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Agility Recovery delivers generator to CU hit by Dolly

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McALLEN, Texas (8/1/08)--Security 1st FCU, McAllen, Texas, lost power at one of its branches after Hurricane Dolly hit Texas July 23--but was able to continue serving members with the help of a generator provided by Agility Recovery Solutions. The credit union had decided to close down its branches July 23 because of weather reports, Al Beltran, Security 1st president/CEO, told News Now. Agility kept in touch with the credit union before the hurricane actually landed that day, and assured them that it would be available to help. “I was very pleased with their commitment to stay in touch,” he said. “They kept in communication with me to make sure I was okay.” After the storm hit, Beltran surveyed the damage at each of the branches. Most of the branches were able to regain power quickly--except for the Harlingen branch. Beltran contacted Agility for a generator, and Agility delivered it to the branch July 25. The branch opened the next day, and with the generator, the credit union was “back in business,” Beltran said. Harlingen regained power Monday. Agility promptly picked up the generator, Beltran said. Security 1st has been with Agility for one year. “They seem to be a little more caring and willing to help,” Beltran said. “I’m pleased.”

Intuit Online Payroll for small businesses offers video tutorial

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (8/1/08)--Intuit Online Payroll is providing a free video tutorial on how to set up and run a payroll online. The tutorial is available at www.intuitonlinepayroll.com/video. “What businesses want is a simple and easy experience that gives them the confidence that payroll is done right,” said Cameron Schmidt, Intuit Payroll Division. Inuit is a provider of business and financial management solutions for financial institutions, including credit unions.

ATM maker Triton Systems sold to Korean company

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SEOUL, Korea (8/1/08)--Off-premise ATM maker Triton Systems will be bought be Nautilus Hyosung, which is based in Seoul, Korea. Nautilus announced the acquisition of the Long Beach, Miss.-based Triton Wednesday. The purchase is expected to close by the third quarter of 2008. Financial terms were not made available (Self-Service.org July 30). Triton is not expected to change its brand or manufacturing facility, Alicia Blanda, Triton spokesperson, told Self-Service. Triton is an ATM manufacturer and a competitor of Nautilus. Sam Ditzion, CEO, Tremont Capital Group, a strategic planning and merger and acquisition consultancy in Boston, said the move will be good for the industry and Nautilus. It also is a step toward market consolidation, he told the media outlet. He said he expects the price of ATMs to rise because there is not as much market competition.

VINteks revenue up 39 over last year

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PHILADELPHIA (8/1/08)--VINtek, a provider of automotive collateral management services for credit unions, announced that its revenue for the first six months of 2008 increased a record 39% compared with the same time period last year. A significant contributor to the growth is the increased transaction volume realized in VINtek’s direct-to-consumer platform. The platform provides lenders with Web-based document presentment to consumers and lien perfection for vehicles financed through private party purchases, existing auto loan refinances, lease buy-out financing and dealership sales. Since January, 230 customers signed up with VINtek. From July 2007 to June 2008, VINtek’s customer base increased more than 200%. VINtek is based in Philadelphia.

Southwest Corporate Economic Forum set for October

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PLANO, Texas (7/31/08)--Southwest Corporate has finalized its speaker line-up for this year’s Economic Forum Oct. 28-29 in Dallas. Leading economists and business experts will share their expertise on energy costs, the political arena, technology, interest rates and more. This year’s theme is “Looking Beyond the Horizon.” Kicking off the two-day event is economic consultant Jeff Thredgold, a former senior vice president and chief economist for banking giant KeyCorp. Thredgold will lead attendees on a “tour” of the economy and provide predictions for the U.S. economy under new presidential leadership. After Thredgold’s address:
* Economist and Canadian broadcaster Linda Nazareth will offer a global view of factors affecting the economy, with particular emphasis on emerging demographic and social trends; * Credit union consultant Tim Lerew will help attendees envision what the future will look like and outline the steps to prepare; * Dr. Loren Scott, an energy expert on the National Business Economic Issues Council, will compare today’s environment with the energy crisis of the 1980s; * Joe Pine and Chris Low will lend their perspective on challenging times. Pine will provide suggestions for shoring up member service, and Low will assess interest rate and stock market activity; and * Credit Union National Association Chief Economist Bill Hampel and Texas economist and credit union consultant Charles Idol will anchor the speaker lineup, providing individual analyses of the health of the credit union industry.

