Posts Tagged ‘Jim Bruene’

Recent Watershed Developments: Finovate NYC

October 6, 2009

I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Finovate NYC last week.

I met long-time EverythingCU member Sonya MacDonald in person for the first time. She was in attendance because her CU, Randolph Brooks FCU in San Antonio, is piloting a program from mobile banking provider mShift, which will allow mobile banking from any cell phone, not just an iPhone. But really caught my attention were two other items that she shared with me. Sonya told me that her credit union has done $35 million in remote deposit capture since January, which is when they launched the program with mShift and EasCorp providing the back end. Wow. $35 million is some serious transaction volume.

Sonya also asked me if I knew where Charlie Kroll, president of Andera was sitting. I told her he was right across from her, and Sonya told me that her CU is currently doing 700 new accounts per month via Andera’s online account opening out of a total of about 4500 to 5000 new accounts per month total. That is a healthy 14-15% of total new accounts being opened online.

There was one thing that caught my eye on the negative side. And that will be the subject for tomorrow’s blog post.

The other recent watershed developments: Augmented RealityTwitter banking

Finovate NYC

November 13, 2008

A month ago I had the privilege of attending Finovate NYC, as a guest blogger. The event is hosted by Jim Bruene, President of the Online Banking Report and NetBanker, and features short 7-minute presentations from 24 leading innovators in the financial world. It’s a wonderful format, featuring twelve presentations in the morning and twelve after a lunch break. The brief duration of each presentation forces the presenters to be very clear about what their product is, who it is for, and how it is useful and different. Props to the event organizers for fading out the presenter and fading up the music right at the time limit to keep things focused, moving, and on-track for the audience.

Read my event tweets here.

Because of twitter conversation, I knew that Mark McSpadden and Lisa Randolph of Banktastic were going to be there, as well as Ron Shevlin and Parisian Jean-Christophe Capelli, who I first met at BarCampBankSF. What I didn’t know until the morning of the event was that Apoorv Dwivedi, who I met at BarCampBankBC, came down from Alberta.

A pleasant surprise was that there were also several other twitterers who I had never met before in the audience of approximately 200 people. Read the entire Finovate twitterstream here.

Is there value to all the twittering of one event? You betcha! Just one benefit is that finance professionals from all over the world got a sampling of the important information being presented. This creates additional exposure and added reach for the presenters as well as the conference itself. My favorite tweet reply is this one from @mrsmcj, who at the time was attending the Love at First Website conference in Portland, OR: “@mmpartee, @rshevlin. Thanks for the finovate tweets! It was almost like being at two conferences.”

My favorite presentation at the event was from Carlos Cardilli of mFoundry. He did his entire presentation without slides, just showing what he was doing on his iPhone. mFoundry has created an iPhone interface that banks or credit unions can give to their members to enable banking transactions. It’s much more than just online banking brought to a mobile phone however. At it’s core, that is what it does. You can schedule bills to be paid in advance, using the elegant date sliders that the iPhone employs. You can also make transfers between accounts naturally. Where it REALLY gets fun is the ATM and branch locator. Since the iPhone “knows” where it is, and has access to map data, this mFoundry application can locate the ATMs and branches nearest to you. You can then follow the directions the iPhone provides to get you there. Not only that, but it provides you with a phone number, so you can call the branch right from your iPhone if you so desire. This may not be mainstream yet, but with so many companies coming out with iPhone wanna-bes, this is clearly the wave of the future. I’d recommend that all credit unions hop on board as soon as feasible.

I was impressed with many of the other presenting companies as well. Also worthwhile are: Vidoop, SmartHippo, Credit Karma, Lending Club, FiLife, and Loanio. It was particularly interesting to see the FiLife and Loanio presentations since both of these companies were in pre-public release stages at BarCampMoneyNYC just a few short months ago in April.

Notes from Social Banking session at BCBBC

September 25, 2008

BCBBC08Had an amazing time connecting with some great people at BarCampBank BC. Here are my notes from the first session on Day Two, Sunday, on the social nature of the banking relationship. For notes from other sessions, see William Azaroff’s live blog series, which starts here and the Camp’s wiki page, which includes links to some video recordings.

