Innovation & Technology

Marc Schaefer

Better than Banks? Why and How Credit Unions Need to Differentiate

How has the credit union industry evolved in the last 30 years? We talked to Marc Schaefer, CEO of Truliant FCU, who ran multiple credit unions for over three decades. According to Marc, the credit union movement has evolved from “sleepy” to “energized,” with a noticeable shifts away from “traditional” banks toward more innovative, socially conscious financial institutions. Having observed … Continue reading

Ryan Foss, Director of Incubation at Filene

The Next Uber? What Innovation Really Means in the Credit Union Industry

Everyone loves talking about the importance of innovation, including the credit union industry. But what does innovation really mean in an industry that is heavily regulated and often struggling to keep up with the latest digital trends? Ryan Foss, Senior Director of Incubation at Filene, argues that innovation doesn’t have to involve a flashy app or AI-driven chatbot. Really, innovation … Continue reading

Bijal Gami, VP of Operations; Lamar Heyward – SVP of Marketing at Civic FCU; and Michael Spink, SVP of R&D

How to Reignite the Credit Union Movement: Lessons from a Startup Credit Union

Possibly the defining factor of our current moment in business, technology, and innovation is the culture driving the creation and growth of start-ups. We’ve seen how rapidly the business landscape has changed, for better or worse, because of the startup ethos. While credit unions have undoubtedly been affected by the rise of fintech startups, the concept of a “credit union startup” in … Continue reading

Income Advance Program

Beyond Payday Lenders and Pawn Shops: Thinking Differently about Small Dollar Loans

For many Americans, a few hundred dollars can mean the difference between financial stability and distress. Financial distress is not an isolated problem; rather, it has ripple effects that extend not just to a person’s family, but also his or her employer. Ted and Ned Castle of Rhino Foods understand that financially stable employees are healthier, happier, and more reliable. … Continue reading

How Credit Unions are Like Farmers Markets: Ty Robbins of People’s Trust FCU

Ever paid a premium for those small, juicy farmers market strawberries, rather than the giant, pale strawberries you typically find in the grocery store? According to Ty Robbins, CIO of People’s Trust FCU, credit unions offer the financial equivalent of farmers market strawberries, with one crucial difference. He joins our podcast to share his passion for using cooperative principles and … Continue reading

Digital Transformation

A Digital Branch Case Study: How Webster First Got Digital to Outperform its Physical Branches

There’s a lot of talk about “digital transformation” in the financial services industry, but what does that actually look like in practice? John Cournoyer, VP of Marketing at Webster First Federal Credit Union in Massachusetts, joins us to talk about the challenges and opportunities of their ambitious digital strategy. Top 3 Key Takeaways: Make sure you are using an apples-to-apples … Continue reading

Wind turbine in a field

The Themed Credit Union: The Launch of the Clean Energy Credit Union

In this episode we discuss the 3-year journey from concept to launch of the Clean Energy Credit Union, a credit union entirely focused on clean energy loans. Blake Jones, the founding board chair, discusses their innovative strategy for growth despite being unable to raise capital, their unique partnership with a national non-profit, and how they are focusing on consumer passions … Continue reading

CU 2.0

The Reinvented Credit Union: How to Thrive in the 21st Century

Kirk Drake, author of the new book CU 2.0: A Guide for Credit Unions Competing in the Digital Age, joins Cameron on the podcast to talk about what assumptions credit unions need to leave behind, what members are really looking for, and why “failure” is a key part of success in the digital world.    Cameron’s Key Takeaways Start small. You … Continue reading

Ben Morales

Innovation, Ethics, and Purpose: Why Payday Lending Matters to the Credit Union Mission

Ben Morales, CEO of QCash, joins us to talk about what it means to offer an alternative to payday lending. On this podcast, he shares his unique perspective on why members need these sorts of loans, how a credit union can think about payday lending from a strategy, branding, and financial wellness standpoint, and why a 60-second approval process was … Continue reading

Best Practices are for Beginners: The Secrets of Website Optimization — Podcast

  Conversion rate optimization expert Jon MacDonald, founder of The Good, joins us to talk about the 3 biggest killers of website sales and how to let your members tell you how to sell them more online. Plus, hear why he thinks we are just beginning to understand how to make websites effective sales channels — for credit unions and for all … Continue reading

Hannah talking on the phone