Improving our members access to affordable credit at Capital Credit Union

09 Mar 2020

Highlighting the digital improvements Capital Credit Union is making with its fintech partners, Soar and Nivo, as part of the Affordable Credit Challenge

Guest post by Richard MacLennan, Director of Operations at Capital Credit Union

Capital Credit Union (CCU) covers a large area on the east coast of Scotland, from Angus in the north down to the Scottish borders in the south. Our offices are centrally located in Edinburgh and can be inconvenient for our members to access. Servicing a large geographical common bond is challenging if members are required to produce documentation in order to join.

We are the first to acknowledge that for some, joining the credit union can be cumbersome, time consuming and not without difficulty. Such initial hurdles can make accessing our financial services challenging and we see many potential members drop out along the way. We wished to address this issue as our primary objective and wanted to ensure that accessing and joining the credit union was as slick and easy as possible.

Our partnership with Soar and Nivo has allowed us to develop a fully online solution that gives the member the convenience to join the credit union through a smart mobile app, utilising commonly used features like text messaging, selfies and photographs.

The app has stopped the requirement for physical hardcopies of identification documents and the need for many members to visit the branch to complete enrolment. Using digital technology, we have made the process fully remote, user friendly and interactive at each stage, maintaining our member focus.

A key benefit of digital enrolment allows the credit union to fast track our services as members seek to save and borrow. Reducing further admin or duplication of member details will help speed up applications and allow the member to concentrate on their specific needs, rather than completing lengthy forms of information we already hold.

“The need for credit is not always planned; circumstances can come out of nowhere, from unexpected repair bills to family challenges”


Digital technology allows us to be more inclusive and member focused as we engage with our members through the smart phone app. As we harness the power of our fintech partner Nivo, we can provide financial guidance and information about our services through secure messaging. Utilising commonly used mobile text facilities, our members can engage directly with our team at CCU and receive timely responses and updates. Furthermore, providing documentation and/or signing agreements can be done online – no more waiting for the post to arrive! The secure messaging service allows for members to upload documentation by file or photograph and speed up the process where evidential information is required.

The Nivo solution enables us to maintain our member relationship through a combination of automated interactions and our dedicated member services team. Further enhancements can help us create useful and timely chat journeys that will help our members remain fully informed at a time that suits them.  A fully interactive member app that puts the credit union in the hands of the member.

Faster decisions

CCU understands that the need for credit is not always planned and that circumstances can come out of nowhere – from unexpected repair bills to family challenges. It is important that we continue to aid and assist our members as quickly as possible. Our new app allows us to work at pace and provide timely decisions whilst continuing to provide sound information and responsible lending.

In conjunction with our fintech partner Soar, our app provides an automated journey that gathers financial information and helps assess both the likelihood and affordability of a loan application through the use of open banking. Our members will be able to benefit from this increased speed and efficiency that will result in faster decisions. In addition, Soar have enabled us to integrate financial data, showing savings and loans, giving the member the opportunity to maintain and plan their financial future.

Capital Credit Union is the largest credit union on the east coast of Scotland, currently serving over 23,000 members. Offering members savings, loans and mortgage products, the credit union is well served to help its members become financially resilient.