Paul Ablack, CEO, OnApproach, joined Mike Lawson of CUbroadcast to discuss the state of the credit union industry, and why digital transformation is imperative. Credit unions have tremedous opportunities now with analytics and collaboration, but cannot afford to wait until banks and fintech disruptors get even further ahead in their analytics and member experience initiatives. As Paul states in the video, "If you don't start engaging with your members digitally, and giving them information that's very useful to them and helping them in their daily lives, you're not going to be able to compete, because there's lots of other people trying to think about that right now.... Now's the time to be really accelerating this strategy."
The term “digital transformation” has been a very hot topic recently, creating new conversations and products across a wide range of industries. This chart below, via Google Trends, displays the worldwide popularity of the phrase “Digital Transformation” in web searches since 2004. As shown in the graph, after remaining stagnant for over a decade, the term’s popularity has exploded in just the last year or so, raising questions about what this means, and how it will impact your organization.
An accepted definition for digital transformation is, “the application of digital technologies to fundamentally impact all aspects of business and society”. The important part of this definition is to realize that digital transformation does not mean just building a website, a mobile app, or obtaining a data warehouse. It means using your digital technology to transform your business processes. It means shifting your company culture to take advantage of your digital data to make informed data-driven decision and stay ahead of the ever-changing expectations of your members or customers.
Apple has made a tremendously successful company off of one thing… Is it the iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac series? No. What makes Apple so powerful and successful is not its products, but rather the ecosystem it’s created through its standard operating system, the iOS. An operating system or “platform” that enables its users to connect with the rest of its users as a community and its developers. With this common platform, all users are on a level playing field with a similar access to all “apps” and services that have been created on the platform – rather than each user building everything themselves.
OnApproach CEO, Paul Ablack, and Mike Lawson of CUbroadcast caught up at the NACUSO Network Conference in Orlando to discuss credit union industry trends and the upcoming 2017 AXFI Conference.
The interview covers credit union collaboration, fintech disuption, enterprise data integration, predictive analytics, data pooling, member experience, Identity and other exciting topics relevant to today's financial services industry.
In a Star Tribune article this week, “Medtronic agrees to share data in patient-safety effort”, we learned that “when it comes to patient safety, the leaders of the two companies are now sitting at the same table to discuss how they can share de-identified patient data with each other, as well as outside researchers and entrepreneurs, to predict health problems.”
The need to share data about patients and customers is hitting the mainstream as companies figure out that the pooling of this data is critical to the discovery of new insights that can help them develop better products that improve the lives of their customers. Competitors in many industries are realizing that they need to “get over themselves” and start figuring out ways to share this data for the greater good.
By now, credit unions are aware of the industry’s changing landscape. Credit Unions are facing Fintech influence, industry disruption, and realize it is no longer an option, but a necessity to capture and optimize every piece of obtainable data to remain competitive in financial services. Large banks have been investing heavily in big data and continue to do so. Unfortunately, these banks are directly competing with credit unions, which don’t have the same resources available to effectively invest in big data. Awareness is step one, but one state is taking action to put the power of big data in the hands of credit unions.
“[CUSOs] provide a means to an end – allowing credit unions the capability to fulfill the financial needs of their members in a cost effective environment through efficient delivery channels. Plus, they attract the brightest and most innovative minds to the board table, bringing best practices of credit unions across the country, which is a priceless experience.” – Doug Petersen President/CEO of Workers’ Credit Union.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller
The credit union industry (or credit union movement as it’s often referred to) is probably one of the most collaborative industries in the United States, if not the entire world. Unlike other organizations, credit unions share everything from ideas to secrets. They truly care about the welfare of the industry and its millions of members. It’s great! Collaboration benefits credit unions in several ways – however, in my opinion, one way in particular presents the biggest opportunity.