An online loan-decisioning and funding app for credit unions is the winning idea in this year's KnockOut innovation competition from PSCU, a 24-hour "hackathon" that aims to find new technology solutions for credit unions.

The app – developed by "Team Cajun Power," a five-person team comprised of members from PSCU and University of Louisiana FCU – is the winner after two rounds of voting. The solution is designed to facilitate immediate deposits into a member's checking or savings account.

"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.

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.

DeValcourt and the other four members of Team Cajun Power will all receive a $1,500 travel voucher as part of their prize.

"We want to congratulate all of the teams that competed in KnockOut 2016," PSCU CEO Chuck Fagan said in a statement. "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."

Eighteen different teams took part in this year's KnockOut competition. Second place this year went to Team Pineapple for the concept of a 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.

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