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Juniper Payments Completes Certification for Federal Reserve’s New Instant Payments Service

Wichita, Kan. — (June 26, 2023) — Juniper Payments, a PSCU company and the largest cloud-based non-bank third-party provider of inter-bank transaction and reporting systems in the U.S., is among the first in the industry to complete testing and certification for the FedNowSM Service, the Federal Reserve’s new instant payment offering launching in July 2023. The service will enable financial institutions to offer 24x7x365 instant payments, allowing customers to send and receive money immediately.   


“We are excited that early adopters of all sizes across the country are making strides in their operational readiness for live transactions through the system,” said Ken Montgomery, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston first vice president and FedNow Service program executive. “Completing certification is a key milestone for participating organizations to validate their ability to deliver instant payment services.” 

To achieve certification, Juniper Payments, completed a comprehensive testing curriculum, including fulfilling a checklist of requirements to confirm ability to transmit and process ISO® 20022 messages, and attested that they are prepared to meet the requirements to successfully operate in a 24x7x365 instant payments environment.

“We are immensely proud to be certified as a pioneer on FedNow, which marks a significant leap forward in our mission to offer cutting-edge, seamless payment solutions,” said Jon Budd, CEO, Juniper Payments. “This certification affirms our continued pursuit of innovation and commitment to better serve financial institutions in the rapidly evolving digital payments landscape. We thank our dedicated team members at Juniper Payments and our colleagues at the Federal Reserve for their collaborative efforts throughout the certification process, and we look forward to helping our clients explore the new opportunities this platform will offer.”

About Juniper Payments

Juniper Payments, a PSCU company headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, delivers payment solutions through correspondent and direct relationships with banks and credit unions throughout the U.S. Our modular solutions are utilized by more than 3,000 financial institutions daily, enabling payment initiation and receipt across all payment rails. Juniper’s technology interfaces with core processors and the Federal Reserve, providing streamlined, real-time payments. From traditional payment channels such as ACH, cash letter and wires, to faster rails such as RTP and soon FedNow payment options, Juniper focuses on technology delivery so our customers can focus on their business. Visit for more information.

About PSCU

PSCU, the nation’s premier payments CUSO and an integrated financial technology solutions provider, supports the success of more than 2,400 financial institutions and processes nearly 7.7 billion transactions annually. Committed to service excellence and focused on continuous innovation, PSCU’s payment processing, fraud and risk management, data and analytics, digital banking, strategic consulting and real-time payments platforms, along with 24/7/365-member support via its contact centers, help deliver personalized, connected experiences. 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 45 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

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Copper Financial Launches Wealth Management Solutions for

True Sky Federal Credit Union Members

Credit Unions are utilizing Copper Financial to enable their wealth management offering

Lenexa, Kan.— (June 22, 2023)— True Sky Federal Credit Union (“True Sky”) has selected Copper Financial’s wealth management platform to provide premier investment and financial services to their 60,000-plus credit union members.

Credit union members of Oklahoma City-based True Sky now have access to a wealth advisor who is supported by a robust technology platform and the ability to offer financial planning services and various investment vehicles.

“We want to help our members plan for their financial future, and we needed a partner who understood our business and our members’ needs,” said Sean Cahill, CEO of True Sky. “Copper Financial has walked in our shoes. They are owned by CommunityAmerica Credit Union and built their wealth management platform for credit union members. With Copper Financial, we can now offer members access to both a wealth advisor as well as digital investing solutions. Most importantly, Copper Financial brings first-hand experience to help us successfully increase member engagement via wealth management offerings.”

Justin Steitz, president of Copper Financial, said: “Our mission at Copper Financial is to provide all credit union members access to wealth management services directly from their credit union. We only work with credit unions, and our partners trust us to approach investing through the eyes of their members. We make their members our priority whether they’re investing a little or a lot of money. With us, every investment counts.”

