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Customized Presentations on the hottest topics.

Filene’s speakers cover a broad scope of topics and industry issues that influence your business. From leadership to technology, innovation, or member engagement, we’ll bring compelling data and a little bit of Filene flair.

Broad Scope

Segmentation: Centering Strategy Around Growing Demographic Groups

We all know one sizes does not fit all and one message doesn’t speak to everyone. Credit Unions generally know about market segmentation and tailoring their efforts to the needs of various membership groups. But where do the best opportunities currently sit? Our industry-proven research efforts have identified two distinct growing demographic segments with specific desires that should be understood as credit unions make strategy decisions.

In this session we’ll look at:

  • The Sandwich Generation: Financially “sandwiched” between two generations, this group consists of millions of working Americans who manage the financial demands of children, while also supporting their parents.
  • Millennials: Everyone is after them for their financial needs, but does anyone really understand them? Filene set out on a “netnographic” study that combed online and social dialogue and dug into the mindsets and language this group is using to talk about their finances.

Our research provides insights to help credit unions understand these populations and using that insight, offers suggestions for the types of product and services to best support these groups.

What is In It for Me? Five Reasons to Collaborate Now!

It’s time to recognize that other credit unions really aren’t your biggest competition. In fact, they could be one of your biggest allies. Credit unions of all sizes are using collaboration right now to solve a variety of challenges in their businesses.

We’ll look at the top five reasons you should be turning to your neighbors (next door or across the country) and collaborating now! Increasing market share, improving overall member service and satisfaction and generating increased income are just a few of the reasons. You’ll see real case studies from credit unions around the country as we share their successes in these important business growth areas.

With a Little Help from My Friends: Collaboration in the Credit Union Space

Credit unions across the country are participating in unique collaboration partnerships that break the traditional mold of giving the side eye to your competitors. In fact, the industry is getting more comfortable with not treating fellow credit unions as the competition – they’re coming together to create unique partnership opportunities that increase market share, reduce expenses, improve overall service and bump up member satisfaction.

Filene has interviewed credit unions across the country and you’ll see real case studies on their stories, struggles and successes. You’ll also walk away with a road map and checklist for considering these collaboration opportunities for your own credit union. 

Would Someone Notice if You Were Gone?

Is your credit union relevant? Would someone notice if it just disappeared one day? I mean, they’d notice if their money was gone but would the rest matter to them? Credit unions are navigating through a transformative era where members’ needs are evolving and disruptive technology is influencing service delivery. The time is now to refocus so that your credit union is positioned to deliver measurable impact in the digital age.

Credit unions will look better to consumers if they show:

  • Impact. Credit unions can show how they help members navigate life-cycle and other financial challenges.
  • Transparency. Credit unions should use business intelligence to see, show and share impacts benefitting members and the communities they serve.
  • Competitiveness. Credit unions must invest strategically in user-facing technology and the bells and whistles consumers are demanding.  

This session will show you how to take advantage of each of these to help meet your bottom line business objectives. 

Innovation and New Ideas

Can Your Credit Union Be Too Innovative?

Filene has consistently identified sustainable growth as one of the biggest challenges facing credit unions. But sustainable growth might be a little more vanilla than the grandiose innovation plans you either have or desire to implement in your next several strategic plans. Sustainability is:

  • Indefinitely offering attractive terms and interest rates across your broad range of financial products
  • Remaining relevant in the financial lives and needs of your members
  • Maintaining capital per assets ratios that are strong enough to withstand periodic or unexpected shocks (think economy-wide loan losses or overall market downturns)

We’ll assess what the next ten years could look like for the industry under multiple potential economic scenarios. You’ll leave more prepared for several scenarios – not just the one your credit union is currently counting on.

Execution: From Innovation to Implementation

For years, Filene has been pulling the next set of leaders out of their credit unions into the i3 program (Ideas. Innovation. Implementation.) and setting them on a no-rules course to identify the next set of innovative products and services the industry will need to remain relevant.

