Challenge 2025

The Digitalization 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 digitalization of the global credit union system by 2025.

Measuring Global Digitalization

World Council will measure the digitalization of credit unions in four key areas for 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

Brazil's Largest Credit Union System Integrates its Virtual Assistant with Alexa

Sicredi, a cooperative financial institution with more than six million members across Brazil and a direct member of World Council of Credit Unions, has integrated its virtual assistant, Theo, into Amazon's voice command system, Alexa. 

The new functionality now makes available to Sicredi members and the general public another quick, dynamic and secure contact option so they can access the institution's services by voice command.

"The new contact option is part of Sicredi's ongoing digital transformation strategy, which includes service channels, leaving it up to the member to choose how they prefer to be served," said Alceu Meinen, Relationship and AI Superintendent at Sicredi. “The function is linked to our goal of always facilitating people’s access to services, such as searching for information or carrying out financial transactions according to each one’s preference, whether at the branch, via WhatsApp, via the app and, now, via Alexa."

Initially, the voice assistant device will allow for access to cards, current account information and instant payments, in addition to answering questions about Sicredi and credit cooperatives. For 2023, the system will gradually expand services to other consultation functions that are part of the institution's entire ecosystem of solutions.

To use the voice command function, members only need to search for “Sicredi Virtual Assistant” in the Alexa application and activate the skill. After configuration, they just have to give the voice command “Alexa, open Sicredi's virtual assistant”, and ask the desired question.

Launched in 2017, Theo is a tribute to Father Theodor Amstad, a pioneer of cooperativism in Brazil, and uses artificial intelligence (AI) and IBM's Watson natural language processing for virtual service via WhatsApp. The assistant performs services and queries such as quotes, financial transactions, insurance, and provides information on fraud, balances, cards and investments.

From January to November 2022, more than 3.3 million calls to Sicredi were served by Theo, which indicates an approximate increase of one million calls compared to the same period in 2021. The amount of activities carried out by Theo in 2022 represents an increase of 43.6% compared to the total number of services carried out by all of Sicredi's available channels in the previous year.

To learn about Theo's features, access the virtual assistant link .

 About Sicredi

Sicredi is a cooperative financial institution committed to the growth of its members and the development of the regions where it operates. It has a management model that values ​​the participation of more than 6 million associates, who play the role of business owners. With more than 2,400 branches, Sicredi is physically present in all Brazilian states and in the Federal District, offering more than 300 financial products and services.