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Jack Henry announces purchase of PEMCO

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MONETT, Mo. (11/2/09)--Jack Henry and Associates announced its acquisition of Pemco Technologies, a subsidiary of PEMCO Corp., which provides payment processing solutions for the credit union industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Pemco offers services including debit signature processing; personal identification number-based processing; ATM services; cardholder awards programs; fraud management, detection and prevention solutions; personalized cards; and prepaid card programs. The acquisition supports Jack Henry’s expansion in the electronic payments industry, according to Jack Prim, the company’s CEO. “This acquisition expands our presence in the credit union space and enables us to broaden our reach outside our core client base,” he said. “We can sell these solutions to any credit union, regardless of core processing system, that has an in-house credit card program and needs a third-party getaway service to pass credit card transactions to Visa and MasterCard for processing.” PEMCO Corp. decided to divest the Pemco Technologies business line to focus on its primary insurance business, Jack Henry said in a release. Jack Henry, Monett, Mo., is a provider of computer systems and ATM, debit card and automated clearinghouse transaction processing services for financial institutions, including credit unions.

Wright-Patt acquires Select Mortgage Group

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FAIRBORN, Ohio (11/2/09)--Wright-Patt CU and its wholly owned subsidiary have acquired Select Mortgage Group (SMG) to bolster mortgage services to credit unions and their members. SMG President Rodger Merkel and Vice President of Sales David Mills will continue to lead the company, which has 12 employees, under the current business name. The acquisition will boost Wright-Patt’s myCUmortgage processing and underwriting services, the credit union said. “As our mortgage business has grown, we were looking for a way to expand,” said Tim Mislansky, Wright-Patt senior vice president and president of myCUmortgage. “SMG’s infrastructure and credit union client base offer us the opportunity to expand. Over time we expect to create synergies to lower the cost of home financing to credit union members, enhance how we help credit unions serve their memberships’ mortgage needs, and help credit unions keep more of the revenue generated by mortgage lending,” Mislansky said. Wright-Patt CU, Fairborn, Ohio, has $1.6 billion in assets.

Products and Services briefs (10/29/2009)

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* NEW ORLEANS (10/30/09)--myEZ Car Care, a vehicle care and records maintenance company that specializes in serving credit union members, announced that it now offers member discounts from more than 5,000 auto service providers. The company also launched a new website. New Orleans-based myEZ Car Care offers its members discounts on auto maintenance, ranging from oil changes to preventative maintenance. Members can choose from the VIP Discount Card or VIP Plus-Complete Care Plan. Both aim to save members money on auto-related services. Some of myEZ Car Care’s service providers include Jiffy Lube, Meineke and Valvoline. The new website, myezcarcare.com, can help members find auto service providers in their area. It also automatically uploads VIP service records for members so they can track their maintenance. Using the website, members also can upgrade their accounts and view demos about each VIP plan ... * PHILADELPHIA (10/30/09)--PHH Corp., a Mount-Laurel-Pa. mortgage lender and fleet vehicle management firm that services credit unions, announced that it hired Jerome J. Selitto as president/CEO (Philly.com Oct. 27). Selitto also was named to PHH’s board. Selitto was previously employed at Ellie Mae, which provides mortgage-industry software. He was vice chairman of Amerin Guaranty Corp. from 1992 to 1999. PHH’s acting president/CEO, George Kilroy, will continue to lead the company’s fleet management business as a director ... * MADISON, Wis. (10/30/09)--Decision Strategies International (DSI) announced the launch of the DSI Growth Stability Index, which provides growth and performance metrics for 1,200 U.S. credit unions with assets above $100 million. The index matches the growth data with stability indices that reflect the reserve and financial health of the credit union. The data has a five-year range and could help a credit union’s board and management address how the credit union is balancing the need for growth with the need for reserves. DSI is a management consultancy, executive education and software firm for clients, including credit unions ...

PSCU Financial offers holistic member-support approach

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (10/29/09)--PSCU Financial Services is offering a holistic approach to member support through its Total Member Care solution. The cooperative reported a 40% increase in member-service related call volume at its contact centers during the last two months. The cooperative has 250 credit unions that outsource calls to Total Member Care representatives. The representatives handle account inquiries, balance transfers, password resets, loan applications, new member enrollment, account initiation and other topics. Member Care staff also can boost revenue through collections, outbound calling campaigns and cross-selling additional financial services Total Member Care also offers advanced scripting models to help anticipate and address members’ concerns. Total Member Care builds an online database for each credit union’s products, policies, procedures, locations, events, promotions and other services. The information is readily accessible to contact center representatives. Thirty-three of the credit unions using the contact centers have more than $1 billion in assets. The centers handle 16 million calls a year for 1,300 financial institutions. PSCU Financial Services is a credit union service organization based in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Minnesota network CUDL enter into marketing agreement

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ONTARIO, Calif. (10/29/09)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) has entered into a marketing agreement with CUDL, an indirect auto lending network for credit unions. The two will market CUDL’s auto lending products and services to credit unions in Minnesota. The partnership includes marketing CUDL’s AutoSMART vehicle research website and program; the DecisionManager product; and CUDL risk management tools. The goal of the partnership is to improve credit union member loan penetration in Minnesota, the companies said in a release. CUDL, based in Ontario, Calif., services more than 700 credit unions and 9,000 dealerships nationwide.