We’ll take you through some of the latest sets of ideas and share the processes involved in developing the innovation competency, share specific innovation success stories and provide you with an action-oriented way to get start in your organization today. One of the ideas or concepts from this session just might be the glue that binds you and your membership together for the future. 

Grow is a Four-Letter Word: The Pressure for Success in All Metrics

The pressure on credit unions to grow is real. But when talking about growth, it's not as simple as the number of new members walking in the door. Metrics across the board have expectations to increase - some with the most pressure in the industry include non-interest income, brand awareness and overall member engagement. Filene recently studied service offerings that hit those measurements and:

  • Provide value to members
  • Are cost effective
  • Use a member-preferred channel
  • Engage the next generation of members
  • Grow community and business relationships 

In this session we'll look at a case study of Larky - a mobile location-based discount program that brings together local businesses and your members. You'll walk away with new ideas on developing services that tick more than just one of your growth boxes. 

Is Your Organization Structured for Actual Innovation?

Our industry’s leaders face the same constant tension as any other business: How do we exploit our current business while also exploring options for the future? Popular history is littered with the bones of companies that became extinct or irrelevant for reasons only obvious in hindsight. Kodak failed to capitalize on digital technology it invented in the 1970s. Xerox PARC invented the computer mouse only to let Steve Jobs’ upstart Apple turn it into the blockbuster Macintosh story.

Credit Unions are no different. Incremental changes since the passbook and personal loan days have led our organizations into activities as diverse as mortgage lending, mobile banking, and branch building. Over time, the survivors are those whose leaders managed to grow stable balance sheets while responding to shifting consumer demand for products, services, and delivery channels.

We’ll look at case studies of credit unions that have structured themselves for innovation and offer tools you can use to assess where your organization stands. 

Is Your Organization Structured for Innovation that Creates Impact?

Our industry’s leaders face the same constant tension as any other business: How do we exploit our current business while also exploring options for the future? Popular history is littered with the bones of companies that became extinct or irrelevant for reasons only obvious in hindsight. Kodak failed to capitalize on digital technology it invented in the 1970s. Xerox PARC invented the computer mouse only to let Steve Jobs’ upstart Apple turn it into the blockbuster Macintosh story.

Financial institutions are no different. Incremental changes since the passbook and personal loan days have led our organizations into activities as diverse as mortgage lending, mobile banking, and branch building. Over time, the survivors are those whose leaders managed to grow stable balance sheets while responding to shifting consumer demand for products, services, and delivery channels.

We’ll look at case studies of financial institutions that have structured themselves for innovation and offer tools you can use to assess where your organization stands. 

Lessons from Uber: The Future of Credit Unions

Credit unions were way ahead of the curve at their inception – breaking the mold of traditional financial services and offering a collaborative approach to personal finance. But has the industry fallen behind when it comes to new ways of thinking? Entrepreneurs are capitalizing on the new trend of sharing – offering consumers worldwide access to pools pf products and services, inspiring them to own less and share more with family, friends and even strangers.

Credit unions can certainly learn from the latest trends and offerings that exist outside our industry by applying the same thoughts and strategies to personal finance. This session will help you understand how to leverage market position, your relationship with members, your mission and your current resources into a competitive advantage in the economy of sharing and listening to the needs of your members.

Leveraging 5 Years of Experience: Bringing Fintech and Credit Unions Together

Filene has more than 27 years of engaging leading scholars and thinkers to dig deep into the issues, topics and products that impact consumer finance and the credit union industry. For the past 5 years, the industry-leading team has hung their hat on baking in an extra layer of confidence to their innovative and sustainable solutions for credit unions and their consumers: they are tested in the market and ready for action.

We’ll show you the best and brightest (and of course the lessons learned) from the hundreds of pilots conducted with hundreds of credit unions to facilitate the engagement between credit unions and financial technology companies. There’s no chance you’ll leave this session without at least one idea you can bring back to your credit union that’s already shown proven results across the industry.

