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Credit Unions Must Redefine the Digital Experience
Monday, December 5, 2016 6:35 AM

Brian Kaas, Managing Director, CMFG Ventures

Over $12.6 billion was invested in FinTech1 in the first six months of this year, building on more than $19 billion of investment through 2015. The bar for digital disruption in the financial sector has been firmly set. Put simply, offering online services is no longer a selling point—it’s the standard.

To stay competitive, credit unions can no longer afford a cautious, measured approach to new technologies. If they’re to grow in an increasingly competitive environment, they must go beyond the status quo and offer streamlined, intuitive services that make members’ lives easier.

If this sounds like a daunting task, allow me to introduce rising star Raffo Wimsett. He’s energetic, passionate and most importantly, adaptable. His job is to be wherever he is needed and he does it by working primarily out of a backpack. Vitally, his credit union enables him to do so. 

Raffo is an inspired example of what’s achievable for credit unions when the right people and ideas are involved. Not tomorrow or someday, but now.

At CUNA Mutual Group, we’re committed to credit union growth and understand that we too must embrace change. In part, we aim to do so through our recently-launched venture capital arm, CMFG Ventures. By making a connection between exciting start-ups and the credit union movement, we hope to see millions of credit union members benefiting from bringing greater innovation and better services together.

As Raffo says himself: “The only thing that’s certain is that change will never stop.” Increasingly, credit unions are embracing that concept and CUNA Mutual Group is working hard to be the trusted provider they turn to when they do.

Why do we do this? Because the bar is already set, but together, we can raise it even higher.

Brian Kaas is the managing director leading CMFG Ventures, CUNA Mutual Group’s venture capital entity that focuses on strategic, early-stage investments in the credit union, financial services, and insurance industries. To learn more, visit

CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates.

Source: 1 Life.SREDA VC, “Money of the Future,”2016.