WesCorp announces Beyond the Balance Sheet topics

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (7/31/08)--WesCorp announced that credit union CEOs, a national program director with the Credit Union Center for Social Impact Management, a strategic planning expert, and WesCorp’s Economic and Market Analyst Dwight Johnston will appear on its webcast program during the rest of the year. All programs can be viewed on WesCorp’s website on the second Tuesday of each month at 11 a.m. Pacific time. Beyond the Balance Sheet features interviews and discussions with credit union industry experts on enterprise risk management, business continuity, branding and the philosophy of the credit union movement. Programs and guests include:
* Energizing Your Strategic Planning Process, Kate McPike, professional networks manager, California Credit Union League, Aug. 12; * On Being a Credit Union in Today’s Marketplace, Tom Glatt, president/CEO, Continental FCU, El Segundo, Calif., Sept. 9; * Tapping the Power of Your Brand, Teresa Freeborn, president/CEO, Xceed Financial CU, El Segundo, Calif., and Kevin Lytle, vice president of marketing, WesCorp, Oct. 14; * Living the Credit Union Values, Tom Decker, national program director, Credit Union Center for Social Impact Management, National Credit Union Foundation, Nov. 13; and * Dwight Johnson: Up Close and Personal, Dwight Johnson, vice president, market and economic research, WesCorp, Dec. 9.

Xtension Call Center adds outbound member calls

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (7/31/08)--Xtension Call Center will handle both inbound and outbound member calls via its Member Reach Plus service, according to Xtend, a credit union service organization. The outbound call service works with Member Reach as another delivery channel, and helps ensure that all members are served. Member Reach Plus has delivered more than one million messages to members since 2006, Xtend said. Reports summarizing calls and providing statistics help leadership teams gauge the effectiveness of member contacts. The call center also frees up staff time. It manages about 1,400 outbound and 1,500 inbound calls each month. Xtend, owned by 45 credit union partners, is based in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Open Solutions partners with Andera on online account services

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GLASTONBURY, Conn. and PROVIDENCE, R.I. (7/30/08)--Open Solutions and Andera are partnering to offer online account opening and funding technologies to Open Solutions clients. The ability to instantly open and fund new accounts electronically increasingly is becoming a top priority for U.S financial institutions, according to the companies. “Online account opening is of great interest to many of our clients,” said Mike Nicastro, Open Solutions senior vice president and chief managing officer. Andera’s solution is an 8-10 minute process where consumers can apply for, be approved for and fund multiple banking products in one session. The solution includes electronic signatures, real-time core integration, integration with third-party risk and data providers, intelligent cross-selling and funding through automated clearinghouse, and credit and debit cards. More than 200 financial institutions have selected Andera, including eight Open Solutions clients. Open Solutions offers information management product platforms for financial institutions, including credit unions. It is based in Glastonbury, Conn. Andera provides online account opening and funding technologies. It is based in Providence, R.I.

LPL Financial Manager adds Riverfront Investment Group

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RICHMOND, Va. (7/30/08)--Riverfront Investment Group was added to the LPL Financial Manager Select program after a due diligence process. LPL Financial is a broker/dealer financial services company and a provider of advisory services to financial professionals. It focuses on the needs of advisors in financial institutions, including credit unions.

Branches corporate universities focus of new white papers

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MADISON, Wis. (7/29/08)--Credit union professionals can learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of their credit union’s branches and the viability of corporate universities in two new CUNA Council white papers. Sponsored by the CUNA CFO Council, “Comments on Evaluating the Effectiveness of Branches” addresses two questions that deal with evaluating the profitability and/or effectiveness of branches. The first question asks if it is possible to develop a complete profit and loss statement for a branch office. The second question involves managerial reluctance to close an unsuccessful branch because the funds already are expended. The paper then seeks to put these issues in context and clarify the process. “Corporate Universities” by the CUNA HR/TD Council touches the advantages and disadvantages of developing corporate universities, and uses case studies from two credit unions. In both cases, the paper focuses on the credit union’s rationale behind the program, developing and updating its offerings and content, big picture considerations, how the programs function each day. The paper outlines factors vital to the program’s success. For more information, use the links.

