2022 Innovation Award Winners

The Winners of the 2022 Innovation Awards are:

Amazon Web Services | CUSO Partnerships

A simplified approach to obtaining cloud services and digital innovations. AWS is working with CUSOs Thinkstack on cloud infrastructure and Arkatechture on data storage and insights, with cloud-native digital branches and contact centers planned soon. nafcu.org/amazon-web-services

Blend | Underwriting Automation Platform

A cloud solution which streamlines the credit application process by incorporating on-time rental payments and income verification into the underwriting automation. process, to reduce decision time and friction. nafcu.org/blend

CUNA Mutual Group | CuneXus

A storefront experience for credit union members offering single-click access to a variety of personalized offers for many credit products and non-interest income opportunities. nafcu.org/cunamutualgroup

SentiLink | ID Theft Score

An anti-fraud gateway intended to stop or slow fraudulent accounts from being opened, with data-driven protection against specific types of fraud, including family relationships and J1 work visa holders. nafcu.org/sentilink

Upstart | AI Lending Platform

An algorithmic approach to raising automated approval rates while lowering lender loss, driven by 20 million repayment data points and over 1,000 variables in approval models. This includes both a referral network and direct-to-member product marketing options to improve awareness of credit opportunities. nafcu.org/upstart

Velocity SolutionsConsumer Liquidity Engine

A package of small-dollar loans (CashPlease) and overdraft solutions (Intelligent Limit System)  designed to match member needs for short-term liquidity with convenient options suited to their ability to repay. nafcu.org/velocity


  • The 2021 Innovation Award winners are Preferred Partners Allied Solutions, Blend and CUNA Mutual Group.

    Allied Solutions for Refund Plus

    Streamlines and manages the entire product cancellation and refund process with automated file transmission and review, reporting and data analytics, validation of refund amount – tolerance acceptance, and more. This provides a lower-cost, efficient, and member-centric solution for risk and liability mitigation, reporting, and auditing of cancellations and refunds. 

    Blend for Digital Lending Platform

    From applying for and closing on a mortgage to opening a new checking account or securing an auto loan - members demand an easy omnichannel experience every step of the way. With Blend, credit unions can be there for their members' major financial moments.

    CUNA Mutual Group for Stronger Together

    A platform to demonstrate CUNA Mutual Group’s passion and commitment to helping people (employees, customers, partners, and communities) stay healthy and safe during times of crisis and well beyond. With one strong message, this campaign helped bring a sense of calm to an otherwise chaotic situation.

    DDJ Myers for Virtual Emerging Leaders Program

    The program provides emerging leaders  with the learning, community, and tools necessary to cultivate, nurture and act on their potential as rising executives.. The award-winning Emerging Leaders Program had been delivered annually since 2013; due to the global pandemic and continued high demand, the program was redesigned to be exclusively delivered virtually.

    DefenseStorm for CyberFraud

    The only fraud defense solution built for banking to deliver complete cyber safety and soundness to its credit union customers. It provides an integrated solution for Information Security and BSA/AML Fraud departments in a single platform.

    FIS for Premium Payback

    A fully integrated loyalty platform designed to address the retailer's need to acquire more members and the financial institution's need for their card to be "top-of-wallet" by letting the consumer's utilize their reward benefits on everyday spend without friction or hassle. 

    Velocity Solutions for Consumer Liquidity Engine

    Allows credit unions to leverage big data and digital strategies to more successfully onboard new accounts, engage members, boost transactional activity and encourage cross-selling with the goal of increasing a CU's non-interest income and to establish the credit union as their members' primary financial institution. 

    Wolters Kluwer for TSoftPlus

    Enables PPP loan forgiveness applications with digital tools such as e-signature functionality that advances lenders' capabilities and eliminates the need for in-person PPP transactions. Wolters Kluwer's acquisition in later 2020 of eOriginal, which offers a digital loan platform that enables SBA electronic signature for digital loans, further enhanced the solution's capabilities.

