Credit union app aims to close digital gap with banks

CuMobile app allows members to access services fully and securely online

Identity verification technology can allow members to sign up for a cuMobile account with their local credit union in a day. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Identity verification technology can allow members to sign up for a cuMobile account with their local credit union in a day. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

 

A new app aimed at credit union members is set to close the digital gap between the institutions and competing banks and fintechs, offering users an easier way to control their finances.

The cuMobile app is a full-service app that allows members to access every service fully and securely online. It uses advanced technologies, such as biometric login using facial or fingerprint recognition, and allows credit unions to reduce paperwork, data entry and administrative tasks for credit unions.

The app has also made it faster for members to access some services, reducing in-branch loan applications from 20 minutes to about five minutes. Identity verification technology can allow members to sign up for an account with their local credit union in a day.

The announcement was made by Wellington IT, the Irish technology partner to the credit union sector, and is the culmination of multi-year investment programme.

“There has been a big push from the credit union sector in recent years to compete directly with banks and fintech companies. At the same time, consumers are demanding products that offer efficiency and convenience, with Covid-19 further increasing the demand for online services. As a result, the credit union sector is digitising at a rapid pace and cuMobile is a significant facilitator of this,” said Declan Colfer, managing director, Wellington IT.

“By enabling credit unions to offer members access to their full range of services – such as managing payees, applying for a loan and setting up direct debits – via one app, cuMobile streamlines banking and gives participating credit unions a huge competitive advantage.”

There are 3.6 million credit union members in Ireland, but the number of credit unions has fallen from 272 to 243 in the past three years as mergers took place within the sector. That has led to credit unions serving a wider geographic area.

Among the credit unions that have already begun using the cuMobile app is Dundalk Credit Union, with compliance and IT manager at John Fee saying it had been “transformational” for both members and staff, making it possible for staff to focus on lending and other member services.