DES MOINES, Iowa (7/15/11)--The Members Group (TMG) has launched Fraud Text Alerts for cardholders of TMG's financial institution clients. The product advances the individual fraud prevention efforts of credit unions and community banks, explained Karen Postma, TMG cards risk senior manager, during a fraud prevention session at TMG's 2011 Client Conference in Sonoma, Calif. "Fraud Text Alerts are triggered by a financial institution's own unique fraud prevention strategies," Postma said. If a transaction is flagged as risky, TMG "will take a look at the transaction in the context of the account and the financial institution's strategies, and, if warranted, verify the transaction by texting the cardholder." Cardholders can either confirm the transaction as legitimate or report it as a possible fraud. If the transaction is fraudulent, TMG places a "hold" on the account to prevent further transactions. It also sends a second text with a phone number and instructions to call the TMG fraud prevention team for further instructions. "Many financial-management text alerts, including TMG's Visa Transaction Alerts, are triggered by cardholder-initiated settings, which is excellent for budgeting and account management," Postma said. "But when it comes to fraud prevention, you really need those texts to be driven by proven prevention strategies and highly trained specialists." Cardholders must opt-in to receive the alerts, which can be branded with the credit union or bank's name.
NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. (7/15/11)--CU Companies has launched its new mortgage channel, Correspondent Lending, to give credit unions a secondary market option for funding mortgages while helping them maintain their primary financial institution position. The Correspondent Lending program is an expansion of the New Brighton, Minn.-based credit union service organization's (CUSO) original mortgage program. It gives credit unions more control over the lending process, which allows them to generate more revenue. The credit union originates, processes and closes the loan while CU Companies underwrites and purchases the closed loan. The program "promotes loyalty," said Brad Crandall, CEO of CU Companies. "We won't back-solicit our partners' members with financial services their credit union already provides. That's a unique feature that we won't compromise." The multi-owned CUSO has provided a retail mortgage lending channel for longer than 25 years, and its servicing portfolio has grown to more than $1 billion in loans. The Correspondent Lending program also offers a website to streamline the lending process, with direct access to on-site underwriters, tools, and technological resources. The program is offered to credit unions in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.