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13 CUs sign up for alternative corporate service

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BISMARCK, N.D. (12/30/10)--Thirteen credit unions have committed to ProDraft Services Inc.’s corporate credit union alternative system--which requires no capital commitment from user credit unions. ProDraft was developed to provide services to credit unions that do not want to re-capitalize corporate credit unions, but who still want to be part of a credit union system. The service provides an alternative with little change in a credit union’s internal operations and at costs similar to those of corporate credit unions, ProDraft said in a press release. The service leverages ProDraft’s relationship with Fifth Third Bank. ProDraft Services Inc. is a credit union service organization owned by 38 credit unions that provides item processing, remote branch capture and correspondent service solutions. The company was formed as a credit union service organization in April 2009, but has been providing services to credit unions since 1985, first as part of the North Dakota Credit Union League Service Corp. and then as a division of Midwest Corporate FCU.

Calyx Software acquires Loan-Score Decisioning Systems

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DALLAS (12/28/10)--Calyx Software, a mortgage automation provider based in San Jose, Calif., has acquired Loan-Score Decisioning Systems. After integrating Loan-Score with its Point software in September, Calyx purchased the assets and business of Loan-Score. The service experience for Loan-Score customers will be business as usual, with contact numbers and personnel remaining the same. Calyx will add staff within the next several months to accommodate the business and customer needs of both companies. Loan-Score Decisioning Systems, a 10-year-old company based in Irvine, Calif., offers its clients, including credit unions, a suite of services that includes a product and pricing engine, an automated underwriting system, a portfolio analysis engine, point-of-sale Web portals and a system-to-system integration bridge.

Bluepoint Solutions releases client case study

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VISTA, Calif. (12/23/10)--Bluepoint Solutions has released a client case study that investigates how JSC FCU moved from a third-party item processing provider to an in-house environment. The study specifically offers an in-depth look at the Houston-based credit union’s implementation of Bluepoint Solutions’ ImagePoint item processing suite and Receipt Manager solution. JSC FCU operates 16 branches throughout the Houston area, and has more than 116,000 members and $1.5 billion in assets. The credit union cited streamlined workflow, ease of use and the projected savings as the primary reasons for selecting the Bluepoint’s platform. Based on the JSC FCU’s current volume of 14,000 checks per day, Bluepoint estimated total cost savings of more than $10,000 per month, or $600,000 over five years.

New technology integrated with mortgage origination documents

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DALLAS, Texas (12/22/10)--In a development designed to make the mortgage origination process both faster and more accurate, MRG Document Technologies (MRG) has integrated its online electronic document preparation system with Mortgage Builder’s loan origination software (LOS) system. For lenders in many states, closing document packages must be prepared by a licensed attorney. Through the integration, loan data can be imported directly from the Mortgage Builder LOS into MIRACLE Online, where MRG’s in-house staff of attorneys creates the content for the closing packages. The automation is designed to alleviate the risk of inaccuracy that can develop with the manual re-keying of data. In addition, Mortgage Builder said its clients--including credit unions--will be in compliance with the latest regulatory updates.

CUSO helps with liquidation transition

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (12/21/10)--Xtend Inc. has been contracted by Alaska USA FCU to help provide uninterrupted service following the liquidation of one of its credit union partners. On Oct. 29, the National Credit Union Administration was appointed liquidating agent of Spokane, Wash.-based The Union CU (TUCU) and immediately worked with Alaska USA FCU and Numerica CU to purchase and assume certain assets and liabilities of TUCU. Alaska USA FCU contracted Xtend to provide operational support services to help ensure continuous member service and back office operations during the transition. The credit union service organization was contracted to provide call center, bookkeeping and compliance monitoring services.

