Meet The Payments Finalists For The 2020 Innovation Series

Innovative solutions that leverage every channel available from cards to text are brought to the forefront by the Payments category entries in our 2020 Innovation Series.

In 2018, launched a one-of-a kind contest that showcases the ways in which inventive suppliers are transforming the credit union industry.

Read about the finalists by clicking on the links below.


Presented by and sponsored by Callahan & Associates, the Innovation Series gives four suppliers 10 minutes to impress a captive audience of credit union decision-makers. Suppliers pitch their cutting-edge solutions. Attendees vote on their favorite.

The 2018 Innovation Series spotlighted solutions of the Mobile and Lending variety. The 2019 Innovation Series included Mobile, Lending, and Member Experience. This year, we’re focused on Mobile/Digital, Business Services & Lending, Member Experience, and, in the series of profiles below, Payments.

Read their stories and watch the webinar.


Michelle Lemieux, Senior Product Manager, CO-OP Financial Services

Describe your innovation.

Michelle Lemieux: CardNav by CO-OP is an advanced mobile app for card controls and alerts designed to engage modern cardholders and give them the peace of mind they need to freely transact.

With CardNav by CO-OP, cardholders can set exacting parameters around card usage, receive mobile alerts whenever transactions occur, and block suspicious transactions themselves in real time, before fraud is carried out.

Introduced in September 2019, the newest version of CardNav by CO-OP allows cardholders to manage both debit and credit card usage at a granular level, all from within one seamlessly integrated app.

This newest iteration of CardNav is also faster and easier for cardholders to use. New biometric authentication technology allows users to instantly access the app via fingerprint or facial recognition. A new override feature lets users temporarily disable card controls when needed to authorize a unique transaction.

With the new release, credit unions can now implement CardNav by CO-OP in ways that keep their brand front and center with members and that work best with their existing infrastructure. Options include:

  • a standalone credit union-branded application
  • a credit union-branded companion application that is linked to the institution’s mobile banking solution
  • an API that integrates directly with the credit union’s mobile banking app

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

ML: CardNav by CO-OP significantly enhances many common member journeys. Take, for example, what happens when a member loses a card. Using CardNav, that member can immediately turn the card off until it’s located. No need to contact the credit union and go through the process of blocking that card. No need to visit a branch to get a card reissued. When the lost card is eventually found, the member can also use CardNav to quickly and easily turn it back on for future transactions.

CardNav by CO-OP serves as an effective budgeting tool for cardholders as well, allowing them, for example, to set limits on the amount they can spend on a card each month.

Card controls are particularly valuable to members whose dependent children are also cardholders. With CardNav, parents of a college-bound teen can limit card usage by merchant, merchant type, geographic area, proximity to the student’s smartphone, and more, protecting cardholder data while helping that inexperienced cardholder keep spending in check.

Credit union members are also concerned about fraud, and rightly so. Whenever they transact, they want to feel safe. Having confidence in your card product inspires them to reach for that card more often.

How does it increase member value?

ML: Members today are busy, and they value technologies that are quick, easy and convenient to use. The ability to control all their credit union cards in the same way through one integrated mobile app is very much in step with their digital expectations.

Remember that credit union card products must outperform the competition as well. According to Gallup data published on Motley Fool, the average American has 2.6 credit cards, and the average number of cards held by people who have at least one credit card is 3.7.

And with big tech and fintech actively engaging in our market and building market share, a credit union’s card products must keep pace with innovation in order to achieve top-of-wallet status.

Consider also that payments represent almost 80% of a consumer’s interactions with the institution that they maintain as their primary financial relationship (PFR). Delivering a superior cardholder experience keeps your credit union brand top-of-mind with members, promoting PFR status as a result.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

ML: As with all CO-OP products, CardNav by CO-OP is expressly engineered for credit unions and reflects the needs, insights, and collective vision of the CO-OP client credit union community. This newest version of CardNav uniquely addresses the expectations of modern members by placing card security squarely in their hands while delivering both seamless utility and an engaging consumer experience across all their debit and credit card products.

Watch the Payments finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

target=”_blank”>Watch Now


Lisa Coffey, Chief Innovation Officer, Corporate America Credit Union

Describe your innovation.