CUAnswers issues call for tiered-service ideas

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (7/28/08)--CU*Answers will hold a focus group Oct. 9 in Grand Rapids to solicit ideas for improving CU*BASE Tiered Services programming, which allows users to score member relationships and apply tiered pricing and rewards programs, and track member demographics and behavior. Focus group questions include:
* What additional items should be scored? * What about a separate scoring/rewards system for organizational accounts? And * What’s the next step for Lifetime Points?
CU*Answers is tweaking the application to keep in step with expanding credit union core competencies and evolving consumer behavior, said Randy Karnes, CU*Answers CEO. “We’ll probably have 30 or more people from many different credit unions, from managers to marketers to member service leaders,” said Dawn Moore, CU*Answers vice president of writing and product design. CU*Answers is a credit union service organization in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Triton Media reports of its closing are false

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LONG BEACH, Miss. (7/28/08)--Media reports Wednesday that Dover Corp. plans to close subsidiary Triton, a Long Beach, Miss.-based ATM manufacturer, are incorrect, says Triton. The Associated Press has since corrected its article, according to Triton. “We want to take this opportunity to let our customers know that reports by the media that Dover, Triton’s parent company, is closing Triton are false,” said Bill Johnson, Triton president/CEO. “Dover has no plans to close Triton.” The confusion has been attributed to a sentence in a press release from Dover explaining second-quarter results, which stated that “the loss from discontinued operations primarily reflects the decision in the second quarter to discontinue Triton in the Engineered Products segment.” The reference to “discontinued operations” in the context does not refer to the closing of the company. Rather, it is an accounting term, governed by laws that public companies must follow, which means that profits from that business are not reported in the parent companies overall numbers, Triton said. “We hope this clears up any confusion,” Johnson said. Dover Corp. reportedly has a “viable buyer” for Triton lined up and is moving ahead with the process of selling the company, according to Robert Livingston, Dover president/CEO (ATM & Debit News July 24). Triton is a provider of off-premise ATMs.

Fortents new software aims to cut costs

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NEW YORK (7/28/08)--Fortent has released due diligence technology, Fortent KYC 3.2, which is aimed at helping credit unions cut costs by eliminating the need for analysts to manage multiple data feeds. With KYC 3.2, the riskiest members get the most attention, the company said. The technology can be implemented at an institution in a few weeks and is available as a hosted solution that can be up and running in three days, the company said. Staff compensation accounts for about 60% of financial institutions’ direct compliance spending, Fortent said. “Fortent set out to develop a KYC solution that would make a dramatic return-on-investment impact--with the goal of earning payback in less than one year,” said Sandy Jaffee, Fortent chairman/CEO.

TMG offers payroll cards

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DES MOINES, Iowa (7/28/08)--The Members Group (TMG) announced that it will offer payroll cards to credit union members. The payroll card service is a part of the ATIRApay program, which has been in a pilot phase since July 2007. ATIRApay cards offer employers a way to distribute payroll checks, health care benefits and incentive pay through reloadable, prepaid cards. The cards are powered by Visa or MasterCard and are issued by the employer’s credit union, making them usable anywhere major debit cards are accepted. They also work as ATM cards. “It costs an average of $2 to $20 per employee to process traditional payroll checks,” said Jeff Falk, TMG director of product development. “Employers looking to save that expense are finding ATIRApay a great solution.”

Personal Finance Institute offers planning opportunity

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MADISON, Wis. (7/25/08)--The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) first Personal Finance Institute Sept. 10-12 in Landsdowne, Va., will teach credit union professionals how to create “cradle to grave” financial education programs for staff, members and the community. “No talking heads. No stone tablets. No chance of nodding off,” said Jim Hanson, vice president of CUNA’s Center for Personal Finance. “The institute’s speakers, facilitators and program will enable attendees to start creating a plan to use financial literacy to attract new members and maximize business growth. Attendees also will help CUNA design a program to identify and recognize credit union financial literacy champions nationwide,” Hanson said. Speakers include:
* Stuart Sears, former member of the Neuro Research Team at New York’s Mt. Sinai/Elmhurst Hospital Center, who will explain how recent scientific findings about brain structure and function can help in the design of educational programs that change personal finance behavior; and * Angela Lyons, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Illinois, who will explain how to incorporate measurement in financial literacy program design to ensure maximum success and return on investment of resources.
The institute is timely given the current economic status, according to Hanson. “Yes, businesses are hurting for sales and credit unions are hurting for revenue. But members are hurting, too, and on an even more basic level--they’re in danger of losing their jobs, their homes, their futures,” he said. “Financial literacy isn’t a nicety for the good times. It’s a fundamental survival skill. And the credit union that links educating members about personal finance with the credit union cooperative advantage will be rewarded with robust business growth that can weather the bad times and leverage the good. The institute’s strategic focus is to make that success possible for all participants,” he added.

