Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

Paper: Consumers Using Tablets For Fin Services

 Permanent link
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (3/11/13)--Consumers are using their tablets to access financial services. However, to take advantage of the opportunity credit unions must align their offerings with the ways in which members use the devices, according to a new whitepaper from Fiserv Inc.

Tablet ownership is increasing, with nearly half of U.S. households having Internet access expected to own at least one tablet by the end of 2013, said the research consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates. Nearly half of tablet owners have used tablets to access their financial institutions' banking services, and almost two-thirds of future tablet owners would like to do so, according to the 2012 Fiserv Consumer Trends Survey.

Instead of just helping consumers access a financial institution's online or mobile banking website designed for personal computers or smartphone users, tablet-specific banking apps should provide a rich experience that leverages touch navigation and makes use of the larger display than that provided on smartphones, the white paper said.

Tablets combine attributes of many Internet-enabled devices: Spacious screen displays akin to PCs, the always-on mobile connectivity of the smartphone and the touch-screen navigation of the latest e-readers. It is the combination of these attributes, in addition to the prevalence of tablet apps, that have inspired consumers to use tablets differently than other devices.

Financial institutions should provide an option designed specifically for the tablet channel, the paper said. The different attributes of the tablet channel shape the kinds of activities that consumers will prefer on the tablet. For example, the tablet lends itself to visual presentations of data, such as charts and graphs and the manipulation of that data with taps, swipes and pinches.

To accelerate support of the tablet channel, financial institutions should consider relying on an experienced technology provider for app development and comprehensive tablet-banking deployment, the paper concluded.

303 words

CU System briefs (03/11/2013)

 Permanent link
  • HARRISBURG, Pa. (3/11/13)--Brian Hahn, American Heritage FCU, Philadelphia, and Tom Smith, Choice One Community FCU, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., have earned another term on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Service Centers Inc. , according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway March 7). Nominations for the board seats closed on March 6.  Hahn and Smith will each serve a four-year term …
  • HUNT VALLEY, Md. (3/11/13)--Atlantic Financial FCU  has announced the retirement of President/CEO Rick Webb, after serving in that position for nearly 20 years. Before that, he served 23 years on AFFCU's board. Under Webb's leadership, the $98 million asset, Hunt Valley, Md.-based credit union has gained more than 150 select employer groups, including Dunbar, DLA Piper and Transamerica.  Since he took over in 1993, assets and membership have more than doubled. Under his leadership, AFFCU was the first Baltimore-area credit union to be involved with shared branching. Webb has been active on the Baltimore Chapter Board of the Maryland & DC Credit Union Association and national trade groups …

Tenn Lawmakers Pass Bill To Allow Paid Boards

 Permanent link
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (3/11/13)--Bills that would allow state-chartered credit unions to compensate board members or reimburse them for any lost wages caused by time spent in the service of the credit union--but not both--now await the signature of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to become law. The Tennessee Senate and House passed the legislation Thursday.

A similar bill, passed in the Washington State House on March 5, is headed to a State Senate committee hearing.  

The original Tennessee legislative proposal simply gave members of a credit union board the ability to compensate themselves and to set the amount of compensation, said the Tennessee Credit Union League. There was broad, general opposition to the proposal from credit unions statewide, and the league board and management reflected that opposition in meetings with legislators on the committees that would hear the bill, the league told News Now at the time (News Now March 4).

However, when it became apparent the bill would pass in some form, the league worked to negotiate four conditions that would be required for a credit union to compensate its board members, TCUL President/CEO Fred Robinson told News Now earlier this month.

In the legislatoin, the decision to reimburse or compensate is optional based on the credit union's philosophy to be governed by volunteers or compensated board members.

In Washington state, legislation that would make broad governance changes, including removing the prohibition for state-chartered credit unions from paying board members and supervisory committee members, and increase credit union investment options passed Tuesday in the State House, according to the state's legislative website.

HB 1582 now awaits a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, House and Insurance Committee. SB 5302's hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee is scheduled for Thursday, when it will be considered for possible executive action (Anthem March 7).

Both bills were backed by the Northwest Credit Union Association (Anthem March 7).

NWCUA supports the bills because compensation may help in recruiting and keeping a more diverse board, Lynn Heider, NWCUA vice president of public relations and communications, told News Now last month.

Benefits Of CUs Touted In Biz Publication

 Permanent link
HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (3/11/13)--The benefits that credit unions offer consumers were cited in an article in the February issue of South Jersey Biz magazine.

The article, titled "Credit Unions vs. Banks," compared the differences between credit unions and banks and what they offer consumers.

As member-owned, nonprofit financial cooperatives, credit unions are designed to represent a union of people with a common bond, Ellen Kuiper, president and co-CEO of ABCO FCU in Rancocas, N.J., told reporter Jennifer L. Nelson.

Because of the cooperative structure, every member is part owner of a credit union, regardless of the dollar amount in the member's account, said Sandra R. Martin, publicity coordinator at South Jersey FCU, Sewell, N.J.

