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CUAnswers conference announces business challenge updates

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (6/30/10)--During CU*Answers' Annual Leadership Conference June 23, Randy Karnes, CEO of the Michigan-based credit union service organization (CUSO), made several announcements about future programs and product enhancements. CU*Answers said it:
* Scheduled an event, "Starting a Business Within the CU*Answers Network" on Sept. 22 to explore ways credit unions can maximize potential and provide support and insight on building the innovative businesses of tomorrow. The meeting is for credit unions with excess capacity that have considered outsourcing resources and capabilities to other businesses within the network. Discussions will include building a successful business with a template that includes a business plan, resource outline and day-to-day needs requirements planning for operating. * Will transition 116 of its CU*Base credit unions to the CU*Spy powered by eDOC electronic document vault by year-end. Currently 47 credit unions generate image data to the eDOC solution, with 45 of them archiving e-Receipts, 42 with Photo IDs and five with e-Loan forms. It plans include warranting a new document type for the CU*Spy vault. * Will implement a revamped disaster recovery plan in 2011 that includes continuing to invest in its data centers' computer operations architecture and second shift operator support; migrate its disaster recovery and business continuity plan database to a new Web-based, hosted service; and activate a crisis management notification system for disaster recovery teams. * Awarded $2,500 to Michelle Broderick, an employee of Cumberland County FCU, Falmouth, Maine, as winner of its first Spec Writer Contest, which challenged clients to create project specifications for an integrated software tool for its CU*BASE software, which is in both SaaS online and self processing environments. * Had converted an average of more than 100,000 members annually from 2004 through 2010, peaking during 2009, with more than 135,000 additional members processed by CU*Base. CU*Answers added 77 new clients since 2004.

Autobytel launches AutoPilot buying service

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IRVINE, Calif., and CHATSWORTH, Calif. (6/30/10)--Autobytel Inc., which offers marketing resources for car dealers and manufacturers, has launched AutoPilot, a new car buying service for consumers who receive financing from their local credit union or bank. Autoland Inc., a credit union auto buying service through its AutolandDirect program, will be AutoPilot's premier partner and will help power the program with its call center technology. AutoPilot provides consumers with VIP dealer service and no-haggle pricing, and card dealers with pre-qualified buyers. It also offers consumers, credit union members and customers of other automotive lenders with information via an online shopping experience and the ability to connect with an Autobytel-certified AutoPilot dealer in their area. Its dealers have received training in delivering a VIP experience, which includes pre-approved credit union or other lender financing, pre-set appointments and no haggle pricing. As the premier partner for AutoPilot, Autoland will assist pre-qualified customers in shopping and locating the right vehicles at a participating local AutoPilot dealership.

MBS CU Small Business Summit to feature author

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (6/30/10)--Member Business Solutions (MBS) will host its Third Annual Credit Union Small Business Lending Summit Aug. 4-5 at the Hilton Atlanta Airport. MBS is a jointly owned credit union service organization of Southeast Corporate FCU and Georgia Central CU. Keynote speaker will be Don Yeager, author of "It's Not About the Truth" and "Under the Tarnished Dome," and four-time The New York Times bestselling author. He will present a morning session designed to build confidence in sales and a session on branding. Other topics include:
* Fundamentals of commercial real estate; * Regulatory insights from a National Credit Union Administration examiner specializing in member business lending; * A lender's basic guide to financial statements; * Merchant capture and its role in business lending; * Demystifying business credit scores; and * Effective portfolio monitoring.