Brian Kaas speaks at the Fintech Summit. Brian Kaas speaks at the Fintech Summit. (Photo: CUNA Mutual Group)

Over the past few years, credit unions have moved beyond a phase of simply being curious about fintech companies and into one of full-fledged partnership, according to Brian Kaas, president and managing director of CMFG Ventures, the venture capital arm of CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wis. CMFG Ventures, which recently launched an online community and webinar series focused on credit union-fintech partnerships, hosted the first-ever, in-person Fintech Summit in September, bringing together credit union and fintech leaders to network and discuss ways they can team up with the goal of innovating and strengthening their offerings.

For part one of this two-part Q&A with CU Times, Kaas explained why fintech partnerships are critical to the credit union industry’s survival, how embedded finance poses both an opportunity and a threat for credit unions, and more. Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

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.

More from this author

Dig Deeper


Credit Union Times

Join Credit Union Times

Don’t miss crucial strategic and tactical information necessary to run your institution and better serve your members. Join Credit Union Times now!

  • Free unlimited access to Credit Union Times' trusted and independent team of experts for extensive industry news, conference coverage, people features, statistical analysis, and regulation and technology updates.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Credit Union Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join Credit Union Times

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.