Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive
150x172_CUEffect.jpg
Contacts
LISA MCCUEVICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

Products Archive

Products

2010 year of growth for Verafin

 Permanent link
ST. JOHNS, Newfoundland (4/1/11)--Among its financial results for 2010, Verafin Inc., a provider of compliance, anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud detection software, reported a 36% growth in market share. “We measure success at Verafin in terms of how we help financial institutions fight financial crime,” said Jamie King, Verafin president/CEO. “On that front, and many others, 2010 was our strongest year to date.” Verafin, which is a CUNA Strategic Services provider, listed several notable achievements for 2010:
* A 36% increase in its customer base from 2009, with nearly 650 participating financial institutions by year end; * A continued customer retention rate of 99%; * Further integrations with core banking systems, bringing the total to just under 60; * New relationships with Connecticut Online Computing Center, Member Driven Technologies, Synergent and AML RightSource; * Continued endorsements and recognition by banking associations; * GonzoBankers Big Mo’ (Momentum) Award for Ancillary Systems, an award based on innovative systems for financial institutions; * Research, development and delivery of new analytics, and improved case management functionality resulting in a major new release.
Verafin combines fraud detection and AML, while providing visibility into customer activity, ensuring comprehensive compliance reporting, the company said. The solution combines fraud detection, AML and regulatory reporting with behavior-based customer monitoring technology in a single platform.

IMN program to help CUs attract small-biz members

 Permanent link
LAS VEGAS (3/31/11)--Online content provider IMN has launched a new program to help credit unions attract and retain small-business members. Member Adviser Small Business Edition, announced at the recent 2011 CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Conference, is designed to complement IMN’s current Member Adviser program targeting consumers. Both Member Adviser services are accessible via e-mail and mobile devices and can be provided with little to no resources. In a monthly e-newsletter format, Member Adviser Small Business Edition offers information on new products, services and technologies available to the small business and management methods for improving finance, tax, sales, service and marketing operations. Earlier this year, IMN announced its e-Briefings program as a component of its Reach, Engage, Acquire, Local (REAL) series of small-business marketing solutions. REAL e-Briefings are designed to help credit unions better identify and convert existing member relationships to “mixed” households--those with personal and small-business accounts. A credit union’s entire membership can receive REAL e-Briefings. Those who sign up are identified as small business prospects. The credit union then can use Member Adviser Small Business Edition to extend relationships to keep it in front of its small-business members and prospects.

SHAZAM PIN debit PaySecure ready

 Permanent link
ATLANTA (3/31/11)--PaySecure, Acculynk’s software-only payment method for Internet personal identification number (PIN) debit, is ready for all of banks and credit unions that use SHAZAM for electronic funds transfer (EFT). Acculynk, an online payments provider, and SHAZAM, ATM debit network, partnered in the summer of 2009 to pilot PaySecure. Based on pilot results, SHAZAM began adding more debit/ATM cards for PaySecure at the end of 2010, and this month will add nearly all of its remaining eligible debit/ATM cards. “We certainly understood the utility PaySecure would bring to our financial institutions when we first partnered with Acculynk, but with the potential regulation on debit card interchange, PaySecure becomes even more relevant to our issuer base because of its fraud and charge-back reduction capabilities, which are inherently lower when using a PIN,” said Terry Dooley, SHAZAM senior vice president of information technology and chief information officer. PaySecure is implemented into the online merchant checkout and employs a graphical PIN-pad. Consumers use their existing debit card and financial institution-issued PIN to pay through PaySecure from the merchant website. No passwords, enrollment or redirection is required. When offered the option, one of every two consumers chose to make payment by entering their PIN with PaySecure rather than running their transaction as a signature debit, according to Acculynk. Acculynk launched its mobile solution in January and is introducing PaySecure person-to-person (P2P) authentication later this year, the company said.

Radian Guaranty launches site for CU partners

 Permanent link
PHILADELPHIA (3/30/11)--Radian Guaranty Inc., the mortgage insurance (MI) subsidiary of Radian Group Inc., has launched a website designed exclusively for credit unions. The site includes current rates, online calculators and a calendar of industry events Radian will attend. “Radian has been focused on building and strengthening relationships with credit unions for the past several years, and as those relationships have grown, it’s become increasingly clear we needed to create an online home specific to a credit union’s needs” said Tony Bruschi, vice president of credit union sales at Radian. The new website provides credit union customers with:
* Direct log-in access to MI Online, the company’s Web-based mortgage insurance ordering and servicing system; * Access to credit union rates and Radian’s underwriting guidelines; * The Radian Decision Calculator, programmed with credit union rates; * Radian’s Rate Finder tool, also programmed with credit union rates; * A loan amount estimator; and * An archive of Radian Credit Union eBulletins, which announce rate and guideline changes.

Discovery webinar explores lending trends

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (3/30/11)--A free CUNA Mutual Group Discovery webinar will offer insight on a changing lending environment. “The Road Ahead: Making the Most of Every Lending Opportunity,” will be presented by Dan Kaiser, CUNA Mutual vice president of lending, at 12:15 p.m. CT on April 18. Registration is open through April 18. Upcoming 2011 Discovery events include:
* May 24--"Technology Strategies and Trends," presented by Rick Roy, CUNA Mutal senior vice president and chief information officer; * June 18-21--Seventeen Discovery sessions will be offered at CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference; * July 19--Regulation double-feature, presented by Bill Klewin CUNA Mutual associate general counsel and director of lending compliance, and Brad Pricer, CUNA Mutual employee benefits product manager; and * Oct. 4--Second Annual Online Discovery Conference.