September learning events slated by CUNA

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MADISON, Wis. (7/25/08)--A number of on-site learning opportunities for credit union professionals will be available in September, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) announced Thursday. Offerings include:
* CUNA’s third annual Payment Systems Conference, Sept. 8-10, Baltimore. It is devoted entirely to payment system issues affecting the credit union movement. Topics include: National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) due diligence guidelines, vendor risk assessment, and effective planning for third party e-commerce; * The Leadership Development Institute, Sept. 7-12, Baltimore. The interactive conference teaches current and aspiring credit union leaders to hone their skills, discover their unique qualities, and achieve leadership success; * Operations Sales and Service Council Conference, Sept. 17-20, Williamsburg, Va. The conference will include sessions about: growth strategies, hot topic compliance issues, generating deposits, branch delivery efficiency, sales culture development, call centers, social engineering, and fraud; * Human Resource Management Schools: Parts I and II, Sept. 15-19, San Francisco. Part I spans topics such as employment law, interviewing skills, pandemic planning, protecting the elderly from financial exploitation, leadership, and communication. Part II analyzes areas such as writing a strategic plan, managing business ethics, turnover reduction, incentive plans, and evaluating the CEO; * Volunteer Certification School, Sept. 7-12, San Diego. The school has two available training tracks to choose from to earn the new Certified Credit Union Volunteer designation. The Board of Directors track includes oversight of entire credit union operations and strategic planning. Areas of study are: safety and soundness; governance; CEO oversight; board operations and development; and strategic planning. The Supervisory Committee track explores audits, risk assessments, and related credit union issues. Areas of study focus on: credit union knowledge and committee governance; annual audit requirements; risk assessments and audit plans; internal audits; and board operations and development; * Security and Fraud Institute: Introduction, Sept. 21-26, Seattle. The conference will teach credit union professionals how to spot possible criminal activity. Internal fraud and security issues will include: workplace violence, robbery and scams. Sessions also will define policies and procedures for different issues, as well as address security planning, risk assessment, and investigations; * CUNA Security Certification Institute: Technology and Facilities and Fraud, Sept. 21-26, Seattle. General sessions will overview security and compliance issues, information technology and facility security, electronic fraud, and current fraud trends and future threats. Two certification options are available for attendees who wish to pursue these credentials: Credit Union Security and Fraud Expert Certification (SFE)--designed for staff responsible for credit union facility security and fraud issues; and Credit Union Security Technology Expert Certification (STE)--created for those accountable for the development and implementation of security procedures and practices that guard credit unions from intrusions and threats; * Compliance Fundamentals Seminar, Sept. 20-21, Seattle. Two levels of compliance schools will follow. Offered as an introduction or refresher, the seminar provides a comprehensive overview of the major regulations that affect credit unions each day; * Regulatory Compliance School: Introduction, Sept. 21-26, Seattle. This class details NCUA requirements and guidance issues, along with regulations for mortgage and consumer lending, deposit accounts, and general operations; * Regulatory Compliance School: Update, Sept. 21-25, Seattle. The school provides an in-depth understanding of Bank Secrecy Act requirements, and lending and eBanking compliance. Also, participants will hear about the top compliance challenges for credit unions and learn the NCUA’s hot topics and red flag-issues for the year such as vendor due diligence, along with pending and possible future compliance issues; and * CUNA’s Personal Finance Institute, Sept. 10-12, Landsdowne, Va. The institute will help credit unions create “cradle to grave” financial education programs for staff, members and the community.

