8 Boarding the Voice BankingTrain
ENACOMM CEO MichaelBoukadakis discusses whyCUs must stay ahead of theconversational engagementcurve.
6 Finding Challenges andOpportunities in a RemoteConversion
SAFE FCU and Symitar sharethe lessons learned through theirvirtual journey.
10 Digging Into the New OilFields
CUs are sitting on oil fields ofdata and it’s time to drill andprosper, Clear Core’s Ray Raganand Timothy Strasser say.
11 Debating the Need forFintech Partnerships
Gina DeCorla of Informa Financial Intelligence argues theyaren’t critical for CUs to survive.
12 Pondering BusinessBanking’s Future Role
Finastra’s Michael Abare detailswhy there’s plenty of roomfor innovation in the businessbanking arena.
Editor’s Column ...................4
Focus Report.................... 6-11
Guest Opinion ................... 12
Community News............... 14
People .............................. 19
Did you survive another week?
Every day feels like Tuesday, amI right? How many times can wetalk about the weather on Zoomcalls? When was the last time youironed? I wonder how long I’ll beable to keep my flying status withDelta. I should order some newsocks, just to change things up. QRcodes are really making a comeback. Why am I sleeping so much?
have a lot of important and extremely non-important hings on my mind – and these are some examples of
my brain’s attempt to occupy itself
as the coronavirus continues to
rattle our lives and the economy.
I’ve come to accept how difficult
it’s been to focus on one issue for
too long, so I wanted to share two
things that fever dream/work me
has been tossing around.
Open Your What?
Marketing the benefits of creditunions has always been an interesting and challenging venture.We’ve yet to see a perfectly clearmessage and marketing executionthat resonates with the generalpublic to take action to join yourcredit union.
We know CUNA recently relaunched its “Open Your Eyes toa Credit Union” campaign afterpausing it for a couple of monthsin the early days of the pandemic.Checks calendar … months later,we are still in the thick of rising infection numbers, death rates havegone back up, hospitalizationshave increased and, dependingon where you live, economies areshutting down again.
The campaign, which was first
announced at CUNA’s Govern-
mental Affairs Conference in 2018
and officially launched in January
2019, consisted of several aware-
ness goals including to dispel
myths about credit unions among
the general public. Two common
ones are that consumers believe
they must belong to a specific
group to join a credit union and
that because credit unions are lo-
cal, they won’t be able to access
their money when they travel.
As of this writing, the campaignis operating in 24 states at the halfway point of the three-year project. And, let’s face it, accessingmoney when traveling really isn’tgoing to be a marketing strategythat will attract new members forthe foreseeable future.
It’s easy to critique and criticizepublic relations and marketing efforts. Right now: 1) I am not sureit’s helpful during this pandemicand 2) I’d rather lend a hand.
This coronavirus emergency isgoing to be with us for a long time.Events in 2021 are already beingcancelled. Not that this is creditunion-related, but it is a potentialsign of what’s to come. The Genevaauto show in Europe announcedthe cancellation of its 2021 eventdue to “lack of interest from exhibitors” as the main reason for theshow’s cancellation. We should expect other 2021 dominos (confer-ences/events) to start falling soon.
Embracing the fact that the
pandemic is as dangerous and
disruptive as it is could be a smart
way to go for the “Open Your Eyes”
campaign. Here’s my short letter
to the CUNA marketing team:
Dear CUNA people,
With this round of the country
going to hell, may I suggest anoth-
er pause in the “Open Your Eyes”
campaign? I believe you could
keep most of the main themes and
goals of the original campaign by
changing it to “Open Your Eyes and
Wear a Mask;” promoting credit
unions, combined with caring and
the safety of everyone, might be a
good idea going forward. I’m fairly
confident that big banks would not
develop a marketing message like
that. They’d probably create some-
thing like that weird Disney video
promoting that they are open and
come on in at your own risk, and
we’ll gladly take your money.
If your target audience isn’t going to wear a mask and do whatit personally takes to stay safe forthemselves and others, they mightnot be alive to join a credit union.Good luck to you.
All my mask-wearing best– Michael
Diversity, Equity & InclusionOur team has made note of justhow serious the credit unionworld has taken the issue of DEI.
Honestly, it’s one ofthose rare times we getto look at the industryfrom a 30,000-foot leveland watch a transformation occur.
The ripple effect ofCUNA’s announcementin early June that the“time is now to do more”in the fight againstracism has been really a joy to watch. Backthen, the CUNA Boardof Directors passed aresolution to publiclyacknowledge its standagainst structural racism and now NAFCU isfully on board. NAFCUPresident/CEO B. DanBerger wrote an openletter on LinkedIn announcing the association’s stance.
“No amount of days, weeks
or months passing is enough to
remedy, rectify or heal the level of
pain and suffering that hundreds
of years of racism has inflicted on
the Black community,” he said
in the letter. “Even so, that is not
an excuse to do nothing. It is our
duty, especially for those of us
who are CEOs, leaders and poli-
cymakers, to make sure we take
action within our communities,
our schools and our companies.
We must make pronouncements
against hate and we must do so
unequivocally and everywhere
we see it, not just when men and
women are unjustifiably killed or
when acts of hate are captured on
In between the announcements
by CUNA and NAFCU, credit
unions like VyStar Credit Union in
Jacksonville, Fla., announced Allie
Braswell as its first vice president
of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Teachers Federal Credit Union
in El Paso, Texas partnered with
Credit Union Strategic Planning
to help with the credit union’s
DEI efforts. Filene Research In-
stitute launched a new Center of
Excellence for Diversity, Equity
and Inclusion. WOCCU, CUES,
the NCUA and several others have
announced new and industry-
changing DEI initiatives.
And since the beginning of thisyear, CU Times has published 20stories about DEI. I just wantedto point all of this out because Icouldn’t be more excited aboutthe important changes happeningin and around our credit unionworld concerning DEI.
So far, 2020 has been a year ofchange – good and bad. Duringthis tumultuous year, let’s all doour best to change for good.
With those things out of theway, my brain has more questions: Who decided what size alegal pad should be? Does anyoneown a pencil sharpener anymore?Remember how bad Styrofoamcoolers were? n
A Scatterbrain Summer Isn’t All Bad
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