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CUDP Signs Five New Owner CUs

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LAYTON, Utah (12/30/13)--Credit Union Data Processing (CUDP), a credit union service organization, has signed five new member-owners, who will convert to the CUProgidy core system in 2014.
 
The credit unions include:
  • Denver Community CU;
  • Sooper CU, Arvada, Colo.;
  • Red Rocks CU, Highlands Ranch, Colo.;
  • Minnequa Works CU, Pueblo, Colo.; and
  • First General CU, Norton Shores, Mich.
Also, Dan Kester, CEO of Sooper CU, and Carla Hedrick, CEO of Denver Community CU, joined the board of directors of the Layton, Utah-based core processor.

MCUA, Windstream Partner for Telecomm, Tech Services

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ST. LOUIS (12/27/13)--The Missouri Credit Union Association has partnered with Windstream, a communications and technology service provider with more than 75 years of experience serving the financial services industry.
 
"This partnership was not a difficult decision for us," said Barb Stanek, MCUA vice president of operations. "Credit unions need a voice and data solutions provider they can rely on."
 
Windstream provides the flexibility and network design to link multiple branches with increased bandwidth, the league said (Missouri Difference Dec. 24).
 
The company's solutions are designed reduce toll-call expenses and improve the member calling experience with direct dial and smooth transfers.
 
Based in Little Rock, Ark., Windstream serves more than 450,000 customers nationwide nationwide.

CUNA Mutual Group Announces CU Protection Webinars

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MADISON, Wis. (12/26/13)--CUNA Mutual Group announced the schedule for its 2014 Credit Union Protection Webinars, which includes 11 risk management sessions for fidelity bond policyholders.
 
The one-hour webinars are conducted by CUNA Mutual Group risk management specialists. They address the top risks facing credit unions and how to mitigate losses.
 
"They are provided as a no-cost, value-added benefit for policyholders, who can participate without stepping away from their desk, or with their mobile device if they're on the go," said Theran Colwell, CUNA Mutual Group's director of credit union protection risk management.
Webinars begin at 10 a.m. CT, and conclude with live question-and-answer sessions.
 
Session topics and dates include:
  • Managing the Risk of Payment Cards, Jan. 15--Losses involving payment cards pose significant challenges. This session will outline the most recent trends in card fraud, including the recent Target breach, and how to respond.
  • Understanding Automated Clearing House (ACH) Risk, Feb. 19--ACH risks can be confusing and can vary with each type of electronic transaction. This session will describe emerging problems with online account takeover fraud and unauthorized origination of outgoing funds; risks of originating debits as deposits or loan payments; and operational issues for the receiver of fraudulent credits/debits.
  • Uncover Hidden Lending Risks, March 19, Real-life losses and claim scenarios will prompt discussion of hidden lending risks and how to minimize impact on credit unions and members.
  • Lessons Learned for Being Prepared, April 16--Disaster preparedness is critical to quickly and successfully recover from an unforeseen disaster. This session offers real-life credit union scenarios to best prepare for the unexpected.
  • When Robberies and Violence Occur, May 21--From robberies gone awry to bullies in the workplace, financial institutions are not exempt from violent situations. This session will outline the challenges facing credit unions and responses for stressful situations that arise.
  • Questions Your Supervisory Committee Should Ask, June 18--The Supervisory Committee ensures that proper financial processes, internal controls and risk identification methods are in place. This session provides the questions that should be asked to better protect the credit union.
  • Employment Practices Trends and Increased Risks, July 16--Employee-related risks are among the most damaging exposures for credit unions, including financial losses and irreparable damage to an organization's reputation or brand. Sexual harassment, wrongful termination and discrimination will be discussed.
  • ATM Risks--What You Don't Know Can Hurt You, Aug. 20--ATMs pose hidden challenges from fee notice signage, to Americans With Disabilities Act compliance, to continuing fraud. Understand the latest schemes, trends and key steps to help reduce ATM risk.
  • Don't Wait to Address Employee Dishonesty and Internal Controls, Sept. 17-- "It won't happen to us." These famous last words often describe complacency that can lead to insufficient internal controls and correlating losses from dishonest employees.
  • Mobile Banking Risks Knocking at Your Door, Oct. 22--With growing use of mobile device technology for shopping and financial transactions, credit unions must mitigate and protect against evolving risks.
  • Risk Management "Around the Horn," Nov. 19--This roundtable of CUNA Mutual Group risk managers will provide insights on the hottest risk management issues and how to better protect against risk trends.
 To register for the webinars, use the link.

