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NerdWallet ranks TMGs ATIRAreload prepaid card third

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DES MOINES, Iowa (10/31/12)--The Members Group's (TMG) ATIRAreload prepaid card has been ranked the third most affordable prepaid card by NerdWallet.com, an online financial planning resource.

Available to consumers through the financial institution clients of TMG, the card can be used to make purchases at most places Visa debit is accepted. The ranking is based on a comparison of ATIRAreload's fees with other prepaid cards on the market.

ATIRAreload is a personalized, reloadable prepaid card that TMG markets as a safer alternative to carrying cash, a way to stay on budget and an attractive option for parents who want to monitor teen spending. When funds are low, the card can be reloaded for free at the cardholder's financial institution branch, by direct deposit or on the Web. ATIRAreload cardholders also can load cash via Visa ReadyLink merchants for a fee.

TMG minimizes ATIRAreload low by allowing surcharge-free ATM transactions from all Interlink ATMs. Consumers also can access cash by requesting cash back at the point-of-sale (POS). Monthly maintenance fees are waived when ATIRAreload cardholders spend down the balance on the card each month.

"The NerdWallet.com ranking allows ATIRAreload national recognition for its many advantages over other prepaid options in the market," said Konrad Christensen, TMG retail payments product manager. "Another huge advantage for ATIRAreload cardholders is the card ties to their financial institution, which can provide them with the education, resources, products and services they need for ongoing financial responsibility."

Calif. Nevada leagues offer CU PolicyPro

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ONTARIO, Calif. (10/31/12)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have partnered with League InfoSight to offer CU PolicyPro as a new compliance product for all affiliated California and Nevada credit unions.

CU PolicyPro is an online policy manual that contains a suite of more than 200 model policies developed for credit unions by regulatory experts. It includes model policy content and a policy management system that allows credit unions to customize model content. With the publishing tool multiple policies can be compiled into one printable document that can be posted in read-only format on the site for staff, board, or examiners to view.

Since it is Web-based, CU PolicyPro allows for 24-7 access from any computer. Also, existing credit union policies can be copied into the system; the system supports multiple users with varying levels of access; semi-annual updates are provided; it has an office backup, and it is fully compliant with National Credit Union Administration regulations, said the leagues.

MDDCCUA teams with NeighborBench compliance platform

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (10/30/12)--Compliance provider NeighborBench has been selected by the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA) to offer services to association members.

"Compliance is a critical issue for credit unions," said John Bratsakis, MDDCCUA president/CEO. "The NeighborBench platform leverages the latest in secure cloud technology to help credit unions address this challenge."

NeighborBench's compliance solution combines automated tools with professional assistance to help reduce the primary challenges of compliance: cost, time and resource requirements.

Calif. Nevada leagues team with CU Student Choice

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WASHINGTON (10/29/12)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have partnered with Credit Union Student Choice, a provider of higher education financing solutions to credit unions.

"It's very clear that today's students and families face significant challenges when funding their higher education," said Diana Dykstra, the leagues' president/CEO. "Rising costs and a sluggish economy force many families to rely on private student loans to fill funding gaps after lower-cost sources have been exhausted. By working with a knowledgeable partner to efficiently enter this market, credit unions have a distinct opportunity to deliver much-needed economic value and financial education to borrowers."

A credit union service organization (CUSO), Student Choice is owned by 12 natural person credit unions and several CUSOs. It manages many of the challenges and risks commonly associated with student lending. The Student Choice solution allows a credit union to make school-certified private student loans that are held on the credit union's own balance sheet.

CU Campus Resources volume up offers white paper

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MADISON, Wis. (10/29/12)--CU Campus Resources clients processed nearly 5,000 applications for private student loans for their members from July through August--a 45% increase over 2011 volumes.

CU Campus Resources offers a suite of private education loan products and services that participating credit unions can make available to their members. The turnkey solutions can be customized to a credit union's attributes and the college campuses they serve.

Also, CU Campus Resources will release a white paper, "Demystifying Private Student Loans," in cooperation with CU Student Choice on Nov. 6 at the CUNA Lending Council Conference in Miami.

"There are so many misconceptions in the market today about student lending," said Mike Long, CU Campus Resources chief operating officer. "We wanted to provide some perspective by featuring the good work that credit unions are doing in this space. The real story is very compelling."

Mortgagebot Online applications soar

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MEQUON, Wis. (10/29/12)--With 800,000 online mortgage loan applications submitted through September, Mortgagebot clients have surpassed total annual volume of any previous year, including 2010 with its then record-breaking 725,000 applications.

The volume is an indication of the online channel's strategic value in the mortgage lending industry, said the company.

Aided by a refinancing surge, refinance application volume reached its highest level in more than three years in September. The provider of the Mortgagebot Enterprise end-to-end lending platform anticipates hitting the one million mark by year-end.

Consumer traffic to Mortgagebot client websites is also rising, with nearly 42 million visits year-to-date, a six million increase from the 36 million visits for 2011. About 40% of Mortgagebot clients, which comprise various-sized credit unions, large mortgage lenders and community banks, take more than one quarter of their mortgage applications online.

