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Learning what's next in the transformation of financial services


Learning What’s Next in the Transformation of Financial Services

We continue our series of postings of highlights from the Strum Executive Innovation Summit with a recap of Neff Hudson’s presentation. Neff is VP Corporate Development at USAA.

He manages USAA’s equity investments in FinTech, InsureTech, Big Data & Security and Enterprise Infrastructure. He also oversees the commercialization and protection of USAA’s Intellectual Property portfolio. Hudson is a 20-year USAA veteran and lifelong member. He formerly served as Vice President, Emerging Channels where he led USAA’s award-winning mobile, tablet and voice-response channels as well as innovation efforts in emerging payments, social commerce, video and virtual agents.

Hudson led off his presentation with sage advice for all the credit union executives in the room. “What you did yesterday isn’t important. It’s what you do tomorrow that makes the difference”. And he’s learned a thing or two about that during his 20-year tenure at USAA. The organization has something that many credit unions don’t… namely almost 13 million members scattered across the world. And because of this geographic diversity, 93% of them were digitally active with the brand in 2018, a whopping 23% over 2017. However, he cautions… it’s not about driving traffic to your site, or to use your app, it’s about being where the traffic or member is, and to engage with them on their terms.

Hudson went on to explain his view that the future will all be driven by a “marketplace-like” environment where every organization competes for everyone’s business. Talk about a scary landscape that could devolve into commodity-driven, brand-less engagement competing on price. He had all the executives in the room pondering that scenario.

He described a new future of “Algo Banking”… financial services providers using data analytics and powerful algorithms to build relationships built on trust, because we “know” you and we understand what you’re trying to achieve. We can build unique products just for you because we know your needs”.

He wrapped up his remarks with a few statistics. Fifty-nine percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. 44% carry a credit card balance. 38% have an emergency fund, but most have only a few hundred dollars in them. The average spending each month for non-essential items is $483. He painted a scenario that it makes empathy for these situations paramount to serving and that the core values for USAA of Service, Loyalty, Honesty, and Integrity reflect the values of their membership and form the foundation on which they perform work and conduct.

The USAA Standard sets expectations for behaviors, and speaks to the way they act, treat each other, and show up every day at work. The Six Elements of The USAA Standard are: Keep our membership and mission first, Live our core values, Be compliant and manage risk, Build trust and help each other succeed, Embrace diversity and be purposefully inclusive and Innovate and build for the future.

It was great to get an inside peek at the inner-workings of the USAA culture and brand from Hudson’s perspective and role.

— John Mathes, Director of Brand Strategy, Strum