Outsourced CU

Back in September, Filene issued a call out to the industry for assistance in creating what boils down to an Applied Research division.  So far, we’ve already seen the CU Water Cooler come out of Matt Davis and I know we’ll be seeing some good stuff from Brent Dixon shortly.

I’m going to take  a gamble and put my more detailed response out for comment.  I feel very strongly that by collaborating and removing operational barriers to success, credit unions can bust out of the funk we’re in and take it to the next level.  I’ve put together a rough draft white paper on what I call the Outsourced CU.  I want to use the many Filene collaboration initiatives to make this happen.

If you’ve got a few minutes, give it a read.  If you love it, email George Hofheimer at Filene and let him know what you think.  If you think I’m crazy, well, just go easy.

Alltop and Credit Unions

I must have been asleep at the wheel, but through the magic of Google’s Webmaster tools (which I hardly look at) I noticed I had been linked to from Alltop’s credit union page!  First I said, “Sweet, Alltop has a credit union page!”  Then I said, “How’d I pull that off?”

For those of you not in the know, Alltop is arguably the biggest news/blog aggregator out there.  They place a handful of sites into categories and let people subscribe to all of the feeds in a given category.  They’ve got everything from the standard fair Politics section to the slightly more obscure Lego section.  If someone is trying to keep up with an industry in general, this is the place to go.

Honestly, I’m slightly disappointed with the selection of the credit union page.  It doesn’t include many of the blogs that I would consider mandatory reading.  I know Alltop’s secret sauce for coming up with the included feeds is really just by the seat of their pants, but I’m still curious as who suggested the category and how they came up with the site list.  I’m more impressed with their banking site as it included Jim, Colin, James, and Jeffry, all of which I would say is required reading.

Anyone one heard how or when the Alltop credit union or banking site got started?  What blogs do you guys feel are missing from the list?

PS – I really want to put one of their cheesy badges on my blog.  They make me laugh.

Like this one: Alltop or this one: Alltop

A piece of cake or the whole cake?

Pricing a product always seems to be problematic.  You can’t always price it on the high end and expect to be the luxury good and you can’t always be the “value leader” with the lowest price and expect people to come flocking to you.  Early technologies tend to price themselves at the per unit cost.

For example, in the early days of online storage and backup pricing was almost always centered around usage and still is by some companies.  1GB for X dollars, 10 GB’s for Y dollars.  As the market matures, it drifts to the proverbial “all-you-can-eat” plans which provide unlimited backup so consumers don’t have to worry about quotas of any sort.  I remember when my cell phone plan had 60 minutes and my phone had a reminder beep 10 seconds before another minute ticked by.  Now the cell phone market is rapidly progressing to unlimited plans.

Two observations:

  1. Nearly all utilities (water, gas, electricity, etc) are based on actual usage except broadband internet.  Why is that?  Internet is much cheaper do deliver than power.
  2. Would there be a profitable model in offering an NSF package or Courtesy Pay package in which a member would pay a fixed fee for unlimited NSF’s or overdrafts?  Could this be an additional line of fee income for struggling CU’s that could make their members who use the service happy while at the same time boosting their bottom line?