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CO-OP Financial Services rebrands as Co-op Solutions

New Identity Reflects the Co-op of Today – The Cooperative Partner for Credit Unions Driving Solutions for Their Growth and Prosperity; Co-op Built to “Make Every Experience Matter”

February 27, 2022 – CO-OP Financial Services is now Co-op Solutions, the company announced today at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). The company’s rebranding, including a new name, corporate tagline and logo, represents Co-op’s ongoing evolution as a proven innovator of reliable, secure, digital-first payments for the modern member, and fintech solutions for credit unions.

“Over the last few years we have aggressively invested in the company to produce a payments and financial technology platform for credit unions and their members, bringing us to a rebranding as Co-op Solutions,” said Todd Clark, President/CEO of Co-op Solutions. “It’s a change on the outside that better captures the change that has taken place on the inside. Co-op is an essential strategic partner committed to the success and growth of the credit union movement, and a provider of innovative solutions ensuring our clients offer their members leading-edge technology and services.”

Member-Centric Focus

Co-op has adopted “Make every experience matter” as its credo, which is supported by a new corporate mission statement: “To connect credit unions to the technology, strategic partnership and scale they need to best serve their members now and into the future.”

“As we roll out the new branding, our focus remains true to the cooperative spirit we were founded on – to deliver integrated technology solutions that enable member engagement and drive usage and market share growth for credit unions,” said Samantha Paxson, Chief Experience Officer of Co-op. “The refreshed brand reflects our transformation into the partner dedicated to helping our clients become their members’ primary financial relationship.”

Today’s digitally mature Co-op Solutions represents a key opportunity for credit unions. Co-op has evolved from being a reseller of others’ products to building an ever-expanding technology ecosystem to address the lifestyle needs of members as they pay for things daily. Not only do credit unions have a true fintech company within the movement, but a consultative partner in providing complete solutions for members.

“Members want to interact with their institution whenever, however and wherever they choose, and each interaction must be simple, secure and satisfying,” said Clark. “Co-op provides a complete digital payments ecosystem that enables credit unions to facilitate the daily lifestyle moments of members. Each time a member pays for something, it is an experience that matters – bringing that member into a closer relationship with their credit union. Through our work, we help ensure that credit unions stay relevant and competitive, and create opportunity for them tailored to a demanding and crowded marketplace.”

Rolling Out the Co-op Solutions Brand

The new logo will continue to render the company’s name in all caps: Though the company name is in all-caps in the logo, the name ‘Co-op’ in regular text invokes the word cooperative, which is core to Co-op’s business as a provider owned by more than 900 shareholding institutions and servicing 85 percent of the nation’s credit unions.

Co-op Solutions is displaying its complete, refreshed brand look and company name at CUNA GAC, February 27-March 2, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

The new, modern branding will require no immediate changes from the company’s clients. Signage for Co-op’s industry-leading consumer-facing services – its 30,000-strong ATM network and 5,700-location shared branch network – remains unchanged at this time.

For more information, visit Co-op Solutions at coop.org.

About Co-op Solutions
Co-op Solutions is the market-leading financial technology platform whose mission is to connect credit unions to the technology, strategic partnership and scale they need to best serve their members now and into the future. Co-op partners with credit unions to unlock their potential so they can compete; does the hard work of innovation, creating a one-stop opportunity to help credit unions grow; and offers knowledge and expertise in a world where everything must be integrated. For more information, visit coop.org.

Contact:

Bill Prichard, APR
Director, Public Relations
Co-op Solutions
(909) 532-9416
Bill.Prichard@coop.org

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CO-OP Adds new speakers and will reveal insightful new research at THINK 22

David Logan Authored “Tribal Leadership,” Swan Sit Led Digital Transformation at Nike, Revlon
and Estee Lauder; Proprietary Research Will Reveal Growth Opportunities for Credit Unions

February 24, 2022– CO-OP Financial Services is adding two new world-class thought leaders to its line-up of keynote speakers for THINK 22, and will unveil new, insightful research outlining growth opportunities for credit unions, all designed to help attendees “Rethink Everything.”

The content for the THINK 22 conference is being informed by proprietary research CO-OP has commissioned and is working on in collaboration with EY and Filene Research Institute. Both member and credit union perspectives will be shared with attendees throughout the conference.

“We are very proud to welcome David Logan and Swan Sit to our THINK 22 stage,” said Samantha Paxson, Chief Experience Officer for CO-OP. “David is an expert and best-selling author on how businesses can navigate a shifting cultural landscape, while Swan is a renowned executive who drove the digitalization of marketing to grow brands like Nike, Revlon and Esteìe Lauder.

