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Consumer Chemistry: Finding Solutions by Looking Outside the System

This report is an overview of the top ideas on payment platforms and personal financial management presented at FinovateFall 2010.

  • Denise Gabel COO at Northwest Credit Union Association

Executive Summary

Credit union leaders have been warned that the three “deadly sins” of myopia, inertia, and fear will have a serious negative impact on the industry. But there was only evidence of farsightedness, action, and bravery at FinovateFall 2010, where 56 companies unveiled their latest financial services innovations to a sold-out audience of 650 financial and banking executives, venture capitalists, press, analysts, and entrepreneurs.

What is the research about?

It’s so difficult to adequately describe the spirit of Finovate that Filene invited a group of credit union professionals to witness it firsthand. This select group was charged with reviewing the latest innovations and then reporting its findings and recommendations to the credit union industry. While the technologies may have been developed outside of the credit union space, they can be tailored as appropriate to bring new products to fruition quickly, delighting consumers, and helping secure a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

While reviewing all the presentations, the workgroup narrowed its focus: find solutions for small businesses. The Finovate team split into subgroups and focused their analysis on two categories: payment platforms and personal financial management. The report is the opinions and outputs from the 11 person workgroup—an overview of the top ideas that could be best adapted for further implementation at credit unions.

What are the credit union implications?

The right financial management platform can take credit union relationships with small business clients to another level—that of a valued financial partner. It also requires a greater level of knowledge in dealing with business issues, such as cash flow and lending needs. These solutions may be best suited for credit unions that already have a commercial division as a natural product line extension that would expand and retain relationships.