GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (10/30/13)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, has released two marketing products for credit unions.
It is offering CU*OverDrive 2014, an annual bundled marketing program for CU*Answers clients. Clients can choose from an electronic only package or an optional print package.
Clients are also eligible for free quarterly contests available with an optional print package. Contests encourage members into actions such as enrolling for e-statements or bill pay, using their debit cards or submitting their email address. Contests are held quarterly and run for a two months. CU*Answers purchases a prize and tracks the results.
CU*Answers has also released more of its quarterly grand opening kits for its credit union clients. The first kits are shipped free. Additional kits are $100. The newest kit's theme is member appreciation.
Contents of the kits typically include a five-foot banner, balloons, table tents, window clings, lapel stickers, and a give-away item, such as piggy banks, lip gloss, ink pens, or something similar tied to the theme.
PLANO, Texas (10/29/13)--Catalyst Corporate FCU announced the publication last week of a new microsite with information about its cloud-computing service powered by Compushare, a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
The website, catalystcorp.org/cloud, also features information about regulatory issues, trends, white papers, case studies, interviews, information about due diligence and an interactive "Cloud Migration Tool."
Catalyst and Compushare also announced that they will host a series of webinars about the Catalyst Cloud Computing (C3) platform and cloud computing in November.
The series comes on the heels of Catalyst's 36th annual Economic Forum, which included two sessions about the corporate credit union's information technology services and drew about 300 attendees.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (10/25/13)--Tropical Financial Credit Union is providing a new auto buying service for its 50,000 members through a partnership with AutoNationDirect.
Personal Auto Consultant offers credit union members a concierge experience by assisting them throughout the entire buying process. The service provides credit unions with means to fill their direct auto loans without their members following the traditional finance process in the dealership.
"This is another example of how we, as a not-for-profit cooperative, are looking out for the financial well-being of our members," said Tropical Financial Credit Union CEO/President Richard Helber. "This service eliminates the hassle of car shopping and gets them a great deal."
With AutoNationDirect, members don't have to go to the dealership until they are ready to drive and buy. Car buying experts literally stand in for the member--shopping and comparing cars, evaluating their trade-in, coordinating financing, and preparing documents-- before the member arrives at the dealership to drive and take delivery of the vehicle.
Consultants are automotive experts that earn the same amount, no matter what the member buys, pays or trades.
Tropical Financial also offers a resource on its website where members can perform research before purchasing a vehicle. The web site offers a source for determining trade-in value on previously owned vehicles, financial calculators, car buying articles and pricing information.
MADISON, Wis. (10/24/13)--QR Lending will host a webinar focusing on new mortgage compliance requirements at 2 p.m. (ET) Nov. 20.
"Mortgage Compliance: The New World" will offer advice on effectively managing the mortgage compliance process of an increasingly regulated environment.
Topics to be addressed include:
Common citation areas and how to avoid them, including Joint Intent (Equal Credit Opportunity Act) and Early Disclosures (Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act);
New requirements coming for appraisals and loan originator compensation;
Tips for staying on top of unrelenting compliance changes--both federal and state--without hiring dedicated internal staff; and
Best practices for ensuring your technology remains compliant--as responsibility rests in your hands.
To register, use the link.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (10/23/13)--CO-OP Financial Services is hosting the Austin Credit Card Symposium, which gather experts to provide insights into the current status and future prospects of credit card programs for credit unions.
The free symposium will be held on Dec. 4 in Austin, Texas.
"This symposium brings together experts on program design, portfolio and risk management, data analytics and marketing, and rewards programs," said Jennifer Kerry, CO-OP Financial Services vice president of credit card services. "We're offering credit card managers and credit union management a tremendous opportunity to get their programs off to a fast start in 2014 by providing a forum to network with each other and learn in a highly interactive way from leaders in the field."
