Integrating Payments Technology Innovations into One Dominant Ecosystem

If you’ve been watching the Olympics, you’ve probably seen Microsoft’s AI commercial. It offers a really cool perspective, essentially helping us see technology as an enabler of human ingenuity:

It’s not about what technology can do; it’s about what you can do with it.

You’re the voice, and it’s the microphone. When you’re the artist, it’s the paintbrush.

You have more power at your fingertips than entire generations that came before you. So here’s the question, what will you do with it?

Aside from being inspiring, the ad also makes a pretty bold statement about our collective responsibility. Quantum computing, self-driving vehicles, gene therapy, biometrics, artificial intelligence – each of these and so many others place incredible power into human hands. What will we do with it?

At CO-OP, we’ve begun to answer that question. This time last year, I was gearing up for my first GAC as President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services and was very much looking forward to meeting and hearing from each of you. We were beginning to talk to you about the work we were doing to become more seamless and secure, and started using the term “digital transformation” a lot. We were also getting ready to announce the acquisition of TMG, which I saw as the only missing piece CO-OP needed to truly act as the integrator of payments and technology solutions for credit unions.

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the progress we have made in such a short amount of time. I almost don’t recognize the CO-OP that was at GAC last year when I think about the CO-OP you will see this weekend. Over the course of just one year, we’ve made significant progress against major initiatives like the development of a machine learning and AI platform and our new MyCO-OP portal, along with tremendous investment and work going into Master Data Management, Client Experience Design, InfoSec and our Project Management Office. In addition, some of the brightest minds in payments technology are putting this company and the credit unions it serves on a transformative path to full integration with some of the most exciting innovations out there.

We can’t wait to talk to you about it at GAC beginning this Sunday in Washington, D.C. It’s why we’ve chosen the theme we have – Integration is Innovation.

What does that mean exactly? Here’s how I see it…

If we recognize that each of the amazing innovations available to our generation of credit union leaders is, by itself, incredible, we have to also recognize the power that will come from bringing them together into one dominant ecosystem. That’s our aim. By integrating our technology, networks, tools and solutions into one seamless and secure experience, CO-OP and our credit union partners will thrive beyond imagination. We’ll accelerate our innovation, expand our reach and offer the nation’s credit union members incredible financial solutions they never conceived were possible.

It’s a vision CO-OP team members see clearly. It’s set the stage for our strategic imperatives and our product roadmap, each of which is jam-packed with integration initiatives that will ultimately change the way the world sees credit unions. Let me tell you about a few of them…

The way we serve you is transforming.

Because you are co-creators of the future of payments, we see the credit unions in the CO-OP ecosystem as more than CO-OP clients. You are essential partners. As such, you are essential to the transformation we seek. We have already seen the fruits of working more collaboratively. During the first of our in-person Co-Creation Council meetings, 70 credit union leaders generated 250 ideas in three days.

It’s easy to see why the first of our strategic deliverables in 2018 is Client Centricity. You’ll see this in a variety of ways, including new service technologies, more interaction with senior CO-OP leaders and greater opportunities to contribute your feedback.

Digital enablement at the heart of our deliverables.

Digital Enablement is the second of our strategic deliverables for 2018. Today we announced the roll-out of MyCO-OP, a single portal your staff can access all CO-OP tools and applications with just one login. It is a shining example of our commitment to improving access to the ever-expanding CO-OP ecosystem.

A testimony to the integration and innovation happening at CO-OP, MyCO-OP is a culmination of our effort to unite the technology, resources, data and applications of CO-OP and TMG. It’s a huge undertaking we have achieved in less than a year since the two companies became one. Our product and technology team will take an iterative approach to MyCO-OP, with multiple enhancements on the horizon to continuously improve the experience, including the integration of dynamic reports and APIs.

You can expect to see more integration solutions like MyCO-OP, including a fully integrated API library, a single enterprise-wide rewards solution and ongoing enhancements to Springboard.

Data will drive intelligence.

Much of the power that comes from technology is rooted in the data fed into it. Credit unions and their strategic partners, including CO-OP, have earned the trust – and the transactions – of millions of consumers. The resulting data can’t be described with the word “big” alone; it’s monumental.

Our third strategic deliverable is Data-Driven Intelligence, which to us means making data work for you and your members. We will master data management, architecture and governance, all in the name of providing you with the actionable insights to create exceptional member experiences.

You’ll see progress in this area later this year with solutions like machine learning to power fraud detection and prevention, as well as optimizing shared branching experiences. New card portfolio analytics and transaction scoring models will be integrated into your overall reporting so that you can make decisions that improve the financial lives of your members.

Transformation will be continuous.

The digital transformation journey we are on is not going to be an easy one. But we believe it’s worth it. We also expect that as we travel, we’ll find our destination may change as technologies, trends and market pressures evolve. And that’s why we’ve chosen to dedicate our fourth strategic deliverable to Continuous Improvement. What this means for you is an ongoing and honest assessment of how CO-OP is helping you achieve higher revenues, deeper engagement with members and meaningful growth.

The credit unions in the CO-OP ecosystem will experience this deliverable in other ways, too. You’ll feel the impact of our operational efficiencies, the security of our fully integrated InfoSec program and the seamlessness of our backend systems integration.

Our ultimate goal is for the totality of CO-OP’s networks, products and services to work together as a seamless ecosystem, to create a better experience for you and your members. We recognize the power at our fingertips. We also recognize the human ingenuity that distinguishes the credit union movement from all other financial technology providers. Blending this ingenuity with powerful technology will create innovation capable of improving the financial lives of millions.

I hope we will have the opportunity to meet with you at next week’s GAC conference, so that our teams can share more about the integration and innovation that is happening at CO-OP. I especially want you to meet the people who are so passionately bringing it about for our credit union partners.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on innovation in the movement and where you think integration can have the greatest impact on how we serve members together. Whether next week, at our THINK 18 Conference in May, or on some other occasion, I look forward to connecting with you to talk to you more about the new CO-OP. We are just getting started.


Todd Clark


CO-OP Financial Services 


Previous Article
Racing to Excellence: How Digital Transformation Applies to You
Racing to Excellence: How Digital Transformation Applies to You

Next Article
Will You Be Our Accountability Partner?
Will You Be Our Accountability Partner?

To achieve transformation of any kind, there has to be accountability.