Council White Paper: Investment in Staff Competencies Equals Competitive Edge

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MADISON, Wis. (12/23/13)--A paper published last week by the CUNA Human Resources and Training Development Council seeks to offer credit union managers advice on how to develop and align skills with institutional strategy.
 
The white paper, called "Evaluating and Developing Competencies: Creating Customized Models for Employees," is aimed at aiding credit unions looking to create or improve customized evaluation and training programs.
 
The report attempts to explain how credit unions can fine-tune their operations through the development of competencies, while improving internal hiring practices and appealing to high-performing employees.
 
The council said that competencies include both specific skills and general workplace abilities, with the latter including learning agility, communications and accountability.
 
The paper is free to CUNA council members. Non-council members may purchase it for $50. Use the resource link for more information.

Vantage West CU's Tellerless Branch Features Diebold ATMs

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (12/20/13)--The installation of six automation-enabled Opteva ATMs from Diebold Inc. helped drive the design of Vantage West CU's new tellerless branch in Tucson, Ariz.
 
Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
 
"With members managing many transactions on their own, our representatives will have more time to help those members requiring additional services," said Jamie Hernandez, Vantage West branch vice president and regional manager. "We're delivering more personalized service, while also promoting efficient self-service banking, to enhance members' experiences in an open, inviting branch."
 
The deposit automation-enabled ATMs allow Vantage West's members to complete envelope-free deposits. Members insert cash and checks into the ATM and follow prompts to complete transactions, walking away with receipts featuring images of deposited checks.
 
The $1.2 billion-asset credit union also uses a CO-OP NextGen ATM shared branching terminal operating on Diebold's Agilis software.

Harland Clarke Holdings Acquires Marketer Valassis

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SAN ANTONIO and LIVONIA, Mich. (12/19/13)--Harland Clarke Holdings Corp., a provider of payment solutions and marketing services, has acquired the marketing company Valassis for $1.84 billion in cash.
 
Harland Clarke is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
 
"This is a strong complement to Harland Clarke Holdings' capabilities in managing customer relationships for the world's largest financial institutions, the most respected big-box retailers, as well as educational and governmental organizations worldwide," said Chuck Dawson, CEO of Harland Clarke Holdings Corp. 
 
Valassis has relationships with more than 15,000 advertisers worldwide in various industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, consumer packaged goods, financial services, franchise food, grocery, specialty retail and telecommunications. Among the marketing services it offers are direct-marketing products, such as grocery coupon dispensers, newspaper inserts, social media promotions and online display advertising.
 
The deal will create a company with about $3.3 billion in combined revenues.
 
"Under Harland Clarke Holdings, we expect to create a company that is stronger than our individual businesses, which will allow us to pursue our vision of intelligent media delivery while continuing to strengthen our company's award-winning culture," said Rob Mason, president/CEO of Valassis.

NCUA Liquidity Rule Topic of CFO Council Webinar

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MADISON, Wis. (12/18/13)--The CUNA CFO Council and the Credit Union National Association Center for Professional Development will host a 90-minute webinar at 3 p.m. CT Thursday about the National Credit Union Administration's final liquidity rule, which becomes effective March 31.
 
