Oct 15, 2020

Extractable: Delivering customer-focused digital strategy

Vision Federal Credit Union
Digital strategy
Customer Centricity
Matt High
5 min
Craig McLaughlin, CEO at Extractable, discusses the development of a member-first digital strategy with Visions Federal Credit Union
Craig McLaughlin, CEO at Extractable, discusses the development of a member-first digital strategy with Visions Federal Credit Union...

Craig McLaughlin, CEO at Extractable, discusses the development of a member-first digital strategy with Visions Federal Credit Union.

The financial services industry is evolving at pace; driven by new digital-first experiences that are personalized, always-on, and laser focused on customer experience. In order to remain competitive in such an environment, businesses, whether they are incumbents, fintechs, credit unions or insurers, must develop and implement a robust and forward-looking digital transformation strategy.

But not all transformations are not created equal.

Focused exclusively on financial services, Extractable, a Silicon Valley-based digital consultancy, takes a unique approach to digital transformation. Following the Design Thinking model coined and championed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (d.school), Extractable tackles transformation from the ground up — with the user. The group works closely with clients in banking, investment management and insurance to deeply understand their customer’s unique needs. They leverage primary customer and market research in tandem with quantitative data analysis to define the actual usage and performance of digital systems. Additionally, they work closely with management teams to align departmental business goals to a digital strategy, placing equal emphasis on cultural transformation. 

“Our work is really around applying our proprietary research, knowledge and experience to ensure that those companies we work with get the most out of their digital channels,” notes Craig McLaughlin, Extractable’s CEO. “For us, customer experience and user centricity are in our DNA, having served clients in Silicon Valley for over 20 years. We seek to extend that expertise, looking to bring together first-person user research in terms of who the company’s customers are, and marry that squarely to the overarching business goals and, holistically, what each department is looking to achieve. Finally, we bring that together in the form of a cohesive digital strategy,” McLaughlin explains. 

“A lot of the time, what ‘digital’ is trying to do is not necessarily the same as what the organization is looking to do more broadly,” he continues. “So, we typically spend a lot of time with CEOs and others in the business to understand what the traditional strategy looks like, and then develop ways in which we can manifest that into the digital realm. It’s about bringing all the disparate teams and departments together under one strategy that is absolutely cohesive and unified, and laser-focused on a single goal — This is particularly true for financial institutions such as credit unions.”

The need for such a strategy, says McLaughlin, is being driven by the broader trend in the sector that sees customers shift from using brick-and-mortar financial services, such as bank branches, to their digital counterparts. This has been accelerated by the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, he explains. “People have been shifting away from visiting branches for some time, but we’re now seeing that they just can’t do that even if they want to. So, for companies in the industry, whatever their learning curve was around switching to a digital-first strategy, that’s being pushed and accelerated. A lot of us, as a result of COVID, will adapt to and adopt the digital world, and that really changes things for these organizations.

“With that in mind, I couldn’t imagine being a CEO of a bank today and saying, ‘our strategy hinges on the building of branches’,” says McLaughlin. “Really, they should blend the digital and physical and deeply consider how that combination enables them to stand for something special. The big question to answer is, how can an incumbent FSI manifest their unique brand story into a set of digital and physical experiences that can be delivered in concert — at scale.”

Extractable’s customers include many of the largest credit unions in the United States. Extractable is currently working with Visions Federal Credit Union, a New York-based CU that offers a host of services such as savings, checking, loans, mortgages and investments, and online banking. Visions FCU is also working with Extractable to launch a member-focused digital transformation. “It’s a fantastic credit union with a very clear vision in terms of growth,” says McLaughlin. “One of the great things about the company is its culture and leadership, which is the single most critical success factor when you’re driving change.

“Where we come into that work is carrying out research into the organization’s members and prospective members, with a view towards developing a user-centered digital strategy,” he adds. “Every credit union we work with has something unique, and Visions has a great opportunity for growth. We’re particularly impressed with the organization’s ability to prioritize and focus on collaboration and using data insights to guide decision making.” 

The transformation at Visions is still in its early stages, with Extractable focused on the discovery and research work that informs the digital strategy. This, shares McLaughlin, includes developing an understanding of each department’s goals, and the specific areas of focus for growth that can be improved with digital. 

