Sixty years ago, 22 forward-thinking members of the Waterloo community united with a bold vision: to embody mutual aid in practice. With just $22 in a cash box, Waterloo County Mennonite Credit Union was born. These humble beginnings, rooted in principles of mutual aid, economic justice and shared personal values, continue to shape and impact how Kindred Credit Union serves their community.
Throughout this remarkable journey, Central 1 has been a steadfast partner, providing digital banking, payments and treasury services to support Kindred in delivering thoughtful banking choices. Recently, Kindred became the second credit union to lead and build their own innovation on Central 1’s Community Platform for online banking, taking strides in enhancing member experience.

Since 1964, Kindred has emphasized banking with purpose and has continuously proven their dedication to their members by adapting to the changing marketplace, while upholding their foundation and helping members Make Peace with Your Money®.

Make Peace with Your Money®

“Make Peace with Your Money” represents a pathway to better financial management. Kindred’s founders purposefully chose the credit union model, emphasizing cooperation to meet the needs of all potential members, including those underserved by big banks, ensuring access to affordable financial services and enhancing overall social, economic and financial well-being.

Kindred believes that members achieve peace with their money, when they have the peace of mind that is derived from the satisfaction of responsibly managing money, time and other resources, as well as knowing that their finances are safeguarded within a cooperative entity that shares their values and supports the collective economic and social interests.

“Make Peace with Your Money” is also about the impact members can make with their money. From the beginning, Kindred has fostered mutual aid and economic justice by introducing various avenues for members to support one another and their communities. Initiatives such as the Affordable Housing GIC and Loan, Community Inspiration GIC, and Crisis Care GIC and Loan promote acts of compassion and sharing—integral components of inspiring peace.

Watch the video to learn more about Kindred’s story:

Opening to broader membership

The decision to rebrand as “Kindred” in 2016 marked a new chapter of openness. This strategic change aimed to broaden the credit union’s reach, thereby expanding its community impact and fulfilling its purpose: Cooperative banking that connects values and faith with finances, inspiring peaceful, just, and prosperous communities.

In that transformative year, Kindred also became B Corp certified, demonstrating its dedication to social and environmental responsibility. The subsequent year, the credit union reached the milestone of $1 billion in assets. By 2019, Kindred received an invitation to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a global network comprising values-based banks and credit unions dedicated to leveraging finance for sustainable economic, social, and environmental development.

Maintaining a steadfast commitment to excellence, Kindred remains B Corp certified, an active member of the GABV alliance, and proudly upholds its status as a Living Wage employer. As of 2024, the community encompasses over 28,000 members, including individuals from diverse faith denominations and Ontarians who share their purpose and values.

Investing in the future

In line with their ambition to broaden the membership base, Kindred has always been at the forefront of innovation, leveraging technology to provide members with enhanced digital banking services. Their teams actively engage with Central 1 in pilot programs, testing new features and ideas with a clear goal: to revolutionize their offerings for all members. This commitment to pioneering not only enhances user experience but consistently positions Kindred as a leader among credit unions, always pushing boundaries and setting new standards.

An example of Kindred’s innovative culture is their self-developed secure file upload widget, which allows Kindred’s online banking users to send files directly, quickly and securely to the appropriate credit union team members via their online banking account. This widget was the first to be designed, developed, and implemented within Central 1’s Community platform in less than 90 days!
Kindred’s partnership with Central 1 also extends to the development and launch of Kindred’s public website— built on a dynamic platform, offering a wealth of content designed to empower members with financial knowledge, bolster their confidence, and set them on the path to a more secure financial future.

By interconnecting values, faith and finances, Kindred occupies a unique position among financial institutions. With a diverse member base, Kindred is charting the way forward by investing in innovative solutions that meet the current and future needs of members and communities.

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