PSCU taps credit unions rising stars to originate Playbook for engaging members in the digital age

CUSO facilitates how to guide to help CUs deliver a more seamless member experience

NEW YORK, NY ­ (April 23, 2015) — The rapid rise of digital commerce has conditioned consumers to demand delivery of financial services through more channels than ever before.

Today’s consumers expect a seamless service experience across all channels, from brick-and-mortar to mobile. According to PSCU, the nation’s leading credit union service organization, these insights were the driving force behind the creation of its Playbook, which contains strategies, tactics, tools, best practices and templates for attracting, engaging and retaining new and existing members in the midst of the financial services digital transformation.

The Playbook ­created by credit unions, for credit unions ­ is the outcome of PSCU’s Future Forward program. The movement tapped elite talent, known as Possibility Makers, from PSCU¹s member-owner credit unions to embark on an intensive five-month collaboration that used proven methods of innovation from the most successful tech giants to examine the impact of the digital shift on their industry and ultimately build a playbook containing resources to advance strategy and innovation at individual credit unions. The Playbook was unveiled in New York City during PSCU’s annual member-owner conference, MoPRO 2015: Driving the Future Forward.

The digital shift is changing the way credit union members live their daily lives, from communication to shopping to how they handle their money, said Kristin Scharf, Senior Vice President of Innovation at PSCU. Similar to a playbook in sports, PSCU’s Playbook outlines a new way of thinking that empowers credit unions to navigate the digital era, while harnessing their unique qualities and mission, and recognizing that what works for one credit union may not work for another.

Future Forward exposed program participants to a research method known as GEMagination, a unique process for obtaining deep insights from consumers and end-users. In typical market research, consumers are unable to adequately describe their needs. The GEMagination approach treats consumer needs, ideas and concepts as distinct research data and uncovers a deep understanding of the desires within the market.

As part of the study, the Possibility Makers had the opportunity to spend time with 50 millennials and hear stories about their most satisfying financial transaction, when they felt most in control of their finances, and the most sought after characteristics in their financial partners. The findings? The digital shift transcends website facelifts and quick-hit mobile product offerings; it’s about creating helpful experiences and higher levels of engagement for members at every touch point, so they feel just as comfortable in the branch as they do online.

Credit union members, now and in the future, are seeking engaging experiences that are both personal and technology driven ­ at the same time,” said Scharf. PSCU understands that credit unions already have the best model for financial services as their foundation, which is centered on keeping satisfied members at the heart of their growth. The Playbook is geared towards enabling a different way of thinking to help them build on that and provide the kind of user interaction that keeps people coming back to Internet giants like Google and Apple.

Future Forward engaged participants in deep-dive workshops with innovation partners like Filene Research Institute and IBM, face-to-face and online. Following the working sessions, the Possibility Makers continued the conversations and identified 23 areas of need, which were then built into the Playbook’s how to tools: responding to the digital shift; setting a strategy; developing a plan; implementing and communicating the plan; and managing innovation and change.

More than 225 credit unions got an inside-look at the Playbook during MoPRO 2015. The Playbook is available to all PSCU member-owner credit unions. For more information, contact Mindy Weaver at

About PSCU

Established in 1977, PSCU (St. Petersburg, FL) is the nation’s leading credit union service organization (CUSO). The company is owned by over 800 Member-Owner credit unions representing 18.5 million credit, debit, prepaid, online bill payment, mobile and electronic banking accounts. 24/7/365 member support is delivered through contact centers located throughout the United States that handle more than 18 million inquiries a year.

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