A Facebook for Credit Unions: A Business Group’s Plan to Keep Members Connected | Credit Union Journal


At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Louisiana Credit Union League sought to develop a platform for its members to collaborate when they could no longer meet in person.

The League is finally ready to unveil this platform – the bubble – that it developed with Breezio, based in Rockville, Maryland. Using this platform, the League aims to provide a digital community for members to address challenges such as verifying vendors and navigating regulatory changes.

“We were certainly hearing, especially in times of the new pandemic, that everyone wanted to network…when we’re not having in-person networking events, we really needed a space where our co-ops credit can network and ask about things to come. day in and day out,” said Angela Melle, vice president of member engagement for the League.

Melle explained that the social media format used by the bubble – which she compared to Facebook and LinkedIn – will also help boost member adoption.

In a region like Louisiana, which has faced several natural disasters like Hurricane Ida in recent history, a new social platform can help collaborative efforts in times of recovery, Melle said.

Angela Melle (left), vice president of member engagement for the Louisana Credit Union League, and Benjamin Muscolino, president and CEO of Breezio. “When we’re not hosting in-person networking events, we really needed a space where our credit unions can network and ask questions,” Melle said.

The group is currently in the process of updating its association management system through a partnership with customer relationship management provider Cobalt, allowing the League to automatically populate bubble profiles using previously obtained member data. . The platform is expected to go live in April.

The League’s past efforts to keep members connected in the wake of flooding and other destruction have been well received, according to Joshua Poole, CEO of the $52 million asset-based BRECO Federal Credit Union in Baton Rouge. .

“Here in Louisiana, we’re no strangers to natural disasters,” Poole said. “To help, especially during the pandemic, the League created a messaging channel that allowed credit unions to collaborate on best practices and other initiatives they were doing to assist their members and employees during the pandemic or various other natural disasters.”

Poole pointed out that despite the wide range of asset sizes of credit unions in the state, they all face similar challenges.

“There is a difference between a billion dollar credit union and a $25 million credit union from a complexity standpoint, but at the basic level they deal with similar concerns and issues” , Poole said. “Good ideas can come from anywhere in the organization, from the part-time cashier to the CEO or board of directors, but also among small credit unions and large credit unions.”

Benjamin Muscolino, President and CEO of Breezio, explained that the company seeks to make the implementation and onboarding process easier for customers through a first-stage Q&A, allowing those like the League to focus their efforts on the user experience and shape the appearance. of the platform.

“We try to give them lots of documentation that they can fill out and answer questions about their primary goals and user group,” Muscolino said. “From there, once we have those answers, we’ll do all the site setup for them, and the process takes about a few months.”

Breezio uses Amazon Web Services to host social platforms and provide an extensive level of security while allowing fintech to focus on personalizing the user experience.

The League plans to launch the platform alongside a series of videos for members that detail how to use the bubble to chat with other members.

By using the bubble as a central communication hub, credit unions will be able to better share ideas for future consumer offerings and network with professionals at all job levels, according to Poole.

“One thing that I hope this platform will accomplish is to open up these channels across the state and break down these silos that exist not just because of geographic distance, but just because maybe I don’t know not someone who works at a credit union in northern Louisiana. , that might have a great idea about something,” Poole said.


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