CU*SOUTH recently hosted their 2023 Visionary Conference & Annual Meeting at the Sandestin Resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast.
In addition to sunshine rays and white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, the two-day conference provided access to some of CU*SOUTH’s most engaging presenters, who spoke about the latest trends and fintech solutions relevant to the credit union industry.
Of course, our passionate CU specialists Laurie Flanders and Josh Apsey couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend (alongside an adorable stuffed unicorn given to Laurie by her daughter, which proved to be a big hit with other VC23 attendees). While Laurie and Josh (and their pet unicorn) were at the Sandestin from April 17th to the 18th, they were able to talk with other credit union experts, introduce some of them to our advanced credit union member experience management platform, and learn a lot from the conference’s keynote speakers.
Though this was shorter than other conferences we’ve recently attended, such as the 2023 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference and Marketing and Business Development Conference, Laurie and Josh (and the unicorn) still came back with some valuable takeaways. Here’s a recap covering some of the biggest highlights:
Credit unions need to take intelligent risks to scale up
This year’s keynote speaker was Dennis Dollar of Dollar Associates, LLC. Voted the most influential credit union leader of the past 25 years by Credit Union Times readers, the former NCUA Chairman provided an interesting and enlightening industry overview of regulatory and legislative issues.
Dollar’s presentation was primarily focused on the challenges and opportunities that are currently facing credit unions, from mergers to membership growth, to the essentiality of scale to effectively compete in 2023 and beyond.
“You have to take smart risk in order to grow,” Dollar said during his keynote address, which was titled “The Impact of Credit Unions and the Value of Scale.”
The message to credit unions was clear: focus on growth or get left behind.
ITMs are a good investment
One of the other most popular presentations at VC23 was “The Why Behind ITMs,” hosted by Sean Farrell, CEO of QDS, and Rick Preble, CEO of RVA Financial.
The talk focused on Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs), and the ways in which self-service with core-integration can keep costs down for credit unions.
Because they allow credit union members to easily perform a wide variety of transactions, ITMs provide a level of convenience that can directly increase member retention. And because ITM tellers can work remotely, credit unions can reduce expenses by outsourcing some of those roles to 24/7 call centers. ITMs can also provide existing credit union tellers with more work-from-home opportunities, which can improve their overall work-life balance and lead to greater credit union employee retention.
It’s important to be protected against fraud in a post-Covid world
One of the most sobering sessions at this year’s conference was “The Perfect Storm: Post COVID-19 Fraud,” hosted by Mike Burke of Shazam.
According to Burke, the COVID-19 pandemic created a perfect storm for fraudsters seeking to target financial institutions. He discussed the frightening ways that ATM skimming activity evolved during the pandemic, as well as the resurgence of other old fraud vectors that impact credit unions. With so many institutions still dealing with the lingering threats that first reared their ugly heads during Covid, Burke strongly recommended that credit unions invest in enhanced security procedures that can prevent fraud.
Of course, the presentations described above represent just a few of the highlights from a fun and exciting CU*SOUTH Visionary Conference & Annual Meeting. If you missed out on meeting us (and our unicorn) at this event, we’d still love to chat! Just request a demo to get some time on the calendar to learn how Sogolytics can help you enhance your member experience and employee experience.