Among the scheduled speakers are:
  • Steve Rick, senior economist, CUNA;
  • Robert Perry, financial adviser, ALM First;
  • Owen Cole, director, NCUA Division of Capital and Credit Markets; and
  • Marito Domingo, chief investment officer, First Tech FCU, Mountain View, Calif.
 The webinar will cover:
  • Key sources of liquidity and diversified funding sources;
  • Calculating meaningful cash flow projections;
  • Running stress tests on cash flow scenarios;
  • Holding a cushion of funding sources; and
  • Best practices and lessons learned--a credit union perspective.
Attendees will walk through a checklist for sound liquidity risk management and have an opportunity to ask questions of an NCUA representative.
 
For more information, use the link.

MY CU Services Finalizes Purchase of AMIS

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MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (12/18/13)--MY CU Services, the payment service and technology credit union service organization of Middletown, Pa.-based Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU, Monday finalized its purchase of Advanced Management Information Systems (AMIS).
 
With the purchase, MY CU Services adds data processing, and other related core system products, to broaden its electronic payment and technology solutions for credit unions nationwide.
 
"AMIS shares our philosophy on collaboration--believing in the benefits afforded to credit unions when they combine resources and purchase power," said Drew Kishbaugh, MY CU Services president/CEO. "This is winning combination for any credit union wanting to take advantage of high-quality services coupled with economies of scale."   
 
MY CU Services and AMIS previously worked in partnership and share many credit union clients. MY CU Services works with more than 750 credit unions in 48 states.
 
AMIS is based in Carnegie, Pa., and its offices and staff will remain in place.

ATMIA Releases Cardless Transaction Manual

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (12/17/13)--Providing a glimpse of what is perhaps the future of ATM transactions,  the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) has published a manual of best practices for cardless ATM transactions.
 
"We believe strongly in the future of cardless as a convenient new form of transaction at the ATM," said Mike Lee, ATMIA CEO.
 
The manual provides an overview of the technical, operational, regulatory and marketing issues of cardless transactions, written by international payments consultant Barry Forbes.
Among the types of the transactions Forbes will discuss are:
  • Mobile-based pre-staging of transactions, in which the mobile device replaces the ATM screen and keyboard;
  • Proxy-based transaction, in which mobile numbers, one-time-pins or voucher numbers, are entered in place of card swiping; and
  • Near-field communication.
 
Douglas Russell, director of DFR Risk Management, gives an overview of the security implications of cardless technology in the manual.
 
The manual includes international case studies of transaction programs and outlines how developing channel strategies take advantage of the interactivity between consumer-owned devices and ATMs.

Fiserv Report: Mobile Is Changing Bill Payment Landscape

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (12/16/13)--Smartphones and tablets are changing the bill payment landscape, a trend driven by Gen Y thumbs and fingers, sixth annual billing household survey from Fiserv.
 
Credit unions continue to serve as a key point of receipt for online bill payment and viewing, according to the survey. Ten percent of online households who receive e-bills receive them at both biller and financial institution sites (known as e-bill "double dippers"), mostly because they prefer to pay some bills at biller sites and others at financial institution websites, said the white paper accompanying the report.
 
Many double dippers prefer to receive e-bills at their financial institution's website because of the greater convenience (75%) and personal financial management tools (44%) that accompany it.
 
As the number of payment channels continues to grow, a continued shift occurs in the channels consumers use to pay bills, the paper said. The percent of online households paying at least one bill a month by check declined to 53% in 2013 from 61% in 2012. The number that use their mobile phone to pay bills doubled to 16% from 8%.
 
Consumers also continue to use multiple payment methods, with 83% opting for two or more payment methods monthly, the white paper said. The average number of bill payment methods consumers use increased more than 10% in 2013 from 2012, rising to 3.2 from 2.9. Two out of three consumers believe it is important for billers to offer multiple ways to pay bills. The Gen Y effect is evident here as 74% of Gen Y respondents consider offering multiple payment options important, compared with 67% of all respondents.
 