CUNAs training library for CU staff volunteers expanded

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MADISON, Wis. (7/25/08)--Several new time-saving training titles for credit union staff and volunteers were recently introduced by the Credit Union National Association. The CU Compliance: Truth in Savings Seminar in a Box teaches staff about the required disclosures at each stage in the life of deposit accounts. It covers disclosures prior to opening an account, at account opening, on periodic statements, when a change in account terms or maturity occurs, and when marketing those accounts. The Credit Union Seminars in a Box for Staff series was developed as a time-saving tool for planning and executing employee training sessions. Each reusable kit contains credit union-specific training content, including facilitator guides, master copies of participant handouts, session materials on CD-ROM, a step-by-step speaker checklist, training tips, and more. Additionally, six new CUNA Training on Demand titles were introduced to educate staff and volunteers about some of their most critical issues. Each downloadable package consists of a 30-45 minute video-like training presentation, printable workbooks, and five online exams for optional testing. The portable presentations can be saved to a computer, CD, or USB drive and used a number of times. The newest titles for staff and managers include:
* Bank Secrecy Act for Front-Line Staff--overviews BSA, including specific actions and documentations that front-line staff must complete to comply with regulations; and * CU Sales: Inquiring and Listening--teaches listening skills and how to ask the right kinds of questions to better serve members and to recommend the right products and services to meet their needs.
New titles for volunteers are:
* Assessing the CEO--explains the board’s responsibilities in the CEO performance management process and provides tips to enhance the process; * The Directors' Role When Complaints are Filed Against Senior Management--shows what to do when a complaint is filed against management and how to prepare for this possibility before there are problems; * Credit Union Growth Strategies--details strategies credit unions have implemented for growing assets, loans and members, and offers tips to ensure everyone is working toward the same goal; * So, You Have a Community Charter … Now What?--explores the fundamental steps to keep focused on new charter objectives, including communicating to various audiences, and marketing, sponsorships, and other resources.

Cardwell clients test drive Connections Online 4.0

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WESTLAKE, Ohio (7/24/08)--Cardwell presented attendees of the 2008 Connections Online Users Roundtable in Orlando, Fla., with the opportunity to discuss their use of Cardwell’s Connections Online (COL) performance management tool. Attendees received an introduction, overview and training of COL version 4.0, which is set to be released this summer. The credit union peers also logged on to a COL 4.0 test site for hands-on training. “We asked our clients for a priority listing of future features and they all wanted Outlook integration,” said Karla Norwood, Cardwell president. “They also wanted to be able to link or copy metrics and projects between organizations, departments and people.” The conference also included webinar training--three two-hour sessions--to get users started on the system. Cardwell is a software development and management-consulting firm that serves financial institutions including credit unions.

Harland to market ID theft solution

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SAN DIEGO (7/24/08)--Compliance Coach’s CompliancePal, which allows credit unions to comply with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction (FACT) Act Identity Theft Red Flags Rule, will be marketed by Harland Financial Solutions, the company announced this week. CompliancePal uses a five-step system to help credit unions comply with the FACT rule, which imposes new responsibilities on businesses to prevent consumer identity theft. The software program walks the user through a series of questions and procedures including: the required risk assessment, the mapping of red flags to appropriate detection and response procedures, the written program, training materials and a compliance status report. “Complying with the Red Flags Rule will be challenging for financial institutions and affected businesses,” said Helen Beckel, Harland senior vice president of strategy and market development. The compliance deadline is Nov. 1. CompliancePal software will be updated regularly to identify new theft schemes and red flags, Compliance Coach said. Harland Financial Solutions, a subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings Corp., supplies software and services to financial institutions including

Liberty Mutual Carfax protect buyers from flooded damaged cars

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BOSTON (7/24/08)--Liberty Mutual and Carfax are partnering to help consumers shopping for cars eliminate the ones that have been flood damaged or totaled. Liberty Mutual is providing Carfax with data on every car declared a total loss and sold for salvage for the past five years and forward. Consumers can perform a flood check on cars they are interested in buying through the Liberty Mutual Rewards website. “Varying state laws and a deceitful practice called ‘title washing’ allows salvaged cars to be sold without any documentation they were once totaled,” said Ted Gramer, Liberty Mutual executive vice president of personal claims. “In the aftermath of disasters like the recent Midwestern floods, consumers need added protection from increased fraudulent activity.” Carfax is offering the check for free, and Liberty Mutual customers can purchase a Carfax vehicle history report at a 25% discount. Liberty Mutual also announced its support of the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VINCheck buyer protection program. Consumers can input the 17-character identification number to determine if a participating insurance company, such as Liberty Mutual, has previously declared the car a loss.