The cooperative structure usually allows credit unions to offer lower rates and more affordable terms than banks, better rates of return on savings accounts, low- or no-fee checking accounts and ATM access and dividends, Martin said.

Credit unions can offer lower rates because they aren't beholden to shareholders or pressured to return profits every quarter, Martin told the publication. Financial gains are returned to members in the form of lower rates, she said.

The article noted that the common bond required for membership is often based on employment or location, and pointed to Campbell Employees FCU, headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., as an example. It is open to employees of Campbell Soup Company, PHH Mortgage, Pinnacle Foods, Northeast Products and Southeast Products and their immediate family members.

To read the full article, use the link.

Matz Congratulates Minn CUs On Turning Economic Corner

 Permanent link
ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/11/13)--
Click to view larger image National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz offered candid insights to more than 50 credit union representatives during a roundtable discussion Friday at the Minnesota Credit Union Network office in St. Paul. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
ational Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz congratulated credit unions on turning an economic corner during an open forum meeting Friday with more than 50 credit unions representatives from Minnesota at the Minnesota Credit Union Network's offices in St. Paul.

The current credit union environment and recent successes across the industry are reflected in NCUA's year-end 2012 data, Matz said in her opening remarks.

The data indicated that 2012 was the best year for credit unions since the Great Recession began in 2007, with $8.5 billion in earnings, up 36.1% from 2011 (News Now March 4). Loan originations and new auto loans increasing dramatically, and credit union loan-loss provisions declined 14 basis points (News Now March 5).

These positive trends are mirrored and, in many cases, eclipsed in Minnesota, Matz told the group.

"It's been a difficult couple of years, but credit unions have really turned the corner," she said, noting substantial improvement in all critical areas of credit union measurement. "Thank you for doing such a good job and for working so hard."

The chairman expressed concern about the widening disparity between large credit unions with more than $250 million in assets and small credit unions with less than $10 million.  She discussed the struggles that smaller institutions face and the need to find ways to keep small credit unions alive and thriving, and pointed out the availability of training resources through NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives.

Matz also spoke about changes in staffing at the agency and a reinvigoration of the agency's work force. As credit unions become more complex, NCUA is cognizant of the need to "keep up with the times" and stay ahead of the curve, hiring specific expertise in areas such as technology and commercial lending, she said.

Attendees told her about their regulatory concerns and commented on the credit union exam process, said MnCUN.  They also addressed specific concerns about NCUA letters to credit unions, interest-rate risk, member business loan waivers, and the low-income designation.

"We appreciate the NCUA's willingness to have an open discussion with credit unions in our state," said MnCUN President/CEO Mark Cummins, "and especially for the chairman's strong emphasis on open communication, her common sense approach and her commitment to strengthening the industry."

CUNA Mutual Seeks S&P Documents In RBS Securities Lawsuit

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (3/11/13)--CUNA Mutual Group's CUMIS Insurance Thursday asked a federal court in New York to enforce the insurance company's subpoena for documents from Standard & Poor's about $72 million in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) CUMIS bought from RBS Securities before the country's financial crisis hit.

Madison, Wis.-based CUNA Mutual confirmed to News Now Friday that the motion was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

New York-based S&P is also being sued by Department of Justice over S&P's role in reviewing and inflating the value of  the RMBS pools, which held subprime mortgage loans and collapsed. They included those held by corporate credit unions and CUNA Mutual.

It is the third motion CUNA Mutual has filed seeking documents related to its suit against RBS Securities. That suit involves 15 RMBS sold to CUNA Mutual's MEMBERS Life Insurance Co. and CUMIS Insurance Society between 2004 and 2007.

In November it sought a federal court in Seattle's help in obtain documents from Bellevue, Wash.-based Watterson Prime LLC, which provided due diligence on the securities.  It also filed an enforce-subpoena motion against  Fitch, but that motion was dismissed after Fitch and CUNA Mutual settled (News Now Nov. 29). 

CUNA Mutual filed the lawsuit seeking rescission of the sales against RBS on Jan. 17 in a U.S. District Court in the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison).  It maintains RBS misrepresented the products sold.

Maine League Testifies On Breach Notice, Student Loan Insurance Bills

 Permanent link
AUGUSTA, Maine (3/11/13)--The Maine Credit Union League and representatives from Maine's credit unions recently testified on two bills about breach notices and student-loan insurance bills, before two separate state legislative committees in Augusta.

L.D. 158 requires that notice of a security breach must be made no later than 30 days after discovery of the breach to residents affected by the breach. It also would double the financial penalties for a civil violation.

Rebekah Higgins, assistant vice president of card services for Synergent, testified Feb. 28 before the Insurance and Financial Services Committee on behalf of the Maine league, which opposes the bill (Weekly Update March 8).

"The requirement to force notification of the breach within 30 days of discovering the breach might have the effect of compromising an ongoing investigation by law enforcement officials," Higgins testified. "It is for this very reason that federal law allows for notification to be delayed. In at least two recent larger breaches which impacted our members, we were asked by the Secret Service not to disclose the activity pending their vigorous efforts to identify the hackers."

