The New Zealand Police department recently created a wiki that their constituents could edit and help form an upcoming bill.
"The Police Act Review has maintained an open process throughout, and wiki technology offers a novel way for people to have a say in the law-drafting process as well. This may well be one of the first pieces of legislation ever developed in New Zealand with the aid of such an online tool … "
What a phenomenal idea! All of the presidential candidates are using social media now, but this brings a entirely new opportunity for democracy. Writing a new bill is overly complex, time consuming, and expensive. Sounds suspiciously like developing a new product at a credit union!
It seems to me that, as a cooperative, CU’s would be the perfect place to perfect Web 2.0 collaborative tools with our membership. We’ve heard talk of Amazon style reviews on CU product pages. Some are dipping their toes in blogging. Other’s don’t even have web pages. But what would happen if you opened up a wiki or a Dell IdeaStorm-esce extension on your site? Would your members respond? Would only the vocal majority show up? Horror of all horrors, would they just demand better rates and lower fees?
One of my coworkers who recently sold his soul to a bank sent me this comic today. I got a pretty good laugh.
The Fed just dropped the discount window another 50 bps and the fed funds rate 50 bps. The 50 bps drop in the funds rate was quite a surprise and the Dow jumped nearly 200 points immediately.
Credit unions now need to carefully observe their balance sheets and manage appropriately if they are asset or liability sensitive. All of those CD promos did good things for liquidity, but CU’s are going to be hurting if they are long on those CD’s. Expect to see those CD promo rates drop as well as those wonderful money market funds. Hold on to your balance sheets, it is going to be a wild ride!
Addressing pain points for consumers is always a great way to launch a successful business and the new BankSwitcher is doing just that. BankSwitcher analyzes consumers’ checking accounts for direct deposits, automatic payments and the like to determine what exactly needs to be switched by using Wesabe’s newish free API. After determining all of the automatic transactions, BankSwitcher (I’d normally use an acronym here, but…) uses their database of research to determine exactly what forms are needed and/or steps taken to switch.
This particular topic has always been a "hot one" because so many great discussion points come up. It’d be nice if bank accounts had number portability like cell phones do, but that would be a massive up hill battle that would have to come from some type of additional governmental regulation. The current ACH system has many limitations and really is not meant to support real-time online transactions. Maybe at some point in the future, we’ll have a real switch button, but until then, making the paper form process easy will win out.
Many FI’s will see this, and the possibility of a real-time "switch button" or account number portability, a threat. I believe that threat will prevent most FI’s from pursuing any type of account number portability without some type of government intervention. What many FI’s should also consider though is the goodwill that can be found by offering your members (or customers) an easy way out. As CU’s we are really here to do one thing: help our members, regardless of if the are opening a money market account or closing their membership.
News from Wesabe
Coverage from Colin
I’m finally home after the large flying debacle at Horizon. WCUL 007 went pretty well this year. Probably somewhere over 100 exhibitors and lots of credit union participants. It is great to see that many credit unions in one place together!
I went to a few seasons, the first being from Elaine Whitton at Advanced Reporting, one of our CUSO’s that does employment and tenant screening. I also sat through Brent and Trey from Trabian and The Waz’s session on social media on Thursday afternoon. It’s always refreshing watching credit union execs react when they learn how Second Life really works. Sheri from Verity was also there and makes an awesome example of a CU blogging.
Overall, it was a great time and I can’t wait to get back to it next year!
The entourage of us just landed in Spokane earlier today and setup two booths in the "ballroom". I’m here with CU Wireless, MaPS’ cell phone CUSO, and Advanced Reporting, our employment/tenant/background/credit check company. I’ll be bouncing around between the two booths all week, so if anyone is in town, drop on by!
I’ll be posting any relevant updates for the goings-ons at the trade show as well as heckling Trey and Brent from the back of the room during their session. Beautiful day in Spokane and can’t wait for the rest of the week!
By the way, WCUL is the Washington Credit Union League.
Here’s a CU that has posted for a website redesign on a blog with a budget of $500 to $1000 to do some basic modifications to their site! Awesome way to use a blog to get the word out! Looks like the bid actually came from an online firm called designquote.net. If anyone knows which CU this is (they’re in Texas) I’d love to talk to them and see if I can get them up and running with a free WordPress site or at least get Trabian involved!
For the past few months, a small group of people have continued discussing the opportunities in the core processor marketplace and the merits of doing a project like that in the open source space vs closed source. We are having another conference call later this week, on Friday, September 7th, from 10AM to 11AM Pacific time. We already have 6 or 8 attendees, but wanted to open the call up to anyone interested on the topic. The conference info is below and if you plan on attending, please let me know by leaving a comment so I can reserve the appropriate amount of space on the call.
Phone Number: 712-432-2000
Access Code: 46814
I’m looking forward to the great discussion!