Jun 14 '22

Bank Dora and the Ecosystems of Innovation

Learn about Bank Dora, why it is the embodiment of innovation, and how it is helping the credit union industry grow, thrive, and stay alive.

Holly Fearing

Hello everyone and welcome to the Filene Fill-In. I'm Holly Fearing with Filene. The Filene Fill-In is the podcast where we fill you in on what's been going on here at Filene's home base and out and about in the financial services world. Today's conversation is about innovation. I know, right? Blah, blah, blah, innovation this, innovation that. Everyone is saying the word innovation so much, it's like the center square on a corporate jargon bingo card. But here's the thing, and I love that he said this, Jeffrey Robinson Fellow for Filene's Center of Excellence for Innovation and Incubation, tells credit unions that if we don't innovate, we die. So it's as important as food or water, yes? Okay, so if it's here to stay and we do have to innovate, not just say that we're innovating, what does that actually look like? We put that question out to our most innovative credit union connections, the members of our i3 program. Earlier this year, they were tasked to scan the entire credit union environment and bring back the best innovations they saw happening. In the end, 36 i3er's on eight teams picked their best finds and put them to the test. They presented on why what they found was the most innovative thing around and we asked you all to vote. After more than 1,200 votes were cast, one innovation had the most votes, nearly 40% of the votes, in fact. That innovation? Bank Dora. So in today's episode, we have Alaina Froton and Jeff Medeiros from Dora to tell us all about what they are, why they are the embodiment of innovation and how it is helping the credit union industry grow, thrive and stay alive. Let's get to it.

(2:01) Well, thank you so much, Alaina and Jeff for joining us on the podcast today. Today we're talking about ecosystems. Those stories and opportunities for credit unions to build ecosystems of change and impact through their social and cultural ties. Through their technological and analytical systems. Through their financial access networks and networks of people, employees, members, and communities. So we wanted to talk about the work that Bank Dora is doing to help build technical and societal ecosystems that serve the underserved, advance financial wellness and advocate for the concept of cooperatives. I truly believe that when we all focus on our zones of control and connect those zones together, that they can form ecosystems and the small becomes the large and that the change that we wanna see, the change that we want to impact, can become boundless. Now, since Bank Dora won Filene's inaugural Innovation Award, highlighting the most innovative idea in the credit union industry right now, we wanted to bring them on and give them a chance to highlight the work that they're doing. So I'm honored to have Alaina and Jeff from Bank Dora here today. Thank you so much and welcome.

Alaina Froton

(03:24): Thank you so much for having us.

Holly Fearing

(03:26): So can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration for Bank Dora?

Alaina Froton

(03:31): Yeah, of course. So Dora is, really the credit union industry's first bilingual neo-bank strategy and financial inclusion platform. The name is inspired by credit union pioneer Dora Maxwell, who chartered hundreds of credit unions in the Northeast in the early 20th century. And she truly believed in financial freedom for all, just as we do, which is why we really took over the name Dora, and we envision ourselves carrying that torch from her into this new digital age, and we're really excited to do so.

Holly Fearing

(04:03): That's really exciting. I mean, it sounds like you guys love the work that you do. Can you talk to us a little bit about this unique partnership of how four financial institutions and Inclusiv came to be?

Alaina Froton

(04:19): Yeah. So I'll let Jeff take this one.

Jeff Medeiros

(04:21): Yeah, absolutely. So I guess we could start way back at its beginning where Dora was actually the vision of Kris VanBeek, who's the CEO of USALLIANCE. And he shared this concept to multiple different entities at a few meetings with several other organizations and what we discovered, or he discovered, is that they were all really excited and were really aligned in the vision that he had for Dora. And these were Affinity Plus, DCU, Service Credit Union, and Inclusiv. So there was sort of like ground zero is what we'll call it, where we've all sort of aligned and began to collaborate to really bring Dora up. Also something that's worth noting along with these other four financial institutions is also being Bank On certified. So shout out to Tori Hamilton over at the Bank On Connecticut coalition. She's been instrumental in connecting us with other financial institutions in the same place, as well as kind of directing a flow of some now account holders to Dora who really could use our product. You know, and along with Tori and being Bank On certified, it's such an important thing as well, along with being affiliated with all those other great organizations, but being Bank On certified is very important because it provides a level of comfort and a sense of security to the applicants, right? So anyone who's signing up for Dora and sees that we're Bank On certified knows that, we're on their good list. We're here for you, for those exact reasons that they exist. We're here to give you a free transactional account that's really gonna help you get back on your feet and back into the banking world.

