By Finn O'Potamus
On Feb. 1, 2023, Finopotamus published its inaugural Industry Leaders Forum, an ongoing series that gives credit union and fintech experts the opportunity to answer tech-related questions posed by the Finopotamus editorial staff.
The question posed for this installment:
What is the single biggest technology challenge facing credit unions in 2023?
Finopotamus had the opportunity to talk with IMM’s Senior Vice President of Markets and Strategy Michael Ball about the noted Industry Leaders Forum question and other topics. IMM is a premier provider of e-signature technology that serves more than 1,500 banks and credit unions around the United States.
“Credit Unions biggest challenge this year is staring down an uncertain economic situation and preparing how to navigate that in combination with continuing to push forward innovation, technology and member experience initiatives that are paramount to defining success,” Ball told Finopotamus. “No one knows what will or will not happen next year economically. The best we can do is prepare for the worst, but often, it's not as bad as what anyone anticipates. Credit union executives must have a balanced view on how to mitigate risk without impeding the forward movement to best serve its members, community and market.”
According to Ball, technology is increasingly important. “Credit unions should continue to invest in technology that will enable them to advance forward, yet can also allow them to drive value in areas that will help navigate any potential challenges to the economy,” he added.
Choosing an E-Signature Provider
That are several e-signature companies that serve the credit union market. However, Ball maintains that e-signatures aren’t a commodity. “IMM is proof that not all e-signature vendors are the same,” stated Ball. “What differentiates us is that our technology was created exclusively for banks and credit unions.”
“Our founding principles are seeded in quality business practices combined with thoughtful customer orientation,” he continued, “which results in a meaningful experience the customer receives when it comes to both our products and our services over their tenure with IMM.”
Ball said that a focus on the people component of business is essential – both with customers and with employees. “Treating people right and caring about their success are critical in our overarching efforts to make an impact on our customers,” he said. “Our customers have shared with us that their experiences with IMM are unlike what they experienced with other vendors. That positive reputation and expectation of excellent customer service is what drives people to join our IMM family.”
Finopotamus asked Ball what keeps him motivated. “I love what I do,” he said without hesitation. “I love what IMM delivers to our customers, and I am passionate about making an impact and being the best in our market, the best to our customers and to our employees. That’s why I get up every day – because I am excited for the opportunity to build amazing things and to make people’s lives better. “
Ball summed it up like this: “When you can bring people together who really care about what they are doing, it’s easy to stay motivated. While many people in similar leadership positions have their own basis of motivation, I find that never settling, never accepting less, and always striving for more for yourself and for those around you makes a significant difference in leading the way in operational and technology efficiency and effectiveness.”