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20 innovations for CUs released by Filene i3
MADISON, Wis. (3/17/11)--The Filene Research Institute has released Key Findings: Blueprints for Innovation, a report on the latest findings from its i³--Ideas, Innovation and Implementation--group. The report, by Chief Innovation Officer Denise Gabel, features 15 new idea blueprints designed to fuel credit union growth and five updates on innovations gaining national attention. Blueprints for Innovation includes a detailed examination of Lift, a project that received a grant from the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s Financial Capability Innovation Fund. Blueprints for Innovation includes Filene i³ team projects developed to help credit union members build wealth, navigate financial waters, meet life’s milestones, make community connections, and borrow responsibly. They include:
* Savings Exchange: Empowers low-income individuals with financial literacy and ongoing support while providing small businesses with a low-cost financial service alternative; * R-Bond: Removes roadblocks to retirement savings for small businesses; * 2 Grand Plan: Creates a $2,000 emergency savings fund; * The Signal: Helps members navigate the financial road of disability benefits; * The Big Payoff Loan: Eliminates credit card debt with segmented loans from credit unions; * goalmine: Simplified way to save and invest for college and other life goals; * UMatter: A referral-based exclusive membership for Gen X; * Black Star: Fosters a cooperative environment in the food and drink industries; * VolunTIER: Rewards community volunteers for their commitment and connections through credit unions; * CU Launch: Provides professional services to small businesses through credit union volunteers; * Co-Opera: Makes co-op to co-op lending and borrowing more accessible for all cooperatives; * MI-COOP: Helps Americans achieve the dream of owning their own manufactured home; * 60-Day Loan Guarantee: Builds trust in credit unions by allowing members to return a loan in 60 days; * Be N’ Biz: Connects Gen Y entrepreneurs with credit unions for business creation; and * Lift: Lowers interest and improves credit for members who make payments on time.
Blueprints for Innovation also updates five ideas that are ready to implement and gaining national traction:
* Debt in Focus--An anonymous, debt management tool for credit union members that delivers an actionable plan to help improve their credit profiles and reduce debt; * Prize-linked Savings--An approach to saving for participants to enter prize drawings every time they deposit money into their savings account; * Savings Revolution--A program that allows people to overhaul their financial lifestyles to save money and reduce debt with strategies supported by social media with credit union collaboration; * The Leap--An interactive website that helps members jump into the green revolution by highlighting how to save money and the environment with E-products that are already in place at most credit unions; and * Virtual Finance--A program that allows participants to select and customize an avatar and interact with others in a world that beckons them to experience financial decisions, and introduces critical financial and life concepts over a simulated lifetime.
“We encourage credit union innovators to keep this catalog of ideas at hand as they develop their organization’s goals and tactics for today’s challenging times and consider how these solutions may meet member needs,” Gabel said. Credit unions should review the ideas and evaluate the fit for their organizations, then consider how the ideas might be improved and customized in the spirit of open source innovation, Gabel said. For more information, use the link or e-mail
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