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Research Reports

Research is our middle name. Dig in! Our library holds 25 years of research with the goal of identifying what comes next for credit unions and financial consumers.

Blue Ocean Lending for Credit Unions: Point of Sale Financing

Blue Ocean Lending for Credit Unions: Point of Sale Financing

This study presents research on the U.S. point of sale financing (POSF) marketplace. POSF is defined as providing financing at the point of sale for large consumer purchases. We estimate the annual potential market size of this market at $391 billion, or approximately 3.5% of annual consumer spending with health...

Helping Members Navigate College Costs

Helping Members Navigate College Costs

College signals success, at least for those who graduate. Holding a bachelor’s degree is one of the best determinants of higher lifetime earnings, and college graduates are almost uniformly positive about the value of their degree: 98% of those making six figures and up say their degree has paid off, and even 63% of...

Should Credit Unions Pay Their Directors?

Should Credit Unions Pay Their Directors?

Welcome to the emerging world of credit union director compensation. Many feel that paying boards is anathema to the cooperative spirit of credit unions, while others feel compensation is an obvious and overdue benefit. This report acknowledges that dilemma while trying to quantify just what existing compensation trends look like: How prevalent is...

Coming of Age: Young Adults in 2015

Coming of Age: Young Adults in 2015

It's predicted by 2025 three out of every four workers globally will be millennials. By now, a majority of credit unions understand the importance of engaging young adults. But how? From innovative to simple, there are numerous strategies at your disposal to grow young adult membership. At the core of any...

Cooperation among Cooperatives

Cooperation among Cooperatives

Quantifying the Business Case for Credit Unions and Other Cooperatives Credit unions have many cousins. In 2014, cooperatives’ assets in the United States totaled $1,754 billion (B) including (1) $346 B in non-financial cooperatives, (2) $1,126 B in credit unions, and (3) $282 B in other financial cooperatives that were...

Survey of Co-operative Capital

Survey of Co-operative Capital

Capital underpins co-operatives. From financial institutions to fisheries, members come together to pool capital and do more together than they could alone. But the other side of the capital coin is that when co-operatives can’t get enough, because of either regulation or long-standing practice, they may get bogged down or fail to get off the...

7 Questions for Smart Outsourcing

7 Questions for Smart Outsourcing

Think back to the successful companies of the 20th century: GE, General Motors, IBM. The prevailing business model for the first two-thirds of the century was “a large integrated company that can ‘own, manage, and directly control’ its assets.” But as we hit the 1970s and 1980s, “integration” turned to...

Five Challenges: Enhancing Women’s Leadership in Credit Unions

Five Challenges: Enhancing Women’s Leadership in Credit Unions

Gender matters. Women feel more valued when working for a female CEO. Men feel more committed to the credit union when serving under another man. These and a thousand other gender nuances profoundly affect both sexes as they strive for leadership positions. For more than a year, Melissa Thomas-Hunt and Mahak Nagpal of the University of...

The Personal Touch: Optimizing Feedback Loops in Financial Services

The Personal Touch: Optimizing Feedback Loops in Financial Services

Perhaps no industry in the world collects more consumer data than financial institutions. Banks and credit unions know where, when, and how often consumers spend money and how much they spend. They have intimate knowledge of account balances, borrowing trends, and aggregate spending patterns. They can know when consumers have...

Blueprints for Innovation: The Latest Concepts from Filene i3, Fall 2014

Blueprints for Innovation: The Latest Concepts from Filene i3, Fall 2014

If you look at a graph representing the number of credit unions in the United States over the past decade, you’ll notice it closely resembles the downward slope of a double black diamond ski run. By most accounts, this decline can be attributed to the difficulty many small credit unions...

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