Mortgage lenders are quickly realizing the need to keep pace with borrower preference for conducting transactions through the online channel, and the numbers show it, said Mortgagebot. The company estimates client numbers since 2010 have increased 33% to nearly 1,300 from 962. The lenders handled nearly 870,000 applications year-to-date, about a 50% increase over the 600,000 applications of 2011.

Diebold decides not to build new headquarters

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (10/26/12)--Diebold Inc. is suspending indefinitely its plans to construct a new global headquarters facility, the company announced.

Diebold will focus its resources and strategic direction on generating long-term, sustainable growth, using its assets to capitalize on acquisitions and invest in technologies and services that will help grow the business, the company said.

Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

The company has no plans to pursue new construction options for its global headquarters facility, either in Ohio or elsewhere, and is committed to remaining in its current location in Green, Ohio.  Diebold will decline the various state and local financial incentives it was previously offered, and allow those assets to be redirected to other programs that will benefit its state and region. 

On April 12, 2011, Diebold had announced its plans to construct a new, consolidated corporate campus to expand its global headquarters in the Akron/Canton region.  In January, the company announced that it chose a 55-acre site in Green as its preferred site.

"As we've been analyzing our near- and long-term growth priorities, it has become clear that investing more than $100 million in a headquarters facility is not economically feasible given the other priorities for the business at this time," said Thomas W. Swidarski, Diebold president/CEO. "We have tremendous opportunities for growth, both through acquisition and organic means. Therefore, we must ensure that we maintain adequate capital flexibility to take advantage of these prospects that will position us for long-term growth."

The recently announced acquisitions of logical security and services businesses in Brazil and Turkey and the need to spend on information technology and services infrastructure, software and global shared services, represent the kinds of investments Diebold is making to grow, the company said. 

During the next several years, Diebold will update and enhance the company's existing headquarters in Green and other facilities in the area to create a more sustainable, satisfying work environment for its associates, the company said.

Corporate America PULSE team for POS ATM access

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IRONDALE, Ala. (10/26/12)--Corporate America CU (CACU) and PULSE have partnered to provide the corporate's member credit unions with access to PULSE point-of-sale (POS) terminals and its nationwide ATM network.  

"PULSE has an excellent reputation and provides a low-cost POS network for our member credit unions that includes convenient access for credit union members to over 380,000 ATMs nationwide," said Jo Lynn Austin, CACU senior vice president/chief operating officer.

The agreement includes CACU direct mail campaigns and PULSE-provided educational articles, information and training, marketing and sales support materials, and speakers at CACU workshops.

"We value Corporate America's support of PULSE and look forward to continuing to work with CACU and its members," said Denise Stigge, PULSE vice president of association relations.

CU Business Group reaches 400-CU milestone

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PORTLAND, Ore. (10/26/12)--CU Business Group (CUBG), a business services credit union services organization based in Portland, Ore., has signed on 28 new credit unions in this year, and now services more than 400 credit union clients in 44 states.

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CUBG's new credit unions range in size from $18 million to $50 billion in assets. The company averages three new credit union sign-ons per month, it said.

"Our organization is set up to help credit unions of any size with their business services needs," said Larry Middleman, CUBG president/CEO. "That can mean anything from helping them get their program off the ground to performing a third party review of their entire portfolio, and everything in between."

CUBG recently started offering many services a la carte rather than as part of a product package.

"One credit union may need help with every step of underwriting, loan docs and servicing, while another may simply need to use us as a backroom processor to get the financial spreads done," Middleman said. "Likewise on the deposit side, a credit union may need our whole package of treasury management services--including systems, policies, and procedures; another may simply be looking for a sample policy template. Either way, we can help."

In an average month, CUBG's underwriters review $50 million in member business loans (MBL) and $25 million in participation loans for credit unions. The CUSO also performs 60 annual reviews and prepares an average of 120 sets of loan documents each month.

CUBG continues to see increased interest in Small Business Administration lending and participations, and the need for independent third party reviews of MBL programs and portfolios.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are urging Congress to increase credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25% so that more loans could be made to small businesses, which are considered a key to improving the economy. CUNA and credit unions say that increasing credit unions' MBL cap would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in business loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers.

CU Insight revamps website

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (10/25/12)--CUInsight.com, an online credit union news resource, has revamped its website, its first update early 2010.

The new site includes real-time updates on industry news; a community section with content from more than 100 industry experts; a media center that features podcasts, videos, webinars, white papers and presentations; a press center; partner content; and a jobs board.

New features include an events section, social network integration, photo galleries, Find a CU Lookup, vendor directory, and search functions.

Kentucky league teams with PolicyWorks on compliance

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (10/25/12)--The Kentucky Credit Union League (KCUL) has partnered with PolicyWorks to provide Kentucky credit unions with compliance support, effective Nov. 1.

PolicyWorks, an Iowa-based compliance firm, will assist in answering regulatory compliance questions and provide regular communications as part of KCUL membership

League member credit unions will have access to PolicyWorks' secure client login page, which will house a library of compliance information and communications. The page also includes access to sample policies in PolicyAid and an online policy library. Policies are updated quarterly to reflect new and amended regulations and are available for download.

Portfolio 360 launches system to manage loan portfolio

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LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (10/25/12)--Portfolio 360 Inc. (P360) has developed a software platform that helps credit unions and other financial institutions to manage loan portfolio data from a single centralized system.

