2021 Fintech 2.0 Awards

Fintech 2.0 awards from cu2

Each year, CU 2.0 recognizes fintechs that have improved credit union technology and the member experience. For our first annual awards in 2021, we honor fintechs in 3 areas:

We’ll discuss what each category means and why we chose it. The links above point to our deeper dives on each award category to highlight why we chose the fintechs we did.

The Mobile Banking Experience

  • Winner: BankingON
  • Runners up: Otomo*, Narmi, Apiture

Many, if not most members will visit your mobile app more than they’ll visit their local branch. Your app is now the front door to their digital branch, and the member experience must be similarly incredible.

Recently, we took a deep look into many credit union mobile banking apps. What we found shocked us. The user interface (UI) was usually clunky, cluttered, and unappealing. The user experience (UX) was consequently slow, confusing, and frustrating.

Unfortunately, this is an area where most credit unions come up short. Consider this:

Biometric ID has been around for 10 years. Yet somehow, most CU mobile apps still lack this critical digital security feature.

The problems don’t end there. Credit union mobile banking apps are usually web apps that often feature outdated design, lack of branding, and difficult navigation. They look like they were made for desktops and were subsequently smushed in to fit a phone screen…

Often, that’s exactly what they are.

We recognize leaders in mobile banking UI/UX for ushering in a better digital member experience.

Conversational Banking

  • Winner: Finn AI
  • Runners up: Posh, Clinc, Abe AI

If the mobile banking app is the face of your digital branch, then conversational banking is your voice.

AI-powered chatbots helps members with site navigation, provide basic banking services, and help with other simple requests. Members get the convenience of an always-on service representative that can handle a variety of issues.

And the benefit to the credit union is huge, too. Fewer calls to service centers, cross- and upsell opportunities, and reduced operational costs are just the beginning…

Offering an easy, intuitive, and engaging platform to guide members through your digital branch is a key differentiator in the digital banking experience.

We recognize leaders in conversational banking for driving banking service forward with technology.

Member-Facing Technology

  • Winner: UNest
  • Runners up: Senso, Equipifi, DoubleCheck, RenoFi, Otomo*

This is a broad category, but our parameters are narrower than you might suspect:

This category is dedicated to applications, integrations, and banking features that provide services outside of base-level technology. So, although credit union CRMs, data analytics platforms, and the like may improve the member experience, they don’t promote “self-driving finance,” so to speak.

Here, we look at fintechs that empower members in their path to financial wellness and benefit them financially. Rewards programs, savings and investment platforms, and member-directed loan/credit tools make the cut.

When done right, these technologies can do more than simply improve member finances. They can also drastically increase digital engagement and strengthen CU–member relationship. In many cases, they can be a key technological differentiator over competitors.

We recognize leaders in member-facing technology for giving members app store-level apps from the comfort of their financial institution.

Additional Resources

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