- Tech Insights
For Blake Pelletier, CIO & CISO at The Police Credit Union, honesty, integrity, loyalty are the three essential qualities that have made him the steadfast leader he is today. His vision is to always think of the members first. His role models have influenced this, who have always been leaders who find solutions for current problems but never lose sight of what is needed for the future. Armed with these qualities, he has been leading the union towards great heights.
Since 1953, The Police Credit Union has operated as a non-profit financial cooperative where earnings are passed on to members in the form of better rates, costs, and services. Today, TPCU is still proud to serve the dedicated First Responders of the greater Bay Area, including law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical technicians, and other agencies within our common bond. TPCU believes in remaining true to their exclusive membership, and that dedication to their core group has resulted in a satisfied, loyal membership.
TPCU strives to provide the best service and financing options for all its members. “We understand your financial needs vary from person-to-person and from day-to-day. That’s why we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to help you manage your money, and ultimately make your life easier,” says Blake.
According to Blake, in the Financial Services arena, size is king. “In order to compete you must achieve efficiencies to be able to serv your members with all the services they need. Growth will enable the institution to afford this,” he explains. “However, the days of putting a “Brick & Mortar” location on every street corner are gone. Institutions need to use the digital channel to reach all the members and future members on their phones, tablets and computers with all the services they can receive in a branch. My strategy is to think digital first. In collaboration with my Executive counterparts, we remain focused on living “Digital First” You must be willing to have no boundaries on your ideas. If you just do what everyone else does you will never gain any ground on the competition.”
"Since 1953, The Police Credit Union has operated as a non-profit financial cooperative where earnings are passed on to members in the form of better rates, costs, and services."
TPCU provides the best service and financing options for all of its members. “My model is to look at the entire financial services market not just credit unions. I try to make it personal, I’m a consumer also, would I like the service, is it easy to use, is it intuitive and does it bring ME value? If I can answer YES to all of these questions, I want that service on my platform.”
In the digital world, there are a few drawbacks; members occasionally need to use a teller. Hence, TPCU has deployed ITM’s (Interactive Teller Machines) instead of vanilla ATMs. These machines can do everything a teller in a branch can do. “You get a live video teller on the screen. This is very helpful to the member, efficient for the credit union because one video teller can support several machines at the same time and because the tellers are in the call center, we can adjust the hours of operation any way we need to support our members,” explains Blake. “We can place these machines is very small spaces with no person’s present cutting overhead and making it very convenient for the members.”
For Blake, the most significant achievement the company has made is changing the culture. Having a culture that embraces change enables many new ideas to come to light. If the team embraces change, there are more ideas, more innovative solutions, and more game-changers.
TPCU recently replaced their 33-year-old CORE system (a system that runs all transactions). At the same time, they changed their digital platform. These two systems are the foundation of moving to a digital-first organization. With these two new foundation systems, they have embarked on growing their internal capabilities. “We have added an in house PMO to facilitate managing projects. We have added a business analyst process to increase the time from need to solution. Finally we have added in house software development in order to be more nimble is addressing capabilities and get services to market faster,” concludes Blake. IE
Chief Information Officer & Chief Information Security Officer of The Police Credit Union
Since 1953, the SF Police Credit Union has operated as a non-profit financial cooperative where earnings are passed on to members in the form of better rates, costs, and services. Today, SFPCU is still proud to serve the dedicated First Responders of the greater Bay Area, including law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical technicians, and other agencies within our common bond. SFPCU believes in remaining true to our exclusive membership, and that dedication to our core group has resulted in a satisfied, loyal membership.