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Non-traditional entrants topic of World Conference panel
GOLD COAST, Australia (7/31/14)-- As non-traditional market entrants rapidly become many consumers' preferred financial service providers, credit unions must learn how to engage and adapt to stay in the race, panelists advised at the World Credit Union Conference in Gold Coast, Australia Wednesday. The conference is sponsored by the World Council of Credit Unions.
 
Click to view larger image Non-traditional market entrant spokespersons joined together for a lively panel discussion at the World Credit Union Conference Tuesday. Participants included, from left, Effie Zahos and Alan Shields, Australia; Alex Moven, United States; and Amy ter Haar, Canada. 
Dubbed "Catching the Disruption Wave: 'Three Big Ideas' for Serving a Radically Changing Marketplace," the panel brought together three primary market disruptors from Australia, Canada and the United States to give an outside perspective on credit unions' future.
 
Panelists included Alan Shields, RFi Intelligence co-founder and managing director, from Australia; Alex Sion, president of Moven president, from the United States, and Amy ter Haar, Flow Inc. CEO, from Canada. Effie Zahos, Money magazine editor, Australia, moderated the panel.
 
Topics focused on the keynoters' "big ideas" regarding the future of financial services as payments, finance and commerce emerge for a multi-dimensional consumer marketplace. All sides admitted that credit unions have a chance to capture and capitalize on the advantages of the disruption wave, with a need to differentiate their products and value propositions.
 
Click to view larger image "We are in a world where the app should be a credit union's product, not plastic, branches or telephone services," said Moven's Alex Sion.
"This is an existential moment for credit unions ... to redefine your basic product and core value proposition," said Sion, who asked the audience to reconsider his app-centric business as a potential partner, rather than a disruptor. "Credit unions must ask themselves what ... family and community mean in this digital era. The future of the model is to maintain the community aspect, but disrupt the physical distribution model."
 
To some panelists, the best practice model could be achieved through shared platforms among different credit unions, and potentially nontraditional market entrants.
 
"We need to get connected if we want to [financially] include everyone, everywhere. It's not us versus the banks. It's lateral and peer-to-peer," ter Haar said, noting credit unions' mission to provide nondiscriminatory financial access to all. "We are stronger together."


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