Diebold launches ValiTech security for ATMs

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (10/29/09)--ATM manufacturer Diebold has released ValiTech, a two-factor authentication technology that uses a secure USB device to identify and authorize technicians who service ATMs. Attacks against ATMs and customer transaction data are becoming increasingly sophisticated, so authenticating all users at the self-service channel is growing more critical by the day for financial institutions, Diebold said. Prior to ValiTech, Diebold service technicians had to secure a temporary password, provided by the financial institution, each time they had to access the system level of the ATM. This practice holds true for any service technician accessing an institution's ATM, requiring multiple calls and generating numerous temporary passwords, Diebold said. ValiTech links each authorized technician to a USB hardware device, using a digital certificate. Access is further controlled through a personal identification number or pass phrase, set by and known only to the technician, which ties the technician to the digital certificate and the USB device. Through ValiTech, the ATM can identify the authorized Diebold associate accessing the system and grant restricted authorization to the unit’s system functions based on the technician’s role and status. ValiTech then creates an audit trail documenting each time a technician is granted access and recording all menu activities executed during the service call.

Products and Services brief (10/27/2009)

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* NAPERVILLE, Ill. (10/28/09)--OfficeMax announced that its chairman/CEO Sam Duncan received the 2009 CEO Diversity Leadership Award presented by Diversity Best Practices, an organization that works to promote diversity in the workplace. Duncan was honored at Diversity Best Practices’ annual Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Summit and Gala in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 6. During the gala, winners answered questions about and shared best practices on how CEOs embed their commitment to diversity within their companies. OfficeMax Inc. offers business office product solutions and retail office products ...

Digital Mailer aligns with Standard Register for CUs

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HERNDON, Va. (10/28/09)--DigitalMailer announced that it has partnered with Standard Register to offer its clients savings of up to 30% on electronic and print rendering services. The arrangement will benefit credit unions, DigitalMailer said. Under the agreement, DigitalMailer will offer Standard Register’s double postcard application, which could save financial institutions more than $400,000 on their daily customer notice volume in one year. Standard Register clients also can access DigitalMAiler’s document management and marketing platform--Customer Communication Center (CCC). CCC will offer an online storage solution that can store document management products. DigitalMailer provides digital communication services to the financial services industry. Standard Register is a document services provider.

Coopera TMG offer prepaid reloadable cards for Hispanics

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DES MOINES, Iowa (10/27/09)--Coopera Consulting and The Members Group (TMG) have partnered to provide Affinity CU of Des Moines, Iowa, with prepaid reloadable cards to serve the Hispanic market. The reloadable card program (ATIRAreload) will help Hispanics access cash and build a credit history, the companies said in a release. TMG plans to work with Coopera to launch an outreach program for the pilot, which will include grassroots marketing, financial education and community development efforts. TMG and Coopera also will create a culturally relevant prepaid reloadable card website, Spanish marketing materials and disclosures, and a Spanish text balance feature for card users. TMG recently introduced a new short message service to ATIRAreload so cardholders can elect to receive a text message alert for low balances, value load or purchase transactions. They also can send a text to TMG to check account balances. Affinity partnered with Coopera earlier this year for a Hispanic outreach initiative. Coopera specializes in helping credit unions grow by serving Hispanics. Both Coopera and TMG are affiliates of the Iowa Credit Union League. Affinity also was awarded $40,000 through an innovation grant from the National Credit Union Foundation to launch the pilot program with Coopera and TMG. Affinity CU has $61 million in assets.

CUSO Exercise care with mortgage documents

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MIDWAY, Utah, and GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (10/27/09)--Credit unions need to exercise care when relying on electronic images of mortgage loan documents, according to eDoc Innovations, a credit union service organization. eDOC advises credit unions to retain note and disclosures, titles and stock certificates. Supplemental documents--like appraisals--can be destroyed. Last week, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions issued a bulletin reminding credit unions that electronic documents may not resolve all legal issues in litigation. Judges nationwide have declined to grant foreclosure proceedings unless parties involved could produce original loan documents. Many credit unions have begun retaining electronic images of their documents instead of paper copies, which is consistent with some state and federal laws. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act of 2000 provides that a signature, contract or other record may not be denied legal effect because it was signed electronically.

