Northwest Credit Union Association Launches betaSpace™ to Connect Credit Unions and Members to Fintech Innovations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

October 7, 2014

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Lynn Heider
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Northwest Credit Union Association Launches betaSpace™ to Connect Credit Unions and Members to Fintech Innovations 

SPOKANE, Washington — Strategic Link — the Northwest Credit Union Association’s wholly owned subsidiary — has unveiled a new channel for credit unions to leverage emerging financial services technologies — without the expense, infrastructure or technical expertise needed to create new products. betaSpace™ launched during the NWCUA’s Amplify Convention this week in Spokane, Washington, with two companies offering their technologies at preferred prices. 

“Credit unions are ready for the fintech revolution,” said NWCUA President & CEO Troy Stang. “Although some might not have the resources to develop new technologies internally or search out the latest innovations themselves, collectively as an Association we can find and vet the most promising fintech startups and connect them with our members through betaSpace™.”

LifeCounts, a subscription-based online service enabling consumers to organize their financial lives for greater clarity and control, is one of the fintech startups selected to launch betaSpace™. With a simple, one-time setup, users can securely link all of their financial accounts in one location and receive spending insights, customizable alerts and budgeting advice.

“When you have a member who also has an account with another financial institution,” said Nicholas Howell, CEO of HowellCorp, the company that developed LifeCounts, “you can offer them a simple way to pull all of their information into one place and get personalized insights into their financial needs and goals.”

Profits4Purpose (P4P), web-based technology empowering employee volunteering and charitable contributions as well as corporate giving, is the other launching partner. P4P’s user-friendly software will allow credit unions to track their community involvement so they can share their impact stories publically. Resources include strategic impact plans, administrative tools, marketing, and employee engagement and recognition tools. Northwest credit unions already working with P4P include BECU in Tukwila, Washington, and Portland, Oregon based Point West Credit Union.

“Credit unions distinguish themselves on community service,” said P4P CEO Jason Burns. “Credit unions are doing the work, but often they don’t have the technology or the strategy to turn it into a compelling story.”

The betaSpace™ team continues to identify promising startups and assess their strength and potential for Association members, according to Stang. The best companies will be invited into the betaSpace™ program on an annual basis.

“This is just the beginning,” said Stang. “As we curate the fintech field and bring the best new technology to our members through betaSpace™, Northwest credit unions have the chance to leapfrog many other financial institutions. We think credit unions can take the lead in the fintech world and help define a future that’s best for their members.”       

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The Northwest Credit Union Association is the not-for-profit trade association serving 165 of Oregon and Washington’s credit unions and their 4.5 million members. The NWCUA is the voice of the Northwest credit union movement, providing legislative, regulatory and public advocacy in addition to education, compliance, networking support and business solutions to its members. For information on how to join a credit union, please visit http://www.asmarterchoice.org.

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