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WOCCU digitization efforts highlighted in CU broadcast interview

President/CEO Brian Branch says more digital services are needed for future growth

MADISON, WI (March 11, 2019) — Offering more core services through digital channels is crucial to growing credit union membership in the next decade and beyond, World Council of Credit Unions President & CEO Brian Branch told Mike Lawson of CU Broadcast in an interview at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference.

Whether it is growing credit union membership in Asia, or bringing financial services to refugee camps in Kurdistan, Branch believes providing products that people can access on their smart phones is the key to future growth.

“The Gates Foundation gave us a small grant to tackle this in the Philippines and Indonesia, to create a model that will work in other countries on how to digitize and put core (credit union) services online. Then we don’t want to stop there, we want to tie them into a digital ecosystem in those countries,” said Branch.

WOCCU has launched a project to design interoperable, open-loop, low-cost, real-time payment platforms for its global network of credit unions across Asia, exploring the use of the Mojaloop open-source platform.

This pioneering work builds on WOCCU’s wider digitization goals and the mission of its soon-to-launch Digital Transformation Lab.

Branch also talked to Lawson about his recent visit to refugee camps in Kurdistan, and how that trip has led World Council to look for ways to offer financial services for the people living in those unstable settings.

“We’ve had so many people tell us, ‘oh you can’t do it, it won’t work, it’s too dangerous.’ But we’d start very small,” said Branch, who foresees starting with a “pre-credit union” model in the camps. “This would give these people a sense of hope for the future and that’s what credit unions have always done.”

Branch added that even though the refugees don’t have permanent homes, most do have smart phones. He hopes to work toward a solution that would allow them to have savings and loan opportunities available right on those phones.

“And then when they go back to their hometowns they can take their credit unions with them,” said Branch.

World Council of Credit Unions is currently working on a way to make that vision a reality.


About World Council of Credit Unions

World Council of Credit Unions is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.

Contacts

Greg Neumann
E-mail: gneumann@woccu.org
Phone: +1 608-395-2048

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