Missed Money20/20 last week? Here’s a quick recap on what credit unions should know

Last week, members of CO-OP’s leadership team traveled to the Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas to discover and discuss the latest trends shaping the future of money. It was a good opportunity to see how our progress in digital transformation compares with our peers outside of the credit union industry. Two things were clear at the end of the conference: we are all in a race to excellence and there are no clear winners yet.

The conference touched on many themes and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligenceblockchain and biometrics, but focused heavily on the importance of customer experience and loyalty.

The businesses winning today are winning because they serve consumers on their terms, when and where they want,” said Money2020 President Tracey Davies.

Credit unions have the advantage of longstanding relationships with their members; but as those members begin to engage more with digital and mobile channels, understanding their current and future needs will become more challenging. Member data will therefore become critical to understanding your members. As Jim Marous, co-publisher of the Financial Brand put it, “the winners will be those that use [customer] insights the best. It’s not just about delivery, it’s about knowing you well enough to know what you need next.”

This year’s Money20/20 conference provided us with a number of ideas to consider and focus on putting into action for our credit unions. Here were a few of the key takeaways:

Referencing data from the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, Deidre Campbell, Global Chair, Financial Services Sector at Edelman noted that a great user experience is now the top consumer priority when choosing a financial institution, with 83 percent calling it an important consideration. This is happening in an environment where the expectations – and the stakes – couldn’t be higher.

How do you succeed in this market? Here’s what Caesar Sangupta, GM Payments and VP, Next Billion Users at Google had to say about accelerating digital payment adoption: “You need to make things simpler, make things faster; you need to make things much more secure. People need to know they’re in control.”

Providing the services your members want isn’t enough to keep them happy: you’ll have to inspire trust and loyalty. How do you do that? Braden More, EVP at Wells Fargo, shared this insight: “One of the things we’ve done in our effort to rebuild trust is to focus on the value of the digital experience. With the issues that we had around sales practices, there’s a real value in putting people in a position where they’re making their own decisions.”

Harley Finkelstein, COO of Shopify added that winning customer loyalty is about going beyond your product and revenue goals: Curators and intermediaries are not going away. [But] for those retailers that are just defending their profit margin simply on the basis that they have a store in a particular location, distribution is no longer enough.”

In case you’re wondering, “Techfin” refers to big technology companies like Amazon and Facebook that are venturing into the payments and financial services space. Big technology players are leading the charge in customer experience; it’s no wonder they’re seen as leading competitors in the payments space. At Money20/20, 58 percent of attendees polled said Big Tech (Amazon, Google, Apple) is the biggest threat to the industry.

THINK 18 alum James Wester spoke about how digital ecosystems have revolutionized retail, delivering a new wave of growth for small and large merchants, and are now doing the same for all forms of payment. Across almost every industry, ecosystems and platform thinking are providing the framework that makes widespread, iterative change possible.

The ubiquity of platform thinking leads us to another observation: Digital transformation is no longer a question in the industry – it’s a given. Although financial institutions and technology providers may still be in the process of transformation, the discussion has moved on from deciding whether or not to transform. Progress and innovation are being built around a digitized industry. The question now is how to harness innovation, optimize performance, compete and grow while keeping the member experience at the center.

Money20/20 highlighted the exciting challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the financial services and payments industries. But as credit unions, we must be focused on our own race to excellence. THINK 19, May 6-9 in Miami, will be our opportunity to share how we will define and achieve success in the age of digital transformation. Register now.

Join CO-OP for a sneak peak at THINK 19 and the trends that will shape 2019 and beyond during our live webinar “Technology and Payment Trends: What to Expect in 2019” on November 7th at 11:00am P.S.T.

The original article Missed Money20/20 last week? Here’s a quick recap on what credit unions should know can be found on CO-OP's Insight Vault.