By John San Filippo
The CO-OP Financial Services name was put to rest and replaced with Co-op Solutions, according to a press release issued to coincide with the opening of the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (February 27 - March 3, 2022). The new branding “reflects the Co-op of today – the cooperative partner for credit unions driving solutions for their growth and prosperity.” As part of its new branding, the company also introduced a new tagline: Make Every Experience Matter. The new branding is on display at the Co-op booth.
Finopotamus had the opportunity to speak with Co-op’s Executive Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Samantha Paxson earlier in the month about the new brand identity.
“We started business in 1980 as CO-OP Network to establish an ATM network,” said Paxson. “However, our services expanded to the point where, in 2006, we changed our name to CO-OP Financial Services. To recognize the continuing growth and expansion of the company, we are now Co-op Solutions.” She added that the company has been considering and researching this rebranding for about two years.
“We have seen dramatic market shifts in helping credit unions really meet the opportunity to serve their members where they are. We have all gone through a tremendous digital transformation as an industry,” Paxson said. “We also know that consumers are engaging with up to five different financial relationships in their daily lives. And we know that existing credit union members see their credit union as their primary financial relationship only 20% of the time.”
Co-op Solutions is committed to providing technology solutions that help credit unions address these issues, noted Paxson. This is reflected in the company’s new mission statement, also announced in the press release: To connect credit unions to the technology, strategic partnership and scale they need to best serve their members now and into the future.
“We saw an opportunity to invest in our ecosystem, really create a platform business, and be a producer of fintech solutions for credit unions,” Paxson continued. “We invested aggressively to create a technology platform that would include the data, the security, the technology stack, the microservices, the digital integration later, including APIs, SDK integration of external digital providers to enable credit unions to rapidly add new solutions.”
“Members want to interact with their institution whenever, however and wherever they choose, and each interaction must be simple, secure and satisfying,” said the company’s President and CEO Todd Clark via the press release. “Co-op provides a complete digital payments ecosystem that enables credit unions to facilitate the daily lifestyle moments of members. Each time a member pays for something, it is an experience that matters – bringing that member into a closer relationship with their credit union. Through our work, we help ensure that credit unions stay relevant and competitive, and create opportunity for them tailored to a demanding and crowded marketplace.”
Over the last five years, Paxson said the company has launched 150 new products. “We intend to continue to do that, and we want to make sure we do it at a pace that credit unions can absorb and ingest and bring them into their environments.” This strategy, she added, is to ensure that “credit unions truly meet where the market goes, not just where the market is.”
“While credit unions have lost 3% market share in one year, Co-op believes that we can aggressively do better in the market if we work collectively,” added Paxson. “This is why we retained the name, because we’re about cooperation. Co-op means cooperation. We cooperate with credit unions to deliver solutions. And this brings us back to our tagline: Make every experience matter. That's part of what we do every day.”
According to Paxson, the rebranding is primarily intended for the company’s B2B, credit union-focused audience. She said that member-facing branding will remain the same for the time being so credit unions don’t need to reissue cards or change ATM signage.