Holly Fearing

(06:14): So it's essentially like, it's a certification that you are a trusted establishment. That people know that they can do their own research, but it's already been vetted for them to see this as a trusted establishment. Is that the summary of it?

Jeff Medeiros

(06:33): Correct. Yeah, exactly. So we're identified as somebody who's offering an affordable and practical account for folks who might be struggling to get banking products for various different reasons. So that's exactly it, you hit it right in the head.

Holly Fearing

(06:49): And that must be really important just because there are a lot of digital banking platforms and it's hard to know who to trust. I think that trust is a really big issue, especially for this target group when it comes to financial institutions, because they haven't always been treated well by their financial institutions.

Jeff Medeiros

(07:13): Exactly, exactly. And that's why being affiliated and recognized by Bank On is so critical to us because wearing that badge kind of helps us stand out a little bit. Knowing that we're involved with such a great organization and we're part of the same movement and we all are aligned in the same vision. It makes it easier for them, but of course we always encourage them to do their own research and I'm sure that they'll find the same solution and the same resolution, doing their own as well.

Holly Fearing

(07:43): Yeah and so when we talk about Bank Dora and what you all are doing, can you talk a little bit about how this fits into the larger system of credit unions across the nation and the impact that you have on helping improve people's financial lives? How does that work, kind of in connection with the work that credit unions are already doing to advance financial well-being?

Jeff Medeiros

(08:12): Yeah, absolutely. So I'll start off by saying that Dora is designed as a financial inclusion platform. We really hope that other credit unions will join our cause in serving those of modest means, unbanked, and underbanked. So really the way that we are initially trying to impact the ecosystem is that we're trying to get people who might not be able to get accounts elsewhere for various different reasons, they can be in banking blacklists, they might have debts that they haven't paid with other financial institutions and so it shows up when they do their application and it comes up on a credit check system, we're getting these people accounts. First and foremost to try to not allow them to fall into these bad habits of using these predatory lenders and weekly check cashing fees. When you go to all these different other establishments will charge you money to access your own money, and we just feel that's not fair and that's putting these folks in a position where eventually it's hard to really get out of that hole. So we're trying to get them this transactional account through Dora, and the way that we envision how we're going to keep fueling this and how it affects other credit unions in the larger picture, is we're looking to get these folks who can't get accounts, an account, and once they're kind of back on their feet, they have a direct deposit, they have a working debit card, they have access to make electronic payments, we will then say, "hey John, you're looking for an auto loan, well check out Workers Credit Union, one of the people in our network, they have these awesome rates," and they'll have this established account, which is now gonna facilitate and they're gonna matriculate to those other credit unions and we can go across the board for any type of banking products. We just feel like we have what will create this really, really wonderful cycle where the underbanked and underserved come in through Dora, get on their feet, and then we kind of expose them and push them out to the other credit unions within our network, and have this reoccurring cycle, which I think would be awesome for the whole picture. I mean, down to the account holder and as well, the whole picture and the whole ecosystem of the credit union part.

Holly Fearing

(10:26): That's really beautiful because basically your goal is to have your members not need to use you anymore, so you can kind of hand them off to the credit union. But there's gonna be people that, it's like a stepping stone to get there as well.

Jeff Medeiros

(10:44): Correct. You hit it on the head again. We're like a stepping stone. That's exactly what it is and it's not that they'd have to get rid of their Dora account, that's going be completely up to the account holder. If they do we would totally understand and we would welcome the next person or any friends, family that they have, but you're right. They would be using us to get back into that credit union banking world, where right now, for whatever reason, it might not be so easy for them.

Holly Fearing

(11:11): Yeah, that's a good point too, because you were such a trusted source for them when they needed you the most, that they probably would keep that account just in case. And a lot of people have multiple financial institutions and so there's no need to completely leave, but I think a lot of people stick with that trusted resource as well, just in case.

