NEEDHAM, Mass. (12/11/09)--Consumer-based financial institutions, including credit unions, either can choose to be technology leaders or be pulled into a wake created by competitors, according to TowerGroup research. TowerGroup recently released a study, “Emerging Consumer-Facing Technology Trends: Change is the Only Constant,” which focuses on the technological changes that will affect financial institutions in the future. “Web 2.0, mobility, rich Internet applications and social networking must be come part of a consumer banker’s vocabulary, or the phrase ‘Do you want fries with that’ will,” the study said in its findings. Technology vendors also should help financial institutions create realistic business cases for emerging technologies and demonstrate their business value--more than just their “coolness.” Several consumer self-service technologies have already demonstrated economic value--such as account alerts, e-statement and check images, account-to-account transfers, and expedited payments, TowerGroup added.