RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – The THINK 18 Conference will hold its first general session on May 8 with an introduction by host Jean Chatzky showing why all companies, and especially credit unions, are in a “Race to Excellence.”
“Anyone who has access to online banking and a smart mobile phone device has seen an acceleration in the pace of the information they receive about their financial life,” said Chatzky, a best-selling author on personal finance. “The standard these days is having the ability to snap a picture of a check and deposit it without going anywhere. People expect to access their accounts easily, clearly and simply from wherever they are.”
Chatzky was one of a trio of hosts for THINK 17, but she is handling Master of Ceremonies duties throughout THINK 18, which runs in its entirety May 7-10.
“I’m looking forward to being there for the whole conference this time, and getting the chance to interact with attendees,” said Chatzky. “I’d like to know what trends credit union leaders are seeing among their members, and what concerns about money their members are bringing to them. Events like THINK are an opportunity for me to do some crowdsourced reporting.”
“I’m An Advocate for Consumers”
Chatzky first came to the attention of the THINK conference’s organizers as not only a personal finance journalist, but also as an advocate for credit unions. I’m an advocate for consumers,” said Chatzky. “If you’re pro consumer, in my opinion, then you’re pro credit union.”
In addition to hosting THINK 18, Chatzky is being featured in the upcoming issue of CO-OP’s THINK Review magazine, which will be provided to all THINK conference attendees and to subscribers in May. The publication breaks down the “Race to Excellence” and how credit unions can apply it to serving their members. Subscriptions are free and can be obtained at www.co-opthink.org/think-review.
In the interview featured in the magazine, Chatzky observes that the digital experience plays differently across generations: “For the Millennials, money is largely invisible. I have two children…(and) I am constantly having a back and forth with them about the need to carry cash. When I’m in an airport, I want to have cash on me in case…the payment systems are down, or my taxi doesn’t accept cards. My children don’t see it. They Venmo and use their debit cards for everything. Their financial life runs differently than mine. Then again, I’m doing these things too – in part led by them. Digital tools make it easier to interact with them financially.”
Chatzky believes that in terms of dealing with money, “We (still) need the ability to spend less than we make, and to save and invest the rest to plan for our future….(However) the skills we use to manage money day to day have definitely changed. I know very few people who balance a checkbook anymore. My kids wouldn’t begin to know how to do that.”
Among the themes of the THINK 18 conference is member security, and Chatzky believes more member education on security measures – such as checking account balances and monitoring credit reports – is still needed. “People are very concerned about security, but I don’t know if it’s impacting their behavior. If online shopping statistics from the past holiday season are any indicator, consumers seem undeterred.”
Now in its 11th year, THINK is a year-round platform for credit union collaboration, innovation and evolution. Visit http://co-opthink.org to access the wide variety of learning opportunities available, including THINK Review magazine, CO-OP THINK Prize, THINK blog, videos from past THINK conferences and more information on the THINK 18 conference.
Again, free subscriptions to THINK Review can be obtained at: www.co-opthink.org/think-review.
About CO-OP Financial Services
CO-OP Financial Services is a payments and financial technology company whose mission is ensuring the success of the credit union movement. CO-OP payments solutions, engagement services and strategic counsel help credit unions optimize member experiences to consistently provide seamless, personalized multi-channel offerings, while delivering secure, sophisticated fraud mitigation service. For more information, visit www.co-opfs.org.