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CU System Archive

CU System

Herring notes power of cooperatives

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CINCINNATI (3/17/08)--Bill Herring, CEO of Cincinnati Central CU, spoke about the power of cooperatives when addressing attendees of the Credit Union National Association’s 2008 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Herring discussed the need for credit unions to build stronger relationships with local cooperatives during a breakout session titled “All in the Family: Co-ops as Advocacy and Business Partners” (eLumination March 13). “It is important that credit unions are exposed to the opportunities provided by the cooperative movement in the U.S.,” Herring said. “As credit unions look to get more involved with small business, it is important to look to the future, and I believe that you will find many opportunities in your own communities by working with worker-owned cooperatives,” he continued. As an example, Cincinnati Central CU provides membership to employees of Co-op Janitorial Services in exchange for their services, Herring noted. For more information about cooperatives, use the link.

CUs on the Tube Community involvement as brand building

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (3/17/08)--Jim Blaine, president/CEO of State Employees CU (SECU), Raleigh, recently spoke about the importance of credit unions and their members giving back to the community in a video produced by the North Carolina Credit Union League. With money earned from $1 monthly checking account fees, SECU has donated funds to charitable organizations and has provided numerous scholarships for high school students. Giving back to the community provides a “renewed sense of ownership,” Blaine said. And, “the best way to advertise is to have other people tell your story,” he concluded.

Oregon CUs keep consumer complaints down

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BEAVERTON, Ore. (3/17/08)--Oregon credit unions received few complaints within the broad financial institution category, according to an annual compilation of the top 10 consumer complaints released by the Oregon Attorney General’s office. The low number of complaints attributed to Oregon credit unions relates to the national trend of high member satisfaction with credit unions, said the Credit Union Association of Oregon (CUAO). In the compilation, personal attention by friendly tellers, and the fact that all credit unions are local were satisfaction indicators listed by members. Within the financial institution category of Oregon’s Consumer Complaint list, credit unions received the lowest number of complaints. The financial institution category’s complaints break down as follows:
* Financial institutions--overall (952); * Credit cards (411); * Mortgage brokers (147); * Commercial banking (104); * Real estate financing (99); * Sales financing (92); * Consumer lending (43); and * Credit unions (21).
In the National Member Survey published by Credit Union National Association in 2006, 66% of credit union members indicated they were very satisfied with their credit union, while bank customers who were very satisfied came in at 55%, CUAO said. High satisfaction with credit unions comes across in surveys completed by the banking industry as well, CUAO added. Although the percentage of "very satisfied" bank customers reached its highest mark in 14 years, credit unions again achieved the highest score in this category: 71%, according to the 2005 American Banker/Gallup Consumer Survey.

CU System briefs (03/14/2008)

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* GREELEY, Colo. (3/17/08)--Prosecutors dropped charges against Ken Nelson, whose wife was convicted of murdering Heather Garraus, a former employee of Colorado State Employees CU on Jan. 23, 2007 (Fox 31 March 13). Nelson is a former Weld County Sheriff’s deputy and his wife, Shawna, had an affair with Garraus’ husband, Ignacio, a former Greeley police officer, according to reports ... * DUBLIN, Ohio (3/17/08)--The Ohio Credit Union League and 17 Ohio credit unions teamed up with local, state, and federal government agencies, and Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann to provide financial literacy information (eLumination March 12). The event was themed “Financial Literacy--Making a Sound Investment.” Consumers had the opportunity to learn how to make better financial decisions, avoid credit scams and protect their personal information. Financial fairs were held in six cities ... * WASHINGTON (3/17/08)--Florida Credit Union League Executive Vice President Aletta Shutes was honored with the Buck Levins Award for her political involvement in the credit union movement by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) during the 2008 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). With Shutes’ efforts, the league raised more than $610,000 for its credit union political action committee. She also increased the number of GAC attendees from Florida. When she started in 1993, Florida's credit unions sent less than 25 people to the conference. At this year's GAC, more than 200 Florida credit union representatives attended. From left are: Kris Mecham, CUNA Government Affairs committee chair, and Shutes. (Photo provided by the Florida Credit Union League) ... * DUBLIN, Ohio (3/17/08)--The Ohio Credit Union Foundation has created a grantmaking cycle for credit unions (eLumination March 12). Grand applications will be accepted throughout the year, but award notifications will occur quarterly. Applications also have been revised for convenience and ease of use. The foundation, created 10 years ago, awarded $210,000 in 2007 ...

