Credit unions are the original financial services disrupters. And they are the original cooperative cooperators. Those two essential traits of their DNA make them the perfect business model to shake up financial services again by moving squarely into the innovative blockchain or "shared ledger" model of transactions.
That will be the message of CUNA Chief Operating Officer Rich Meade's cutting-edge presentation at CUNA's upcoming America's Credit Union Conference, which launches June 25 in Seattle.
Meade will describe how CUNA, in partnership with the Mountain West Credit Union Association, has worked to develop a concept for a credit union system-wide "permissioned distributed shared ledger," which is more commonly referred to as a blockchain.
CUNA and the league want to develop a blockchain technology platform for credit unions, which will, in turn, provide the system with maximized efficiency and enhance credit unions' strong focus on their members.
Already, CUNA and the league are pointing interested parties to the website, culedger.com, as a resource that will continue to be built out as the overall project progresses.
"Credit unions have excelled for years living the '7 Principles of Cooperatives,' and one, 'Cooperation among cooperatives,' is totally relevant to today's conversation about blockchain payments technology.
"As we have done with shared branching, cooperative ATM networks and so much more, we can now support one another in this forward-facing development," Meade says.
Credit unions and their members would benefit in a number of ways from a dedicated shared-ledger platform. Chief among them:
Meade will be asking CUNA members to consider getting engaged with this effort to create a credit union shared ledger and to join CUNA for an important member webinar, details to come, to more fully explore concepts and plans.
CUNA members can learn more during Meade's presentation at the ACUC, by reading "Blockchain: They Ultimate Disrupter?" in the July issue of CUNA's Credit Union Magazine, and watching News Now for more details as they unfold.