Joel & Paxson: Great Compression, Lifestyle Banking, & More

L-R: REACH 2021 opening general session speakers Mitch Joel, founder of Six Pixels Group, and Samantha Paxson, chief experience officer at CO-OP Financial Services
L-R: REACH 2021 opening general session speakers Mitch Joel, founder of Six Pixels Group, and Samantha Paxson, chief experience officer at CO-OP Financial Services

“People don’t buy things — they buy experiences. Is that true for your credit union?” It should be 100 percent true, according to Mitch Joel.

(View or download any of this week’s photos from the REACH 2021 photo gallery)

Joel — the opening general session keynote speaker at REACH 2021 on Tuesday — challenged credit unions to consider “services and subscription models as the new experience.” Business leaders have confused disruption with destruction during the COVID-19 pandemic and need to think of technology in a healthier way, according to the founder of Six Pixels Group.

“We avoided a great depression over the past two years, but we stepped into a great compression,” Joel said. “There wasn’t much change in this moment of time because technology was already evolving quickly. What happened was, in a moment of time we had amplification and distribution of the technologies that were already building — from the youngest of young individuals to the most elderly.”

Joel said the business world’s response to the pandemic has made technology and disruption louder, not quicker.

“What do consumers really need to own? And what has this thinking done to behavior when buying products and services?,” he said. “Services are the new experience. We will see which businesses out there really start building equity with their customers and members. Make your credit union’s complexity invisible to your members.”

‘Your Members Want a Lifestyle Partner’
The afternoon’s second keynote speaker — Samantha Paxson, chief experience officer at CO-OP Financial Services — spotlighted a special CO-OP research study on “lifestyle banking” based on responses from 2,000 credit union members and 1,000 “prospect” consumers/members.

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and banking/fintech options in the marketplace, 40 percent of respondents said they would look elsewhere than their primary financial services provider for a new savings account (change in consumer needs); 36 percent would switch more financial assets to their personal financial services provider if it offered more benefits and personalized features (change in consumer expectations); and 54 percent would continue using online channels in a post-COVID world (change in consumer interactions).

The study also found credit union members and “prospects” reach across multiple financial service providers for various needs; fintech has become a major competitor — yet cooperator — with these individuals; and consumers are becoming digitally empowered and fueling fintech growth.

“We need to understand that this is what we’re dealing with in the marketplace, and be up-front and real about it,” Paxson said. “What are consumers getting from fintech providers? Respect in privacy and data, respect in engagement, and fintechs care about their needs.”

She gave a call-to-action to credit unions to know their members like never before (lifestyle enablement), be their members’ choice for every moment (primary financial relationship), and embrace the power of connection (digital ecosystem acceleration).

“Your members want a lifestyle partner to meet their needs in their active daily life,” Paxson said. “When you demonstrate that, they’re going to choose your credit union in every moment.”

Diana Dykstra Celebrates and Applauds Industry
The opening general session also saw Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra applauding attendees and credit unions at large for “surviving and innovating” their way through the past two years as the COVID-19 pandemic, legislative challenges, regulatory issues, and business operational hurdles were overcome through the cooperative spirit.

“Credit unions have pivoted in the moment and swiftly moved to help their members,” Dykstra said. “Every credit union has been a first responder over the past year-and-a-half, issuing financial relief to members in need without anyone requesting you to do so.”

She noted how there will be “massive battles yet ahead” and credit union leaders should brace for more challenges — yet new opportunities as well.

“Our political gains are opening the doors to new levels of success for your members,” Dykstra said. “We need your support — and thank you for it — as we move forward. I’m honored to be a part of this great, great movement.”

League Chairs Thank CUs & Discuss the Future
California Credit Union League Board Chairman John Cassidy (CEO of Sierra Central CU) and Nevada Credit Union League Board Chairman Matt Kershaw (CEO of Clark County CU) addressed the audience, thanking them for their participation in this year’s conference after going through an incredible experience over the past year-and-a-half serving members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our industry has emerged from some of the toughest legislative concepts and battles at the state and federal levels,” Cassidy said. “Out of difficulty comes greatness, and we should be very proud. The last couple of years have challenged us like never before.”

Kershaw talked about how well-connected and coordinated the Leagues are as they serve member credit unions through the post-pandemic crisis period.

“It’s been amazing that we have been able to be a part of that,” Kershaw said. “It’s important to remember we have a great League — and that we can foster advocacy, engage our employees, and engage our members with their help to contribute to our movement and keep moving forward.”

Stay Engaged During REACH
Attendees and League staff will be sharing photos, comments and memories through Twitter (@CUatREACH), Instagram (cuatreach), and the REACH Photo Galleries.

REACH is one of the credit union industry’s premier annual events, attracting leaders and system partners from across California, Nevada and the United States. This year it’s held from Nov. 1 – 4 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, CA!

Pin It