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Gamechangers: A Research Symposium

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Presented by Filene and Credit Union Central of Canada

May 3, 2015 | Banff, Alberta, Canada

Big THANK YOU to everyone who attended the research symposium!


Year-to-year goals, bank competition, and interest rate worries eat up all your time. Those are the known challenges. But sometimes, it’s the known unknowns or even the unknown unknowns that are the most important. Join us to explore how some of these unknowns – big data, collaborative consumption, radical lending platforms – may change your list of worries, and give your credit unions a new list of solutions.

Right Sizing Big Data – Linda Young, ponderpickle: What’s the big deal about big data? And, more importantly what are the benefits of big data for members? How do credit unions see themselves? Are they “big enough” for big data? Young will not only provide an account of what credit unions are currently doing with small and big data alike but will also include recommendations regarding what credit unions should be doing and how to “right size” data for maximum benefit.

P2P Lending and Credit Unions – Sean Geobey, University of Waterloo:  In 2012, individuals used crow-based funding portals to raise more than $2.7 billion, up 81% over the year previous. Almost half of that amount, $1.2 billion, was in the form of loans and this was the fastest growing segment with a 111% growth rate over the previous year.  In his presentation Goebey, PhD from the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience, will provide an overview of this booming sector and show how peer-based lending tools could be used by credit unions to leverage their traditional role in reputation-based lending.  

Retail’s Digital Renaissance – Barbara Thau, Writer: Online and mobile shopping are changing the role of the physical store to accommodate consumers demanding a seamless experience whether they’re shopping in a store or on a screen, while fueling an expectation for more personalized service and offers. Sound familiar? Mobile commerce, big data, and brick-and-mortar uncertainty have overtaken traditional retail even faster than financial services. Thau, a longtime observer of retail trends, shows what the next five years will look like for anyone trying to sell to digital consumers.

Collaborative Consumption – Prof. Hope Schau, University of Arizona: over 80% of consumption is social in nature. As it becomes easier to communicate, collaborate, and share costs, we expect that larger groups will collaborate in more significant ways than ever to divide costs. Credit unions rely on the savings and borrowing behaviors of their members. Professor Schau will explore when and how borrowing for cars, homes, and even vacations may change.

Financial Stability and Credit Unions: Different on Purpose -- Pedro Antunes, Conference Board of Canada: A bit more than five years out from the financial crisis and the world is still reeling from the consequences and nowhere is that more true than in the financial services sector, which has seen a  mushrooming of new regulations and requirements ranging from Basel III and tightened mortgage lending guidelines to bail-in structures and stress testing.  In this session of the day’s events, we will feature research that looks at how the cooperative banking system, and Canadian credit unions in particular, have fared since the financial crisis relative to competitors and speculate about its future performance given some of the aforementioned policy changes.