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Q2 ebanking helps CUs meet new FFIEC guidelines

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AUSTIN, Texas (7/1/11)--Q2ebanking (Q2), an electronic banking provider for community financial institutions, said its clients are well-positioned to meet the revised Federal Financial Institution Examination Council (FFIEC) guidance for the security of electronic banking activities. The guidance, a supplement to the FFIEC’s 2005 “Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment,” was issued on Tuesday to address legal and technology changes, increasing fraud incidents and new authentication technologies. The guidance applies to both retail and commercial customers/members and will take effect in January. While it focuses on the Internet delivery channel, the principles apply to all forms of electronic banking, including mobile and voice, said Q2. Specific areas to improve risk and risk management techniques include multifactor authentication, layered security and/or other controls calculated to appropriately assess and mitigate risk. “More than two years ago Q2 looked at the FFIEC guidelines established in 2005, as well as the industry response,” said Matt Flake, Q2ebanking president. “We thought further efforts were necessary to effectively deter risk and fraud to protect end users. With this in mind, Q2 began making the functional investments to take online security to the next level.” Q2ebanking’s platform of online, voice and mobile banking solutions operates on a single security foundation. The collaborative multichannel approach helps its clients comply with the new, updated guidance, the company said. Q2’s risk and fraud analytics solution models typical transaction behavior to detect and flag potentially fraudulent transactions in real time. The security features comply with guidance by offering native out-of-band transaction authentication, security alerts, full administrative controls with dual authorization and multi-factor authentication and VeriSign tokens to protect consumer and commercial transactions.

Conn. league third to sign CUSG marketing agreement

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LIVONIA, Mich. (7/1/11)--The Credit Union League of Connecticut (CULCT) has signed a marketing agreement with CU Solutions Group (CUSG)--making it the third league to establish a partnership with the Michigan Credit Union League affiliate. The League of Southeastern Credit Unions and the Northwest Credit Union Association also have signed marketing agreements with CUSG. The agreement covers products offered by CU Solutions Group, including Invest in America member enhancement solutions with Sprint, General Motors, and TurboTax; website design, content, security, and applications solutions; full-service marketing support; and human resource solutions. The products will be available to CULCT member credit unions in the next few weeks. The arrangement includes opportunities for joint ownership, brand integration with CULCT, and joint sales efforts in the states served by CULCT. CUSG will use its sales force and marketing channels to promote the profitability of all affiliated members as part of its agreement with CULCT.

Free Discovery doubleheader slated for July 19

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MADISON, Wis. (6/30/11)--CUNA Mutual Group is hosting its first Discovery Webinar doubleheader on July19--and both events are free. Bill Klewin, CUNA Mutual director of regulatory compliance, will present “Hot Topics around Lending Regulatory Compliance” at 12:15 p.m. (CT), followed by Brad Pricer, CUNA Mutual employee benefits senior manager, presenting “Navigate Health Care Reform with Confidence” at 2:15 p.m. Attendees may call in for one or both of the webinars. Klewin’s session will address lending regulation challenges faced by credit unions. He will focus on required changes to policies, procedures and data processing systems and recommend best practices for keeping in compliance. He also will attempt to bring clarity to confusing open-end lending requirements of Regulation Z. Pricer will review the health and welfare plan mandates in effect this year and how they impact credit unions. He also will examine what to expect in the future and provide tools and resources for gathering information to stay in compliance and confidently communicate with employees. CUNA Mutual’s Discovery Conference has a long history of bringing learning and networking opportunities to credit unions. Topics are aimed at enhancing credit unions’ ability to compete.

Vertifis RDC passes 1B in deposits

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (6/30/11)--DeposZip, a proprietary remote deposit capture (RDC) service offered by Vertifi, has surpassed $1 billion in cumulative deposits. With DeposZip, credit union members--including business-account owners--can deposit checks from desktop scanners or cameras contained in their mobile devices. DeposZip’s introduction was desktop based, requiring a personal computer and scanner. DeposZip Mobile was launched in January 2010. In its infancy, DeposZip Mobile allowed members to make deposits via a downloadable application developed exclusively for the iPhone. DeposZip now includes apps for the iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices. The introduction of DeposZip Mobile has accelerated the program’s growth, said Vertifi. Registered users have grown to 140,000 from 78,000 in the past year, and average daily deposits in nearly 70 participating credit unions now exceed $2 million. Vertifi is a subsidiary of Eastern Corporate FCU.