Fourteen Puerto Rican CUs join FSCC network

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (10/26/09)--Fourteen Puerto Rican credit unions are participating in shared branching through Financial Service Centers Cooperative, Inc. (FSCC)’s Shared Branching network. This addition represents the first shared branching partnership with credit unions headquartered in Puerto Rico in the CU Service Centers Network. Participating credit unions or cooperativas de ahorro y credito--as they are called in Spanish--include Abraham Rosa/Arcoop, Aguas Buenas/BUENACOOP, Aiboniteña/BoniCoop, Caribe FCU, CooPACA, Guaynabo, Jesús Obrero, Las Piedras, Naguabeña, Padre McDonald, Quebradillas, Rincón, Rodríguez Hidalgo, and Saulo D Rodriguez/Guracoop. The Puerto Rican credit unions form Circuito Cooperativo Inc. has been organized as the first cooperative corporation in Puerto Rico. The primary goal of Circuito Cooperativo Inc. is to unify marketing efforts behind shared branching in Puerto Rico. Helvetia del Caribe, a credit union data processor, will help FSCC launch the services in Puerto Rico. Helvetia del Caribe provides shared branching software and equipment to credit unions so they can provide shared branching services. “We are grateful to work with Circuito Cooperativo Inc. and Helvetia del Caribe,” said Sarah Canepa Bang, FSCC president/CEO. “Their commitment to cooperation and innovative support tools are helping multiple Puerto Rican credit unions gain access to shared branching. Due to this exclusive partnership, we expect the participation of Puerto Rican credit unions to continue to grow.” The 14 credit unions will add 36 branches in Puerto Rico. They will join Baxter CU of Vernon Hills, Ill., which has a branch already operating as an outlet in Carolina, Puerto Rico. FSCC provides nearly 6,200 full-service deposit-taking locations in the U.S. and overseas.

Intuit now offering TurboTax for Online Banking

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CALABASAS, Calif. (10/23/09)--Intuit Inc. announced that it is offering TurboTax for Online Banking to financial institutions so they can turn their online banking site into a tax resource. TurboTax allows users to pre-populate tax forms with tax data from online banking to save time. Credit unions who implement TurboTax can increase deposits and develop stronger relationships with their members, Intuit said. TurboTax guides users through their tax returns, helping them with deductions and credits to maximize their refunds. Users also can file their returns electronically and direct deposit their refunds in up to three accounts. Intuit also noted that the solution can be integrated with FinanceWorks, an online financial management solution offered by Intuit’s financial institution division, Digital Insight. Intuit provides business and financial management solutions for financial institutions including credit unions. Its financial institutions division, Digital Insight, is a CUNA Strategic Service provider.

Dynamic Card Solutions announces CardWizard 5.1

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (10/23/09)--Dynamic Card Solutions (DCS) announced the release of CardWizard 5.1, which includes upgrades that help speed up the card issuance process and personal identification number (PIN) selection for card programs. CardWizard allows financial institutions, including credit unions, to produce fully personalized, printed unembossed cards in real-time. The new software also has enhanced interfaces and reporting functions, multiple language capabilities and a new menu option to specify PIN-pad devices. Companies can combine CardWizard with other card issuance machines or PIN pad devices. CardWizard 5.1 integrates into existing branch, host and network systems, the company said. DCS, based in Englewood, Colo., provides instant issuance and PIN selection solutions for financial institutions, Visa and MasterCard.

Products and Services briefs (10/21/2009)

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* MADISON, Wis. (10/22/09)--University of Wisconsin (UW) CU, Madison, Wis., unveiled its Wiscard UW CU program, which links the Wiscard--UW-Madison’s staff, student and faculty identification card--to the cardholder’s UW CU checking account. The card can be used to perform transactions at any ATM. To activate, cardholders can visit a UW CU branch or Wiscard Office and choose a personal identification number. There is no fee for linking the card to a checking account, and the member has unlimited free ATM transactions. The feature “gives Wiscard users the ability to use their Wiscard at ATMs to make withdrawals, deposits or balance inquiries in addition to allowing cardholders to perform personal identification number-based debit transactions at businesses,” said David Mickelson, UW CU director of retail delivery operations. “Users also can monitor their UW CU accounts using our online banking system” ... * SAN ANTONIO (10/22/09)--Randolph-Brooks FCU in San Antonio, Texas, will offer its members mobile deposit capabilities with any wireless smartphone (San Antonio Business Journal Oct. 16). The service, mBranch, will be available in 2010. Users will be able to make deposits remotely with any smartphone that has a two megapixel camera and Internet access. To make a deposit, a member photographs the front and back of a check and uploads the photos to a secure Web site. The member will receive a text message and voice mail confirming the deposit. The service is offered through mShift of Fremont, Calif. Randolph-Brooks has $1.1 million in assets ... * LOUISVILLE, Ky. (10/22/09)--Travelex Outsourcing Americas has launched a new customer care team to help credit unions and other financial institutions interested in the company’s products. The team will answer questions related to all products or services, support prospective partners during the accreditation and contracting process, coordinate with various functional areas within Travelex, and follow up on any post-implementation issues that require resolution to facilitate the partner’s first sale. Travelex, a CUNA Strategic Service, provides payment and travel services to the U.S. and abroad ... * SAN ANTONIO (10/22/09)--Security Service FCU, San Antonio, Texas, will offer MasterCard’s Money Manager, an interactive tool that will give cardholders the ability to view and manage their spending, the company said (Banking Newslink Oct. 20). The manager will give credit union members a way to create a budget and track their spending, according to Keith Sultemeier, Security Service executive vice president and chief financial officer. Security Service FCU has $5.2 billion in assets ...