Lisa Coffey: Corporate America Credit Union and our fintech partner, VSoft Corp., have developed two faster payments solutions that can bring immediate benefits in technology, liquidity, and the ability to attract new and younger members to credit unions.

Bread is a powerful payments application that facilitates faster payments between consumers utilizing a variety of payment rails including real-time payments (RTP), ACH, and debit/credit cards.

Rise is a powerful loan payment collection module that leverages faster payments. With Rise, credit unions can receive guaranteed funds from outside their institution in real time.

As both a funding agent and third-party service provider (TPSP) in the RTP network, CACU has created a turnkey solution for credit unions to enter the real-time payment space. This positions our member credit unions to remain relevant and successful by offering lower cost and requirements to participate in the RTP network.

These products are a result of collaboration with our member credit unions and our constant efforts to ensure their organizations thrive. Our suite of faster and real-time payment offerings will position our members to be successful and relevant for years to come.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

LC: Many credit unions haven’t realized the full benefit of faster payments nor have they discovered the best way to leverage real-time payments. Through a collection of data and evaluation of current market trends, we’ve found that our credit unions’ members use many faster payment applications in order to move money.

The challenge is these funds often sit in a competitor’s digital wallet rather than the member’s account at the credit union. As volume on these types of applications continues to increase, a credit union’s net interest margin and liquidity could be significantly impacted. CACU and VSoft have developed the Bread app a safer, more efficient, and faster way for consumers to move money designed to keep funds in the credit union.

Additionally, many credit unions struggle with obtaining loan payments from other financial institutions, particularly associated with indirect lending. This causes not only an inconvenience for the member but also an increased likelihood for a loan to become delinquent. CACU and VSoft have developed Rise a faster and simpler way to collect loan payments that helps reduce delinquency and improve the member experience.

Small to mid-size credit unions can find it challenging to dedicate the resources required to not only implement RTP but manage the activity and funds 24/7/365. By partnering with CACU, credit unions of all asset sizes can rely on CACU’s expertise to provide faster payment methods to their members, including RTP, in a cost-effective manner.

How does it increase member value?

LC: When a consumer has funds in a fintech digital wallet, those funds are neither insured nor earning interest. Furthermore, personal information can be vulnerable. Bread allows consumers to conveniently and securely move money directly from their credit union accounts. Unlike other P2P applications, Bread can bypass the digital wallet structure and initiate a credit push directly between bank accounts in the RTP network. With Rise, a credit union can receive a loan payment from another institution within the RTP network. This allows the borrower to better manage their cash flow while ensuring their payments are received on time.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

LC: CACU will provide a turnkey solution to our member credit unions, lowering the costs and requirements to participate. We will also allow member credit unions to efficiently manage their liquidity on the network at a lower cost and will fund and manage positions in the RTP network’s joint Federal Reserve bank account on behalf of our members.

CACU will be able to facilitate the settlement and 24/7/365 liquidity management for our credit unions in the RTP network. CACU’s ability to act as both TPSP and funding agent allows our member credit unions to offer cutting edge technology at a much lower cost so they can compete with financial institutions across the nation.

Watch the Payments finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

target=”_blank”>Watch Now


Bruce Gaskill, Director of Sales, PayNearMe

Describe your innovation.

Bruce Gaskill: PayNearMe is the modern and reliable payments platform that lets your members pay how, when. and where they wantincluding in-person cash payments at more than 27,000 participating retail stores.

When members select pay with cash from our mobile-first platform, they are given a unique barcode that can be scanned and processed at major retailers including 7-Eleven and CVS. Members can also make payments with their debit card, credit card, bank account, and even with mobile-first methods including Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Other cutting-edge features within our platform include:

  • Payment reminders by text message and email
  • One-click payment links that don’t require a login, password, or account number to initiate a payment
  • Custom business rules that can help credit unions automate critical payments and compliance processes
  • Zero downtime releases and maintenance, for an always on, always up-to-date experience

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

BG: Here are a few:

  • Vendor consolidation: Get more of the payment options, features, and ways to pay in a single platform, reducing costs, IT resources, and contracts to manage.
  • Access to innovation: PayNearMe had 52 releases in 2019, making us one of the most productive and innovative payments platforms available.
  • Digitization of cash: Solve challenges with cash deposits, such as holding and transporting cash, and eliminate the need for cash alternatives like money orders or certified checks.

