A new partnership between the World Council of Credit Unions and Boom Financial, a Palo Alto,Calif.-based company that provides mobile banking and moneytransfer services to immigrant and unbanked families, could pumpnew life into credit unions in developing countries.

Founded four years ago, Boom gives underbanked and unbankedconsumers the ability to activate a Boom bank account, receive aprepaid card and transfer money to anyone in the world via amobile transaction. Through the partnership–which the two partiesannounced on Sep. 11–money transfer recipients will get messages ontheir mobile devices directing them to a nearby credit unionbranch, where they can access the money. Once they've visited abranch, the credit unions will have the opportunity to market otherproducts and services to their new, potential members.

The alliance, which represents Boom's first step into the creditunion industry, originated at a recent conference where leadersfrom WOCCU and Boom met and discovered they had very similarphilosophies–to provide secure financial services to unbanked andunderbanked populations through the use of mobile technology,explained Pete Kelly, Boom's vice president of businessdevelopment, and Saul Wolf, WOCCU's manager of remittanceservices.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.