The proprietary Mosaic Loan Intelligence Platform simplifies loan reporting and analysis by aggregating and storing information from several systems and file formats, said P360.

"Credit unions can generate regulatory and financial reports, and perform risk assessment, risk grades, pricing and more within seconds," said Carl Meiswinkel, P360 president. "They can analyze their data and supporting documents, giving a 360-degree view across their portfolio from Mosaic's dashboard."

P360 is a data intelligence and analytics firm with experience serving clients in the mortgage-banking industry. The firm works with credit unions, investment banks, lenders and loan servicers. Its Mosaic product is a software as a service, providing transparency and cost-effective, efficient tools for improved decision making companywide, said P360. Institutions can use the detailed analysis for audit, product development, marketing, accounting and fraud detection.

2013 CUNA Volunteer Institute in Punta Cana

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MADISON, Wis. (10/24/12)--The CUNA Volunteer Institute will be held May 19-22 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) announced. 

The CUNA Volunteer Institute offers sessions and discussions, led by industry experts, with content for credit union volunteers, specifically board and committee members. Attendees will explore enterprise risk management, opportunities for volunteer advocacy, strategies for reaching a younger demographic and other topics designed to help volunteers make impactful decisions at their credit unions.

Some sessions at CUNA Volunteer Institute will qualify for credits toward CUNA's Certified Credit Union Volunteer designation.

Equifax to pilot IRS eTranscript program

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CHICAGO (10/24/12)--Equifax has been selected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to participate in the IRS' new eTranscript pilot program, "Send My Transcript."

In residential mortgage lending, the IRS Form 4506-T is required to originate or modify loans under the new Fannie Mae Loan Quality Initiative, with tax transcripts required to validate income. Historically, the process for requesting and obtaining tax transcripts has been manual--typically with a minimum 48-hour turnaround--and often results in long timelines and lost documents that delay or prohibit loan closing, said Equifax.

Through the IRS' "Send My Transcript" online application service borrowers, can order a transcript online from the IRS' website and have it instantly delivered to their lender.

Equifax was selected as a pilot vendor because of its long-standing relationship with the IRS and history of driving automation in tax transcript delivery.

Vertifi signs 100th RDC user

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (10/23/12)--Vertifi Software LLC, a credit union service organization (CUSO) of Eastern Corporate FCU (EasCorp) that provides payment systems software and services, added four credit unions to its list of DeposZip users, bringing the total number of participating credit unions to 100.

The four new users are:

  • $234 million asset Agriculture FCU, Washington, D.C.;
  • $678 million asset Pacific Marine CU, Oceanside, Calif.;
  • $562 million asset Sb1 FCU, Philadelphia; and
  • $916 million Unitus Community CU, Portland, Ore.
Vertifi's DeposZip  suite of RDC products includes mobile- and PC-based versions. It allows consumers and businesses to deposit checks to their credit union accounts via a Web-enabled personal computers and program-supported scanner, or via downloadable applications (apps) for program-supported smartphones and tablet devices, which include the iPhone, the iPad, the iPod touch, and Android  phones and tablets. 

Since inception, Vertifi has processed more than $2.4 billion in deposits for participating credit unions. More than 400,000 credit union members are presently registered, and they are making more than 200,000 deposits each month.

Equifax offers verification platform for quicker loans

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ATLANTA (10/23/12)--Equifax has released the Spectrum Verification Services Platform, which strengthens lender confidence by streamlining the verification process.

Equifax developed Spectrum to help lenders gain efficiencies and improve overall loan quality production, which helps mitigate loan repurchase risk. Spectrum is fully automated and delivers loan-level verifications by combining unique data assets with integrated workflow processes to reduce fraud, improve overall loan quality and cycle times, avoid capacity issues and reduce costs, Equifax said.

Spectrum also provides real-time access with ordering and tracking screens to deliver current and accurate data, the company said.

Verification services currently offered through Spectrum include: employment and payroll income via The Work Number--Equifax's proprietary database of more than 210 million employer-direct payroll records, Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts (4056-T), identity and Social Security number authentication, verification of deposits, and verification of hazard insurance coverage. Spectrum assists lenders in ordering verification reports through a single Web interface, or through direct system integration.

Spectrum also features Undisclosed Debt Monitoring (UDM), which continuously monitors and distributes daily alerts of new loan applicant activity initiated during the pre-funding stage of a loan. UDM reduces risk and protects lenders from repurchase demands and unsalable loans related to inaccurately reported debt-to-income ratios.

Switch announces record sales SuperNAP update

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LAS VEGAS (10/23/12)--Switch, a designer and operator of business technology ecosystems, announced record‐breaking sales for the month of September. The company sold 533 cabinets of space and 7.6 megavolt-amperes (MVAs) of power over a 30‐day period.

Switch is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

"Companies have found that by partnering with the multi‐trillion dollar buying power of the Switch technology business ecosystem they can substantially improve their tech return on investment while staying in lock‐step with the newest offerings in connectivity and cloud services," said Rob Roy, CEO and founder of Switch.

During the past year, Switch delivered 40 MVA to its clients at the Switch SuperNAP‐7 facility. There are two units of work that describe the size of a data center: the amount of deliverable, critical load that the Universal Power Supply (UPS) system can support (MVA of UPS), and the deliverable amount of cubic feet per minute/tons of cooling that the heating ventilation and air conditioning system can supply.

