Canvas Credit Union supports efforts to solve consumer and business challenges across Colorado in novel and sustainable ways

Filene establishes ‘Center of Excellence for Innovation and Incubation’ with the help of Canvas Credit Union to measure and develop credit union innovation capabilities

DENVER , CO (September 7, 2021) — As Filene Research Institute paves the way for innovation among the credit union industry, Canvas Credit Union  couldn’t help but join in the efforts, as it is committed to innovation and ease of use for its own members. Filene launched the Center of Excellence for Innovation and Incubation in March 2021, with the help of Canvas, and will study current trends for how credit unions can respond to members’ desire for greater innovations in financial services to meet their needs while working to improve innovation for the credit union industry and beyond.

Canvas represents the sole Colorado-based sponsor for the Center of Excellence for Innovation and Incubation, bringing Colorado’s voice to the national effort. As a Filene alumni, and strategic leader at Canvas, Tansley Stearns, Canvas’ chief people and strategy officer shares, “Canvas is always eager for ways to partner with Filene to foster innovation for our family and members. As Canvas looks to disrupt financial services and continue to be competitive in the financial industry, it’s crucial we continue researching and finding new and better ways to help our members afford life. This is becoming increasingly important in Colorado specifically, as our markets continue to see significant growth and Denver elevates its position as a tech hub.”

This Center of Excellence for Innovation and Incubation will be led by Dr. Jeffery Robinson, associate professor and academic director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development at Rutgers Business School. Robinson will collaborate with Canvas and an advisory council of fellow credit union leaders from across the nation to:

  • Define, measure, and landscape business model innovation in credit unions and the consumer finance system, identifying opportunities for credit unions to differentiate on innovation.
  • Investigate models for creating and sustaining cultures of innovation, resilience and organizational agility.
  • Study and expand product development and service design strategies in credit unions and consumer finance.
  • Explore new cooperative and consumer financial products, services, technologies and operational approaches to build a playbook for the future of financial services.
  • Work with academics on a proprietary innovation index to benchmark credit unions and other financial institutions.
  • Evaluate the impact of credit union innovation to gauge the effect of new products or business models on business sustainability and member financial health.
“The consumer finance industry is being disrupted and fragmented with incredible speed as new technologies, solutions, providers, and interfaces appear almost daily. At the same time, broader economic changes and the effects of the global pandemic have reshaped communities, job markets, and the state of consumer financial health,” said Filene’s President and CEO Mark Meyer. “In this ever-changing environment, credit unions must learn to adapt and uncover new solutions and business models that support their growth and impact. The center’s focus on the process of innovation will expand credit unions’ capabilities to solve consumer and business problems in novel and sustainable ways.”

Other credit unions joining Canvas in supporting Filene in this exciting project include:
  • 4front Credit Union
  • American Airlines Credit Union
  • BECU
  • Christian Financial Credit Union
  • Coastal Credit Union
  • Corporate Central Credit Union
  • GECU
Canvas is no stranger to Filene Research Institute’s forward-thinking efforts. With Filene at the forefront of innovation, Canvas consistently has partnered on strategic initiatives such as brand equity study as Canvas transitioned from Public Service Credit Union to Canvas Credit Union, and most recently Filene provided research correlating higher levels of well-being with Canvas membership in 2020.

About Canvas Credit Union

Canvas Credit Union is a safe and insured financial institution with over $4.5 billion in assets and more than 297,000 members. Canvas provides a full array of financial products and services, including savings, checking, loans, mortgages, and online and mobile banking options. Serving Colorado communities for more than 85 years, Canvas currently has 35 branches and is well recognized for its people, its heart, and its commitment to community.

About Filene Research Institute (
Filene Research Institute strengthens organizations through innovative research and incubation to improve consumer financial well-being. As an independent cooperative finance think tank, Filene’s membership network connects a community of leaders and bright minds to change lives through innovation, truth and cooperation. In addition to delivering cutting-edge, actionable academic research, Filene also provides incubators to test and scale solutions, events to spark organizations into action and advisory services to help accelerate and implement innovation. For more information, visit and @fileneresearch.


Andy Boian
dovetail solutions for Canvas Credit Union

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