CU Members Mortgage guides CUs through new processes

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DALLAS, Texas (6/30/11)--With the mortgage industry in a constant state of change, CU Members Mortgage will provide education to its credit union partners to ensure smooth transitions during complex regulatory change so they can confidently advise their members through today’s new home loan process. Among the mortgage-related topics CU Members Mortgage has advised its credit union partners on:
* SAFE Act; * Qualified residential mortgage; * Secondary marketing; * Federal Housing Authority (FHA) origination; * Fannie Mae loan quality initiative; and * Maximizing income and minimizing risk.
More specifically, CU Members Mortgage partnered with the Texas Credit Union League to host three “Lunch and Learn” events that provided advice on today’s FHA lending environment. The company actively participated in the Credit Union National Association’s Lending School in April and will present its 15th National Mortgage Lending Conference in March 2012. CU Members Mortgage also participates in mortgage-focused webinars throughout the year, providing information to credit unions. For example, it participated in CUNA Mutual’s educational webinar in June, discussing the details of secondary marketing. The company also supports marketing materials that credit unions can provide to members about the home-loan process and resources to host home-buying seminars at the credit union. “It’s getting more complicated to run a mortgage department these days,” said David Motley, CU Members Mortgage president. “It is time consuming and expensive for departments to remain up to date with all the changes and implement compliance. We have stepped up our efforts to help our partners and their members through mortgage education programs. We believe if we proactively go out there and provide them with the latest information, they can offer their members a better service--which will greatly enhance their value. We all win in this situation.”

CU Student Lending to offer referral marketing program

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CLARK, N.J. (6/29/11)--CU Student Lending, LLC, a credit union service organization that developed and manages the cuStudentLoans private student loan program, has launched a member-referral program that allows credit unions outside of its lending network to offer members a credit union-managed and funded alternative for their private student loan needs. The cuStudentLoans private student loan program is powered by Fynanz, a CUNA Strategic Services provider. The new referral program, which features the EdAccess Private Student Loan and the EdSucceed Private Student Loan Consolidation, includes 110 credit unions that have pooled funds to offer private student loans to students and families nationwide. To protect the member sovereignty of its referral partners, the program includes a non-solicitation agreement that ensures members will not be marketed to by the lending credit union with outside loan products while they are in repayment. “This program is yet another demonstration of credit unions linking together to promote the credit union mission and serve members with superior loan products at exceptional rates,” said Tom O’Shea, chairman of CU Student Lending, LLC. “The cooperation ensures members will not have to go outside of the credit union space to receive what is among the best loans in the industry for students seeking assistance in their education financing.”

eDOCSignature automatic archiving released

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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. and MIDWAY, Utah (6/29/11)--eDOC Innovations, a Vermont-based credit union service organization, has released eDOCSignature, a product that provides credit unions access to an automated archives process while applying electronic signatures to a document. eDOCSignature offers members the ability to sign their documents digitally from any Internet browser. A mobile signature option also allows members the ability to sign documents using an iPhone or iPad. eDOC Innovations offers an enterprise content management solution suite for going paperless and automating processes at the credit union.

CSS providers Fannie Mae Freddie Mac develop UCDP portal

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MADISON, Wis. (6/28/11)--CUNA Strategic Services, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have developed a Web page that provides information on the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP), which is a website for the electronic submission of appraisal data files developed by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are CUNA Strategic Service providers. Lenders will be required to use UCDP to submit electronic appraisal data files that conform to all GSE requirements, including the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) when applicable, before the delivery date of the mortgage to either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The UAD defines all fields required for an appraisal submission for specific appraisal forms and standardizes definitions and responses for a key subset of fields. More details about the UAD can be found at Fannie and Freddie websites. Using the UAD and UCDP, lenders will have a GSE-consistent approach and understanding of appraisal definitions and requirements as well as a common portal for submitting appraisal data files. To access the CUNA Strategic Services-Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac UCDP information page, use the link.

DigitalMailer unveils eStrategy consulting

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HERNDON, Va. (6/27/11)--After years of providing e-marketing tools to credit unions nationwide, DigitalMailer has launched a consulting arm in the realm of what it calls “eStrategy.” “With the rapid acceptance of smart phones and mobile devices, many credit unions are feeling a sense of urgency when it comes to developing online strategies,” said Ron Daly, DigitalMailer president/CEO. “Today’s technology speeds up communication, convenience and on-the-go-access, and members expect their credit union to keep up. If credit unions can’t keep up, members will find other financial institutions that can.” Among the components of DigitalMailer’s eStrategy consulting are digital branch operations, mobile services, online communications, website content, email outreach and social media. The firm also has created an exclusive eStrategy Benchmark Report so credit unions can compare themselves to others in terms of online services and technology integration. This “scorecard” allows individual credit unions to measure their “e” adoption and efficiency rates against DigitalMailer’s top performing clients. “In addition to determining specific goals and direction for an online presence, credit unions must have the right tools and technologies in place to achieve these goals,” Daly said. “DigitalMailer will help credit unions define the ‘e’ responsibilities appropriate for their own operations.” DigitalMailer’s vision is to help credit unions see if “their largest branch” is open for business, Daly said. “We want to help them develop an eStrategy that grows their business in the virtual branch channel,” he added. While some credit unions have entered the digital arena offering remote services, designing mobile websites or launching Facebook pages, Daly suggests looking at the bigger picture. “eStrategy is putting a methodical, integrated approach in place that leverages technology to reduce costs, deepen member relationships and grow the bottom line,” he said.

