed down tomorrow, only one-third of US consumers (33 percent) and one quarter of UK consumers (23 percent) said they would be inconvenienced by this.”

Look through a random sampling of credit union trade publications and count the stories about branch remodels – you’ll see lots.  Why? Is this even an issue anymore?

What are you doing to make your app distinctive? Unique? How many stories have you seen about that?

None, right.

Can you in fact do anything at all or is an app shoved down your institutional throat by a vendor and you can take it or leave it?

Hold that thought.

Chew on this Marqeta finding: “69% of Americans expect to use their mobile banking app regularly in the next three months, while just 30% expect to visit a physical bank branch.”

Personally I do not plan to visit a branch and in fact the only times I set foot in a branch is when I am wearing my reporter hat and want to experience a branch first hand or when something has gone terribly wrong with my account and I am in the branch to shake things up.

Incidentally, Marqeta data say that fixing errors no longer is that compelling a reason for visiting a branch: “The physical branch didn’t even factor as important to consumers when they imagined having to fix an error that their bank had made: 28 percent of UK consumers and 23 percent of US consumers said it was important for them to be able to visit a bank in person to fix a problem, while 54 percent of US consumers and 51 percent of UK consumers said it was simply more important that it was fixed quickly, through whatever channel necessary.”

For 99% of us, 99% of the time there is no good reason to set foot in a branch. Ever.

I urge you to open an account with Chase or Capital One or USAA.  Feast on their mobile apps and ask yourself, is ours as good?

Spoiler alert: it isn’t.

Marqeta goes on to warn about the threat posed by digital only banks – sometimes called challenger banks – but I don’t see much threat there. Not to credit unions.

But I see enormous threats from the mega banks with IT budgets bigger than the GDP of mid sized countries and when they go out to hire developers they look for people with strong consumer app experience, that is, people good at writing code that engages people and creates a fun experience.

Has anybody, other than the salesman who sold you your mobile app, ever described it as fun or engaging?

What can you do to make your mobile app your app?

Sure. I know a handful of very big credit unions – think over $5 billion – have custom mobile banking apps.  

Good for them but what can the vast majority of credit unions, with much less resources, do to compete in today’s digital world?

That has become the critical question and it’s now a matter of life and death.


Forget the branch, it’s the app that matters – CUInsight http://bit.ly/37ehUa4

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 60 Mike Hatch on Core Systems, Live from Finastra Community Markets

by Robert McGarvey

Name the single most important IT system in your credit union.

Spoiler alert: it’s not your core.  Not anymore.

Who says that? Mike Hatch, a VP and national sales manager at Finastra, and a core expert. Hatch knows the core is crucial but he also believes that it’s the institution’s digital orientation that will shape its future.

Core is part of that.

But it is not the end all.

Another question: is your core system holding your institution back? Can you easily – and inexpensively – integrate cool fintech technology into your core?

Say no and you are telling the truth.

But it’s the wrong answer. You want an open core that lets you deliver the tech your members want.

Credit unions are looking for ways to be different, says Hatch. An open core helps there.

Think cores are boring?  You won’t think this podcast is boring – and you just may find yourself wondering if now is the time to initiate a core conversion.

Scary? You bet. But going out of business is scarier.

Listen up here.

This is one of a half dozen podcasts recorded at Finastra Community Markets in Chicago, October 2019.

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

Find out more about CU2.0 and the digital transformation of credit unions here. It’s a journey every credit union needs to take. Pronto