Switch is also constructing its eighth facility. The firm anticipates SuperNAP-8, located in Las Vegas, will be client‐ready in May. Switch continues to make new advancements in data center technologies. The new facility will house several new best‐of‐breed data center innovations, all designed by Roy, who currently holds 169 patented and patent‐pending data center inventions.

LEVERAGE signs Office Depot deal with Va. league

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (10/22/12)--LEVERAGE, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) Service Corp., has entered into an agreement with the Virginia Credit Union League (VCUL) that would allow VCUL to participate in the Office Depot Business Services Division (BSD) Program.

Through collaborative purchasing power, the Office Depot program helps businesses get discounts on office supplies, machine supplies, paper, furniture, technology, custom stationery, digital printing, promotional products and break room products.

"We believe the Office Depot program offered through LEVERAGE will have cost savings for our member credit unions," said Terry Childress, VCUL executive vice president. "The program seems to be simple and easy to implement."

Through the program's discounted pricing, credit unions can save up to 70% off Office Depot's catalog list price. More than 1,100 credit unions participate in the program nationwide.

"Every credit union needs office supplies," said Patrick La Pine, LEVERAGE president/CEO. "It makes total sense to buy those products through the Office Depot BSD Program. When you can save money on supplies you already buy, those savings trickle down to more services you can offer your membership."

Equifax launches TIP scores for auto lenders

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ATLANTA (10/22/12)--Equifax has released a tool that helps auto lenders better market to consumers by using pre-determined identifiers, which measure borrowing propensity and delinquency likelihood at any given time.

True In-Market Propensity (TIP) Scores can help lenders, including credit unions, identify consumers in the market to purchase or lease and more effectively tailor marketing campaigns with timely offers to prospects, said Equifax.

The tool assigns consumers a digitized score, with a higher number indicating a borrower's increased likelihood to open a new loan and maintain timely payments in the future. Equifax's solution provides lenders a comprehensive view of borrowers and limits financial exposure to bad debt.

The auto industry is nearing a full recovery--Equifax's National Consumer Credit Trends Report indicates auto balances through September totaled $766 billion, an increase of more than $50 billion from same time a year ago. The most recent data also reported $243 billion in lending through July--the highest amount in five years.

"The auto lending market's performance has been the strongest lending improvement to date, and is evidence of an increasing consumer confidence within this specific industry," said Michael Koukounas, Equifax's senior vice president of analytics. "This has created a necessity to provide lenders the most cost-effective way to accurately identify and then meet the demand of appropriate consumers to maintain this success."

Spring 2013 DE training registration opens

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MADISON, Wis. (10/19/12)--Registration has opened for the Spring 2013 Credit Union Development Education (DE) training class taking place May 1-8 in Madison, Wis.

Attendees of the six-day total immersion experience will learn about credit unions' social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive education and professional networking.

DE training is open to everyone from new employees who need a credit union orientation to seasoned executives who need to recharge. Participants cite these benefits of attending DE training:

  • Graduates acquire skills in credit union outreach initiatives, problem solving, technical assistance, team building and public presentations.
  • Graduates earn certification as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs).  They join a networking group of more than 1,000 graduates in America and over 30 other countries.
  • CUDEs realize that local issues are indeed global--and that global issues are local.
  • CUDEs understand that credit unions grow stronger by working cooperatively.
CUDEs return to their jobs with new understanding of how to promote cooperative principles and credit union values as distinct advantages in today's competitive financial services marketplace.

The training will take place at The Lowell Center, part of the University of Wisconsin–Extension in Madison, Wis.,. and on the UW-Madison campus.  The registration fee includes seven nights of single-room lodging, all training materials and meals.

"Registration is limited to just 42 attendees, so the sooner individuals register for DE training the better," said Lois Kitsch, national program director at the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). Individuals with questions about the training can contact Kitsch at lkitsch@ncuf.coop or 407-616-2409.

For more information, use the link or check out NCUF's website and click "Register for DE Training" on its homepage.

CUNA offers security videos for FFIEC consumer ed compliance

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MADISON, Wis. (10/19/12)--A new agreement between the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Stickley on Security offers credit unions a low-cost solution to help comply with Federal Financial Institutions Economics Council guidelines regarding consumer education about identity theft and security precautions.

"Compliance includes risk mitigation, so helping your members identify and prevent ID theft should be a component of any credit union's security program," said Valerie Y. Moss, CUNA regulatory affairs director of compliance information.

Credit union members are among the more than 11.6 million adult victims of identity fraud, which increased by 13% last year, according to the 2012 Identity Fraud Industry Report issued by Javelin Strategy & Research.

The Stickley on Security training solution helps consumers stay informed about the latest security risks facing them and what they can do to protect themselves. The solution provides written content and a library of security training videos that can be embedded into any existing Web page with a single line of code. The security videos, ranging from five to 10 minutes in length, address topics such as ATM scams, credit card skimming, phishing and vishing attacks, secure mobile banking, fake cashier's checks, multifactor authentication and more. 

