CU Solutions Group Launches 'Wraparound' Mobile App

CU Solutions Group has launched a mobile product aimed at helping credit unions become more front-and-center for members making daily financial decisions. 

The product, which the company calls LifeSteps Wallet and describes as a “wraparound container app,” combines a credit union’s existing mobile banking offerings with proprietary and third-party shopping, auto, home and financial wellness offerings. The idea is to help members make everyday financial decisions and boost the use of credit union credit and debit cards, CU Solutions Group CEO David Adams said. 

“Most credit unions’ mobile banking platforms provide account balances, money transfers, bill pay, remote deposit capture and that's about it,” he told CU Times. “We want credit unions to be able to help their members with life's big decisions. Not just provide transaction capability.” 

The app presents users with several financial topic categories such as “auto maintenance” or “home buying and selling” that link to a variety of proprietary content and resources, as well as external resources such as Zillow or Home Advisors.

“When a member researches a merchant or accesses a deal, the credit union credit card is top of wallet, when they browse homes and vehicles, credit union financing and insurance are a single tap away,” CU Solutions Group added in a press release out today.

Adams said LifeSteps Wallet is built to integrate with any mobile banking app regardless of provider, and pricing runs between about $7,500 and $20,000 per year, depending on credit union size. CU Solutions Group does the branding and customizing for each credit union

The company plans to target larger credit unions first. “Early next year we hope to have a light version available for smaller credit unions,” Adams added.

One of the goals is to help credit unions be in the right place at the right time for members. 

“If your members already have a PayPal account…why wouldn't the credit union want to message within their container that you can use your credit union debit card or transaction account when you're using your PayPal service?” Adams said.

“Venmo is winning the war big time with millennials with P2P money transfers,” he added. “So if two-thirds of your millennial members already have Venmo, why not put it in your app and message to them that they ought to use the credit union plastic?” 

LifeSteps Wallet is in some ways the product of a long chain of events that began with what used to be CU Wallet.

That organization was originally working on a mobile payments solution for credit unions but pivoted toward finding ways to blend mobile banking with shopping capabilities so credit unions would be more top of mind and top of wallet, Adams explained. After CU Solutions Group announced it was buying CU Wallet in December of last year and finalized the acquisition in the first quarter of 2017, it rebranded the company to LifeStep Solutions.

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