THINK Week in Review – The “Tech Megatrends” Edition

History is littered with companies that have waited out the Next New Thing in the belief that it’s a technology trend that won’t amount to much, or that won’t affect their industries for decades. Yet disruption happens. It’s safe to say that the history of humankind is a history of disruption - a stream of innovations that have tipped the balance in favor of the innovators. In that sense, technological breakthroughs are the original megatrend. What’s unique in the 21st century, though, is the ubiquity of technology, together with its accessibility, reach, depth, and impact. And, what’s important for credit unions to make a distinction between tech megatrends and user behavior that really counts. From Blockchain to Drones, we need to stop obsessing about tech megatrends. “If more men did the laundry, washing machines would be as hyped and alluring as drones. But, because they have been domesticated and are typically used by women, they don't get their share of the glory.” Yes, the account opening process is driving customers crazy. “More and more consumers are looking to use their mobile device to research, purchase, transact and engage. To meet the expectations of this growing population of digital-first consumers, banks and credit unions must provide the opportunity to open new accounts easily on a smartphone. Beyond supporting a mobile account opening process, organizations must provide the technology and insight for front line staff (and digital applications) to engage easily and advise accurately. Engagements must be personalized for each customer, with cross-selling to be intelligent and contextual. Finally, organizations need to remember that the new account process doesn’t end with the account opening itself. The process needs to include ongoing communication to satisfy an increasingly demanding consumer.” The Money-Mover that’s a Money-Mentor, too. That’s smart customer understanding: People don’t like to ask dumb questions to other people. But they don’t mind asking a machine dumb questions. “Despite advances in technology, Oren noted that some banks seem stuck on very specific, one-trick voice command bots focused on customer support. Going forward, he believes banks will need to take a more holistic approach, incorporating literacy as well as brand loyalty, and even upselling. “Banks are quickly understanding that it’s up to them to educate [consumers], because educated customers save more, and that’s what banks want you to do,” Oren said. “It’s easy to make a bot that tells you about the weather, and an entirely different league to make a bot that can give solid financial recommendations — but that’s where banks need to go, and the AI-powered bots need to support it.”” Samsung is working with banks to roll out retail pop-ups. ““Pop-ups become interesting when you track your financial customers through their life stages and they start to need more sophisticated planning and products,” Jones said. As young people move up their professional ladder or get married, for example, their financial needs change and beyond basic checking and credit accounts they may also need car loans, home loans or small business loans.” Great insights from the former Director of Product @ Airbnb: Lessons learned scaling Airbnb 100x: “I’ve come to realize that the far out ideas are possible, it just takes dedication to solve any problem that comes your way. Tackling the right problems at the right time ultimately determines the growth trajectory of a marketplace, and the most crucial contribution of any startup leadership team is understanding what problems to address and when. So always take lessons from former and current marketplace successes like Airbnb, but find your own path too.”