In-branch promotions key to driving card use

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DALLAS (10/21/09)--In-branch credit union promotions are highly effective for increasing the number of credit or debit cardholders and driving card use, according to TNB Card Services. “The success of a card portfolio starts with a commitment from the chief executive officer,” said Mark Fenner, TNB Card Services senior vice president. “Clients that have invested in training their employees about the value of their card products, as well as offering incentives, are experiencing card growth that can only be described as exceptional, particularly considering the state of the economy and the overall perception of the card industry.” TNB, which provides electronic payment services to credit unions, reported a year-over-year increase of 30% in new card accounts, and an 8% increase in outstanding balances. The sizable growth in new accounts contributed to an overall increase of nearly 7% in the total number of accounts on file for client credit unions when the overall growth for the credit union card industry was flat. MCT CU, Port Neches, Texas, has added more than 300 new cardholders since January by implementing an in-branch card strategy developed by TNB. “For the past two years, we averaged eight new card accounts a month,” said Sandra Duvall, MCT CU marketing director. “Since we rolled out our in-branch card effort, which included in-depth employee training and an incentive program, we are now averaging 38 new card accounts per month.” TNB clients also reported an 8% decrease in year-over-year attrition compared with the national average of 23%. TNB account executives work with credit union executives to develop card strategies tailored to the individual goals of the credit union. TNB offers in-branch marketing services, including employee training, incentive programs and campaigns. Credit unions also can customize and manage their card portfolios.

Fiserv drives paperless bill adoption

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (10/20/09)--Fiserv’s Biller Direct HV, which integrates e-bill pay into company websites, has been enhanced with new delivery and alerting capabilities to drive paperless bill adoption. Biller Direct HV now includes a “push e-bill” option to deliver secure PDF e-bills through e-mail and mobile alerts that let consumers know when a bill has been received. The e-bills and alerts can help billing organizations, such as credit unions, reach a bigger audience and appeal to consumers who have not yet switched to paperless billing, Fiserv said. “There is a digital transformation underway and it can be challenging for billing organizations to keep up with payment trends, consumer wants and needs, government regulations and emerging technologies, on top of running their own business,” said Adam Craig, Fiserv director of product management, Biller Solutions. “The key to maximizing e-bill adoption is delivering bills wherever consumers prefer, whether it is online at the biller’s site, [financial institution] site, via e-mail or on a mobile device.” Biller Direct HV’s PDF function allows consumers to receive and view a PDF version of their bill from any e-mail inbox. An encrypted PDF attachment is added to the bill reminder with a passphrase for added security. The mobile alert system delivers text messages to a consumer’s mobile device, notifying them about their billing account, a bill reminder and bill summary information. Fiserv has secured partnerships with several U.S. mobile carriers to make the upgrade available to consumers. A report by Forrester Research indicates that incorporating mobile alerts to notify consumers of bills coming or past due will increase the utility and immediacy of bill payment services, particularly for younger consumers. Fiserv provides payment technology solutions to financial institutions, including credit unions.

Impel Consulting helps Louviers FCU offer business services

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NEWARK, Del. (10/19/09)--Louviers FCU recently began offering a suite of business financial services to its members and local businesses after contracting with Impel Consulting Group, a credit union service organization of Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU to investigate members’ small business needs. Impel’s analysis indicated that an increasing number of Louviers members were running small businesses through their regular consumer accounts. The analysis also showed that small and micro-businesses with assets up to $10 million were not be served by other financial intermediaries, said the Delaware Credit Union League (Together Oct. 15). After receiving the analysis results, Louviers developed interest-bearing deposit accounts including savings, checking, money market and certificates for small businesses. It also partnered with Newtek Business Services for financial services and loan products. The credit union also is developing new relationships with businesses in New Castle County, Del., and Cecil County, Md. Louviers FCU, Newark, Del., has $181 million in assets.

Mortgagebot enhances PowerSite automation platform

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MEQUON, Wis. (10/19/09)--Automation is the best way to ensure full regulatory compliance with the mortgage process, according to Mortgagebot, which provides mortgage solutions for financial institutions including credit unions. Mortgagebot announced it has enhanced its PowerSite point-of-sale automation platform to help financial institutions with compliance of different regulations. “The more time lenders are forced to spend analyzing legislation and developing compliance programs, the less productive and profitable they are,” said Scott Happ, Mortgagebot president/CEO. Mortgagebot also created a list of questions that lenders should ask when they respond to compliance issues. Many credit unions and banks aren’t fully aware of the impact the current wave of mortgage regulation is having on their business practices, Mortgagebot said. The questions include:
* Can we accurately price and approve loans at the point of sale? * Are all of our disclosures fully correct and compliant? * Can we properly disclose payment information? and * How will we handle the year-end Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act changes?
Mortgagebot, based in Mequon, Wis., provides a point-of-sale automation solution set, including PowerSite Consumer, PowerSite Advisory and PowerSite Pro.

