Credit Unions May Gain Mobile Payments Edge with Shared Tech Platform

By John Adams

CO-OP Financial Services hopes the model used in one of the oldest staples of credit union cooperation, the shared branch, can drive new digital commerce innovation such as person-to-person payments and mobile remote deposit capture.

The country’s largest credit union service organization, with about 1,400 credit union participants in its shared branch program totaling about 4,400 branches, has extended components of the shared branching model to digital commerce, using centralized processing resources to allow credit union consumers to access mobile payments and other digital capabilities.

In this model, a consumer’s account, routing and transit numbers can be used to accept and process transactions among the large network of credit unions, similar to the way a consumer who is a member of one credit union can walk into the branch of another credit union and perform banking transactions. Only in this case, the consumer is using mobile banking to transfer funds, execute a person-to-person payment, access digital banking at a branch, or make a deposit via a mobile remote deposit capture app that’s downloaded from CO-OP’s shared tech bench and processed via the centralized network.

“We’ve even simplified it to the point where a consumer doesn’t have to put a routing or transfer number into the credit union’s mobile device to execute a transaction. The member just has to pick a credit union name from the list of participants, put in the account number and we’re off and running,” says Jim Hanisch, executive vice president of network operations and corporate development for CO-OP.

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