About 18 months ago I wrote a blog post entitled, "The dinosaurs didn't have broadband, what's your credit union's excuse?" I wrote it after witnessing an incredible array of innovative new financial web applications coming onto the scene. At the time, I wondered what was stopping credit unions from really innovating.
I was once again reminded of this question when my Twitter feed was filled with the hashtag #finovate on Tuesday. You see, FinovateStartup09 was held this past week in San Francisco and 57 of the latest-and-greatest financial web apps where demoed. Only one of them—Jwaala's Money Tracker—has any roots in the credit union industry. From what I understand, Jwaala was spun out of Amplify in Austin, Texas.
For all of the talk of innovation in the financial services industry, the really good stuff is not coming from credit unions (or banks for that matter), it's coming from tech start-ups with good ideas and the knowledge, skill and determination to get the job done.
As they say, ideas are a dime a dozen, the real trick is implementation. What do you think?
I'm also interested to hear if you feel that innovation is a careless waste of time and money. Should credit unions just put their energy into serving their members well? Or is innovation necessary to continue to serve members well? Please add your thoughts in the comments.