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Removing Friction in Credit Union Lending

Last November CMutual was delighted to welcome Mr George Hofheimer the Chief Knowledge Officer of the Filene Institute, who are our long-time partners in supporting the development of Credit Unions. We arranged for George to present at three venues to Credit Unions, Glasgow, Manchester and Dublin about Removing Friction from Lending and the Characteristics of High Performing Institutions, including Credit Unions.

George provided superb insights from Filene’s research on these subjects and gave practical ideas on how some high performing Credit Unions have sensibly changed lending practices to make the business of lending easier, more efficient and friendly to members.

At all three venues there was good debate on how to remove friction from the customer journey around lending and this was clearly a topic of interest to Credit Unions. George gave examples on how both Credit Union and other industries in the US improved the customer journey through road mapping the lending process with more emphasis on the consumer experience rather than on process. One of the key elements of the workshop was to be able to identify good friction and bad friction.

Example of good friction:

- Obtaining a member’s credit score. It takes time but allows for increased accuracy when assessing risk.

Example of bad friction:

- Full underwriting process for members with good history of borrowing and repayment.

George mentioned a Carolina Credit Union that freed up its Auto-Lending process by pre-approving employees for loans who had salary transfer in place with the Credit Union.

There was agreement at all three venues that Trust was a major factor in the relationship between the Credit Unions and their members and that this genuine Trust should be built on through making the members lending journey easier, faster and transparent.

Other practical ideas were discussed on how a Credit Union might analyse their member journey when processing their loan, from the moment the member first approaches the Credit Union to the issuing of the loan. Another US Credit Union identified 58 different touch points in the lending process and it was only when the process was fully mapped (see above slide) the issue for the member was identified and changed, again to remove member friction.

We at CMutual look forward to working with our Filene partners and our customer Credit Unions 2019 and we will be hosting similar presentations and seminars with interesting, practical and informative topics. If you would like information on this conference and other future CMutual conferences please contact us at or

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