    “Major congratulations to our 2021 Innovation Award winners. We’re so excited about these Preferred Partners, and all the innovative and passionate work they continue to put into progressing our industry. They’re spanning every need, with a deep understanding of the digital transformation and user experience developments that impact member retention and growth on a day-to-day basis. They’re not just fostering collaboration and ingenuity in our credit unions, but in our communities at large.” -Randy Salser, president, NAFCU Services

    Past Winners

  • The 2020 Innovation Award winners are Preferred Partners Mastercard, FIS, and Open Lending.

    NuData Security, a Mastercard Company for NuDetect

    A real-time, online fraud prevention and protection solution that combats cybercrime continuously with 99% accuracy. Using passive biometrics and behavioral analytics to identify good online users behind different devices, it prevents fraudulent transactions, even if a cybercriminal has the correct credentials. This allows credit unions to provide a better member experience without compromising security in account originations of multiple types while thwarting account hijacking, fraudulent money transfers, password re-sets, and addition of fraudulent new payees.

    FIS for Digital Issuance 

    Empowers CU members to upload payment card accounts quickly and easily into a digital wallet, negating the wait time for a plastic card to arrive in the mail – new or replacement – accelerating usage, increasing interest and noninterest income, and boosting loyalty. This lower-cost option leverages a single account number (for both digital and physical cards), allows for restrictions of use for instances where a physical card is necessary, and requires no additional investment to implement.

    Open Lending for Lenders Protection

    Leverages data from multiple sources to develop its proprietary LP Score, which can predict nonprime, auto loan default rates at an incredible 99.2% accuracy. Using Lenders Protection, credit unions can lend to consumers with limited credit profiles, who are often turned down by other lenders for a loan, plus offer better pricing for the borrower and increased interest income versus other portfolio loans with improved predictability.

  • The 2019 Innovation Award winners are Preferred Partners LendKey, Mastercard, and Q2.

    LendKey for Student Lending Platform

    This platform and credit decisioning API enable improved analytics to help more borrowers fund their student loans through partner lenders. As credit unions work to remain competitive in the digital banking realm, LendKey is providing quick, cost-efficient digital lending solutions for credit unions of all sizes. 

    Mastercard for Mastercard Pay with Rewards

    Mastercard’s new rewards option helps credit unions bolster card usage, driving spend and engagement by allowing cardholders to make purchases anywhere with rewards points. The card brand also rolled out new APIs in the Mastercard Developer Zone to open up client access to the solution and data. The program is a flexible, cost-effective method for executing point-of-sale reward programs with no impact on the processes or technology used by merchants or acquirers. Card issuers can configure program rules to guide behavior that optimizes their portfolio’s potential.

    Q2 for Q2 Gro

    Q2 Gro drives growth for credit unions across every channel of business by helping them create better experiences for members at each stage of their financial journey. It specializes in mobile-first member acquisition, including account opening in just four minutes, providing large-scale marketing tactics without corresponding resource consumption for smaller credit unions, serving business members, ID scanning for quick data extraction, and more. Q2 Gro activates new digital growth engines as consumers increasingly move toward digital and mobile channels.

  • The 2018 Innovation Award winners are Preferred Partners CUNA Mutual Group, Mastercard, and Worldpay.

    CUNA Mutual Group for AdvantEdge Analytics

    The AdvantEdge Analytics Performance and Management solution provides credit unions a comprehensive view of their own operations. AdvantEdge Analytics created over 100 credit-union specific views spanning the entire organization, and at every level, from CFO to the front- line representative. The solution brings visualization tools to help business people gain insights into member data. Its ever-expanding storehouse of visualizations enables business users from across the enterprise to have consistent and accurate views of the same data.With tools such as Microsoft Power BI™, business users in nearly every industry have become accustomed to applying powerful data visualizations for reporting and analytic purposes. While the applications themselves are readily available as a tool, our offering leverages our credit union expertise to create custom, functional visualizations that provide credit unions with advanced analytic capabilities. 

    Mastercard for Identity Check Mobile™

    Identity Check Mobile™ is an SDK solution that allows any digital app to become the hub of authentication for the platform - in this case for a financial institution. Identity Check Mobile™ authenticates users through the use of biometrics, including fingerprint, facial and voice recognition, in lieu of traditional passwords or PINs, to verify a cardholder's identity to simplify online shopping, banking activities or any action in a platform that requires further user authentication. Only Mastercard offers a unique off-the-shelf solution to become the authentication HUB of a financial institution, with advantages that help drive efficiency, security, and utility.