Free mobile banking gains traction at CUAnswers

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (12/21/10)--CU*Answers has signed and activated more than 110 credit unions for Mobile Web Banking, which it provides free as part of the It’s Me 247 Online Banking suite. Mobile Web Banking allows members to access accounts from their mobile devices and be automatically redirected to a mobile-optimized version of the credit union’s It’s Me 247 website. The mobile banking service has features similar to CU*Answers’ It’s Me 247 online banking solution, such as the ability for member to view account balances and transaction histories and make transfers between accounts. CU*Answers also says that it has developed a collaborative marketing strategy to assist credit unions in promoting the mobile banking service to members. Lobby posters, statement inserts and other collateral materials are available at discounted pricing.

TMG authors white paper on emerging global payments standard

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DES MOINES, Iowa (12/20/10)--Aris Jerahian, vice president of client relations for The Members Group (TMG), takes a look at the driving forces behind what many are calling an inevitable U.S. adoption of chip-and-PIN technology to support the Europay MasterCard, Visa standard (EMV), in a newly released white paper. “There are indications from several ends of the payments industry spectrum that U.S. adoption is considered likely--if not inevitable,” Jerahian writes. Among the indicators Jerahian discusses are the U.S. as the path of least resistance for fraudsters, the Fed’s recent formation of a forum to examine EMV, and the development of mag-stripe bridging technologies. Jerahian also describes how American financial institutions can learn from early U.S. adopters, like TMG client United Nations FCU of New York, and lays out four questions every financial institution should ask of its processing partner before following suit. TMG is owned by Iowa credit unions and their members.

Lending Insights offers tools risk reports

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ONTARIO, Calif (12/20/10)--Lending Insights has announced a series of new analytical tools, reports and enhancements to help credit unions satisfy regulatory risk-management and compliance requirements. The tools bolster Lending Insights’ Lending Performance Management System (LPMS) program’s library, adding more than 75 new system reports designed to help credit unions advance their risk-management practices and processes, and their overall portfolio success. The company developed the system reports to accommodate the changing regulatory environment and to satisfy the risk-management practices required by regulators. The new reports address a number of areas:
* Concentration risk; * Credit-score migration; * Loan-to-value analysis by loan loss or delinquency; * Term analysis by loan loss or delinquency; * Dealer profitability; * Portfolio analysis; and * Static pool analysis.
In a letter to credit unions in March focusing on concentration risk, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) emphasized a need for the expanded list of system reports. NCUA noted that “credit union officials and management have a fiduciary responsibility to identify, measure, monitor and control concentration risk. Concentration risk must be managed in conjunction with credit, interest rates and liquidity risks; as a negative event in any category may have significant consequences on the other areas, as well as strategic and reputation risks.” Lending Insights’ LPMS program offers a set of online monitoring and reporting tools that help credit unions manage their loan portfolios, and meet regulatory compliance. The program tracks performance and trends against a credit union’s goals, and provides branch management tools, capabilities to assess performance by portfolio segments, and market intelligence tools to benchmark the credit union’s performance against other lenders.

CU Village HRN Management Group form CU Solutions Group

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LIVONIA, Mich. (12/17/10)--CU Village and its sister company HRN Management Group will merge in January and will be known under a new name and brand: CU Solutions Group. "We brought CU Solutions Group together with one goal in mind--to help credit unions grow, remain strong and to better serve their members," said CU Solutions Group President/CEO Dave Adams. The merger now provides a "total suite of the products and services credit unions need--all under one umbrella." Shareholders of the two companies approved the merger in late October. While majority ownership is held by the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates, including its wholly owned subsidiary CUcorp, the new company is owned by 37 investors, including numerous leagues, credit unions and credit union system organizations around the country. A key strategy will be to work with leagues and other credit union system partners to bring solutions to the marketplace, such as it has done with its partnerships with Sprint and General Motors through the Invest in America program. CU Solutions serves nearly 3,000 credit unions nationwide and has partnerships with 37 leagues. It will maintain the same staff and offerings under four divisions that both work independently and support each other. Among its offerings:
* Technology Solutions, which will provide websites, consulting, custom solutions and e-business products and services, including its flagship content management system behind the InfoSight compliance system, and FindACreditUnion.com. * Marketing Solutions, a marketing and advertising agency designed to assist credit unions with their marketing needs. * Membership Enhancement Solutions, which delivers under the Invest in America brand, exclusive discounts on products and services for credit union members designed to drive business to credit unions, increasing value of membership and wallet share. * HRN Performance Solutions, a range of talent, compensation, governance and human resource management products and services to help improve organizational performance. This includes the well-known Performance Pro and Compease products.

