Face-to-face innovation in a fintech world

CU Direct’s new lab brings together credit union leaders.

Since CU Direct opened its Innovation Lab in March, credit union leaders from across the country have gathered there to brainstorm ideas for new lending technology.

The new center in Irvine, Calif., about 40 miles from CU Direct’s headquarters in Ontario, has hosted innovation sessions for Credit Union Advisory Councils focused on the company’s product lines, such as the CUDL auto lending platform and Lending Insights analytics tools. A group of credit union executives also met with CU Direct at the lab this spring to talk through the possibility of facilitating participation loan applications through block chain technology, and another group has formed to study how best to convert paper checks issued to preauthorize auto loans into a digital format that members could present to dealers via a mobile app, says CU Direct President/CEO Tony Boutelle.

“The Innovation Lab offers a high-tech environment with collaboration cells for breaking into smaller groups around whiteboards,” he says. “Our aim is to create a lot of collaboration and discussion so that we can all prioritize together a combination of new products and improvements to existing lending products and processes.”

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