Friday, December 21, 2018

CU2.0 Podcast 16 - New Year's Resolutions to Get You Fired Up

Make some New Year’s Resolutions.

That’s advice for you in this podcast, brought to you by CU2.0, all about re-imagining and reinvigorating today's credit unions for tomorrow's victories.

Call this also a work in progress where you can participate. More on that below.

First, feast on New Year's Resolutions. About 40% of us make them, according to research by the Marist Institute.  Many of us in fact get what we resolve to do.  Reported the researchers: "Do Americans keep their New Year’s resolutions? Among those who say they made a resolution for 2017, 68% said they kept at least part of their promise. Similar proportions of men (69%) and women (66%) remained true to their word for at least part of 2017. More men (75%) compared with women (62%) said they kept their New Year’s resolution last year."

What this podcast is about is getting you to make a resolution involving your credit union.

In your personal life you may want to exercise more, lose weight, stop smoking - all pretty common resolutions by the way and all good ideas.

But that’s not what we are about here.

This is about applying the same principle to a credit union.

And what would such a resolution sound like?

Here’s how this is going to work.

I’ll start out by enumerating some possible resolutions for you - and this is a situation where cribbing a buddy’s test answer is a-ok.

Of course you can always create your own.

Either way, this is a perfect time to think anew about how to make your credit union better.

What resolutions do I suggest?

Here’s #1:

Embrace artificial intelligence.  There’s Erica at B of A.  There’s Alexa at Amazon. There’s Siri at Apple (well, Siri is a kind of also ran - but she will get smarter and better). AI is a trend to ride. An easy starting point is debuting an Alexa skill for your credit union. Many credit unions are doing this. It’s cheap. Hear more about credit unions and AI in two podcasts: Coalesce and Posh.

Accept that today technology makes or breaks credit unions. But know you don't have to be a follower; you can be a leader. That's the message of the DCU Fintech Innovation Lab, featured in an earlier podcast.

Accept that mobile is your biggest, most important branch. Spend money to upgrade it. Make it different from other credit unions. Make it your own. Hear a lot of cool insights about mobile and how to go special in the podcast with Tanan Miles of Ent.

Think digitally. Accept that analog banking is fading away. Don’t fight tomorrow. Very good insights into this are in our podcast with CU2.0 founder Kirk Drake. Amy Downs at Allegiance also talks about this in her podcast.

Fire up your board of directors. You'll hear a lot on this in the podcasts with Chris Otey and Trudy Soupcoup.

Go local.  You can’t compete on the national stage with national banks.  No can do, But you can compete and win in your local community. What can you do to make life better for your neighbors? Know that and know that you are building a credit union that matters. Bill Bynum of Hope and Scott Budde at Maine Harvest offer powerful perspectives on going local to win.

Embrace Hispanic members. One in 6 of us are Hispanic. What's your credit union doing to cultivate that membership? Find out how to succeed with this demographic in a podcast that will post soon, with Coopera CEO Victor Corro.

Know your mission. What is the credit union movement to you? It always has been about working cooperatively to better serve the underserved, everyday people.  What are you doing to hit that goal? Inclusiv's Cathie Mahon has much to say about this in her podcast.

Want to hear what others have to say about credit unions and resolutions?  Listen up for a rapid fire telling of resolutions from a range of people who matter in the credit union world.

You have something to say? Now's your chance. Email me an MP3 that starts with your name, title, organization and then say your resolution. This file will be updated with contributions from listeners. So make a resolution to play a part in the CU2.0 Resolutions podcast - then make that MP3!

Don't know how to make an MP3? Email me and I'll give you a phone number to call where you leave a message and I'll make an MP3 (actually the recording software makes it - no work at all). Email

Thursday, December 20, 2018

CU2.0 Podcast 15 Cathie Mahon CEO of Inclusiv, the association of community development CUs

Talk to Cathie Mahon and it's a fast ride into what mission makes a credit union special, distinctive and in her mind the answer is clear: serving the underserved and usually that means economically disadvantaged.

She has tantalizing insights too. For instance: she tells why the business model of community development credit unions may in fact be primed for greater success than the model followed by most credit unions.

She also tells how the NCUA handcuffs newly chartered credit unions and this may set some up for failure.

And she has advice on designing a mobile banking app that betters serves the economically disadvantaged.

Listen up, it's a good podcast that just may persuade some struggling conventional credit unions to investigate tweaking their business model and to embrace more community development outreach.

The CU2.0 Podcast: Episode 15

Thursday, December 13, 2018

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 14 Karan Kashyap Posh Development

Welcome to AI, Part 2 in the CU2.0 Podcast series.  Last week our podcast explored email and AI through the eyes of Coalesce, a DCU Fintech Innovation Lab company. This week, in Part 2, we explore voice and AI through Posh Development, another DCU Fintech Innovation Lab company - podcast about that here.

Either way, great stuff is happening that you need to know about to stay current.

B of A is pushing its AI bot Erica hard. But just maybe you can fight back with your own voice bot. That's part of the Posh promise.

It's a good, practical podcast. Listen up here.

This is a podcast you can't miss. AI definitely is the future. It's up to you to understand and control it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 13 Greg Woolf on AI and Your Credit Union

Welcome to AI, Part 1 in the CU2.0 Podcast series.  Next week we'll post AI, Part 2, an exploration of voice and AI. This week looks at a company focused on text and AI. Both are products of the DCU Fintech Innovation Lab in Boston - podcast about that here.

Either way, great stuff is happening that you need to know about to stay current.

Why? It's because a lot of credit union work is mundane, tedious, boring really. It needs doing, no question, but how best?

Enter Coalesce. The company's tagline says it all:  "AI software that automates tedious work for financial services."

You're not interested because credit unions are special? Coalesce is in the DCU Fintech Innovation Lab in Boston - hear the podcast about the lab here - and it is already working with Digital Federal Credit Union, BECU,and the NASA credit union, among other financial institutions (including some mega banks). It has a good credit union pedigree.

The Coalesce focus is on automating monotonous, rote work, particularly around handling incoming member emails (70% it turns out can be answered by machines) and also auto loan applications. Hunting for fraud is another, promising avenue for AI.  AI, it turns out, is good doing these jobs faster and cheaper than people.

Are the machines taking over? Greg Woolf, the Coalesce founder and CEO, laughed at that.  For good reason. The Coalesce version of AI is built around input from people who also are in charge.

Put away those Matrix fears and come for a ride into tomorrow where machines do a lot of the work people honestly don't want to do and the machines are good at it.

The CU2.0 podcast. About credit unions for tomorrow.

Listen to the podcast here.