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.


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.