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Online Loan Decisioning and Funding App Selected as Winner of KnockOut 2016

Team Cajun Power from University of Louisiana FCU and PSCU takes home first prize from PSCU’s annual innovation marathon

St. Petersburg, Fla. – (Oct. 18, 2016) – Team Cajun Power has been selected as the winner of KnockOut 2016, a 24-hour collaboration event hosted by PSCU last month. Following a thorough evaluation by PSCU’s product development team, the winning idea from the five-person team, which was made up of members from PSCU and University of Louisiana FCU in Lafayette, La., could be launched in the market to benefit PSCU credit unions and their members.

This year’s winning idea – which was selected following 24-hours of ideation and two rounds of voting – is an online loan decisioning and funding app that can simplify the credit union lending process. It allows immediate deposits into a member’s checking or savings accounts. PSCU would like to congratulate Team Cajun Power team members Kimberly Congdon, Heather DeValcourt, Carmen Guilbeaux and Donna Robin from University of Louisiana FCU and Gary Austin from PSCU. All five first place winners will receive a $1,500 travel voucher.

“The inspiration for the winning idea was derived from the need to help our members with their small loan financing by avoiding high-interest rate retail point-of-purchase financing or payday lenders. Our community also experienced a major flood recently, and this idea will assist members with their financing needs when disasters occur, and they are unable to visit a branch,” said Heather DeValcourt with University of Louisiana FCU.

A total of 18 teams came together during KnockOut with a goal of helping solve a problem in the payments industry that will allow credit unions to better serve their members. KnockOut was held at PSCU’s St. Petersburg, Fla. headquarters and Member-Owner Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union’s campus in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sept. 8-9. Teams were made up of employees of PSCU and its Member-Owner Credit Unions.

“KnockOut enables us to collaborate with our Member-Owner credit unions to enable growth and provide an unparalleled member experience,” said Chuck Fagan, PSCU CEO and President. “We want to congratulate all of the teams that competed in KnockOut 2016. We look forward to working with Team Cajun Power to bring its winning idea to market to benefit credit unions across the country, making is easier and faster for members to use technology to get instant funding for their needs.”

According to Team Cajun Power, instant loan decisioning and funding addresses a need from the perspective of credit unions and members. It allows credit unions to change the landscape of traditional and online lending by competing real-time for loans, grow their loan portfolio, and increase income. Members benefit from saving money and time when credit unions can provide them with in-demand funds, 24/7.

“We think the idea resonated with the judges and voters because it can be utilized by any credit union regardless of its membership or asset size. It also allows additional collaboration with existing PSCU technologies and vendor partnerships,” added DeValcourt.

Following 24 hours of ideation, competing teams presented their idea to a panel of judges comprised of representatives from PSCU, Apple, Projekt 202, First Data, CFE Federal Credit Union, Oceanit and the Hawaii CU League. Five finalists were selected:

  • Team Pineapple – PSCU; St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Team Boomshakalaka! – Financial Center First Credit Union; Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Team BECU – BECU; Tukwila, Wash.
  • Team Cajun Power – University of Louisiana FCU; Lafayette, La.; and PSCU, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Team Rock’em Sock’em – Hawaii State FCU; Honolulu, Hawaii; and PSCU, St. Petersburg, Fla.

The finalists’ videos were then uploaded to the KnockOut website for voting. Second place went to Team Pineapple for its one-of-a-kind intelligent platform API that can be integrated into various PSCU platforms to hold a “spot” in the call queue without requiring a member to call in. Third place went to Team BECU for a single payments hub that simplifies the payment process and adds the ability for members to use credit cards to pay bills in the existing bill pay platform.

About PSCU

Established in 1977, PSCU (St. Petersburg, Fla.) is the nation's leading credit union service organization (CUSO) and was awarded CUSO of the Year recognition by NACUSO. The cooperative is owned by over 800 member credit unions representing more than 18.9 million credit, debit, prepaid, online bill payment and mobile accounts. Comprehensive 24/7/365 member support is delivered through contact centers located throughout the United States. For more information, visit