CUNA is a supporting coalition member of National Foundation for Credit Counseling's fifth annual National Protect Your Identity Week, Oct. 20-27. "Credit unions interested in protecting member privacy can leverage the videos during Protect Your Identity Week and beyond," said Susan Tiffany, CUNA's director of consumer publications. "The content of the video library is dynamic, so it addresses consumer security threats as they evolve."

Indianas CU Card Center AnyHour team on 247 service

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INDIANAPOLIS (10/19/12)--Servicecorp's Credit Union Card Center (CUCC) is offering 24/7 call center support for credit union clients every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Servicecorp is a subsidiary of the Indiana Credit Union League.

The around-the-clock coverage was made possible by a new partnership with AnyHour Solutions, an Illinois-based call center operation that works exclusively with credit unions.

"We know that credit cardholders lead busy lives and often need assistance after normal working hours or when they are traveling," said Diana Arnold, Servicecorp chief operating officer. "We hope that this enhancement to our services will improve member satisfaction. Our goal is that credit cardholders will receive the same support they have experienced from CUCC in the past, and we will work closely with AnyHour Solutions to insure we are meeting members' needs going forward."

Top Image Systems Jack Henry sign mRDC reseller agreement

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NEW YORK (10/18/12)--Top Image Systems Ltd. (TIS), an enterprise content management capture and delivery solutions provider has signed a reseller agreement with Jack Henry & Associates Inc., a provider of technology solutions and payment processing services primarily for the financial services industry.

The reseller agreement specifically entitles Jack Henry to distribute TIS' mobile capture solutions in conjunction with its Alogent Mobile Remote Deposit solution without any geographical restrictions. 

"We have been impressed by the technologies underlying the TIS mobile capture solution and believe the combined strength of the TIS solution and our Alogent Mobile Remote Deposit solution will accommodate our international expansion strategy," said Stacey Zengel, Jack Henry & Associates general manager of imaging solutions.

Datawatch Enterprise Server--Cloud launched

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CHELMSFORD, Mass. (10/18/12)--Datawatch Corporation, a provider of information optimization solutions, has released Datawatch Enterprise Server--Cloud to help clients build information optimization applications from all types of data--and to deliver them more cost-effectively to more users across enterprises of every size.

Developed from the signature Monarch product line, Datawatch Enterprise Server--Cloud allows existing Monarch customers to move their existing models and applications to the cloud to be shared with more users without the need to purchase or implement new hardware. For new customers, Datawatch's cloud solution allows them to build and deploy information optimization applications that can access a wider variety of data sources and provides these organizations with a 360-degree view of their businesses to improve processes and analyze more types of information.

Simultaneously with the announcement of Datawatch Enterprise Server--Cloud, Datawatch also announced a corporate rebranding initiative to better represent its position as a technological and market leader in the information optimization market. A new image and fresh website were unveiled to highlight changes such as Datawatch Enterprise Server--Cloud that Datawatch is introducing to the market.

Harland Clarke helps CUs target new members

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CARY, N.C. (10/17/12)--Harland Clarke is using SAS Analytics to deliver member/customer relationship management solutions that help credit unions acquire and develop strong relationships with members.

Harland Clarke is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

SAS Analytics is driven by rolling data on products, services and millions of purchases stretching back as far as 12 years. The company conducts portfolio analysis, defines market segments, identifies account holders with high propensity to purchase products, and recommends relationship strategies for individual account holders.

Harland Clarke then delivers marketing services including direct mail production, e-mail marketing and a contact center to drive revenue streams for clients.

To encourage credit union members to use new products and services, Harland Clarke delivers tailored onboarding communications such as direct mail or online offers for members' first 90 days to generate positive customer engagement. Attrition rates are usually 20% below the benchmark attrition rate, according to Sandeep Kharidhi, Harland Clarke vice president of analytics and business intelligence.

"SAS Analytics helps us expand our level of engagement with banks and credit unions, accelerating portfolio performance dialog with senior executives," Kharidhi said. "Using analytics, we develop new ideas and strategies for solving marketing challenges. When we recommend a solution, we even use SAS to predict the expected return on investment."

Harland Clarke uses SAS Analytics for its Stratics suite of predictive models, built exclusively for credit unions and banks. "That assesses more than 600 banking behaviors aggregated into 60 predictive models that show which customers are most likely to churn, which customers are most loyal and which are most open to cross-sell or 'next-most-likely' product offers," Kharidhi said.

Next, Harland Clarke will implement SAS Business Intelligence. Previously, it produced reports by analyzing data in SAS and then outputting the results to three or four software programs to get the final report. SAS Business Intelligence will offer "one-stop reporting." Reducing manual reporting steps increases productivity and speeds reports to decision makers for better answers faster, said the company.

Dwolla mFoundry team up on mobile money transfers

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SAN FRANCISCO and DES MOINES, Iowa (10/17/12)--Dwolla and mFoundry have formed a partnership to offer the Dwolla online and mobile digital cash network to financial institutions that deploy mFoundry's Fin.X mobile banking platform.

Dwolla's peer-to-peer payments service allows mobile bankers to transfer funds in real-time. Institutions that offer Dwolla through Fin.X integrate Dwolla with the core banking systems. Financial institutions that want to offer Dwolla can check that option on mFoundry's mobile banking platform, and the feature will appear on their smartphone application.