Octant Business Services pays 7.5 dividend

 Permanent link
LITTLETON, Mass. (3/30/11)--Octant Business Services, a credit union service organization (CUSO) that provides guidance, underwriting and loan servicing for member business lending programs, has issued a 7.5% dividend--the second consecutive year the company has paid a dividend to its owners. Working with 17 credit unions, Octant serviced 385 loans worth $172 million during 2010. The firm’s loan portfolio grew by $61 million, a growth rate of 55% from 2009. “It’s gratifying to know that our efforts not only have helped so many small-business owners to realize their dreams, but also empowered credit unions to enter the small-business market,” said Bob Cipriani, president/CEO of Octant Business Services. “We know our strengths and focus exclusively on this key area,” Cipriani said. “Collectively, our staff has well over 100 years of experience in business loan underwriting.”

VINtek marks growth for 2010

 Permanent link
PHILADELPHIA (3/29/11)--VINtek reported 30% annual revenue growth in 2010, double its revenues since 2008. The provider of automotive collateral management, electronic lien and title (ELT) services and direct finance processing for automotive lenders also signed nearly 700 new clients, a 435% increase in new customer contracts over 2009. To accommodate its expanding customer base of more than 1,600 lenders, VINtek opened two new offices in 2010 and added senior management. Those investments also helped support the growth of VINtek’s direct-to-consumer (D2C) lending platform, which has doubled in transaction volume each year the past two years. The growth in D2C included VINtek’s introduction of a consumer auto finance lead generation website leveraging its Tax, Tag and Title Calculator, which provides direct leads to lenders. VINtek’s D2C platform provides lenders with a business process outsource service that handles consumer loan and department of motor vehicle (DMV) document fulfillment, execution, exception handling and lien perfection---all online through VINtek consumer portals. VINtek also took on large projects during 2010, such as Santander Consumer USA’s purchase, and subsequent transfer to VINtek, of a portion of the CitiFinancial Auto portfolio. The company said it transferred 1.4 million consumer titles and loan file records within 90 days. “VINtek strives to create technology and services that fulfill the needs of any automotive lender, from the smallest credit union to the largest top-tier bank,” said Larry Highbloom, president of VINtek.

FiServ recognized as best electronic commerce provider

 Permanent link
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (3/28/11)--Financial services technology provider Fiserv has been named "Best Electronic Commerce Provider" by Global Finance magazine for the fourth consecutive year. The award is based on 12 categories of input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts. This year, a new category, “mobile banking,” was one on which judges selected the best-in-breed provider. Other categories on which the company was judged include volume, market share, and scope of global/regional coverage; examples of cutting-edge technology deployment and product innovation on a regional/global level; and examples of regional/global solutions that delivered significant benefits and cost savings for clients wanting to re-engineer their cash management processes. “More than 16,000 financial institutions and business around the world trust Fiserv to help them solve complex business challenges,” said Steve Olsen, group president, Digital Payments, Fiserv. “We are particularly honored to receive this award in the year that mobile banking has been added to the criteria, as our research shows consumers want their primary bank or credit union to also connect with them via the mobile channel.” Fiserv provides its clients with traditional electronic payment solutions including debit, ACH, cards and online bill payment, as well as emerging solutions such as person-to-person payments. According to the company's year-end 2010 earnings statement, Fiserv expanded its payments footprint by signing 537 electronic bill payment clients and 218 debit clients. The company also processed three of four online bill payments, delivered more than 330 million e-bills, managed more than 1.4 billion online bill pay transactions processed through financial institutions and has an electronic funds transfer payments network with more than 1.5 million point-of-sale locations.

CUSOs partner to fund short-term mortgages

 Permanent link
FAIRBORN, Ohio (3/25/11)--Two credit union service organizations have partnered to develop a line of credit funded by credit unions that will finance short-term mortgages. myCUmortgage and CU Structured Finance LLC created a mechanism to help provide funding for the mortgage CUSO’s growing market. “The new client growth and increased loan volume we have experienced at myCUmortgage over the past year has created the need for additional funding,” said Tim Mislansky, president of myCUmortgage. “We were challenged to find a cost-effective and operationally efficient method to obtain warehouse lines of credit.” CU Structured Finance LLC helps CUSOs secure and collateralize their debt needs. It was formed last September by TMG Financial Services to assist CUSOs that have seen traditional sources of funding shutdown during the past 18 to 24 months. “CUSOs like myCUmortgage have the opportunity to grow and serve more members than ever before, but they lack the necessary line of credit to make it happen,” said Jim Hansen, managing director of CU Structured Finance. “The company was created to provide access to financing similar to what the industry has relied on corporate credit unions to provide.” In the agreement, CU Structured Finance will provide third-party monitoring of the transaction and collateral. Together, the CUSOs have raised more than $13 million from nine credit union clients of myCUmortgage to help fund the short-term mortgages that the CUSO writes. “By offering our credit union clients the option to lend us money through a warehouse line of credit, we gain access to low-cost funds and the credit union benefits by obtaining a solid asset with a solid return,” added Mislansky. “It also reinforces the collaborative approach to the myCUmortgage business model.”

