Sep 24 2015

Facilitated Collaboration: CU CrowdSpeak - Independent Vendor Reviews by the CU Crowd

The National Credit Union Administration stresses the importance of third party vendor due diligence for credit unions.  Supervisory guidance states, “While it would be tempting to rely solely upon a vendor’s reputation, a more prudent practice would  be to verify the expertise a vendor has obtained to provide a new service.  It is also important for credit unions to understand how a third party has performed in other  relationships before entering into a third party arrangement. Credit unions should request referrals from the prospective third party’s clients to determine their  satisfaction and experience with the proposed arrangement.” (SL No. 07-01)
In 2013 a team of Filene i3 innovators recognized that easily tracking down objective vendor reviews was a significant credit union challenge. After being inspired by services such as Angie’s List and Yelp the team developed a prototype of a credit union vendor review platform.  The protoype test results were presented in April 2014 at the spring i3/Desjardins meeting. 
CUCrowdSpeak is a web application built using ASP.NET and SQL. The web application provides the ability for users and vendors to create accounts, complete with personal information, pictures and statistics. The credit union users then have the ability to write and read reviews for the vendors loaded into the system. This research reveals the findings of the pilot which included 121 registered users and 61 reviews across 7 participating credit unions. Survey feedback indicated there was interest and potential value in the CU CrowdSpeak platform-but percieved risks and barriers outweighed the benefits, in addition to lack of time/attention. 

Report Number 379