Payments Poised to Drive Credit Union Growth: Recap of THINK CEO Forum

August 24, 2020 Co-op Solutions

“Now is the time to be bold and empower new ways of thinking about growth.”

That was the message conveyed by Mark King, CEO of Taco Bell, in his keynote presentation to credit union leaders last week at CO-OP’s THINK Virtual CEO Forum entitled “How Member Relationships and Payments Drive Resilient Growth.”

The ground is shifting in the banking industry, and the COVID-19 crisis has only accelerated long-term disruptive trends. Tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google have begun making big plays in financial services, and upstart fintech firms are already there.

Hosted by Jean Chatzky, speakers at the CEO Forum challenged attendees to ask themselves, “What is your credit union doing to respond to the current environment?”

The answer lies in three critical and intersecting areas:

  1. Embracing a growth mindset
  2. Capitalizing on payments as the engine for growth
  3. Collecting and analyzing data to produce profound, disruptive insights


Navigate Uncertainty, and Capitalize on Opportunity

“The more chaos there is in marketplace, the more opportunities there are for growth,” said King. “The world is only going to reward those that continue to grow.”

King’s three keys to successful leadership in any industry include embracing a growth mindset, setting big aspirations and “creating an environment where every employee takes responsibility for leading the future.”

For credit unions, that future clearly revolves around payments.

Mobile and contactless payment adoption rates have grown rapidly in response to the pandemic.

According to CEO Forum speaker Amit Seru, professor of finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, 77 percent of consumers use one or more mobile payment apps, a trend that cuts across generational lines.

“Mobile payments are no longer a fad,” he said.

Big Tech and fintech players are rapidly moving into the payments space, using it as a foothold to capture the behavioral insights they need to extend their market reach and better understand the life stages of both consumers and businesses.

“Fintech disruption is everywhere,” said Seru.


Activating Your Next

When it comes to activating strategic growth in the era of COVID-19, credit union CEOs are leaving no stone unturned. An audience poll taken at the event revealed a wide spectrum of focus areas on CEOs’ minds, from the “remote and futurized workplace” to “the future of lending” and developing a “payments processing ecosystem.”

To remain competitive in this time of enormous disruption, Seru counseled credit union CEOs to deliver exceptional service at every touchpoint while helping their members build financial strength throughout every life stage.

CO-OP President & CEO Clark reinforced this concept and emphasized that while member life stages are important to address, credit unions must also focus on lifestyles — and look for ways to be there for members every minute of the day.

Seru also urged credit union leaders to develop a coherent data and technology strategy that allows for deep analyses of payments data – and ultimately produces the disruptive insights credit unions need to compete.

Above all, credit unions’ penchant for collaboration and spirit of innovation will aid them both in addressing new growth opportunities and helping their members through challenging times.

Linda Rossi, president and CEO of Ventura County Credit Union, said it well during the roundtable portion of the forum: “Our job is to manage through the crisis but also to keep our eye on the strategic path before us.”


Let’s continue the conversation on payments and growth! Register for our next THINK Virtual Power Lunch on September 9, 2020, “Why Payments are the Path to Growth.” We’ll be sharing a sneak preview of a new research report from CO-OP and Filene Research designed to help credit unions optimize their payments strategy.


The original article Payments Poised to Drive Credit Union Growth: Recap of THINK CEO Forum can be found on Insight Vault.

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