Credit unions build next-generation innovation on

Written by Milind Pathak Senior Director, Product Management, North America, Core Banking Platforms and Integration
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Credit unions have built a steady foundation of loyal members, but that loyalty is being challenged as digitally savvy consumers seek more relevant product offerings.

According to the Credit Union Innovation Study, 1 in 5 current members would change to a new credit union to gain access to more innovative products.i  That number rises to 30% for the younger millennial generation.ii 

Where members expect credit unions to innovate runs the gamut of possibilities.  More than 35% of current members have expressed an interest in peer-to-peer payments.iii  More than half would like access to products that help them build wealth or improve their ability to save.iv 

While consumers are upping the stakes on product innovation, 64% of credit union executives say they have trouble rolling out products fast enough to meet consumer demand.v  Speed of the product development cycle has become increasingly important since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Complicating the issue further is the fact that credit unions and their members don’t always agree on what constitutes useful innovation. According to the Innovation Study, 46% of credit union respondents said they were quick to launch new products in response to changing market  However, during the COVID-19 crisis, the 86% of credit unions that focused on mobile wallet innovation were drastically out of line with the slim seventeen percent of members who had an interest in such products.vii 

In this environment, credit unions need the ability to not only rapidly adopt new products, but also the option to safely fail fast when consumer demand doesn’t match innovation efforts. To accommodate these needs, Finastra has created, offering credit unions the chance to extend their innovation potential through an easy-to-use cloud-based open API platform.

Bringing Innovation to the Core Platform is an open eco-system platform, bringing the full range of Finastra’s product innovation, as well as emerging offerings from top-tier FinTechs to the Fusion Phoenix retail banking core solution.

Finastra’s Fusion Phoenix is the only core platform built in the Microsoft Azure public cloud and offers 21st-century capabilities to meet member needs for fast and efficient service delivery. By automating key processes, Fusion Phoenix delivers straight-through processing (STP) for primary functions, resulting in significant operational efficiencies as well as decreased operational risk and costs.

However, extended operational efficiency is only one advantage. Finastra can also connect the core retail platform to the company’s full range of internal products and offerings, by utilizing the industry-standard REST APIs of This includes leading capabilities such as retail and commercial accounts, card management, relationship management and fraud prevention, to name a few.

Beyond the impressive internal capability set, Fusion Phoenix puts credit unions on a fast track toward increased member acquisition and retention, by opening doors to top-tier Fintech companies. Also using the API connections of, credit unions can now connect to over 65 online and real-time integrations. The result is rapid access to the innovative new products and services that members are seeking.

Remaining Competitive in a Changing Landscape

Since the API creates a virtual plug and play landscape, credit unions acquire unprecedented adaptability, able to pick up new innovations as consumers demand and just as quickly switch to new products when member interests change. Adoption is swift and simple, requiring no alterations to credit union systems or processes.

Maintenance costs are also reduced. Since products are hosted in the cloud, Finastra takes care of product upgrades, saving credit unions on resource costs as well as the time and testing required to install new products and updates.

Best of all, third-party applications that are built on the platform can interact with the Fusion Phoenix Core in the same way that Finastra’s own products do. This capability provides unmatched product selection as well as two-way access to data.

Data is now the kingpin on which credit unions build future competitiveness. Since the majority of consumers responding to a recent Deloitte survey said they would be willing to pay more for personalized digital banking services,viii   improved access to data can open new revenue streams for credit unions by informing adoption of more relevant products.

For example, 66% of consumers responding to a recent survey want to receive wealth-building advice from their financial institution.ix  Understanding trends like these allow credit unions to adopt new products to fill these needs, gaining revenue that consumers may be spending on third-party apps.

In today’s fast-changing market, it’s more important than ever to have a core solution that integrates quickly with the best products on the market, and delivers. Rated as the best offering under Celent’s ranking for advanced technology and breadth of functionality, the Fusion Phoenix core enabled by the cloud-based ecosystem of, is the credit union’s next generation automation solution, accelerating innovation and putting credit unions at the top of the competition.

i  “Credit Union Innovation Study.”, Feb. 2021. Web.
ii  “Credit Union Innovation Study.”, Feb. 2021. Web.
iii  “Credit Union Innovation Index.”, Mar. 2020. Web.
iv  “Understanding Financial Consumers in the Digital Era.” CGI, Jul. 2014. Web.
v  “Credit Union Innovation Study.”, Feb. 2021. Web.
vi “Credit Union Innovation Study.”, Feb. 2021. Web.
vii  “Credit Union Innovation Study.”, Feb. 2021. Web.
viii  “The Deloitte Consumer Review, Made to Order: The Rise of Mass Personalisation.” Deloitte. Retrieved from  
ix  “Understanding Financial Consumers in the Digital Era.” CGI, Jul. 2014. Web

Written by
Milind Pathak

Milind Pathak

Senior Director, Product Management, North America, Core Banking Platforms and Integration

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