CU among first to join S1-PayPal pact

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NORCROSS, Ga. (12/17/10)--Corporate America Family CU is among the first credit unions to offer person-to-person payments through an S1-PayPal agreement. To date, 10 financial institutions have signed with PM Systems, a subsidiary of S1, to offer person-to-person payments through PayPal. The agreement allows consumers to send money to almost anyone with a mobile phone or e-mail address through the PayPal network. To send money, the sender logs into online or mobile banking, enters the destination e-mail address or mobile phone number, and transfers the money. If the recipient is one of the 90 million PayPal users, the funds will be deposited instantly for verified accounts. If recipients do not have a PayPal account, prompts lead them to create one. Financial institutions can tailor pricing for this new offering to generate fee-based revenues. “We see person-to-person payments as a good opportunity to give our members added convenience and to differentiate our institution in our markets,” said Pete Paulson, CEO of Corporate America Family CU, Elgin, Illinois. “The integration with PayPal through S1 enables our credit union to meet our goals of providing 24x7 mobile payment services that meet our members’ needs.” Corporate America Family CU is a $540 million-asset institution.

Xtend boasts best year yet

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (12/17/10)--Xtend Inc. had a special year in 2010, highlighted by the credit union service organization (CUSO) passing the $1 million sales mark for the first time. Preliminary numbers for the CUSO (for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30) reflected greater sales--1.33 million, a 47.6% increase for all of their business units. The largest hikes over 2009 results were seen at the Xtension Call Center ($406,000; up 107%), Communication Services ($157,000; up 79%), SRS Bookkeeping ($449,000, a 31% increase), Audit Link compliance-related services ($195,000; a 43% increase) and Mortgage Servicing ($99,000; a 21% increase). Xtend also reported a 37% overall revenue for its Member Reach e-messaging service, which delivered more than 3.5 million messages to members of 53 credit unions. Scott Collins, president of Xtend, said credit unions used Member Reach more this year to communicate regulatory changes and market new services.

Ongoing Operations powers new Cloudworks IT suite

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (12/16/10)--Credit union service provider Ongoing Operations has partnered with Cloudworks to create a new suite of information technology offerings specifically for credit unions. The partnership blends Ongoing Operations’ experience as a business continuity and disaster recovery solutions provider with Cloudworks’ focus on delivering hosted applications. The new Cloudworks powered by Ongoing Operations solutions suite will initially include Hosted Exchange and Virtual Desktop products. The new products are designed to reduce total cost of ownership, shift capital expenditures into predictable monthly service fees, and improve the end-user experience.

Symitar VIP attracts Experian QAS on addresses

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BOSTON, Mass. (12/16/10)--Experian QAS will integrate its address verification software into Symitar’s Episys core processing system through a partnership announced Tuesday. The move was made possible when Experian joined the Symitar Vendor Integration Program (VIP). The Experian technology will allow users to verify and standardize member addresses in real time. The QAS Pro Web integration with Episys is designed to reduce returned mail and associated costs, improve member satisfaction and increase marketing effectiveness. “Credit unions have a finite number of potential members; therefore, service is of paramount importance,” said David Northridge, vice president of client retention for Experian QAS. “By verifying the member’s address up front, credit unions can do more to improve the member onboarding process and ensure the delivery of time-sensitive communications.” VIP membership enables Experian to integrate the QAS software directly with Episys. Once enabled, Episys users have the ability to employ Experian QAS functionality for newly captured addresses, and for unverified existing addresses. The QAS Pro Web integration with Episys is available to users immediately.