Squirrels and Shiny Objects. Stop Chasing, and Make Innovation Work

As an industry we’ve started to accept that we’ll always be at least one step behind our largest bank competitors when it comes to technology and innovation. The minute we see them with something shinier and newer than we have, we’re like a squirrel who just heard a nut hit the ground on the other side of the forest. Distracted and nervous and chasing something we might not be able to catch.

This session will help shift the focus toward what we can accomplish, not just what we think we need to. And also offer practical advice to conceptualize methods of attracting new members who value technology and convenience. We’ll offer up a small but actionable and practical checklist to help credit unions excel in today’s digital environment.

The Little Guy’s Advantage: How Can Small Credit Union’s Thrive

For years, observers have predicted the imminent and inevitable demise of small credit unions. And frankly, they weren’t wrong. The total number of active credit unions has declined more than 50% from its peak and the majority of credit unions that have merged or closed their doors had assets less than $15 million. It’s not all bad news, we promise. Research shows a significant number of small credit unions are not only surviving, they’re thriving.

If your small credit union isn’t necessarily one of them, this session is for you. Based on an analysis of 400 small credit unions, we’ve identified six unique characteristics that are leading to their success. How many of the six can your small credit union claim?

What to do Now for Your Future Mobile Strategy

When you want to learn about what’s really working, you cut to the chase and go straight to the source. Filene headed to Silicon Valley – the heart of all things mobile and technology – and also partnered with Stanford University to learn about the real deal behind mobile and its potential to be a transformative force. (And we all know it’s going to.)

So what should you be doing now when it comes to your mobile capabilities of the future? Getting started despite limitations, collaboration with other credit unions and understanding how to quantify success in the mobile arena are just a few things. You’ll walk away with an actionable plan that is feasible as soon as you walk back into your credit union.


Board Governance: Successfully Leading Credit Unions into the Future

This session will utilize a series of three reports executed by Filene on the topic of Board Governance. No topic is off limits – annual meetings, board renewal policies, mergers, perks and compensation.  

Through exhaustive literature review and decades of firsthand experience, we’ll draw recommendations for credit union boards with direct potential impact. Tackling both the good and the bad, this session will be full of real-world examples and conversation points for strengthening board governance.

CEO’s Black Book of Secrets Revealed

If only credit union leadership were as simple as one little book of secrets. While it might not be that easy, our research breaks down the concept of strategic leadership thinking into individual components that are the secret to effective leadership: anticipate, challenge, interpret, decide, align and learn.

We’ll show you how these six elements are being deployed at 68 credit unions across North America by leaders of varying backgrounds, multiple-sized organizations and various skill levels. Credit union leaders can use this session (and the corresponding research report) to evaluate their personal strategic thinking abilities and make sure they are set up to better manage operational challenges.

Designing Credit Union Culture for High Performance

The culture of an organization takes on many shapes and definitions. But one thing we know is certain: organizations with “strong” cultures – well-defined values, words and actions that actually uphold those values and behaviors that encourage the staff to come along in the journey – have greater success in tangible measures like ROI, net income, sales growth and cash flow.

We’ll guide you through a Center of Excellence for Organizational Entrepreneurship report from a Filene Research Fellow and Harvard Business School professor that outlines the opportunities for credit unions to foster high-performance cultures.  We’ll also look at organizations that are already doing it right. And yes, stealing their ideas and successes are highly encouraged.

Getting to More Without Settling for Less

Throughout your organization there are departments and staff quietly and competently creating and delivering excellence. What could be achieved if you could pinpoint those sources of excellence and replicate them throughout your organization? This question torments leaders and can be the biggest obstacle to building a customer-focused organization.

Spreading excellence is a key step toward effective scaling, and scaling is increasingly vital to credit unions’ sustainability and success. In this session we’ll cover insights on how to reproduce excellence and transmit it through your team and organization:

  • The value of a shared mindset and how to achieve it
  • The importance of engaging all the senses to reach your goals
  • How to link short-term realities to long-term goals
  • Suggestions for leveraging accountability for good
  • The value of removing the bad stuff
  • Adjusting your speed limit according to the terrain

You’ll walk away with new ideas you can start right away for spreading excellence through your team. 

