What’s the best way to compete against Big Tech, fintech, and other well-heeled, tech-savvy competitors?
Build everything you do around your members, says Sam Maule, key account executive at Google.
“Know your members to the nth degree,” says Maule, who addressed the 2022 CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference Wednesday in Los Angeles. “Build everything around them. The more you focus on your members, the better off you’ll be.”
The world has entered the fourth industrial revolution, he says. The digital revolution is a combination of cyber, physical systems, the Internet of Things, and networks.
Driving the current technology revolution, Maule says, is a convergence of mobile, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.
“That’s the technology formula driving innovation and driving down costs,” he says. “Every major change in history is due to a convergence of technology."
Maule cites six disruptive technologies that will shape the future:
Most data is “crap,” he says. “We overhype data to no end. The key is finding the data that actually matters and making that data actionable.”
This will allow credit unions to examine various business scenarios simultaneously and instantly.
“The speed at which we can make calculations will increase exponentially,” Maule says. “What would have taken 10 years will be done in seconds,” which will foster further technological advancements.
“This will be a quantum leap, although we’re nowhere near this yet,” he adds. “But when it comes, everything changes.”
A lot of big companies with deep pockets are going all in on this, Maule says, mostly in the realm of virtual and augmented reality.
This will affect how credit unions engage with members remotely, although credit unions already do so via Zoom and other tools due to the pandemic.
It also will affect hiring and talent management as Metaverse worlds go mainstream.
This will expand to medical use and “deep learning,” a subset of machine learning that teaches computers to mimic human behavior. It’s also the driver behind autonomous vehicles.
“The No. 1 investment at Google is AI,” Maule says. “Consumers will have experiential devices that make life more exciting.”
Five years from now, credit unions will have loans and other products that are tied to cryptocurrency, he says, citing an MSNBC survey of millennial millionaires which found these consumers have at least 50% of their wealth in cryptocurrency.
“That’s bad,” Maule says. “They’re getting their advice from TikTok and Reddit, not you. Only 6% plan to reduce their crypto holdings.”
As with other forms of cryptocurrency, credit unions will be using NFTs within the next five years, he predicts. “But you’ll have to educate your members about it.”
The best way to respond to these disruptive technologies? Know what’s coming up but don’t jump the gun on technology investments.
“Fall in love with the problem, not the product,” Maule says. “Don’t get fixated on products. What are your members trying to do?
“Know thyself,” he continues. “Find what you want to do and do it very well. What you’re doing around community building is your sweet spot.”