Building a lasting legacy of innovation for your credit union

Innovation. It’s ingrained in our history. It’s part of our organization’s core.

I’m proud to have been part of so many years of innovation with our organization. As I look back on more than a decade of leadership, I often remind myself of our credit union’s roots and just how much we have evolved.

Our credit union started in an IBM broom closet nearly 56 years ago with only 43 members.

In our first few decades, we were early adopters of ATMs, share drafts, and mortgage lending. In the 1990s, we launched our website and became the 13th financial institution in the world to offer digital banking services.

In 2005, we began developing a video teller system that allows members to enter branches and bank with live tellers through two-way video. By 2011, we had become the first to in the world to implement video teller service 100%, providing our members with 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week service for an unmatched level of access and convenience when other financial institutions may be closed.

In 2017 we were one of nine partners that formed Constellation Digital Partners, a credit union service organization (CUSO) designed to revolutionize the way credit unions develop and integrate new online services. And then in 2021 we were the first credit union to officially launch digital services for our members through the platform.

Whether your credit union is just starting out or you are running a well-established organization, it’s critical to think about what can be learned from your organization’s past, as well as what can be done in the future to continue evolving.

Are you looking at market and financial services trends to prepare your organization for what’s to come? Take it a step further and think about what else your organization can do for members to fit their needs in the next phase of their financial journeys.

Innovation is described as making changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. Ask yourself what parts of your organization could be doing better? What methods or traditional approaches need to be refreshed?

The “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality simply does not work if you want to be at the forefront of innovation in really any industry – but especially financial services. Just because a traditional method works just fine, does not mean that it’s futureproof or the right method for your organization’s growth trajectory, especially as consumer expectations continue to shift and change is unavoidable.

Innovation is something that should be an integral part of your strategic planning process. Our organization has established it as a strategic imperative to help us stay ahead of the curve, remain competitive and provide our members with the best possible services.

To hold ourselves accountable for realizing our innovation goals, we define KPIs to measure progress and continually revisit our strategy to validate our strategic choices and make the necessary adjustments to align with evolving consumer needs.

It takes a determined leadership group to not only evolve, but to leave a lasting legacy of innovation for the success of the organization. This doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a mindset. It’s a mission. It’s a story to tell. What chapter are you on?

Chuck Purvis

Chuck Purvis

Chuck Purvis is President and CEO of Coastal Credit Union. He has 41-years senior management experience with credit union organizations and is co-inventor of the Express Teller Video Banking System ... Web: Details