Harland Clarke named contact center of the year

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SAN ANTONIO (6/24/11)--The Professional Teleservice Management Association (PTMA) has named Harland Clarke the 2011 Contact Center of the Year among contact centers with more than 75 seats. PTMA also presented Harland Clarke with honors for “Best Employee Engagement Practices” and “Best Use of Technology” as part of the association’s annual Excellence Awards, which recognize outstanding contact centers in South Texas. Harland Clarke, offering direct marketing services, member identity protection, check delivery and anti-fraud products, contact center services, and share draft/check printing, is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. Harland Clarke’s San Antonio contact centers employ 600 employees and manage customer-care calls for nearly 11,000 financial institutions. PTMA noted several best practices demonstrated by Harland Clarke, including:
* Integration of individual development plans into daily employee performance; * Use of industry-leading technology at every employee interaction, including hiring, on-boarding, training, and performance and talent management; and * Alignment of daily contact center operations and customer interaction to the company’s vision and values.
“It speaks to the extraordinary commitment, focus, knowledge and, most importantly, results that our contact center team delivers on behalf of our clients,” Kaari Swope, Harland Clarke’s senior vice president of contact center services, said of the honor. The PTMA Excellence Awards competition took place over a three-month period and included an application, site visits and presentations before a professional panel of contact center experts. Harland Clarke won awards in three of the four categories in which the company was eligible.

TCI partners with Jericho

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HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (6/23/11)--TCI, a loan origination software provider, has partnered with Jericho Information Technology. Through the partnership, data generated in TCI’s DecisionLender loan origination software will be integrated with Jericho’s risk management solution to help lenders compare performance with goals. TCI’s DecisionLender provides lenders with real-time predictive analytics to help them identify trends and opportunities and improve the accuracy of their sales and credit data. Jericho’s risk management software measures sales and operations, credit and portfolio information and competitive threats and adverse selection. Supporting more than 250 credit unions, banks and finance companies nationwide, TCI provides DecisionLender as a suite of loan origination software products delivered as “software as a service” for direct, indirect, Internet and retail lenders. Hurst, Texas-based Jericho Information Technology provides enterprise business intelligence, risk management and contact management solutions for the lending Industry.

Fannie Mae offers economic and mortgage market analysis

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MADISON, Wis. (6/22/11)--A new alliance between CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) and Fannie Mae offers credit unions access to the latest housing and mortgage-finance data. Fannie Mae’s Economics & Mortgage Market Analysis group provides analysis of current and historical data, and forecasts economic trends in the housing and mortgage-finance markets. The group also produces regular publications, analyses, forecasts, and special projects to evaluate economic, demographic, and financial housing and mortgage-market data. The monthly Economic Outlook provides a review of mortgage and economic trends. CUNA’s News Now often uses these resources to update readers on those trends. The Economic Outlook includes the Economic Developments commentary, Economic Forecast, and Housing Forecast--which detail movement of interest rates, the housing market, the mortgage market and the overall economic climate.

ECCHO launches national check payments certification program

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas (6/21/11)--The Electronic Check Clearing House Organization (ECCHO) has launched the National Check Payments Certification (NCPC) program to help financial institutions enhance their knowledge of check products and processing. The new program, announced at the Credit Union National Association’s America’s Credit Union Conference and Expo in San Antonio, is designed to help financial institutions enhance critical check knowledge essential for check products and processing. The Upper Midwest Automated Clearing House Association, Viewpointe and the Wisconsin Automated Clearinghouse Association are partnering with ECCHO to prepare training for an annual certification exam that ECCHO will administer. ECCHO is also enlisting other partners to maximize the availability of the program. Initial partners include EPCOR and The Bankers Bank. “Improvements in the check system have changed the characteristics and processing requirements of checks while greatly increasing the efficiency of the check payments system and enabling huge industry savings,” said David Walker, ECCHO president. “However, some of these changes have resulted in staffing reductions that dilute the industry’s collective expertise.” The resulting challenge, replacing traditional paper check knowledge with an understanding of the new electronic check environment, has created the need for a national program for check payments certification, Walker added. More than 96% of all checks are processed electronically, according to the “The 2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study,” released in December. The volume of checks processed in 2009 was more than $24 billion, with a value totaling $31 trillion.   The NCPC certification exam will test the knowledge levels of individuals in four subject areas:
* Rules, laws and regulations; * Fraud and risk mitigation; * Check operations; and * Check products.
ECCHO and its partners are offering a pilot exam in November. The first publicly available certification exam will be held in spring 2012.