Jeff Medeiros

(11:34): Agreed and that's what we would hope for and I would agree with you there.

Holly Fearing

(11:37): Wonderful. So you talked a little bit about the pillars of your mission and vision. Can you talk a little bit more about kind of how that mission and vision translates into the future outlook of kind of where you're going next?

Jeff Medeiros

(11:52): Sure, yeah, Alaina. I'll let Alaina take this one. Alaina why don't you chime in.

Alaina Froton

(11:54): Yeah, of course. So because Dora is backed by the cooperative credit union model, we're really well positioned to be a trusted partner to help people access fair financial services. Which will eventually in turn what Jeff was just describing, provide that pathway to participation in other cooperative based credit unions and provide them membership and that stepping stone to get them to that next step. Right now, 50 million Americans are not participating in the mainstream banking services because of barriers such as distrust to the banking system, their history, lack of access is also a massive barrier. We aim to be a conduit to provide fair and equitable financial services to those unbanked Americans and bring them into the credit union ecosystem and really hope and aim. That's really our future mission.

Holly Fearing

(12:46): Wow, that's a lot too. 50 million, that's nearly one in six people in this country.

Alaina Froton

Exactly.

Holly Fearing

(12:53): And what a great pipeline for credit unions too. Almost like you are helping make the future credit union members better off financially before they even walk in the door of the credit union.

Alaina Froton

(13:07): Exactly. And we also hope to provide those with financial literacy. Say if they need help with any of those aspects as well. We hope to provide them with those resources so that when they do graduate, quote unquote to that credit union membership, they already can take control of their finances and already be on top of everything.

Holly Fearing

(13:26): So let's switch gears a little bit here. I mentioned that Bank Dora won Filene's inaugural Innovation Award, and that's really exciting. It was a new thing for Filene, where we had our i3 teams go out and do environmental scans and just kind of dig around and look at what's happening in the entire credit union ecosystem and find those little nuggets of ideas and innovations both big and small, the shiny new objects, and also just new combinations of ideas delivered in a new way that solves a need. The work you're doing clearly solves a need. Can you talk a little bit about how you got connected to the i3 team and how they discovered your work, to do what you're doing, to provide safe, equitable, and affordable financial services? How did they get your number to kind of do a case study on you?

Alaina Froton

(14:28): Yeah, sure. So working with Eric, Melissa, and that team was really a great experience. And originally Eric had reached out, we had done a few press releases on our partnerships with our partners, Affinity and Service Credit Union and through those press releases, obviously we got some headlines, right? In the news, which was quite exciting and one of those articles actually is what caught Eric's eye and he found Dora through those channels. Which is great in the sense that we are reaching those target audiences that we want, to start that conversation about financial wellness.

Holly Fearing

(15:08): And what does it mean to you when you found out that you won this award, with the i3 teams that kind of scoured for all innovations and then, you know, we had a month long voting period. I think I remember about 40% of all of the votes that we received were for Bank Dora, so it was a huge win. What does that mean for you?

Alaina Froton

(15:35): Oh, wow. We were so humbled and proud to have received the award. I mean all that hard work that we put in and really trying to let the world know about Dora Financial and what we can bring to the table. And we had several board members in attendance at the GAC and they were quick to share that we won. I remember when I first got the email, I was like, oh my goodness. I mean, it was, I felt like I won an Olympic medal, right? Like yes, Dora! Like it's gold for Dora. It was really great. It was gratifying for the team to see our work recognized and the affirmation that we are doing something that is needed and we're onto something big.

Holly Fearing

(16:14): And I know it's been really successful. I've seen some of the statistics. How long have you been around again?

Alaina Froton

(16:25): Sure, so we first started about a year, a little over a year now.

Holly Fearing

(16:30): Okay, so it's not even that long.

Alaina Froton

(16:31): Exactly. Yep. And we haven't, we really started our media push at the end of last year. So when it comes to the media pushing and all that, I mean, that's still ramping up so to speak.

Holly Fearing

(16:43): Yeah, that just makes me think, you know, the past year in the middle of a pandemic it's, obviously this was a digital approach to banking. Did you plan, was this in the works pre-pandemic or was this something that kind of came up because of the pandemic or was there really no connection to it?