Other findings from the survey:
 
  • More than half (57%) of U.S. online households own a smartphone, up from 47% in 2012.
  • Consumers who pay bills with their mobile phone do so primarily because it is convenient (70%), provides anytime access (55%) and saves time (49%).
  • The top reason consumers would visit a biller website via a mobile device is to pay a bill and the top function they want from a mobile website or biller app is the ability to pay a bill.
  • The average number of bills paid by mobile bill payers increased 19% in 2013 from 2012.
  • Biller mobile sites and financial institutions apps are increasingly used for paying bills.
  • The top barriers to making a payment on a mobile phone are a preference for computers in paying bills, security and difficulty navigating a smaller screen.
 To download the study, use the link.

CMFG Life Insurance Co., Subsidiaries' Ratings Excellent--A.M. Best

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MADISON, Wis. (12/13/13)--A.M. Best Co. affirmed the financial strength rating of CMFG Life Insurance Co. (CMFG Life) and MEMBERS Life Insurance Co. at "A" (Excellent), announced CUNA Mutual Group.
 
"CMFG Life and its entities are well positioned at their current rating levels," according to A.M. Best.
 
A.M. Best also affirmed the "A" (Excellent) rating for CMFG Life's property/casualty subsidiaries CUMIS Insurance Society Inc., CUMIS Specialty Insurance Co. Inc., Producers Agriculture Insurance Co. and Producers Lloyds Insurance Co. The outlook for all ratings is stable.
 
In affirming CMFG Life's "A" rating, A.M. Best cited the company's more than adequate risk-adjusted capitalization, consistently strong operating results, its position as a leading provider of life and health insurance products to credit union members and employees and its strategy to grow business lines outside the credit union marketplace.
 
Both CMFG's Life and CUNA Mutual Group's property/casualty subsidiaries were recognized for favorable level of risk-adjusted capitalization, conservative balance sheet, overall operating profitability and well-established niche position in the credit union and multi-peril crop insurance segments.
 
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Co. is a full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial services industries, including the banking and insurance sectors.

Xtend Reports Growth in Revenue, Ownership, Clients

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (12/12/13)--Xtend, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization (CUSO), reported growth in revenue, ownership by credit unions and client agreements.
 
The CUSO announced that 2013 fiscal year revenues for the period ending Sept. 30, surpassed $2 million for the first time. Xtend saw year-on-year growth in each of its business units during that period. 
 
Two new credit unions have signed on as new owners of the CUSO, which specializes in providing back office, compliance monitoring and contact center services to credit unions and CUSOs across the country. The new owners are $114 million-asset United Educational CU, Battle Creek, Mich., and $60 million-asset NorthPark Community CU, Indianapolis.
 
Xtend also reported it had signed eight new credit union clients.

The Disclosures Have New Fin Ed Album for Kids

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MADISON, Wis. (12/11/13)--The Disclosures, a credit union music duo, have released a new financial education album to teach kids that the path to wealth is paved with hard work and discipline.
 
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With the tongue-in-cheek title, "The Secret to Being Rich," the album includes 10 original songs that incorporate core financial literacy concepts including saving, responsible spending, the importance of charity, dangers of "too good to be true" advertising and even the basics of how loans work.
 
"We've found that music and humor can be very effective ways of reinforcing learning," said band member Christopher Morris, who also serves as director of communications with the National Credit Union Foundation. "Since we both work closely with financial education programs in our day jobs, we knew this was an important direction to take our music in and help a wider audience."
 
Morris's fellow band member, Chad Helminak, is Web and member development strategist for the Wisconsin Credit Union League.
 
The Disclosures also have developed discussion materials for teachers and parents, as well as a classroom performance, which they will debut in a Texas elementary school tour in February.
 
For their second album, Morris and Helminak enlisted additional credit union talent for production and artwork. The album was mixed by Squirrel Trench Audio, owned by Morriss Partee of the marketing firm EverythingCU.com. The album's artwork was created by Sissybird Design, owned by Lesley Clark of Tinker FCU, Oklahoma City, Okla.
 