    Vantiv, now Worldpay for Motion Code

    Motion Code is a new credit and debit card offering from Worldpay that increases fraud protection for financial institutions and their members while increasing spending volume and boosting cross-border ecommerce. It has the same look and feel of an existing EMV card, but rather than a static 3- digital security code on the back of the card, it has an electronic mini screen that displays a code that is automatically refreshed every few hours as determined by the issuer. As a result, if stolen, the card information immediately loses any value to a fraudster. Key features of the product include: a no-glare, button-less design, contact/contactless enablement, same look and feel as an existing card, and no change to the user experience.

  • The 2017 Innovation Award winners are Preferred Partners Insuritas, DDJ Myers, Q2, Vantiv.

    DDJ Myers for the Transformative Change Model (TCM)

    DDJ Myers developed TCM to facilitate change with board members to strategically add the value required for a high-performing board. The changing board phenomena necessitated a new mindset that modeled the change credit union boards wanted.

    Q2 for Q2 SMART

    Q2 SMART is a behavior-driven recommendation engine. Real growth in an age of digital growth means better understanding and engagement with members to deliver the right products at the right time. Q2 SMART helps FI marketers target banner ads based on user behavior, and easily manage multiple customized promotional campaigns in online banking.

    Vantiv for OmniShield

    Card fraud in the U.S. is a $7.5 billion a year problem and is forecasted to reach $9 billion by 2020. Vantiv's OmniShield solution manages and mitigates card fraud. While the average U.S. debit card portfolio averages 12.53 basis points in gross fraud losses, credit unions protected by OmniShield average 7.34 basis points, a 41% reduction.

  • The 2016 Innovation Award winners are Preferred Partners Allied Solutions, BitSight, Daon, and Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.

    Allied Solutions for SmartVideo New Loan Onboarding & Insurance Verification

    Allied Solutions' SmartVideo New Loan Onboarding & Insurance Verification is now a standard part of Allied's CPI program. Released in May of 2015, this innovative program offers financial institutions a comprehensive and efficient solution for onboarding new loans and insurance verification. Loan growth is an essential part of a financial institution's ability to remain competitive. This solution provides credit unions with the ability to offer each borrower a personalized introduction and specific details about their new loan. Additionally, this digital technology is data-driven and provides the credit union with reporting analytics which helps them learn more about their members.  Allied Solutions is the only organization serving financial institutions with the SmartVideo solution.

    BitSight for Security Ratings Platform

    The BitSight Security Ratings Platform gathers terabytes of data on security outcomes from sensors deployed across the globe. From the data, BitSight sees indicators of compromise, infected machines, improper configuration, poor security hygiene and potentially harmful user behaviors. Credit Unions are using these ratings for managing third party vendor risk and benchmarking their cyber security performance to industry averages and peers. By implementing this solution to monitor the risk of vendors, credit unions can cost effectively monitor third party risks in a continuous, automated and effective manner.

    Daon for IdentityX® Platform

    IdentityX® Platform empowers individuals to securely establish their identity by capturing and fusing together a combination of authentication factors--- biometrics (fingerprint/voice/face etc.), hardware token possession (their mobile device), encryption, PIN entry, and location-based technology. Multi-factor fusion provides the greatest authentication fidelity available. The required combination of authentication methods is flexible and driven by risk-based policies determined by the credit union. IdentityX® helps to address the challenges arising from current authentication methods that are largely outdated, non-secure, and/or inconvenient to the user. Now instead of having to remember complicated usernames and passwords, credit union members can just take a selfie, speak a passphrase, or use their fingerprint.

    Wolters Kluwer Financial Services for CASH Suite™

    CASH Suite™ is a commercial lending software solution that helps credit unions and banks increase profits and grow top line revenue by achieving straight-through-processing across every step of the commercial loan lifecycle.  CASH Suite™ provides lending professionals access to nine integrated financial analysis and credit risk management modules. The modules help reduce the complexity of evaluating commercial loan applications by streamlining tasks, including business development, financial analysis, risk management and pricing, credit communications and approvals, covenant compliance tracking, portfolio management, stress testing and in depth reporting. By providing an integrated solution, CASH Suite™ simplifies the task of managing disparate business processes, helping commercial lenders achieve their broader business goals, while reducing operational risk and enhancing long-term profitability.