Intersections partners with Childrens Miracle Network

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CHANTILLY, Va. (12/15/10)--CUNA Strategic Services provider Intersections Inc. has announced plans to partner with Children's Miracle Network, which raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals across North America. Intersections is a provider of consumer and corporate identity risk-management services. It plans to raise funds for the network through corporate initiatives and by donating a portion of its proceeds from the new Identity Guard memberships to the network. "Children's Miracle Network gives children and their families hope by providing them with financial and emotional resources to help them get through the most difficult of times," said Intersections Chairman/CEO Michael Stanfield. The group's sponsorship of the cause will "help raise awareness and funds that will make a difference across communities, and most important, with children," he added.

Pass-through credit processing live at CO-OP Financial Service

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (12/15/10)--CO-OP Financial Services has gone live with pass-through processing for credit card transactions. Pass-through credit processing, also known as internal credit processing, allows credit unions to maintain control and customization in servicing their members, while implementing a less expensive processing solution than a fully outsourced processing solution. With pass-through processing, the credit union’s host platform is the system of record for the credit card accounts. The credit union processes all transaction authorization and posting, and back-room services, including servicing and collections. “With CO-OP Pass-Through Credit, we can now offer our clients the simplicity and lower processing costs of a bundled debit and credit solution,” said Stan Hollen, president/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services. “Credit unions can maintain a high level of control and customization in their credit card programs, and at a great value.” CO-OP Pass-Through Credit is an internal credit processing solution provided through a single connection to the host and delivered with the same CO-OP fraud, chargeback and credit union-servicing processes used for debit and ATM program support. CO-OP Financial Services is also offering a white paper entitled “Credit Card Processing: Insource or Outsourced? A Comparative Study.”

Fiserv enhances online-payment marketing website

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (12/15/10)--FiServ has enhanced its online-payment marketing website to offer financial institutions more self-serve marketing materials. Financial institutions that use CheckFree, RXP, Paytraxx or ZashPay payment systems provided by Fiserv can access from the site marketing materials, such as postcards, statement stuffers, e-mail templates, online landing page content and banner ads. Interactive tools, such as prerecorded podcasts, time savings calculators, and video tutorials offering step-by-step instructions, to help potential users understand the value of online payments, are also available for download. Fiserv said its statistics for the previous year show that among a group of 69 financial institutions, those that used one or more Fiserv-developed online bill payment marketing campaigns saw active users grow an average of 21% to nearly 32%, versus an average growth of 16.5% for nonmarketers. Fiserv said its research also indicates that bill payers are among the most loyal and profitable financial institution customers. Norb Adrian, vice president of information technology at Centra Credit Union, Columbus, Ind., said the credit union has seen an increase in bill payment users of 18% since it began working with Fiserv. Centra CU has also recently launched Fiserv’s ZashPay person-to-person payment service. “Despite increasing usage over the last decade, only half of online banking users currently pay bills at their bank or credit union website, leaving significant room for continued adoption,” said Geoff Knapp, vice president of online banking and consumer insights for Fiserv.

Dynamic Card Solutions receives unembossed-cards patent

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (12/14/10)--Datacard Corp. said its recent acquisition, Dynamic Card Solutions (DCS) has been awarded a patent for instant-issue printing technology for unembossed “flat” financial cards. Filed in 2007, the patent gives issuers the ability to produce--in their branches--debit and credit cards from blank card stock instantly, using reverse retransfer film with inhibitor panels. Using DCS’ CardWizard platform issuers can print standard background designs, custom images, cardholder’s name, expiration date, logos, permanent account numbers and CVV/CVV2 codes in real time on full, over-the-edge retransfer film instead of directly on the card, using panels to inhibit the retransfer film from transferring to the card on areas such as the signature panel, magnetic stripe or contact chip. As debit and credit cards increase in popularity, more financial institutions are using instant-issue technology to produce cards with multiple background images to associate their cards with affinity programs and/or institutional branding, said Ron Zanotti, senior vice president of financial instant issuance for Datacard Group. “This type of personalization at the branch level is an affordable way that financial institutions can increase service levels, increase revenue generation on cards, and cross-sell other card products,” Zanotti said.

