Mark Sievewright: For Credit Unions, The Future Starts Now
Forum 2012, the fall conference for Fiserv credit union clients, kicks off Monday, Sept. 10. In a preview of his Forum presentation, Mark Sievewright, President of Credit Union Solutions at Fiserv, offered a positive message for the future of the credit union movement.
“The philosophy of the credit union movement is more relevant than ever,” says Sievewright. “The uncertain economic environment means more consumers are open to the message of credit unions and the value they offer.”
He points to record membership growth over the past few years with credit unions reaching a milestone of $1 trillion in assets. One reason for this growth, he believes, is the movement’s focus on creating value for credit union members, as well as its non-profit status.
Despite recent gains, there remain challenges and opportunities for credit unions. Sievewright outlines four interconnected trends that impact credit unions:
- Next Generation Consumers — Many young people do not really know what a credit union is, Sievewright says. Which is why, he says, the industry should participate in collaborative awareness campaigns. “If people don’t understand what credit unions are, the rest really doesn’t matter,” Sievewright says. He added that as social media matures, credit unions are uniquely positioned to capitalize upon this as a way to spread the message at the grassroots level.
- Technology — Advances, such as mobile and person-to-person payments, are having a massive impact on U.S. credit unions. He says many credit union executives are focused on how to be on the forefront of new payment offerings to stay competitive.
- Regulatory — There’s no question that regulation has had a big impact on the entire financial industry. Credit unions are striving to make gains on the legislative front in the form of new wins that Sievewright believes could have an outsized affect on the direction of the movement.
- Collaboration — As the credit union movement continues to consolidate, Sievewright sees a new trend of collaboration on the horizon – “It may be difficult to execute, but collaboration is a huge opportunity for credit unions,” he says.
Sievewright speaks on Tues., Sept. 11, in a session titled, $1 Trillion in Assets–Credit Unions: The Future Starts Now. The conference features a range of Fiserv speakers, headlined by Fiserv President and CEO, Jeff Yabuki, as well as credit union clients and thought leaders from across the financial services industry.
Previously called Innovate, the new Forum conference format is focused around a series of tracks (or pillars) that are of critical importance to credit unions: Digital Channels; Efficiency Strategies; Fraud, Risk & Compliance; Growth Strategies; and Payment Opportunities.