Alaina Froton

(17:06): So I know that the pandemic definitely had a large, as Jeff mentioned, kind of Kris came about and was mentioning, he saw something about Chime and was like, why don't we do something like this, right? We already have the technology, USALLIANCE is based on technology. So why don't we take the tools that we have and transform it into something that is so needed for the nation really, and the United States in general. So that, the pandemic, yes, I would say kind of had a big factor, but we were thinking about it beforehand as well, because that need has always been there.

Holly Fearing

(17:43): Yeah, of course. Yeah, just reflecting on kind of just an interesting time to launch such a big project and just the added complications that that might lend to the effort. So I wanted to talk a little bit more about just the approach that you take to innovation in general, since you kind of were highlighted as one of the most innovative ideas happening in the credit union industry right now. Can you talk about like within Bank Dora's walls, theoretical walls, I guess, like how do you guys approach innovation?

Alaina Froton

(18:22): Yeah, I'll let Jeff take this one.

Jeff Medeiros

(18:24): Absolutely. Absolutely. That's a great question. I'll start off by saying, and I'll be quoting Kris VanBeek, because I've heard him say this quite a few times, but really innovation comes from how people always ask, or always say, their response to something is, "oh, this is the way we've always done it," right? This is the way we've always done it. And it's really shifting your mind and not accepting that as like the final answer and saying, well, how can we improve it? How can we make it better? How can we serve a widespread audience or whatever the case is, how can we improve it for everyone involved? So that's the base there and that's the way that we kind of start our thinking there.

Jeff Medeiros

(19:10): Another thing with innovation is just remaining agile, remaining creative and not being constricted to things in the way that you think. And that kind of goes hand in hand with the whole pandemic thing. So if I could touch a little bit on that, cause it ties in nicely into this. So the pandemic absolutely had a huge influence on how we were going to use Dora, roll Dora out, and it was just kind of like the perfect time. It was almost like the perfect storm in a lot of different ways, of course, for everyone. Some good, some bad, but it really was a perfect storm of events that created this really, really unique need where now you had the brick and mortar places closing down and you had a whole population of people who didn't have bank accounts.

What can we do? So this thinking of like, well, we normally wouldn't give accounts to these people because they couldn't pass queries or they didn't have a deposit ready or whatever the case may be. We found a way because we said, well, how can we change that? How can we get accounts into these people? And I think that, you know, Dora was born there. So the innovation part is really staying in that thought process and always realizing that the solution's not always going be static. You have to constantly ask yourself, how can this improve? How can it change? How can we adapt? Digital banking was around before the pandemic, but the pandemic hit and it needed to grow fast. The capabilities of it needed to really, really improve in order to take on this whole new paperless, you know. People are still buying homes, taking out loans, depositing checks, things of that nature, but how are they doing it? How could we figure out ways around this? And I think the industry as a whole did a really good job and that includes Dora and now so Dora is in a really nice position due to that way of thinking of always asking how can we improve and always be agile and ready to change, and finding the solution to whatever problem arises at the time.

Holly Fearing

(21:16): Yeah, that's really a great way of thinking, because when you think about credit unions or financial institutions in general, they tend to be more risk adverse. They have to be, by nature of the concept of a financial institution. So how do you, or what advice do you have to encourage credit unions to balance the risk, with maintaining that growth mindset that's needed to be more innovative?

Jeff Medeiros

(21:44): So the advice would be to really look in the mirror. I mean, it's really look in the mirror and ask yourself, are we challenging ourselves? Are we just being stuck in the old ways of doing things? Are we really thinking outside the box for solutions? Another quote that I'll add is just putting yourself out of the comfort zone. You know, if we just stick to the day to day, what we've learned to do after all these years, you're really gonna limit yourself to seeing things from a different perspective. And just that little switch in mindset could open the door to a lot of different things. So getting out of the comfort zone, thinking, and looking at things differently, and really challenging yourself as an employee, as an organization and as a whole credit union movement, challenge yourself to, I don't wanna say go against the grain, because that sounds almost negative, but just challenge yourself to grow in ways that maybe you never thought possible before. That could be developing a mobile app, that could be offering this new product that somebody thought of within your organization that you thought was crazy. Just really going after it. Importantly, always staying aligned with your vision as well, obviously, and serving the people.

