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Great Innovations of 2014

Denise WymoreComment

You may have seen this email going around that lists some of the greatest innovations of 2014. Stairs with a slide (walk up, slide down), a bicycle helmet that folds up. A movie theater bathroom with screens on the floor in the stalls so you don’t miss a minute of the action and my personal favorite (found at the Portland International Airport) a lighting system in the parking lot that shows where the empty parking spots are (they post a green light on the ceiling).

It got me to thinking about “innovation in credit unions.” My debit card was compromised last month, at Target of all places. I called my credit union, was on hold for 11 minutes and was told it would take 10 to 14 BUSINESS days to get my new card. As the days ticked on I was reminded of all the things I had tied to that number. My Netflix account, Uber,, Apple—the list goes on.

The logical “innovation” for my beloved credit union would be instant issue debit card and FedEx. Bam, next day in my hand. Instead I am stuck in the 1980’s, waiting for some company in Delaware to get around to stamping the plastic card and handing it to the US Postal Service.

I think the answer is a wallet in the cloud. I enter all of my account numbers ONCE—Netflix, Uber, Apple—and if a card is compromised I simply point them to a new account number. Rather than having to add the new number to all of those accounts. Doesn’t that make sense? That idea is my gift to you, somebody needs to run with it. Go!

I am honored to have been a part of a Filene i3 team that innovated with the mortgage loan process. The problem? Communication during the mortgage loan process. Specifically loan officers told us they are too busy processing the mortgage applications to follow-up with applicants to tell them they are processing their mortgage application. This resulted in high detractors for one of credit union’s most profitable products. Brad Barnes, Michelle Merkley, Adam Marlowe and I worked for six months to develop a prototype and test the product. HomEase (get it?) which is now in the process of recruiting pilot credit unions to test the 2.0 version.

Financial services are ripe for revolution. Companies like Apple and Amazon are entering our space with mind blowing alternatives. Are you sitting idly by watching, or are you innovating?

Loyalty Live in Phoenix will feature two credit union trail blazers: Brad Barnes, CFO of Air Academy Federal Credit Union (and the catalyst for HomEase going to market) and the one and only Matt Davis, former Director of Innovation for Filene and current CEO of GameFI. The event is March 4 and 5 and it’s in Phoenix, Arizona. If you live in Chicago, Madison or Buffalo, think about it. Warmth and innovation! I hope to see you there!


Denise Wymore is the Senior Director, Net Promoter Network with Satmetrix Systems. As a Net Promoter Score evangelist, she manages the growing NPS Community at Satmetrix, the co-developer of NPS. Check it out at