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Organizations vendors vie for CUs correspondence services
MADISON, Wis. (9/6/11)--Even before last week's developments in the corporate credit union system, service providers and other organizations, including other corporates, were announcing that they could provide correspondent, item processing services to credit unions considering leaving their current provider. Although credit unions that are members of U.S. Central Bridge Corporate, Western Bridge Corporate and Southeast Corporate FCU have been given time to weigh their options by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the credit unions are being targeted with messages from service providers seizing an opportunity to grow and serve them. Last week, a group of corporates decided not to pursue a new charter, called PayNet, which would have potentially succeeded U.S. Central Bridge Corporate. Instead, they announced they would pursue partnerships to offer wholesale correspondence and investment service. Western Bridge Corporate and Southeast Corporate FCU also last week announced that their efforts to raise their capital goals by Aug. 31 had failed. Southeast Corporate is moving to Plan B--seeking a merger, and NCUA has announced contingency plans for Western Bridge. NCUA assured credit unions they need not make their service decisions immediately. It also urged credit unions to use due diligence in making the decisions about who would provide their correspondent services. (See related story, "Corporates' PayNet a no-go, prompts NCUA contingency plans.") The service providers offer an array of item processing services that can be confusing, so a credit union must be clear on which services it is getting from a provider . Some of the providers recently vying for partnerships stemming from the corporate credit union crisis include:
* Bluepoint Solutions, Vista, Calif., which announced a conversion plan for credit unions leaving Western Bridge well before the Aug. 31 capital deadline. The program provides credit unions with options of moving to their item processing in-house, to another corporate credit union or to a CUSO without investing in new branch capture software. The company, which was chosen a CUNA Technology Council "Best of Show" winner in 2010, has partnered with Catalyst Corporate, Corporate America CU, Corporate One FCU, CUsource, Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU, and Palmetto Corporate Services. * ProfitStars' Enterprise Payment Solutions, Monett, Mo., a subsidiary of Jack Henry & Associates. It recently announced a partnership with Corporate One for electronic payments transactions and remote capture, check conversion and Check 21 settlement options. * Minnesota Item Processing Corporate (MnIPC), a St. Paul, Minn.-based credit union service organization (CUSO) that has served credit unions for more than 30 years, according to a release sent by the Minnesota Network of CUs. The check processor provides share draft processing, return item collection, long-term check image storage and home banking access, check deposit and collection, remote branch capture and merchant capture services. * iVia Exchange Services, a subsidiary of the Missouri Credit Union Association and a recently announced partner of the Kentucky Credit Union League, provides imaged item processing, remote branch capture, consumer deposit capture and point of deposit services. * ProDraft Service Inc., Bismarck, N.D., which signed up 26 credit unions this year for correspondent services such as wire, automated clearinghouse (ACH), credit, and international services, as well as share draft processing and check 21 deposit services. * Other corporates. Last week both Alloya Corporate and the new Catalyst Corporate, in press releases announcing they had met or exceeded their capital goals, touted their services to other credit unions that may be impacted by other corporates' situation.
These are just the providers that have contacted News Now in the past two weeks. There are more. What is clear is that credit unions have several options for service, but they will need to do due diligence to pick the services that best serve them and the corporate system.


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