“It’s really all about establishing a plan for how the client can delight the existing member and win the prospective member — digitally,” he says. “With that roadmap in place and alignment with the credit union leadership team, the focus shifts to how those goals can be achieved through the digital experience.”

McLaughlin emphasizes, “we are adamant that technology should never come first. Great digital success doesn’t depend on the tools used to build the experience; it depends on the right experience for the user.” He concludes: “When that experience is aligned with organizational strategy — that’s where digital growth begins.”

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Jun 18, 2021

The Ultimate FinTech & InsurTech LIVE Event

3 min
We release three new speaker names for the FinTech and InsurTech virtual conference that can’t be missed, streaming live from London

From October 12th-14th, 2021, BizClik’s FinTech & InsurTech event will bring together influential executives from around the world. Streamed live from Tobacco Dock, London, this three-day event will be an excellent way to finish the year strong, gaining the confidence your company needs to move forward into the future. 

With keynote addresses from global leaders, dynamic roundtable discussions, and extensive networking opportunities, FinTech & InsurTech 2021 will expand your network, deliver insight, and enhance your organisation’s reach. 

Already confirmed speakers include Colin Payne, VP & NextGen FS Global Lead at Capgemini; Dipu KV, President and Head of Operations & CX at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company; Bryan Caroll, CEO at TNEX; and Lucy Demery, Managing Director at Barclays.

The event will include:


  • Keynote addresses from respected industry leaders
  • Dynamic live roundtables (inc. Q&A)
  • Fireside discussions
  • Inspirational Speakers & Presentations
  • Extensive networking opportunities



Meet the Speakers

Each week, from now until the event, we’ll be announcing the latest speakers who are set to grace our physical or virtual stage, prepared to share their knowledge and insight with attendees. 

Our second batch consists of:


Scott Abraham

Currently the Senior Vice President of Business Development & Fintech for Mastercard UK & Ireland, a position he’s held since 2014, Abraham describes himself as “a proven and successful senior sales leader with experience across a wide range of industries, sectors, and channels.” 

Graduating from the University of Northampton in 1994 with a BA in Economics and Law, he worked for nine years at Sainsburys - eventually responsible for banking the company’s revenue and running its ATMs - and then Barclaycard for three years as Head of Client Management. In 2007, Abraham became VP of Client Management at American Express, and then VP and GM Global Supplier Relations EMEA in 2012.

In his current role at Mastercard, Abraham is accountable for the acceptance of all payments and products through all channels, devices, and technologies across UK and Ireland. In addition, he oversees the deployment of innovative new payment tech within the region.


Alistair Fraser-Hawkins

Fraser-Hawkins’ role as CEO, UK Corporate, at Marsh McLennan is the continuation of a long and successful insurance career, which has included being London Sales Director for JLT Group and Branch Director for Willis Towers Watson.

Marsh prides itself on being a company that hires top-tier talent, does work that impacts peoples’ lives, and offers its employees the opportunity to make a difference. This is clearly an attitude that aligns with Fraser-Hawkins’ own values; regarding the insurer’s UK Young Professionals initiative, a support network to help young professionals in their development, he said:

"I am passionate about developing talent and our Young Professional CRG provides a brilliant community for our Young Professional colleagues to discuss key issues relevant early in their careers, as well as an environment to promote the skills, learning and network for success."


Mike Massaro

Massaro is currently the CEO of Boston fintech Flywire, a role he took on in 2013. He first joined the team in 2012 as VP of Business Development, but it wasn’t long before his entrepreneurial skills were redirected to leading the entire company’s high-growth strategy worldwide.

An expert in domestic and international payments and billing, enterprise technology sales, strategic alliances, enterprise software, SaaS, product management and marketing, and much more, Massaro is a consummate finance professional whose credentials befit the leadership of a prominent global payments fintech.

His previous positions include Consultant at PwC and Product Line Manager at Oracle, and he maintains a Mentor role at startup accelerator MassChallenge. He graduated magna cum laude from Babson College with a BS in Information Systems and Finance.


This event is set to be one of the year's most unmissable. If you want to get leading perspectives on the future of fintech and insurtech, go to Eventbrite and purchase your tickets now.

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