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Filene: The Blog

On a Lark with Pokémon Go

On a Lark with Pokémon Go

I was very late to the Pokémon Go party. As a recovering perfectionist, I am well aware that games like this are only going to frustrate me. In fact, the year before our daughter was born, my husband came home to find me in tears staring sadly at our computer. When I responded to his query of what in the world had gone wrong with, “the crops on my farm died--I couldn’t keep up with Farmville,” he suggested that it was time that I give up the game. Maybe piling one more commitment, even a Facebook game, wasn’t the best idea.

But in the end, testing and trying can lead us to new ways of thinking and new ideas that can improve our member experience. And that can make all the difference.

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Payday Lending, by the (Shocking) Numbers

Payday Lending, by the (Shocking) Numbers

Payday lending is a burden on consumers, especially the most vulnerable members of our society. Many consumers who take these loans end up taking out an additional payday loan just to pay back the first leading to an endless debt cycle that make the situation worse and worse. 

Take a look at 3 shocking ways these loans are having an impact on our communities. If you don't like the numbers, do something about it. There are many successful payday alternative programs in place today in financial institutions across the country. Are you satisfied with the solutions your credit union is offering?

We invite you to participate in two such programs in our Incubator program...

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Ben Rogers Makes His Final Goal at Filene

Ben Rogers Makes His Final Goal at Filene

Argentina was playing against somebody at the sports bar at the Wynn the day I first met Ben Rogers nearly a decade ago. The conversation was easy, though I don’t remember what it was. We’ve been through two more World Cups since then and about 500% Filene headcount growth. Regretfully, Ben won’t be at Filene for the next World Cup.

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Small Businesses Are Great; Not Their Access to Credit

Small Businesses Are Great; Not Their Access to Credit

I love small businesses. I love that sign on the street corner saying “opening soon” and the anticipation of being one of the first patrons to walk in and experience something new. 

Not only can small businesses give us a sense of purpose and connection, they are also a driving force of the economy. But small business loans aren't always so easy to come by, especially if you're a minority. The small business loan denial rate for minorities is 30%, more than twice that of non-minority groups (only 12.3%).

You can change this pattern. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Take a step by downloading our free Issues Brief to learn how to bring Community Microfinancing into your community.

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“Dog Days of Summer” Reading List from the Cool Cats of Filene

“Dog Days of Summer” Reading List from the Cool Cats of Filene

Oh, August...the crown jewel of summer, the pièce de résistance, the month of vacation for Parisians...we love your long sunny days. Days that are warm and perfect for hiking, biking, beaching and reading. Here at Filene, we've all got our favorite Filene reads and our favorite places and people with which to get lost in a deep Think.Do.Change moment.

For your last go at summer fun in 2016, we've provided a list of what reading is inspiring us these days, in hopes you may enjoy this brain fuel along with us!

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Reaching Minority Households: A Call To Action!

Reaching Minority Households: A Call To Action!

I sat down with Adam Lee, Filene's Incubator Director, to follow up on the blog post he wrote last week about the ongoing payday lending proposed regulations debate, to go a bit deeper into the issue. I wanted to know what impact Filene’s work with the Reaching Minority Households Incubator and the 5 programs we’re testing with credit unions is having on un- and underbanked populations, which our research has shown disproportionately skews toward African American and Hispanic households. Here’s what I learned.

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While payday regulations are examined, financial struggles keep on

While payday regulations are examined, financial struggles keep on

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released proposed rules to help people get out of payday, vehicle title, and high-cost installment loan traps. Many financial institutions believe if the rules were implemented, it would make it hard to issue alternatives to high-cost loans, while consumer protection groups believe that the proposed rules do not go far enough.

One thing is clear: there is a tremendous need for short term, fairly priced lending products that provide consumers a way to achieve financial health.

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3 ways to strengthen your credit union through collaboration

3 ways to strengthen your credit union through collaboration

It’s time, credit unions, to harness the power of collaboration. The research all points in your favor. The collaborative nature of the industry will set you up for success and strength that going it alone simply cannot produce.

Here are three ways your credit union can collaborate with other credit unions, employees, members and the entire credit union system to fortify the strength of YOUR credit union...

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Keeping Strategy Alive

Keeping Strategy Alive

Strategy is too important to be a once or twice a year exercise. And while Filene members benefit from having access to our full library of research, we recognize most do not have the capacity to consume all the information that's available.

This is why we created The Strategy Cycle. Listen to our recent Podcast interview all about it.

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Credit Union Value Proposition: Still Awesome After All These Years

Credit Union Value Proposition: Still Awesome After All These Years

On June 14, we gathered a group of more than 90 credit union leaders from across North America at Harvard University to talk about cooperative strategies for sustained competitive advantage and business model evolution. And some pretty big darn deal stuff happened.

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