By adopting mFoundry's Fin.X, institutions can provide a mobile banking experience that delivers a choice of services, including remote deposit capture, peer-to-peer money transfer, account funding, mortgage rates, auto insurance quotes, account opening, gift card issuance, merchant-funded offers and retail bar-code scanning.

CBCInnovis Symitar Episys interface for verifying IDs

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (10/16/12)--CBCInnovis, a provider of credit and risk management solutions to the credit union industry, announced that its Cross Check and Check Screen Plus solutions have integrated with the Symitar core processing system, Episys.

To make the interface possible, CBCInnovis participated in the Symitar Vendor Integration Program, designed to help Symitar users deploy third-party products.

Cross Check is the Columbus, Ohio-based CBCInnovis' consumer identity verification solution. It provides tools such as Office of Foreign Assets Control data, alerts related to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and an identity index to help credit unions meet their compliance obligations for new account openings.

Check Screen Plus is an alternative to traditional checking account screening products and combines the CBCInnovis Cross Check verification tool with the TeleCheck New Account Screening service. The Symitar interface automates these verifications.

The interface helps credit unions reduce fraud losses associated with new account opening and lending processes and "enables credit unions to seamlessly complete essential consumer identity and check-writing performance verifications without having to leave the Episys system," said Bob Evely, vice president of marketing for CBCInnovis.

New CSS provider assists with ID mgt. and authentication

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MADISON, Wis. (10/15/12)--When creating a password, consumers are faced with requests for uppercase, lowercase, at least one number, non-numerical symbol, more than seven letters. Overwhelmed, they often use the same password across many accounts and websites.

Add the continuing threats of identity theft, and the need for identity management and authentication increases. To help credit unions improve both the security of online transactions and member interactions, CUNA Strategic Services Inc., (CSS) has added a new alliance provider--OneID. The strategic alliance can assist credit unions as they work to develop better identity management and authentication.    

"Between preventing fraud and managing all-encompassing online identities, OneID gives credit unions a tool to build loyalty and heighten their reputation with members," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president.

OneID is a digital identity solution that replaces user names and passwords with a single digital ID linked to the end user's computers and mobile devices and secured by NSA-level encryption. With OneID, credit unions are able to automatically recognize their members and provide access to accounts. OneID also gives members and credit unions broad controls to limit transactions or require additional verification. In addition, OneID assists credit unions with compliance guidelines from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) regarding multi-factor authentication.

"OneID can help credit unions reduce their losses in card-not-present transactions and eliminate password phishing and other risks associated with password-based authentication," Millar added.

"CUNA Strategic Services plays a vital role in its community by evaluating and certifying new technologies that will help credit unions save money, meet regulatory standards, and enhance member relationships," said Alex Doll, CEO of OneID. "We're honored our digital identity solution satisfies their rigorous standards and we can begin working with credit unions to improve the security and experience of member interactions."

Bluepoint Solutions and CFC Technology form partnership

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VISTA, Calif. (10/12/12)--Bluepoint Solutions and CFC Technology have entered into a partnership to offer mobile check capture and consumer in-home check capture to credit unions and community banks.

Through the partnership, CFC Technology will add Bluepoint's QwikDeposit ToGo and QwikDeposit Home remote deposit capture solutions to its product portfolio.

Bluepoint's QwikDeposit ToGo allows smartphone users to take photos of their checks with their mobile phone and deposit the checks to their checking or savings accounst. Smartphone users download the application provided by their financial institution to their mobile device and follow the app's step-by-step deposit instructions. CFC will offer QwikDeposit ToGo as both an integrated or as a standalone solution.

QwikDeposit Home allows financial institution members and customers with a desktop scanner to capture check images and deposit those items through their financial institution's internet banking portal.

CU Mobile Apps clients dominate NerdWallet best list

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. (10/11/12)--NerdWallet recently identified four credit unions whose mobile apps were outstanding performers. All four of the credit unions use mobile app products developed by CU Mobile Apps and offered by Member Service Solutions LLC, a Tennessee-based provider.

Among the nationally top-ranked credit unions named were Enrichment FCU, Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Gulf Coast Educators FCU, Pasadena, Texas; Police and Fire FCU, Philadelphia, Penn.; and First Financial CU, Skokie, Ill., all of whom successfully launched their mobile apps within the past year.

"We knew we had a robust product, but it feels great to have that opinion confirmed by independent consumer advocates and distinguished experts in the financial field," said Rick Hargis, CU Moble Apps managing partner. "Hopefully our other 40-plus credit unions clients are sharing the same experience as the four that were ranked."

Laura Edgar, NerdWallet content and media manager, explained why her group developed the list of credit unions that use noteworthy high-tech mobile apps. "Part of what we've tried to do at NerdWallet is educate people about credit unions as an alternative," Edgar said. "A lot of our readers are younger--in their 20's or 30's--and many of them just don't know that credit unions are often as tech-savvy as banks are; so it's very exciting for us to be able to bring this kind of information to light and let them know they can bank on their smart phone if they have an account at a credit union."

Her list focused on apps that went above and beyond the basic capabilities found in most mobile banking apps, such as finding ATMs, checking an account balance, and transferring funds.

