Zipwhip for Credit Unions

INOVA Credit Union

INOVA FCU has a team of seven lenders serving over 34,000 members. Quick to realize the power of texting members to help accelerate the lending process, INOVA resorted to the only means then available and provided each lender with a cell phone. Given several communication options, most members unsurprisingly opted to text, especially to send photos of income information, identification, VINs, and other documentation. Although members were delighted by the ability to text, INOVA wasn’t finding the process to be as effcient as it could be.


INOVA staff were spending a lot of time sending and receiving files via text on their issued mobile phone and then emailing documents to their work emails. The process went as follows:

  • Customer sends photo of document via text to INOVA cell phone
  • Lender emails image to work email address from cell phone
  • Lender opens email, saves image and converts to PDF
  • Lender puts image in the appropriate folder on the desktop

Beyond the irritation of spending the day thumbing through multiple devices, the lenders ran into some greater diffculties. They frequently experienced network delays by trying to push too high a volume of texts through a system designed for more limitedpeer-to-peer messaging. It could take several minutes for a single image to load on the cell phones.

It was time consuming, and expensive. INOVA needed a better way to consolidate these documents and streamline the work flow at an affordable price.

“Zipwhip is fast, easy, and convenient”
Elizabeth Varlea
Centralized Lending


In late 2016, INOVA traded in their cell phones and text-enabled the business phone number for each lender instead. There was some initial hesitation from the lenders to give up their cell phones, but such hesitation quickly turned to excitement when they saw how much easier Zipwhip made their lives. Elizabeth Varela, Assistant VP of Centralized Lending, estimates that each lender now saves 45 minutes to an hour each day by using Zipwhip.

“With Zipwhip it’s easy to drag and drop an image into a folder, rename it, and archive it,” Elizabeth says.

For example, the process of receiving documentation from members has now been simplified to:

  • Customer sends a picture text to same number they have been calling
  • Photo pops up on lender’s computer and lender saves image as a PDF to desktop folder

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