THRIVE Strategic Services: The average credit union has 60 to 100 data systems that collect massive amounts of data, but 92 percent of credit unions are not effectively utilizing their available data. To help credit unions leverage their data, THRIVE Strategic Services has created and launched a CPE Certified Data Education course for credit unions of any size that can help them accelerate data usage and leverage it to help members. Key deliverables include an enterprise data vision, member-centric data use cases, understanding and defining data maturity, essential elements of data governance, creative data consumption by enterprise talent, workplace adoption, and building a data roadmap. Led by founder Anne Legg, THRIVE’s mission is to educate at least 25% of the industry within the next five years. Since its launch in 2021, the seven-class series has educated 200 students who have created 97 data use cases, produced 80 data roadmaps and developed 125 data vision statements.
4Front Credit Union: Americans must contend with complex 401(k) plans, increasingly complex investments and new credit products, all of which put the average consumer at financial risk. In the United States, a lack of personal financial literacy costs an estimated $352 billion annually. 4Front Credit Union ($963 million in assets; 95,995 members) saw an opportunity to help members build financial literacy for long-term financial health by encouraging them to practice practical savings habits and helping them achieve their personal financial goals. The credit union, led by Zach Eychaner, senior vice president of technology, has partnered with Plinqit to provide a savings platform that pays members to understand their finances by watching a video or reading an article from the Plinqit library, followed by a short quiz. Upon completion, members can earn rewards. Since partnering with Plinqit, 4Front members have saved $818,997 and completed more than 775 financial education courses. Over 1,200 members actively use Plinqit’s tools.
Commonwealth Credit Union: As more members work with Commonwealth Credit Union through digital channels ($1.98 billion in assets; 115,645 members), it decided it was imperative to invest in a better experience for online and mobile banking users . Based on feedback received about the cumbersome experience of its mobile and online banking systems, the credit union launched a new digital banking experience last year, overhauling its appearance and functionality, and making its members’ online and mobile banking experience the same as omnichannel. The method remains the same. The upgrade provides enhanced security measures to protect members’ personal information and allows members to customize their experience, including setting alerts, adding notes and uploading images. When the program started, the Federal Credit Union had 78,826 online banking users and 53,809 mobile banking users. On the first day of the upgrade, with the help of a thorough communication plan, 41% of users have switched to the new digital banking platform, exceeding the target of 164%.
Open Lending: Open Lending has developed a risk-based auto loan support platform that uses proprietary data and advanced decision analytics from a database of near prime loans to help lenders approve and fund a wider range of At the same time, it provides service benefits and reduces risks for more members. The Lender Protection Program allows credit unions to book 20% to 30% more auto loans from their existing application process, with higher returns than prime loan programs. Loans are individually insured and the insurance is designed to absorb over 85% of expected shortfall balances. By utilizing this risk transfer mechanism, actual loan losses reflect the lender’s primary auto loan portfolio, and all costs of the program are reflected in the proposed contract rate. Since the launch of Lenders Protection, Open Lending has accumulated more than $12 billion in insured loans, including approximately 600,000 certified loans from more than 400 US financial institutions.
NorthPark Community Credit Union: For the past few years, NorthPark Community Credit Union ($45.6 million in assets; 4,893 members) has been pursuing a fully virtualized initiative that it says is countering the merger of smaller credit unions by reducing costs trends and allow organizations to enter new markets without adding brick-and-mortar stores. The plan includes closing all brick-and-mortar branches in favor of electronic services and ATMs, providing its teams with full remote work. In addition, NorthPark expects its virtual branch strategy to unlock funding opportunities for its low-income target population in its 19 counties by eliminating potentially inconvenient standard branch hours, transportation issues and anxiety about entering branches. NorthPark’s initiative reduced operating expenses by $150,000 over two years, provided a profit-sharing bonus for each member, reduced waste, expanded the talent pool, and provided career development opportunities for front-line team members. To help other credit unions go virtual, NorthPark is building out its “virtual branch” website.
MAX Credit Union: The team at MAX Credit Union ($2 billion in assets; 118,576 members) is always looking for ways to nurture and strengthen member relationships built over the years. Using Q2 Studio Innovation, the credit union created a referral and rewards program in-house, saving a lot of time and money. By eliminating outside suppliers, MAX saved over $100,000 on the referral program and was able to deliver in months instead of years. Through the incentive program, initial vendor forecasts reached around $50,000 over a 6- to 8-month time frame. MAX’s IT department completed the project in-house, saving more than $50,000, and delivering it in days instead of months. In the new program, MAX’s goal is to reward members while creating and maintaining awareness, so it matters most when members use their debit cards, apply for loans, or refer friends.
Ent Credit Union: With the massive shift to digital solutions during the pandemic and the accelerating pace of innovation driven by big tech companies and small start-ups, Ent Credit Union ($9.1 billion in assets; 473,470 members) knew it needed to be the best possible response. Rather than relying on third-party vendors and multiple member feedback cycles, credit union leadership invests in internal models. One is to upgrade the online banking system to a more agile microservice architecture; second, it invests in the human capital required to manage digital products with continued ownership and innovation. Overall, Ent now has about 65 people focused on its digital membership journey, including a dedicated product manager, a new VP of digital product, a new experience design department, and dedicated UI/UX designers on each team. Ent has also recruited more than 1,500 member ambassadors to test new solutions and designs and provide feedback.
Enrich: Enrich’s technology-driven financial wellness products transform the marketing strategies of credit union partners, enabling them to lead the way through interactive digital education, while driving member acquisition and engagement, and demonstrating impactful financial behavior change. Its interactive digital financial education platform begins with a financial health check, assessing key elements of a user’s financial story, including financial challenges and goals, and then using artificial intelligence algorithms to instantly personalize the user experience based on the answers. As users continue to interact with the platform, personalization becomes deeper to ensure a constantly fresh and engaging experience. The platform integrates with the Credit Union Member Portal and currently works with 250-300 different credit unions. Credit unions can white-label the program with over 100 different configuration options and add their own customizations. Data from Enrich shows that platform usage is associated with an average 23% decrease in financial stress over a 12-month period.
We’re excited to continue introducing the 2022 LUMINARIES category finalists, recognized this year for the many vibrant and inclusive ways the credit union industry is moving forward.
Finalists are selected by our editorial team from hundreds of star nominations in four award categories: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Executive Leadership, Technology Innovation and Product Innovation.
This slideshow highlights the eight finalists in our Technology Innovations: Organizations category. This is a group of organizations focused on the development and execution of technological advancements to benefit the credit union system.
Finalists in the 2022 LUMINARIES category were recently reviewed by a diverse panel of judges from the credit union industry, and a selected group of winners will be announced at the program’s first awards dinner and dinner, which will take place on 11 Held on the 15th. 9 Four Seasons Hotels in Washington DC