Laws of Attraction: Credit Union Recruiting in a Competitive Labor Market

To remain sustainable, credit unions need a pipeline of top talent—whether it’s behind the teller line or around the board table. And increasingly, successful recruiting actually begins in the marketing department. How can credit unions increase the quantity and quality of candidates who walk through our doors? And, how can we showcase our unique philosophical characteristics to find talent that’s both skilled and pro-social? Learn what’s worked and walk away with a checklist of tactics your HR and marketing departments can put into practice tomorrow.

Risk Management’s New Tool: Corporate Social Responsibility

All credit unions display some aspect of corporate social responsibility – community involvement, donations, member-centric decision making. It’s been one of the hooks we hang our proverbial hats on since the start of the industry. While on its own, social responsibility creates brand differentiation and is worth pursuing, Filene seeks to understand other impactful ways it can contribute success for credit unions and their members.

Seven credit unions with strong social responsibility practices were interviewed and in this session we’ll share their views, practices and results for harnessing these initiatives as a risk mitigation tool. And we’ll also take a peek inside your bank competitors to see how they utilizing the same practices to address risk. Then decide what might be right for your credit union.

Women in Leadership

Women traditionally make up 70% of overall credit union employees, but only 41% of the credit union leadership team. We’ll use a series of research done by Filene to tap into the factors that influence that trend, learn what some women are doing to enhance their opportunities to lead and look at the current state of women leaders in credit unions.

We’ll also look at direct results from a survey of credit union employees and board members that didn’t find overt gender bias, but instead a series of small factors that eat away at career advancement for women. This makes the challenges women face approachable and worthy of continued conversations that will help credit unions create a culture of inclusivity and equality – just like the principles they were initially founded on.

Marketing and Communication

Credit Union Differentiation

During the past 10 years, at least 31 US States have introduced legislation that allows entrepreneurs to form a new type of for-profit business organization that must pursue public interests alongside its for-profit business goals. So the question is: what does this have to do with credit unions?

As this type of organization becomes more popular, the cooperative nature of credit unions is likely to be regarded as an appropriate platform and potential partner. Filene, and this session, seek to answer one question: does this rapid growth of social enterprise entities with this new focus on a social and public interest represent opportunity, threat or indifference for our industry?

From Diapers to Dentures: Generational Money Chatter 

Before your credit union can successfully serve the needs of your members, you need to understand how they perceive and discuss issues of personal finance. And rarely to generations perceive banking the same way. Understand how the optimistic outlook of Baby Boomers differs from the pragmatic views of Gen X and the fear-based opinions of Millennials. Our newest research builds upon our previous “netnography” methods to identify how different generations approach money and how credit unions can better respond to their attitudes and behaviors.

Got Growth? New Ideas to Get Members’ Action

Anywhere a group comes together with common challenges around money is an opportunity for your organization. At the crossroad of culture and financial services, credit unions are finding ways to serve groups whose needs don’t exactly match up with traditional products and services. And let’s be honest – that’s really the foundation credit unions were built on in the first place.

This session will look at recent and relevant examples where credit unions are finding unique niche opportunities to serve people and groups in their communities and grow business at the same time. Often, these groups also align culturally with the mission and social and environmental performance of the credit union. Come with an open mind and a desire to grow.

Social Media: Driving Business Results through Engagement

The days of just having a Facebook page with a few event posts and a couple branch photos are clearly behind us. Social media has become a service channel, a member engagement tool and a sales outlet. But is your credit union getting the most out of those features?

It’s essential for organizations to not only maintain a consistent presence on social media, but to also create an effective social strategy to stay relevant for today’s networked and engaged audience. We’ll cover these hot buttons and the Filene-QUEsocial pilot program that leveraged credit unions’ own employee base to execute on a sales-driven and engagement-focused social strategy.

