Back in the day, as the saying goes, retail stores like Radio Shack advertised the latest and greatest technology. In his talk at the General Session at SCUCE yesterday, Filene Institute’s Andrew Downin took a look at one of those ads from the 1990s and pointed out that most of the devices listed are made obsolete by smart phones. That and other eye-opening facts were the basis for Downin’s discussion about looking to the future to be sure your credit union is poised to change with the times.

To stay relevant in a time of self-driving cars and smart phone updates that will handle most of your “to-do” list on a daily basis, Downin says credit unions basically will need to go with the flow, keeping pace with technology and keeping CUs on the consumer’s radar.

Also speaking to a nearly packed house at the morning session was Mollie Bell, chief transformation officer for CUNA, who spoke on CUNA’s strategic initiatives and engagement transformation. She said CUNA has to change to be more relevant in the future. For that transition, CUNA will have to morph from a national trade association operating in silos and with layers between the organization and credit union members to a bolder, more responsive national credit union trade association, operating with leagues and credit union members as the central focus of the organization.

CUNA continues its advocacy efforts, and Bell points out the fight against regulatory stumbling blocks is ongoing. A study of that impact on credit unions shows that the total financial impact of regulations in 2014 was an eye-opening $7.2 billion. This year, reducing such high costs is one of CUNA’s top initiatives.