Strategic Link’s betaSpace Brought Innovation and Value to Credit Unions’ Doors in 2019

In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing tech market, it can be tough to decide which business partner will offer the best product or service to enhance credit union members’ experiences. That’s where Strategic Link’s betaSpace comes in. In 2019, it brought the best to credit unions’ doorstep – and will continue that important work in 2020.

betaSpace ensures credit unions stay a step ahead of members’ expectations by vetting fintech solutions and staying on top of trends. Who vets these partners? Credit unions do. They bring their expertise to the table as members of the Value Creation Task Force, making recommendations and often testing the product or solution in their own credit unions first.

So when a credit union signs on with a betaSpace partner, they have the peace of mind of knowing their own peers chose the partner as a top solution.

“The Task Force meets to identify products and services that are truly beneficial to all of our member credit unions,” said Northwest Credit Union Association VP of Strategic Resources, Jason Smith. “We’re focusing on innovation and finding new ways to help member credit unions expand and grow.”

Eight new betaSpace partners were recommended by task force members in 2019, and several of these solutions have yielded successful implementations at member credit unions, such as Eltropy’s texting solution, recently onboarded at SELCO Community Credit Union and Idaho Central Credit Union.

This year, Task force members also played an essential role in the creation of CU Pitch, a Shark Tank-style contest for credit union fintech partners, which debut this fall at the MAXX 2019 Strategic Link Trade Show in Spokane.

Five betaSpace partners had only minutes to pitch their solution to a panel of judges comprised of credit union leaders and venture investors. betaSpace partners Eltropy, Double Check, Narmi, Illuma Labs, and Digital Onboarding competed for the top spot, with Eltropy taking the honors.

“Eltropy has already grown its number of credit union clients by over 280% in 2019, and they are poised to significantly increase their credit union success in 2020,” Smith said.

Neener, Glia, Flybits, and Vetter also made impactful pitches at MAXX 2019 during the betaSpace Bonanza Breakout Session, where more than 50 credit union professionals heard about the latest tech offerings, had an opportunity to ask questions, and watch product demos.

“The Northwest Credit Union Association and Strategic Link make it a top priority to be a leader in bringing tech solutions to its member credit unions. That’s evident when MAXX attendees stroll the floor at the Trade Show,” Smith said.

Looking ahead to 2020, Smith noted that there is a lot of buzz at industry events around the role of artificial intelligence and blockchain. There’s also a growing demand for voice technology.

“Some futurist have even gone so far as to say the advances in voice technology will be bigger in the future than the internet itself,” said Smith.