Member Service and Operations

Assuring Financial Capability

Credit unions have always lead the way when it comes to assuring member financial capability and a general interest in providing educational and informational resources. Credit unions of all sizes offer financial training in many forms: in-person counselling, classes and workshops, publications, online tools, financial management software and much more. But not all can say they have been overly impactful or “worth it.”

Credit unions can take these efforts they’re already executing on and move them to the next level of impact and results. This session will give you the starting point you need to enhance your offerings and:

  • Provide high quality digital offerings that break the traditional mold of financial education resources
  • Train and support credit union staff in truly being able to execute on your member financial capability efforts
  • Compile data on program experiences and results to quantify and validate their impact 

Easy is the New Nice

Consumers are no longer satisfied with “nice” – in a time when attention spans and tolerance levels are at near-zero, your credit union also has to be easy to use. Service failures are not fun, but they do provide valuable lessons. Filene sought to look beyond member satisfaction and Net Promoter scores and check out the potential value of using a member effort score.

Based on that research, we’ll take you through three areas that provide the most potential for improving the overall service experience.

  • Learn from what you’re already doing well. All credits unions probably have a medal-winning area of their organization where ease-of-use reigns. Take what’s going well there and apply it to the areas of needed improvement.
  • Improve handoffs. When a member initiates service online or in one department and eventually needs to get moved to another, making that transfer of service seamless is vitally important.
  • Check out your mortgage process. Overwhelmingly, mortgage was the most consistent area of inconsistency. How can you make that process easier for the member while still adhering to regulatory requirements? 

Fighting for Market Share: The Future of Lending in a Crowded Space

We know competition is already fierce in our industry. With the rise of online lenders, credit unions are facing another set of competitors in an already crowded space. The overall lending experience (particularly the ease of applying for and receiving funds in a timely manner) will create further pressure for credit unions to enhance their offers and experience. And to compound, non-traditional lenders are using much more than credit scores to get creative in their loan approvals.

With these challenges, credit unions must consider these questions:

  • What does the online lending space look like today and what will it look like in the future?
  • How do we create a digital lending strategy that capitalizes on current strengths while still addressing opportunity areas?
  • Will underwriting based on credit scores continue to be enough?
  • What alternate data is already being used, or should be in consideration, in loan decisions?

You’ll walk away from this session with an understanding of where the market is heading, how you and your credit union can get prepared and food for thought on new ways to meet your members’ needs. 

It’s Not Them, It’s You: Why Are Your Members Breaking-up With You

How do members decide which financial institution they are (or aren’t!) going to use for their lending needs? Filene released a series of reports based on a survey of 5,000 credit union members to investigate why they prefer one lender over another and what factors lead to those decisions.

Knowing the choice points for various loan types differ greatly, all loan types were examined separately to provide the best insight into the drivers of each and the common factors that do influence all of them. We’ll look at topics like:

  • Consumers generally believe their “relationship” with a credit union is stronger but banks are perceived to have “better fitting” products and services
  • Where wallet share and loyalty do (and don’t) matter when it comes to getting a loan
  • The ever-important price point and its impact
  • What types of loan members comparison shop for and what types they don’t 

Mastering the Funda-Mentals: Understanding Consumer Borrowing Confidence

With the financial crisis firmly in the rearview mirror, consumers are increasingly returning to credit union loan application queues. But how confident are they in their willingness to borrow and ability to repay? Filene conducts semi-annual surveys of thousands of consumers to understand what drives their borrowing decisions, what loan products are (or aren’t) appealing, and how credit unions can better communicate value to today’s borrowers. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of how potential borrowers perceive loans and strategies to engage with their needs.

Meet your Future Member

Everyone’s looking for the next set of credit union members. We can introduce you. Filene has conducted extensive research from a nationally representative sample of consumers on their borrowing and other financial intentions. Additionally, we’ve already looked ahead to the year 2025 and have a view of what the landscape will look like – how many credit unions will be there, what products and services will be necessary to meet demand and what delivery channels will be most impactful.

