Wednesday, March 13, 2019

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 26 Carl Memnon, COO Grain Technology on an End to Overdraft Fees

Just say no more to overdraft fees.

And make this decision good for your members and also good for your credit union.

You may even grab a few customers away from Chase and the other money center banks.

That's the promise of fintech startup Grain Technology.

In this podcast Grain co-founder and COO Carl Memnon tells about the company's proprietary algorithm that lets it devise strategies for making fast loans to users who are about to trigger an overdraft charge and to also help those users find easy ways to start saving.

The latter is the why behind the company's name - users will see their assets and their credit score grow "grain by grain," said Memnon.

Memnon also talks about being in the Arizona fintech sandbox and the benefits for a small startup in playing in this sandbox.

Grain is actively seeking to align with credit unions that want to offer its overdraft protection service to members. In the podcast Memnon tells about the benefits to credit unions but a big plus is having cool technology that in effect let's the member know they will see no more overdraft fees.

Listen up, you'll find plenty of interest in this podcast.

Listen here.

BTW, the sirens you'll hear are ambient noise in New York where Memnon was during the call.  If you've spent any time in New York you won't even hear the siren. I couldn't scrub it out so decided just to enjoy the New York moments.



Like what you are hearing in this podcast? Find out how you can help sponsor the 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.








Thursday, March 7, 2019

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 25 Joe Bergeron Vermont Credit Unions

Say congratulations to Joe Bergeron - he's in his 40th year of service to Vermont credit unions and he presently serves as CEO of the Association of Vermont Credit Unions where he has a close up view of the issues and ideas that rock his state's 19 credit unions, which vary in size from a $1billion+ institution to tiny ones.

In this podcast Bergeron also talks about the relationship between the state leagues and CUNA, state government and the federal, and how small credit unions sometimes matter way beyond their size.

For a topical hook he also talks about CUNA's GAC and what Vermont credit unions get from that confab.

It's a wide ranging talk with an eye always planted on the future.

Listen to this 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.



Wednesday, February 27, 2019

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 24 John Pembroke, CUES on the Talent War

It's a war for talent. That's the flat out statement of John Pembroke, CEO of CUES, the organization that probably knows the most about senior level and board level recruitment at credit unions.

The good news: Pembroke in this podcast offers up plentiful tips to help credit unions win the talent war.

The bad news: the war is real and many credit unions just aren't winning, in the war for talent, in efforts to diversify the board, in efforts to field a board that is suited to leading an organization that increasingly is tech centric.

That's why you must listen to this podcast.

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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 23 Gabe Krajicek of Kasasa

If Kasasa were a bank branch network, it would be the nation’s fourth largest and it says that some time this year it will overtake Bank of America and be the 3rd biggest.

Surprised? You bet. Probably you know that Kasasa has been building up its customer base for digital banking products - checking in particular - but now it is big enough where it's tooting its horn.


This"branch network" isn’t a consumer facing product - CO-OP Shared Branching it is not - but what’s interesting is that lots of FIs, some 907 community banks and credit unions, now have joined together to offer Kasasa products, particularly the free, rewards based checking.


And that’s also where Kasasa has a real plus - according to company CEO Gabe Krajicek, Kasasa consumers have free access to essentially every ATM in the US. When fees are imposed, the consumer is reimbursed.


And that’s an enormous perk for credit union members when many institutions have ATM fleets that can be counted on one hand.

Think about the enormity of that plus for credit union members in Kasasa institutions.


Kasasa also aims to put high quality digital products in the hands of consumers because, said Krajicek, often consumers say they couldn’t belong to a credit union because the digital is no good.


But what if it in fact is good? With the right digital products, community institutions can and will survive, said Krajicek.


Along the way, Krajicek- whose company serves both community banks and credit unions - says community institutions would better serve their interests if they recognized that they have more in common and in particular they have in common a shared enemy and that’s the money center banks.


It’s an interesting thesis. So often community banks and credit unions are reflexively Hatfield and McCoy. But what if they joined together to oppose a shared foe?