Holly Fearing

(22:58): So you are almost like the gold standard for serving un and underbanked communities. Many credit unions seek to do this as well. So do you have anything that you've learned over the past year of this work that credit unions should know about serving the un and underbanked communities?

Alaina Froton

(23:21): Yeah, so in our industry, regardless of the size of the institution, many organizations struggle with the same challenges, right? So whether that be, aging members, inability to attract younger members, things of that nature. So we definitely are trying to kind of counteract that by having this digital platform. Also at our core, we have the same philosophy of people helping people, but collectively maybe not doing the best job by reaching the unbanked populations. So we really want those other credit unions to look at the unbanked populations and kind of have other ideas and say, marketing goals or something of that nature, to reach those populations that really need to have this financial wellness and all that. So we view Dora as the neo-bank strategy of the industry, a fully digital delivery mechanism to attract the underserved and the unbanked. Help them establish their foundational transaction account and begin their journey to financial wellness. And we're really excited to have the partnerships with Affinity Plus, Inclusiv, DCU, as well as Service Credit Union in helping us reach those goals that we have.

Holly Fearing

(24:31): I'm really interested in this approach of just being a fully digital financial institution. Something that Filene has been working on for the last two plus years, even longer, but more so now is around helping credit unions with their digital transformation. A lot of credit unions were more heavily relying on their brick and mortar aspects and had to pivot really quickly to be able to deliver digital services. Can you talk a little bit about what's working really well with your fully digital approach?

Jeff Medeiros

(25:11): Yeah, so the thing that's working really well in terms of the fully digital approach is the fact that, well, I'll start off by saying that it's a single delivery channel. It's one product, it's one digital app, so it allows us to really focus on user experience. It allows us to really focus on really making it super, super simple, easy to use for anyone, whether you've had a mobile banking app or not. It's fairly simple to just pick up and start using and figure out on your own. A lot of time went into that and it was almost like a luxury because it was a single product channel. It allowed us so many different bright minds to kind of chime in, work, build it up, deconstruct it to build it back better, finding ways to improve in the delivery of service and interaction with the account holders. So just really being able to focus on that one product, one channel really allowed us to make it a really nice and easy experience.

Holly Fearing

(26:11): And one of the key principles of cooperatives and credit unions specifically is having that human touch of knowing their members and being able to serve their needs on kind of more of a human level. So how do you, how have you been able to kind of keep that human touch and balance that personalization when you're in a fully digital experience?

Jeff Medeiros

(26:39): Right, that's a great question. So it all starts really with, again, bringing it back to step one. We build the product with the account holders' best interests in mind. So first and foremost, we try to make it very easy for them. Secondly, when we get down to the human interaction and the human touch is what we'll call it, it all starts with having the channels open so that they can communicate with you. So within the app, we have this really cool, it's almost like a ticket system within the app where you can interact with a Dora specialist, real time, through messaging, just like you would text, right from the app. So messages get sent back and forth between you and the support team. And that was important for us to kind of put up because it's a little bit different than calling into a call center or having to visit a branch.

You know, it's a cool twist where really you'd never have to leave your app. So we established that as like, oh, and we are hoping that that remains the main communication channel between us and the account holders, us being the Dora team. But to take it a step further, we also have wonderful business development personnel, Blanca. She's out there within the communities, with the community groups, listening to what the needs are. She's in constant contact with us when she's out on the field, letting us know issues that are arising. And again, with the innovative mindset, we tackle that. We take all that information that she's gaining, the information that the marketing team is gathering from our social media sites, that gets put on the table. We tackle that with that same innovative mindset. So, you know, always keeping the best interests in mind.

(28:22) And if I could just almost go off on a little tangent here and just speak about an experience that really drives it home. It's not all about the Dora team. Like I said, this is an inclusion platform. So another quick shout to Tori at Bank On Connecticut there. She actually put us onto a safe house for domestic abuse victims. And without getting into too much detail, we had a potential account holder, due to their history with domestic abuse, was in a situation where she was getting rejected by other financial institutions in getting a bank account. But she had a payroll and a paycheck that needed to be deposited and it was leading to a lot of troubles in her life. So through this connection, through this network, we were actually able to work with this individual.
We were able to open an account for this individual. We were able to have various communications with this person through that channel that I was talking about. Taught them how to use their debit card, taught them how to make electronic payments and it was a true success and the human touch was there the whole way.

