Corporate One Software Driving Bolivian Branches

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Corporate One FCU is reporting that it has developed, tested and installed a software system now being used by credit unions in Bolivia as the foundation for a shared branching network. Ohio's credit unions have partnered with Bolivia's credit unions as part of a program organized by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).

Corporate One estimated the cost of developing solution at $45,000, which it is donating. Corporate One and WOCCU recently signed an agreement giving the global organization ownership rights to the software system, called ServiRed in Bolivia, meaning "service network."

Future developments in the software could also become property of WOCCU under the agreement.

"We believe that this software system has the capacity and flexibility to serve as the solution for many of the technical applications we're working to address in other projects around the globe-including international remittances, debit/credit card networks, and ATM processing," said Pete Crear, CEO of WOCCU. "In terms of its potential, it may be one of the most valuable contributions we've received from a partner in years," he added.

Begun in December 2002 as a joint project between WOCCU, Corporate One and the Ohio Credit Union League, the Bolivia project is a $2.2-million initiative that works with credit unions to open branches in remote areas of Bolivia and assists in forming a credit union network that will enable credit unions to provide transaction services throughout the country. The shared branching system currently connects 17 credit unions and 40 points of service to a centralized network housed in a quickly developing corporate credit union located in Cochabamba.

The total membership of the credit unions already using ServiRed is more than 220,000, and WOCCU expects that with the addition of another 60 service points by the end of 2006, the total membership of the networked credit unions will total approximately 500,000, Ohio's credit unions reported.

With a total population in Bolivia of about 8.8 million, ServiRed will serve almost 6% of the country's population.

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