Hi, at the R&D node of TECSO we are currently exploring alternatives to serve credit unions and co-op banks, currently unhappy with the technology they have, with software related to co-op finances. I was wondering if here in this community there is anyone from a credit union or mutual/co-op bank that might be able to provide us with some insights, like what software do you use? For which purposes? Is there any room for improvement in the area? How might we develop new functionalities that might improve your experience?
We have around 10 years of experience working for banks/financial enterprises here in Argentina, mostly in in-company projects and outsourcing services, and we like to explore options to do our first product for this industry, contributing the co-op economy. We think that we might be able to leverage our expertise to help other co-ops that aren’t fully happy with the technology they use.
If anyone relates and works in credit union or co-op banks do not hesitate to contact me.
I have some past experience in credit unions in UK, and also experience of Brazil, where the accounting systems are very different. And I have CoTech friends from Argentina (Neto, Fiqus, etc.)
The credit union movement here is not ‘mature’ but mostly established in the 1980s and 1990s - so as a result there are some established software suppliers. If you need any more specifics you could easily contact UK credit unions to ask, or the main UK organisation ABCUL.
Please note there is a bank called “The Co-operative Bank” but it is no longer connected with the co-op movement, it has been privatised, unfortunately. The only UK banks which are ‘almost’ co-operatives are Unity Trust, Triodos Bank, and various ‘building societies’ (this is a UK type of incorporated mutual) such as Nationwide, etc.
Note there are regulations specific to UK finance industry; BBA (British Banking Association) and others. I am just warning, the differences UK to Argentina would involve a lot of research, not in tech, but in legal matters. Sorry I cannot be more positive!
Hi Patelo! Welcome to the forum.
This isn’t entirely on-topic to your question, but a while ago my co-op Go Free Range had an internal project to try and find out more about, and potentially start, a credit union here in the UK. You can read a bit more about that project on our website.
Thanks that valuable information Jonathan. I’m just making a preliminary research to understand if there are any opportunity in that industry so it is better to know now which are the barriers to entry. I’ll keep exploring.
In terms of UK credit unions you should speak to Richard Smedley https://mobile.twitter.com/RichardSmedley who had similar goals a while back and started https://github.com/Cuprium/cuprium