CUNA Mutual debuts smartphone technology at CUNAs ACUC

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SAN ANTONIO (6/21/11)--Credit union members will be able to start their loan application process on their smartphones using technology developed by and available through CUNA Mutual Group.
John Putman, director of lending business systems at CUNA Mutual, debuts the new Smartphone loan technology at the Credit Union National Association’s America’s Credit Union Conference. The technology is a mobile version of CUNA Mutual’s loanliner.com product, which is used by more than 500 credit unions nationwide. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group.
Unveiled Monday at the Credit Union National Association’s America’s Credit Union Conference in San Antonio, the Smartphone Loan technology is a mobile version of CUNA Mutual’s loanliner.com product, which is used by more than 500 credit unions nationwide. “By clicking into your credit union’s website, you’ll be able to easily access a loan application just as if you were sitting at your computer,” said John Putman, director of lending business systems at CUNA Mutual and product leader for Smartphone Loans. “This is not a mobile app that requires downloading, so the process is secure and simplified.” Students said they would be more likely to join a credit union if access to products and services was available through mobile channels, according to research CUNA Mutual conducted with University of Wisconsin-Whitewater last year. “We know credit unions want to increase their loan volumes and attract younger members,” Putman said. “This Smartphone Loan technology accomplishes both.” The loanliner.com application system uses CUNA Mutual’s Loanliner lending compliance expertise to ensure the application presented to the member complies with appropriate state and federal regulations and required disclosures. The loanliner.com application system interfaces with credit union’s loan origination system to provide an underwriting decision back to the member in seconds and then transports application data back to the loan origination system.

Small Business Authority launches blog on forbes.com

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NEW YORK (6/20/11)--The Small Business Authority, powered by Newtek Business Services has partnered with Forbes to publish a small-business blog. The Small Business Authority blog will provide independent business owners with advice on expanding their businesses, making money and resolving their problems. The Small Business Authority, powered by Newtek is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. The blog will feature updates on the monthly SB Authority Index, SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey tips for business owners, and cost savings and discounts on small business products and services. The latest government news and popular trends affecting businesses also will be featured. The company is a direct distributor of business services and financial products to small- and medium-sized businesses.

FiServ announces new data vaulting solution

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (6/20/11)--Fiserv, a provider of financial services technology, has launched Data Vaulting, a data backup, storage and recovery solution for credit unions and banks. Marketed as a lower-cost alternative to tape-based backup, Data Vaulting supports compliance with regulations governing the security, transportation, storage and accessibility of data. Data Vaulting is powered by FiServ’s EVault software platform from i365 Inc. Organizations can deploy an off-site vault with storage management, using vault infrastructure hosted and managed in a Fiserv data center. On-site deployments offer local-area network-speed backup and recovery. On-site vaulting can be combined with hosted off-site services. With no tapes to transport to a recovery site for testing or during an actual disaster, Data Vaulting can be used to complement disaster recovery planning. “When financial institutions utilize Fiserv for data protection and disaster recovery services, they can be back in business with just one phone call,” said Steve Tait, group president of depository institution services at Fiserv. “Bankers never want to experience a disaster, but they’re obligated to be ready for one.”

Lending Insights Solutions in Finance are partners

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ONTARIO, Calif. (6/17/11)--Lending Insights, providers of analytical tools and business intelligence solutions, has partnered with Solutions in Finance to expand on the consulting services it offers credit unions. Initially introduced to credit unions in the first quarter, Ontario, Calif.-based Lending Insights’ consulting services have expanded to more than 35 areas related to lending. The new consulting services offered through the partnership with Solutions in Finance focus on a number of areas:
* Collection strategies; * Lending guidelines and procedures; * Loan pricing; * Repossession/remarketing process; * Loan origination process; * Credit quality review; and * Management and organization.
Lending Insights also provides credit unions with online monitoring and reporting tools designed to help credit unions manage their loan portfolios, and meet regulatory compliance. The company’s Lending Performance Management System tracks performance and trends against a credit union’s goals and provides branch management tools, “drill-down” capabilities to assess performance by portfolio segments, and market intelligence tools to benchmark credit union performance against other lenders. Solutions in Finance is a Los Gatos, Calif.-based consulting firm that provides services for financial institutions in consumer lending, indirect lending, mortgage lending, and collection operations. The company integrates collections operations best practices with strategies and processes, with a focus on decreasing delinquency and charge-offs, and increasing charge-off recoveries.

Corporate One taps Bluepoint for item processing check capture

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VISTA, Calif. (6/16/11)--Corporate One FCU and Bluepoint Solutions have formed a partnership to provide natural person credit unions with an alternative in check processing and clearing services. Through the partnership, natural-person credit unions using IMAGEin through their corporate credit unions can establish a relationship with Corporate One FCU, a corporate credit union based in Columbus, Ohio, for check processing and clearing services without any disruption to operations or product support. Vista, Calif.-based Bluepoint is a provider of remote deposit capture, image-based item processing, enterprise content management and receipt management. It developed the software that powers the IMAGEin branch capture solution specifically for corporate credit unions to deploy to their members. “For credit unions using IMAGEin that are exploring alternative corporate relationships, this partnership allows them to protect their financial investment in IMAGEin, and prevent disruption of service to their operations and, most importantly, their members,” said Hal Tilbury, CEO of Bluepoint Solutions. Credit unions that previously purchased licenses for IMAGEin through a corporate will be able to transfer existing licenses with no additional cost by switching product support directly to Bluepoint. Check images will then be sent to Corporate One for processing and clearing. Credit unions will not incur additional licensing fees or software costs, other than support. Day-to-day operations of the credit unions will be unaffected. Corporate One said it was one of the few corporates that did not to lose any of its members’ capital investment during the recent economic crisis. The corporate said it exceeds all capital ratios at the “well capitalized” levels, as outlined in recently updated regulations governing corporate credit unions.

