Innovation Delivers Largest Quarterly Member Payout: $1.4M

At Innovation Federal Credit Union, all of our members benefit from our approach to save, earn, and give. One example? Quarterly member payouts, like our first in 2023 equalling $1.4 million in Member Rewards!

Membership means an automatic opportunity to build up equity, then receive cash dividends based on the equity earned. It’s just one part of the many ways our members enjoy the rewards of Responsible Banking™. You can too — it’s as simple as becoming a member.

How did we get to this point? Sharing the profits of a successful organization has been a long-term goal. So is delivering exceptional member service, products, and rates to every single member. Keep reading to learn more about our community-focused approach to banking.

Innovation Federal Credit Union: History, Goals, and Motivation

Innovation is a cooperative — an organization dedicated to its 62,000+ members. Our purpose is to simplify banking for Canadians.

Since forming in 2007, we’ve focused on supporting each and every member with the best service, products, and rates.

Offering credit union member benefits, like our Member Rewards program, helps us achieve key goals. Specifically, we empower our members to save, earn, and give. Our foundational belief is that when we’re successful because of our members’ business, they should be, too.

This focus on our communities is a crucial part of what separates credit unions from other financial institutions. Let’s take a closer look.

How Does a Credit Union Work?

In certain ways, credit unions and other financial institutions (i.e. banks) are very much alike. Similarities include:

  • Helping people and organizations manage and use their money,
  • Offering a range of financial products and services, from chequing accounts to home loans, and
  • Providing a safe place to make deposits.

From a practical perspective, those are important similarities. What sets credit unions apart from banks? Let’s look at the key differences.

Ownership and Membership

Credit unions have members, while banks have customers.

Credit unions are owned by their members. A potential member must purchase a share in the institution to access its services and gain benefits like Member Rewards.

Banks, on the other hand, are owned by shareholders. Customers can own shares in a bank. However, it’s not a requirement.

Credit unions can be closed bond or open bond. Closed bond credit unions limit membership based on where people live and work, as well as groups they’re associated with. Open credit unions accept any members they’re able to. For example, Innovation is an open bond credit union, accepting any and all members from across the country.

Voting and Control

By definition, all credit union members are shareholders. They each receive a vote for the credit union’s Board of Directors. Credit union members offer a say in the future of the organization.

At Innovation, this isn’t influenced by account balances. One member share equals one vote. This gives every member an equal voice.

Bank customers can purchase shares in their institution. However, there isn’t a focus on membership having a say in the institution’s Board of Directors and the more shares you own, the more influence you have.

The Seven Co-operative Principles of Credit Unions

Credit unions follow a set of co-operative principles that align with their focus on members. Innovation's purpose is built on Responsible Banking™. The seven co-operative principles are:

  1. Democratic member control
  2. Voluntary membership
  3. Autonomy and independence
  4. Economic participation of members
  5. Providing education, training, and information (i.e. financial education and guides to products)
  6. Cooperating with other co-operatives to support members
  7. Showing concern for the community

Banks have various governing rules and codes of ethics and conduct. However, they do not follow these principles.

Save, Earn, Give: Responsible Banking™, Member Rewards and More

The value of Responsible Banking™ is clear. By putting members first and truly serving the community, we make the areas we serve better places to live.

One of the clearest signs of our objectives as a credit union is the Innovation Member Rewards program. Think of it as a loyalty program. The better our organization does, the better you do along with it. Here’s another way to view our program: We pay our members for the privilege of doing business with them.

How the Innovation Member Rewards Program Works

Every Innovation member automatically joins our Member Rewards Program. Over time, all members — businesses and individuals alike — build equity. That entitles them to their share of our profits.

This equity remains invested in the organization to support its current operations and future growth. Member equity directly contributes to benefits like:

  • Competitive rates for investments and loans,
  • High-quality products and services, including our No-Fee Bank Account and
  • Improvements to the tools, technology, processes, resources, and facilities that serve our members.

Equity grows based on each member’s loan interest paid and deposit interest earned on qualifying products. Equity caps sit at $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for businesses.

