Innovation Basics for Community Banks and Credit Unions

A popular affirmation among top companies has recently been marked by three important words: We must innovate!” But what does it mean exactly and why innovate? What is this Innovation Thing? These questions are also commonly asked within community banks and credit unions (CU).

Innovation in banking should not take place because everyone else is doing it; neither because it makes the banks look cool. Banks and CUs need to innovate, because otherwise the world is going to keep moving forward and leave them behind. Eventually, so will their customers and members.

For innovation to emerge one has to overcome a number of barriers (such as insecurity that the idea will work, reaching agreement with technology vendors, other priorities or more urgent needs etc.) and identify the key innovation areas that will either provide simpler and more convenient access to more services or will provide safer and more secure access to services.

Innovation is also about the right timing, the right resources and a carefully fitted partnership.