Unitus Community Credit Union Awarded WOCCU ‘Digital Growth’ Award
July 27, 2023
At its recent annual conference, the World Council of Credit Unions recently presented its “Digital Growth Award” to Unitus Community Credit Union, based in Portland, Oregon.
The annual award recognizes credit unions that implement digital solutions to promote financial inclusion, innovation, and scalability. The World Council celebrated the development of the Azie app, created in partnership with FTSI, at the conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The development of Azie supports the Financial Empowerment Collaborative (FEC). The FEC is a pilot program, in conjunction with the Urban League of Portland, to provide financial education workshops, credit union resources, and financial coaching to Black Oregonians. Advantis Credit Union, Consolidated Community Credit Union, Point West Credit Union, Rivermark Community Credit Union, and the GoWest Foundation are all partners in the FEC.
Azie introduces the Urban League community to financial services, connecting them to the credit union that best aligns with their needs. This inclusive process is designed to foster financial and housing stability while creating and sustaining generational wealth. The app also offers coaching, helpful tools to build credit and calculate expenses, and personalized planning for savings and other goals.
“By combining the expertise and resources of FTSI and Unitus, we have created a mobile app that addresses the pressing needs of underserved communities,” said Susan Napier, CEO and chairwoman of FTSI. “Together, we are determined to make a positive impact on the lives of those who need it most.”
“We are honored to have earned this recognition from the World Council of Credit Unions,” said Steven Stapp, president and CEO of Unitus Community Credit Union. “At Unitus, we pride ourselves on being innovators in the credit union industry and this is just another example of how we can leverage technology to provide more inclusive access to financial services within underserved communities.”
“Collaborating with FTSI on the Azie app allowed us to customize the experience for the end user,” said Megan Snyder, vice president of strategic partnerships and portfolio management at Unitus. “We wanted the design and features to be approachable and scalable, and this award recognizes that our partnership delivered a product that can effect meaningful change.”
In the initial pilot launch of the app, nearly 69% of program participants who elected to connect with a financial coach found one through Azie.
“These early success stories inform us that we’re reaching people where they are,” explained Corlinda Wooden, senior vice president and chief retail officer at Unitus. “As we work to expand Azie’s reach, we are confident the connections and tools available through the app will help empower our communities, local families, and future business owners.”
The Azie app is named after Azie Taylor Morton, the first Black American to hold the position of Treasurer of the United States. The app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.