Ken Diederich

Ken Diederich manages sales and marketing in the Northeast Region of the US for FLEX.
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Mobile Banking and Member Services...With a Capital M

By Ken Diederich |

Mar

31

I’m one of those people who feels that details are essential to understanding. If you ask for the highlights, I’ll give you the book. One of the hard lessons I’ve had to learn in selling technology is that people really don’t want all of the facts. They just want answers, and quick ones – even when they aren’t exactly sure how to formulate the question. Solution providers are masters at helping them do so.

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Once Upon a Time, There Was Mobile Lending

By Ken Diederich |

Jan

14

Until they reached the 7th grade, my wife and I had nearly mastered the task of getting our five kids to sleep before 8pm. The most powerful tool in our arsenal for this was the never-ending bed-time story. Like a marketing wizard, I would begin my story with a catchy image, and then lead their willing and tired minds from one captivating situation to the next, until they drifted off to sleep. The content of the story was essential to its success. It had to feel genuine and engaging.
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Integrated Apps – The Sum of all Parts

By Ken Diederich |

Nov

25

Let’s not mince words. If a system is integrated, its products are one.

Now, how many software providers can really say they’ve achieved that? Many pay integration lip service, but few give it serious or sufficient consideration in their software’s design.

Integration is a powerful concept. Social integration promotes civic peace and stability. Economic integration is a key to efficient markets. In mathematics, integration is one of Isaac Newton’s great contributions to mankind. Its familiar sigma ∑ symbol (seen in almost all equations too complex for the average person) literally means the “sum of all parts”, and this concept is essential to science that drives the modern world. Integration brought us from Pong to PlayStation and from Earth to the Moon. 

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Assessing the Impact of Mobile Lending: Download our New eBook

By Ken Diederich |

Nov

04

It’s planning season for credit unions, and decisions concerning mobile banking and mobile lending are on the top of the list at most board meetings. Credit unions agree that these technologies are essential, but the reasons are not always so clear. We see the rise in social media and the need to appeal to younger members. We understand that technology is changing the way members access financial services. But how can you reliably estimate the impact of mobile lending upon your credit union? Without a reliable estimate, it’s difficult to justify the cost.
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The Key to Mobile Lending

By Ken Diederich |

Sep

23

PLUS: Register for Our Webinar

“People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.” -- Joan Rivers

It’s true. One key to happiness for credit unions is a good mobile lending strategy, and enough money can certainly help one achieve it. But cost is no measure of success, and a good credit union mobile banking strategy is not just something you buy. Before seeking answers from industry experts and technology providers, credit unions should first carefully consider the right questions.

We want to fund more loans. No question there! But what are we willing to sacrifice to achieve it? Will this new credit union mobile lending channel replace our internet lending channel, or complement it? Will it operate outside of our mobile banking solutions and strategy, or work within it? Which aspects of our lending process on the core should this solution enhance, or be permitted to undermine? How will it affect cross selling systems, loan activity reporting, or loan officer workload? What effect will our decisions have upon our ability to efficiently support online document execution or funding, or management of loan documents?

The problem with a “shop and see” approach is that everyone’s got an angle. Mobile banking and lending solution providers play to their own strengths, elevating both fears and priorities that may not be yours. Some appeal to your marketing sense, promising the inside track to car buyers or social media users. Others push their product like candy on the street, offering abstract highs like improved wallet share or return on member. The cheapest products are often the most dangerous, because they hook users into a path of add-on acquisitions that are ultimately destructive to core system efficiency.

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Is Your Credit Union Approaching a Core System Meltdown?

By Ken Diederich |

Sep

03

We know the scene by heart.  “Core meltdown is imminent.  Core meltdown commencing in 10, 9, 8, 7, …”  Scientists run around frantically while computer lights are flashing and alarms are wailing.  However absurd, movie makers keep producing this scenario and we keep buying it.  It’s as though something deep within us knows that the technology we depend upon is destined to fail. 

Only in real life, there is no kill switch to stop the countdown. 

As CU's, we are taught to plan for the worst, and we are particularly concerned about the core. Where credit union core systems are concerned, those fears may be justified.   Some credit union core processors systematically plan the demise of their core offerings in order to keep you buying new products.  From the moment you install one of these systems, you perceive the countdown sequence ticking deep down inside of the core. 

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Why Tablet Apps Matter

By Ken Diederich |

Aug

12

Credit union mobile banking technology is like manna from heaven to those who thrive on instant access to their account information.  Today's omni-consuming members wield their mobile phones like gods, managing all of their financial affairs on these devices, from anywhere, at any time. 

Still these gods of the mobile-verse are not easily pleased.  In the rush to develop mobile phone apps for our market, too many solutions have given the tablet far less attention than it deserves.

Consider that all devices are NOT created equal.  The great advantage of a mobile phone is its portability, its compact simplicity.  Nothing could be better for checking balances, transferring funds, or making a payment.  But what about reviewing a new member application, a member statement or a loan document?  There is a reason why God put his commandments on tablets.  It was just the right size screen.  (Moses might have opted for an iPhone, but he likely struggled with the small fonts after having stared into the burning bush.) 

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Three Ways Credit Unions Can Attract and Retain Younger Members

By Ken Diederich |

Jul

01

A 70 year old man happened upon a genie one day who promised to grant him a single wish.  Without hesitation, the man cast a mischievous grin toward his aging wife and chuckled, “I wish I had a woman that was 20 years younger!”   Poof!  And just like that, the man was 90 years old.

Credit unions are also trying to tap that fountain of youth.  Those that succeed in attracting younger members soon discover that they, like the 70-year old man, must also radically change.  But it’s not a tummy tuck transformation.  It’s not hair implants or a new sports car.  Credit unions that drink from this fountain must actually become younger, changing the way they think and the way they invest in technology.

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Five - No! Three Questions for a Credit Union Core Systems Review

By Ken Diederich |

May

20

Monty Python and the Holy Grail of Credit Union Core Technology

Selecting great credit union core systems is the Holy Grail at the end of a long and difficult road.  Fortunately, credit unions undertaking such a quest have an excellent handbook to guide them.  No, I’m not referring to the regulators’ handbook.  I’m talking about the manual for most of life’s woes – “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.

In this age-old comedy (my apologies to those unfamiliar readers who are not also age-old), King Arthur rallies his knights on a delirious journey to find the Holy Grail.  Along the way they match wits with armless swordsmen, decapitating rabbits, vestal virgins, wizards and uncooperative Frenchmen – I imagine not too unlike some of the characters you’ll likely encounter in your review. 

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