"We particularly liked the listed apps that let you look at a credit union's news page or get linked up with their Facebook account; we thought that was very much in the spirit of what credit unions do, connecting you with the community and making it easier to see what's going on and to get information concerning new promotions," Edgar said. "We thought that was really exciting; a lot of bank apps don't do that. The social features particularly stood out for me."

Verafin release supports new CTR SAR forms

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ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland (10/10/12)--The latest Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering software release from Verafin Inc. includes full support for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN's) new Currency Transaction Report (CTR) and Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) forms.

Verafin is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

The new software, called Fall '12, includes updated CTR and SAR filing functionality to allow customers to e-file the new FinCEN forms. Users are e-filing the new forms with FinCEN six months ahead of the March deadline.

Other updates included in Fall '12 include:
  • Expanded remote-banking fraud detection, including corporate automated clearing house and wire transfer analysis;
  • Increased risk-assessment functionality; and
  • Refined case-management usability and integration.

ProfitStars introduces malware protection

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MONETT, Mo. (10/9/12)--ProfitStars, a division of Jack Henry & Associates, introduced a cloud-based layer of malware protection.

Gladiator Advanced Malware Protection is capable of blocking sophisticated malware threats, including downloads, unsafe website redirects, command and control activity, and phishing links, ProfitStars said.

In conjunction with Gladiator's Security Research department and industry partners in domain name security (DNS) and threat intelligence, Advanced Malware Protection gives financial institutions the ability to pass all DNS requests through Gladiator's secure cloud-based DNS system. Requests are analyzed in real-time for fraud patterns, malware and data-stealing risks before connections are allowed to send or receive data.

Advanced Malware Protection is fully integrated with the Gladiator Security Research department's threat intelligence feeds and its Internet Threat Watch List (ITWL) database.  More than 4.4 million hostile hosts are flagged monthly by the ITWL, with more than 600,000 confirmed malicious connections reviewed and blocked.

New CSS provider helps CUs with asset recovery

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MADISON, Wis. (10/9/12)--A new alliance between CUNA Strategic Services Inc. (CSS) and TekCollect will offer credit unions the ability to extend their collection efforts without compromising member relationships.

"Because credit unions typically manage their loan portfolios well, their overall credit quality is normally quite good," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "However, some credit union members have faced financial challenges, and being proactive to keep these accounts in good standing can improve the relationship between the credit union and the member."

TekCollect customizes programs to help credit unions streamline internal accounting practices, limit and control delinquencies, and reduce charge-offs. The company focuses on early intervention, which reduces the number of accounts requiring formal recovery efforts.

"In fact, TekCollect's process can help credit unions find out the underlying cause of the delinquency, giving them information they can use to help the member," Millar said.

"We're proud to work with CUNA Strategic Services to deliver economical programs that we know help credit unions streamline workflows, optimize productivity and enhance member relationships," said Tim Olesky, TekCollect's division vice president.

The company's Early Call Campaign reaches out to members before the 30-day delinquency mark to enhance communication and ensure prompt payment. In more prolonged situations, TekCollect can pursue negative share and loan recoveries. Its full-service collection programs include verbal and written contacts, national credit reporting, skip tracing, and even litigation when necessary.

CU Solutions Group teams with SaveUp

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LIVONIA, Mich. (10/5/12)--CU Solutions Group has partnered with SaveUp, a financial rewards program that motivates consumers to save money and pay down debt.

Through the partnership, CU Solutions Group will offer the SaveUp program to credit unions nationwide.

Members can link their accounts to SaveUp's website. Every time they contribute to their savings or retirement accounts; pay down their credit cards, mortgages or other loans; or engage with SaveUp's financial education content, they earn credits they can use to play online games for prizes. Credit union members could win prizes from sponsors such as Best Buy, IKEA, Apple, Disney and Virgin Airlines, and a $2 million jackpot.

Through SaveUp, credit unions can:

  • Reach a younger member base;
  • Engage members weekly with a customized, co-branded experience;
  • Educate members about their credit union's products and services with targeted ads;
  • Add member rewards without cost-accounting;
  • Support financial literacy with educational videos and content; and
  • Attract members to play for prizes on a safe and secure website.

Cardtronics launches FeeAlert

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HOUSTON (10/4/12)--Retail ATM owner/operator Cardtronics Inc. has launched FeeAlert, a new product that helps financial institutions steer their members and customers toward in-network ATMs--and away from ATM fees.

FeeAlert helps credit unions and banks support their members in avoiding fees. By analyzing an individual's ATM use, FeeAlert enables financial institutions to deliver a list of nearby surcharge-free ATMs.

FeeAlert checks for nearby in-network ATMs even when a member forgets to use a credit union's ATM locator.

Cardholders enroll in their participating financial institutions' FeeAlert program, and indicate whether they prefer to receive notifications via text messaging or email. Members receive personalized alerts from their credit unions when they use an out-of-network, fee-charging ATMs. Alerts will point them to the nearest surcharge-free ATM, which they can use for their next transaction.

If a member subsequently use an out-of-network ATM, FeeAlert generates a list (via geo-location technology) of nearby surcharge-free ATMs. The financial institution then "pushes" results to the cardholder, using the preferred means of communication.

Collaborative marketing CUOverDrive launched

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (10/4/12)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, announced its 2013 collaborative marketing initiative, CU*OverDrive.

