The Merging of FinTech and Credit Unions With Austin Wentzlaff of FinTech Accelerator


“If you, as a solution provider, are not focused on what the end member is experiencing, then you’re going to fail — or you probably should fail — because it’s not just about the internal cost of the credit union.”



with guest:

Austin Wentzlaff

FinTech Accelerator

Episode Summary

You might not immediately associate credit unions with fintech startups, but this intersection is Austin Wentzlaff’s passion — so much so he started his own business.

As the founder of FinTech Accelerator, Austin works with early-stage startups that provide tech solutions for credit unions. For instance, he’s working with a company called Illuma Labs, a voice-authentication solution built for credit unions. The idea is for credit unions to bypass those annoying security questions and better serve the needs — and wants — of members.

He also works with a company called RenoFi, what he describes as a “HELOC on steroids.” It’s a lending solution that allows homeowners to borrow money based on the value of their post-renovation home.

In this episode of the Digital Banking podcast, Austin shares his insights into the world of credit unions and tech. He explains how voice authentication solutions could change the way credit unions interact with customers, and he emphasizes the important role technology plays in this space — and how it could help credit unions reclaim thousands of hours a year.

Key Insights

⚡ At the onset of COVID-19, Austin sank his time and energy into researching the credit union industry’s current needs. He partnered with two companies, Illuma Labs and RenoFi, that provide promising tech solutions to help credit unions continue to offer innovative products and experiences.

⚡ Initially, voice authentication technology sounds like a great solution to combat fraud — though, according to Austin, something like 60% of fraudsters can guess all the answers to your security questions. Security aside, this technology can also potentially create a more pleasant customer experience. Rather than transactionally asking questions at the top of the call, representatives can better engage with customers.

⚡ Austin has no doubt that startups and credit unions will continue to merge in the near future. At the end of the day, he asks potential credit union clients: What’s the ROI of not doing this? The goal is to serve customers, and if a tech solution can improve that experience, why not?

Guest At A Glance

Austin Wentzlaff

FinTech Accelerator

Find Austin On:
LinkedIn | Twitter

With more than seven years in the credit union space, Austin combines his passion for finance and startups through his company, FinTech Accelerator. He provides guidance in business development for clients like Illuma Labs, a voice-authentication solution for credit unions, and RenoFi, a home renovation lender.

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