Convention Speaker to Present a Compelling Case for Owning, Innovating Payment Systems

Jeff Russell has a direct message for credit unions: embrace the future of payment systems, or have it dictated to you by the marketplace.

The 2012 landscape has an onslaught of payment options allowing consumers to bypass checking accounts or traditional plastic credit cards. Consumers are increasingly turning to Google Wallet, Dwolla, Paypal or a host of other systems to pay bills. Some of those systems also allow consumers to share news of their bargain savings, event attendance and other news of transactions with all of their social media friends—driving more customers to the businesses and providing convenience for the consumers.

“Who controls the network—the rails—is the most important conversation in payments,” Russell told attendees at the recent Credit Union Executives Society’s (CUES) Annual Conference for Washington and Oregon.

The fast-moving world of payment systems will likely have even newer options by early October, when Russell is scheduled to present a keynote address at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) 2012 Convention and Annual Business Meeting. Russell stays current with new developments in payment systems, and in his role as senior advisor to The Members Group advises credit unions on how to leverage them.

Russell credits social media with redefining “community,” and technology with creating a “24/7/365” connectivity culture.

“We track so much more information about the habits, the likes, the dislikes of individuals,” Russell noted about digitalization. He urges credit unions to take that data and make it personal for consumers.

Russell remarked that he barely knows an across-the-street-neighbor but through social media is aware of the daily activities of college roommates who live elsewhere in the world.

On a recent trip to Europe, Russell said, he wondered whether his credit union debit card would be functional. It was, thankfully.

“Remarkably, your members are global even if the credit union is not,” he said. “Do they trust you to be global with them?”

Russell predicted interchange revenue will not be a lasting revenue stream for financial institutions, which is why he said that credit unions need to “think beyond the swipe.”

Russell will offer Convention attendees a detailed examination of what is available and what is in development that could be leveraged.

Russell’s keynote address is one of several being offered at Convention, scheduled for Oct. 2-4 at the Hilton in Vancouver, Wash. Attendees will hear about recent consumer research commissioned by the NWCUA and conducted by Dr. Neil Goldman, senior partner for Goldman Consulting and Strategy. Arnold Kuijpers, director of corporate affairs for Rabobank Nederland, will share the story of the hundred-plus-year-old cooperative bank’s sustainability and evolution into a global economic force. More than 100 businesses and organizations will display the latest technology and products at the tradeshow.

Online registration for Convention is available now, with discounted registration options open until Sept. 14.


Questions? Contact Training Programs Coordinator Yuri Jung: 206.340.4817,

Posted in Events, MAXX Annual Convention, NWCUA.