“As credit unions emerge from a period of extraordinary change, the movement has an unparalleled opportunity to rethink everything from reimagining our growth model and economic index to the digitalization of our credit union service model,” Paxson continued. “David and Swan are ideal additions as we pursue this theme at our first live THINK event in two years.”

THINK 22, taking place May 2-6, 2022, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago, is open for registration immediately by visiting https://co-opthink.org. The Winter Special rate of $1,699 remains available through March 15, after which the final rate is $1,999.

Logan and Sit Join Kocienda and Krawcheck for THINK 22

CO-OP has previously announced keynoters Ken Kocienda, Product Architect for Humane and former designer and engineer at Apple, and Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest. Joining them are:

David Logan. Logan is co-founder and president of CultureSync, a management consulting firm focused on the intersection of strategy and culture. He is also a Senior Lecturer at University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business. He has been on the faculty since 1996 and has a Ph.D. in Organization Communication from USC. He has also authored or co-authored six books, including the New York Times bestseller “Tribal Leadership” and “The Three Laws of Performance.”

Swan Sit. Sit has led teams focused on digital transformation in her roles as Head of Digital Marketing at Nike, Revlon and Estée Lauder. Swan held two key roles as a VP at Nike — overseeing Global Digital Marketing during the Emmy-winning “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, and running Digital Operations, Product, Supply Chain and Service for a $2 billion ecommerce business. She led digital at Revlon and Elizabeth Arden, and ran online strategy for the Esteìe Lauder Companies, increasing its digital footprint to 400-plus sites across 50 countries in five years.

Daily Breakout Sessions to Focus on Data Activation, Payments Strategy and Converging Technology

In addition to the keynote addresses in the general sessions, THINK 22 will feature breakout sessions, including CPE credit eligible “Master Classes,” and a variety of panel discussions and presentations that attendees can choose from each day. Led by experts from CO-OP as well as the nation’s most progressive credit unions and throughout the movement, topics on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the conference will fall under three tracks:

  • Data Activation: This series will explore how to apply data for deeper understanding of member behaviors in order to better personalize relationships.
  • Payments Strategy: A theme running through this series is that “payments” are really shorthand for the strategic vision that’s required to move members from passive to active relationships, enabling credit unions to “be their choice in every moment.”
  • Converging Technology: This track involves the nuts and bolts of how to activate the member-centric model on an operational level in a digital ecosystem. At the same time, it’s about bringing the whole vision of the “new member-centric credit union” into reality. The series is designed to help attendees go from thinking to doing – the fun part!

In particular, the Tuesday Data Activation track will include a Master Class on “Brain Shift: Why Behavioral Economics is the Future of Credit Unions,” led by Melina Palmer, author and consultant on behavioral economics to businesses of all sizes worldwide. All Master Classes during THINK 22 enable attendees to receive Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

“Our industry-level breakouts will help THINK 22 participants to return home and build and strengthen the new member-centric credit union needed to compete and prosper in today’s marketplace,” said Paxson.

CO-OP is committed to meeting the highest safety standards possible. THINK 22 will follow all CDC COVID-19 protocols and location-specific requirements.

For more information and to register immediately, visit https://co-opthink.org.

About CO-OP Financial Services
CO-OP Financial Services is a payments and financial technology company whose mission is ensuring the success of the credit union movement. CO-OP payments solutions, engagement services and strategic counsel help credit unions optimize member experiences to consistently provide seamless, personalized multi-channel offerings, while delivering secure, sophisticated fraud mitigation service. For more information, visit www.coop.org.

Contact:
Bill Prichard, APR; Director, Public Relations
CO-OP Financial Services
(909) 532-9416
Bill.Prichard@coop.org

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Curinos Partners with PSCU, enabling credit unions to optimize digital offerings

PSCU and PSCU clients can now access Curinos’ Digital Banking Hub to help credit unions evaluate their competitive position

February 23, 2022 — Curinos, a global data intelligence business serving financial institutions across lending, deposits and digital banking solutions, today announced its partnership with PSCU, the nation’s premier payments credit union service organization, to help credit unions strategically manage their digital investments.

Under this collaboration, PSCU’s newly formed digital banking advisory service within its Advisors Plus consulting practice will utilize Curinos’ Digital Banking Hub – a centralized platform of digital banking journeys that allows financial institutions to review digital banking capabilities in the market – and its services to help credit unions inspire their roadmaps and innovate digitally.