Free webinar on holding long-term mortgages offered

 Permanent link
DALLAS (3/24/11)--ALM First Financial Advisors, LLC, is offering a free webinar for credit unions interested in generating income by holding long-term mortgage loans. The webinar will be held at 10:30 a.m. CT Monday. “Credit unions are finding themselves in a quandary because spreads are tight and rates are likely to stay where they are for awhile,” said Emily Hollis, a partner with ALM First. “But by holding long-term mortgage loans, they can generate income and increase capital as their deposits increase.” Under the right circumstances, transferring risk to a third party through hedging can be an effective tool, Hollis added. But knowing the right strategy for specific situations is key. “Our hedging program is rooted on in-depth study of a financial institution’s balance sheet and identification of its inherent risk through net economic value analyses,” she said. “We use this information, as well as our expertise with derivative instruments, to establish the right hedging strategies, build effective hedge transactions, and achieve desired risk profiles for credit unions.” In 2002, ALM First received approval from the National Credit Union Administration to consult with client credit unions regarding the use of interest-rate risk hedge products. The firm’s derivatives pilot program was a first within the credit union community because it sets up trades directly between the credit union and reputable dealers through its current investment relations.

T8 offers card personalization solution for iPad

 Permanent link
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa. (3/23/11)--T8 Webware now offers a mobile card personalization that allows financial institutions to create instant-issue cards from Apple’s iPad and photos from social networking sites. With Cre8 My Card, financial institutions can instantly issue cards with personal photo images through the second-generation iPad’s built in camera, or a camera attachment. The mobility allows users to take pictures and develop cards on site at sporting events, school functions and community festivities. Members and customers can also personalize cards with photos from Facebook or other photo-sharing sites. Mashable.com reports Facebook as the largest photo sharing platform, making it a crucial tool for financial institutions to leverage.

Verafin releases FRAML dashboard

 Permanent link
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (3/23/11)—Verafin, a compliance, anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud detection solution provider, has rolled out Winter ’11, a software “dashboard” that can give up-to-the-minute information on anti-fraud and AML (FRAML) compliance. Verafin is a CUNA Strategic Services Provider. “Over the last few years, analysts and industry experts have predicted the convergence of fraud and AML” said Jamie King, CEO and president of Verafin. “When we set out to create a major new release of Verafin we went to our customers to find out what would help them work more efficiently. King said the FRAML dashboard came directly from customer feedback. “From customer research, to product development and usability testing, we have worked to ensure this Winter ’11 release provides AML and anti-fraud professionals with the right mix of information and tools to manage their Bank Secrecy Act compliance and financial crime detection obligations,” he said. Verafin’s consolidation of anti-fraud and AML, called FRAML, leverages artificial intelligence and pattern recognition technology to immediately identify suspicious behavior and root out potential fraudsters and money launderers. Using a common underlying technology with separate analytics and configuration parameters for fraud and money laundering detection simplifies the tasks of system tuning and ongoing administration. Winter ‘11 provides a central repository where investigators can access information about past or ongoing investigations and a more holistic view of activity that is potentially fraudulent or indicative of money laundering. Winter ’11 includes improved debit fraud analytics, expanded reporting capabilities, improved customer and vendor risk management, and additional support for customer watch lists.

Xtend upgrades privacy protection

 Permanent link
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (3/22/11)--Credit union service organization (CUSO) Xtend, Inc. has implemented new member authentication procedures to bolster privacy protection when members of its 94 credit union partners perform branch transactions. The new procedures employ the data-masking and security-control functionality of the CU*BASE data procession suite from CU*Answers, Inc., which serves as the foundation for the Xtend Shared Branching network. The security upgrade was recommended by the CUSO’s Shared Branching Advisory Council (SBAC), a group made up of representatives from participating credit unions that serves as the governing body for the self-managed network. “The council and Xtend staff utilized a variety of communication channels, including webinars, emails, and meetings, to help prepare credit union staffs for these procedural change, and we believe that the network has taken an important step forward regarding member privacy,” said Chris Cross of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based AAC CI and chair of the SBAC. “Members requesting service at a shared branch now need to know their account number, and since keeping privacy controls in the hands of the home credit union has been the hallmark of our network, each individual credit union in the network can optionally require their members to answer additional out-of-wallet questions before being served at remote locations,” Cross added. The Xtend Shared Branching network now includes more than 200 branch locations in 10 states.

Southeast Regional CU School redesigns website

 Permanent link
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (3/21/11)--The Southeast Regional Credit Union Schools (SRCUS) has launched a new website. SRCUS comprises nine credit union leagues in the Southeast U.S. that work cooperatively to provide learning opportunities to staff and volunteers of league member credit unions. The redesigned website provides a resource for information on programs offered by SRCUS, specifically the Southeast Regional Directors Conference and the Southeast CUNA Management School. The site also features information on project deadlines, requirements for current management school attendees and information on upcoming registration deadlines.

CO-OP ExpressLink offers underwriting support

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/21/11)--CO-OP Member Center is offering CO-OP ExpressLink, a service through which credit unions can use the call center to underwrite indirect loan applications after-hours and on weekends. CO-OP Member Center is partnering with CU Direct Corp., parent to the Credit Union Direct Lending (CUDL) brand, to offer access to an indirect connectivity platform. All CUDL lending clients will have access to CO-OP ExpressLink. CO-OP ExpressLink works on both CU Direct’s current CUDL Decision Manager and its new Lending 360 loan origination system, which also incorporates the CUDL Decision Manager decision engine. The systems include customizable workflow engines, enabling CO-OP Member Center to work with its clients to structure a work flow that allows its credit analysts to underwrite a credit union’s CUDL indirect loans. In addition to lending services, CO-OP Member Center offers member and outbound calling service support. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, CO-OP Member Center is a wholly owned subsidiary of CO-OP Financial Services.

