MADISON, Wis. - Closing in on the two-year mark, MEMBERS Development Corporation is sticking to its mission of conducting the R&D work for a new product or service, and then passing on the servicing to CUNA Mutual or another party. MEMBERS Development Corp. was formed back in early 2000, billed as an R&D consortium that would find out what areas its credit union owners feel there is a product need, and then how to do it. The key being that MDC would then step to the sidelines and let someone else take over to bring the product to market. It is currently owned 51% by a group of 50 CUs/CUSOs and 49% by CUNA Mutual Group. Its most ambitious venture to date has been with account aggregation. Though there were some early bumps in the road, 10 MDC member CUs are set to go live with MDC's "View My Accounts" account aggregation solution on Dec. 1. Last year MDC partnered with aggregation firm Access Softek to develop an aggregation solution. That deal didn't work out, and in July MDC announced that it would begin a partnership with aggregation giant, Yodlee, which many CUs had partnered with on their own. MDC President/CEO John Henry has said that although the Access Softek deal didn't work out, that's all part of MDC's business, finding what works before a product comes to market. Instead of traveling to individual CUs, MDC has been using Webinars to reach groups of CUs at a time to demo its new account aggregation solution. This practice is indicative of MDC staying lean and mean. "We're not set up with a big staff and a lot of people," said Henry, though the group does have a deal to utilize CUNA Mutual Group employees for certain functions. "We've had about 130 credit unions attend the Webinars. We might have 10 to 15 credit unions at a time," he said. The aggregation space is very competitive said Henry. He noted that MDC has learned some lessons about revealing pricing models publicly and early in the game, as other players can come back and use that against them when wooing CU clients. Virtually an unknown entity just 12 months ago in CU land, Henry said he's now seeing strong interest in aggregation. "A lot of people heard a lot about account aggregation, but it's not done justice unless you see it and use it. Nationally, account aggregation accounts are up." MDC expects that 15 to 25% of consumers who use Net banking will also use aggregation. Henry said he's not sure what MDC's next project will be, but said trusts could be a possibility. "We've been looking at the trust services area. Not a great deal of research has been done at this point. At our owners meeting in January, they'll give us more of a direction as to what the hot items are," said Henry. Other possibilities include person-to-person payment systems, another emerging technology. Aggregation isn't MDC's only product to come to fruition. It also had success with its FOLIO investment solution, now being offered by CUNA Mutual Group. -email@example.com
MEMBERS Development Corp. approaching two-year mark; aggregation its biggest hit so far
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