How do you allow front line people time to socialize and do internal networking?
Answer from Gene Blishen: Listen to them, ask what is mundane, routine, that they hate, and figure out how to automate that.

Employer has to create an environment to allow this to happen. Have to be brave, to create this. create systems that empower employees.

Indecison= decision — wastes time and effort.

Internal social network

Have to have people who are excited to be where they are and tell their friends about it
otherwise, same as traditional marketing, which is pushing things out.

How do we change the conversation to be about social media relationship building and not so much ROA, or else how do we measure ROI of social?

Bank willing to lend to an entrepreneur with more social connections

Facebook as collections tool

Head of the comma: REI model — even though most don’t go into wilderness, REI needs to appeal/work for that group because the rest aspire to that.

36 Credit union social media do’s

July 15, 2008

This morning I saw that social media sage Chris Brogan had put together a list of 50 social media strategies. Without peeking at his list (honestly!), I decided I should put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts for social media as it pertains to credit unions. I’m sure that I left out plenty, so feel free to add your additional ones here! And here’s a nice buttoned-up, three-page PDF version of the 63 CU social media do’s and don’ts.

Oh, and by the way, I’m delivering a webinar on Building Relationships with Social Media on EverythingCU on Thursday. I’ll be discussing 7 case studies, among other things. I’m really looking forward to it, and am very excited we have 36 credit unions signed up so far.

Because this list is long, I’ve split up the Do’s and the Don’ts into two entries:

Do’s:

  1. Do become well-versed with all of the available social media tools before diving in. (Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, podcasting are great starting points.)
  2. Do start your social media marketing strategy planning by thinking about what your TARGET AUDIENCE is interested in.
  3. Do make sure that your social media strategy reinforces your CU’s overall business or branding strategy, and is designed to, at the least, create awareness of what your CU is great at.
  4. Do feature your online initiatives in a computer kiosk in your lobby. That way your members will not only learn about what they can do remotely, they’ll also associate what they see online with a tangible presence.
  5. Do learn the basics of how RSS and blogs work.
  6. Do give guidelines to anyone who will be contributing to your CUs blog.
  7. Do put your rates into RSS format.
  8. Do comment on your members’ blogs. They LOVE that, and will share the love in return. That’s the best way to increase readership of YOUR blog.
  9. Do put valuable information that is currently in your print letter ALSO onto your blog so that your members can comment. Feel free to inform that online commenting is available at the end of the print newsletter articles that are also featured on your blog.
  10. Do feel free to blog your newsletter articles before they appear in the print version. Many people aren’t paying attention to your blog, and will be reminded to go there when receiving the print version in the mail.
  11. Do write down your social media strategy so that the rest of the management team can see the cause and effect chain from your marketing efforts to how its helping the CU generate awareness, leads, new referrals, new members, and new sales, or in general reinforcing the CU’s brand.
  12. Do start with the overall campaign concept, then figure out what social media tools are the best fit.
  13. Do reinforce your traditional marketing campaigns with your online efforts and vice versa. These are not separate silos.
  14. Do build up a network of friends among your members BEFORE you start trying to “market” to them.
  15. Do use social media to start conversations among your members about your CU and ask for honest feedback.
  16. Do monitor discussion about your CU on third-party sites using Google Alerts.
  17. Do create a business fan page for your CU on Facebook.
  18. Do be a real person and use real language in all social media venues. Be as polite and professional as you would face-to-face.
  19. Do always make sure your blog posts are attributed to the author, and not to the faceless credit union.
  20. Do only write a blog post when you have something important to say to your members.
  21. Do put your fun and interesting CU events onto Facebook.
  22. Do write your blog posts in a way that invites your members to comment on it. We’ve been so used to one-way communication with our members, that we have to retrain our brains to write in a way that invites dialogue.
  23. Do realize that for the most part, your members are more interested in other members’ comments on your blog, than on the article you originally wrote. Feature comments front and center.
  24. Do optimize your web site and online banking to work on mobile phones, Blackberries, Treos, and iPhones.
  25. Do call your core processor’s rep every day until she gives you a mobile banking offering for your members.
  26. Do attend the nearest PodCamp to you to learn more about what this social media thing is all about.
  27. Do understand that your members expect you to be present in the online conversation about you. They’ll interpret a lack of presence as a lack of caring about their concerns.
  28. Do understand that you’ll have to hold many of your members hands if you want them to participate in your online efforts. But each time that you do, you will be earning their gratitude, and perhaps loyalty. Everyone likes to learn how to do cool new things, without being made to feel like they are stupid.
  29. Do read web sites and books about it: The Cluetrain Manifesto by Christopher Locke, Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble, and The New Influencers by Paul Gillin
  30. Do read blogs about it: this one right here, OpenSource CU by Trabian, Marketing Whims by Ron Shevlin, NetBanker by Jim Bruene, Currency Marketing by Tim McAlpine, CU Hype by Tony Mannor, and scores more.
  31. Do realize that your members know better your CUs strengths and weaknesses than you realize.
  32. Do realize that your front line staff are your best and most important allies in social media marketing. They are far more familiar with it, and trusted by their own friends than you are.
  33. Do involve your front line staff with your social media efforts every step of the way.
  34. Do involve your members at every step of the way with your social media efforts.
  35. Do realize that the relationship your members have with each other is often as important, and sometimes more important, than the relationship they have with you or your credit union.
  36. Do involve your members in competitions and let them see how they stand. Members love that, and will check back often if you do!