What if?


What if cooperation flourished?

It's a big vs. small battle, he said.

And nowadays it's becoming a life or death struggle where many community institutions are vanishing.


Krajicek tosses out big ideas. Come along for the ride in this CU.0 podcast.


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.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 22 Talking Payments and Data Analytics with Trellance's Lou Grilli

What do you think when you get an alert from your credit union offering you a 2.9% car loan - and you already have a 1.9% car loan that you got two years ago from the same institution?

Duh, right?

Lou Grilli, an executive at payments CUSO Trellance, thinks a lot about exactly those kinds of questions and he believes that for credit unions the solution will come through smarter, faster data analytics.

His opinions are rooted in information gleaned from the experiences of the roughly 2000 credit unions that own Trellance.

What your member will do, or need, tomorrow already is known in today’s data. You just have to look at it.

And Grilli thinks data analytics can unlock tactics for encouraging more member use of your institution's cards - which is a goal of just about every credit union.

Along the way, Grilli also talks about the future of contactless cards, also what to expect from digital wallets such as Apple Pay.

Payments in the past five years have changed much more dramatically than they had in the preceding 25 and Grilli has a ringside seat.  That’s why he is worth a long listen in this podcast.

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.





Thursday, February 7, 2019

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 21 Ron Shevlin on "Is the Party Over?"

Cornerstone Advisors' Ron Shevlin's report on "What's Going On in Banking 2019. Is the Party Over?" is out and he's in the CU2.0 Podcast to share some of his findings.

Read the report here.  It's free.

To compile the report Shevlin surveyed some 300+ senior executives in financial institutions - around 120 in credit unions - and they spill their views of their tomorrows.

Has the Trump bump become the Trump slump, asked Shevlin.

A lot of the report focused on technology and what financial execs see as musts.

Some 63% of credit union executives describe their digital banking as future ready - which prompted this reporter to choke and then ask, are they doing marijuana related banking and smoking too many samples?

Listen to the podcast to hear Shevlin's views.

As always, Shevlin is an independent, sometimes quirky viewer of financial services. That's why his viewpoint matters.

Listen up and learn. Here's the podcast.

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.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 20 Up in Smoke, Credit Unions and Cannabis, Part 2

Welcome to Up in Smoke, Part 2 - more formally, Credit Unions and Cannabis, Part 2.

In last week's episode, we heard from lawyers, a lobbyist and two credit union consultants in a no holds barred exploration of the potential, and pitfalls, of cannabis accounts in credit unions. Catch up with that podcast here.

This week we are digging deeper in a pair of interviews. One is with Judy Britt Cavanaugh, VP of Compliance with the Connecticut Credit Union which is actively attempting to educate its members about the realities of cannabis and credit unions.  The Connecticut League also is working with Green Check Verified - which talks at length in Part 1 - to establish safe, compliant procedures for handing marijuana accounts.

Also in this podcast is Katrina Skinner, interim president of Safe  Harbor Services, a CUSO set up by Sundie Seefried.  It also is working to provide credit unions with the tools needed to stay compliant when servicing marijuana businesses.

Listen here.

Marijuana business just may be the answer for some credit unions.

But it could also be the ruin of some.

That's why you need to listen to the podcasts.

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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Cooperator Podcast 1 - Cabot's Roberta MacDonald


Buckle up for a fast journey into the world of cooperatives with branding guru Roberta MacDonald who will tell you why she is optimistic about a world where cooperatives are delivering local - relevant - solutions created by people for people. She relates how she helped build Cabot into a major cheese brand by using cooperative connections. Be prepared to listen again and again to this podcast because this is a podcast with a lot of rich content. Along the way you'll even learn how Cabot got its name - and how many cooperatives there are in the U.S.  Do you know? Take your best guess and listen up to get the answer.

Wait, no credit union content? Actually there is because of course credit unions are cooperatives too, and Roberta relates some of her experiences with credit unions in this interview.