  • The 2014 Innovation Award winners are Preferred Partners Insuritas, DDJ Myers, Burns-Fazzi, Brock, and Allied Solutions.

    Insuritas for InsureNOW™

    The InsureNOW™ product was designed for credit unions with large member bases, big data CIF/CRM capabilities, and high member affinity levels. InsureNOW™ allows credit unions to provide highly customized, concierge-level insurance offers to their indirect borrowers at the very moment when the member intends to shop for insurance. The most innovative part of InsureNOW™ identifies insurance policy renewal dates for each member and generates targeted, automated pre-populated e-engagement communication to these indirect borrowers 30 days before their insurance policy renews.

    DDJ Myers for Board Performance Assessment

    The Board Performance Assessment was developed to meet the need to support credit union boards. The assessment is designed to guide boards in reaching their highest level of performance, and create a high standard of excellence between board and CEO, one of the most critical interactions within the credit union. The innovation lies in the assessment’s ability to make boards more cohesive and pinpoint critical areas where improvements could be made.

    Burns-Fazzi, Brock for Executive Benefits Learning Series

    The Executive Benefits Learning Series helps credit unions understand effective methods for executive compensation and benefits to help recruit, retain, and reward their executive team. Complex topics in executive benefits and compensation are broken down into tax, accounting, legal, regulatory compliance, funding, and administrative concepts allowing credit unions to increase their knowledge and gain free practical advice. The innovative series consists of monthly, free live webinars which are recorded and archived for future reference.

    Allied Solutions for UniTrac

    UniTrac is a proprietary insurance tracking system that benefits credit unions by reducing the risk associated with collateralized loan portfolios. The tracking solution is completely workable online for credit unions through their client portal: CenterPoint. CenterPoint offers clients full access to insurance history and document images, letter notifications, customer service call notes, and claims. Lenders are able to view, work, print and download reports, submit claims, update required data fields and chat online with Allied representatives.

  • The 2015 Innovation Award winners are Preferred Partners Insuritas, MasterCard, and Q2.

    Insuritas for EasySTREET

    EasySTREET is the first technology solution of its kind. It extracts data from a credit union’s core, its loan origination system, any credit union CRM or CIF platforms, and supplemental data from TransUnion or Lexis Nexis. It compiles a master auto or home insurance policy application on behalf of the member without ever bothering the member with questions. The technology then automatically solicits bids for auto and home insurance coverages from multiple insurance carriers in under 2 minutes. These prices are then compiled in a personalized email that is sent to the member. The member sees up to four bids from A-rated carriers, ranked by cost. For the first time, the credit union can actually do the insurance shopping for the member without ever bothering the member. For more information about Insuritas’ products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/Insuritas.

    MasterCard for Identify Theft Resolution

    The Identity Theft Resolution Benefit solution provides credit union members with the ability to monitor the “dark web” and receive tailored alerts about their personal information. Additionally, MasterCard offers free identity remediation services to members who are victims of identity theft. This service will provide more peace of mind to members and will help credit unions reduce cardholder attrition due to security concerns. MasterCard is the only payment network that provides a service like this to all U.S. cardholders. For more information about MasterCard’s products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/MasterCard.

    Q2 Holdings for Q2platform

    The Q2platform gives credit unions the ability to serve their members’ online and mobile banking needs via a single, secure virtual banking solution. While the Q2platform in and of itself is an innovation, perhaps the single most innovative attribute of the platform is its integrated, patent pending security component, RFA (Risk Fraud Analytics). By having a holistic view of end users’ activity, the behavioral profiling algorithms that undergird Q2’s RFA solution are able to build a comprehensive picture of a member’s virtual banking habits. This vital feature makes it far easier to detect anomalous behaviors that typically precede fraud and to stop suspect transactions in real-time—before any funds have been compromised. For more information about Q2’s products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/Q2.