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First Carolina Corp. offers Sallie Mae loans

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (3/2/11)--First Carolina Corporate CU has partnered with Sallie Mae to offer a student loan program for credit unions. The Smart Option Student Loan Program is designed to supplement a student's federal student loans and other financial aid to help students cover up to 100% of the education expense. In the program, students save money by paying interest while in school. Borrowers choose between a fixed $25 monthly interest payment and the full monthly interest payment. A typical freshman can save 20% to 30% on finance charges over the life of the loan and pay a loan off five to eight years faster than with a standard 15-year interest-deferred private loan, said the corporate. Credit unions participating can earn a 1% referral fee on funded loans originated from the credit unions' website link, face no credit risk since Sallie Mae assumes the risk, and use the program to attract younger members, the corporate said.

Mid-Atlantic Corporate Bluepoint expand partnership

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WASHINGTON (3/2/11)--Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU and Blue Point Solutions have announced a joint initiative to assist credit unions with lower check volumes to adopt Check 21-enabled branch capture and to help them convert check processing operations to the corporate. They made the announcement at the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. this week. Bluepoint Solutions, winner of the CUNA Tech Council's 2010 Best of Show award, provides remote deposit capture, item processing and enterprise content management to solutions to credit unions, corporate credit unions and credit union service organizations (CUSOs) nationwide. With the initiative, credit unions that process fewer than 2,000 over-the-counter items per month will have access to Bluepoint's ImagePoint Branch capture platform for an affordable monthly fee, without significant setup costs, the companies said. Once scanned, check images will be electronically transported to Mid-Atlantic Corporate's data center for additional processing and clearing. "Credit unions with lower check volumes will now have access to the same technology used by much larger institutions," said Rodney May, senior vice president of member services at Mid-Atlantic Corporate. "Working with Bluepoint, we've been able to remove many of the barriers that have traditionally prevented smaller institutions from installing this type of sophisticated check processing technology." The partners also have initiated a conversion program to help credit unions of any size replace first-generation, legacy branch capture and check processing solutions with Bluepoint's platform. Mid-Atlantic Corporate serves 900 credit unions, CUSOs, leagues and chapters in 44 states. It was the first corporate to develop and implement a plan following changes to the National Credit Union Administration's Regulation 704, which allowed the corporate to focus on serving bredit unions with payment services, loans, investments, and asset liability management (ALM) programs. These services include ALM, automated clearinghouse (ACH), share draft processing, electronic bill payment, remote image capture and more.

Service delivered 3M e-mail online banking messages

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (3/2/11)--Xtend Inc., a multi-owned credit union service organization (CUSO), reported that its Member Reach service delivered a record three million e-mail and online banking messages to credit union members during 2010. "We had an idea that our credit union partners would embrace the value of our electronic member communication service, but its popularity has continued to exceed our expectations," said Julie Gessner, manager of communication services for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based CUSO. "2010 was a huge year for us and our biggest by far. During the year we helped several dozen partners drive their Reg E opt-in programs, rolled out our new e-Info feature, and saw a double digit increase in our overall client base.2011 is also off to a fast start," Gessner added. Currently 56 credit unions engage Member Reach to deliver regular e-communications on their behalf. More than two dozen others have employed the service for custom projects.

New ProfitStars blog addresses fin performance trends

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MONETT, Mo. (3/2/11)--ProfitStars, a performance solutions division of Monett, Mo.-based Jack Henry and Associates, has introduced Strategically Speaking, a blog focused on the industry's financial performance trends. In the blog, ProfitStars' experts share thoughts on the latest trends and events while interacting with financial institution leaders in an open forum. ProfitStars has more than 9,100 customers, including 29 of the top U.S. credit unions and 42 of the top 50 U.S. banks. Traditional banking is changing daily, leaving executives responsible for a lot of decision making, said ProfitStars.. The blog will address current events and topics affecting their business and the latest industry advances. Blog contributors will speak about tips to improve financial institutions' performance in a number of areas, including payments, imaging, security, compliance, lending, Web, mobile banking, social media and overall performance. Jack Henry is a provider of computer systems and card processing services for financial institutions, including credit unions. For more information, use the link.