A Message to CUs from Todd Mason: COVID-19 and the Power of Partnership

As we continue to face COVID-19 together, I ask you to take a moment to think about Synergent and its longstanding partnership with Maine credit unions.

While the underpinnings of it began earlier, Synergent was born in 1971. It was created by Maine credit unions as a means to help credit unions aggregate buyer power, expertise, and collective interests to do more together than could be done alone. The products and services of Synergent have evolved over the years, but its role in aggregating the power of credit unions has not.

In part, Synergent has succeeded because of great leaders like John Murphy, Ted Desveaux, and many others. But they, like our current Board and overall team, were temporary caretakers. The real success of Synergent comes from individual credit unions choosing to use our services. Every choice to use Synergent accrues not just to the benefit of the individual credit unions making them, but to all other credit unions in Maine.

The benefit is multifold.

Synergent significantly funds the Statewide Awareness Campaign, sponsors events and speakers, makes charitable contributions on behalf of credit unions, and has staff involved in numerous chapter meetings and initiatives, including Financial Fitness Fairs. Synergent also brings together market leaders, like JHA/Symitar and Fiserv, delivers them as affordable integrated solutions, and provides full service and support around them. At the same time, Synergent has not increased pricing for Episys, payments, and most of our other solutions. In fact, we have decreased pricing time and time again. As Synergent realizes savings, those savings are shared with our credit unions. This is in addition to providing rebates, while increasing ongoing investments in security, reliability, service, and compliance.

Why focus on Synergent now? To bring it back to COVID-19, Maine credit unions’ collective ability to respond to this crisis is stronger because of Synergent. Many of you have a direct ownership stake in Synergent, but all of you are owners through the League. As such, all of you have a vested interest in Synergent—it is your company to deliver the products, services, and solutions you want whenever you need them.

It is times like these that demonstrate how important it is to work together and what can be achieved when we do. Just think about how together we all have transformed our operations over the past three weeks to ensure our members’ needs continue to be met during this period of social distancing and economic hardship. Remote work support, new loan offerings, and Skip Payment modules are just a few of the things that come top of mind.

Your needs—and your members’ needs—direct where Synergent, the League, and our shared initiatives are focused. Collectively these determine what we can and can’t do together. Synergent can’t and shouldn’t try to be all things, but what Synergent can do is focus on what matters most by aggregating the power of Maine’s credit unions.

So understand that your partnerships matter and have the power to help you and all of us do great things regardless of the circumstance. Thank you for your support of the League and Synergent, and for all that you are doing for your credit union, members, and community during the COVID-19 crisis.