CU Wallet Enters the Digital Wallet Wars
Ready for a credit union-centric digital wallet? Fifteen credit unions now have banded together to support a startup CU Wallet that aims to create a digital wallet where credit union interests are paramount.
Also involved are CU Wallet’s CEO Paul Fiore and Kirk Drake, CEO of Hagerstown, Md., CUSO Ongoing Operations.
At a press conference Monday at the annual CUNA Technology Council conference, Paul Parrish, chief financial officer for the $697 million One Nevada Credit Union in Las Vegas, indicated that credit unions are facing steady erosion in interchange income and they also confront a growing array of non-bank players who are nibbling away at their traditional businesses.
A way to confront both issues, while also reaching out to a younger potential member base, suggested Parrish, is for credit unions to offer their own digital wallet.
Fiore also indicated that his plan is to create a CU Wallet CUSO, where the offering will be owned by credit unions.
As for when CU Wallet might go live with digital wallet transaction tools, Fiore pointed to Q1 2014 as the target date.
He explained that CU Wallet does not intend to create its own wallet tools, but rather will seek to use proven tools that already are on the market and are available for use by third parties in a “white label,” non-branded fashion.
That strategy, he suggested, will let CU Wallet get to market comparatively fast.
Among the credit unions that have involved themselves in CU Wallet are Quorum CU in Purchase, N.Y.; Affinity FCU in Basking Ridge, N.J.; One Nevada CU in Las Vegas; Workers’ CU in Fitchburg, Mass.; Arizona State CU in Phoenix; University FCU in Austin, Texas; Kinecta FCU in Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Washington State ECU in Olympia, Wash.; Northwest FCU in Herndon, Va.; CommunityAmerica CU in Lenexa, Kan.; DFCU Financial in Dearborn, Mich.; City & County CU in St. Paul, Minn. ;TwinStar FCU in Olympia, Wash.; and Digital FCU in Marlborough, Mass.