Topics will include:
Market Update: How to make the most of your credit card program--a hands-on session;
Your Portfolio: What hidden nuggets can help you manage both risk and growth?;
Loyalty Programs: Influence members' behaviors and help achieve your credit union's goals; and
Focus on the Member: Emerging payment services your members will expect--a panel discussion.
In addition to Kerry and other CO-OP representatives, speakers will include:
Tim Kolk, Owner, TRK Advisors, Peterborough, N.H.;
Dan Lozier, Senior Director, Client Relations, The Members Group, Des Moines, Iowa; and
Andrew Gates, Director, Strategic Partnerships, RewardsNOW, Inc., Dover, N.H.
To register, use the link.
IRMO, S.C. (10/22/13)--West Virginia League Service Corporation Service Corp. announced Palmetto Cooperative Services (PCS) will serve as its preferred statement provider.
The West Virginia Credit Union League becomes the seventh state league to endorse PCS. Others include: Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
"PCS has a very solid reputation in the state for providing quality services to credit unions and we believe, in particular, their print and electronic statement program will be an excellent addition for any credit union," said Ken Watts, West Virginia League Services Corp. president.
PCS offers credit unions print and electronic statement and routine communications solutions such as NSF, late payments, overdraft transfer, courtesy pay, share certificate renewal and safe deposit box renewals.
"Few credit unions have the in-house resources to handle statements and payments technology," said Al Stephens, PCS senior account manager. "An endorsement from a state league gives their members the confidence and peace of mind to outsource these functions to a trusted vendor."
DES MOINES, Iowa (10/21/13)--The Members Group (TMG) will present a complimentary one-hour webinar "Creating Wow Experiences: A Focus on the Emerging Hispanic Market" at 1 p.m. CT Wednesday.
Hosted by Miriam De Dios, CEO for TMG's sister company Coopera, will provide insight on how financial institutions, including credit unions, can better target their Hispanic growth strategies by focusing on specific market segments.
"Like any member or customer, Hispanic consumers want to be 'wowed,'" said De Dios. "To deliver truly exceptional experiences, credit unions and community banks must have laser focus on personalized attention and service. By first understanding the multiple facets of the Hispanic marketplace, financial institution leaders can begin their outreach efforts on a strategic foot."
De Dios will discuss the potential value of service to Gen Y and second generation Hispanics, small Hispanic-owned businesses and Hispanic consumers without traditional banking relationships. She will share the values, beliefs and cultural nuances of each segment, and address how those qualities translate into specific financial needs, including products and services well-suited to these markets.
To register for the webinar, use the link.
MADISON, Wis. (10/18/13)--More than 380 lending professionals from 170 credit unions nationwide will gather Nov. 3-6 in Phoenix for networking and professional development opportunities at the CUNA Lending Council Conference.
"Council conferences are an excellent venue for industry leaders and those who serve the credit union movement to connect on innovative ways to advance the movement, and our growing numbers show the value of these connections," said David Rohn, vice president of CUNA Councils.
Beyond the conference's 35 sessions, which cover topics ranging from reaching new markets and boosting the credit union's loan portfolio, participants and more than 40 vendors will have opportunities for one-on-one interaction and sharing best practices. CUNA Strategic Services alliance providers LendKey, which offers custom private student lending programs, and Twenty Twenty Analytics, which provides tools to measure collateral, grade loans, and stress test portfolios, will be among the companies onsite to share insights about how credit unions can expand their lending programs.
To honor credit union lenders who shape the direction of the movement, the Excellence in Lending awards, co-sponsored by CUNA Lending Council and CUNA Mutual Group, will be presented during the conference. The awards recognize credit unions generating outstanding lending results through stable and sustainable operations.
This year's young credit union professionals will have a chance to "crash" the conference and gain first-hand insight into professional development opportunities, as well as a volunteer opportunity to support the ICM Food & Clothing Bank.
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (10/17/13)--LSC, a division of the Illinois Credit Union League's Service Corp., is offering free implementation of its CU Mobile Solution until the end of the year.
