MDT CEO Shares His 15-Year Journey with the CUSO

MDT Graffiti Stairwell

Larry Nichols, CEO of Member Driven Technologies, has spent 40 years in the credit union and IT industry, but he’s never seen it as fast-paced and exciting as it is today.

“Technology is now evolving at an astronomical rate,” said Nichols. “Only those who live and breathe technology every day are able to keep up. Our goal at MDT is to provide credit unions with the modern and flexible technology tools required to stay relevant and compete.”MDT CEO Larry Nichols

In the current financial services landscape, credit unions are increasingly required to perform more tasks with fewer resources. This can be especially difficult for smaller credit unions, as they are typically at a disadvantage from a resource perspective. To help address this market challenge and better support credit unions, MDT hosts the Episys® core platform from Symitar® to provide them with a private cloud alternative for core processing and IT needs.This enables credit unions to boost efficiencies and reduce costs.

For example, one of the most popular areas of interest within MDT is currently cybersecurity solutions; in fact, cyber intelligence is a major service that MDT offers. Fraudsters are enhancing their hacking game and becoming increasingly adept at working around new cybersecurity measures. Risk and fraud are huge concerns for credit unions (particularly around remote deposit capture) and have been since the beginning of the digital age.

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MDT works with its credit union clients to prevent, detect and respond to cyberattacks. The company searches the dark web for credit union employees’ emails, monitors their computers for malware and viruses and then takes credit union employees offline immediately when an issue is discovered.

Nichols added, “Technology and cybersecurity are constantly changing, and it’s essential that credit unions stay ahead of the curve and understand technological roadmaps to prevent risk.”

Cybersecurity data breach hand laptop twitterTo remain proactive about credit union executives’ technological needs and areas of concern such as cybersecurity, MDT hosts an annual CEO Forum to provide clients with a unique avenue to connect with MDT and Symitar executives. During this event, credit union executives have the opportunity to discuss the current technology landscape, industry trends and business challenges with both their peers and technology partners. A common theme discussed during this year’s Forum was business intelligence and data analytics.

Credit union executives want to leverage predictive analytics, like Amazon’s personalized purchase recommendations, to help them better serve their members and promote relevant and timely offerings. Understanding and categorizing like members can help credit unions understand what members want and need before they even realize it themselves. “It’s the next retail miracle,” according to Nichols.

Working with financial technology companies like MDT is beneficial to credit unions trying to accomplish technology and customer service initiatives such as these. “Partnering with fintechs to implement digital offerings should not be placed on the backburner,” explained Nichols. “Technology is constantly changing and evolving, and on top of that, credit unions must manage an increasing regulatory burden. It’s challenging for credit unions to keep up with these pressures without strong tech partners.”

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MDT Graffiti StairwellTo serve as a valuable technology partner to its clients and maintain its high levels of superior service, MDT consistently focuses on training,
education, evaluation and understanding of credit unions’ tech needs. Nichols added, “Our entire team shares in our unwavering commitment to excellent service,” which is MDT’s No. 1 strategic driver. 

MDT Volunteering at Gleaners Food BankMDT’s dynamic and rewarding work culture has contributed to the company’s impressive client service standard and employee retention rate. The first four employees Nichols hired when he launched the company are still there, and MDT now employs more than 135 professionals.  MDT fosters a collaborative, comfortable, ‘Google-esque’ office space that provides numerous amenities to employees, such as a relaxation room with massage chairs, a gym and a snack bar with healthy options. “We wanted to create a work environment that inspires innovation,” said Nichols.MDT headquarters

MDT has been consistently recognized for this superior company culture; it has been named a Cool Place to Work in Michigan by Crain’s
Detroit Business for the past two years. The rankings are determined based on the results of a confidential employee survey inquiring about companies’ work environment, leadership, benefits and perks. In the photo above, MDT employees volunteered at Gleaners Food Bank earlier this year. 

Nichols commented, “Our company has significantly evolved since its inception in 2003, and we remain committed to staying up-to-date with the modern security, technology and member service tools and technology required in today’s financial services environment.”

October 24, 2018