Highlights from PSCU Virtual Member Forum 2021

By: Tom Pierce, Chief Marketing Officer, PSCU

PSCU was pleased to host its second Virtual Member Forum for credit unions last week. While virtual fatigue is a challenge that many are facing in the world of events and meetings, we are thrilled to have brought together more than 2,200 attendees from PSCU Owner credit unions and future Owners, as well as industry partners and members of the media, for this dynamic online experience. The three-day event delivered actionable insights, strategies and thought leadership to position credit unions for growth and member engagement in the rapidly evolving payments landscape – along with some great entertainment we’re all craving.

The past year has proven that our shared purpose has strengthened our movement, expanded our collective vision and propelled us to prioritize innovation to meet the evolving needs of your members and communities. This year’s event theme of “Collective Momentum” highlighted the momentum we’ve built together and our focus on driving collaboration to accelerate the growth of our cooperative.

Our PSCU team is incredibly thankful to our attendees, sponsors and presenters for their enthusiastic participation and valuable time in contributing to the event’s success. Now, I’m pleased to share with you some of the key highlights and takeaways from this year’s Virtual Member Forum.

Transitioning into the New Normal

PSCU President and CEO Chuck Fagan kicked off the virtual event with an update on PSCU’s leading initiatives, how we’re positioning credit unions for growth and success and what’s next for the industry. He emphasized that through this past year of great change, both in our world and in our industry, consumer behaviors have driven the rapid adoption of all things digital. Credit unions’ long-term innovation strategies became immediate needs, and it has been a year of acceleration. What has not changed is our steadfast commitment to our Owners and their members.

“Our technology, our solutions, our service and our expertise are second to none in our industry, and I’m very confident in PSCU’s many differentiators that are driving our collective momentum,” Chuck said.

Chuck highlighted that, as a result of PSCU’s record dividends in 2020 and three-year $100 million investment, we continue to heighten our focus on our strategic priorities: optimizing digital experiences, driving the ability to grow member engagement, delivering market-leading security solutions and delivering an unparalleled credit union and member experience.

Inspiring Keynotes from All-Star Speakers

Our first keynote speaker was NBA legend, Hall of Famer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Earvin “Magic” Johnson. He embraces the “people helping people” philosophy, the importance of listening to your customers and rewarding their experience – promising they will reward you back. And on his iconic rivalry with Larry Bird, he said, “Your competitor can make you better.”

Next, Stefan Olander, one of the world’s leading digital innovators, stressed that as we shift into a digital-first world, it’s not just about using new technology, but knowing how to leverage your current technology and layering it with an understanding of your consumers that matters. He said asking yourself one simple question can have a profound impact on serving your members: “Is this better, or worse, for who we’re trying to serve?”

Then we had Oliver Jenkyn, Visa’s group president and regional president for North America, guide us through the payments trends that have come out of the massive changes in consumer and business behavior due to COVID-19, as well as the long-term impacts. Touchless tapping is becoming the default way to pay. Debit is driving the economic recovery, but credit will return as discretionary spending rebounds. International travel will take time to recover, and tech platforms are becoming the new “main street.”

And Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s first female official, closed out Virtual Member Forum with an inspiring discussion with PSCU’s Chief Talent Officer Lynn Heckler in our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) keynote session. While she didn’t set out to be the first, her determination to shatter the glass ceiling, strong belief in herself, respect for her team and love for what she does is how she got where she is today. On being a role model for young girls and women, she said, “when they see it, they’ll believe it and they’ll do it.”

Valuable Insights from Credit Union Executives

In our Credit Union Executive Panel, moderated by Mark Sievewright, founder and CEO of Sievewright & Associates, credit union industry executives delivered firsthand insights during a panel focused on the latest industry trends, from the shift to digital to optimizing member experience in the post-pandemic environment. Our panelists were: Kim Little, chief operating officer at Chartway Federal Credit Union; Nathanael Tarwasokono, president and CEO at Firstmark Credit Union; and Sunil Tanneru, managing director – Financial Services Technology, U.S. South, at Accenture.

The panel shared their perspective and experience on five key micro trends happening at the same time: 1) We can expect to see continued contraction of our movement, but scale can be achieved in all kinds of ways; 2) Credit unions need to consider their strategy now more than ever; 3) A digital transformation strategy will be necessary to grow and sustain business; 4) The impact of millennials and Generation Z will shape how members interact and transact; and 5) Financial services disruption is advancing quickly.

The panel agreed that COVID-19 has been an accelerant for what’s been on the credit union roadmap when it comes to mobile banking, the shift to digital and driving better versions of products and offerings. They also highlighted that leveraging strategic partnerships in order to scale, focusing on the member experience and using data to help members make purchasing decisions will be key to staying competitive.

“We’re training our employees to be financial coaches, beyond just technology and services,” said Tarwasokono.

Action-Packed Content for All

Virtual Member Forum also featured a dozen breakout sessions providing insights from industry experts, Owner credit unions and PSCU leaders on pertinent topics including digital investment strategies, faster and real-time payments, security and fraud mitigation, data and analytics, small business solutions, financial wellness, digital banking, loyalty and rewards, and more.

In our Solution Showcase, attendees discovered how PSCU solutions can provide an end-to-end, competitive advantage to securely grow and meet evolving consumer demands. They experienced some of PSCU’s leading-edge products and services firsthand through audio-guided on-demand presentations, ranging from QuickAssist to Predictive Analytics to Mobile Card Management (DX Mobile), along with innovation successes and our “coming soon” experience.

We also enjoyed exciting performances and interviews with the Original Voices of Rock and Roll, featuring original lead singers from legendary bands from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. We rocked to the sounds of Starship’s Mickey Thomas, Journey’s Steve Augeri, the Romantics’ Wally Palmar, Kool & the Gang’s Skip Martin and John Cafferty, and gave away an autographed guitar signed by members of the band. Congratulations to our winner, Diane Shelton, president and CEO of DuPage Credit Union!

Play It Again

PSCU Owners can access on-demand replays of PSCU Virtual Member Forum 2021 via MemberConnect. Or, if you registered for the event, your credentials to access the replays on the event site are the same as those sent to you for the live event.

We can’t wait to come together in person for PSCU Member Forum 2022, scheduled for April 26-28 in Las Vegas. We invite you to save the date, and stay tuned for more information. We look forward to seeing you there!

In his role as Chief Marketing Officer, Tom Pierce is responsible for leading and executing PSCU’s marketing and communications strategy. Pierce has successfully led marketing teams for more than 30 years, with the latter half of his career spent in the payments industry. Prior to joining PSCU, Pierce served as Chief Marketing Officer for Cardtronics, a global ATM organization serving the retail and financial services industries, where he directed a global marketing team in the development and execution of strategic marketing and communications initiatives. He previously held senior marketing roles with FIS, Metavante, Wausau Financial Systems and Journal Communications.