Meet The Mobile Finalists For The 2019 Innovation Series

These four innovators are pushing the envelope toward new levels of smartphone functionality in credit union land.


In 2018, launched a one-of-a kind contest that showcases the ways in which inventive suppliers are transforming the credit union industry. 

Read about the finalists by clicking on the links below.

Presented by and sponsored by Callahan & Associates, the Innovation Series gives four suppliers 10 minutes to impress a captive audience of credit union decision-makers. Suppliers pitch their cutting-edge solutions. Attendees vote on their favorite. 

The 2018 Innovation Series spotlighted solutions of the Mobile and Lending variety. The 2019 Innovation Series includes Mobile, Lending, and Member Experience. From vendors large and small, products and services featured in this year’s Mobile category are advancing mobile payments, card controls, customizable apps, and integration with consumer-facing fintechs.

Read their stories, watch the webinar, and vote for the winner


Purna Pareek, CEO, Finovera

Describe your innovation.

Purna Pareek: Finovera is a digital bill management and payment solution that redefines how digital application users receive, manage, and pay their bills online by bringing simplicity, efficiency, and convenience to members. For credit unions, this means higher engagement and increased revenue.

The Finovera platform delivers eBills including PDF statements from more than 10,000 billers, enables digital users to pay their bills using credit cards, debit cards, or bank accounts, monitors unusual charges and can recommend other products — including loans and credit cards — based on the credit union members’ bill data and spending patterns.

Credit unions can customize the solution to build the exact digital experience they desire by using the Finovera REST API or pre-built UI components.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

PP:More and more members find that the bill pay service offered by their credit union is behind the times. The user experience is outdated in the new digital era where PayPal, Amazon, and Facebook are setting higher standards.

According to a new research by Aite Group, 73% of consumers are now paying their bills directly on the biller site because they offer bill details, PDF statements, options to pay bills using cards, and real-time payments — features not available on credit union digital banking application. As a result, credit unions are losing digital engagement and touch points to offer deposit, card, and loan account products.

Finovera can help credit unions redefine the current bill pay experience by taking a holistic view of a member’s financial life, and incorporating bill pay into an overall financial wellness program that keeps members coming back to their application to pay and manage their bills

How does it increase member value?

PP: Finovera offers, convenience, simplicity, and control over how digital natives manage their bills and financial lives.

  1. The system delivers all eBills in one place and organizes them in a digital file cabinet directly in the web and mobile application, so users don’t have to remember multiple passwords to log in to a dozen biller sites every month to pay their bills. On average our clients are seeing users actively manage 11 eBills in their accounts.
  2. Members can pay their bills using a credit card, debit card, or a bank account and receive payment confirmation in real-time. All traditional bank bill pay features are also supported.
  3. Alerts and mobile notifications can be sent to members to avoid late fees and penalties. The system monitors bills for unusually high amounts and detects potential overdraft fees in advance.
  4. Members can link their external bank and investment accounts to keep track of their finances side by side. Financial statements are stored in a digital vault for safekeeping.

What differentiates it from competitors?

PP: Finovera has the most robust digital bill management and payment solution in the market today. It was developed based on user feedback and conforms to how consumers manage and pay their bills Our bill aggregation engine and patented PDF statement extraction technology allows us to deliver the highest quality bill data make the bill pay process as simple as “one-click bill pay”.

We have the only solution on the market that is designed and architected from the ground up for our credit union clients to keep flexibility, scalability, and security in mind. It’s highly configurable, customizable and can easily integrate to your digital experience as well as other bill pay systems, and other banking features.

Watch the Mobile finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

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Yosepha Solomon, Senior Product Manager, Fiserv

Describe your innovation.

Yosepha Solomon: The CardValet Client Branded Application from Fiserv, introduced in February 2018, is a companion app that enables credit union members to add card alerts and controls to protect the debit and credit cards in their wallet. 

To create deeper connections with their cardholders, credit union clients can: 

  • Name the app.
  • Create an icon.
  • Select layout options.
  • Include their logo and card art.
  • Post the app in their app stores.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

YS: With increased attention on personal data compromises, members want a solution whereby they can monitor their debit and credit card transactions. CardValet offers the member the option to set controls and receive alerts on where, when, and how their card is used. 

When a new member walks into the branch and opens an account, the credit union issues a card and has the new member set up their mobile app, online site, and CardValet during the welcome process.

When a member has peace of mind and a sense of security, it equates to greater engagement and spend with their credit union-issued card. 

How does it increase member value? 

YS: CardValet enables a member to actively monitor their transactions and take real-time action against fraudulent activity.

Within CardValet, a member can define a single or combination of controls. These include allowing their card to transact within a defined region; requiring their card to be in the same geo-location as their mobile device; blocking all transactions within a certain merchant category, such as entertainment; or blocking e-commerce transactions that exceed a self-defined spend limit. 

CardValet generates alerts on every approved and denied transaction, and within seconds of receiving a notification, a member can turn off their card to stop future transactions.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

YS: Credit unions may select from several CardValet solutions: 

  1. CardValet stand-alone, the white label app which enables credit unions to offer CardValet to their members without the expense of a branded app. 
  2. The CardValet client-branded app, offered as a stand-alone app or linked to the credit union’s mobile banking app, which allows the user to simply log into their mobile app and access CardValet as a companion app (the credit union selects the name of the app and icon that displays in the Apple App Store and Google Play). 
  3. Integration of the CardValet functionality within the credit union’s digital channels, including the mobile banking app and/or online banking website.