Fifth Third Processing Solutions now called Vantiv

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CINCINNATI (6/16/11)--Fifth Third Processing Solutions, distancing itself from its former relationship as a subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank, has adopted a new name, brand and logo, and will now be known as Vantiv. Fifth Third Bancorp has held only a minority position in the national processing firm since 2009 (Cincinnati.com June 15). The Cincinnati-based Fifth Third inherited about 330 credit union processing accounts when it acquired TNB Card Services from credit union-owned Town North Bank, Dallas last year. The Vantiv brand will evolve over time across different parts of the company. Some distribution channels will change and carry the Vantiv name and logo while others will continue to be known either as “Fifth Third Processing Solutions, Powered by Vantiv,” or “NPC, a Vantiv company.”

Canyon State CU offering 1 cash back on purchases

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PHOENIX (6/15/11)--Canyon State CU, Phoenix, with $131 million assets, is offering its members 1% cash back on qualified debit purchases through a cash-back rewards program. The CardCash program allows members to earn 1% on their non-personal identification number (PIN) debit purchases made with any debit card linked to their checking account. Canyon State CU members use their email addresses to register for the program. It has no limit to the cash back members can earn, and the cash-back earnings are paid out each year during the first week of November. Each month members are e-mailed an e-statement with updates of their accrued cash back and qualified and unqualified purchases. CardCash was created to give community-focused financial institutions a competitive advantage in the retail checking market, according to Jeff DeWald, president of CustomerStream, the company that sponsors the program. “A lot of these cash-back programs are only offered to consumers that apply for a credit card with a cash-back reward program,” said DeWald. “We’re giving consumers the same benefit on their checking account with a debit card, which means no added debt or interest payments for these purchases. The 1% cash-back bonus is on purchases they already make and is absolutely free.”

First Tech merger sparks lending process change

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MALVERN, Pa. (6/15/11)--First Tech FCU has signed on to use Ackcelerant’s loan origination system, a move sparked by First Tech’s merger with Addison Avenue FCU. First Tech, Palo Alto, Calif., had been a user of the Ackcelerant Framework for collections and was introduced to the system for lending through its merger with Addison FCU, also of Palo Alto. “The functionality of Akcelerant’s loan origination system, combined with its commitment to ensuring that we can deliver on the vision First Tech has for its consumer lending program, made Akcelerant the clear choice for partnership,” said Brian Hamilton, vice president of consumer lending at First Tech. Akcelerant provides connected software applications to the financial services industry through multiple product lines and integration to service providers. First Tech FCU has $4.9 billion in assets following its merger with Addison Avenue FCU.

Bluepoint Panini team up on CU teller capture solution

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VISTA, Calif. and DAYTON, Ohio (6/14/11)--Bluepoint Solutions and Panini have launched a joint initiative to provide credit unions with an all-inclusive teller capture solution, including software, hardware and support. Bluepoint, a provider of branch and remote-deposit capture technology solutions for credit unions, has integrated its ImagePoint Teller with the Panini Vision X check scanner. Panini is a manufacturer of global payments processing technology and a CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) provider. “Together, our teams have streamlined ordering, implementation, and support, enabling credit unions of any size to take advantage of the proven benefits of front-line teller capture,” said Andrew Tilbury, Bluepoint director of marketing and communications. Bluepoint’s teller capture solution is installed at more than 5000 teller stations. More than 500,000 Panini Vision X check scanners are deployed worldwide, with more than 100,000 deployed specifically for teller capture. The scanner is the only check scanner exclusively promoted by CUNA. “Bluepoint is a leading provider of Check 21 solutions to the credit union marketplace, and they’ve been a valued Panini partner for many years,” said Michael Pratt, Panini chief marketing officer.

Freddie Mac CUNA renew mortgage lending alliance

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McLEAN, Va. (6/14/11)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Freddie Mac, one of the largest U.S. investors in home mortgages, have renewed their mortgage-lending alliance. The alliance provides participating credit unions with technological services, mortgage products, and correspondent lending, including Freddie Mac borrower outreach initiatives. Freddie Mac is a CUNA Strategic Service provider. “This renewed alliance ensures that, even in this challenging mortgage environment, CUNA member credit unions will have a package of products and services that can help their members with affordable lending solutions,” said Wes Millar, senior vice president of CUNA Strategic Services. “Extending our alliance with CUNA will enable participating credit unions to continue accessing a full range of correspondent mortgage lending services and competitive secondary market strategies,” said James Cotton, vice president for regional and community lending at Freddie Mac. “Helping credit unions meet their members’ mortgage needs underscores Freddie Mac’s national mission to keep the mortgage market stable and liquid in good times and bad.” The Freddie Mac/CUNA alliance provides:
* Expanding execution and mortgage product options: Cash sale advantages on mortgages available through Freddie Mac’s single-family seller/servicer guide; * Customized learning opportunities: Assistance and training on Freddie Mac’s CreditSmart, Get the Facts on Homeownership, Workforce Home Benefit and other outreach tools designed to reach first-time homebuyers and low- and moderate-income homebuyers; and * Technological advantages: including Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector automated underwriting service and a Mortgagebot with Loan Prospector business-to-consumer Website for online mortgage lending.

