CU Water Cooler

CUWCS Talk: The Future of Credit Unions

Ron ShevlinComment

Editor's note: While we were able to capture Ron's audio from his talk, we had a technical issue with the video footage. However, we feel that being able to view the slides and hear Ron is still very useful and informative.

Credit unions have a rich history of helping consumers with their financial needs. The logo with the “little guy” holding an umbrella, shielding him from financial distress and hard times is burnished in the minds of many credit union professionals. But times have changed. We’re a much more affluent society than we were 70 years ago. Nearly nine in 10 Americans have a high school diploma, in contrast to only three in 10 back when the little guy was created. Average household income has skyrocketed—even holding consistent for inflation. The amount of money the average US household spends on everyday goods and things is up 50% from just 20 years ago. 

My presentation, The Future of Credit Unions, is about how consumers’ changing needs create opportunities and challenges for the credit union of the future, who will become the advisor to financially-engaged consumers. In this context, advice is less about asset allocation, but more about advice and guidance on everyday money management.

I hope that people who watch my presentation will be motivated to reinvent their credit union—and, in particular, their credit union’s business model—to address the future financial needs of an emerging group of consumers who are far more engaged in the management of their financial lives than previous generations were.


Ron Shevlin is a senior analyst at Aite Group, where his research focuses on marketing strategy and consumer behavior in retail banking. Prior to joining Aite Group, Ron was a Vice President of Consulting at Epsilon, and before that, a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. Ron is the author of a popular industry blog, Snarketing 2.0, which was named the #1 blog for financial marketers by The Financial Brand. Ron was recently named as one of the top 30 innovators to watch in banking by Bank Innovation.