"The credit union industry has been very supportive of our music since we started, so we thought it was important to 'keep it in the family' and were fortunate to call on the talents of Morriss and Lesley to improve our sound and look for kids," said Morris.
 
"The Secret to Being Rich" album is available for download on all major digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon and others. Physical CDs also can be purchased at cdbaby.com, and The Disclosures will also process bulk orders of CDs at discount for purchase by financial institutions, schools or youth organizations.

TruStage Adds 115 CUs

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MADISON, Wis. (12/10/13)--CUNA Mutual Group added more than 115 credit unions representing 2.3 million members to its MemberCONNECT Program in 2013--making TruStage Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance available to more than 44 million credit union members.
 
In addition to AD&D insurance, other TruStage insurance programs include life, auto and homeowners insurance.
 
"We are investing more than $250 million in TruStage to expand media, optimize channels and extend our products," said Corrin Maier, director of MemberCONNECT Program.  Recent enhancements include mobile optimization of TruStage.com and the introduction of a system that enables members to apply online for their AD&D insurance coverage in less than three minutes.
 
"We're offering products the way members want to buy them," Maier said. "This member-focused approach is core to what we do."
 
Since 1983, CMFG Life Insurance Co. has provided members, through their credit unions, insurance protection products through the MemberCONNECT Program. More than 4,000 credit unions representing more than 62 million members use TruStage insurance products. In 2012, CMFG Life reports paid $727 million in member claims, and credit unions received more than $66 million in non-interest-income.

CUNA Marketing Management School Set For May 19-22

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MADISON, Wis. (12/10/13)--Registration is now open for CUNA Marketing Management School, set for May 19-22 in Hollywood, Calif.
 
"As more people begin to embrace values-based decision-making, it's critical that credit union marketing departments stay on their game," said Meghann Dawson, instructional design manager at Credit Union National Association. "CUNA Marketing Management School enables attendees to act on the migration away from banks and prepare them for the escalated competition to come."
 
Each year of the three-part program develops competencies toward developing comprehensive marketing skills:
  • Year 1--Improving the member experience, taking the lead on brand strategies and taking the opportunity to show recent marketing samples to marketing experts;
  • Year 2--Producing practical and effective copy, marketing credit unions among generations, and engaging audiences through new and social media channels; and
  • Year 3--Learning through inter-departmental marketing management and insights for setting oneself apart by developing personal and professional strengths.
There will also be a compliance pre-conference workshop on May 18 during which attendees will identify and break down recent compliance changes relevant to credit union marketing departments.
 
Keynote speaker is Shalini Kantayya, founder of the 7th Empire Media production company. She sells independent films in a market dominated by blockbusters. In her presentation, "Davids and Goliaths: What Credit Union Marketers Can Learn from an Indie Filmmaker," she will discuss the roles of credit unions and independent filmmakers as "the little guys" and illustrate how credit unions can use agility and insight to compete with big banks.
 
CUNA Marketing Management School offers credit union marketing professionals skill sets for marketing growth and an overview of the current marketing environment and ways to personally drive marketing efforts at the credit union.
Attendees can earn the Credit Union Certified Marketing Executive designation by attending all three years of the program and passing a comprehensive exam at the end of each year.
 
For those who completed the three-year program before the creation of the designation, CUNA will once again present a CUCME Designation Bootcamp, March 10-11, prior to the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference in Orlando, Fla.

PolicyWorks Signs Six CUs

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DES MOINES, Ill. (12/9/13)--PolicyWorks recently signed six credit unions for assistance with compliance strategy and implementation.
 
Jemez Valley CU, with $18 million in assets Jemez Springs, N.M., and $194 million asset Montana FCU, Great Falls, Mont., contracted with PolicyWorks for federal compliance support. PolicyWorks will partner with the credit unions in interpreting and implementing new regulations, and for evaluating the impact on their credit unions. PolicyWorks staff will also review the credit unions' disclosures, documents and new-product strategies for compliance with federal regulations.
 
