If banks are like PCs and credit unions are like Macs, why aren't more credit unions using Macs?

Before I get started with the point of my discussion, I confess that I am a die-hard Apple fan boy. Anything Steve Jobs says is gospel to me. I have three iPods. I spend my day on a G5 at work with an Apple 30" Cinema Display. This monitor was the most unjustified purchase ever, but boy do I love it. I have a MacBook Pro notebook to get me to and from home. At home, we have an iMac for our media server and to surf kids Websites with my three-year-old son. I also have a Toshiba PC notebook on my desk at work, so don't think I am completely anti-PC! I am just very pro-Mac.

Everyone at Currency works on a Mac. Of course, all the creative staff, but even the account services department. I even switched Irene, our VP, production to a Mac Mini. This is noteworthy because her husband has a Bill Gates shrine above the dining room table and 'I love Vista' personalized license plates.

We have a closet full of old Dell notebook computers that our account folks used to use. I got sick and tired of, "Outlook isn't working, fix it now."

The day I gave my old home Dell to my parents was a happy and a sad day. Happy because I no longer had to deal with this virus-ridden system. Sad because I couldn't convince my parents to get a Mac (and therefore, still have to help with the virus-ridden Dell from time to time). OK, so you get the idea that this blog post might be a little one sided.

To be completely fair to the PC users out there, I have been told I respond well to simple things with pretty pictures and I never could figure out what "FORMAT C:/" meant in MS-DOS!

But here's the gist of the argument. The thing I most like about Apple is the user experience and community feeling. The thing I most like about credit unions is the user experience and community feeling. Apple users love their Macs. PC users tolerate their PCs. Credit union members love their credit unions. Bank customers tolerate their banks.

The Apple movement and the credit union movement are totally aligned. They share the same values. Both are underdogs. Both are much cooler than their alternatives. Both enjoy an almost-religious following. Both are friendlier than their alternatives. Both are easier to use than their alternatives. Both have switchers coming to them. Both are innovating more than their alternatives. Both are making the world a better place. And, in my humble opinion, both are actually better. And finally, both are compatible with their alternatives.

Yet, the IT infrastructure at most (if not all) credit unions is PC-based. Microsoft all the way, .NET, Exchange server, CRM, Office, Windows you name it, MS is all over it. Sure it's industry standard, but aren't credit unions known for not being industry-standard?

Back to the (if not all) comment from above. I know of only one exception to the PC rule in credit union land. Mount Lehman Credit Union in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. The general manager, Gene Blishen, is my hero. They run everything on Macs. The teller line, the banking system, the server room, everything! Their IT guys are hacking away on the UNIX command line and cranking out innovation that everyone in Canada is envious of!

So, please please, Mr. IT guy, consider a Mac the next time one of your three hundred PCs need an upgrade. With Parallels or Boot Camp, you could even run Windows on it from time to time! You will not be disappointed. I personally guarantee it.

This sounds awfully familiar to my "please please Mr. bank customer, upgrade to credit union membership" argument!

Is there anybody else out there in credit union land who uses Macs in their environment? Or at least, is there anyone out there who works at a credit union and goes home after work, has a shower and then boots up their personal Mac? Leave a comment!

On a very-related side note, we do a lot of Website development work and do create sites that are not-only Microsoft friendly, but also utilize Microsoft technology like MS-SQL server. So, although my rant is very heart-felt, I also have to eat, so please don't hold it against me Mr. IT guy, we can still work together!

To further my point, check out these PC/Mac Bank/Credit Union ads from BankerSpank! + Click here

Tim