About Copper Financial

Copper Financial (“Copper Financial”) is an SEC registered investment advisor, FINRA registered Broker-Dealer, and state registered insurance agency offering a breadth of investment and financial planning services to credit union members across the country. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of CommunityAmerica Credit Union, we understand the importance of meeting your members’ unique needs wherever they are in their financial journey. Our fully digital experience and best-in-class technology platform allows members access to their accounts from anywhere at any time, and ensures the advisor and member have more time to focus on what matters—the path to financial peace of mind. Additionally, we are the only credit union-owned Broker-Dealer that offers special needs planning for families, further assisting credit unions in their mission to serve all their members’ needs. To learn more about Copper Financial, visit

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May Spending Trends:

Consumers Remain Cautious as Economy Improves

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

For Release on June 20, 2023:
Despite an improving economic outlook, U.S. consumers are holding tight to their wallets.

Nonfarm payrolls jumped by 339,000 jobs in May, yet the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7% for the month, an increase over the 50-year low of 3.4% posted in April. Much of this discrepancy can be traced to differences between the Labor Department’s employment report and household survey. The household survey showed that employment actually showed a net decline of 310,000 jobs for the month, led by a significant drop in “unincorporated self-employed workers,” as well as a slight drop in average hours worked per week.

Inflation also showed signs of weakening, declining for the tenth straight month since reaching its peak of 9.1% in July 2022. The May rate was 4.9% on an annualized basis.

Despite these positive signs, The Conference Board reported a monthly decline in its Consumer Confidence Index in May to 102.3, down from 103.7 in April. This drop shows that consumers are still pessimistic about the overall state of the economy, future business conditions and current employment prospects.

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate by another quarter point at its May meeting, but it has a tough task ahead in June in deciding whether to increase rates for the eleventh time over the past 15 months. It will need to balance a strong job market and stubborn inflation with a precarious banking climate and the recent news that the Eurozone has slipped into recession, led by high consumer prices and declining economic conditions in Germany and Ireland.

Overall, per Co-op Solutions spending data, May year over year transaction volume was up modestly across both the debit and credit portfolios.

The SmartGrowth team at Co-op Solutions is closely watching the following key spending trends this month:

1. Conferences lead travel revival

Travel has been among the most resilient categories in recent months, posting a 69.7% transaction growth in credit and 65.9% in debit year over year, per an analysis of Co-op’s credit union portfolio. Business travel – and the return of live conferences specifically – have been a boon to the category, a bright spot in the overall economy.

To Las Vegas, a city uniquely dependent upon business conferences and tourism, the return to pre-pandemic “normalcy” has been a welcome boost to the economy. Whereas unemployment in “Sin City” hit a historic rate of 34% in April 2020, it has since rebounded to a manageable 5.7% as of March 2023.

“The travel sector has been one of the best stories of the past year,” said John Patton, Co-op Senior Payments Advisor. “Leisure travel spending will continue to increase this summer, and when combined with the return of corporate travel and events, we expect the overall category to show strong growth through the remainder of 2023.”

2. Discount stores still holding strong

Although the broader retail category has suffered over the past year, discount stores remain a bright spot as consumers look for deals in their everyday spending to offset rising prices. According to Co-op’s credit union payment portfolio data, discount stores are up 2.3% in credit transaction volume and down -2.2% in debit year over year. Compare this with specialty retail, which is down by -8.8% and -10.3% in credit and debit respectively, over the same time period.

“Discounters like Target, which had flat sales in its latest quarter compared with prior year, are holding their own,” said Beth Phillips, Director of Strategic Portfolio Growth for Co-op. “Shoppers are going to continue to look for discounts on the brands they value, as they wait for inflation to finally cool off.”

3. Grocery spending increases as inflation eases

The gradual easing of inflation is finally helping consumers’ pocketbooks, as grocery prices ticked down by 0.2% in April. This decline is translating to increased monthly transaction volumes in the grocery category, which rose by 6.4% in credit and 5.5% in debit in May, respectively. Interestingly this lift is attributed in large part to wholesale grocery retailers, which outperformed grocery stores across both credit and debit. Of particular interest to credit unions, consumers who shop for groceries online are among the most desirable, spending 34% more per purchase as compared with in-person transactions.