Whether it came from the interaction with Tori at Bank On, to the interaction with the safe house, and the individual, we were able to make it a success story. And it really always brings a smile to my face to talk about that because we did hear weeks later from the connection that we have at the safe house that this person was completely transformed because she had a bank account, she had a debit card, she was making payments, she had a direct deposit. And like the things that I personally, I've taken for granted until really working with Dora, changed this person's whole attitude. And it lets us know that we're on the right track and that we're onto something and that we're fighting the good fight.

Holly Fearing

(30:15): That's a really great illustration of the concept of working with that co-creation, to create something that not only is a need, but that you're creating the solution in connection with those that need the solution and not just for them. I know Filene does research on co-creation and how it can be so much more powerful when creating products and lead to new innovations that you wouldn't have thought of. Like you said, if you're not in that target group, you're not going to know exactly what they need and how they need it. We do research at Filene also on domestic violence and serving the financial needs of those surviving domestic violence and we've found that it's 99% of the domestic violence situations also include financial abuse. And so it's absolutely necessary and totally in your lane, so to speak, to find a way to help those members of the community that are most vulnerable and even within the un and underbanked segment, the even more vulnerable among them. You're really serving them and that lifts up the service that's provided to all within that group of un and underbanked community.

Jeff Medeiros

(31:49): Absolutely. Absolutely. Once again, spot on and it's humbling. It's really humbling to be able to serve. It's such a great, great feeling. A story like that and there's a lot more, it really just drives home the point of what we're here to do. It's just a wonderful feeling.

Holly Fearing

(32:06): Yeah and I know you're just like one year in, so you might just still be working on establishing the space that you're in right now, but can you talk a little bit about, you know, is there a future vision for where you might expand, would you look at expanding products or expanding to different communities or different technology? Have you started those conversations at Dora yet?

Jeff Medeiros

(32:35): Absolutely. So we're planning to integrate in the near future some real time event based financial coaching. So, you know, somebody goes into a store, swipes their card, something might pop up on their phone in terms of budgeting or in terms of perhaps, deposit hits the app, certain percentage gets put aside, doesn't get used or some sort of financial real time coaching based on what you're doing with your account. That's coming in the near future. That's something that we're pretty excited about. It's still in the early stages, of course and so it has the chance to change a little bit, but the concept of real time, financial coaching. Also having the option to put you in contact with the financial coach, if the event calls for it. And so that's gonna be, it's fun to kind of roll out and work with. We're also working with the potential to have a cash deposit network in over 90,000 retail locations.

So a Dora account holder might have some cash they want to put into their account, and we know that, especially with the digital space, it's getting harder and harder to find the ATMs that accept cash. So you'll be able to go into a retailer, swipe your card, a nationally known retailer, a lot of them, and swipe your card and make a deposit right there in the register, and in a few moments, it'll be in your Dora account. So we're excited about that because I think that that's gonna open a lot of doors as well. And so those two things I would say, probably the things in the nearest future, but the whole matriculation process and getting these Dora account holders, once they're back up on their feet into other institutions is also an ongoing thing that we're always working on.

Without saying, we are in acquisition mode and that goes for both account holders and partners and people to join the network. Credit unions, to join the network and other institutions to join the network. So we're in full acquisition mode until then. Until further notice I should say. But as we continue to build this out for now, I don't see us rolling out other products. I just see us to continue enhancing the checking product or the account product that we're offering now, with these other little things like the financial coaching and the cash deposits and always looking at it and trying to simplify as much as we can. Digital issuance is something that we're also working on and the push provisioning of debit card into the app. Things of that nature, just make it an even easier and more innovative product if you will. Yeah, I would say that kind of rounds us out for the foreseeable future.

Holly Fearing

(35:21): I love that approach that you have the foresight to see that you need to keep it simple and stick to your strategy and go out there and just try to find more people that need what you're offering and make it easy for them to use. And it's really a win-win for everyone that needs it and for all the credit unions that can partner with you to transition into their accounts, to partner in general, on your shared mission for advancing financial wellbeing.