All solutions give members the ability to set controls and receive alerts on approved and denied transactions.

Watch the Mobile finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

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Tim Nguyen, Founder/CEO, MeridianLink

Describe your innovation.

Tim Nguyen: Integrated into MeridianLink’s ubiquitous LoansPQ platform, the Application Portal fully automates the new account process without a need for manual intervention. This means that borrowers can apply — and be decisioned — for loans from any device at any time of the day, without a need for credit union review. It enables multichannel account opening and loan origination, fully originating and processing all consumer, home equity, and small business loans, all deposits, for all service delivery channels on a single, unified platform. 

Unlike other front-end or back-end solutions, LoansPQ integrates loan origination, core processing, and internal banking software in almost any configuration in a comprehensive, all-encompassing end-to-end process. The flexible and scalable consumer loan origination system facilitates digital transformation, immediately satisfying loan requests while simplifying and streamlining back-end loan processing for credit union staff.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

TN: The Application Portal addresses the challenge that digital lending is cost prohibitive for most credit unions. With its integration into MeridianLink’s LoansPQ platform — the industry’s first true omni-channel origination system — the Application Portal creates an environment where loans and new account functions are fused together as a singular, harmonious behavior driving the optimum member engagement experience. 

Efficiencies enabled by the system address a number of other common credit union challenges. Member acquisition costs are reduced by increasing the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of account creation. Rigorous back-end security measures with accurate verification protocol result in quality new accounts and fraud mitigation. Additionally, instant cross-selling features increase revenue, enabling account managers to offer a wider range of products to members.

How does it increase member value?

TN: No longer bound by branch hours or staffing requirements, value to members is increased by delivering multichannel account opening and loan origination through the Application Portal. By fully originating and processing all loans and deposits to drive the optimum member engagement experience, members receive 24/7 service, demonstrating the freedom and convenience of a mobile-first approach to lending.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

TN: Prior to MeridianLink’s LoansPQ platform, a Tier 1 origination platform was unattainable for the average-sized credit union due to costs constraints. MeridianLink set new standards, disrupting the industry with the first scalable and affordable multichannel account opening and loan origination platform for credit unions of all sizes.

Unlike other products on the market, MeridianLink’s Application Portal is seamlessly integrated to the LoansPQ platform, offering the industry's only LOS to cover all lending types and exceeding expectations of both members on the front end and credit unions on the back end. 

MeridianLink continues its commitment to driving value generation for clients, partnering with more than 200 third-party vendors such as data providers, core systems, e-signature, settlement services, and indirect lending portals to enhance unparalleled digital lending and workflow automation.

Watch the Mobile finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

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Nikhil Lakhanpal, Co-Founder, Narmi

Describe your innovation.

Nikhil Lakhanpal: Narmi believes the best financial institutions over the next five to 10 years will be those who differentiate their digital banking channels to include value-added services with a high emphasis on user experience.

Credit unions who partner with Narmi can:

  1. Allow members to take pictures of a cable or cell phone bill via the credit union's mobile application and achieve savings on these bills (Billshark).
  2. Allow members to insure their rental property or owned home within two minutes at a fraction of the cost typical property insurance providers charge (Lemonade).

Both of these pieces of functionality are due to Narmi's relationship and integrations with Billshark and Lemonade, two well-known direct-to-consumer fintech companies.

Credit unions can offer the depth of traditional banking they’re accustomed to via Narmi, as well as offer the features of fintech companies directly in their mobile application.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

NL: We are witnessing a generational behavior change in financial services that is creating a new cohort of trusted financial services companies. Compared to existing financial institutions, these companies offer high-value services within minutes, if not seconds.

Financial institutions have been unable to keep up for a number of reasons. Narmi's open, API-based platform allows us to integrate best-in-class financial technology offerings into the digital banking platform. This ensures credit unions don’t miss an entire generation of users that exhibit mobile- and web-only behavior, place emphasis on user experience over depth of functionality, and expect more automation over manual process. 

How does it increase member value?

NL: Members will start to view their credit union as a financial partner. This shift is critical for any credit union that wants to succeed over the next five to 10 years.

Members will be able to say, "not only does my credit union allow me to transfer money to external financial institutions, chat with them whenever I need, and display my spending patterns, but I also:

  • "Saved more than $300 on my cable and home security bills."
  • "Insured my new apartment in less than two minutes during my morning commute ... at a fraction of the cost of other quotes!"

This type of relationship is hard for any other company to replicate.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

NL: Narmi believes for financial institutions to succeed, they need to exhibit the following five key traits, which are also Narmi's core differentiators:

  • Offer features beyond basic financial services that are natively integrated into mobile.
  • Emphasis on money movement (higher limits, seamless experience, same-day capabilities).
  • Obsession with seamless account opening process.
  • Focus on user experience and design.
  • Automation of banking processes (user-facing and back-office), often by using API-based platforms.

Watch the Mobile finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

Watch Now

All interviews have been edited and condensed.

Read more about other Innovation Series finalists by clicking on the links below.


Feb. 21, 2019



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