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  • Writer's pictureW.B. King

Women in Technology: Patelco Credit Union’s Amy Hockman

Updated: Jun 25

In what is a recurring feature, Finopotamus spotlights innovative women who are positively impacting technology applications in the credit union industry, and beyond. For this issue, we visited with Patelco Credit Union’s Vice President, Digital Experience and Design, Amy Hockman.

By W.B. King

Beginning her career with PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) as an audit manager in 1989, Amy Hockman would later be promoted to a principal consultant in the company’s investment management and securities consulting group. This is when the CPA became interested in technology applications.

“I moved to PwC’s consulting practice in 1995 and began my transition into the technology space – focused more on the business and product perspective,” Hockman told Finopotamus. “I appreciate the opportunity to look forward and build things rather than always looking back as a CPA-auditor.”

Hockman credits George Waal, former PwC consulting partner, with changing the trajectory of her career.

Amy Hockman

“He was my greatest champion. He recruited me over from audit to consulting. He believed in me and gave me great opportunities to learn and develop on a variety of financial services consulting projects,” she continued. “He taught me how to ask questions and really dig into things without putting people on the defensive.”

Waal, she explained, referred to this approach as “doing a Columbo,” a nod to the famed television show that featured actor Peter Falk. “I continue to use that technique to this day.”

Strong Female Leadership

In 2006, Hockman moved to Charles Schwab, holding several positions, including vice president of projects services and vice president of digital services. In 2021, she was named Patelco Credit Union’s vice president of digital experience and design.

“The biggest change has been the shift from in-house custom systems/development to software as a service,” she shared. At previous organizations, she said that since systems were “extensively created in-house,” new sought-after product releases weren’t easily adopted.  

“It was difficult to make changes. Today, most systems are vendor hosted with frequent releases, and we focus on configuration over customization and on challenging our vendors to meet our needs,” she noted. “We develop and maintain custom code only where we can provide additional value or innovate.”

Another area of innovation, Hockman shared, comes in the form of gender equality in the workplace, especially at organizations like Charles Schwab and Patelco CU that promote strong female leadership.

“In fact, Schwab had a female CTO as well as numerous female vice presidents in technology,” she said. “Personally, I have been impressed by the number of women in leadership positions in the credit union space, including technology.”

The $9 billion, Dublin, Calif.-based credit union supports more than 800 employees, 500,000 members at 37 branch locations.

When Finopotamus asked her to share recent technology-related accomplishments that have benefited the credit union, she was happy to oblige.

“We have benefited from implementing new fraud management tools, including a behavioral biometric solution for our digital banking platform and an identity verification tool in our digital account open flow,” Hockman said.

“Both tools have provided immediate benefits after implementation,” she continued. “We are excited about any tool that can help us mitigate fraud–protecting Patelco and our members with minimal member impact.” 

Tech on her radar includes innovations in the financial wellness space. “These tools are completely aligned with Patelco’s mission and span the full breadth of providing credit scores and ways to improve your score, financial insights, relevant personalized content,” she shared. “Our biggest challenge is figuring out how best to seamlessly integrate these solutions into our platforms to support our member’s financial health journey.”

A Breath of Fresh Air

While Hockman only joined the “people helping people” credit union movement three years ago, she remains amazed at the levels of collaboration and partnership in the space.

“It’s been a breath of fresh air to work with credit union partners to raise the member experience bar across the credit union space,” she said. “The not-for-profit construct makes a huge difference in how we approach our work and our high level of member focus.”

For the credit union movement to thrive, she believes partnerships with like-minded fintechs are critical. To this end, she noted an upcoming discounted gift cards campaign with the ad-tech CUSO, PrizeOut Corp., an automated direct deposit solution with Truv, and a partnership with the biometrics firm, BioCatch, to address fraud. 

“We have had the chance to invest in and partner with several fintechs recently. They allow us to provide innovative new capabilities for our members,” she said, adding that attending Finovate conferences has provided opportunities to connect with many progressive fintechs. “We hope to do more in the financial wellness space in 2025.”


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