Join us to get a head start on the competition. 

Peer-to-Peer Lending: It’s in Our DNA!

The world of lending options today is much different than ever before. An entrepreneur seeking capital now has exponentially more choices than have ever been available. Non-traditional sources are increasing in popularity, with peer-to-peer lending often leading the way. Filene investigated the major providers of peer-based lending and analyzed the opportunity that might exist for credit unions in that space.

Alongside a model that harkens back to the long-standing credit union tradition of reputation-based service delivery, the peer-to-peer lending market has major disruptive potential and can extend credit union services to new members that might not have other alternatives. We’ll also look at a range of tools that can aid in everything from program set up to ultimate lending decisions.


Beyond Omni-Channel: Building a Member Experience for the Future

We often sacrifice quality for quantity – the more options we give our members, the better. Right? Maybe not. Especially when it comes to technology, having five superior channels is better than 20 mediocre choices.

The bottom line for your bottom line and expectations around member experience? Push low-value transactions to online channels. Disseminate information digitally. And save your human resources primarily for high-value transactions. We’ll help you sort through these strategies and leave you with real tangible ideas to build a member experience that works for you and for them, today and into the future.

Doing Digital Right: An International Perspective

If this year’s vacation budget doesn’t accommodate a trip down under, here’s your second-best bet for capturing an international view of the digital landscape. We’ve worked with credit unions and financial institutions in Australia, Canada and the United States to see how they are (and should be) using digital and big data to their advantage.

This session will provide inspiration for what we’re seeing as the areas to start when it comes to doing digital right:

  • Make a digital strategy your driving force
  • Get to know your members and their preferences
  • Recognize that digital isn’t just about millennials
  • Know and understand the ever-present digital buzz words (“API,” “omnichannel,” “disruptive”) and factor them into your strategy 

Sink or Swim: Data Technology in Credit Unions

Here’s what this session won’t teach you: Technology and advancements in data are vital to the future of your credit union. You already know that. With a dual strategy of conducting online research, then engaging select respondents in one-on-one, in-depth interviews, we checked in with credit unions on where they stand with technology and analyzing data and the growth they think they are (or aren’t) achieving because of it.

Not surprising or new: Mobile is now the most important touch point when interacting with consumers. Perhaps somewhat surprising: physical branches are still relevant, but taking on a deeper purpose around member interactions. We’ll cover all sides of the issue and show you where credit unions are using data technology effectively to move themselves forward.

Young Adult

Attracting and Engaging the Young Adult Gen Z Market

Many businesses, not just credit unions, are buzzing about the millennial/Gen Y group as their top focus. But it’s never too early to think about the Gen Z group that sits just behind them. While you’re shaping your business around millennials, why not make sure those products and delivery channels will have a shelf life for the next generation. 

As always, Filene is on the case with research and real data to prepare you. By understanding the preferences and goals of Gen Z today, credit unions can be ahead of the game in engaging the credit union members of tomorrow. 

Millennial Money Chatter: Speaking a Foreign Language

At the top of most credit union strategy lists is an initiative around attracting and engaging the next generation of members. Understanding Millennials' attitudes around finances is key for credit unions to develop effective products, programs and services that will truly cause them to take action. Filene set out on a "netnographic" study that combed online and social dialogue and dug into the mindsets and language this group is using to talk about their finances. 

Some of the findings are quite shocking and maybe even a little disheartening, but will help you shape your strategy and messaging to resonate and ensure relevance with our current and future members. 

Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation of Credit Union Leaders

You don’t just need the next generation of high potential employees for your future leadership positions, you need them in your credit union right now. Even if they’re not poised to take the next open CEO slot, they are a valuable resource for credit unions that are forward-thinking and preparing for the future of leadership, products, services and delivery methods.

Filene surveyed more than 200 credit union professionals under the age of 30 and gained insights into the relationships they have with their employers. We’ll show you where credit unions are excelling for this group – and of course the areas of opportunity that exist.