MasterCard adds fraud tools

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PURCHASE, N.Y. (12/14/10)--MasterCard announced it is adding real-time fraud scoring and compromised account services to its existing suite of fraud-detection services. The real-time fraud scoring provides issuers with a predictive fraud score during authorization that indicates the likelihood that a transaction is fraudulent. The compromised account service provides issuers fraud prediction for accounts that have been subjected to a data compromise event and may be more prone to fraud. As a result, MasterCard said issuers can more effectively assess the threat of fraud on compromised accounts to reduce their fraud losses and lower their re-issuance costs. The fraud scoring technology is available in the U.S., Canada, South America, United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe. This service will be introduced in all European markets early in 2011 and other markets worldwide throughout 2011. The compromised-account service is available to issuers globally in every market.

New Social Media Roadmap service announced

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HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. (12/13/10)--Internet marketing agency WebAdvantage.net has launched a consulting service to help clients develop social media strategies. The Social Media Roadmap will help clients identify the best social media channels, tactics, and strategies for engaging the target audience, while providing built-in metrics for tracking, measuring, and analyzing the results, according to WebAdvantage.net. With the addition of the Social Media Roadmap, WebAdvantage.net continues to expand its suite of social media marketing services, which includes social media optimization and blog support that the agency has provided for clients such as Freedom Federal Credit Union, in Bel Air, Md.. “Our agency has been providing social media services to clients long before ‘social media’ was defined,” said Hollis Thomases, president of WebAdvantage.net. “Our new service addresses the growing market need for business guidance and best practices in creating and executing social media strategies.”

DocuSign gets 27M in capital investments

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SEATTLE (12/13/10)--E-signature provider DocuSign has secured $27 million from investors. The investment was led by Scale Venture Partners with continued participation from prior investors Sigma Partners, Ignition Partners, Frazier Technology Ventures and salesforce.com. With the latest infusion, DocuSign has raised $60 million in funding. Among DocuSign’s credit union clients are: IAA CU, Bloomington, Ill.; El Paso Employees FCU, El Paso, Texas; Deer Valley CU, Phoenix; Generations CU, Rockford, Ill.; and Dupaco Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa.

Harland acquires uMonitor

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LAKE MARY, Fla. (12/10/10)--Financial services technology firm Harland Financial Solutions has increased its presence in the online and electronic payments marketplace with the acquisition of Tennessee-based uMonitor. Harland Financial said it will immediately begin integrating uMonitor’s solutions into its existing core, lending, mortgage, branch automation, Internet and mobile banking offerings. uMonitor solutions allow financial institutions to provide services online, in branches and at call centers. Services include new account opening and funding to account-to-account money transfers, person-to-person payments, account and adviser-client relationship management, and bill presentment and payment. Harland Financial said it will continue to operate both uMonitor’s main office in Memphis, Tenn. and its development office in Trivandrum, India. Harland Financial Solutions President Raj Shivdasani said that uMonitor’s products and services are an ideal complement to those of Harland Financial Solutions. “We now offer end-to-end banking, from back office to consumer facing systems, while maintaining the financial institution's brand and involvement in the transaction,” Shivdasani said.

CU is first FI to pilot STAR CertiFlash

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (12/10/10)--JM Associates FCU is the first financial institution to pilot Star CertiFlash, a new personal identification number (PIN) debit application offered by the STAR Network that advances point-of-sale (POS) security using one-time card number technology. The STAR CertiFlash technology is programmed onto a contactless chip embedded within a payment device, such as a card. For each transaction, the chip encrypts and transmits a card number that is good for only a single use. The STAR CertiFlash application is built on payment specifications from merchant processor First Data. JM Associates FCU, an $83 million asset institution based in Jacksonville, Fla., volunteered to be the first financial institution to test the product. In the initial test, its employees used the technology to purchase items from participating merchants.

