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WOCCU Unveils Social Media Platform Designed Specifically for CUs
Monday, October 24, 2016 6:40 AM

The World Council of Credit Unions has launched a mobile application that aims to connect credit union professionals from all over the globe through a social network specifically for CUs.

"What we've wanted to do for a long time was to have a place where credit union folks can go and see what's going on in credit union land," explained Victor Corro, WOCCU's VP of member services, explaining that until now there hasn't been a way for CU supporters—members and professionals—to come together virtually to share the struggles and successes of the movement.

"We find credit unions are very interested in sharing their success stories with their peers, and we're in the midst of that," Corro said. "If folks in Costa Rica want to know what's going on in the U.S. in terms of cybersecurity, the app is a good place to start. It's part of WOCCU's desire to be a bridge and a communicator."

The app was launched at WOCCU's annual conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, earlier this year and has been steadily gaining users since then. WOCCU has long used an app specifically for its conferences, but the social networking component was set up as a way to better connect the movement and get more use out of the app than just once per year at conferences.

While credit union professionals are well represented across a wide variety of social networking platforms, Corro pointed out that there are cultural differences that prevent large-scale collaboration and networking that way, since certain nations tend to use some social applications more than others. WOCCU got around that by incorporating LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to the app, allowing users to connect to the WOCCU app and then link their profile to other social networking sites within the app. Users can also post directly to the app and then share to those sites, similar to the way Instagram users can simultaneously cross-post to other social sites.

Building on the industry-wide theme of collaboration, Corro said one of the main goals for the app is to crowdsource solutions for credit unions across the globe. As such, there are a variety of specific channels within the app—focused on topics such as payments, growth, the regulatory burden and more—where users can post questions and join discussions. "You have the global credit union industry potentially responding to you about how they've tackled that specific challenge," said Corro. "Or just tooting your own horn and saying 'We did this great thing today on membership outreach for millennials and you can adopt this.'"

Corro and WOCCU are confident that the global credit union community is deeply engaged enough to make the app a success. Ultimately at least 60 percent of the app's users are expected to come from outside of the United States, and Corro said that the app has seen frequent downloads in the Caribbean, South America, the Philippines and the United States.

"People say 'Credit unions are the best-kept secret ever,'" noted Corro. "With the app, because you have it on your phone and you take it everywhere, you can have the global credit union movement in your pocket."

Source:  Credit Union Journal