By David Adams
The pace of change in the financial services industry can test the resources of even the biggest credit unions. For smaller ones, the need to keep up can be daunting.
Take mobile banking. Consumers are starting to expect that their financial institutions offer some sort of mobile banking solution. Many won’t consider opening an account at a new financial institution if it doesn’t offer some form of mobile banking. And the more sophisticated users demand even more services such as remote deposit capture, email and text alerts and mobile bill pay.
It wasn’t that long ago when the phone was attached to the wall and we just used them to make calls. Today, smartphone users can’t get through their day without them. We use them for emails, pictures, mobile banking, shopping, socializing, playing games, listening to music and more. Sometimes, we even use them to call somebody.
It’s important to consider that our younger generations have no memory of a world without smartphones. They have an expectation to be able to access their entire lives from a device in their pocket 24/7.
As the smartphone grows in importance, companies of all stripes are feverishly working to take advantage of the platform. Many experts in the financial services industry, including CU Solutions Group, the for-profit subsidiary of MCUL, continue to monitor these developments closely, keeping a close eye on what is coming and how to best use the new technologies to serve members.
But at what level should credit unions participate in mobile? Is it as simple as on-the-go accessibility to account balances or a full mobile app with remote deposit capture and mobile payments? Every credit union needs to explore these questions and decide how far they need to go.
These critical issues are extremely important for every credit union. That’s why this year’s Annual Convention and Exposition will focus on digital payments and other mobile banking technology. During the June 5-7 event at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, we will learn from American Express, FiServ, an attorney, a regulator and several innovators about what is coming in terms of technology and payments. Our keynote speaker on Friday is Dan Schulman from American Express, who will talk about what he calls “technology upheaval” in financial services.
We will also introduce “Innovation Platform,” a session to feature new products, ideas, or services, including some new names in the marketplace like Wise.ly, SimplyTapp, RocketHub, and Zumigo.
Of course, AC&E will also feature the usual mix of education sessions, networking opportunities and the expo, which will be filled with vendors offering a variety of products and services to credit unions.
SAS credit unions are invited to apply for scholarships to attend AC&E, our largest gathering of credit union folks every year. SAS credit unions automatically qualify for $1,000 per year toward professional development and education. In addition, the MCUF board reviews requests for amounts beyond the initial $1,000.
Mobile banking is quickly becoming the norm. That’s why CU Solutions Group has partnered with Access Softek, a Silicon Valley digital banking technology company. Access Softek offers Mobile Finance Manager, which will enhance technology-driven banking. You will be hearing more about this new partnership throughout the year.