Social Security Admin selects ID Analytics

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PORTLAND, Ore. and SAN DIEGO (12/9/10)--The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) has awarded ID Analytics and ID Experts a five-year blanket purchase agreement to help the SSA protect against and respond to breaches of personal information. ID Analytics is a CUNA Strategic Services partner. ID Analytics and ID Experts will provide the SSA a suite of services to minimize and protect against data compromises in conformation with SSA and Office of Management and Budget compliance requirements. The agreement is the result of an open market competitive procurement. Under the agreement, ID Analytics will provide the SSA with its ID Analytics for Data Defense solution to assess the risk of harm from possible and actual breaches. ID Experts will provide notification services, call center support, credit monitoring and personal restoration services for victims of identity theft. If the SSA suspects a data breach, ID Analytics and ID Experts will provide a full range of capabilities, such as forensic analysis of computer systems and networks; determination of steps to remediate the vulnerabilities; and investigation of the cause of the breach. ID Analytics will use its patented technology to analyze the potential risk of identity fraud for individuals involved in the incident.

Southeast Corporate teams with Sallie Mae

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (12/9/10)--Southeast Corporate FCU in Tallahassee, Fla., has established an arrangement with Sallie Mae to offer the Smart Option Student Loan program to member credit unions. The program is designed to assist families in meeting the rising cost of college while helping students graduate with less debt and pay off the loan faster after graduation. Students pay interest while in school and graduate with less debt, compared to other longer-term private loan alternatives in which no payments are made until after graduation, said the corporate. A typical freshman can save 30% to 50% on finance charges over the life of the loan. With the loan’s shorter repayment period, a member can pay off the loan five to eight years faster after graduation, compared to a standard 15-year interest-deferred private loan. The member may select either a $25 monthly in-school payment plan or opt to pay interest only while in school. Also available are an on-time payment reward and interest-rate discounts for automatic payments. “This opens the door for credit unions to establish a long-term financial partnership with young adults,” said Brad Miller, president/CEO of Southeast Corporate FCU.

CO-OP Member Center marks first year

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (12/8/10)--Marking its first year as a CO-OP Financial Services subsidiary, CO-OP Member Center is approaching 300 credit unions on its client roster, with contracts including four of the 100 largest credit unions in the U.S. “Since CO-OP Financial Services acquired CO-OP Member Center in November 2009, we have achieved some important milestones, including reaching the four million mark in total loan applications processed in our history, and the introduction of our Outbound Call Services,” said Mark Chatfield, CO-OP Member Center’s chief operating officer. “During 2010, we have added new credit union clients in 16 states and the District of Columbia.” Among clients who have added services, expanded existing agreements or newly joined the call center in 2010 are:
* Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C.--ranks 47th among U.S. credit unions by asset size with $2.1 billion in assets, according to Credit Unions Online.com; * State Employees CU of Maryland, Linthicum, Md.--ranks 52nd with $2 billion in assets; * GTE FCU, Tampa, Fla.--ranks 74th with $1.7 billion in assets; and * Georgia’s Own CU, Atlanta, Ga.--ranks 85th with $1.5 billion in assets.
“CO-OP Member Center provides Coastal FCU with 24/7 Member Service and Lending call center support,” said Valerie Curtis, vice president of member services for Coastal FCU. “Two of our primary strategies are to increase the number of members actively promoting the credit union as well as deepening member relationships. The level of convenience and accessibility CO-OP Member Center provides is incorporated into those strategies. “Not only does a 24/7 call center allow us to help members at their convenience, we have taken advantage of CO-OP Member Center’s expertise in supporting outbound call campaigns. We recently benefitted from both parts of that relationship in supporting our efforts surrounding Reg. E changes,” Curtis said.