Raddon names Top 10 CUs in overall performance

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LOMBARD, Ill. (10/16/09)--Ten credit unions with assets under $500 million have received performance awards from Raddon Financial Group (RFG), a business unit of Open Solutions Inc. The award recognizes credit unions based on growth, income, efficiency and margin management. The credit unions were honored Aug. 12 at a forum in Colorado Springs, Colo. Honorees included:
* Consumers CU, Kalamazoo, Mich.; * DHCU Community CU, Moline, Ill.; * Library of Congress FCU, Hyattsville, Md.; * Lincoln County CU, Libby, Mont.; * Appalachian Community FCU, Kingsport, Tenn.; * Florida CU, Gainesville; * ILWU CU, Wilmington, Calif.; * Kirtland FCU, Albuquerque, N.M.; * Sound CU, Tacoma, Wash.; and * SouthPoint FCU, Sleepy Eye, Minn.
Raddon evaluated more than 500 credit unions for the award. Eligible credit unions had to participate in a CEO Strategies Group for an in-depth analysis of the credit union’s financials, sales, products and member household relationships.

TSYS launches credit card program for community FIs

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (10/15/09)--Total System Services (TSYS), a provider of outsourced payment services, announced that it has launched a new card program for regional and community financial institutions, including credit unions. The program aims to make it easier for small institutions to enter or re-enter into the credit card market. The solution targets credit unions and community banks, including those that want to maximize the profitability of their existing card programs and those who want to create a new program. It offers profitability analysis, portfolio management, and campaign and marketing support combined with TSYS capabilities in data processing, card and statement production, customer care, analytics and loyalty. “Over a period of years, the top issuers competed aggressively with marketing techniques, such as mass solicitations and teaser rates, to gain greater market share to the point that many smaller banks felt they couldn’t effectively compete,” said Philip W. Tomlinson, TSYS board chairman and CEO. “Recent regulatory changes have altered the landscape and we believe the case for re-entry is there if we can demonstrate a compelling and profitable business case.”

Sweepstakes boosts PayLynx subscriptions

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (10/14/09)--PSCU Financial Services, a credit union service organization, reported a 16% increase in new PayLynx subscribers. It enrolled among 142 enrolled financial institutions during a promotion that ran June 1 to July 31. There was also a 7% increase in subscribers making more than three online payments per month, the company said. The promotion, which offered grand prizes of $10,000, a $1,500 travel certificate, and two Garmin global positioning system (GPS) units valued at $500 each, increased 73% in participation compared with a similar contest last year. PayLynx is an online bill payment product that has more than 913,000 subscribers at 454 financial institutions, including credit unions. There was no cost for the program and each participant earned $100. Each subscriber who made three online bill payments during the promotional period was entered into the contest. “We achieved a 19% lift in total online bill payments and grew our subscriber base by 21.6% during the 2009 promotion,” said Wayne Schneck, associate vice president of marketing and business development at McCoy FCU, Orlando, Fla. McCoy earned the $10,000 grand prize. Visterra CU, Moreno Valley, Calif., won the $1,500 prize. Bank Fund Staff FCU, Washington, D.C., and Georgia’s Own CU, Atlanta, each earned a GPS. “A sweepstakes that offers a $10,000 grand prize certainly attracts members’ attention and is an excellent way for financial institutions to expand subscriber growth and activation for our PayLynx program,” said Cindy McGinness, PSCU Financial Services director of e-commerce relationship development. “We also helped financial institutions promote the sweepstakes by providing marketing files for use on websites that were created in partnership with Fiserv.” Fiserv, based in Brookfield, Wis., powers the PayLynx platform.