Montana FCU will also take advantage of PolicyWorks' newly launched ComplyRight Mortgage package, which walks credit unions through the specific actions that need to be taken to properly implement the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new mortgage regulations. Anheuser-Busch Employees' CU, with $1.4 billion in assets, St. Louis, $863 million I.H. Mississippi Valley FCU, Moline, Ill., and $480 million Thrivent FCU, Appleton, Wis., have also signed on to use PolicyWorks' ComplyRight mortgage services.
 
FORUM CU, with $939 million in assets, Fishers, Ind., has contracted with PolicyWorks to ensure their newly restarted credit card program is in compliance with federal regulations. 
 
Also, creative agency Play Creative Design has contracted with PolicyWorks to complete a comprehensive review of the marketing communication and documents it creates for credit union clients.

CUANY, Digital Compliance Announce Strategic Partnership

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ALBANY, N.Y. and ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (12/6/13)--The Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) has entered a strategic partnership agreement with vendor management solution provider Digital Compliance.
 
Through the partnership, credit unions served by CUANY and its affiliates can access Digital Compliance's online vendor management hub for compliance documentation, contract management and guided exam report preparation. 
 
"As part of our ongoing commitment to reducing credit unions' compliance burden, we have been actively seeking a provider that can simplify and streamline the vendor management process credit unions face," said CUANY President/CEO William J. Mellin. "Digital Compliance is a leader in this arena, and we are very excited to launch this new partnership."
 
Digital Compliance's Venminder, is an online vendor management tool with modules for contract management, document acquisition, exam preparation and risk assessment.
 
CUANY affiliates Covera, CUC Mortgage Corporation and UsNet will also use Venminder to provide client credit unions with their required vendor due diligence documentation.

LendKey Reaches $500M Milestone

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NEW YORK (12/5/13)--Lending technology provider LendKey has surpassed $500 million in loan volume originated and serviced on its cloud-based platform.
 
LendKey is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
 
"Lenders today face significant challenges in effectively deploying their capital into the retail lending market," said Vince Passione, CEO of LendKey.  "Surpassing $500 million in loans originated through our platform is a testament to the demand that lenders have for this solution.  We're excited to continue to help lenders innovatively solve this problem through student lending, as well as many other potential asset classes down the road."
 
LendKey, founded in 2008, has primarily provided financial institutions with lending platforms for private student loans and private student loan consolidations.  The company provides the student lending infrastructure for more than 260 financial institutions as a technology and business process outsourcing provider, which includes marketing and demand generation support in addition to loan origination and servicing.

TruStage Website Now Mobile-Capable

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MADISON, Wis. (12/5/13)--CUNA Mutual Group's TruStage.com enhanced its website to accommodate any web-capable device, including mobile devices. The site now automatically tailors content to the member's device, providing a tailored online experience when they are shopping for insurance.
 
"Consumers lead the way in showing us what technology they're using and the experiences they expect," said Susan Sachatello, TruStage senior vice president. "Mobile Commerce Daily reported in October that nearly seven out of 10 smartphone and tablet users will use their devices for holiday shopping this year. That's not a fad--mobile is winning in both convenience and experience."
 
Within the financial services industry, smartphones are now the most common starting point for banking activity, according to a 2012 multi-screen user behavior study by Google & Ipsos.
 
"Staying connected with members is what credit unions have done since the very beginning," Sachatello said. "Our partnership with them means an ongoing investment in technology and member experience, especially online."
 
She said the redesign is about "providing the best possible experience and having credit unions feel complete confidence when they direct their members to us."
 

NCR Acquires Digital Insight

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DULUTH, Ga. (12/4/13)--NCR Corp., a provider of consumer financial transaction technologies, said Monday it had entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Digital Insight, a provider of online and mobile banking solutions, for $1.65 billion.
 