IFS launches Web mobile banking solutions

 Permanent link
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. (3/18/11)--Intuit Financial Services (IFS), the banking services division of Intuit Inc., has launched a new Web and mobile-banking experience that transforms the way consumers interact with their U.S. bank or credit union and helps financial institutions increase customer engagement, said IFS. Intuit Financial Services is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. The new connected banking experience places a consumer’s most important online financial management capabilities within one click on the home page of a financial institution’s website and makes it easy to manage critical banking tasks using fully-integrated mobile solutions, said IFS. Members and customers can use one secure login to their bank or credit union website to:
* Make better financial decisions by seeing their account information and recent transaction history from any source in the U.S. in one place; * Save money on products and services they already buy without the hassle of coupons by activating targeted merchant discounts; * Transfer funds, manage and pay bills, and access the FinanceWorks online personal finance management solution to see where their money is going to gain control over spending; and * Save time by using TurboTax for Online Banking to pre-populate certain bank or share account data into their tax return and then get step-by-step guidance to maximize their refund.
Nearly three million customers use this new experience through their bank or credit union, and Intuit said it plans to expand its availability in the coming months.

Filene members can get discounts to attend FinovateSpring

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (3/18/11)--Filene Research Institute members can receive a 10% discount to attend FinovateSpring, a gathering in San Francisco May 10-11 where about 60 companies will present their own visions of the future of financial technology. With only seven minutes for each presentation, FinovateSpring requires concise delivery and allows participants to learn about a wide array of next-generation technology. Filene Research Institute members will receive a 10% discount while seats are available. Email innovation@filene.org for the discount code.

CUDL unveils sell your ride for AutoSMART program

 Permanent link
ONTARIO, Calif. (3/17/11)--CUDL has unveiled its Sell Your Ride Member Program for credit unions and their members on its AutoSMART vehicle shopping website. In the new program, members can post information, data and photos about their personal vehicles--including automobiles, motorcycles, boats and personal watercraft, and recreational vehicles--for sale through their credit union's AutoSMART website, www.cudlautosmart.com. In return, the program provides credit unions with a tool that helps drive members to their site and increases member lending opportunities, said the Ontario, Calif.-based CUDL. CUDL administers the largest auto lending network for credit unions. Through Sell Your Ride, members can upload and post their information on the credit union AutoSMART site's "Private Party" vehicles section, using the site's inventory program. The posting will be seen locally by other members through their credit union's AutoSMART site, as well as nationally by members at the more than 930 credit unions on the program. These credit unions combined have 27.5 million members. The service is free for credit unions participating in the CUDL AutoSMART program and their members.

CU24 chooses NitroSecurity SIEM suite

 Permanent link
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (3/16/11)--Credit Union 24 has selected NitroSecurity’s security information and event management (SIEM) suite to bolster its corporate security and help it comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Established in 1981, Credit Union 24 offers a cooperative electronic funds transfer (EFT) environment designed to empower credit unions to attract, serve and retain members. With nearly half a million locations at major retailers and local merchants, it is the largest credit union-owned point-of-sale network in the United States. Counting more than 100,000 national and international ATM locations in its network, the company offers access to the greatest number of U.S. surcharge-free ATMs in the country. Credit Union 24 sought to streamline the time- and labor-intensive process of ensuring PCI DSS compliance. The company identified policy and procedural alternatives that eliminated much of the need to access PCI DSS “in scope” data for normal operations and still provide service and security to its participating credit unions. In order to fully realize the benefits, Credit Union 24 needed to automatically verify the new policies and procedures to eliminate expensive Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) audits. “After initially researching data-loss prevention (DLP) technology, we realized that we could not manage a DLP with existing resources,” said Mike Williams, assistant vice president of technology at Credit Union 24. “SIEM offered a more comprehensive view of network activity, and if used appropriately, could help us effectively detect insider and outsider data loss and more--without DLP’s significant acquisition costs, deployment complexity, or need to hire additional information technology personnel.”

CU Centers shared branch network expanded in 2010

 Permanent link
INDIANAPOLIS (3/15/11)--Despite 2010’s difficult economic environment, shared branching vendor Credit Union Centers’ expanded its shared branch network by 18 branches: five in Indiana and 13 in its newest market, Illinois. With more than 200 locations in Indiana, Credit Union Centers said it continues to provide the largest branch network of any financial institution operating in the state--exceeding the largest bank at 184 locations. In Illinois, Credit Union Centers’ number of branch locations grew to 73. Nationally, Credit Union Centers said its network now has more than 4,200 locations, making it the fourth largest branch network of any financial institution nationwide. It also signed four new credit union clients in 2010. One of the biggest trends in 2010 was the steady growth in consumer usage of electronic delivery channels coupled with declining use of paper checks as a payment method. This trend contributed to a decline in branch transaction volumes through the last several years, which continued in 2010 as well--resulting in the decreased number of branch locations at financial institutions, according to Dan Davis, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Credit Union Centers . “As consumers continue to shift away from the expensive branch transactions for the more cost-effective electronic type transactions, we will be seeing more of this trend in the coming years,” Davis said. “Digital transactions are cheaper and branches are obviously more expensive to build and maintain. A change in today’s member habits that requires less paper check processing along with a stagnant economy results in the consolidation or closing of underperforming branches.” Shared branching allows credit unions to redirect their members’ branch transaction needs to other area facilities when they make the decision to close an underperforming location. The credit union can continue to provide service in the area at a much lower cost, by only paying for only the transactions performed by members instead of the fixed costs associated with location.