Fynanz syndicates College Resources Center for CUs

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NEW YORK, N.Y. (12/8/10)--Private student lender Fynanz, Inc. has announced it will syndicate its College Resource Center (CRC) to all of its credit union partners. Fynanz is a CUNA Strategic Services partner. The CRC, which is distributed from the cuStudentLoans.org private student loan marketplace, gives credit unions the ability to integrate a resource for college planning within their own websites. The content includes insight on the higher education industry, such as how to plan college visits, how to select a school, choose a major and navigate the college financing process. The content is developed and maintained by Ken O’Connor, a 10-year veteran of the financial aid industry and current director of student advocacy at cuStudentLoans.org. Participating credit unions will automatically receive the most recent updates to their websites via the CRC’s content syndication functionality. “The program complements the financial literacy mission of many of our credit union partners,” said Vince Passione, Fynanz CEO. “Today more than ever, with escalating tuitions costs and increasingly competitive admissions standards, students interested in pursuing a college education need to be better informed on their options. This program helps bridge the knowledge gap that so many families face when developing their college plans.” Mike Powers, assistant vice president of marketing for Garden Savings FCU, Parsippany, N.J., the first credit union partner to fully integrate the CRC, said a time-saving feature is that the content remains fresh without any additional effort from his staff. Powers also said development and implementation was a quick and easy process. The CRC, which has already been implemented by five credit union partners, will be made available to all credit unions currently within Fynanz's partner network. Current credit unions using the center include Aspire FCU, Clark, N.J.; First FCU, Toms River, N.J.; Garden Savings FCU; Seattle Metropolitan CU, Seattle; and Tri-Co FCU, Randolph, N.J.

ProfitStars introduces profitability reporting services

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MONETT, Mo. (12/7/10)--ProfitStars, a division of Jack Henry & Associates Inc., has introduced Relationship Profitability Management (RPM) Reporting Services, which it said will help its financial institution clients increase the impact of their most profitable members and customers. RPM Reporting Services is an extension of ProfitStars’ RPM enterprise-wide data management solution. The new service provides ongoing reporting and analysis of key performance indicators, including insights into customer/member, officer and product profitability. The service extracts data from any core-application system and uses business rules to appropriately margin, credit risk and expenses among customer accounts. Each quarter, financial institutions receive 18 reports that document the profitability of customers/members, officers and products. This service also provides trend reporting on the institution’s current profitability situation with profitability improvements insights, and includes a quarterly presentation of these reports and findings by a ProfitStars profitability consultant. “All financial institutions, regardless of their asset size or charter, typically generate the majority of their profits from a select group of customers,” said David Foss, president of ProfitStars. “We believe the financial institutions that will weather the down economy and prosper during the next few years must pay careful, regular attention to the customers, officers, and products that contribute the most profitability. Our RPM Reporting Services will help banks and credit unions identify specific, practical opportunities for revenue and profitability improvements enterprise-wide.” ProfitStars recently launched its Budgeting and Profitability Online Knowledge Center as a centralized resource to assist financial institutions with enhancing performance and assessing the inherent risks associated with budgeting and profitability. The microsite provides ProfitStars’ customers and prospects access to information that helps them assess their business objectives and develop strategies to improve operations, competitive advantages and financial performance. Site visitors can uncover the hidden profit potential in asset-liability tracking, net interest margin improvements, and more effective budgeting, the company said.

Herbst Named CEO of CUMAnet

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BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (12/7/10)--Joseph P. Herbst, a leading figure in two of the corporate credit unions placed under National Credit Union Administration conservatorship, has been named the new president of the Credit Union Mortgage Alliance Network (CUMAnet). The credit union service organization (CUSO), which provides mortgage origination and servicing, seeks to expand its reach nationally. CUMAnet began in the northeast U.S., but has recently expanded to serve Washington D.C., Chicago and other markets. Herbst's “comprehensive background and experience in the industry and success with growing organizations from the regional to the national level will serve as key elements in helping to grow our organization,” said CUMAnet board member Robert Birkahn. Herbst was CEO of Members United Corporate FCU, Warrenville, Ill., which was placed under conservatorship by the NCUA Sept. 25. He also was chairman of the board at U.S. Central FCU, Lenexa, Kan., which the NCUA took over in March 2009. “My primary goals will be to increase CUMAnet’s national footprint and maximize operational efficiencies for future growth, paving the way for low-price options,” said Herbst. “That is, after all, what the credit union system is all about.”

