She glances at the flexible holo-phone wrapped around her wrist...

Fitting in is the future of financial tech

Pardon me just a moment while I don my wizard hat and polish the ol’ crystal ball… yes, the swirling images are getting clearer, the clouds of possibility coalesce… I see… an average, mild-mannered credit union member. She glances at the flexible holo-phone wrapped around her wrist, smiles, taps twice, and continues with what she was doing.

What just happened here? Let’s apply a little more crystal ball polish and zoom in.

About ten minutes earlier, Annie Average decided it was time to look for a sensible used electric car. With a few swipes and taps, she asked the credit union’s car shopping service to locate a nice one (in red, please) and set up a three year lease. The first tap was to choose the snappy little red Tesla they found in the next town, and the second was to accept the terms of the lease and verify her delivery location at the office.

Turns out that in this not-so-far-off future, Annie Average’s credit union has achieved full integration. By asking nicely, insisting, enforcing, and knocking heads together when necessary, her credit union has gotten all their many systems and vendors to play nicely together. Everything fits, everything “just works”. Every service and interaction looks, functions, and feels like a seamless part of the whole, any time, any place, on any device, fast and flawlessly.

Even without the wizard hat, it’s easy to see that fitting in is the future of personal finance. And obviously there’s still a long way to go. Vendors and systems have to be willing and able to talk to one another. And to make that happen, credit unions need to start demanding cheerful interoperability and complete customization as part of their vendor and system criteria.

Brian Wringer

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