4. Home improvement softening year over

Homeowners appear to be finally over their love affair with home renovation projects, one of the true economic bright spots during the pandemic. The category is down slightly year over year, with nearly double-digit declines in the appliances and repair services sub-categories.

“The seasonality of home improvement shouldn’t be overlooked,” said Phillips. “Credit unions should keep home improvement promotions in mind leading into summer to earn top interchange in this category.”

Concerned with this recent trend, Home Depot warns that its annual sales will decline this year, for the first time since 2009.

5. Pets feel the economic pinch

During this period of economic uncertainty and rising inflation, certain luxury purchases have been particularly impacted. This includes spending within the pet category, which has seen both supply shortages and a faster rise in prices than other merchant categories, such as groceries. Co-op’s analysis shows that year over year, transaction volumes within the pet category are down by -0.7% and -3.3% in credit and debit, respectively.

Year-Over-Year Category Level Spending (Rolling Year Average, and Comparing May 2022 to May 2023)

  Credit #Transactions Debit #Transactions
Category12-month YoY Analysis:
May’21 – Apr’22 vs May’22 – Apr’23
May’22 vs May’23 Analysis12-month YoY Analysis:
May’21 – Apr’22 vs May’22 – Apr’23
May’22 vs May’23 Analysis
Auto Dealers-0.6%-2.3%-8.9%-4.0%
Auto Services/Parts2.6%2.7%-3.7%4.3%
Misc. aircraft, farm equipment dealers10.4%6.1%0.0%2.9%
Campers & Camping-4.9%-6.1%-12.8%-5.9%
Campers & Camping-4.0%-6.1%-11.9%-5.9%
Mobile Home Dealers-8.4%-8.7%-16.0%-3.2%
Digital Goods16.7%20.6%11.6%15.2%
Books, movies, music-12.6%-56.8%-12.2%-56.0%
Dining & Entertainment7.4%3.2%1.0%1.4%
Amusement Parks8.2%-9.9%-0.7%-11.2%
Billiards and bowling8.9%-17.8%0.1%-22.6%
Fast food, Restaurants6.3%2.7%-0.5%0.5%
Movie Theaters14.8%2.1%8.2%-5.6%
Financial Services15.8%13.6%4.3%1.8%
Home Improvement0.4%-0.4%-8.7%-1.1%
Equipment, parts & supplies0.2%-0.7%-8.9%-1.2%
Services / Repair-3.8%-4.3%-11.0%-10.7%
Swimming pools0.8%-6.7%-8.3%-9.5%
Courier/Delivery Services-2.6%-0.6%-8.5%-5.8%
Professional Services2.6%46.7%-2.1%115.7%
Employment Agencies43.5%52.5%29.8%14.1%
Department Stores-5.4%-5.8%-12.2%-4.5%
Discount Stores21.6%2.3%9.1%-2.2%
Specialty Retail-34.7%-8.3%-2.5%-10.8%
Antique shops3.1%-2.4%-6.1%-3.9%
Pawn Shops17.1%4.4%-3.4%-6.6%
Secondhand stores11.2%5.4%2.9%4.1%
Auto Rental7.4%9.0%-2.6%5.2%
Bus Lines55.0%25.1%1.4%-8.7%
Grand Total5.5%3.5% -0.4%1.3%

What Credit Unions Should Do Now

The higher transaction amounts that consumers spend on groceries online is just one indicator of the changing landscape of payments. For credit unions, providing a comprehensive suite of digital payment options has quickly moved from luxury offering to table stakes. Credit unions members are migrating their payment behaviors to the digital realm, whether its via mobile wallets like Apple Pay, PayPal and Garmin Pay, or paying friends and family digitally through Zelle P2P. Credit unions need to be in the digital game in order to serve their members’ daily transactional needs.

The time has come to commit to an all-in digital payment strategy. For credit unions just beginning their digital payments journey, make a plan to offer new solutions on a rolling, annual basis. Such institutions may wish to begin by offering contactless cards, before launching digital card issuance and Zelle P2P payments. Then, credit unions should look to provider their members with the convenience of digital push to wallet, which will keep a credit union’s credit and debit cards at the top of their members’ preferred digital wallet app – even if their physical card is lost, stolen or reissued.