Here are the 27 Don’ts.

Prosper turns two; P2P Lending accelerating

March 17, 2008

I’m a little bit late in blogging a happy second birthday to Prosper, but hey, better late than never. It’s interesting to me that there are many (perhaps even a majority of) people in the financial world who talk about Prosper as an interesting “experiment” that may or may not work. Let me attempt to blog yet again, that Prosper IS working, and growing at a rather stunning rate, right at this very moment. (Sadly, many financial professionals are probably still not familiar with P2P Lending, two years after its U.S. launch, and three years after its British launch.)

There are many who are skeptical, and rightly so, about making unsecured loans to strangers via Prosper. But let’s look at the facts. At Prosper’s current growth rate, they will probably surpass 1,000,000 members before the end of the year, which, if it were a credit union, would make it the third largest in the United States. When Prosper celebrated its second birthday on Feb 13, this year, it had 580,000 registered members, and has done $117 million in loans. (At that membership, Prosper would already chart in at sixth on the list of largest credit unions, behind Navy FCU at 3 million members, SECU of NC at 1.4 million members, Pentagon FCU at 770,000 members, and The Golden One CU at 680,000 members, and Security Service FCU at 630,000 members, and ahead of Boeing Employees CU with 530,000 members).

Clearly, there ARE people who are embracing online P2P lending, whether it’s Prosper, Zopa, or Virgin Money.

Last month, Jim Bruene of NetBanker blogged a new development at Prosper, which aims to cut default rates through social capital, namely personal recommendations. This looks to have proven successful so far, and is a clear example of direct monetary value associated with social capital.

The idea that national credit unions could exist with a defined target market is one that Jesse Robbins indirectly voiced with his Building the Black Rock Credit Union blog, and later Tim McAlpine at Currency Marketing articulated, and Ron Shevlin and the CUSkeptic satirized. Well, in a certain sense, Propser has already brought this concept to life via its borrowing groups. Just a cursory glance at the community reveals groups for entrepreneurs, Harvard alumni, Vietnamese Americans, musicians, military veterans, artists, teachers, restaurateurs, personal financial advisors, health care professionals, and even Apple fans. (Here’s one for folks who are LGBT). In other words, just about every type of group that credit unions were created to serve, but with a much deeper and richer variety, and with a national horizon.

As a side note, in researching this post, I discovered that Javelin Research says that online P2P lending may reach $159 billion by 2012.

Props to Doug True for working with Zopa to offer NCUA-backed P2P Lending.

P2P Lending launches in Canada

February 13, 2008

P2P Lending has been in Great Britain since 2005 in the form of Zopa. Prosper launched a year later in the U.S., followed by Lending Club, Circle Lending/Virgin Money, and Zopa in the US. I’ve checked in with Prosper from time to time, and as I’ve reported before, it’s growing at an astonishing rate.

Now, William Azaroff of Vancity CU and Jim Bruene of NetBanker report that today IOU Central has launched, giving Canada its first forum for P2P Lending.