Opportunity for Credit Unions: Accelerate Human Connectivity, Keep Pace with the Technology Evolution, and Tell Your Story


Troy Stang, President and CEO, NWCUA

Credit unions stand out in the competitive marketplace through the stories they share and by continuing to provide the suite of tech-based products consumers need.

That was the front-and-center reminder that Troy Stang, Northwest Credit Union Association President and CEO, delivered from the MAXX mainstage.

“We need to be louder than we’ve ever been and use our collective voices to continue to educate members, consumers, and public policy officials about how important it is for the marketplace to have a not-for-profit choice in financial services,” Stang said.

Stang followed three keynote speakers who demonstrated the power of storytelling to the audience, and he encouraged credit unions to accelerate sharing their stories.

“Credit Unions have something meaningful and important to talk about.” Stang said. “Having something that’s this important and learning to say it in a way that people everywhere listen to and act on – that’s what we are after with the collective work of credit unions everywhere.”

Stang traveled with the audience through the credit union journey, starting with how they were created to balance the nation’s credit structure, and emphasizing how they have never wavered in service to middle- and working-class families.

“While economies and technologies have changed over the years,” Stang noted, “credit unions remain aligned to their original mission to put members and consumers first, while at the same time evolving to provide members with the cutting-edge products and services they have come to expect.”

Stang likened the credit union journey to the agricultural and industrial economic revolutions that started and succeeded for a simple reason: they represented more powerful and efficient ways to help people get the goods and services they needed.

Today, credit unions are in the information revolution, Stang noted, with technology making people’s lives easier.

“We are paying attention and keeping pace with the speed of technology,” Stang said. “Evolving our technologies and infrastructures provides members with the ease and speed they have come to expect – and with an unmatched human connectivity.”

Stang said credit unions offer a full product menu that is aligned with the new economy consumer.

In addition to at-your-fingertips financial services, most notably, Stang said: “What sets credit unions apart is that they offer a distinct value that consumers want and need – human connectivity. Credit unions are the modern-day economic fabric and have been the fabric of our communities since day one. Consumers can count on credit unions to always put their needs first.”    

Stang cited surveys showing consumers’ favorable views of credit unions. Two Spokane-area credit union members took the stage to talk about their positive experiences, reinforcing the surveys’ findings.

Erica Norris, a member of Numerica Credit Union, told the audience she was looking for a financial institution with a good business banking program, and one that would serve her, her wife, and their son’s needs.

“I’m one of those people who do way too much at once,” Norris said. “In four years, I quit my job, started my own social media business, got married, and two months ago my wife and I had a baby. Numerica Credit Union helped me with a business loan so I could grow the business and hire four people. And we took out a personal loan to build a backyard for our son.”

Gloria Lopez, a 10-year member of Canopy Credit Union, found herself in too deep with bills. She turned away from a collection agency and toward her credit union – a move, she says, that saved her life.

“I was listened to with compassion and respect, provided help with financial tools, and reminded that I am not alone in my financial struggle,” Lopez said. “With support and encouragement, I have paid off a huge debt, almost paid off my car, and have a budget.”

Seeing Lopez on stage was a special moment for Jon Maroni, the Business Development and Education Officer at Canopy Credit Union who helped her to get her finances in order.

“Gloria and I worked together several times,” said Maroni. “Seeing her success is what it’s all about.”

Stang closed by reminding credit unions that, “What you do and how you do it matters. You’re helping people, families, and communities to grow.”

Credit unions, he said, are more committed than ever to their original mission and, he said, it’s time to make their message big and loud.

“We own our narrative and it’s time to widely share the human stories,” he said.

Posted in MAXX Annual Convention.