Innovation in the Spotlight

November 9, 2018 – Encouraging their members to experiment with new ideas and technology, America First Credit Union worked with Adrenaline to create their Innovation Center to help inform the credit union of the future. Now, the forward-thinking institution has been featured in an article in the publication of record for the financial industry. The Financial Brand article “Consumers Test-Drive Banking Ideas Inside This Hybrid Branch & Innovation Center” features the credit union’s unique approach at building community through technology.

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The article highlights efforts to incorporate live feedback in a test setting, stating, “When America First launched its Innovation Center in June 2016, the Utah credit union’s version of an innovation lab stood out for two reasons. First, it would be open to the public — a place where regular people would be able try out new solutions and services in a hands-on environment. Second, everything this special branch would do would be real transactions — involving real money and credit.” This is the place where people experiment with new ideas and lay their hands on new technologies.

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Not only is the lab setting providing hands-on experimentation and real-time live feedback, this hybrid facility is one-part test lab, one-part fully-functioning branch environment, and one-part community space. The Financial Brand also highlights the use of space. “At 3,100 square feet, the Innovation Center…was created to be an entirely fluid environment.” In the article, Jeremy Deamer, Manager of Branch Systems Development at America First says, “There is nothing in this space that is a permanent fixture. It’s always changing. The floor plan is very adaptable.”

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Working with Adrenaline, America First Credit Union was looking for a different way to engage their membership and community in an ongoing conversation surrounding technology and money. Looking to redefine financial services and the credit union experience, the credit union launched an Innovation Center that would aggregate live, ongoing feedback and input. The Innovation Center continues to provide  unique value as a technology beacon within the community and is a billboard for the credit union’s brand.

What’s next for America First? After introducing the Innovation Center, the credit union is working with Adrenaline on the best ways to export learnings across their network of locations, including exploring a variety of layouts such as in-store and full-service locations. Both formats look and function very differently than the Innovation Center, yet were inspired by some of the feedback and learnings the center was created to inspire.

The Financial Brand is a digital publication focused on marketing and strategy challenges impacting  retail banks and credit unions. It is the primary resource for C-suite banking executives looking for the latest ideas, insights and information about how financial institutions are building their brands.

To learn more about innovation in financial services, contact our industry experts at

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