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Four CUs honored as call center innovators

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LAS VEGAS (6/12/09)--PSCU Financial Services, a financial services credit union service organization, honored four credit unions that best used its custom call center to enhance member service in the last year. PSCU Financial Services is a provider of Total Member Care--its 24/7 call center operations for credit unions. Awards were presented during San Dimas, Calif.-based Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc.’s 2009 annual meeting in Las Vegas. Hawaiian Tel FCU, University of Hawaii FCU and Hawaii USA FCU, which are all based in Honolulu, and Kealakekua, Hawaii-based Hawaii Community FCU received the Call Center Innovator awards. The credit unions conducted cultural training to better align Total Member Care service representatives with members’ needs. In response, Total Member Care adopted Hawaiian elements to its call center services, including island-themed hold music and a cultural-focused custom training regiment, plus other solutions to ensure members of the Hawaiian credit union community are serviced to fit their needs and expectations. The awards signify the four credit unions’ collective effort to deliver a seamless transition for their members to Total Member Care’s mainland call center. “Each year, PSCU Financial Services recognizes credit unions that find unique ways to maximize member service through our round-the-clock call center operations,” said Peter Schmitt, executive director. “By encouraging implementation of cultural elements from their state, these credit unions created a system to make members feel more comfortable with, and thus more likely to use, our call center services.”

530 CUs already signed on to VendorTrack

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MADISON, Wis. (6/12/09)--More than 530 credit unions and nine credit union leagues have taken advantage of VendorTrack’s secure, Web-based vendor management system to centralize their third-party relationships, since it launched a few months ago. Also, 65 vendors are currently using VendorTrack to facilitate the requests they receive from credit unions for their due diligence information and to respond to requests for proposal. Along with all 23 of the CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) alliance providers, the more-than 40 other vendors include: PSCU Financial Services, Symitar, Fiserv and CO-Op Financial Services. Attendees of the America’s Credit Union Conference and Expo in Boston this month can find out more about VendorTrack through one of several educational sessions. The sessions will be held June 22 at the CSS theater in the exhibit hall. Vendor sessions are slated for 7:30-8 a.m. and 6-6:30 p.m., EDT. The credit union session will be held at 5:30 p.m. Developed by CSS and TraceSecurity, a CSS alliance provider, VendorTrack helps credit unions ensure that their third-party vendors comply with regulatory responsibilities and best practices when dealing with sensitive information. It allows credit unions to centralize vendor data, manage relationships, assess vendor risk, and ensure compliance with policies and controls. Credit unions can request their current vendors to sign up, and they can manage the information based on the level of criticality of the relationship--one of the National Credit Union Administration’s requirements for these relationships. Credit unions also can set notification alerts for contract expirations, requests for proposal and updated vendor information. For more information, use the link.

CO-OP Shared Branching now in S. Dakota

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ATLANTA (6/12/09)--Dakota Territory FCU, Deadwood, S.D., has joined CO-OP Shared Branching in partnership with the Mid-America Credit Union Association. CO-OP Shared Branching provides members of participating credit unions access to more than 3,700 branch access points nationwide. Dakota Territory FCU is the first South Dakota credit union to sign onto the program, CO-OP said. “Since Deadwood is a popular tourist destination, and with the new National Science Foundation’s deep underground science lab opening soon in Lead, S.D., we see this is a great opportunity to expand our member services and grow through the shared-branching network,” said Floyd Rummel, Dakota Territory FCU CEO. Shared branching will allow Dakota Territory FCU to:
* Accept guest members into its facility; * Expand its branch network to offer convenience to its members; * Strengthen its disaster recovery plan; and * Extend its hours.
Dakota Territory FCU has $20 million in assets.

New CARD Act audio conference next week

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MADISON, Wis. (6/12/09)--The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act may trigger some changes in the way credit unions serve their members with credit cards. Credit unions seeking more information about the new law can attend an audio conference offered Thursday by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). President Barack Obama signed the law last month. The national media have reported that some credit unions have received questions from their members about how the changes will affect them. The CARD Act aims to prevent lenders from making arbitrary changes to interest rates and terms associated with credit cards that have an existing balance. CUNA’s audio conference, “Requirements of the New Credit CARD Act,” will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. CT. Jeff Bloch, CUNA senior assistance general counsel, and Mike McLain, CUNA assistant general counsel and senior compliance counsel, will provide an overview of the CARD Act requirements. Mike Long, chief credit officer at UW CU, Madison, Wis., and chair of the CUNA Lending Council Regulatory Committee, will talk about the rules' potential impact on credit unions. Conference participants will:
* Examine different elective dates and restrictions on increasing the annual percentage rate; * Identify limits placed on fees that can be charged and procedures that must be followed when changes are made in the interest rate; * Hear a discussion of the other restrictions such as due dates, late payment fees, minimum payment disclosures and gift cards; * Explore new restrictions on cards offered to students; and * Obtain a look at implementing new rules from a credit union practitioner.
For more information, use the link. CUNA also noted that “Protect Your Members--Know the ID Theft Red Flags,” which was scheduled for Wednesday, has been cancelled.