More information on the Co-op SmartGrowth Consulting Team can be found here.

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

Contact: Bill Prichard, APR, Dir., P.R., Co-op Solutions, (909) 532-9416,

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PSCU Payments Index – June 2023 Edition

Today, PSCU – the nation’s premier payments CUSO and an integrated financial technology solutions provider – published the June edition of the PSCU Payments Index, the goal of which is to provide information and insights to help financial institutions navigate the evolving financial landscape to make informed, strategic decisions for their organizations and members.

As inflation has reached an inflection point, higher prices for many goods and services are still weighing on consumer spending decisions. This month’s PSCU Payments Index finds the continued trend of slower year-over-year growth for both credit and debit. In May, year-over-year growth in credit card purchases was negative for the first time since August 2020. While still positive, growth in debit card purchases exhibited a similar softening trend. This month’s Deep Dive highlights our Money Services sector, which has a more notable share of overall debit activity as compared to credit and includes peer-to-peer (P2P) activity of merchants and payment facilitators such as Cash App, Venmo and PayPal.

In the Labor Department’s June 13 update, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 0.1% in May. The annual rate of inflation dropped from 4.9% through April to 4.0% through May. While this is the eleventh consecutive monthly drop in the annual rate from the peak of 9.1% in June 2022, it remains higher than the Fed’s target annual inflation rate of 2.0%. The largest contributor to inflation continues to be shelter, followed by used cars and trucks. The energy index declined 3.6 percent in May, which includes gasoline. Following their June meeting, the Federal Reserve did not increase interest rates, keeping the current Fed Funds rate at 5.25% – while signaling the possibility of two additional rate hikes in 2023. The Fed’s next scheduled meeting is set for July 25-26.

The Consumer Confidence Index fell in May to 102.3 (1985=100), down from a revised 103.7 in April, while the job market remains resilient and the unemployment rate ticks up. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in its May 2023 jobs report that 339,000 jobs were added for the month, with increased jobs in professional and business services, government, health care, construction, transportation and warehousing and social assistance. This is much stronger than the 190,000 new jobs that were expected by economists. The overall unemployment rate for May increased to 3.7%, or 6.1 million people.

“As inflation continues to cool, it’s trending in the right direction. Yet consumer spending continues to slow, indicating consumers are likely being more financially cautious,” said Denise Stevens, SVP, chief product and digital officer at PSCU. “In May, credit card purchases experienced negative year-over-year growth for the first time since August 2020. While debit card purchases experienced positive growth, the softening trend is evident. In this month’s Deep Dive into the Money Services sector, we see peer-to-peer (P2P) payments driving the largest growth, with the volume of debit activity notably greater than credit.”

A sampling of key takeaways from the June report includes:

  • For the first time since the summer of the COVID-19 pandemic (August 2020), year-over-year growth in credit purchases was negative, finishing at -0.8% for May. Growth in debit purchases was positive at 1.6% for May and was half the reported growth from April 2023. Growth in transactions in May continued to be stronger than growth in purchases.
  • For credit purchases, the largest contributor to growth was the Services sector (1.36 percentage points of growth) while offset by reductions in Gasoline (1.15 percentage points) and the Goods sector (1.03 percentage points). For debit purchases, two sectors generated the highest growth, with Services contributing 1.1 percentage points and Money Services contributing 0.9 percentage points. Debit purchases were offset by a reduction of 1.3 percentage points in Gasoline. Credit transactions were up just 0.4% and debit transactions were up 2.1%.
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) decreased on an annual basis from 4.9% to 4.0% in May. For the fourth consecutive month, shelter accounted for the majority of the all-items inflationary increase. Following their June meeting, the Federal Reserve did not increase interest rates, keeping the current Fed Funds rate at 5.25% – while signaling the possibility of two additional rate hikes in 2023.Money Services represented 10.7% of overall debit purchases in May and includes peer-to-peer (P2P) payments with Cash App, Venmo and PayPal. There is notable growth in this sector when considering that for the pre-pandemic May 2019 timeframe, Money Services represented 3.8% of overall debit purchases. P2P payments are used at a greater rate by the youngest age demographic (Gen Z), representing 15.4% of their overall debit purchases.
  • Growth in non-discretionary spending was negative on credit cards at -2% for May and up 1% for debit cards year over year. Discretionary spending again grew at a greater rate than non-discretionary spending, with credit up 2% and debit up 9%. Transaction growth on credit cards was up 1% for discretionary transactions and flat at 0% for non-discretionary transactions. Transaction growth on debit cards was up 9% for discretionary and up 1% for non-discretionary transactions.
  • The credit card delinquency rate for May finished at 1.86%, above the May 2019 pre-pandemic level by 0.16%. Total credit card balances were up 12.7% for May compared to a year ago, while the average credit card balance for active accounts was $2,962, up 8.7% (or $238) year over year.