FSCC pays 1M in patronage dividends

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ONTARIO, Calif. (6/13/11)--Credit union shared-branching network Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc. (FSCC) announced the return of more than $1 million in patronage dividends to participating credit unions for shared branching transactions performed in 2010. Roughly $200,750 or 20% of the total dividend was paid out in cash on June 8 to shareholders for acquired transactions performed in their branches and shared-branching kiosks owned by participating credit unions. The remaining 80% is distributed in a written notice of allocation. During the past decade, FSCC has returned more than $14.5 million in patronage dividends, rebates, and return of capital to its participating credit unions. The 2010 dividend brings that total to more than $15.5 million. This marks the 11th consecutive year that FSCC has paid dividends to its shareholders, averaging more than $1 million each year for more than a decade.

NWCUA Services Corp. teams up with CU Solutions Group

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LIVONIA, Mich (6/13/11)--Credit unions served by Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) service corporation will have access to products offered by the CU Solutions Group through a new marketing agreement. “We decided to expand our relationship with CU Solutions for our members,” said John Annaloro, NWCUA CEO. “The newly formed CU Solutions Group will provide Northwest credit unions good products at lower prices through programs like Invest in America.” The agreement includes CUSG products such as Invest in America member enhancement solutions with Sprint, General Motors and TurboTax and others; website design, content, security and applications solutions; full-service marketing support; and HRN performance solutions such as Performance Pro, Compease and Policy Pro. The products will be available to NWCUA member credit unions in the next few weeks. The arrangement includes opportunities for joint ownership, brand integration with the NWCUA, and joint sales efforts in the states served by the association. As part of the agreement, CUSG will be using its sales force and marketing channels to promote the profitability of all affiliated members.

CheckFree now supports A2A transfers P2P payments

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (6/13/11)--CheckFree RXP money movement platform from technology provider FiServ has been expanded to support account-to-account transfers and same-day bill payments. The new functionalities integrate with the existing bill payment and person-to-person payment capabilities available through CheckFree RXP to create a digital payments suite for credit unions and banks. While the elements of this suite can be used separately, they are designed to drive increased transactions when offered together. “Consumers send and receive money many ways every day, and financial institutions can win more transactions by offering a wider set of payment services,” said Tony Catalfano, division president, electronic payments for Fiserv. “Fiserv data show that financial institutions that are offering person-to-person payments along with bill payments are seeing an increased number of overall transactions among users, and we expect to see similar increases with the addition of account-to-account transfers to CheckFree RXP.” The new account-to-account transfer capabilities in CheckFree RXP allows users to transfer funds into and out of checking, savings and money market accounts within the same financial institution or between different financial institutions. Users can choose one-time or recurring transfers, and choose from a variety of alerts and reminders to help them stay up to date on their transfer activity. Account-to-account transfer capability can be integrated into the bill payment user interface or presented independently, depending on the preference of the financial institution. Financial institutions have the option to charge for transfers, and can set separate fees, based on internal or external account transfers. Fees also can be tiered, based on user characteristics through the fee manager capability within CheckFree RXP. CheckFree RXP clients also can pay a variety of household bills through financial institution websites the same day they are due, a service typically only available at biller-direct websites. Consumers will be able to select same day delivery as part of the normal payment scheduling process, for an uninterrupted service experience at the financial institution website.

CU Rx announces first client CU

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JACKSON, Mich. (6/10/11)--Ohio Healthcare FCU, Dublin, Ohio, is the first client to sign with the newly named CU Rx, a risk management and compliance service credit union service organization. The $45 million-asset credit union signed with CU Rx for 100 hours of consulting services as part of a risk management and compliance retainer program. Through the program, the credit union will receive a free evaluation of its risk management and compliance needs. A tailored retainer option will then be developed detailing a specific block of work time, from 10 hours to 100 hours, for CU Rx to deliver the optimal mix of products, services, or training required for improvement. The retainer program provides a way to mitigate and manage risk by strengthening the credit union’s compliance program, policies and controls while preparing for National Credit Union Administration and state examinations. Originally established in 2005 as CP Financial Services, LLC, an affiliate of CP FCU, Jackson, Mich., CU Rx offers review and audit services of credit union risk management, fraud, compliance and regulatory best practices. CU Rx expertise includes the ability to understand and utilize the Ultradata core processing system. The company’s Ultradata expertise was a key factor in acquiring Ohio Healthcare FCU as a client, said Bryanna Tapley, CU Rx vice president of sales and service. “CU Rx enjoys a great working knowledge of the Ultradata system relative to risk management and compliance, because it’s used by our parent credit union CP Federal CU,” Tapley said. “CU Rx better understands why specific controls exist in the system and how to explain any changes to Ohio Healthcare’s staff. I expect the improvements we make for them in this area will be dramatic and pay off quickly.”