"Mobile banking is the great equalizer for credit unions in today's continuing highly competitive financial services marketplace, and we want to help credit unions put a branch in every member's hand," said George Fiegle, LSC executive vice president and chief operating officer. "The technology is here to stay, is a solution that credit union members are asking for, and is vital to credit union growth."
The free implementation represents a value of $3,295, LSC said.
LSC serves about 3,000 credit unions in 49 states, by offering credit, debit, pre-paid debit, portfolio development assistance, ATM services and mobile applications with remote deposit capture.
LSC began offering mobile services this year. Its mobile capabilities include online/mobile banking connection, rates, loan calculators, specials, quick response codes and push notifications.
PLANO, Texas and SANTA ANA, Calif. (10/16/13)--Catalyst Corporate FCU, Plano, Texas, announced it will provide credit unions with cloud computing and other information technology outsourcing solutions provided by Compushare.
Compushare is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
"Credit unions are beginning to consider cloud computing and other forms of information technology outsourcing as a top strategy for reaching many business objectives," said Kathy Garner, Catalyst Corporate president/CEO, citing increased efficiencies, enhanced security, improved disaster recovery and regulatory compliance.
The Catalyst Cloud Computing (C3) platform, powered by Compushare, will allow credit unions to move their local applications and processes to a secure, scalable, high-redundancy remote environment.
C3 offers a library of hundreds of financial and business applications, allowing credit unions to adopt state-of-the-art technology with the necessary security, business continuity and compliance guaranteed to meet their business needs.
The C3 platform eliminates the costs, resources, maintenance, integration, back up and future upgrades required for supporting an on-premise hardware infrastructure. Applications and data can be accessed securely through any Internet connection.
"The economic and regulatory environment demonstrates how important it is for credit unions to focus on their business without having to worry about investing in and maintaining technology assets," said Romir Bosu, Compushare CEO. "Our IT outsourcing solutions allow Catalyst Corporate's member credit unions to do just that. Compushare is the first in the financial industry offering this category-defining solution so credit unions can realize all of the benefits the cloud can deliver."
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (10/16/13)--Diebold, a CUNA Strategic Service provider, has introduced a new family of banking terminals that assist with routine transactions at the teller line.
The Opteva Branch Performance Series are in-lobby teller terminals that deliver a self-service or partially assisted service capability directly at the teller line, next to a teller pod or as a stand-alone unit within the lobby or vestibule.
"Our job is to help connect banks with their customers in a way that simplifies the process and enhances the experience for both parties," said Frank A. Natoli Jr., Diebold executive vice president and chief innovation officer. "As consumer needs change, we are helping financial institutions evolve the form and function of the branch to become a more efficient, customer-centric destination."
Branch Performance Series terminals migrate transactions to a self-service device within the branch, reducing the costs associated with completing routine transactions at the teller line. This allows credit union employees to spend more time interacting with members for value-added transactions.
The in-lobby teller terminals are oriented toward the needs of the branch, allowing automation and tellers to coexist in meaningful ways. Keeping consumers inside the branch enhances personal interactions and enables financial institutions to capitalize on cross-selling opportunities.
Among the transactions the terminals can conduct are withdrawals and envelope-free check and cash deposits. The in-lobby teller terminals can be integrated with Concierge Video Services and Agilis Campaign Office to further personalize the interaction experience and connect with call center staff.
MADISON, Wis. (10/15/13)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has released a video on YouTube that answers the question, "What is Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training?"
The short video includes testimonials from recent DE Training graduates.
"The DE program is a great opportunity to help both new employees to credit unions as well as seasoned employees to have an opportunity to learn more about the history and philosophy of the credit union movement," said Patrick La Pine, League of Southeastern Credit Unions president/CEO, in the video. "I would encourage anyone to attend this program if they really want to learn how they can make a difference in helping the movement forward."
The video can be viewed on YouTube or through a direct link. Use the links.
DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. During the six-day total immersion experience, participants are involved in group exercises, field trips, and issue discussions with speakers from around the credit union system, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any area.
Three DE training sessions are scheduled for 2014, with the first taking place Jan. 22-29 at the Rizzo Conference Center near the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. The next two trainings will be April 23-30 and Sept. 10-17 at The Lowell Center, on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis.
Registration is open for all three trainings is open. Use the link.
MADISON, Wis. (10/11/13)--One hundred seventy-eight individuals from the CUNA Regulatory Compliance School earned or renewed their Credit Union Compliance Experts (CUCE) designation in September, bringing the total nationwide to more than 2,000, the Credit Union National Association announced today.
The designation is aligned with the CUNA Regulatory Compliance School, which offers attendees a thorough understanding of the current regulatory environment through an overall compliance update and in-depth examinations of individual regulations.
CUNA's compliance experts equip each attendee with the tools and knowledge to meet future compliance questions head on. The curriculum is offered in two learning tracks, Introduction and Update, to account for attendees' varying degrees of compliance familiarity.
The CUCE designation, created by CUNA to help credit union compliance professionals keep current, is given to individuals who take initiative and lead their credit unions through the industry's most challenging compliance issues.
The CUCE identifies designees as experts in the compliance field and fosters bonds within credit unions through the positive and focused communication skills developed through the school, CUNA said.
DALLAS (10/11/13)--Credit union mortgage services provider CU Members Mortgage is offering a Credit Union Elite Partners Reward Program to its credit union partners.
"Our Elite Partners program is geared toward rewarding our top-performing partners," said Randy Shannon, vice president of correspondent lending with CU Members Mortgage. "We realize how important mortgage lending is for credit unions in the bigger economic picture and for the well-being of the industry, so we developed this beneficial rewards program to help spur their lending activity for enhanced results. In the end, they win with more business and their members win with purchasing new homes."
The mortgage servicing company's eligible correspondent credit union partners receive a special discount in fees and 25-basis point price improvement. Once credit unions meet their quarterly goal, they receive the benefits the following quarter.
The program includes a 25-basis point improvement-pricing reflected on rate sheet adjustment and $200 discount on administration fees.
Eligibility requirements include:
- Minimum 65% pull-through rate;
- Maximum 120% underwriting resubmission rate; and
- One million dollars in loans funded per month or $3 million funded quarterly.
MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (10/10/13)--With the holidays approaching, MY CU Services offers an online donation feature through which credit unions can contribute to their favorite charities, including the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
MY CU Services' electronic bill pay (EBP) program, provided to members of more than 750 credit unions nationwide, is encouraging users to send their donations electronically this holiday season to charities of their choice. For every donation members send before Dec. 31, MY CU Services will make a $1 donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
CMN is a non-profit organization raising funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America to help subsidize research and training, equipment, and uncompensated costs of patient treatments and care.
"As we approach the year's prime time for charitable giving, we want to raise awareness of our EBP donation feature," said Jaime Agostino, marketing manager for MY CU Services. "It not only makes giving to your favorite charities simple and convenient, it also touches others through additional donations to CMN."
The donation option also allows members to make contributions in recognition of others, mail acknowledgements of donations, and create personal e-mails to notify those honored or recognized by donations.
LIVONIA, Mich. (10/9/13)--Invest in America's Credit Union Auto Club now offers an online promotional portal.
Credit Union Auto Club's new portal helps credit unions purchase up to 100 club memberships in one transaction at a discount, said CU Solutions Group.
"Credit unions can save $10 per membership while continuing to earn their marketing reimbursement funds with each membership purchase," said David Adams, CU Solutions Group president/CEO.
Credit unions receive marketing reimbursements ranging from $5 to $9 per plan, based on the plan type.
The portal's discounted bulk memberships can help credit unions:
Drive auto loan volume--Offer free Credit Union Auto Club memberships as auto loan incentives;
Welcome new members--Include a free membership welcome kit; and
Provide employee rewards--Use club memberships as rewards for employee contests or performance incentives.
