Community Chair CU Employee

Interesting article. What CUs can learn from fintech.

I really liked the 3 key takeaways; especially the "Know-it-all" - how to be wary of the "next shiny object" and ability to focus and to see how the narrative has changed since the fintech buzz 3 years ago.

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  • CU Employee Community Chair

    Great article, Hemanth. The author’s cautions seems to center on engaging fintechs for incremental or sustaining type change — and, in that context, they make sense. We don’t want to cut off our (net income) noses to spite our faces, we want to avoid “partner-strength” commitments with particular fintechs in case we need to pivot quickly, and we need a view just big enough to look over the tops of the day-to-day weeds.

    But do these same concerns still apply if credit unions are engaging fintechs to explore more disruptive innovations — real game-changing, business model benders? In that context, I’d argue, a different mindset is sensible. We do have to be able to sacrifice SOME current profit if we hope to survive Christensen’s “innovator’s dilemma.” We do need to engage fintechs with more intimate synergies, so that we can shape value truly centered on our current and future customers’ needs. And we need to stretch our necks not just above the weeds, but even higher — even if at the risk of distraction by a few shiny objects. If we’re aiming to change the nature of banking, we need to own a few shiny objects as an occupational hazard.

    And so far as being a “know it all”? The bolder and brasher the vision, I daresay the bigger the ego necessary to make a serious run at it. As credit union cooperatives, we certainly don’t want to bet what we don’t have to lose — but we should be willing to invest in a few long shots if we want to be shaping the future rather than just reacting to it. As always, my humble opinion only.

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