Posts By: Jalyn Lindeman

2021 Next Big Idea Competition

The Next Big Idea Competition is our version of the popular TV Show “Shark Tank” designed to showcase innovation, collaboration, and advancements among our industry.

We’re honored to have our partners at CO-OP Financial Services sponsor the competition with a prize pool of $10,000. The award for first place is set at $7,500 with second place set to receive $2,500.

2021 Next Big Idea Competition Winner:


renofi logo

RenoFI enables Credit Unions to offer next-generation, home renovation loans that better meet the needs of today’s homeowners.

2nd place awarded to:


Silvur is the first and only app designed to support Americans aged 50+ navigating modern retirement.

Special recognition goes out to the three additional Big Idea finalists mentioned below.

Each finalist presented innovation and drive for advancements within the industry and made it to the top five out of nineteen competitors for the Next Big Idea!

Equipifi is an Enterprise SaaS Solution designed to enable financial institutions to effortlessly offer BNPL solutions to their members.

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2021 CUSO of the Year Award Winner & Honorable Mention

CUSO of the Year

Each year NACUSO recognizes CUSOs pushing to make a difference within the industry through the prestigious CUSO of the Year Awards. The 2021 CUSO of the Year Awards consisted of nine candidates established for more than five years, and were examined on the following criteria:

  • Thought Leadership and Critical Thinking
  • Innovation in Organization Design
  • Value Created Through the Use of Collaboration
  • Implementation and Execution
  • Results, Outcomes and Performance

After careful consideration and interviews with the nine candidates, all of which had good stories to tell, the results are as follows:

2021 CUSO of the Year 
Award Winner:

• LoanStar Technologies


Loan-Star-logoLoanStar Technologies developed a point-of-sale Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) system with the help of 4 credit unions who are owners of LoanStar. They have taken loans that were typically high interest rate (i.e. almost predatory loans) at POS and changed to make a monthly payment members can afford without the high rates and fees.… Read more

2021 New CUSO of the Year Award Winner and Two Honorable Mentions

New CUSO of the Year

New CUSO of the Year 2021 Award Winner:

Payac CLG


Ireland’s credit unions are numerous but small.  After the financial crisis in 2008, scores of credit unions were insolvent but there were no powers to solve the problem.  There were no rules regarding mergers or collaboration. The University of Cork hosts a credit union symposium each year.  In 2012, Guy Messick was invited to speak to the Irish credit unions about the use of CUSOs in the United States.  Guy invited Ray Crouse, Kirk Drake, Jeff Russell, and Mark Zook to join him and share their lessons learned.  In 2016, Guy was invited back to speak.

Despite the obstacles, some credit union thought leaders knew that collaboration business models were the lifeline the Irish credit unions needed to survive.  They planned a CUSO that provided payment services, but they first had to obtain the legal authority to do so.  Changing the law was not practical but finding a way to interpret powers within the existing law was worth a try.  … Read more

First-Ever CUSO of the Year – Distinguished Service Award Winner: United Solutions Company

2021 Distinguished Service Award Winner:

United Solutions Company

This is a new award that we felt was needed to honor CUSOs like United Solutions who have been providing such exceptional support and service to their credit union owners and partners. This special award is designed to recognize those, like United Solutions, who have been adding value to their credit union partners for decades, and who truly set an example in collaborating while providing unparalleled service to their credit union partners. Their record of never raising prices to their credit union partners, as well as proactively helping their credit union partners to grow and provide competitive technology solutions, really sets them apart.


Ray Cromer was the CEO of United Solutions and the company was started in 1983 when Envision CU got together with another CU and they started the predecessor to United Solutions. They started with Core processing.  They were the very first CUSO in Florida! … Read more

October Spending Trends: Learning to Expect the Unexpected

CO-OP Payments Trends Report (Spending Data from October 1-31)

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, California – With the holiday shopping season in full swing, October spending trends were largely business as usual in categories like Travel, Sports & Recreation and Retail. At the same time, a few head-scratching trends began to emerge, including a softening of Amazon spending.

A fitful economic recovery has dampened consumer spending behavior all year long, and October was no exception. Although economic indicators for the month were generally positive, growing worries about creeping inflation became an all-out alarm as the Consumer Price Index rose 6.2 percent in October, the fastest monthly increase in over 30 years.

According to CO-OP member credit union spending data, consumers spent more in the Digital Goods and Retail merchant categories in October as the holiday shopping season ramped up. Meanwhile, Education spending declined as students finally settled into their routines on campus and in the classroom.… Read more