GreenPath to offer enhanced CARD Act service for CUs

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MADISON, Wis. (6/9/11)--GreenPath Debt Solutions will introduce an enhanced version of a 2010 Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act compliant phone service that includes a message branded for credit unions and real-time reporting. “We have had a great relationship with GreenPath for more than five years,” said Jim Hanson, vice president of consumer publishing at Credit Union National Association (CUNA). “Improving members’ financial standing helps them to improve their practices, and this can help them to more successfully apply for mortgages and other credit union products.” GreenPath will also provide a free credit-counseling phone service to help credit unions meet regulations set by the CARD Act. “GreenPath is a long-standing credit union supporter, and we wanted to find an affordable way to help credit unions stay compliant with the CARD Act,” says Thomas Butler, director of finance at GreenPath Debt Solutions, which is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. In accordance with the CARD Act, credit card providers must provide specific information to cardholders on their statements about accessing credit counseling services. Credit unions now can use information about GreenPath’s toll-free credit-counseling phone service on their statements. The GreenPath toll-free number will provide credit union members with access to three National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) providers. A CUNA Strategic Services case study released in 2010 revealed that members are desperately seeking help to deal with debt and that linking members to help before they lose hope is crucial to constructing debt management plans. GreenPath Debt Solutions is a nationwide, non-profit financial organization that assists consumers with credit card debt, housing debt and bankruptcy concerns.

Corporates CUSO underwrites 2B in biz loans

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (6/8/11)--Credit union business lending is on the uptick, says Member Business Solutions LLC (MBS), the credit union service corporation (CUSO) of Southeast Corporate FCU and Georgia Corporate CU. The CUSO has underwritten $2 billion in business loans, reaching that milestone 18 months after underwriting its first $1 billion in loans. MBS says the uptick is the result of an increase in credit unions' business lending activity and the recognition by partners of its value. "We focus on giving our lenders a thorough underwriting package in one to three business days, which allows them to effectively compete in the small-business market," said MBS President Jim Gallagher. Gallagher noted MBS partners' delinquency statistics are well below industry average. "Our focus since inception on appropriate risk selection and thorough global debt-service analysis has been the biggest reason for our success," he said. MBS has re-launched its website at www.mbsllc.org with enhanced navigation to make it easier for prospective partners to view testimonials from current clients. MBS serves more than 70 credit unions throughout the country. It provides loan services for all types of member business loans such as loan documenta6tion, underwriting and servicing, and participation brokerage.

VINteks auto portal adapted for iPhone iPad

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PHILADELPHIA (6/8/11)--VINtek, a provider of auto-collateral management, electronic lien and title (ELT) services and direct-finance processing, has introduced an Apple iPhone- and iPad-compatible version of its www.TitleMyCar.com consumer auto-finance Web portal. The TitleMyCar website helps lenders reduce processing time and costs by electronically delivering documents to borrowers. For consumers, the portal presents auto-loan agreements, supporting documents and department of motor vehicle forms, eliminating the need to visit a branch. “As borrowers continue to rely on their Web-enabled devices, financial institutions must keep up with the demand for services that take advantage of this technology,” said Larry Highbloom, VINTEk president. TitleMyCar works in tandem with VINtek’s D2C lending platform, Highbloom said.

Harbor FCU becomes first live client of Corelation

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SAN DIEGO (6/8/11)--Harbor FCU of Carson, Calif., Monday became the first client to go live with new credit union core-processing vendor Corelation Inc. Harbor FCU is running Corelation’s KeyStone platform, which was developed by a team of programmers over the course of six years. “We’ve literally watched the system be built in front of our eyes,” said Tina Fugelsang, CEO of $93 million-asset Harbor FCU. The first client to sign with Corelation--Cabrillo CU of San Diego--will convert in September, followed by Oregon Pioneer FCU of Portland in October.

Nebraska league teams with PolicyWorks on compliance

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DES MOINES, Iowa (6/7/11)--The Nebraska Credit Union League (NCUL) has partnered with Des Moines, Iowa-based regulatory compliance firm PolicyWorks to provide compliance support for Nebraska credit unions. Under the agreement, PolicyWorks will provide NCUL’s member credit unions with regular, ongoing compliance information and answers to regulatory questions. As a part of the partnership, NCUL will have a co-branded, secure page on PolicyWorks’ website, which will house a library of compliance information in addition to the communications that will be sent to NCUL members. PolicyWorks’ compliance staff also will be available to assist with individual questions from NCUL members. PolicyWorks is a subsidiary of the Iowa Credit Union League.

