I’m excited to provide you with a mid-year update on our three wholly owned credit union service organizations (CUSOs): Accolade Investment Advisory, Lucro Commercial Solutions, and Sherpa Technologies. Central to the ongoing value Corporate One provides credit unions are the focused and competitive solutions offered by these CUSOs. Each one provides distinctly different solutions, but they share three key ingredients that distinguish them from their counterparts—expert staff, consultative and collaborative partnership styles, and meaningful solution offerings. These ingredients work together to drive results and help credit unions improve their businesses and serve their members better.
Despite the uncertainties and challenges of the past 18 months, each CUSO continues to successfully serve credit unions across the country, and I would like to take a moment to highlight their efforts and achievements.
What they provide: Investment Advisory, Asset Liability Management, Loan Analytics services
CEO: Dave Fearing
With the pandemic and the significant inundation of deposits over the past 18 months, credit unions have been challenged with investing their excess liquidity in a very low-rate environment. Accolade immediately rose to the occasion and helped credit unions navigate this challenge by executing a record number of investment transactions in 2020 and in the first half of this year. Accolade has also been developing a new analytics platform designed to offer credit unions important insights without added workload. Currently, this tool will help credit unions implement the new CECL requirements using the WARM method, but it will grow and offer additional features in the future. In addition, Accolade has been developing educational content in the form of articles, webinars, and videos, covering topics like introductory ALM concepts, up-to-date economic trends, and the LIBOR transition. Accolade also redesigned their website to better showcase their educational content and value propositions. More credit unions than ever are seeing value in Accolade, which continues to fuel the growth of their client base.
What they provide: Member business lending support services and digital experiences for business loan applications
CEO/President: Nick Darvill
Lucro's Digital Business Lending Center (DBLC), which helps credit unions start commercial lending programs by automating the loan application process, continues to thrive. In the first half of this year, the DBLC added new partners and experienced a 53% increase in platform users. It processed 4,235 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for $133 million, with 28 credit unions participating. This resulted in $12.1 million in lender revenue and helped credit unions support small businesses in their area. Lucro is now focused on supporting the lender and borrowers during the forgiveness portion of the program. In addition, Evie, Lucro’s new partner-facing platform, launched on June 28. Evie includes valuable tools lenders can use, such as allowing lenders to reach out directly to the borrower to collect financial Information, periodic loan-review scheduling, full transparency, and integrations with Lexis Nexis and Equifax. Both Evie and the DBLC will continue to be developed based on partner feedback to improve efficiencies and make users even more competitive in the commercial lending space.
What they provide: RTP® Network connectivity, digital solutions to enhance the member experience, integration-platform services
CEO: Keith Riddle
With exciting initiatives that are driven by industry collaboration, stemming from Sherpa’s Innovation Council, fintech providers, and various industry partners, Sherpa continues to deliver tools and resources for credit unions to create premier experiences for their members and remain central to their financial lives. In just the first six months of 2021, Sherpa completed the required certifications for The Clearing House’s (TCH) RTP® Network and integration of Sherpa’s real-time payments service with the Juniper Payments platform; they enabled a new web-app workflow for ID-Pal's ID and document verification experience, which is being integrated with a new digital onboarding partner; and they completed the deployments for early adopters of the Payigy payment solution, a unique digital payment experience that offers credit unions a new way of doing business with loan-only members.
We’re proud of all the many ways our CUSOs continue to shine as incubators of creativity, innovation, and invention, leveraging the CUSO model to take advantage of the opportunities to help even more credit unions thrive. Stay tuned for a series of upcoming articles that will feature each CUSO and how we are poised to help credit unions with current issues.