I’ve just returned from our Tampa Roadshow where I met with 75 credit union leaders at the offices of our gracious host, Suncoast Credit Union. And one week prior, I engaged with our entire client-facing organization to discuss our 2019 priorities and listen to their experiences across our thousands of clients.
While within the credit union community we find varied levels of digital maturity, a common thread surfaced in our conversations at both events: how to continually digitally transform – how to break down the transformational and payment challenges we are facing and align our strategies well for today’s rapidly evolving environment.
As payments, digital engagement, integration and technology continue to intersect and advance across the financial world, we see unique opportunities to boost our movement’s performance. In fact, credit unions are coming into their own, better managing payments and modernizing their digital offerings, enabling the speed and trust members value. As the payments landscape consolidates, we see an even more promising opportunity for credit unions to emerge stronger and more agile in the year ahead.
But we need to keep moving forward, strategically. Modernizing the payments ecosystem is about delivering focused, impactful innovation – even if incrementally – and seamlessly integrating advances with existing solutions. At CO-OP, we are focusing all our resources on achieving just that.
This is how we’ve delivered innovation in 2018 and how we plan to modernize the credit union ecosystem in 2019:
Interweaving Digital & Physical
Above all, our competitiveness as an industry requires a focus on the member experience in both digital and physical interactions. Leveraging the movements’ member-first DNA and extending that commitment into a digital experience that is intuitive and easy to experience can drive member adoption of new technology across the entire ecosystem of credit unions.
Supporting the member across digital and physical channels requires new tools. With its introduction in 2018, MyCO-OP is bringing the intuitive and easy to experience tools that credit unions can utilize to access all the technical capabilities CO-OP offers. Just like your phone, MyCO-OP will become a powerful gateway to all CO-OP digital solutions and will be updated iteratively with new functionality as it is introduced dynamically throughout the year.
Beyond MyCO-OP, we have continued to deliver faster, easier and more intelligent tool sets – and better member engagement – through 2018 enhancements to our ATM services, new IVR capabilities within our Contact Centers, and the modernization of our Shared Branch network.
Payments & Processing Leader
Our history of being the first to integrate with innovative new payments solutions like Zelle, digital payment methods (Fitbit Pay & Garmin Pay in 2018) and full service rewards programs sets us apart in the industry. And state-of-the-art technology like COOPER Fraud Analyzer (now available on the Shared Branch Network) helps us detect and fight fraud at a faster pace than ever before – and with fewer false positives. While available initially on Shared Branching exclusively, COOPER will be leveraged to protect the entire CO-OP payments ecosystem in the near future.
Consultation & Service
We know that once you have your solutions roadmap, it’s critical to understand how to properly select and ingest digital solutions to optimize the performance of your payments portfolio. For many credit unions, a “set it and forget it” posture has proven ineffective.
Our SmartGrowth Portfolio Advisory strategists can help inform your program. In fact, hundreds of our clients are tapping this valuable resource today to develop both short- and long-term payments and technology strategies, working closely with our Client Business Executive team as well for an informed, results-driven approach. These services can deliver deeper insight into your members as well, helping you ensure your card offerings remain front and center with them and competitive in the marketplace.
At the same time, CO-OP’s Co-Creation Councils have had a direct hand in influencing both our strategies and our product roadmap, ensuring we are delivering industry-leading solutions that allow you to run your business more profitably and efficiently. For example, we listened to Council input and recommendations related to our chargebacks and disputes processing at CO-OP. We’ve just rolled out enhancements to our intake form as a direct result of that feedback that is reducing the time and effort needed throughout this critical member-facing process and are now investing in a world-class, automated solution.
I’m sure all of you read about a sizable change in the payments industry, with the recent news about the acquisition of First Data by Fiserv. For us this merger signals even greater validation of our strategy of creating a technology framework that serves credit unions and can leverage capabilities across providers. Today, more than ever, we are delivering solutions that allow us to offer best-of-breed capabilities for the particular needs of a credit union’s specific member base, and with unique attributes tailored to the markets our clients serve.
Our ability to continue to meet the needs of credit union members hinges on developing our technology platform so that it can easily incorporate new services and correspondingly deliver those services through both our user applications and easy to consume APIs.
We are working tirelessly to not only digitally transform but to also integrate our services both technologically and operationally, and we are seeing the results. Today, we are delivering world-class payments products purpose built for credit unions and their members.
While we embrace change and digital transformation, it is vitally important for us to reflect on the values and mission of the credit union movement – and to incorporate these ideals in everything we do.
We are excited to continue the conversation with you at THINK 19 in Miami Beach, Florida. We just announced some exciting new additions to the speaker lineup – be sure to register and take advantage of the special Winter rate. I hope to connect with you there.
We’d like to thank you for partnering with us on this exciting journey. I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of our business, our organization and what we can deliver for our owners and your members.