CUNA Mutual introduces ID theft insurance for CU staff

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MADISON, Wis. (10/13/09)--CUNA Mutual Group is introducing an optional Identity Theft insurance program for credit union directors, officers and employees as part of its new Management and Professional Liability Insurance (MPL) policy. Identity theft is a complex and ever-changing crime, said John Wallace, CUNA Mutual Credit Union Protection product executive. “The unlawful use of personal identifying information drains resources from businesses, government agencies and consumers alike,” he said. “It can take considerable effort to repair identity theft-related damages, including time and expenses.” There are nearly nine million identity theft victims in the U.S. annually who invest 55 to 130 hours and $1,200 to $1,500 out-of-pocket to resolve the issue, according to the Federal Trade Commission. This process can span months or years. About 47% of identity theft victims needed a year or more to restore their identity, said an Identity Theft Resource Center study. When an insured individual’s personal identification information is compromised and used unlawfully, CUNA Mutual’s Identity Theft insurance will cover fees related to:
* Notarized affidavits attesting to the fraud; * Time away from work; * Certified mail to law enforcement agencies, credit agencies and financial institutions; * Application fees associated with reapplying for loans; and * Child care and/or elder care.
Insured individuals also will receive Identity Theft Restoration and Consultation services from a licensed investigator during the entire resolution process. CUNA Mutual is partnering exclusively with Kroll Fraud Solutions, a division of Kroll, a risk consulting company, to provide the services to policyholders. Kroll Fraud Solutions serves more than 10,000 businesses and millions of individual consumers in the areas of data breach and identity theft discovery, investigation and restoration. Identity theft insurance is optional as part of MPL coverage for credit unions renewing their current policies on or after Jan. 1 in most states. MPL is a new policy designed to protect credit unions and the personal assets of their directors, officers, volunteers and employees from a growing number of litigation exposures related to operating a credit union. MPL is part of CUNA Mutual’s Credit Union Protection insurance and risk management portfolio designed exclusively for credit unions to manage their financial, operational and personal risk exposures. The program includes:
* Bond; * Plastic Card; * Management and Professional Liability; * Property and Business Liability; * Business Auto; * Workers Compensation; and * Additional policies.

FIs working to cut down on data duplication

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NEW YORK (10/13/09)--The amount of data stored by databases is growing at a rate of 25% yearly, and some financial institutions have deployed technology to eliminate data duplication, according to BankTechnology News. Storing a massive amount of data can strain information technology (IT) architectures (Sept. 1). Simply updating a member’s address can prompt a system to resave the entire member file even though nothing else has changed, the newspaper said. Virginia CU, Richmond, Va., has implemented a NetApp solution to cut down on data duplication. “We’ve seen an 80% savings on backup copies, 78% in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, and we’re routinely achieving 25% on home directories and group shares, 35% in our live documentation environment, and 50% savings in our scratch volumes,” Rich Barlow, senior systems architect, told the newspaper. Because deduplication cuts on data protection capital and operation expenses, it should be on “every chief information officer’s project short list,” according to a report from Milford, Mass.-based The Enterprise Strategy Group, an industry analyst firm. Aside from freeing storage, reducing data duplication also yields “green” benefits, the report said. About 70% of business executives measure the success of corporate green initiatives by tracking energy cost reductions. If IT staffs can align with green business priorities, cutting power consumption via deduplication “is a great start,” said Lauren Whitehouse, senior analyst, in the report.

Harland Financial Solutions has two new CU services

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ATLANTA (10/12/09)--Harland Financial Solutions announced two new service offerings for credit unions--Enterprise Resource Services and Enterprise Optimization Services, which two credit unions have already deployed. Affinity Plus FCU, St. Paul, Minn., uses Enterprise Resource Services. The service simplified the $1.3 billion asset credit union’s maintenance tasks, “freeing our staff to focus on more important projects that truly can benefit our members,” said Keith Malbrue, chief operating officer of Affinity Plus (Science Letter Oct. 13). Enterprise Resource Services provides in-house UltraData Enterprise core processing and allows clients to outsource their credit unions’ information technology, operations and business continuity functions. Harland also provides other tasks including system monitoring, database backups and software upgrades. Los Angeles Police FCU employs Enterprise Optimization Services, which provides onsite analysis of credit union processes, software use and workflow. The technology helped the credit union identify areas for improvement, noted Michele Megill, vice president of operations and communications. With the service, Harland also can provide credit unions with ongoing reports based on the analyses.

CU Business Group hits 2 billion in MBLs

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PORTLAND, Ore. (10/12/09)--CU Business Group (CUBG) announced that it has reached more than $2 billion in member business loans (MBLs) on behalf of credit unions since its inception in 2002.
Click to view larger image Click for larger view
Click to view larger image Click for larger view
“With banks tightening their belts, credit unions are seeing increased volumes in business loan applications, which means a lot of new opportunities,” said Larry Middleman, CUBG president/CEO. Credit union delinquency rates and charge-offs are consistently lower than banks, according to data CUBG compiled from June 30 National Credit Union Administration and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. Credit union delinquencies were 1.15% for credit unions, compared with 5.59% for banks under $1 billion in assets and 5.32% for all banks. Credit union charge-offs were 0.38%, compared with 0.76% for all banks, and 0.43% for banks with less than $1 billion in assets, the company said. CUBG works with 315 credit unions in 40 states and underwrites for 164 credit unions. The company is based in Portland, Ore.