With the addition of Digital Insight, NCR will provide to the the mid-market retail banking segment additional solutions for mobile, bill pay and online banking services. Digital Insight's customer base consists of more than 1,000 financial institutions with 12 million online banking users and nearly 4.8 million mobile end users.
 
Earlier this year, Thoma Bravo LLC purchased Digital Insight from Intuit Financial Services for $1.025 billion.Subject to regulatory approval, NCR expects to complete the deal during the first quarter of 2014.
 
Based in Duluth, Ga., NCR also said Monday it bought fraud-prevention software company Alaric Systems Ltd. for $84 million.

Sprig By CO-OP Digital Wallet To Be Upgraded

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (12/4/13)--A new version of Sprig by CO-OP, a digital wallet for credit union members, will allow out-of-network, pay-anyone payments, CO-OP Financial Services said Tuesday.
 
The upgrade incorporates the PayNet payment network from FIS of Jacksonville, Fla., a CO-OP business partner. The secure PayNet platform allows users of Sprig by CO-OP to make digital payments to accounts outside CO-OP Connect, the infrastructure that supports both CO-OP Shared Branching and Sprig by CO-OP.   
 
Available in the first quarter of 2014, the upgraded Sprig by CO-OP will add remote deposit capture via Android mobile devices (to existing iPhone capabilities). The upgrade features a redesigned Web and mobile application user interface.
 
"The out-of-network pay-anyone capabilities put Sprig by CO-OP in the leadership spot among digital wallet solutions for credit unions, both in terms of technical elegance and convenience for the member," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO.
 
CO-OP will add partners and features to Sprig by CO-OP throughout 2014, Hollen said. The company expects to add global mobile access to allow ATM access through a digital wallet application with point-of-sale capabilities.
 
Credit union members can use Sprig by CO-OP to transfer money from their deposit accounts based on a real-time funds availability model for most transactions, rather than the delayed automated clearing house model. Members can make instantaneous transfers between their own accounts, as well as immediately verify funds have arrived in a recipient's destination account.
 
The digital wallet service is available to all credit unions on CO-OP Connect.
 
A free webinar on Sprig by CO-OP bill be held at 1 p.m. CT Tuesday.

CUNA Mutual Integrates MeridianLink for Loan Origination

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MADISON, Wis. (12/3/13)--CUNA Mutual Group announced Monday that it has integrated MeridianLink's loan origination system, LoansPQ, with CUNA Mutual Group's loanliner.com platform, including its Smartphone Loan technology and AskAuto app. The connection provides more than 225 credit unions and 12 million members with decisioning and data transfer capabilities.
 
"This seamless integration allows a credit union member car shopping on a lot the ability to research a vehicle, apply for a loan, and know on the spot if they are approved or declined," said Chuck Cashman, technology leader, CUNA Mutual Group.
 
Credit unions are adopting online lending strategies at a rapid rate, especially in the mobile channel, which means credit unions need connectivity between their online lending application and their loan origination system, Cashman said.
 
"This partnership between CUNA Mutual Group and MeridianLink is one more way we're responding to the mobile lending transformation taking place in the financial services industry," said Ed Guerin, vice president, MeridianLink. "This integration is evidence of how our organizations are thinking about members' use of technology in virtually every phase of their lives."
 
For example, when a credit union member uses CUNA Mutual Group's Smartphone Loan technology or AskAuto app to complete their loan application via loanliner.com, the data is automatically and securely transferred to MeridianLink's loan origination system, LoansPQ. The loan is then decisioned using the credit union's own decision criteria set-up in LoansPQ. A decision is returned and displayed in loanliner.com for the member, and then the loan officer completes the loan processing in LoansPQ.
 
