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Indiana ignite initiative ready for CU adoption
INDIANAPOLIS (12/2/08)--Indiana Credit Union League's ignite initiative is making progress, and innovations begun at the start of the year by the ignite working group are ready to be implemented in credit unions, says the league. Several Indiana credit unions have committed to offering the innovations, and working-group members are seeking additional credit unions to adopt them, the league said. "To stay in touch with all that is happening with ignite, we have established a website, www.ignitecu.org," said Doug True, league director and leadership team member, and senior vice president technovation at FORUM CU and president of FORUM Solutions. The site serves as an information center for ignite projects and as a social networking site. The credit union community nationwide can join the network to keep up with the developments, True said. One credit union that has adopted an ignite innovation is Lafayette-based Purdue Employees FCU, whose CEO Bob Falk, is a member of the ignite leadership team. Purdue is implementing DriveUp Savings, which allows borrowers to open a matching-rate savings account at the same time they close on their auto loan. "This product has merit not just for our members, but for credit union members everywhere who need a little extra incentive to save money," Falk said. "All the ignite innovations are open source, meaning that there is no cost to a credit union wanting to use the ideas," said Nan Morrow, vice president of corporate development at Centra CU, Columbus, Ind., and a member of the ignite leadership team. "Any of the ideas an be adapted or modified to fit the needs of any credit union wanting to use them, so while the working groups have provided templates for implementation, the specific implementation plans can be as individual as the credit unions using them," Morrow said. "The leadership team and the working groups have done a remarkable amount of work in the year since ignite was introduced," said league President John McKenzie. "In addition to the efforts of the leadership team to make ignite so successful from the very beginning, the recent addition of the new website developed by Doug True is a tremendous enhancement." The working groups made presentations at the league's convention in September. They summarized two sets of projects: Connect U and CU Through Life, and DriveUp savings and FYI Savings--For Young Individuals. Connect U and CU Through Life are Web-based approaches that allow current and potential members to network, exchange information, seek advice and make the credit union's website an information hub and peer-to-peer resource. Connect U is a social networking site credit unions can use to communicate with and engage 18- to 34-year-old members and prospective members so they can share ideas and learn from each other. CU Through Life is a modern-day, Internet version of the "party line," where multiple conversations can occur on common situations affecting different stages of members' lives. DriveUp Savings and FYI Savings are savings-focused, with one tied to a vehicle loan/savings product combination that offers the same rate, and the other set up similar to a 401(k) plan for young people, with funds used for major life events after age 18. In the DriveUp Savings product, members open a savings account, such as a certificate, at the same time they close their auto loan. The loan officer and member agree on a monthly contribution amount and through automated electronic transfers, the DriveUp Savings is funded at the same time the auto loan payment is made. More information can be found at the link. FYI Savings is designed for credit unions to help their youngest members learn the basics of saving money. For more information, use the link. The ignite initiative is a joint venture between the Indiana league and three Indiana credit union representatives associated with the Filene Research Institutes i3 program. The three representatives are True, Falk and Morrow.
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