One-third of cardholders open to decoupled cards

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BOSTON (3/17/08)--About one-third of cardholders would be open to decoupled debit cards, a recent survey indicated. The Aite Group, a Boston-based research firm, surveyed 500 U.S. consumers about trends in payment and loyalty. The survey found that although decoupled debit cards--cards issued by an entity other than the institution where a customer’s primary checking account resides--are relatively new, they have a large potential in the financial services market, the company said in a press release. Consumers interested in decoupled cards are “reward addicts,” or those who go out of their way to find rewards and participate in rewards programs regularly, the survey noted. But co-branded decoupled cards may not be the way to go, said Gwenn Bezard, research director at Aite and study co-author. “Program managers may want to focus on issuing decoupled debit cards on their own, or as part of a coalition marketing alliance with a large number of merchants,” she said.

Study Tech vendors key in shaping future of mobile banking

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NEEDHAM, Mass. (3/17/08)--Mobile banking is growing at a feverish pace to emerge as a powerful “right here, right now” channel for financial institutions to connect with their retail and business customers, as well as reach new customer segments, according to new research from The Towergroup, a research and advisory firm focused exclusively on the financial services industry. Core banking vendors sit at the center of a significant portion of the bank technology market in U.S. When new technology becomes available, mid-tier and small financial institutions look to their core processing vendors for leadership and innovation. In light of the surging interest in mobile banking services, TowerGroup believes that these financial institutions should move ahead with the deployment of mobile banking solutions with confidence that their core banking vendors will provide the key to start the engine of mobile banking. Mobile banking already is a strategic business and technology priority for the top U.S. banks. While they have the financial and technical resources to make a strategic commitment to the mobile channel, most mid-tier and small financial institutions are innovation and/or cost-challenged on this front. TowerGroup finds that core banking technology vendors have a big role to play in helping mid-tier and small institutions take advantage of this emerging channel that will soon be a cost of doing business. “Demographic shifts and new customer expectations along with technology maturity are converging to create fertile ground for mobile banking,” said Virginia Garcia, TowerGroup research director in the emerging technologies practice. “Within a few years, the mobile device will be the primary access point for consumer banking, with 40 million U.S. consumers using mobile banking by 2012. “Core banking vendors will be important contributors to the widespread proliferation of integrated mobile banking services and will fundamentally reshape the vendor ecosystem for mobile banking solutions,” she added. “As the focus shifts from ‘technovation’ to return on investments, the core banking vendors are ideally positioned to enable proper business economics in support of mobile banking.” Highlights of the research include:
* Increasingly, U.S. banks are recognizing that offering mobile banking services can help them to reach new customer segments, such as the youth market and the unbanked, which have a strong affinity for mobility; * TowerGroup believes that in 2008, mobile banking will finally emerge as a basic, necessary service for U.S. banks and therefore a “must have” in the solutions arsenals of core banking vendors; * Recent mobile banking announcements from such technology vendors as Fidelity Information Services, Jack Henry & Associates, Metavante, and Open Solutions Inc. represent the first step in a multi-pronged, evolutionary strategy with regard to integrating mobile payments more deeply into the U.S. banking infrastructure; and * As the mobile banking and payments market evolves throughout 2008, the associated vendor ecosystem will change markedly. Core processors’ strategies may eventually call for internal development--or even acquisitions of boutique suppliers--that are struggling to win the confidence of financial institutions looking to push forward on the mobile delivery channel.

Orlando Magic co-founder to speak at CFO Council conference

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MADISON, Wis. (3/17/08)--Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams will offer credit unions his techniques for increasing productivity in a leadership capacity during the 15th annual CUNA Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Council Conference and Roundtable, May 18-21, in Fort Meyers, Fla. Williams, who spent 40 years in the NBA, will speak on “The Seven Keys to Leadership in the 21st Century.” He will discuss how credit unions can create a personal strategy, community effectively with employees and make profitable decisions. Additional conference topics include: loan and deposit pricing, merger accounting, conflict resolution, indirect lending, call reports, software innovations, community involvement and purchasing insurance coverage. For more information, use the link.

Development Education Scholarships extended to March 20

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MADISON, Wis. (3/17/08)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has extended the deadline to March 20 for credit union staff and volunteers to apply for scholarships to Credit Union Development Education (DE) training. “These scholarships intend to make it easy as possible for credit unions to send representatives to DE Training despite the tough economy,” said NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. “In these challenging times, training on cooperative principles and credit union values is more important than ever.” DE Training is scheduled for April 3-9 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Scholarships are available through NCUF's DE Fund for credit unions that could not otherwise afford the registration fee of $1,600 (double room) or $1,700 (single room). The registration fee includes all training materials, meals and lodging. Credit unions interested in a scholarship can use the link. DE training is open to everyone, from new employees who need a credit union orientation, to seasoned executives who need to recharge (News Now March 3). NCUF is the primary sponsor of the DE program. Support is provided by the World Council of Credit Unions, the Credit Union National Association, CUNA Mutual Group, state credit union leagues and foundations. Questions can be directed to Program Director Tom Decker at 800-356-9655, ext. 4374 or tdecker@ncuf.coop