Connectivity between these two systems provides credit unions the following benefits:
  • Eliminates the need to re-key loan data, resulting in reduced keying errors;
  • Transfers up to 140 data fields from loanliner.com to LoansPQ, resulting in time savings for lending staff;
  • Increases loan process efficiency, resulting in the ability to provide members with a higher quality online lending experience;
  • Transfers data in real-time, resulting in a faster, more efficient loan process for the loan officer and a better overall experience for the member;
  • Ability to automatically provide a loan decision to the member in real-time, resulting in a higher quality member experience; and
  • Provides consistent decision responses to members no matter what channel the loan originates from.
In addition, loanliner.com offers a compliant solution, the ability to configure online applications to meet member needs, opportunities to cross-sell payment protection products, and multiple channels to complete the loan application process.

Federation Annual Conference Scheduled For May 14-16

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NEW YORK (12/2/13)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions will hold its Annual Conference May 14-16, in Detroit, Mich. 
 
The federation and its members will celebrate 40 years of helping people and communities achieve financial independence through credit unions. This year's conference theme is "Financial Inclusion in Focus: From Vision to Reality."
 
Among the keynote speakers to be featured at the conference is Michael S. Barr, a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and former U.S. Department of the Treasury's assistant secretary for financial institutions.
 
The federation's conference brings together researchers, policymakers and practitioners in the financial empowerment field and is the largest gathering of credit unions that share a mission of community development and financial inclusion. 

For more information, use the link.

CUNA To Host Pressing Regulatory and Compliance Issues Audio Conference

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MADISON, Wis. (12/2/13)--The Credit Union National Association will host a free, one-hour Pressing Regulatory & Compliance Issues Audio Conference at 1 p.m. CT Thursday.
 
Legislative affairs, compliance and regulatory advocacy will be addressed during the conference.
 
Progress on regulatory relief legislation, an update on housing finance reform and the latest news on tax reform will be among the legislative issues discussed.
 
Six frequently asked questions about upcoming mortgage lending rules and clarification of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's remittance transfer rule are among the compliance topics that will be addressed.
 
Regulatory advocacy topics include:
  • National Credit Union Administration board activity, including the 2014 Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund, the final rule on credit union service organizations and the agency's 2014 operating budget.
  • CFPG's final rule on integrated Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act/Truth in Lending Act Mortgage Disclosures;
  • An update on debit interchange litigation;
  • The Federal Reserve's request for input on paper about payment system improvement; and
  • NCUA's proposed requirement for capital planning and stress testing for some credit unions.
 Registration for the audio conference is required. Use the link.

Compliance, Member Experience Drive New CSS, Silanis E-signatures Alliance

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MONTREAL and MADISON, Wis. (12/2/13)--CUNA Strategic Services Inc. has chosen Silanis Technology as its exclusive electronic signature provider for U.S. credit unions.

Through the alliance, credit unions will benefit from significantly reduced pricing and the reassurance that CSS has performed extensive due diligence and chosen an e-signature solution appropriate to address the unique needs of credit unions, said CSS.

CSS sought an alliance in this product set because it recognizes as the pressure mounts for credit unions to stay compliant with changing regulations, they must also continue to find new growth opportunities, especially with the youth market. CSS recognizes these challenges and, through offering Silanis' e-SignLive, is providing access to technology that will help credit unions improve compliance, reduce risk, and lessen operational costs, said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president.

"Electronic signatures can help credit unions expedite new member on-boarding and loan processing for members while ensuring business rules and compliance standards are being met," said Millar. "Silanis is a proven leader in the industry, processing more than 600 million documents annually."

CSS evaluated several major e-signature vendors and selected Silanis, based on the solution's flexibility, legal protection and ease of use.

"E-signatures align perfectly with the desire from credit unions to provide superior service, greater transparency and a reduced carbon footprint," said Silanis Technology CEO and co-founder Tommy Petrogiannis. The alliance with CSS "will make it even easier for a greater number of credit unions to get started with e-signatures," he said.

Silanis recently started working with Sharonview FCU, a $1.03 billion-asset credit union in Fort Mill, S.C., to automate the secure delivery of mortgage disclosures. In a press release, Sharonview Chief Information Officer Mark Johnson said e-signatures will help the credit union serve its widespread membership and move to straight-through processing.

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