People Make The Difference. So People, Let’s Make A Difference

I have spent the last several years meeting with credit union people at conferences, trade shows and routine client visits. I do a fair job of keeping abreast of current affairs that impact the financial services industry. Economic forces, the regulatory environment and shifts in consumer behavior as a result of emerging technologies are the topics I hear spoken of or written about the most.

New players are entering the financial services world, in very powerful ways.  Today it could be a new fin-tech start-up and tomorrow it could simply be the latest and greatest must-have iPhone or Android Application.  Consumers are starting to find new ways to bank and manage finances and are embracing changes that reduce the mundane chore of “doing their banking.”  Let’s face it; as consumers, none of us get excited about visiting our local branch, applying for a loan or heading online to pay our bills. Plain and simple, it’s a chore that we don’t want to do, but ultimately must do.

I have no doubt that our industry is taking strides to reduce this chore. Frankly, it’s not even an option; it’s a requirement. Most of you get that. When I am lucky enough to have an audience, I am quick to remind them that the seemingly safe world of traditional banking is threatened by new technology and ever increasingly the proliferation of non-traditional competitors. The safe haven of a traditional brick and mortar retail banking strategy is threatened, and most financial institutions feel the need to evolve. There remains great uncertainty and many of us, no doubt have more questions, than there are answers for.

The credit union industry has historically prided itself on having a philosophy of “People Helping People.”  People are what drive our industry and connecting your employees to the market and your members should remain mission critical. So while we need to build better online and offline experiences, and reduce the chore associated with “banking,” let’s assure we empower our employees to act and engage. Your members have real world questions, concerns and goals that an App can’t address. And what of that new FinTech start-up? What are the chances they have an educated staff well versed in communicating directly with consumers? In many cases, they don’t have the manpower or infrastructure to engage consumers personally.

So while threats abound and we evolve to meet the needs of a changing environment, credit unions have a secret weapon. Yes, it’s our people. Let’s not diminish the value of the human factor in retail banking. New technologies can come and go, but it is people and the human experience that ultimately will allow us to survive and differentiate as financial services continues to evolve.

Bryan Clagett is a principle driver of Geezeo’s global marketing, brand and outreach efforts. Clagett joins founders Shawn Ward and Peter Glyman in establishing Geezeo as the premier personal financial management provider in the financial services industry. Since 1987, Bryan has held a number of executive positions in the financial services industry.

Bryan Clagett

Bryan Clagett

Bryan is on the executive team and singularly focused on driving revenue growth through a variety of new initiatives that help financial services and fintech become ever more relevant to ... Web: Details