CU launches AI partnership in hopes of faster loan approvals

ByRichard C. Sloan

Jan 20, 2022
Source: Shutterstock

Member Cooperative Credit Union, based in Duluth, Minn., has taken steps to grow its loan portfolio in the digital world by announcing a new partnership with fintech leader Zest AI.

According to Thursday’s announcement, Members Cooperative ($1 billion in assets, 55,325 members) said it had signed an agreement with Zest AI to approve more members for car and personal loans using software AI-based lending.

“Zest is going to help us grow our lending volume safely across the credit spectrum,” said Eric Fuglister, vice president of consumer lending at Members Cooperative. “Our goal has always been to empower our communities, and Zest gives us a powerful new tool to do that.”

In a statement, Members Cooperative said it wants AI to help it increase its automation to make loan decisions beyond its current levels. The Zest AI software will create a model for the credit union to integrate AI into the lending system “for faster, more automated decisions.” By adopting the software’s AI models, the credit union will “significantly increase approvals without additional risk by pulling insights from thousands of standard credit variables,” the statement said.

Zest AI CEO Mike de Vere said, “We are proud to partner with a credit union whose mission is to better serve its members. AI is the key to saying yes to more members and empowering the member co-op to continue to exert this positive financial influence in the lives of its members. »

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