Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: cuinsight (page 1 of 2)

Be Plex for Your Members

Originally published on CUInsight.com

Each time it works, I feel like Merlin.

I’m talking, of course, about Plex. Consider it a software platform made of pixie dust, magic, and a bit of alien technology. Or just years of dedicated effort from a small team of developers.

“What is Plex?” you ask. Great question. Plex lets you access your digital library on any device, anywhere on Earth (or on the International Space Station, since they have internet now, too), at any time, with no additional effort. It also will add all appropriate information onto your movies, music, TV shows that help sort and access (like episode descriptions, air dates, ratings, etc.). As a long-time user, I’ve watched it grow from a buggy computer program into a must-have feature on any set-top accessory. Pulling up shows and movies within the home is neat enough, but the crowning achievement was when I was waiting for my flight in LAX. I pulled out my phone, opened the Plex app, and it immediately connected to my computer at home. Then, I proceeded to watch one of my movies, 2,000 miles away, as if it were saved within the device. Ask your IT person how many steps of awesome needed to occur for that to work.

Be Plex for your members. No, I’m not suggesting hosting your credit union’s new reality TV series on it, rather, follow their mission: Empower your members to access all services no matter where they are or what device they use. Further, like Plex recognizes a movie and adds all pertinent information, consolidate and organize the member’s relationship as such. A list of transactions and services held is fine, but what about more? If a member doesn’t have a credit card with you, what does your system display? Imagine a dashboard that can adapt to all screen types/sizes and has all of your potential services included. However, it will highlight and feature only those the member holds, to keep the experience focused. Of course, this enables tailored marketing based on their activity. What would help them most based on their current habits?

Before you go rushing out to replace your internal systems, remember, being Plex for your members isn’t about fad desires (they’ve been working on the software for many years). I could be wrong about the dashboard approach. The key is being adaptable. Just because Virtual Reality gear seems awesome doesn’t mean you need an Oculus Rift app for your credit union…yet. Feel free to swap VR for anything else your board or executives claim is essential today.

Even from this geek, at the end of the day, a great experience which fulfills my expectations is golden. Whether I want to watch an episode of my favorite show or check that last swipe on my card, tapping it and watching is all I need.

Image credit: clipshrine.com

A Merchant Breach Rant For You To Empathize

This CUbit is an extension of a comment I shared on a CUInsight article today. You can view the full story (and my comment) here. Background: Wendy’s appears to have experienced a POS (Point of Sale) breach sometime in the past, oh, few years. The malware (bad software) has crept around their systems and locations under the radar, only mentioned briefly in a corporate report and supported by credit unions seeing increased debit card fraud from members who frequented the chain.

I don’t eat at Wendy’s, so my cards are not compromised (by this breach, at least). But why should that make a difference? Just because you enjoy an occasional Frosty doesn’t mean you should have to watch your account for fraud. And, in all honesty, when faced with limited options, I’ll have their baked potato. Will I pay with plastic? Of course. Will millions of others? Sure.

If you read my posts regularly, you’ll know this isn’t the first one on merchant breaches. Nor will it be the last. At least with how they’re treated today. The onus on security is akin to me paying someone to watch my car, having it stolen, then the watcher just looking at me while shrugging their shoulders. When was the last time you heard about a card breach affecting the issuer? That’s right, almost never. Because they care about security. In fact, they have regulations mandating their adherence to stringent policies. Whether you’re Bank of America, our regional community bank, or one of thousands of credit unions, you protect card information. And given how rare an issue arises, I’d say you are all doing a great job.

(From this point, my original story comment is expanded upon, so if it looks familiar, that’s on purpose, and thank you for reading!)

My frustration isn’t with the credit unions. Not at all. It’s with the retailers. Wendy’s just happens to be the case in point today. Let me repeat what I’ve said before many times: We. Have. The. Technology. To. End. Breaches.

Between adopting EMV and contactless payment (Apple Pay, Android Pay, CU Wallet, etc.), we can have tokenized transactions at all purchases. This means your card number, unless physically lost/stolen, is impossible to be compromised. Even if the merchant’s system is crawling with malware. All the criminals get is a one-time use number (which is immediately identified as fraud when attempted again). The number you see on the piece of plastic never appears on their end.

Would new systems solve the problem? Mostly. But there are also an enormous amount of dangerous practices still being performed. Know anything about PCI compliance? No way these actions would pass. Now you want examples, so here are two I’ve experienced in just the past few weeks. The first came while I was with a friend getting his car serviced. This wasn’t at a mom-and-pop shop, rather, he went to one of the largest dealerships in the southeast United States. What did they do upon payment? They photocopied his credit card, front and back, to store with his service paperwork.

Let me repeat: They took a picture of his credit card. Then they put it in a glass office with hundreds of others, in full view of staff and customers. “We lock that office”, they said. Color me comforted.

Another crazy action occurred just two days ago at a hotel in Los Angeles. Upon check-in, hotels like to keep your card on file for incidentals (or if you decide to rock-star-style destroy the room). That’s fine, and there’s a proper way to do it. This Comfort Inn (again, big company which knows better) took an imprint and put it with the regular paperwork, under no lock and key.

And we wonder why breaches are so common (imagine their security on digital if that’s how they treat in-person).

Since merchants (especially multi-nationals) have little responsibility in the breaches (it’s not like we’ve heard credit unions talk about this before…), they are slow to make any changes. If they had to burden 100% of the breach costs, do you think we’d still have major merchants doing such dumb things with your information?

As a technologist, it’s incredibly frustrating to see event after event of preventable breaches occur, while those completely not in the wrong having to bear the costs (the Big 3, community banks, and credit unions all included).

Plus, who likes having to reset all of your automatic payments and online shopping accounts?

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/111692634@N04/11406986014/

What Would Your Members Say?

Originally published on CUInsight.com

Imagine a room filled with your members. All of them. Ones who have made your credit union their primary financial institution and those who hardly know you exist. Offer each a blank index card.

A third grade teacher in Denver did this exercise with her students. What was asked of them? To write down what they wished their teacher knew about their lives. They could add their name or leave it anonymous. Surprising truths flowed. One explained how homework was challenging because they didn’t have pencils at home. Another lamented delays in getting their mom’s signature on school forms because they didn’t see her often. It was a moving exercise, and offered valuable, if heartbreaking, advice to the teacher.

Before getting back to the credit union talk, let’s make it clear: Teachers like her are doing important work and should be recognized/compensated as such.

Do you see how this exercise could be of value for your credit union? If you handed out index cards to all your members, what would be written?

When I’m teaching martial arts classes, I often ask a student what someone will do if they use a certain move. “I don’t know,” is a fair answer. How can you be sure of their reaction? Well, you do that technique, and see their response!

What will your members wish you knew? Well, you ask! We read articles daily about how to connect with Millenials (Gen Y). Like everyone else, they want a say. They want a deliberate effort to engage, not a new promotion or product. Connect and learn. What if it became an industry effort? Say, using social media under the hashtag #OurMembersWish. Now that’s @asmarterchoice I can support.

There’s a fantastic TED Talk describing one way to get into a mission, rather than product, centric, mode of thinking with a process called Golden Circle. You’ll recognize it in use with companies like Apple and Harley Davidson, in people like Elon Musk, as well as every non-profit you know.

The index cards? Yeah, they’re in that supply closet, just down the hall. Grab a bunch.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garylerude/2815430150/

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