This week, we’re pondering whether “unbanked” is out, feeling wary about Twitter, wondering why interchange legislation keeps coming back, finding tranquility, riding golf carts, and going green. Here’s what we noticed, in case you missed it:
Time to ditch the whole “unbanked” and “underbanked” idea? Yes.
This article on Financial Brand lays out the details and stats to point out something that should be obvious by now: the words “unbanked” and “underbanked” aren’t very useful any more. To spin this in a different direction, people are building the financial lives and services they want using whatever blend of fintech and “traditional” financial institutions works best for them. Are your products designed with this reality in mind? Do you have detailed data on flows to and from payment services, cryptocurrency exchanges, financial management and investment firms, etc.? Does someone who uses Venmo or Cash App for everything even need a CU account or card?
When should you start promoting e-bike and golf cart loans? Now.
In the US, there are around 1.4 cars for every adult. Plus, 80% of all car sales are for ever-larger trucks and SUVs, so it’s no surprise that some big brands have stopped making sedans. What is surprising is that the average price of a new car rose to $48,301 last August, an all-time record and 10.8% more than the year before. Maybe that’s why more people are considering e-bikes and golf carts for their second or third cars. E-bikes are outselling electric cars in the US, and one cart manufacturer is even selling direct to consumers (starting about $13k). Maybe your CU should think about a new promo?
We’re all sick of Twitter news, and I don’t think a lot of credit unions are heavy Twitter users or advertisers. But… CUs need to keep an eye on this ongoing dumpster fire. The Twitterverse news swings wildly minute to minute, but it is clear the many of the content and security controls are, shall we say, under stress, and there’s a growing issue with impostors. Even if you’re not active, watch your accounts and mentions carefully, educate your members on security, and make sure members know how and where to engage with the “real” CU.
Interchange legislation. Why?
This is a good summary from NAFCU on the current state of the CCCA fight over interchange income. It looks like the CCCA was removed from the final version of the NDAA bill, at least for now, but there’s still a threat that it could rise from the dead again. In a word, my question about this legislation has always been “Why?” Worth keeping an eye on this and other legislative efforts with potential for massive unintended consequences.
Find a quiet place. Ahhhhh…
One of my personal pet peeves is restaurants and public spaces deliberately designed to be noisy. The Soundprint app is a brilliant crowdsourcing concept; using mobile phones to rate noise levels and share quiet spaces where people can relax and actually hear a normal conversation. I honestly can’t figure out why so many places are designed to multiply the racket. Maybe they think “feeling busy” is important?
Sustainability drives results. Really!
There’s some great data in this Financial Brand article on the benefits and risks of “going green”. Sustainable practices on all levels are a huge “natural win” for credit unions; you’re closest to your members and your communities, and sustainability aligns closely with the credit union ethos.