Credit unions can communicate with their members through monthly electronic or print materials, including posters, lobby inserts and statement inserts. Each monthly campaign highlights the products and services the participating credit union offers. An annual fee includes printing, shipping and handling. 

Credit unions can also participate in shared prize-based contests both in electronic and print formats. The contests focus on e-mail collection, e-statements, EasyPay BillPay and debit card initiatives, and include a chance for members to win a Google Tablet, an iPad, a Canon Rebel Camera or an Xbox 360 with Kinect.

"This is just another way we help credit unions broach the needs that staffing or budget restrictions may not allow, or just allow existing personnel to make more efficient use of their time," said Scott Page, CU*Answers executive vice president. "CU*OverDrive allows credit unions to leverage a network of marketing resources at a fraction of the cost."

Affinion LifeHelp to bring life insurance to CUs

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STAMFORD, Conn. (10/3/12)--Affinion Group, a customer engagement solutions provider, and LifeHelp, a company that serves as a bridge between life insurance companies and credit unions, have announced that LifeHelp's life insurance programs will be available through distributors of other Affinion products and services to credit unions nationwide.

The program includes coverage for multiple member situations, from young families needing substantial protection, to older members who need small policies to cover their final expenses. The coverage is promoted to members through direct mail, a credit union's website and other traditional member marketing channels.

Program support also includes an online platform featuring live agent chat and a term-life quote engine. Policies are underwritten by carriers, such as American General, MetLife, TransAmerica, ING and others, Affinion and LifeHelp said.

CUNA CPDOnline announces iPad-ready courses

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MADISON, Wis. (10/3/12)--Seven CUNA CPD Online courses now available for iPads, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) announced.

The courses are part of CUNA Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP), which offers credit union volunteers information and training, and provides them an opportunity to earn their CUNA Certified Credit Union Volunteer designation and/or CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate.

Serving nearly 30,000 credit union professionals, CUNA CPDOnline is a Web-based training service that provides more than 350 credit union-specific courses on topics including volunteer training and more.

Available titles include:

  • V01--History & Philosophy for Volunteers, fourth edition;
  • V02--Financial Reports for Volunteers, fifth edition;
  • V03--Managing Risk, sixth edition;
  • V305--The Basics of Risk Assessment for Volunteers;
  • V409--Financial Management, third edition;
  • V415--Asset-Liability Management for Directors, second edition; and
  • V428--Understanding the Audit Report.
"With our new iPad format, credit union volunteers will have more convenient options to get the information they need at a time that fits their schedule," said Marlo Foltz, director of blended learning at CUNA.

Portfolio 360 launches Mosaic Loan Intelligence Platform

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LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (10/2/12)--Portfolio 360 Inc. (P360) has developed a software platform that allows credit unions to manage loan portfolio data from a single centralized system.

Mosaic Loan Intelligence Platform, a proprietary system, aggregates and stores loan information from a variety of systems and file formats.

"Credit unions can generate regulatory and financial reports, as well as perform risk assessment, risk grades, pricing and more within seconds," said Carl Meiswinkel, P360 president. "They can analyze their data and supporting documents, giving a 360-degree view across their portfolio from Mosaic's dashboard."

Among the Mosaic Loan Intelligence Platform's features:

  • Instant reporting--allowance for loan and lease losses, financial footnotes and disclosures, and valuation;
  • 24/7 access--all loan data available in one system, on financial managers' schedule;
  • Drill-down reporting--customizable on all asset classes and cross-pool analytics;
  • 360-degree view--ability to see information across portfolios, asset types and borrowers;
  • Flexible reporting--includes more than 300 loan-level data points per asset; and
  • Loan-level analysis--loan-level risk assessment, pricing, reporting and disclosure.
P360 works with credit unions, investment banks, lenders and loan servicers. Its Mosaic product is a software as a service, providing tools for improved decision making. Financial institutions use the detailed analysis for audit, product development, marketing, accounting and fraud detection.

Harland Clarke enhances predictive modeling site

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SAN ANTONIO (10/2/12)--Harland Clarke Corp., a provider of marketing services, payment and security solutions, has enhanced to its Stratics predictive modeling suite.

Harland Clarke is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

The enhanced models reflect fundamental changes in the economy, banking regulations, financial product offerings and consumer behavior. Harland Clarke leverages Stratics in its Opportunity Analysis, a tool that provides financial institutions with actionable insight into the opportunities and risks associated with their portfolio.

Stratics is a suite of more than 50 predictive models that help financial institutions identify high-value account holders and those who are at risk of attrition and balance diminishment. The models are based on Harland Clarke's proprietary National Financial Industry Database, which is built from banking behavioral data of more than 55 million households of account holders at financial institutions of all asset sizes. The models help financial institutions understand account holders' needs and assist them in customizing marketing efforts, Harland Clarke said.

The enhanced Stratics models measures changes in the industry and changes in consumers' lifestyles and purchases. "For example, as consumers have sought greater liquidity, there has been a 25% increase in the number of new money market and savings customers compared with the same period last year," said Sandeep Kharidhi, vice president of analytics and business Intelligence for Harland Clarke. "And we're seeing a 20% increase in new credit card and loan customers versus last year, as interest rates have remained low and financial institutions have sought to grow their loan portfolios."