Register here for the initial meeting: https://www.big-fintech.com/Innovation-Club/Labs
Last month I wrote about how credit unions’ stagnant market share of 7% of US consumer deposits should not be acceptable to industry leaders. Our member growth stats have been decent, but what really matters at the end of the day is Primary Financial Institution (PFI) status- the goal is for a bank or credit union to establish itself as the centerpiece of daily financial life, the first place a consumer turns when financial help is needed.
More than ever in a post-pandemic world, the road to PFI status requires a robust set of digital offerings. For proof, look at the success of largely digital-only fintech disruptors in unsecured personal loans. Starting from a 2013 market share of only 5%, these players have leapfrogged both credit unions and banks to establish a firm lead in this market, according to Statista. Some have countered that these upstarts have yet to prove that their underwriting model can survive an economic downturn. While that’s true, it’s also largely irrelevant- the key takeaway is that a large share of US consumers has voted with their pocketbooks in favor of such a model.
The bad news is that only the largest FIs have the R&D budgets to create these types of solutions in house. A few big credit unions are among this group, and they’re growing quite impressively. This fact serves to reinforce the challenges facing over 5,000 other credit unions. Our industry needs a broad based upward trajectory in order to thrive.
Fortunately there are many fintechs- some of which are even owned by credit unions- standing ready to provide the necessary technology. Even so, most CUs lack the bandwidth and expertise to sort through dozens of constantly evolving solutions to determine the ones best equipped to address their specific product needs and that can be trusted to get the job done.
This is where Innovation Club Labs, a new Best Innovation Group offering, enters the picture. Designed with mid-sized and small credit unions in mind, IC Labs brings a vetted set of new and unique technologies to the table for group evaluation and consideration. BIG’s developers and industry experts will facilitate peer discussions and provide unbiased views independent of any vendor incentives. Our curated approach will optimize knowledge sharing, reveal best practices, and leverage one of credit unions’ key superpowers- collaboration.
We hope you’ll join John Best and me on Tuesday, September 1 for our inaugural session of the Innovation Club Labs (register here). This initial ZOOM meeting is free to all. There will be a nominal fee for ongoing participation, but we’re confident that once you hear about the value and the opportunity to fuel your credit union’s growth through deeper relationships with existing and new members, you’ll agree it’s money well spent