CUNA Tech Council Best of Show goes to Bazaarvoice

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (3/15/11)--Bazaarvoice was recognized for its innovation in social commerce with the CUNA Technology Council’s Best of Show Award at the Credit Union National Association’s 2011 Governmental Affairs Conference, Feb. 27-March 3.
Click to view larger image Bazaarvoice was recognized for its social commerce innovation with the CUNA Technology Council’s (CTC) Best of Show Award at the Credit Union National Association’s 2011 Governmental Affairs Conference, Feb. 27-March 3. From left, Rudy Pereira, CTC chairman and senior vice president, operations/technology, Alliant CU, Chicago; Brad Pate, market development, financial services, Bazaarvoice; Kent White, sales director, financial services, Bazaarvoice; Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO; and Heather Moshier, CTC executive committee member and executive vice president, information technology, San Diego County CU. (Photo provided by CUNA)
Bazaarvoice helps businesses capture, display, share and analyze customer conversations digitally. It uses technology and personalized services to help global brands, including credit unions, build online communities that drive measurable business goals. “We are extremely fortunate to partner with organizations like credit unions that recognize the value and power of tapping and amplifying members’ voices to drive business results and garner insights that help improve service offerings and increase member satisfaction, ” said Joe Dauskurdas, Bazaarvoice vice president of the financial services division. Since 2001, the CUNA Technology Council has presented the Best of Show award to the exhibitor that demonstrates a commitment to delivering technology that will further the growth of products and services in the credit union marketplace. Vendors’ products are evaluated according to affordability, the benefit to credit unions and their members, a commitment to open standards, currently in use, and health of the company.

New MoneyGram fraud tool saved 22.5M since May

 Permanent link
DALLAS (3/14/11)--Money transfer solution provider MoneyGram International has a new tool in the war against fraud: a software system that monitors sent transactions and identifies transfers that could involve fraud, enabling MoneyGram to intervene and prevent its customers from losing money to fraudsters. Since the tool launched in May, MoneyGram reports it has saved its customers about $22.5 million. MoneyGram is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. The anti-fraud tool is a rules-based automated IBM software system that analyzes the transaction data from MoneyGram’s money transfer system. Based on consumer identity management and transaction rules, the system identifies potentially fraudulent transactions and provides instant alerts after the transaction has been placed. MoneyGram can then put the transaction on hold, contact the original sender, and if needed, stop the fraudulent transaction from being received. Since its launch, the anti-fraud technology has enabled the company to prevent consumer fraud on a large scale. Examples are:
* Consumer complaints of fraud in January 2011 compared to January 2010 dropped 72%, with the most significant reductions in Canada, Nigeria, U.S. and the United Kingdom; * From February 2010 to January 2011, the anti-fraud technology accounted for a 40% increase in MoneyGram’s ability to identify and interrupt potentially fraudulent transactions; and * For the first two months of 2011, MoneyGram identified and interrupted 2,200 transactions suspected of fraud, saving its customers from losing more than $7 million.
Also, MoneyGram offers these tips for consumer wire fraud protection:
* Never wire money to someone you don’t know; * Never agree to deposit a check from someone who says to send some of the money back; * Never wire money to someone who says money transfer is the only acceptable form of payment; * Never wire money to a relative in crisis without checking out the story first. Ask the appropriate questions to verify the identity of the person; * Know the source of where an unsolicited prize or gift offer comes from and who you’re dealing with. For example, if you receive a message that says: “Congratulations, it's your lucky day! You just won $1,000 in a foreign lottery!” Be wary, especially if you knowingly didn’t enter a sweepstakes or lottery. Further, never pay to collect sweepstakes winnings; * Research the legitimacy of an offer; if it sounds too good to be true, it often is; and * Wiring money is like sending cash; the sender has no protection against loss.

TMGs alternative payments platform adds feature

 Permanent link
DES MOINES, Iowa (3/11/11)--Dwolla, the online, mobile and social payment platform supported by The Members Group (TMG), has released the nation’s first location-based payment technology. Called Dwolla Spots, the technology allows Dwolla users to pay for goods or services on-site with their mobile devices--for a transaction fee of 25 cents. To pay a merchant, a Dwolla user selects the new Spots tab from Dwolla’s mobile application. The customer finds the business on a location-based map and enters the transaction amount. The funds are sent to the business in real-time. “To remain a part of everyday financial transactions, credit unions and community banks must find ways to partner with emerging payments providers like Dwolla,” said Brian Day, TMG product development architect and author of a newly released white paper, “Maintaining Your Foothold in the Payments Ecosystem.” “TMG is working closely with Dwolla to create the kind of technology that will become indispensable to the contemporary consumer.” Currently, Dwolla Spots is exclusive to the Apple iOS mobile operating system and will be released later this month in the Apple App Store. Updates to the Android and Windows 7 versions will debut later this spring. TMG is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Affiliates Management Company, which is owned by Iowa credit unions and their members.

