By Frank J. Diekmann
Some news items found among the Thanksgiving leftovers:
Looking Good for Your Age
In Tennessee, ORNL FCU has marked its 70thbirthday by resurrecting this TV spot from 1985. You can watch it here.
A Good Math Brain
Greg Smith will soon be retiring from one of the largest and most successful credit unions in the country, Pennsylvania State Employees CU, better known as PSECU. But like so many, he recalled he had an inauspicious career beginning.
As CUToday.info’s Ray Birch wrote in a profile here, Smith got his start at the age of 19, when he was going to school at the University of California in San Diego. Five men had just formed Torrey Pines CU in La Jolla, Calif., all chipping in $5.
“We had $25 in assets and when the founding directors hired me to run the CU they said they would pay me $50 a month,” recalled Smith. “My accounting skills were kind of light back then, and I did not realize that if the credit union only had $25 in assets, it would be hard for them to write a check for $50.”
Old School Channel Gets Stamp of Approval
Technology is so intertwined in our daily lives that it only makes sense the contradictions and cognitive dissonance so on display in other threads of life be ablaze in all their glory in tech, too.
Consider some of the findings in Fiserv’s recent “Expectations & Experiences: Consumer Payments” consumer survey, which found the majority of consumers (59%) paid bills online in the past 30 days, which was similar to 2017 findings.
Fifty-three percent of consumers agreed they like to be connected to the Internet at all times, yet an equal number (53%) say they strongly distrust Internet security or privacy.
“Generally, concern over security is a commonly cited factor hindering digital financial services adoption, and an opportunity for financial services to both remind and educate consumers about security steps and best practices,” Fiserv said in the report.
Indeed, among the most interesting of findings was that as much as we love our technology and devices, good old United States mail is viewed as a more secure way to receive bills than other methods among just over half of consumers involved in bill management (52%), while websites (33%) are the next most reported method as more secure compared to other methods for paying bills.
“This suggests the continued importance of a multi-channel strategy that gives consumers choices for how and when they receive and pay their bills to build trust,” said Fiserv, although I’m assuming they are not really thinking about the USPS as one of those channels.
A Subtle But Powerful Reminder
It feels like not a week goes by that CUToday.info doesn’t report at least one merger. As you may know, there is often a lot of confusion among CU members themselves when a merger occurs, specifically that one credit union has “bought” the other.
Credit unions themselves have really only themselves to blame for that misunderstanding, as for all the talk of the “credit union story” there is very little walk when it comes to telling it—and telling it often.
So kudos to Suffolk FCU for a very subtle but basic and powerful reminder of what a credit union is. When it merged with Long Island Community FCU recently, it announced that all LICFCU members would be “receivingsharesin Suffolk Federal in exchange for the sharesthey own in LICFCU.”
It’s a concept that should just be limited to mergers when it comes to reminding “members” what there are “members” of.
A Line in the Sand
As CUToday.info recently reported, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently announced its plan to allow fintechs to have the buzz-phrase du jour, “regulatory sandboxes.”
That led to a sharp response from Maria T. Vullo, superintendent and overseer for New York’s BitLicense regime, who explained her department’s view that regulations will be needed by saying, “Toddlers play in sandboxes, adults play by the rules.”
What Could Go Wrong?
This headline recently appeared across a number of news organizations: “America’s Housing Boom Has No End in Sight.” Why do I feel like I’ve heard that one before?
Humor from the Gallows Cab Company
During remarks at a Cornerstone league event, NCUA Board Member Risk Metsger asked a question of his audience. When one person shouted out the correct answer, Metsger announced, “Congratulations. You win a taxi medallion.”
She’s Not here (She’s Everywhere)
Speaking to the same meeting, tech consultant Sundeep Kapur was describing his interactions with Erica, the chatbot available from Bank of America. But it appears he spends more time with Erica than do the bank’s own employees.
“I do a lot of secret tellering and when I go into Bank of America and say I’ve heard of this teller, ‘Erica,’ they will say, ‘She is not here today.’”
In a press release, CUNA referred to itself as the “National Credit Union Association.” Because credit unions could use another NCUA.
Frank J. Diekmann s Cooperator in Chief at CUToday.info and can be reached at Frank@CUToday.info or @FrankCUToday.