PayNearMe offers all the payment options and ways to pay your members demand in a single platform, giving the most consistent and seamless payment experience while eliminating the need for the management and reconciliation of multiple providers.

By partnering with PayNearMe, credit unions can outsource payment innovation and deliver all the services their members expect including a great mobile experience, new payment types including Google and Apple Pay, and the digitization of cash.

PayNearMe also solves the challenge of location-dependent or shared-branch services such as cash payments and deposits. PayNearMe lifts the constrictions of a local branch location by being everywhere their customers want to pay. With our proprietary cash payment network, customers can make a cash payment or deposit at more than 27,000 participating retailers including 7-11 and CVS Pharmacy stores.

The PayNearMe cash network eliminates the need for money orders, reducing costs and increasing speed of payment for both the member and credit union.

How does it increase member value?

BG: PayNearMe makes it easy for credit unions to offer the mobile payment experience today’s consumers expect. Payments should be as easy as checking out on Amazon or scanning Apple Pay at a store and PayNearMe takes this same approach to bill pay, modernizing the experience and removing friction from the process.

Members benefit from:

  • Modern technology that keeps up with the pace of innovation in the market
  • A mobile-first approach without having to download apps or sacrifice features
  • Reliability of having a platform with zero downtime for maintenance and releases
  • More access to cash deposits and payments at more than 27,000 participating retailers, including 7-Eleven and CVS stores

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

BG: PayNearMe gives credit unions the ability to offer a differentiating digital payment experience that can meet or exceed the experience offered by digital banks and large financial institutions. That experience includes:

More ways to pay: Accept debit, credit, ACH, cash and mobile-first payment options including Apple Pay and Google Pay, all with a single platform. Your members can pay any way they want text message, email, web, IVR, or in-person with cash at a neighborhood retail location.

Modern and flexible: Give members a consistent, branded, and modern payment experience any way they choose to pay. Adapt PayNearMe to your credit union with multiple implementation options, a fully configurable interface, and member-level custom fields and automated rules.

Real-time cloud updates: With new features, quality-of-life improvements, and/or performance upgrades delivered weekly, your credit union benefits from a consistently reliable and secure platform and your members get the digital experience they expect. Get improvements and updates in real-time with little to no downtime and no need for your IT resources.

Watch the Payments finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

target=”_blank”>Watch Now


Susan Perlmutter, Chief Revenue Officer, REPAY

Describe your innovation.

Susan Perlmutter: REPAY is a full-service payment technology and processing provider that is user friendly and provides secure collection of payments through any channel at any time. We enable credit unions to redefine and enhance the member loan payment experience through an integrated self-service ecosystem that includes text, chat, IVR, web, and mobile.

REPAY’s real-time payments allows credit unions to customize the solution to build the digital experience they desire, adding features not typically included in today’s credit union digital banking application.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

SP: REPAY gives credit unions the ability to staff up and down, using technology to provide service while increasing your members’ touchpoints through their choice of communication, rather than losing members to competitors.

  • Members are expecting and demanding more from their credit unions: our payment solution allows credit union to compete with national banks.
  • Alerts and mobile notifications can be sent to members for payment reminders, so they can avoid late fees and penalties.
  • State-of-the-art collection tools that are integrated to a credit union’s core platform for real-time posting of payments.
  • Help credit unions stay competitive with payment technology to drive members’ payment engagement.
  • Members can pay their loans using a debit card or directly from a bank account and receive payment confirmation in real time.

How does it increase member value?

SP: REPAY gives members 24/7 ability to communicate with their credit union and make loan payments. Also, we

  • Reduce the administrative tasks of accepting and posting payments.
  • Open up more payment methods for credit union-originated loans.
  • Provide convenience, flexibility, and control over how members self-manage and make their loan payments.
  • Can connect members to their external bank account.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

SP: We create, manage, and own our technology. Also,

  • REPAY invests in full integration with credit union core systems for loan funding and real-time payments.
  • We provide an entire digital lending experience from immediate funding to loan payment.
  • We offer the ability to customize the members’ view.
  • We create, manage, and own our technology.

Watch the Payments finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

target=”_blank”>Watch NoW

All interviews have been edited and condensed.

Read more about other Innovation Series finalists by clicking on the links below.


February 18, 2020

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