CU Service Centers Network elects McClosky to board

 Permanent link
DULUTH, Ga. (3/10/11)--Bob McClosky, president/CEO of Market USA FCU, Laurel, Md., has been elected to the board of directors of the Credit Union Service Centers Network Inc. (CUSCNI). The board met for its 18th annual meeting in Washington, where it elected officers and established direction for 2011. CUSCNI represents two national shared-branching networks, CO-OP Shared Branching and FSCC (Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc.). The organizations work cooperatively through CUSCNI to maintain shared-branching standards, rules and member experiences. The officers and other incumbent directors, include:
* Chairman Bill Raker, president/CEO, US FCU, Burnsville, Minn.; * Vice chairman Steve Stapp, president, San Francisco (Calif.) FCU; * Secretary/Treasurer David Osborn, president/CEO, Anheuser-Busch Employees CU, St. Louis, Mo.; * Doug Allman, president/CEO, NASA FCU, Upper Marlboro, Md.; * Stan Hollen, president/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Verafin white paper tackles combining AML fraud processes

 Permanent link
ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland (3/10/11)--Verafin Inc., a provider of compliance, anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud detection software, issued a white paper on the convergence of the anti-fraud and AML processes. Verafin is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. The white paper offers a scenario in which a financial institution identifies an opportunity to synchronize its AML and fraud investigations. As the paper describes, institutions that consolidate their AML and fraud detection efforts must overcome two obstacles:
* The legacy of the different approaches used to achieve separate AML and anti-fraud goals; and * The constraints imposed by the adoption of the solutions that rely on first-generation (rules-based) technology.
The white paper then presents a combined fraud and AML (FRAML) approach for the given scenario. Fraud and compliance professionals will learn how the FRAML approach can help break down departmental silos by engaging and integrating three key FRAML components: people, processes and technology. The result is improved communication, efficiency and effectiveness, said Verafin.

Illinois CUs begin FiCEP program

 Permanent link
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (3/10/11)--More than 20 individuals from Illinois credit unions are participating in the REAL Solutions Enhanced Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP), as a result of support from the Illinois Credit Union (ICU) Foundation. As the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Financial Counseling Certification Program, FiCEP allows credit union employees to become more confident in helping members build stronger financial futures. Modeled after the CUNA Certified Financial Counselor Schools, FiCEP includes two parts with four learning modules each. When participants successfully complete the proctored exams for the eight modules they are designated as Credit Union Certified Financial Counselors. In addition to the self-study materials, the program includes eight webinars, which will review the printed materials and add real-life experiences, and two in-person meetings, which will feature networking, education and proctored exams. Module topics include: introduction to financial counseling; financial counseling essentials; special issues in financial counseling; using communication skills during financial counseling; taxes, insurance, and investments; controlling living expenses and understanding consumer credit; matching values to money; and retirement and special issues. The webinars will be held at 10 a.m. CT on select Tuesdays from March to July and will be recorded. Two in-person meetings with proctored testing sessions will be held at the ICU System Center in Naperville, Ill. An orientation webinar will also be offered. “The end result of the training will be numerous credit union executives who will be equipped to help members attain their financial goals and provide another example of how the movement is fulfilling its mission,” said Vicki Ponzo, executive director of the ICU Foundation.

ProfitStars on the worlds top providers list

 Permanent link
MONETT, Mo. (3/9/11)--ProfitStars, a division of computer systems and electronic payments provider Jack Henry & Associates, was named to Nine Lives Media Inc.’s fourth annual MSPmentor 100, a list and research report of the world’s top 100 managed service providers (MSPs). The MSPmentor 100 report is based on data from MSPmentor’s global online survey. The report recognizes top managed service providers, based on a range of metrics, including annual managed services revenue growth, revenue per employee and customer devices managed.

CO-OPs THINK 11 speakers announced

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/9/11)--CO-OP Financial Services has announced a slate of eight speakers to be featured at its THINK 11 Conference May 14-18 in Anaheim, Calif. Speakers were selected to help credit union employees initiate change for the better at their institutions--from attracting new members and inspiring member loyalty to improving profit margins and expanding their business. “The THINK Conference is “designed for credit union employees to explore new approaches to issues confronting their institutions by hearing from thought leaders from outside of our field,” said Stan Hollen, president/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services, which connects credit union members to their accounts through network services, payment processing, e-commerce, shared branching and call center services. THINK 11 Conference featured speakers will include:
* Jeanne Bliss, customer loyalty expert, who will discuss her two best-selling books, including “I Love You More Than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty”; * Porter Gale, vice president of marketing for Virgin America, who will discuss innovative strategies in brand and on-line marketing; * Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder and CEO of billion-dollar entrepreneurial ventures, who will share his insights into growing a business; * Brett King, author and strategic adviser to the global financial services sector, who will speak on how to attract new members to the credit union; * Nancy Lublin, author of “Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business,” who will offer insights into optimizing business to provide a better customer experience and improve margins. * Jeff Manning, known as the godfather of the famous “Got Milk?” ad campaign, who will speak on how to first attract members, and then market and sell to them; * Susan Packard, co-founder and former chief operating officer of the HGTV cable channel, who will speak on business leadership and promoting a brand that inspires consumer loyalty; and * Sir Ken Robinson, business creativity mentor and author of “The Element: Finding Your Passion Changes Everything,” who will offer insights on how to grow and evolve a business.
Valerie Morris, former CNN domestic and international correspondent/anchor, will serve as master of ceremonies. Registration is free to credit union employees.

Corporate Central partners with Sallie Mae

 Permanent link
MUSKEGO, Wis. (3/8/11)--Corporate Central CU, Muskego, Wis., has partnered with Salle Mae to offer a new student loan program to help students graduate with less debt and pay off their loans faster. With the Corporate Central CU Smart Option Student Loan by Sallie Mae, students pay interest while in school and graduate with less debt, compared with other longer-term alternatives that require no payments are made until after graduation. Corporate Central CU estimated that a typical freshman can save 30% to 50% on finance charges over the life of the loan. Designed to supplement a student’s federal student loans and other student aid, the Smart Option Student Loan can help students cover up to 100% of their education expenses.

XtraCash saves partners 2.8M

 Permanent link
LENEXA, Kan. (3/8/11)--XtraCash LLC, a payday lending alternative credit union service organization announced its partner credit unions and members saved more than $2.8 million between 2007 and 2010. Since its March 2007 launch in two branches, XtraCash processed nearly 24,000 loans with a total loan value of more than $9.1 million. XtraCash serves 23 branches in Kansas, Missouri and Florida.

