Challenge 2025

The Digitization of the Global Credit Union System


A New Decade, A New Goal

In 2014, World Council of Credit Unions set a goal of reaching 260 million credit union members worldwide by 2020.

Through a concentrated worldwide effort, credit unions were able to reach our "Vision 2020" goal by 2017. But that growth was not even across all countries or among all credit unions. The credit unions that grew were those that offered core services via online and mobile channels. That is why we are now addressing how we increase membership going forward—through the digitization of the global credit union system by 2025.

Measuring Global Digitization

World Council will measure the digitization of credit unions in four key areas and report annually on the progress being made toward Challenge 2025.

Digital Channels

Offering members core digital transaction services such as online and mobile banking, online payments and online loan processing.

Shared Platforms

Connecting your credit union to a shared payments system that allows for mobile payments and integrated with a national payments system.

Risk Management

Implementation of a cybersecurity system that complies with national regulations to protect members' identity and consumer data from digital attacks and intrusions.

Data Analytics

Employing data analytics to determine additional service offerings to members, and helping to identify those that need financial literacy or counseling services.


Follow Our Progress, Tell Us About Yours

Track the latest developments in digitization by subscribing to our Challenge 2025 Blog. You can also send us updates on how your credit union or credit union system is striving to help us meet Challenge 2025 at

The Right Tech for a Connected Marketplace

The following post is provided by Origence, a financial technology provider dedicated to creating new approaches to the loan origination experience, and a brand of CU Direct—a World Council associate member. 

The old debate over the primacy of best-of-breed tech stacks versus an all-in-one platform was resurrected during the global pandemic. As the industry struggled to keep up with unexpected loan volume, many of the new systems lenders had put in place over the past few years didn’t meet their expectations.

That’s probably because many lenders were using legacy lending technology that incorporated new Point of Sale (POS) technology bolted onto the front end.

Today, perhaps for the first time, the best-of-breed versus all-in-one debate has become very important. With an everchanging lending environment and escalating competition from new fintech lenders, choosing the wrong technology approach could have major ramifications for a lender.

But those aren’t the only drivers pushing us to rethink our technology platforms. Every lender making loans today, whether they are a bank, credit union or an independent mortgage bank, is finding themselves operating in a connected marketplace. Modern APIs built on open architectures are making it easier and more efficient than ever to share data between systems.

On the one hand, that’s good news for the industry, because lenders have more options than ever before. On the other hand, it can be challenging to disseminate the true capabilities and benefits of the technology that is available. Choosing the right mortgage loan origination technology is always more difficult in a crowded marketplace.

Finding the tools you need in a crowded market

While attaching a POS to a legacy LOS provided some initial lift for some lenders in the beginning, it doesn’t provide the same benefits as the new end-to-end systems can. So, what should the lender be seeking? Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Start your search with a clear mind. Lenders must look beyond the hype and buzzwords. When one vendor says best-of-breed, they may mean something completely different than another vendor. Don’t rely on terminology to make your decision.
  • Find out if what you’re looking at is a single platform solution. Did the same development team build all the modules that make up the system? Did the POS come from another vendor and get bolted onto the LOS?
  • Confirm if the platform was built from the ground up on new software architecture or is a retrofit of older technologies that has been patched to function in today’s market. No legacy platform can be built-in pieces and be as strong as purpose-built technology developed with long-term scalability in mind.

Finally, find out all you can about the implementation process and after-sale vendor support. This is often where the rubber meets the road on the long-term viability of the lender/technology partner relationship.

The benefits the lender can enjoy

It’s becoming abundantly clear that retrofit technology is not a sustainable solution over the long-term. Ultimately, this search will lead to a modern LOS that has everything the lender needs to interact with borrowers and walk them through the application process (POS) and process the loan to close (LOS).

With a single system approach, everything is connected, so you know what questions have been asked, what tasks have been assigned to the borrower, and what information has been received. The benefits can only be fully realized on a single platform that includes the POS and LOS capabilities on the same system, not connections between disparate systems.

A single system, such as Origence’s mortgage platform, will position lenders to dramatically improve the lending process and borrower experience. Today’s modern loan origination systems are high performance machines that seamlessly take the lender and borrower completely through the process. Comparing that to just tacking a POS to the front of an LOS is like putting a Ferrari engine in a Camry, and wondering if all the necessary elements are in place to support that engine.

All-in-one loan origination platforms like Origence, are leading the way in today’s marketplace and they are better than ever. I encourage you to discover what a difference such a system could make in your business.

Michael Farris is Vice President of Strategic Solutions for Origence. In his role, Michael leads the Strategic Solutions group, which focuses on large volume mortgage lenders. A seasoned industry veteran, he previously served as Senior Vice President at Digital Lending Solutions, and prior to that he served as Senior Vice President of Digital Docs, Inc. for 10 years. His focus on integrity and process-driven sales solutions through the years have resulted in negotiated contracts with top 100 lenders in diverse technology and service industries.