MAXX 2018 Takes a Deep Dive into the Latest on Artificial Intelligence


Artificial intelligence. It sounds like the future, but it’s not. It’s now, and businesses are harnessing the benefits of AI in a number of ways to provide enhanced digital experiences for their customers.

Credit unions are among those businesses finding innovative ways to implement AI, bringing more services to their members. But how do you know which services are right? Which ones will benefit your members most?

The Northwest Credit Union Association’s annual convention, MAXX 2018, will take a deep dive into the AI conversation with three expert speakers – Shazia Manus, Patrick Schwerdtfeger, and Shahar Ziv. Each will present their unique, forward-thinking perspectives on how AI can enhance your credit union’s services during the session, “AI is Here,” scheduled from 8:30 to 10 a.m., Oct. 17.

“Harnessing the power of AI will enable credit unions to unlock tremendous value, helping to drive deeper engagement with and create personalized experiences for their members,” said Ziv, Director of Global Corporate Strategy at PayPal. Ziv is a firm believer that technology can empower people with better financial products at lower costs.

Shazia Manus

“Machine learning allows credit unions to better understand their members, revealing opportunities for customized and personalized services not offered by the big banks,” Schwerdtfeger added. He is a business futurist specializing in technology trends, including big data, AI, and blockchain. He founded Trend Mastery consulting agency and the Strategic Business Insights video series.

Manus applies a futurist view to the field of analytics, helping credit unions discover new possibilities for exceptional member experiences. She is Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer for CUNA Mutual Group’s AdvantEdge Analytics.

“Our speakers were handpicked for this session. They bring different backgrounds and perspectives as well as real-world experience,” said Northwest Credit Union Association’s Vice President of Strategic Resources, Jason Smith. “We hope they will be able to help attendees leave with a better understanding of AI and what it can do for credit unions.”

Patrick Schwerdtfeger

AI and machine learning are already greatly impacting the financial services industry. Chatbots are talking to customers, robo-advisors are automating asset management, and fintech companies are investing in AI-based solutions, according to an article by CO-OP Financial Services.

“Some say AI is going to change the world more than the internet itself … certainly more than the internet browser,” Smith said. “Imagine no longer needing a browser display; you’ll simply speak to your computer for results.”

But deciding whether your credit union should use it and how depends on the specific needs and goals of your credit union.

“AI is just exploding in many industries, and its potential to change financial services is significant,” Smith said. “Some of the applications for AI that we see happening don’t make it clear to credit union leaders whether they should openly embrace it or be cautious to the point of not acting at all.”

But that hasn’t stopped some from embracing the technology. At Portland-based Trailhead Credit Union, an AI platform developed by Abe AI has played a central role in the credit union’s member service strategy since January. Abe AI is a NWCUA Strategic Link business partner that’s providing Northwest credit unions with the latest in technology.

Shahar Ziv

“The user feedback that we have received has been entirely positive,” said Trailhead CU President/CEO Jim McCarthy. “Reactions and opinions have been focused on the AI convenience and ease of use.”

Trailhead CU members also enjoy using the platform’s prompt service functions that work with limited outside assistance.

According to McCarthy, “Our metrics are showing continued growth in member application of our AI. We look forward to adding new features to Abe, to continue offering current technology services to our membership.”

To learn more about the convention’s AI speakers and to register, visit the MAXX 2018 website. Check back often for new speaker information.

Posted in MAXX Annual Convention.