Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Category: CUbit (page 1 of 6)

ApplePay & Your Credit Union

Yesterday, Apple hosted their annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference Keynote. Of their big public events, this is my favorite, as it discusses the technologies they’re pursuing, rather than simply the newest iPhone. And are they pursuing.

There are great sites to read up on the highlights (ArsTechnica is my favorite). From iOS 11 to macOS High Sierra (yes, they actually called it that) to innovations with augmented and virtual reality platforms, they’ve showed their hand for the next year.

But there was something else featured which should concern you more than their upcoming in-home speaker: Payments. After years of requests, Apple has added peer-to-peer payments to ApplePay. Specially, within Messages. Come the release of iOS 11 in the fall, you’ll be able to send or receive money while in a message conversation with anyone. It will use your credit and debit cards linked to your ApplePay account. Of course, these are yours, right? Remember how important it is to get your cards top of wallet, both in the back pocket and digitally!

This new world of direct payments can be an enormous opportunity for your credit union. Think of all the times people share small cash payments. A few dollars for lunch, a bit more for gas, or any number of possibilities. Position your digital card properly and your members can be earning rewards for those, as well as reaping you interchange income (Note: This is an assumption, as the platform has yet to launch.). Regardless of how much you make when members use your card, being the one they use is essential.

Of course, there is also a threat. What if a person doesn’t have (or want to use) a debit/credit card? Well, there will now be an Apple Cash account. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Apple just developed an easy way to serve the unbanked! Careful, or it could start to steal your members as well. My suggestion? Work with it. Suggest it for members who have financial challenges, aka, credit issues or even youth. Then, when they’re able to qualify, offer them an ApplePay-compatible debit or credit card. Convenient for your member, profitable (and sticky) for you.

Technology can seem scary for embedded industries. Instead of ignoring it (remember how Siri can now handle bill payments?) and hoping doom doesn’t befall your world, brainstorm how you can lead alongside.

It’s always about best serving your members.

Image credit:

New Tech Alert! “Hey Siri, Pay My Electric Bill”

This is a CUbit.  In case you haven’t seen one before, these are my out-of-schedule short posts highlighting breaking news.

Today, Apple released a beta update for iOS (software powering iPhone and iPad).  There were the expected improvements and feature additions (hooray, an easy way to find my AirPods!), but something else snuck in.  Something which can change the entire credit union industry overnight.

Apple added bill pay capabilities to Siri.

Yes, with only your voice, you can pay a bill or check on the status of a payment.  Instead of opening an app, finding Bill Pay, trying to set a new one, finding out you can’t do it on your phone, going to your computer, entering the information…etc., now, just say, “Hey Siri, pay my cell phone bill.”  Or, “Hey Siri, did Dave ever pay me for that dinner?”

This functionality is now in beta as part of SiriKit (the API which powers integrations into Siri services).  If your banking platform service is not diving in to the documentation headfirst, tell them get on it!  And if you manage your own bill payment system, ask your IT to begin looking at what it will take to have your members paying by voice upon its release.

What are you waiting for?  Get to it!

A Geek’s Thoughts on the Election

Today, this country made a decision, but it isn’t a decision in which anyone should be proud. Whether you voted for your candidate or against the other one, or a mixture of both (or went third-party), the conclusion is a troubling result. We’ve said that experience is irrelevant. We’ve said that decorum is unnecessary. We’ve rewarded hateful speech and actions, probably because we share the fears from which they derive. We’ve legitimized a lot more, but it’s not even worth diving into it here.

In my research of machine learning (artificial intelligence), a common theme arose around the idea of logarithmic change. This means that as change (in this case, computer performance and “smarts”) occurs, it occurs at a faster rate than prior. Not only does a system get smarter as it “grows”, but it gets smarter more quickly. Think of it like a car which goes 0-60 in 4 seconds, 60-120 in 3, 120-180 in 1, 180-240 in 0.1, and finally 240-300 in 0.0001 seconds. Once it’s going 500, can you even process that type of acceleration? More importantly, how would you describe the velocity increase at 1,000? If you’re struggling to wrap your brain around it, that’s ok. You’re not alone. We perceive the world linearly, and this is at the core of many challenges.

Our world has been in the midst of this increasing rate of change for all of its history. However, only within the past decade or so has it become so impactful on the average person’s life. Minorities are rapidly becoming the majority, social norms are shifting at an accelerated rate, and the divide between what our knowledge contains and what the average person knows (or even *could* know) is growing exponentially. You could probably describe the basic idea of how your VCR worked. How about your iPhone?

This is why the challenges of today (and tomorrow) are so difficult to reconcile. We think in a linear fashion: Last year was that, this year is such and such, so next year will be a derivative of those. Except this no longer applies. Change accelerated and next year will be something we can hardly imagine.

And neither candidate appeared to grasp this fundamental concept.

This election was an expression of deep-seated fear of the unknown (be it gay marriage, traditional gender roles breaking down, ethnic diversification on a majority scale, expanding capabilities of a surveillance state, and any number of other topics). What many always knew to be true simply isn’t anymore. Like being in an earthquake, people’s “bedrock” is cracking. Anxiety over what an ever-increasingly changing future will bring led Americans to make rash decisions all the way through the election process.

I don’t have any answers. I’m pretty sure our President-elect doesn’t, either. So we’re going to have to work together and figure out how we will move forward while navigating this wildly-accelerating car.

Image credit: Me, seeking inner balance and focus.

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