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John’s Top Tech Trends for Credit Unions

In an excerpt from the 2017-2018 CUNA E-Scan video, John Best, CEO of Best Innovation Group discussed the top technology trends affecting credit unions now and in the future. In his own words, Mr. Best said “If I’m a credit union leader and I’m thinking about tech trends for the future, the first thing I want to do is not focus on the tech trends as much.”

John believes that credit unions really have to start focusing in on the experience that they want their members to have, and then try to look around for technology that will bring that together. Specific tech trends that he thinks are interesting at the moment, include Blockchain, IoT, something he calls “The Preference World” and Artificial Intelligence.

He says, “Clearly, Blockchain, just because a large ledger and a settlement product, which is something this country desperately needs when you look at two-day settlements. It’s obvious there’s a lot of synergy there.”

He also says that IoT (Internet of Things) is a big one. “We’re going to see pretty much everything. And the reason it’s interesting and more important for financial institutions goes back to this idea that, there’s no reason to have your washer or dryer connected to the internet if there isn’t a value proposition around a service with it. There’s going to be a way to pay for that service. We have to make sure we’re somehow involved in that so that as these services take hold, we can be part of that transaction. We want to be around that.”

The last one, John says, isn’t really a technology but it’s sort of related. “I’ll play it out in a couple of ways. I believe that we are heading towards something I’ll call ‘The Preference World.’ I think that this concept is really going to evolve. The idea that ‘you know what? I know that you pretty much always pay this loan on this day’ or ‘I know that around summer you always go on a vacation.’ You know? Sort of a little bit of AI (which is the last thing I’ll touch on) but this idea of preferences. I think that’s going to really be key going forward because it really just means convenience. We’re going to continue to move that convenience bar.”

The final thing that John talks about is Artificial Intelligence and how AI is really the big brother to data analytics and big data. “The first step is, pool a lot of data. The second step is ‘Okay, get to the point of being predictive.’ Everybody is really focused on that but you look at being prescriptive, which is the next level, like asking questions. Why is this correlation here? Why has this happened? Those are the things that solve the bigger problems. Then, training artificial intelligence to really put ourselves on more of a credit union autopilot, or account autopilot. Letting it make some decisions but letting it make far more … numbers are complex and so computers are going to continue to grow. We’re going to see quantum computing soon. As that happens, the ability for these systems to crunch all of our data and give us back trends and opportunities and cycles is going to go far beyond what the human mind can handle and when we get there, it’s going to be valuable to us to allow it to do that. But we’ve got to stay in control of it. It’s going to be a tight line. We don’t want to wind up with Skynet or anything but it’s coming.”


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