Mass. league teams with College Week Live to promote SUM ATMs

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MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (10/9/09)--The Massachusetts Credit Union League has partnered with a virtual college fair to promote the SUM program of surcharge-free ATMs to students and families looking at colleges or universities in New England. The fair, College Week Live, is scheduled for Thursday. The event is free and will feature hundreds of colleges and universities, who will set up virtual exhibits on the Internet. During the event, students, parents, counselors and colleges will discuss the college experience (eWeekly Oct. 7). The SUM ATM virtual exhibition booth will have links to SUM’s website, promote a $5,000 sweepstakes, and play a video. A live financial literacy presentation and a question-and-answer segment on financial management tips for prospective college students and their parents also will be offered. Massachusetts league President Dan Egan is scheduled to speak during the presentation. SUM will be visible in the fair’s virtual lobby and theater. The program also is being promoted on hundreds of College Week Live radio spots statewide. Other partners of the SUM Program include a Massachusetts banking trade group and the NYCE Corp.

First Data PayPal offer online payment to STAR clients

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ATLANTA and SAN JOSE, Calif. (10/9/09)--First Data announced an agreement with PayPal that will allow debit cardholders in First Data’s STAR Network--which some credit unions use--to link their STAR debit card to a PayPal account online. Consumers can enroll in PayPal, an online payment service, through their financial institution’s online banking site. They then use their debit card to fund their PayPal account to make online purchases without having to enter debit card information or expose their card number to merchants for each purchase. Member financial institutions, including credit unions, authenticate information for each cardholder to add another layer of security. JM Associates FCU in Jacksonville, Fla., participated in a pilot program with the STAR Network earlier this year. The partnership built member relationships through promotion of the credit union’s brand with each transaction, while allowing members to purchase items online securely, according to CEO Jim Ryan. Consumers are not as comfortable using debit cards for online shopping as they are with credit and prepaid cards, according to the 2008 Study of Consumer Payment Preferences, by Hitachi Consulting and the Bank Administration Institution. Credit cards have the highest penetration of all payment methods on the Internet, while debit cards and payment services like PayPal have the second highest penetration. The service seeks to address consumers’ fears about using online debit cards, said Julie Saville, STAR Network vice president. “As more and more consumers move to online shopping and banking, and we continue to see an increase in e-commerce, this new service gives our issuing institutions one more way to grow relationships with their customers, reduce their costs and increase revenues,” Saville said. First Data is an electronic commerce and payment services provider.

Fiserv launches new CU account-processing service

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (10/8/09)--Fiserv has launched a new global account-processing solution, Acumen, which Fiserv said aims to change the way large credit unions do business by giving credit unions complete control over their technology strategy. Acumen provides a browser interface for front- and back-end office applications, and gives credit unions the capability to create and implement custom applications. It was designed for large credit unions “seeking to transform and differentiate their strategies and services through technology,” said Scott Butler, Fiserv president of credit union solutions. The solution was originally launched in Canada under the name iSpectrum, and offers multi-lingual and multi-currency capabilities. iSpectrum was changed to Acumen as the solution evolved into the U.S. market. “We’re taking what we’ve learned from our deployments in Canada and evolving the solution to suit the needs of the U.S. industry,” said Sara Brooks, senior vice president of strategy and offerings development for Fiserv’s credit union solutions. Alterna Savings and CU, Ontario, Canada, already has implemented the solution. Now that it is being offered in the U.S., Alterna has “access to even greater resources,” said John Lahey, CEO, Alterna Savings and CU. Fiserv, based in Brookfield, Wis., provides technology solutions to financial institutions including credit unions.

CO-OP to acquire CUNA Mutual LoanLink Center

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MADISON, Wis. (10/8/09)--CUNA Mutual Group announced Wednesday that CO-OP Financial Services will acquire CUNA Mutual’s The LoanLink Center. Under the agreement, effective Oct. 31, CUNA Mutual and CO-OP will work together to strengthen The LoanLink Center’s lending and member services product lines. The acquisition will give CO-OP another way to offer members continuous access to their credit union accounts and will help sustain and expand credit union call center support. The transition will be transparent to existing customers of The LoanLink Center, with no immediate changes planned for the business. CO-OP will assume operations and all employees for The LoanLink Center, which will continue to operate in Fort Worth, Texas. The companies will partner in the sales and remarketing process, and CO-OP will rely upon CUNA Mutual's loanliner.com and Lenders Development Program to cross-sell insurance on lending transactions. The purchase of The LoanLink Center by CO-OP extends the mutual use of the credit union owned Next Generation Network (NGN) conduit. Through an agreement in 2003, credit unions have leveraged existing connectivity to CO-OP’s NGN platform for lending and member service call center activities. CO-OP Financial Services offers ATM processing, check imaging services and mobile payments. It also has 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 3,700 shared branch locations.

PSCU Financial leases space to Ongoing Operations

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (10/7/09)--PSCU Financial Services is leasing some of its Phoenix data center space to Ongoing Operations to support growth resulting from credit unions purchasing Ongoing Operations’ disaster recovery/business continuity services. The lease is for five years. PSCU Financial Services, a credit union service organization (CUSO), helped create Ongoing Operations, which is a CUSO that provides business continuity and disaster recovery solutions to credit unions. The Phoenix data center will be Ongoing Operations’ fourth location--the company also has data centers in Maryland, Oregon and Colorado. Ongoing Operations chose PSCU’s data center because it offers Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards compliance to protect cardholder information, according to Kirk Drake, Ongoing Operations CEO.