ALM Firsts Financial Institute returns

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DALLAS, Texas (12/6/10)--ALM First Financial Advisors, LLC, a credit union financial advisory firm, will offer its Financial Institute Jan. 24-26, in Grapevine, Texas. The Financial Institute will provide credit unions’ senior management and staff with knowledge about areas such as asset liability management, investment strategies and recent NCUA Advisory letters. Today’s financial landscape is in constant flux, with changing, complex regulations, new strategies and volatile markets. Financial institutions’ ability to stay on top of the issues will directly affect their success. The Financial Institute presents an opportunity for attendees to gain the education and tools they need to better manage and monitor the balance sheet, and to implement proven strategies for the future. ALM First’s Financial Institute is a two-day conference offering two tracks from which to choose: “ALM and Balance-Sheet Management” and “Investment Management and Strategies.” Among the key topics are understanding interest rate risk using net ecomic value, National Credit Union Administration advisory letters, and ALM best practices. The ALM First Financial Institute is recommended for everyone involved in managing or monitoring credit union financial data, including CEOs, chief financial officers, senior management, controllers, treasury staff, financial analysts, accountants, and asset liability committee and board members. Through ALM First’s Financial Institute, credit union personnel and volunteers will learn the intricacies, formulas, and strategies behind essential balance-sheet management and investment processes, becoming better able to manage risk effectively. To ensure an optimal experience for all, attendance is limited to 80 people. For more information, use the link.

CUNA Webinar to help CUs prepare for mortgage lending rule changes

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MADISON, Wis. (12/3/10)--In August, The Federal Reserve Board proposed enhanced consumer protections and disclosures for home mortgage transactions as part of the Truth in Lending Act. More disclosures were issued in October. “The New Mortgage Lending Rules--Are You Ready?” a webinar sponsored by the Credit Union National Association will help credit unions prepare for these changes. The webinar will air on from 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. CT, Dec. 16. Participants in the webinar will:
* Review the interim final rule regarding Mortgage Disclosure Improvements Act (Regulation Z) disclosure notices with the Jan. 30. compliance date; * Examine the final rule regarding Consumer Notification of Mortgage Loan Sales or Transfers with the Jan. 1 compliance date; * Learn about the final rule amending Regulation Z on Loan Compensation and Steering of Loans with the April 1 compliance date; * Discover the interim final rule on appraisals and appraisers with the April 1 compliance date; and * Identify other proposed rule changes.
The webinar will be presented by Andrea Stritzke, CUCE, vice president of regulatory compliance for PolicyWorks. Stritzke is responsible for the delivery of PolicyWorks’ regulatory services and new product development while also working with individual credit unions to provide them with training and counsel on certain regulatory matters. For more information about the webinar, use the link.

Dwolla hits the national stage

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DES MOINES, Iowa (12/2/10)--Credit unions are a step closer to helping their members exchange money through their computers and mobile devices with yesterday’s announcement that Dwolla, the peer-to-peer online and mobile cash system, will offer its services nationally. “Dwolla makes it affordable and convenient for a tenant to pay a landlord, a parent to pay a babysitter or a homeowner to pay a lawn service--from anywhere, anytime,” said Jeff Russell, executive vice president of The Members Group, which along with The Veridian Group, supports the service. In addition to the nationwide availability of its mobile and online offerings, Dwolla yesterday also unveiled its social integration with online communities, such as Facebook and Twitter. TMG will be the primary distribution channel for Dwolla as a product offering to community-based financial institutions, giving credit unions and community banks entry to the next-generation payments market. Dwolla, which allows cash payments to be transferred digitally between two users said it is taking aim at the established electronic payment platforms that are costing businesses and consumers billions of dollars each year. Unlike traditional payment platforms, a Dwolla user receiving funds never gains access to a sender’s personal information. The transaction, which is funneled through a single point of access, is similar to online banking and ensures the highest level of security for Dwolla users.