A trip to C?rdoba, Mexico, proved mutually beneficial for Servus Credit Union and the local Caja Yanga credit union.
Four executives from the Alberta, Canada-based credit union provided Caja Yanga staffers training in governance, risk management and technology, while learning more about Semilla Cooperativa (Cooperative Seed), a rural outreach model developed by World Council of Credit Unions.
"The Semilla Cooperativa model and the PDA technology allow us to serve these rural populations that don't have access to any kind of financial services other than traveling to a larger city, which may take an entire day's travel and wages just to get there," said Margarito Saavedra Morales, general manager of Caja Yanga. "With our mobile staff and technology, we're able to accept deposits and loan payments without requiring the member to travel to a branch, saving them considerable time and money."
The model has proved helpful as an innovative way for Servus CU to deliver service remotely to immobile members in Alberta, including facility-bound elderly and the disabled. As for Caja Yanga, a discussion about Servus CU's governance model and recent experience in starting an Asset Liability Committee has helped the credit union further develop its enterprise risk management tools.
The visit is part of both credit unions' participation in WOCCU's International Partnerships Program. Last February, two Caja Yanga Staffers served internships in Edmonton to get tips on launching its first ATMs and improving its information technology infrastructure. On this trip, Servus CU executives spent an entire day with Aida Maceda, Caja Yanga IT manager, providing on-site consultation and technical assistance regarding general IT operations and taking a more in-depth look at their PDA technology. Another internship in Edmunton for Caja Yanga staff members is slated for next year.