The full report is available for download here or can be shared as a PDF upon request. Let us know of any questions or additional needs, or if you’d like to coordinate an interview.


Peyton Burgess

On behalf of PSCU


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April Spending Trends: Consumers Pull Back as Economy Wavers

CO-OP Solutions Payments Trends Report (Spending Data from April 1-30)

For Release on May 16, 2023:

Following a strong March, a rise in economic uncertainty resulted in more muted consumer spending activity in April.

Nonfarm payrolls grew by 253,000 in April, and unemployment remained low at 3.4%. Industry sectors including professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, and social assistance all trended higher for the month. However, the ongoing spate of layoff announcements continued at prominent tech firms including Intel and Microsoft (as well as at its subsidiary, LinkedIn). And in other concerning news, the consumer confidence index fell in April to its lowest level since July 2022.

Belying the deep uncertainty following the recent failures of Silicon Valley Bank, First Republic Bank and others, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate for the tenth time in a little over a year at their May 3 meeting. The rate is now in a range of 5 – 5.25%.

Overall, Co-op spending data reports that April year over year transaction volume was up slightly across both the debit and credit portfolios.

Co-op’s SmartGrowth consultants areclosely watching the following key spending trends this month:

1. Consumers seek discounts on everyday goods: After more than a year of rising inflation, consumers are pulling back on their everyday grocery and retail spending, seeking out deals wherever they can. Even though grocery prices were down 0.3% in March and 0.2% in April, they remain more than 7% higher than a year ago. According to PYMTS data, this has led to four out of five shoppers taking at least one cost-cutting measure such as reducing the quantity or quality of the goods they purchase.

“Consumers are reserving their hard-earned dollar to spend on staples in lieu of luxury goods,” said John Patton, Co-op Senior Payments Advisor. “We expect discount stores, along with generic grocery and household brands, to continue to do well as long as this economic uncertainty lingers.“

2. And pivot to debit on Amazon purchases: Amazon spending grew year over year across both Co-op’s client credit and debit portfolios. But the growth was much sharper in debit with an increase of 65.7% from April 2022 to April 2023, compared with just 30.0% in credit.

“We’re seeing a mindset shift in how shoppers are using debit online,” said Beth Phillips, Director, Co-op Solutions. “As Co-op’s latest research with Mastercard shows, consumers that fit a ‘budgeter’ profile tend to use credit more than debit. But this recent trend in Amazon spending highlights that recent economic trends – coupled with a growing comfort level in using debit online – is beginning to infiltrate across multiple member personas, including those with budgeter and non-budgeter behavior tendencies.”

3. Credit balances continue to rise: More broadly, cash-strapped shoppers are increasingly allowing their credit card balances to carry over from month to month. According to data from the Federal Reserve, annualized revolving debt grew by 17% in March 2023, a big jump from February’s 5.7% gain.

Co-op’s proprietary data aligns with this trend. Following small declines in total credit card balances at the start of the year, Co-op customer credit balances restarted their upward ascent in March and April, rising by 1.13% and 2.38%, respectively. Year over year, credit balances were 15.13% higher in April 2023 than April 2022.