Credit Union Auto Club provides credit unions with a source of non-interest income and roadside assistance services for their members.
LAS VEGAS (10/9/13)--CU Wallet, a mobile payments initiative designed specifically for credit unions by credit unions, announced agreements with three vendors at the MONEY2020 conference in Las Vegas.
CU Wallet selected Paydiant to provide the platform for its mobile wallet solution. With Paydiant, CU Wallet will integrate complete mobile wallet capabilities into its own mobile application, including contactless mobile payments, e-receipts, redemption and cardless cash access on existing payment terminals, point-of-sale systems, ATMs and online shopping carts.
The Paydiant platform is deployed in partnership with card-issuing financial institutions, retailers, restaurants, merchant processors, debit/ATM networks and POS providers Paydiant's platform works with existing smartphones, POS systems and payment terminals, including entry-level countertop devices.
CU Wallet also announced partnerships with technology providers DoubleBeam and CheckAlt.
CU Wallet is integrating DoubleBeam's mobile payments software development kit, giving credit unions the ability to "onboard" members by simply taking a picture of a blank check and photo ID.
CheckAlt's mobile payment processing solution will provide credit unions with end-to-end processing.
Fifteen credit unions, ranging from $400 million to more than $5 billion in assets, representing more than two million members nationwide, have signed agreements with CU Wallet.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (10/8/13)--Compushare, a D+H company and a technology management provider for the financial industry, has migrated two credit unions to its C3 cloud computing solution.
Compushare is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community FCU and Insight CU, Orlando, Fla. are the new C3 clients.
"The economic and regulatory environment demonstrates how important it is for credit unions to focus on their business without having to worry about investing in and maintaining technology assets," said Romir Bosu, Compushare CEO. "Our C3 Cloud Computing solution allows all credit unions to do just that."
Compushare is the first in the financial industry to offer the solution so credit unions can realize all of the advantages the technology brings to the industry, the company said. "We have seen the adoption of cloud computing among credit unions increase over the last couple of years and, with the recent addition of our latest credit union clients, have found that the market is ready for a hosted solution that helps control costs, improve efficiencies and prepare for increased compliance requirements," said Bosu.
"Adoption of cloud computing will grow as credit unions look for ways to be competitive and see the benefits of its cost and operational efficiencies," said Wes Millar, senior vice president of CUNA Strategic Services. "CUNA Strategic Services chose Compushare as a strategic alliance provider for its cloud-based application platform, C3, which was built specifically for financial services organizations," he added.
MADISON, Wis. (10/7/13)--The CUNA Consumer & Residential Mortgage Lending School, scheduled for April 14-17 in Las Vegas, is designed to strengthen core lending skills, answer questions and offer opportunities for credit union lenders to further develop their proficiencies.
In addition to conference sessions, the school features insights and best practices from credit unions that have successfully grown loans.
"This year's school will place a strong emphasis on developing attendees' professional versatility," said Kathy Smith, Credit Union National Association instructional design manager.
"As the financial industry grows more complex, the most effective lenders will be those who see the big picture of the field that they excel within. We're committed to preparing today's credit union lending professionals with well-rounded skills necessary to succeed in the credit union market," she said.
Among the school's speakers will be Brett Christensen, owner of CU Lending Advice LLC, who will share tips for increasing monthly loan production. Other speakers will cover lending topics from portfolio risk rating and growth to consumer compliance and regulatory reviews.
For lenders who have attended in the past, or experienced lending professionals, the school offers three levels of training, ensuring that professionals of all aptitudes will leave prepared to handle their future lending challenges, CUNA said.
PASADENA, Calif. (10/4/13)--Wescom Resources Group (WRG), a provider of software and technology service solutions for credit unions, launched its MemberEdge Tellergy tablet software at CUNA Technology Council Conference last week, earning the company the conference's "Best of Show" award.
