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  1. // Emerging Markets

    60 million Americans are Underbanked

    Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to a representative from the FDIC who sought our advice on how financial instutions can provide access to affordable transaction products. I was able to give her a host of credit union examples as well as share our product toolkits with her. In talking with her I found that FDIC has just completed a “National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households”... (continue reading)

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  2. // Social Impact

    The Proof is in the Product Features

    Does your credit union offer a payday loan alternative? If so, please take some time to participate in the REAL Solutions Payday Loan Alternative Survey, designed to measure the financial and societal impact of credit union payday loan (PDL) alternatives.

    This tool will provide you with a printable summary of your product’s direct financial benefit to members as compared to the products offered by payday lenders. Use this information for press releases, newsletter articles, reports…even in marketing materials to let your members know they can get a better deal at their credit union.

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  3. // Social Impact

    Impact Assessment: Baseline Survey Results May 2009

    Measuring the impact of partner credit unions among low-wealth and modest income families is one of the most important things we do at REAL Solutions. It’s how we learn what works. Our Baseline Survey is an ongoing measurement tool designed to measure the percentage of credit unions offering — and planning to offer — our key products, programs, and services.

    As of June 2009, 255 credit unions (43%) have responded to a 33 question survey to help us determine:

    1) The products and services our credit unions are offering, and
    2) The emerging markets they serve.

    Continue reading for trends and highlights and to view the full report…

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  4. // Social Impact

    The Future for Cooperatives is Now

    On Monday, April 6, an advertorial appeared in the New York Times titled “Power to the People: Cooperatives Spread the Benefits.” The feature goes a long way in making the case (domestically and internationally) for the cooperative business model. Further, it shines a bright light on the future of cooperatives and the power of cooperatives to change lives.

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  5. // Social Impact

    Social Impact Matters

    When the dust clears from our economic calamity, what will we learn? What business models will emerge from the carnage inflicted by greed, lack of oversight, and profit maximization driven by Wall Street? According to Strategy & Business Magazine, the cooperative business model is being re-examined and gaining prominence as a viable alternative.

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