Jeff Medeiros

(35:57): Absolutely agreed.

Holly Fearing

(36:00): Okay. So I think we've covered almost everything that I wanted to learn about. You shared so much with us today. Is there anything else that we didn't cover that you would want Filene's podcast listeners to know about Bank Dora?

Jeff Medeiros

(36:18): I'll just end it off with, you know, that we're really delighted to be partnered with Affinity Plus, DCU, Service Credit Union, USALLIANCE, and Inclusiv as well as being Bank On certified. We really feel, with this group, and for hopeful potential future groups to join us, that we can make a huge impact together, that we can really change the tide on things, using the simple technology, just getting an account into the people's hands. We're just really excited to be part of this movement and we're excited to be affiliated with Filene. Thanks for having us on all these wonderful podcasts and webinars. It's been awesome. It's been really, really nice being exposed to this. It's been truly, truly a great experience, and we're just excited to scale this thing up and make that impact and then tackle on the next potential problem that we see. Maybe, hopefully it's not a pandemic and it's not anything negative, but we're ready to take it on and see what we can do with it.

Holly Fearing

(37:21): Alaina, any final thoughts?

Alaina Froton

(37:23): Yeah, I was just going say, I mean, we're extremely excited and as Jeff mentioned, proud to be associated with Filene and just to kind of recap, I mean, being able to have the honor of being presented this award has really just kind of given us more drive in proving our mission and we're so excited to see what the future holds for Dora.

Holly Fearing

(37:44): Awesome. Well, I'm excited too and I know at Filene we're going keep checking in, every couple months and getting an update and we just cannot wait to see the success continue and more so the impact that you're having make a difference in the lives of the entire community of people that need this, this very product, and you have such potential to make a huge, positive impact. And we're very excited to watch that happen.

Jeff Medeiros

(38:16): Awesome. Thank you so much as well.

Holly Fearing

(38:17): Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast and best of luck in everything you do in the future. We will be checking in, so get out there and change the world.

Alaina Froton

(38:31): Awesome. Thank you so much, Holly.

Jeff Medeiros

(38:33): Thank you, Holly. Thank you for your time.

Holly Fearing

(38:38): All right, that's it for the Fill-In folks. Thank you for listening and of course, a huge thank you to Alaina and Jeff for taking the time to talk with us today. And I wanted to give a special shout out to the amazing example of collaboration that happened in making Bank Dora possible. The concept started within USALLIANCE Financial, but in order to scale, they partnered with other credit unions across the country, Affinity Plus FCU, DCU, Service FCU, as well as system partner Inclusiv. If you have ideas about innovation, we wanna hear from you. Filene will be hosting another innovation award competition at the end of this year and this time we'll be asking everyone to nominate the innovation concepts they're seeing out there. Then we'll vote again and see who or what rises to the top this time.

Get your brain filled up with inspiration on innovation at our upcoming research event on August 1st and 2nd in San Antonio, Texas, which brings together the insights and experts from our research Centers for Community Social Impact, Data Analytics, and Emerging Technology. We will be partnering with DCUC's annual conference. So if you are planning to attend that, it should be easy to add on a couple days with Filene. We'll also have options for attending virtually, so no matter what, if you're a Filene member, we've got you covered. Head to Filene.org/events to register. I do hope you know that as a Filene member, these events are part of your benefits and you should take advantage of that by attending and sending your team. And if you're not yet a Filene member, well you'll want to email us at [email protected] to learn why you might want to change that ASAP. Before we go, I wanna give a shout out to the sponsors of our Center of Excellence for Innovation and Incubation, 4front Credit Union, American Airlines Credit Union, BECU, Canvas Credit Union, Christian Financial Credit Union, Coastal Credit Union, Corporate Central Credit Union, Envisant, GECU, Hawaii State FCU, State National, University of Michigan Credit Union and WEOKIE. They make some of our most essential research possible. If you like this episode, please do rate us on Apple Podcasts so more people can find us and make sure you're subscribed to the Filene Fill-In podcast so you can keep up with what's going on at Filene. You'll find us on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. To get in touch about today's show, email me at [email protected], or find us on Twitter @fileneresearch. Until next time. Thanks everyone.