EFT Source introduces instant card issue option

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (6/7/11)--EFT Source has introduced an instant-issue card option for credit unions and banks. EFT, which provides secure personalization of ATM and debit cards, partnered with Evolis, a manufacturer of card printers to develop the proprietary equipment. With Card@Once, when a member requests a card, the data are securely transferred from the branch to EFT Source. The data are immediately processed and converted into a print file that is sent back to the branch electronically. “It’s secure, it’s cost effective and it’s easy to use,” said Bill Dinker, EFT Source president. “These machines are literally ‘plug and play’ because it’s a Web-based solution that does not require system set-up for an IT department.” Card@Once also includes key management, custom card designs, toll-free technical support, 24-hour replacement, and the option to integrate with core processors or operate as a stand-alone option.

CU Sources to offer REO management services

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SOUTH JORDAN, UTAH (6/6/11)--CU Sources, a division of Mountain America Financial Services (MAFS), will provide real-estate owned (REO) management services to other credit unions and financial institutions through a partnership with Green River Capital (GRC). CU Sources will offer GRC’s REO management and disposition services. Credit unions that partner with CU Sources can access GRC’s REOConnex platform, which offers real-time reporting, valuation, offer acceptance and expense tracking, and can be accessed through any Internet connection. “Financial institutions are experiencing a large volume of properties that are foreclosing, and they don’t have the time or resources to properly manage them,” said Gene Erickson, chief operating officer of MAFS. “This new partnership allows us to take the hassle out of the process and allows institutions to effectively and efficiently move their REO assets off of their books.” MAFS is a credit union service organization and a subsidiary of Mountain American CU, South Jordan, Utah.

CU item processors PCS CSI merge

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IRMO, S.C. (6/6/11)--Palmetto Cooperative Services and Cooperative Services Inc., have merged their item-processing operations, creating a new company called PCSi. The merger formalizes a long-standing relationship between the two similar-sized payment-systems providers. “Our processing services and image-based solutions have evolved to the point where we felt our item processing unit needed its own identity,” said Palmetto Cooperative Services CEO Ed Culpepper. “The merger of our item processing operations with Cooperative Services Inc. doubles our volume and increases our efficiency, which will allow us, in some cases, to pass along savings to our customers of up to 20%.” A logo for the new brand--three lime-green concentric squares in forward motion--was also unveiled with the announcement. PCSi will serve credit unions and banks in 20 states.

VolCorps Forum 11 focuses on performance profits

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (6/3/11)--Under the theme “Performance and Profitability,” Volunteer Corporate CU (VolCorp) will host its annual forum Aug. 18-19 in Nashville. Business entrepreneur Mike McKinley of Alive! Alive! Associates will speak on “Survival Moving on to Thrival” and “Transforming Today’s Challenges Into Tomorrow’s Business.” McKinley will analyze and evaluate what is helping or hindering participants’ businesses as they move forward. Jeff Rendel, president of Rising Above Enterprises, will discuss opportunities for growing the revenue-generating capacities, based on regional and national developments. Rendel has experience as a federal regulator, financial executive and congressional lobbyist. Frank Diekmann, publisher of Credit Union Journal, will discuss “25 Ideas that are Working in Credit Unions Right Now.” Topics addressed will range from loan promotions and savings campaigns, to revenue-producing initiatives and cross-cultural, business development drives. VolCorp’s annual meeting will be held in conjunction with Forum ’11 at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Aug. 18. The meeting will include a briefing on VolCorp’s accomplishments during the past year and the credit union’s future direction. Board election results also will be announced.

Vertifi Randolph-Brooks team up on iPad app

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BURLINGTON, Mass. and LIVE OAK, Texas (6/2/11)--Vertifi Software, a payment systems software provider, has launched a mobile banking app designed specifically for Apple’s iPad. The first credit union to deploy the app is $4.3 billion Randolph-Brooks FCU, Live Oak, Texas. Vertifi’s iPad app offers access to account balances and transaction history, transfers and loan payment capabilities, access to archived check images, a secure messaging system, branch/ATM locator, access to loan and deposit rates, advanced promotional capabilities to deliver targeted messaging to members, and a layout designed for the iPad screen. The application takes advantage of iPad 2’s built-in camera to offer mobile remote-check deposits. Check images are captured with the iPad 2 camera, and image pre-processing and validation take place on-device. Checks are processed electronically end-to-end through Vertifi, and deposits are posted to members’ accounts in real time with immediate access to check images. Randolph-Brooks FCU now has downloadable apps that support the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android devices. “We are in a very competitive market, and it is important that we stay ahead of the curve,” said Mary O’Rourke, vice president of electronic services. “Randolph-Brooks FCU relies on advanced technology to service thousands of members around the globe. Our membership is comprised of many military men and women, and it is crucial that they have access to their accounts, regardless of where they are stationed or what mobile device they own.”