Development issue spotlight on appropriate technology

This is the eighth of a 12-part series on our blog highlighting the 12 major development issues. In case you missed it, last month we discussed women in development, which can be found here. This month we are focusing on appropriate technology.

The term appropriate technology has been around since the early 1950’s and was coined to address the most effective technology to be used in developing areas, or to be socially and environmentally acceptable within industrialized nations.

Within the credit union movement, access to affordable and appropriate technology varies depending on local infrastructure, financial resources and credit union business plans. Members of Guadalupe Credit Union in rural New Mexico may not have access to internet services, making online banking impossible. Many lack even a cell signal and will drive 45 minutes to an hour to reach a financial institution of any kind. The credit union is considering a mobile branch to reach these remote communities.

As credit unions grow, they seek to become more innovative in adopting new technologies to increase efficiency and to give a better member experience.  More than ever before, credit unions are seeking technology to help members manage their money with online applications and mobile devices.  Will brick and mortar become a thing of the past?  Will credit unions that focus heavily on technology lose what being a credit union means?  Will these cease to grow?

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