CU Direct Corp. OKs 3 dividend

 Permanent link
ONTARIO, Calif. (3/7/11)--CU Direct Corp., parent for the CUDL Lending Insights and new Lending 360 and CUDL Retail brands, announced its board of directors has approved a 3% dividend on the current share price of $1,000, totaling $1.4 million, to its 91 member credit union shareholders for 2010. This is the sixth consecutive year that the credit union service organization has paid dividends to its credit union shareholders. CU Direct, which has 10 regional offices throughout the U.S., signed new agreements with 160 credit unions in 2010. As a result, at the year's end more than 930 credit unions serving 27.5 million members were incorporating the CUSO's lending solutions and services to enhance their lineup of member products and services, and to maximize their process and cost efficiencies. In a year where the continuing economic downturn once again took center stage, CU Direct's CUDL lending platform generated more than 419,000 auto loans at dealerships nationwide, while CUDL credit unions were the seventh largest vehicle lender in 2010. The CUSO also reported that 34% of the loans its system generated in 2010 went to existing credit union members at the point of purchase (in the dealership).

Panini first to market with RDC for Macs

 Permanent link
DAYTON, Ohio (3/7/11)--Payments processing provider Panini has introduced a Mac interface for its remote-deposit capture (RDC) check scanners. Panini is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. Apple Macintosh market share of the desktop market was 11.41% as of October, according to Net Applications. “There are a significant number of Mac-based small businesses and consumers that, until now, haven’t been able to take advantage of RDC, so this initiative has been a priority for Panini,” said Michael Pratt, Panini chief marketing officer. Panini’s new Mac interface includes native support in the Mac OS X operating system, is based on Vision API version 3.6 and supports its check scanning products, Vision X and I:Deal. Panini is involved in strategic initiatives involving the new Mac OS X capabilities and will make additional announcements, including new customers, partnerships and channels, Pratt said.

CU Centers announces five new directors

 Permanent link
INDIANAPOLIS (3/7/11)--Members of shared-branching vendor Credit Union Centers have elected five new directors to represent the credit union service organization (CUSO). Each director, who was elected on Jan. 25, will serve a three-year term. Two are designated as regional directors, and three are designated “at-large.” The at-large directors were elected by a plurality vote of all Credit Union Centers participants. Regional directors represent each of the CUSO’s six regions. Regional directors:
* Mike Hussey, Tech CU, Crown Point, Ind. (Region 1); and * Lisa Williams, Pinnacle CU, Fort Wayne, Ind. (Region 3).
At-large directors:
* Jill Banning, REGIONAL FCU, Hammond, Ind.; * Heather Nally, Purdue FCU , Lafayette, Ind.; and * Connie Perry, Eli Lilly FCU, Indianapolis.
Other Credit Union Centers directors who continue to serve include:
* Karol Griffin, Teachers CU, South Bend, Ind. (Region 2); * Kristi Lowell, FORUM CU, Indianapolis (Region 4); * Doug Harris, Centra CU, Columbus, Ind. (Region 5); * Sue Hejnosz, Credit Union 1, Rantoul, Ind. (Region 6); * Dave Abernathy, Via CU, Marron, Ind. (At-Large); * Dallas Bergl, INOVA FCU, Elkart, Ind. (At-Large); * Chuck Donovan, Members Source CU, Merrillville, Ind. (At-Large); and * Frances Tooley, Finance Center FCU, Indianapolis (At-Large).
Credit Union Centers comprises 72 credit unions located in Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee. The CUSO offers shared-branching services through its 253 service centers and outlets. Credit Union Centers member credit unions offer more than 4,200 locations nationwide available to their members through their partnership with CO-OP Shared Branching, which controls 80% of the national shared branching market.

Synergent offers new shared branching kiosks

 Permanent link
PORTLAND, Maine. (3/7/11)--Synergent has launched shared branch kiosks in lobbies and other locations throughout Maine.
Click to view larger image St. Jean’s CU, Lynn, Mass., has signed an agreement to use Synergent Technology Services, the Episys core processing solution from Symitar, and Synergent’s Statement Processing Services. The $132 million-asset credit union has also signed on to Synergent Card Services Debit/ATM Card Processing Platform. Meeting to sign agreements are (from left) Jeff Gray, senior vice president, Synergent; David Surface, president/CEO, St. Jean’s CU; John Murphy, president/CEO, Synergent; Fred Barber, account executive, Synergent, and Gary Glenn, senior vice president, Synergent. (Photo provided by The Maine Credit Union League)
The kiosks go beyond the services offered by ATMs, allowing members to make loan payments, get loan advances, make money transfers or withdrawals, and make cash or check deposits without slips or envelopes. A subsidiary of the Maine Credit Union League, Synergent provides credit unions with technology services, card services and check processing and support services. It also has a direct marketing services division. University CU, a $189 million-asset institution in Orono, Maine, recently introduced the kiosks to its membership. For those members apprehensive about the new technology, the credit union employed “technology liaisons” to assist with the registration process and explain the kiosks’ functionality. The $185 million asset Five County CU, Bath, Maine, has also implemented the kiosks. “We felt it was important to make this investment to ensure that our members, and members of credit unions who utilize shared branching, have access to their accounts beyond the extended hours we already offer,” said Mike Foley, vice president of Five County CU.

