Abcul perseveres with Model Credit Union project
The Association of British Credit Unions (Abcul) says it is making progress with its Model Credit Union initiative, to modernise the tech and operations of its members.
The UK government is behind the project known as the Credit Union Expansion Programme.
The overall programme is valued at £38 million, with the technology portion believed to be around £8 million.
The work is being carried out by Abcul’s dedicated subsidiary, Cornerstone Mutual Services.
Cornerstone’s Model CU brings together a range of facilities, including a new core banking platform and a new mobile app – both provided by Fiserv (as exclusively reported by Banking Technology last year – click here for further details).
The project started in 2014. The first go-lives were originally scheduled for 2015 but got pushed back by nearly a year.
Mark Lyonette, chief executive at Abcul and Cornerstone, tells Banking Technology that three credit unions are now live. The first go-live took place in summer last year and the most recent one in March this year.
East London Credit Union and RetailCURe (a start-up credit union launched in autumn 2016) are among the three users of the new platform.
“Early indications from consumers in the credit unions which are already live is that they are enjoying the freedom that online banking through a mobile app brings them,” Lyonette says.
“We have a confirmed schedule to roll out to a further 30 credit unions over the next 18 months which we are making good progress on,” he adds.
The migration to the new platform is not obligatory for the Abcul members. 35 credit unions out of 200+ Abcul members have signed up for it so far.
“The Credit Union Expansion Project is a huge opportunity for credit unions and will allow them to compete more effectively with banks and high cost lenders by offering a digital banking platform,” Lyonette states.
“This is a huge transformation in the services that credit unions offer for members.
“Introducing a global banking platform with all the necessary third party integrations to smaller financial institutions comes with a number of challenges and we are working well with our suppliers to resolve any issues as they arise.
“We continue to work closely with all migrating credit unions, preparing them for change and encouraging feedback at every opportunity, so we can provide solutions where necessary.”