“We are thrilled to partner with PSCU, a firm with rich history in helping credit unions expand their businesses,” said Craig Woodward, CEO at Curinos. “Providing intelligence that allows credit unions – and all financial institutions – to better serve their members and increase business effectiveness is a Curinos core principle, one that PSCU shares. With any partnership, we actively seek to identify firms that share similar values as our own and PSCU is a natural fit.”

“In the current market, it is critical for credit unions to strategically manage their digital banking deployments,” said Eric Edwards, Curinos’ Head of Partnerships and Data Licensing. “This partnership will support credit unions in understanding the strengths, gaps and opportunities within their digital banking offering and the actions needed to offer the best digital experiences to their respective members.”

Credit unions have traditionally struggled with necessary data to strategically manage their digital offerings. Working together, Curinos and PSCU aim to redefine this paradigm and empower credit unions with a detailed analysis of member preferences and industry best practices. In conjunction with PSCU’s Digital Consulting practice, the Digital Banking Hub will launch in pilot phase with several PSCU credit unions, with general availability expected later this year.

“Curinos’ Digital Banking Hub has proven invaluable in helping financial institutions evaluate digital developments and provide a path for evolution,” said Yvonne Stelpflug, Senior Vice President, Advisors Plus at PSCU. “With this new tool, we can further build upon our established track record of helping credit unions make strategic, data-informed decisions while fueling growth and exceeding member expectations.”

Both Curinos and PSCU will be participating in the Exhibit Hall at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) 2022 on Feb. 27-March 3 in Washington, D.C. Credit unions in attendance can connect with Curinos at booth 237 and PSCU at booth 227 to learn how the Curinos Digital Banking Hub can help plan their digital roadmaps.

For additional information about Curinos and its solutions, please visit: https://curinos.com/.

About Curinos

Curinos is the leading provider of data, technologies and insights that enable financial institutions to make better, and more profitable, data-driven decisions faster. Born out of the combination of two familiar industry powerhouses, Novantas and Informa’s FBX business, Curinos brings to market a new level of industry expertise across deposits, lending and digital experience solutions and technologies. Through access to comprehensive datasets and analytics, intelligent technologies and connected behavioral insights, Curinos is the partner of choice to help you attract, retain and grow more profitable customer relationships. For additional information, please visit www.curinos.com.

About PSCU

PSCU, the nation’s premier payments CUSO, supports the success of more than 1,900 financial institutions representing nearly 7 billion transactions annually. Committed to service excellence and focused on innovation, PSCU’s payment processing, risk management, data and analytics, loyalty programs, digital banking, marketing, strategic consulting and mobile platforms help deliver possibilities and seamless member experiences. Comprehensive, 24/7/365-member support is provided by contact centers located throughout the United States. The origin of PSCU’s model is collaboration and scale, and the company has leveraged its influence on behalf of credit unions and their members for more than 40 years. Today, PSCU provides an end-to-end, competitive advantage that enables credit unions to securely grow and meet evolving consumer demands. For more information, visit pscu.com.

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Notarize Celebrates America Saves Week

Notarize is proud to support and join over 2,300 companies and organizations to encourage Americans to save through the America Saves Week campaign, occurring this week from February 21 to 25, 2022. Since 2007, America Saves Week has been an annual celebration as well as a call to action for everyday Americans to commit to saving.

Why should Americans focus on savings? 

Financial emergencies can happen at any time and to anyone. They can be small emergencies like an unexpected flat tire or a big emergency like a job loss or having to care for a sick loved one. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, 60% of U.S. households experience a financial shock in the span of a year, and research suggests that even individuals with a reasonable ability to save find it hard to recover unless they have access to savings. GoBankingRates has also found that nearly 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Without access to an emergency fund, unexpected costs can lead to an increased dependence on higher cost lending products, and it can pull the consumer’s focus away from building longer-term financial security, like retirement savings.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), through its Start Small, Save Up campaign, encourages consumers nationwide to consider putting money away into savings by starting small and working to build up their savings over time. Consumers with emergency savings are more likely to feel confident in their ability to overcome a financial shock, and are better able to focus on their work instead of financial stresses at home. Employers can play a role here through workplace financial education programs to ensure employees have the resources they need to build their financial well-being.

Introducing the Stampers Save! program at Notarize

Given this call to action and in partnership with America Saves, Notarize is excited to launch our Stampers Save! initiative for Notarize employees. The Stampers Save! program is uniquely designed to support and encourage Notarize employees to consider building their savings for the future, with an emphasis on building their emergency funds through automatic savings with split deposit. Notarize has provided employees with helpful information on how to be (or continue to be))) successful savers for their future, as well as incorporated the program throughout onboarding training for new hires.