PSCU Fin. Services expands agreement with Open Solutions

 Permanent link
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (3/4/11)--PSCU Financial Services has signed an expanded agreement with Open Solutions Inc. that equips Open Solutions DNA clients in the U.S. with broader 24/7/365 contact center capabilities from the PSCU Financial Services' Total Member Care contact centers. Bank Fund Staff CU, Washington, D.C., is the first Open Solutions client to adopt Total Member Care. "Conversions, acquisitions and mergers create an urgent need for the professional, 24/7/365 support provided by our contact centers," said Mike Yatros, interim CEO of PSCU Financial Services, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based credit union service organization. "Urgent situations as well as those that increase member call volume drive many credit unions to reach out to us," Yatros said. "When they see all the additional services we can provide, including member education and effective cross-selling, many credit unions continue to use Total Member Care for after-hours and around-the-clock support." PSCU Financial Services currently supports integration with Jack Henry Symitar, Harland UltraData, Fiserv User, Fiserv Summit and Fiserv XP. It is owned by more than 680 credit unions representing more than 14 million accounts and one million online bill payment subscribers. It's contact centers handle more than 19 million inquiries a year..

Advanced ATM marketing software offered by SHAZAM

 Permanent link
DULUTH, Ga. (3/4/11)--SHAZAM, a technology and operations support provider and ATM network in 30 states, announced it will offer advanced ATM marketing software that can personalize direct marketing messages at the ATM. SHAZAM will offer member credit unions and banks the ATM marketing and Preference Center modules of NCR Corp.'s APTRA e-Marketing solution (ENP Newswire Feb. 25). Through the ATM marketing module, the network's clients can run personalized direct marketing programs to member/customers integrated with ATM transactions. For example, a credit union could provide a targeted offer for a premium credit card at the ATM, based on knowledge of the member's interests, preferences and profile. The preference center works with SHAZAM's business software, customer retention management system, and customer databases to provide consumers with a convenient online portal to set their communication preferences. Credit unions and banks can deliver real-time, personalized and synchronized messaging across channels in line with the consumer's preferences, such as default language, fast cash amount and receipt options. These speed up transaction times, said SHAZAM.

VSoft marks 10 years of technology for CU processes

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (3/3/11)--Atlanta, Ga.-based VSoft Corp., which provides process improvement solutions for financial institutions, announced that 2011 marks more than 10 years of providing technology to improve credit union processes. The Atlanta, Ga.-based VSoft Corp. made the announcement during the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference this week. VSoft's image-based solutions include distributed deposit and payment capture across all points of presentment, back office check processing, image exchange, document management and remittance operations. Its solutions are designed for seamless and rapid integration by credit unions of any size to help credit union efficiency throughout branch networks, remote deposit channels and central operations. It serves more than 1,500 credit unions and their members nationwide.

Fiserv acquires CUSO plus mobile prepaid services

 Permanent link
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (3/3/11)--Financial services technology solutions provider Fiserv Inc., based in Brookfield, Wis., has made three acquisitions of interest to its credit union clients. It has acquired:
* Credit Union On-Line Inc. (CUOL), a credit union service organization (CUSO) that runs an outsourced version of the XP2 account processing solution from Fiserv. Fiserv acquired the CUSO from CEO Connie Boretti and two credit unions, RTN FCU, Waltham, Mass., and Medical Area FCU, Brookline, Mass. The acquisition will provide Fiserv clients with a choice of either in-house or outsourced delivery of XP2. Credit unions already on the outsourced program will see direct support and improved access to new developments. * Mobile Commerce Ltd. (M-Com), an international mobile banking and payments provider based in Atlanta, Ga., and a partner with Fiserv since 2008. They worked together to develop and deliver Mobil Money from Fiserv. The acquisition will enhance Fiserv's existing mobile channel capabilities. M-Com CEO Adam Clark and all M-Com employees will join Fiserv as part of the transaction. The combination will accelerate the development of solutions for their clients. * Prepaid card processing and other technologies developed by Maverick Network Solutions, a Delaware-based provider of advanced prepaid and reward and incentive card programs. The acquisition will help Fiserv launch a new set of prepaid solutions that will include prepaid processing, turn-key program management, and support of general purpose reloadable and payroll cards for large financial institutions and corporations. The reloadable, brandable cards will be added to payment networks such as CheckFree, RXP, ACCEL/Exchange, ZashPay and CheckFreePay.

Harland Clarke to market Intersections ID theft protection

 Permanent link
SAN ANTONIO and CHANTILLY, Va. (3/3/11)--Two CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) alliance partners--Harland Clarke and Intersections Inc.--have entered a formal alliance to offer Intersections' identity protection services to Harland Clarke's nearly 11,000 credit union and bank clients. Financial institutions will have the option of providing the services two ways:
* Including Intersections' identity protection services in a checking or banking account plan from the financial institution; or * Inviting accountholders to subscribe directly to Intersections' ITAC Sentinel service, which provides expanded monitoring of credit and personal information and assists accountholders in the recovery of their identities if they become identity theft victims.
Both delivery options provide identity protection and resolution services from ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center. Harland Clarke is a provider of integrated payment solutions and marketing services to the financial services industry and has expanded its security solutions. CSS will promote the offering from Harland Clarke and Intersections to its members. "Harland Clarke is highly regarded as a trusted resource by America's credit unions, 90% of whom are Credit Union National Association members," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "By generating greater awareness of Intersections' identity protection services, credit unions will be provided an important tool in helping protect their members' identities."

First Carolina Corp. offers Sallie Mae loans

 Permanent link
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

 Permanent link
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

 Permanent link
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

 Permanent link
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.