By: Tom Pierce, Chief Marketing Officer, PSCU
With all that the credit union community is doing to assist members during these challenging times, PSCU was pleased to host its first-ever Virtual Member Forum for credit unions last week. The free online event brought together nearly 2,000 attendees from PSCU Owner credit unions and future Owners, as well as industry partners and members of the media, to deliver actionable insights, strategies and tools to support and guide our credit unions in today’s rapidly evolving landscape and prepare and inspire our Owners for the future of payments.
While the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from coming together in person as we normally do for PSCU’s 2020 Member Forum, the virtual experience provided a valuable opportunity to connect our industry as we forge a new path forward. 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.
Here are some of the key highlights from PSCU Virtual Member Forum:
Leading with Compassion and Strategic Direction
PSCU President and CEO Chuck Fagan kicked off the virtual event with an update on PSCU’s leading initiatives, our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and what’s next for the credit union industry. He emphasized that the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” has never been more apparent as it has during the pandemic and the current market environment of civil unrest. Our industry has faced rapid change and transformation challenges, yet has continued to be there for our members in their time of need.
PSCU’s four strategic pillars – growth, digital, security and service – are the drivers behind our journey into the future, propelling us forward with each step. Chuck encouraged all of our credit unions and partners to embrace these four pillars to drive initiatives, objectives and goals. And together we can strive for a new, better normal.
“As we look to the future, we believe we’ll emerge from these challenging times and continue our successful journey together,” Chuck concluded. “We believe we’re well-positioned to tackle all of the challenges we may face along the way, as well as embrace the opportunities that are in front of us.”
Solutions Shaping the Future of Payments
All eyes were on the future during the PSCU Solution Roadmap Panel, led by PSCU Chief Product Officer Denise Stevens. The panel featured senior leaders from some of PSCU’s key product areas: Jeff Carelli, senior vice president, Data and Analytics; Jack Lynch, PSCU’s chief risk officer and president of CU Recovery; Cindy McGinness, vice president, Digital Experience; and Scott Young, vice president, Innovation.
The panel agreed that it is critical for credit unions to offer members access to a range of payment experiences, including mobile, online and other digital card management solutions, with contactless and digital becoming increasingly important as COVID-19 dictates how consumers conduct everyday financial interactions.
“Now, more than ever, credit unions have an opportunity to offer and encourage their cardholders to stay safe and use digital payments wherever they can,” said McGinness.
Our PSCU Solutions Showcase at Virtual Member Forum offered attendees the opportunity to experience PSCU’s innovative product portfolio firsthand, with audio-guided on-demand demonstrations of our state-of-the art technologies, services and applications, including QuickAssist, DX Mobile and DX Online card management tools, Lumin Digital, Linked Analysis, Predictive Analytics, Member Insight and the Advisors Plus Consulting Hub of high-performing marketing campaigns.
Valuable Insights into Navigating Uncertain Times
The Credit Union CEO Panel, moderated by PSCU Chief Financial Officer Brian Caldarelli, discussed how credit unions are navigating the current challenges of COVID-19 and the opportunities and strategies for a successful future. The panel featured Todd Lane, president and CEO of California Coast Credit Union; Maria Martinez, president and CEO of Border Federal Credit Union; and Mike Valentine, president and CEO of BCU.
The panel highlighted that, in planning for the evolving credit union business model, there will be a heightened focus on technology and digital service offerings; however, the physical branch is still essential for providing credit union leadership to employees, as well as personal member assistance and care. The group also discussed the importance of looking at each credit union through the lens of their local markets and members they serve in deciding what strategies best fit their needs and goals.
“Education, both online and in person, will be important for credit unions to help members understand and use digital payment channels,” said Lane.
With the economy top of mind for most attendees, we were fortunate to have economist Michael McNamara, a senior principal at Mastercard SpendingPulse, deliver a keynote presentation on the current economic forecast and consumer spending trends.
Michael explained that overall U.S. retail growth has declined by an aggregate of 1-2% year over year due to the pandemic, although it is expected to slowly recover as the country reopens. Interestingly, some retail sectors are booming, such as grocery, home improvement and general merchandise. Others like restaurants, department stores and specialty apparel stores are under extreme pressure to survive. Also, due to the decrease in travel, gas pumps are expected to be depressed for the rest of the year.
Additionally, it’s important to consider the baby boomer generation, who typically have high spending power, but are now more likely to be hesitant to re-engage in public areas due to COVID-19. And for a closer look at the economic impacts that are affecting your members, geography is key.
“While national retail growth has been down, it’s important for credit unions to focus on the data of local markets that comprise pockets of members, for more accurate insights,” Michael said.
During Virtual Member Forum, attendees were also able to choose from a variety of breakout sessions, featuring both leading industry speakers and internal thought leaders on a host of timely topics, ranging from fraud to contact center best practices to data and analytics.
PSCU Owners can access on-demand replays of PSCU Virtual Member Forum 2020 via MemberConnect by clicking on the banner at the top right of the homepage. Or, if you registered for the event, your credentials to access the replays on the microsite are the same as those sent to you for the live event.
We invite you to save the date for PSCU Member Forum 2021, scheduled for April 20-22 in Orlando, Fla. 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.