As a sign of appreciation, we pay out cash dividends based on each member’s earned equity. This money goes directly to members. You can save, invest, or spend it however you wish.

The cash dividend is based on earned equity. It’s simple. The more equity you earn, the more cash you get back!

Our most recent quarterly payout featured a dividend rate of 7%. For members at the equity cap, that adds up to hundreds of dollars. And it can go toward everything from monthly bills to vacations and investments.

What Makes Our Member Payouts an Incredible Accomplishment

Innovation Federal Credit Union’s member payouts are a sign of success. The better our organization does, the more we can share with our members through our Member Rewards Program.

Our first quarterly payout in 2023, $1.4 million in total, is especially exciting. We’ve paid out a distribution for 15 of the 16 years we’ve been in operation. That is an accomplishment in and of itself.

We previously paid out distributions on an annual basis, but we wanted to change the program for the better. By offering quarterly distributions starting in 2017, we made our rewards more timely and relevant.

Members no longer need to wait a full year for their payout. They get the money they’ve earned through their equity throughout the year. That can make a major difference, whether it helps supplement a monthly budget or simply provides extra money for something fun.

Our most recent payout is the largest-ever quarterly member distribution in our history. It’s a clear sign that our approach to Responsible Banking™ and overall operational strategy are sound.

Moving forward, our goal is to consistently provide value back to our members through our Member Rewards Program.  Supporting our members and our communities are the foundational reasons why Innovation exists. To that end, we’ve distributed the following totals to date:

  • $43.25 million back to our members
  • over $9 million back to our communities.

We can’t be happier about the results thus far.

Save, Earn, Give

Our Member Rewards are especially important. The satisfaction of earning money simply by banking with us is hard to beat. However, those payouts are only part of our larger strategy of giving back to the community and our members.

We frame our objectives for Responsible Banking™ as Save, Earn, Give. Our rewards take care of the earning for our members. Each distribution means extra money. So, what about saving and giving?


Innovation members enjoy deposit accounts with no fees. We believe a deposit account is a foundational need for just about everyone, including you. And it shouldn’t cost you or anyone else money.

You can count on no monthly maintenance fees, free and unlimited Interac e-Transfer® services, and no transaction fees with our No-Fee Bank Account. There are no balance requirements, and the account also includes access to Ding Free ATMs across the country.

You can keep the money that other institutions may charge for owning or using your account. That’s real savings, as much as $360 per year, simply in exchange for being a member.


Supporting all stakeholders is a key part of Responsible Banking™. That includes our members, of course, but also extends to everyone in our communities.

Innovation consistently contributes 2-4% of pre-tax profits to community projects, activities, and causes. Making our communities better is a goal shared by all our members. Simply by banking with us, our members help us reach that goal.

This long-term commitment led to Imagine Canada naming us a Caring Company, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

Final Thoughts: Our Quarterly Member Payouts

Our first 2023 quarterly payout is a $1.4 million milestone. It tells us and our members that Responsible Banking™ does more than just work. Focusing on our communities leads to sustainable success. Our strategy supports a prosperous organization that can redistribute its success to all members and our communities at large.

Part of that prosperity can be seen in our efforts to digitize our organization. Innovation is more than just a name — it means dedication to delivering better banking experiences. This kind of transformation makes banking more accessible and easier to use for everyone. And it wouldn’t be possible without the strong financial position of the organization.

We’re proud to reach a point where every member reliably receives a distribution. It’s a true source of pride and accomplishment.

Want to become a member and start saving, earning, and giving back to your community?

For personal banking, sign up for a No-Fee Chequing Account! It’s a great way to save on everyday banking, earn rewards, and give back to your community. Once you’re a member, you can access opportunities for loans, credit cards, savings plans, and more.

For business banking, our business accounts also offer incredible benefits. Become a member to save, earn, and give, as well as access payment solutions, loans, lines of credit, and more.

At Innovation, you’re more than just a customer. You’re part of a co-operative dedicated to delivering the best possible results for the organization, all of its members, and the communities we serve.