“By joining with America Saves, Notarize is putting words to action to support our employees through the launch of our very own employee savings initiative for Notarize team members,” said Matt Cameron, Notarize’s Head of Financial Services Policy. “I had the honor of serving consumers at the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for almost a decade and during that time I worked with an incredible team that advocated for greater financial education resources and programs to boost financial well-being across the United States. I’m thrilled to be able to bring this important effort to Notarize employees, and I encourage other FinTech and like minded companies to join the cause.”

“Working with employers, we know that they can have a positive impact on their employees’ financial lives,” said Carolyn Pemberton, America Saves Senior Program Manager. “We applaud the Stampers Save! program that Notarize has started to help its employees save in the short-term and enable them to build a more secure tomorrow. By promoting the concept of starting small to save big and encouraging automatic savings with split deposit,” Pemberton added, “Notarize is helping its workforce become more financially resilient and confident in their ability to meet unplanned expenses.”

For more information about America Saves Week, please visit their website. During the week, they will share messages through a virtual #ThinkLikeASaver town hall on Monday, February 21, and across all of their social media platforms featuring messages about saving automatically, saving for the unexpected, saving to retire, saving by reducing debt and saving as a family.

For more information about Notarize as well as current career opportunities, please visit our Careers page.

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FTW: This chatbot helps underserved students access aid for college

Ten years ago, Esther Egbe’s parents emigrated from Cameroon to Texas so their four children could receive college educations and build better lives. They opened an African food store in the small East Texas town of Palestine, and have been working around the clock to fulfill their dream ever since.

Now 17-year-old Egbe is poised to follow her older brother and sister to college, securing a place at the University of North Texas to turn her lifelong obsession with building into a civil engineering degree.

But earning admission to college was not the only hard part. Like millions of students across the country, Egbe needed to secure financial aid to meet the $27,000-a-year tuition and pay her living costs, and that means completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a complicated form known as FAFSA. Confusion over financial aid eligibility, documentation and verification means that only 53% of high school seniors completed the application for the 2020-2021 academic year, according to an analysis by the National College Attainment Network in January.

That leaves thousands of dollars per student on the table — and could make the difference between choosing college or having to find a full-time job. Nine in 10 students who file the FAFSA enroll in college by November after graduating high school, according to one analysis, compared to 5 in 10 for those who do not.

Esther Egbe, above, is a high school senior from Texas who used a chatbot to help her complete the FAFSA, the key to accessing financial aid for college.  (Photo courtesy Benefits Data Trust)

That’s why Benefits Data Trust, a national nonprofit that helps people in need tap into essential public benefits such as food assistance, saw an opportunity to connect with these underserved students. In 2020, in a partnership with the College Board, it launched a chatbot called Wyatt, which offers reminders and personalized advice to help guide students through the process.

More than 60% of Wyatt users are students of color, and more than half come from low-income families, so the chatbot is playing an important role in helping close the racial equity gap and boost economic mobility, says Trooper Sanders, BDT’s chief executive.

“Racial equity is a very complicated, challenging space,” he says. “If we don’t figure out how to break down the barriers for folks to get into school, not to mention how they can stay in school and have their basic needs met so they can focus, we’re never going to address some of these bigger challenges.”

Just as Egbe was getting overwhelmed by the complex process, she received a text from Wyatt. “I was falling behind on filling out the application,” she says. “It told me tips on how to check my student aid report to see if it has been verified.”

“If we don’t figure out how to break down the barriers for folks to get into school, not to mention how they can stay in school and have their basic needs met so they can focus, we’re never going to address some of these bigger challenges.”
Trooper Sanders

Sanders says texting was the obvious format to reach a generation of mobile-obsessed teens. The chatbot is available 24/7 and fields a range of questions, from how to access the application and which documents to use to how to report different types of income.

Those gentle nudges are starting to help. More than half the students who used Wyatt during the 2021-22 school year reported completing their FAFSA, says Neeta Sonalkar, BDT’s director of higher education innovation.

Wyatt is one of several efforts that BDT has expanded as part of a five-year initiative, supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, that uses data science to improve access to benefits and public programs for more than 5 million Americans by 2024.

As part of the initiative, BDT is building out its data architecture and exploring new ways to use machine learning to better help underserved communities reach services such as health care and financial aid.

BDT is even applying lessons gleaned from Wyatt’s late-night chat sessions with students to find more effective ways to communicate with other people it serves. All of which proves a point that teenagers have been arguing for a long time: Texting can be a highly productive use of time.