Strategic Link’s Value Creation Task Force Drives Credit Union Advancement and Innovation with Fintech Solutions
A group of credit union executives crowd a conference room table. All eyes focus on the man at the front of the room. He’s explaining how his company’s product improves credit union members’ online banking experience. The executives listen, take notes, and ask questions that delve deep into how the solution functions and how it benefits credit unions.
This is the scene at a Feb. 27 Northwest Credit Union Association Value Creation Task Force meeting. The Task Force, a group of high-level credit union executives, met to evaluate potential partners who offer new fintech solutions for credit unions and their members.
“The purpose of the Task Force is to identify the advances that help our Northwest credit union members stay one or two steps ahead of their members’ expectations,” said VP of Strategic Resources, Jason Smith. “We’re identifying companies that offer a clear value proposition backed up with key metrics, use cases, and research findings.”
Strategic Link business partners are sourced from industry-leading conferences and events such as Finovate, Money20/20, and LendIT.com. Some of them are looking for investment, some are pilots, and others are looking for customer acquisition. During the Task Force’s meetings, partners are carefully vetted to offer the highest quality services and products for Northwest credit unions. Picture the show, “Shark Tank,” only for credit unions and fintech companies.
“This round of presentations was unique in that the presenters were in various stages of starting up their businesses,” said Task Force Committee Chair and EVP Chief Operations Officer of East Idaho Credit Union, Cindy High. “This presented opportunities for the credit union attendees to participate in testing for the presenters and in doing so, helped them refine their products. Sometimes the timing isn’t right for some of the credit unions to take on a presenter’s project, but we all benefit from thinking big and discovering more!”
At the meeting, the Task Force evaluated four companies offering a program/solution, a platform, an app, and a concept. All four were added as Strategic Link business partners after thoughtful consideration and research.
Narmi: Helps credit unions offer a differentiated, member-centric digital banking experience. Through its digital platform, Narmi provides superior technology for mobile banking, online banking, digital account opening and banking APIs, or application programming interfaces. Narmi’s solution integrates fintech into credit union online banking, allowing credit unions to better compete with mega-banks, challenger banks, and fintech companies.
Task Force comment: “Innovative option to leverage fintech directly from credit union online and mobile offer.”
Sein Analytics: Offers financial analytics tools that enable credit unions to use capital more efficiently. The solution offers robust loan-level analysis and enables users to easily build relationships with whole-loan buyers and sellers, increase closure rates, and easy loan package management – all from one dashboard.
Task Force comment: “Interesting marketplace concept.”
Chipper: Provides users an easy way for borrowers to chip away at their student loan debt. By rounding up change from everyday transactions, Chipper automatically pays down loans. After downloading the app to connect checking accounts with student loan servicers, users spend money as usual while the app rounds each transaction to the nearest dollar and applies that amount to the loan. The average borrower saves $6,200 and four years on repayment.
Task Force comment: “Interesting idea to leverage small dollar amounts to tackle a growing debt issue.”
Cozera: Offers a solution that disrupts the cycle of fraud by establishing an indisputable, single personal identity credential called a “Cozi.” It is controlled by the user and always resides on their smart phone using a proprietary, multi-layered, cryptographically secured, blockchain-fortified methodology known as the “Circles of Trust.”
Task Force comment: “Much needed solution.”
“These businesses were selected for the high degree of relevancy, innovation, and customization capabilities they bring to member credit unions,” said Smith. “We look forward to seeing their products put into service and the resulting positive impact.”
If your credit union would like to learn more about these new partners or if you are interested in becoming a member of the Value Creation Task Force, contact NWCUA VP of Strategic Resources, Jason Smith.
Editor’s note: Look for more Anthem articles in the coming weeks about Narmi, Sein Analytics, Chipper, and Cozera.