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The Lab at Filene participants brainstorm together.
The Lab at Filene participants brainstorm together.

3 California CUs, Origence, & Others to Test Impact Concepts

The 17 credit unions and three system organizations currently making up The Lab at Filene will begin testing four concepts in January of 2023 to grow the bottom line of credit unions and create a deeper impact on credit union members — with three of them being California-based credit unions and one credit union service organization (CUSO).

Those from California include Farmers Insurance Group FCU, Logix FCU, University CU, and Origence.

However, three spots remain for credit unions to become a Lab sponsor and join their innovative peers in finding solutions to the largest challenges to credit union growth and impact.

Leveraging the strength that Filene has around creating new opportunities for credit unions to engage, test and learn, the following organizations are leading the way for credit unions to identify and implement proven solutions faster: Bank-Fund Staff FCU; Chartway FCU; Community Financial CU; Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC); Elements Financial FCU; ELGA CU; Farmers Insurance Group FCU; Financial Plus CU; Logix FCU; Michigan State University FCU; Municipal CU; Origence; Royal CU; Truliant FCU; Unitus Community CU; University CU; Verity CU; Visa; Visions FCU; and Westerra CU.

“Credit unions face a wave of challenges and opportunities, and are constantly wrestling with which ones they should be putting their resources toward to grow and increase their impact,” said Filene Senior Director of Incubation Josh Sledge. “In the spirit of cooperation, The Lab at Filene brings sponsors together to better understand what works and what doesn’t, and then builds frameworks for others to apply learnings across the entire credit union industry.”

In August, the first-ever Lab Symposium was held in Visa’s San Francisco innovation center and launched Filene’s 2023 testing agenda. The Lab is now transitioning to the next phase and will begin running tests in January on the following four solution ideas that garnered the most interest from The Lab’s participants:

  • To address the challenge of differentiation and amplifying the credit union value proposition through: 1) subscription-based packaging models; and 2) re-thinking physical spaces.
  • To address the challenge of engagement for new and expanded relationships through: 1) digital engagement for indirect lending (with fintech partner Ignite Sales); and 2) financial wellness as an engagement strategy (with fintech partner Pocketnest).

Throughout the testing, Filene is providing technical assistance and capacity to help the testing credit unions operationalize and run these pilots. Filene will also work alongside Jeffrey Robinson, Filene fellow at the Center for Innovation and Incubation, to collect insights and share them with the industry.

You can click here to learn more about the three sponsorships that remain available to join The Lab at Filene.

Filene Research Institute — an independent cooperative finance think tank — strengthens organizations through innovative research and incubation to improve consumer financial wellbeing.

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