Jul 20 '22

The Lab at Filene is Stepping Up to the Starting Line

Ahead of their gathering on August 10, the founding sponsors for The Lab at Filene are getting a first look at the potential testing menu for Filene's future testing agenda.

After launching earlier this year, The Lab is transitioning from brainstorming ideas to selecting concepts to test innovative solutions dedicated to boosting credit union growth and impact.

The Lab at Filene tests new tools, products and strategies for their potential to help credit unions grow and deepen their impact.

As the cornerstone of our incubation practice, The Lab at Filene tests new tools, products and strategies for their potential to help credit unions grow and deepen their impact. The Lab’s efficient and collaborative approach to testing yields actionable insights into the emerging challenges and opportunities that matter most to credit unions.

Test Menu Introduction

Representatives from the founding sponsors were able to get a first look at the testing menu during a virtual session in July. The potential tests were identified through Filene’s broad ecosystem of academic talent, communities and strategic partners. 

Testing opportunities fall under four categories: 

1) New and Expanding Relationships: Research shows that there is a real and urgent need to tap into the broader market in order for credit unions to continue to grow as we see the aging of credit union membership.
Example question these tests plan to answer: How can credit unions create new offerings and market existing ones to attract and retain Gen Z and Millennial members?​

    2) New Ways to Open Credit Access: Credit unions have an opportunity to help the “unscorable” community members through credit coaching tying into financial well-being work that many credit unions are involved with.
    Example question these tests plan to answer: How would offering members’ access to cryptocurrency impact their financial health and engagement with their credit union?

      3) Remixing the Value Proposition: Through the creation of a broader physical community presence, credit unions can reframe what they have to offer to stand out from emerging neobanks and fintechs.
      Example question these tests plan to answer: Would a subscription-based product pricing model attract new members, deepen engagement with existing ones and create value for credit unions?

        4) Competing for Share of Wallet: As the market becomes increasingly saturated with digital players, there is an opportunity for credit unions to incentivize members to deepen their engagement with the credit union.
        Example question these tests plan to answer: How can credit unions leverage transaction data to identify refinancing opportunities that grow loan volume and help members save money?

            Inaugural Gathering

            Visa's San Francisco Innovation Center

            On August 10–11 2022, The Lab sponsor community will convene in San Francisco to do a final review of the test menu, be led through a group discussion and vote to select the top ideas to set the Lab’s testing agenda for the year.

            We are especially excited to be convening this symposium at Visa’s San Francisco Innovation Center. This inspiring space opened in 2014 and was designed to encourage dynamic interaction and real-time experimentation. As a sponsor of The Lab, Visa is generously hosting the inaugural gathering of credit unions and stakeholders to decide what ideas and solutions Filene will test in the next year.

            Credit union and system partners can still get involved in The Lab at Filene by becoming a sponsor. Visit filene.org/innercircle to learn more, or email Josh Sledge at [email protected].

            The Lab at Filene Founding Sponsors