Here's the podcast. Enjoy.




Thursday, January 17, 2019

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 19 Up in Smoke, Credit Unions and Cannabis, Part 1

Call this podcast Up In Smoke, Credit Union Style.

The more formal moniker: Cannabis and Credit Unions: The Opportunities and Risks, Part 1.

That’s right. There is also a Part 2 because there just is so much to report about cannabis and financial institutions.

In Part 1, you will hear from a couple lawyers, a cannabis lobbyist, a pair of credit union consultants, and more.

Why the hubbub about a little weed? For one, a commonly tossed around market size estimate is $50 billion in the US and much of that is unbanked cash.

For two, there are big differences between state laws regarding cannabis and federal.  

In two thirds of the states cannabis is legal - either for medical uses or, in some cases such as California and Colorado, for any use. That’s right. Recreational use is legal in some states.

And yet marijuana remains illegal in federal law.

There’s the sticking point.

Pragmatically speaking, few oppose medical use of marijuana. But many still oppose recreational use of it.

So what happens if the federal government comes in and arrests a bunch of credit union employees for drug trafficking?

Don’t say it can’t happen because it could.

Is it probable?

Right now credit union executives are wrestling with exactly such questions.

Answers don’t come easily.

Know this however: around 110 credit unions now have marijuana related businesses as members.

The core argument for doing this is that it’s good for the community.  It takes cash off the streets and it also helps small, local businesses stabilize.

The only downside is that marijuana remains illegal in federal law.

Uggh.

There’s the dilemma. A credit union can do a lot of good by plunging into the marijuana business. But it also may be risking all.

Thus this podcast series.  There may be no knottier problem for credit unions than marijuana.

There is information to know and that’s what we are delivering.  In a two part series.

In Part 1, you will hear a range of viewpoints.  Listen to the end so you hear all the perspectives. It's a 45 minute podcast but the content is rich

In Part 2 you will hear in some depth from the Connecticut Credit Union League, which is helping its members serve marijuana businesses, and also Safe Harbor, started by credit union veteran Sundie Seefried to help financial institutions serve the needs of marijuana businesses.

And then what will you decide to do? Listen up to make smart choices.

Listen to Part 1, the must hear podcast on cannabis and credit unions. 

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.

Hear the full podcast here.

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 18 Al Pascual on Biometrics

Quick now, how long have passwords been around?

How many credit union members want never to use one again?

What are the three must have biometrics modalities?

When will biometrics effectively supplant passwords in financial services?

Flashback time: when did Apple introduce Touch ID, a tool that thrust biometrics into everyday use for tens of millions of consumers?

Consider the above your pop quiz. How did you score?

Al Pascual, a researcher with Javelin, who recently co-authored a report on biometrics and financial services, knows the answers to these questions and he tells all in this CU2.0 podcast.

It moves fast, you'll want to hear it.

A sliver of good/bad news: it's the biggest financial institutions that are carrying the weight of persuading regulators about the efficacy of biometrics  and that just may be a blessing for smaller institutions - credit unions included - who can follow behind.

Hear the full podcast here.

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.

Hear the full podcast here.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 17 Victor Corro on Hispanics and Credit Unions

Ask Victor Corro, of Coopera, the Hispanic focused consulting firm for credit unions, on why Hispanics matter to credit unions and he gets impassioned.  Hispanics need credit unions, he says, just as credit unions need Hispanics.  He tells in detail exactly why that is so in this edition of the CU2.0 podcast.

Note: the audio quality has imperfections in parts of this podcast.  We live in a world of imperfect telephony. But the audio is understandable. So give a hard listen and you will be rewarded.

Corro also tells exactly what a credit union needs to do to really pursue the Hispanic demographic.  It's a multi-step process and he spells it out.

And he explains why many Hispanics are cellphone first consumers - and savvy credit unions need to truly get that if they hope to prosper in their pursuit of Hispanics.

Just remember: you need each other. And that makes this a perfect scenario for doing credit union good.

Listen to the podcast here.