4. Subscriptions and delivery models begin to shift:
More than three years after the beginning of the pandemic, online delivery services have become part of the fabric of modern consumerism. DoorDash reported 40% revenue growth in the latest quarter, spurred by increases in both total orders and order value.

Meanwhile, despite recent reports of subscribers dropping off of Netflix and other major streaming services, this segment of the subscription universe continues to out-perform. Warner Bros.’ direct-to-consumer unit, which includes the popular Discover+ and HBO Max services, reported adding 1.6 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2023.

“Services like subscriptions and food delivery that really took off during COVID-19 are continuing to do well,” said Patton. “Consumers have gotten used to the convenience of ordering online from the comfort of home, and are willing to pay a little more for these services.”

Year-Over-Year Category Level Spending (Rolling Year Average, and Comparing April 2022 to April 2023)

 Credit #TransactionsDebit #Transactions
Category(May’21 – Apr’22) vs (May’22 – Apr’23)Apr’22 vs Apr’23(May’21 – Apr’22) vs (May’22 – Apr’23)Apr’22 vs Apr’23
Books, Periodicals, and Newspapers -13.0%1.7%-22.2%-0.9%
Campers & Camping-3.9%-11.1%-14.6%-9.0%
Campers & Camping-3.0%-9.4%-13.4%-8.1%
Mobile Home Dealers-7.2%-16.3%-18.9%-11.8%
Digital Goods17.4%21.8%11.7%19.0%
Dining & Entertainment9.5%3.9%0.9%2.7%
Fast food, Restaurants, Bars8.7%3.2%-0.2%1.5%
Home Improvement3.8%-1.2%-10.1%-4.3%
Auto Dealers/Services/Parts4.6%2.9%-5.3%1.0%
Cable, Satellite, and Other10.0%2.0%-1.1%-0.7%
CU Services45.4%17.7%34.4%24.2%
Money Transfer18.5%14.7%4.2%-2.8%
Professional Services1.3%-0.8%-3.8%2.2%
Real Estate19.8%16.0%12.0%10.7%
Subscription services-6.8%-5.1%-20.1%-7.8%
Department Stores-3.3%-8.6%-13.0%-10.5%
Discount Stores 30.0%1.6%10.7%-2.0%
Specialty Retail5.6%-16.9%-1.7%-17.7%
Florists, antiques, jewelers, cigars, stamps, etc.5.6%-16.9%-1.7%-17.7%
Golf courses5.6%15.1%-3.1%10.7%
Auto Rental4.1%1.9%-12.8%-2.6%
Other Travel (railroad, taxi, cruise lines, toll fees, etc.)29.9%14.6%9.7%8.8%
5999 Retail-69.2%5.5%2.9%2.2%
Grand Total6.6%3.2%-0.9%1.2%

What Credit Unions Should Do Now

Faced with multiple economic headwinds, including high prices for groceries, gas and rent, rising interest rates and an uncertain job market, many credit union members are struggling to meet their loan obligations alongside their monthly household needs. Credit unions are in a unique position of trust to support their members through these turbulent times ahead.

Credit unions should begin by offering members low-rate incentives to transfer their high credit balances to the institution’s card. With lower average rates than most bank-issued cards, credit unions have a strong value position and positive story to tell.

A robust rewards program is also important, so now is a good time for credit unions to conduct a review of their current loyalty program to see if it is meeting members’ needs. Determine, for instance, if cash back is a more compelling offer than travel rewards in the current climate. In addition, consider developing a relationship rewards program as a way to entice members to move their deposit accounts, mortgages, installment loans and other key products to their credit union.

Lastly, dig into member data to analyze which relationships are struggling, looking at key warning signs like late credit card or loan payments, high revolving balances, or an increased incidence of overdrafts on checking. Identify these members and proactively reach out to them to offer advice and recommendations to help them achieve their financial wellness goals.

More information on the Co-op SmartGrowth Consulting Team can be found here.

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

Contact: Bill Prichard, APR, Dir., P.R., Co-op Solutions, (909) 532-9416,