The exception in state law that allows credit unions to only have to comply with federal law, as long as federal law is at least as protective as state law, also was pointed out by Higgins. "We believe this bill would repeal that exception and add additional burden on to credit unions," she explained.

Also, the Maine league and two credit union representatives testified Feb. 28 on L.D. 351, which would modi­fy the Finance Authority of Maine's (FAME) Higher Education Loan Program to say that FAME may provide loan insurance on supplemental student loans.

The Maine league and several credit unions have been working with FAME on the legislation during the past year. Quincy Hentzel, league director of governmental affairs; Joe Gervais, Orono-based University CU's executive vice president; and Kyle Casburn, president/CEO of Seaboard FCU in Bucksport, provided testimony supporting the legislation to the Education Committee.

At the work ses­sion on Wednesday, the committee unanimously voted the bill Ought To Pass.

On the national level, the Credit Union National Association is collecting information from credit unions, concerning their activities in the student lending arena (News Now Feb. 26). The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is in the process of gathering information from the public so it can develop options for policymakers to make the repayment of student loans easier for borrowers who are financially struggling (News Now Feb. 22).

Student loan debt surpassed $1 trillion in 2012, and exceeds credit card debt as the biggest source of consumer debt in the U.S.

NFL's Joe Montana To Keynote NACUSO Conference

 Permanent link
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (3/11/13)--Joe Montana, who led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl victories, will be the opening keynote speaker at the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations' Annual Conference, April 17 in Las Vegas.

Montana won more than 70% of the games he started during his 16-year career with the team and is the all-time NFL leader in quarterback ratings.

He was twice named the NFL's Most Valuable Player, and won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award three times. He was selected to eight Pro Bowls and named All-Pro five times.

Montana retired from professional football in 1995. In recognition of his achievements, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

He will speak about what it takes to motivate a team, how to focus on a goal and how to deliver to your members.

ATM Association Urges Networks To Delay Chip Card Migration

 Permanent link
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (3/11/13)--The U.S. ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) urged a consistent approach to chip card migration (EMV) for ATM deployers and operators--specifically pertaining to the resulting imminent liability shift--in an open letter to Global Payment Networks.

ATM owners and operators will become responsible April 19 for foreign transaction fraud at any of the more than 425,000 U.S. machines. However, the retail merchant liability timeline extends to 2015, ATMIA said.

The deadline is not realistic because a proven solution that can be consistently provided to the entire network has not been created or agreed upon by the payment networks and the ATM industry, the letter said. The near-term issue with the deadline is not only the ATM operators' inability to deploy a workable solution, but also that they are not permitted to decline transactions that may be fraudulent, ATMIA said.

Also, there are longer-term issues that need to be resolved, including software development in several areas, and the specific testing and certification procedures that all ATM networks and processors will require, ATMIA said.

ATMIA, established in 1997, is a non-profit global trade association with more than 3,700 members in 60 countries.

Last month, the National ATM Council sent a letter to MasterCard requesting a delay in migration to EMV (News Now Feb. 19).

Week-long Gas Giveaway Reaps Press Coverage

 Permanent link
COLUMBIA, S.C. (3/11/13)--
Click to view larger image Hundreds of cars lined up for free gas, compliments of Credit Unions of South Carolina, last week in four cities in that state. The events drew widespread media attention and helped consumers counter high gasoline prices. (Photo provided by Credit Unions of South Carolina and Your Marketing Co.)
South Carolina credit unions' gas giveaway, which News Now reported on Wednesday, turned out to be a media bonanza for credit unions, say those involved in the project last week.

"It was impossible to turn on your local television news, tune into a radio station, or open your newspaper and not see the words 'credit union' somewhere," said Bo McDonald, president of Your Marketing Co and organizer of the MADTAG giveaways sponsored by the Credit Unions of South Carolina. MADTAG aims to highlight credit unions' good deeds in their communities.

Several credit unions in the state joined to offer free gas to consumers to the first 100 drivers in a line at gas stations in Florence, Charleston and Columbia, and later in Greenville.

"Last year the gas giveaways totaled more than $240,000 in earned media coverage from television, radio and local newspapers," said McDonald. "So far this year before the Greenville event even takes place, we're estimating almost $250,000 in earned media."

"So far we've given away over 1,700 gallons of gas to 300 people," said Anne Shivers, CEO, Carolina Collegiate FCU.  "The response has been great, and we've heard back from so many thankful drivers. One driver this morning mentioned that her car was on E and was still two days away from getting paid."

While MADTAG representatives estimated about 200 cars in line for the free fill-ups at Tuesday's event, the Florence Police Department put the number closer to 500.

"Twenty dollars will only fill my truck up to about a quarter of a tank," said Woodrow King, a driver who received free gas in Florence. "But the wait is well worth it, with gas prices as high as they are now."

Credit unions will offer one more giveaway upstate.