WRG's Tellergy is an automation software that uses standard Apple or Windows tablets to support member identification, signature capture and archival, product marketing, and eReceipt delivery to members interacting with tellers or member service representatives in the branch.
"The innovation here is that we are bringing retail and mobile technology to credit union branches, which provides multiple functions in a simplistic format," said WRG President Tim Dolan. "We have streamlined several processes for the member, combined with a very elegant way to promote products and grow our member engagement. It's time we utilize new technology in our branches like Tellergy to create a stronger, more meaningful connection with members."
Using Tellergy, credit unions can identify their members, deliver electronic receipts, market their offers, update member information, and capture and store their signatures all at the teller line. The automation helps improve security, reduces operating costs, improves marketing campaign acceptance and enhances the credit union's brand, WRG said.
With Tellergy, tablets have become replacements for the third-party signature pads to capture signatures effectively. They also accept card swipes, display full receipts, prompt for eReceipts, and allow members to input their identifying information without having to speak out their account number.
Future product enhancements will allow for additional services like eStatement opt-ins and other cost-cutting measures. The initial deployment using iPad Mini's has been live at Wescom CU, Pasadena, Calif., since mid-July. The Windows tablet version is pending release in the coming months.
WAUSAU, Wis. (10/3/13)--Connexus CU, Wausau, Wis., has acquired Mukwonago, Wis.-based, Financial Institution Lending Options (FILO), a company that provides financial institutions with auto loans through pool sales, participation pools or whole loan flow sales.
"We plan to leverage the combined talents of FILO and Connexus to expand the FILO program to more credit unions in other states," said J. David Christenson, Connexus CU president/CEO.
In its 12-year history, FILO has made more than $1 billion of auto loans, financed from its 400-plus dealer network.
Connexus provides FILO a terrific opportunity to further increase and build on our growth in the auto finance market," said Jerry Briggs, FILO president/CEO. "This transaction strengthens our company, which positions us to further benefit our clients."
BERKELEY, Calif. (10/2/13)--Shastic, a technology company that creates social applications for financial institutions including credit unions, has introduced an application that uses cloud technology to integrate the Web and Facebook to market loans.
Calcubot Cloud helps Internet users explore a loan on Facebook and seamlessly continue their investigation on the Web--or vice versa--without having to start over again.
"People hate entering the same information twice," Ariel Gomez, Shastsic CEO. "Forcing them to do so substantially reduces conversion rates. By using the cloud, users can shop for loans cross channel without any data re-entry."
Calcubot Cloud's consultative approach walks prospective loan customers through an interactive buying process tailored to a financial institution's lending products. Members can save loan calculations in the cloud and access them from anywhere. 'Savings Alerts' can notify users when interest rates fall to a desired level.
The social aspect of Calcubot Cloud lies in its ability to be shared with the end-user's Facebook friends with the click of a "Like" button, creating viral brand awareness for the financial institution. Unlike most financial technology installations that require months or even years to complete, Calcubot Cloud can be configured and installed in 15 minutes.
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (10/1/13)--IQR Consulting, a data analytics firm serving credit unions, will present a series of three webinars on data analytics, beginning Oct. 16.
The webinars will focus on the specific analytical needs of credit unions. The webinars are designed to help credit unions understand how insights drawn from data can improve member services, increase member engagement, enhance product performance and reduce operating expenses.
The first webinar, at 2 p.m. ET, is an introduction to data analytics. In the one-hour session, credit union leaders learn how analytics can help them make the best use of their available resources and obtain a competitive edge.
Among the questions to be answered during the webinar:
What is analytics, and what does it means to credit unions?
How are financial institutions using it to solve their pressing issues?
How and in which areas can credit unions use analytics?
What kind of benefits can credit unions reap using analytics?
The remaining two webinars will cover the design of successful marketing campaigns and the growth of card portfolios using analytics.