CO-OP Financial Services and The Members Group have announced a strategic partnership aimed at letting them jointly develop products and present a unified portfolio of payment services for credit unions.
Under the agreement, CO-OP will make a “strategic investment” in TMG, a payments and services CUSO affiliated with the Iowa Credit Union League. Executives with each organization declined to reveal the scope of the investment.
Both organizations will retain their management structure and independent product offerings, but each will also offer the other's products and services and cooperate on strategic marketing, planning and development, executives said in a press call on Thursday.
“This is a pivotal time for credit unions as they look for trusted partners to capitalize on their opportunities,” said Shazia Manus, CEO of TMG. “With the combined forces of TMG and CO-OP Financial Services, we are able to provide credit unions with a single point of entry to the most innovative, tailored, cost-effective products and services as they prepare for next-generation banking.”
Stan Hollen, CEO of California-based CO-OP, said, “The investment of CO-OP Financial Services in TMG allows both companies to offer the best processing platform for each client’s unique needs.
“CO-OP gains a full service credit card system customizable to credit unions, and TMG gains additional products and delivery channels. Combined, the scale of processing is second to none.”
The partnership does not include TMG Financial Services, the card portfolio purchasing and investment arm of TMG. Nor does it directly involve CO-OP Shared Branching or the CO-OP Network of free ATMs, though Hollen said these “channels” could be part of future product development.
For example, CO-OP Shared Branching uses the Next Generation Switch, a proprietary, sophisticated switch for its shared branching transactions that could very well prove highly compatible with the Dwolla payment network that TMG has been developing.