FIS completes acquisition of Metavante Technologies

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (10/7/09)--Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) announced it has completed the acquisition of Metavante Technologies. The resulting company, called FIS, will continue to serve credit unions and other financial institutions, the companies said in a release. FIS and Metavante provide transactional and payment technologies to financial institutions, including credit unions. FIS is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. Under terms of the agreement, FIS acquired all of Metavante’s outstanding shares of common stock, with each shareholder receiving 1.35 shares of FIS common stock for each share of Metavante common stock held. “We will continue to make business and product investments and we will strategically integrate our products, where it makes sense to do so in order to deliver high-value solutions to our clients and prospects,” said Frank Martire, FIS president/CEO.

Mobile P2P payments could be key to Gen Y

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MADISON, Wis. (10/6/09)--Credit unions who want to reach Generation Y may be interested in offering mobile person-to-person (P2P) payment services. Jeffrey Yabuki, president/CEO of Fiserv, said mobile P2P services could be the key to reaching Gen Y. He noted that while Gen Y accounts for 9% of P2P transactions, it’s likely that number will jump to 40%. P2P payment services “are likely to be one of those vehicles used by that group as a regular part of their day,” Yabuki added. P2P services allow users to route money to others with their cell phones. Gen Y members grew up with e-mail and mobile phones as a significant part of their lives, Yabuki said. Fiserv plans to launch a P2P service next month. As many as 2,500 financial companies could use the service when it becomes available, said Steve Shaw, Fiserv director of strategic marketing (American Banker Oct. 4). CashEdge, Inc. and MasterCard have already launched P2P services. CashEdge launched POPMoney in June, and MasterCard offers MoneySend. POPMoney allows users to send electronic payments by using the e-mail address or mobile phone number of the payment recipient. Similarly, MoneySend lets MasterCard issuers send each other payments, the Banker said. About 33% of online consumers with mobile phones surveyed by Javelin Strategy and Research said they would be interested in using P2P payments. Sending and receiving money quickly would be a primary motivation for using a mobile P2P program, respondents said (BusinessWireJuly 29). Roughly 81% of respondents said they would use a P2P service if it was offered by their financial institution, a CashEdge survey found. About 77% said they would use a P2P service from their financial institution instead of an independent provider. Seventy-three percent said their financial institution would be more secure than an independent provider, while 69% said the service would be more convenient than using an independent service.

Diebold sells pink vacuum air tube carriers for charity

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (10/5/09)--October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and ATM manufacturer Diebold is ramping up its “Partners in Pink” campaign to spread awareness and raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Northeast Ohio. The company will sell pink vacuum air tube (VAT) carriers to customers with Diebold and others’ drive-thru systems. One dollar from the sale of each carrier will be donated to the Komen Northeast Ohio Chapter for cancer research. Diebold is based in North Canton, Ohio. The proceeds donated to Komen also contribute to payments for free mammograms for women in need, the company said. “It is our goal to blanket the country with pink VAT carriers, and to help spread awareness of the leading cause of death among women, with the hope that every Diebold pink VAT carrier sold will bring the world one step closer to finding a cure for breast cancer,” said David Bucci, Diebold senior vice president of customer solutions.

CO-OPs pace for Q3 One new contract a day

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (10/5/09)--CO-OP Financial Services said it obtained on average more than one new contract from credit unions every day for three months--for a total of 101 contracts--during the third quarter of 2009. The company signed 202 contracts so far this year from 27 states and the District of Columbia. About 68 were agreements for access to the CO-OP Network, which provides credit union members with access to 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. CO-OP also said it received 14 credit union contracts and six business agreements for CO-OP Mobile, CO-OP’s mobile banking software, from July through September. Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., CO-OP Financial Services is a credit union service organization that offers ATM, debit processing and other products.

CSS MoneyGram offer money transfer services

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MINNEAPOLIS (10/2/09)--CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) and MoneyGram International announced they will provide 7,900 credit unions access to MoneyGram’s global money transfer and bill payment services. CSS has offered MoneyGram money order services to credit unions for more than 35 years. Under the agreement, the credit unions--which represent 21,000 individual branches--can implement the money transfer and bill payment service. Once implemented, the credit unions will be connected to 180,000 agent locations in more than 190 countries and territories for money transfer services. MoneyGram ExpressPayment services also are available for payments to 2,000 U.S. billers, including auto and mortgage lenders. About 90% of credit unions do not offer global money transfer services, said Tim Summers, general manager of Consumer Products--Americas. An Aite Group survey cited by the companies also indicates that 85% of credit unions have increased their deposits over last year and 70% are working to attract deposits from banks. “Last year, more than 6,000 credit unions implemented solutions offered via CUNA Strategic Services’ partnerships,” said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. “Expanding our relationship with MoneyGram to money transfer and bill payment services provides an instant opportunity for credit unions to enhance their products.”