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Press Release

MEMBER Development Company's Owner Meeting Brings It: From Market Disruptors to What People Think and Credit Union Innovation

Apr. 20, 2016 / PRZen / MINNEAPOLIS -- MEMBERS Development Company's semi-annual Owner Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., gave credit union leaders the opportunity to hear from powerful external speakers, as well as their credit union peers.

"We're happy to see this event continue to grow, with turnout our highest ever," said Jeff Kline, CEO, MEMBERS Development Company. "In addition to representation by CO-OP Financial Services, CU Direct, CUNA Mutual Group and MEMBERS Trust Company, 85% of our owner credit unions attended - with an average of 2.25 staff members per credit union. It's exciting to see leaders from top-tier credit unions working and learning together."

Owner credit unions also expressed their enthusiasm for MDC's conference. On the topic of Mobile Customer Experience, Robert Lockett, Chief Strategy Officer of Workers' Credit Union in Fitchburg, Mass., said he found it very relevant. "I appreciated how the Fin-Techs were explained as applicable to credit unions and the need to provide service," he said.

Shannon Srp, Chief Technology Officer for Navy Army Community Credit Union in Corpus Christi, Texas, said he especially liked The Brain and Your Business, by Robb Best, Senior Advisor for Cognitive Strategy for Elkay Corporation. "It was a great presentation! I haven't taken that many notes since college," he said.

Mobile Customer Experience - David Eads, CEO of both Mobile Strategy Partners and Gro Solutions; and Javier Santana, Founder and Creative Director of Launch, spoke on the future of mobile.

"Increasingly, auto manufacturers are providing APIs for their car technology," Eads said. While these displays have long been used for navigation systems, fuel consumption info or entertainment, Eads suggested they might also offer imaging voice commands for banking. "The interface could change as transactions happen when the car is stopped," he said. "Speaking directly to a video teller would be another great use of the display."

Santana said consumer behavior is changing, thanks to the pace of interaction design, so credit unions must adapt. "Customers want easy-to-use interfaces that have relevant information to make quick, intelligent decisions," he said, discussing apps like Digit, which analyzes users' income and spending, finding small amounts of money to transfer from their checking accounts to Digit savings.

But some apps aren't catching on. Santana noted Samsung's wearable "Smart Suit," which offers near field communication to transfer contact information … it may be easier to just pull out a business card.

Key takeaway: Be alert to new banking apps, but choose wisely. Some developed in recent years have been a bust, while others save time, are fun and easy to use, making consumers an excellent target for fin-tech innovators.

Channel Optimization - Speaking on digital channels, Derek Frost, Principal/Executive Advisor for Corporate Executive Board (CEB), discussed the importance of seeing opportunities and challenges in each stage of adoption:

"A barrier for non-mobile users is fear that their personal data may be stolen; they need to be educated on the security features this channel provides," he said.

Helping members feel comfortable with digital is important. Frost cited a 2014 MPC Consumer and Community Banking Report, which found the cost for an in-person teller deposit averages 65 cents, compared with .03 cents for digital.

CEB's Customer Experience Survey showed that 60% of customers surveyed are digital adopters using non-branch channels exclusively to make routine transactions. But another 19% would move to digital if offered help in making the switch.

According to Frost, one credit union CEB studied showed that members' most important needs were convenient transaction services and easy access to money on their timetable. During the first four months using a guidance approach, the credit union saw 8,700 mobile banking app downloads/month and gained 85,000 active users.

Key takeaway: People often feel hassled and stretched for time; many would welcome using digital banking if they were given simple, hands-on support to help them learn how to use it.

Credit Union Innovation - Another highlight of the two-day event was "Finovate-style" demos of creative products and services developed by MDC's Innovation Council, comprised of creative individuals from 15 credit unions and Corporate One Federal Credit Union. Based on a marketplace survey, 745 respondents indicated they were most likely to use four of the 10 products and services tested. The winning ideas were presented by four teams of two Innovation Council members. They had seven minutes each to make their cases, just like the actual Finovate experience.

Attendees found that the Innovation Skills Panel provided good information and perspectives, with Susan Johnson, Chief Operating Officer at Suncoast Credit Union in Tampa, Fla., saying she appreciated the insights she received. "I had several takeaways from this discussion: mix dreamers and doers; take what you are doing well and make it better; it doesn't always have to be a totally new idea."

Drawing from financial technology and marketing experts, MDC's conference also included topics such as status quo disruptors in the payments space, member experience analysis of online banking, and the marketing power of personalization. To learn more about MDC, visit


MEMBERS Development Company ( is the million-dollar R&D budget for more than 40 progressive credit unions and partners. We look for the ideas our owners have missed while doing their jobs all day. We celebrate new discoveries. We ask the hard questions: "Why have you always done things THAT way? What does the bigger picture say?" While credit unions are busy running the business and putting out fires, MDC is watching the horizon. Our projects are aimed to serve up the must-haves and the must-knows for credit unions. Put simply: MDC believes in research driven BY our owners FOR our owners, and the power of partnership.

Media Contact
Margaret Blankers
MJB Public Relations Group, LLC

Source: MEMBERS Development Company

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