Fiserv Customer Value program features Microsoft friendly templates

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (7/23/08)--Fiserv announced that its Customer Value Enhancement (CVE) group will provide banking-specific configurations that use the Microsoft Dynamic Customer Relationship Management 4.0 platform. Fiserv CVE created role-based customizable templates that cover informational needs, management dashboards and best practice processes, which will be embedded into the Microsoft Dynamics platform, Fiserv said. CVE customers also can use CVE’s change management consulting and its blended learning offering, which includes eLearning, workshops and coaching to drive behavior change in the workplace. “This is one step in our Fiserv 2.0 initiative that is focused on continually finding ways to help our financial institution clients achieve even more significant and sustainable organic growth from their franchise,” said Nick Wilde, Fiserv CVE managing director. Fiserv provides information management and electronic commerce systems to financial institutions, including credit unions.

Connecticut league forms compliance solution

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MERIDEN, Conn. (7/23/08)--Affiliated credit unions in Connecticut can subscribe to “The Connecticut Compliance Solution” to receive access to more products and services, a full-time compliance answer person and regular compliance-related updates and newsletters, the Credit Union League of Connecticut announced this week. The solution is a part of the league’s new strategic plan, which was created after the league completed an internal analysis, with input from member credit unions. The league also leveraged its relationships with strategic partners to address areas of support for credit unions. “These strategic alliances allow us to develop and provide the resources, technologies and products necessary for our credit unions to effectively compete in today’s dynamic and challenging marketplace in a viable and cost effective manner,” said Anthony Emerson, league president/CEO. “I am confident that once all credit unions in the state are able to understand the value of the new plan, we will see an increase in re-affiliations.”

Products and Services briefs (07/21/2008)

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* ATLANTA (7/22/08)--LEVEL5, a consulting and facilities development firm specializing in financial institutions, announced that it partnered with United Heritage CU, Austin, Texas, to design and build two new branches for the credit union. The branches will be located in the River Place area of Austin and Kyle, Texas. The Kyle branch design will have a traditional teller layout, while the River Place branch will have a remote teller layout. Groundbreaking for the Kyle branch is slated for fall. Groundbreaking for River Place will be in 2009. United Heritage has $530 million in assets ... * ALAMO, Calif. (7/22/08)--Global Debt Network Automotive (GDN Auto), an online auto loan portfolio transaction platform, is now available. GDNAuto allows dealers to review recent portfolio sales and prices, set their preferred terms and monitor the status of the entire process. Dealers also can manage due diligence paperwork and facilitate closing and funding. Credit unions can use the GDNAuto control panel to specify the loans they want to buy ... * KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (7/22/08)--Participating credit union members can conduct transactions at commuter rail stations in Boston. Select-A-Branch (S-A-B) ATM Network announced last week that it has installed the ATMs, which are surcharge-free for S-A-B credit unions. The ATMs can provide revenues for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, according to Dan Stechow, S-A-B chief operating officer. “Banks and credit unions are obliged to provide surcharge-free transactions to their own card holders, resulting in a revenue stream based on about 50% to 60% of the transaction volume,” he said. “But at S-A-B ATMs, transactions performed by card holders of participating institutions are paid for by those institutions. Customers of non-participant institutions pay the surcharge themselves, as they would at any generic ATM. The resulting 100% surcharge model can, over time, dramatically increase the revenue of a given location.” S-A-B network serves the east coast ... * NORWALK, Conn. (7/22/08)--Affinion Security Center, a division of Affinion Group and a provider of identity theft protection services, announced that more than 100 U.S. financial institutions--including credit unions--selected Affinion Security Center’s Card Patrol. Card Patrol provides real-time monitoring of the chat rooms where thieves buy and sell debit and credit card numbers. Account holders can register up to 10 cards and receive instant notifications of suspicious activity. Consumers also are notified when other personal information appears online ...

ICU TimesI publisher acquires B2B media marketing services

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NEW YORK (7/22/08)--Summit Business Media, the publisher of the Credit Union Times, announced last week that it has acquired WiesnerMedia Financial Group, which offers business-to-business media and marketing services. Summit now owns Senior Market Advisor, Boomer Market Advisor, Benefits Selling and Bank Advisor magazines, and ProducersWEB.com, an online site for insurance agents. The transaction also includes Advisors Data Source, a comprehensive database with agent and advisor names, and industry events Benefits Selling Expo and Senior Market Advisor Expo. The Summit properties, headquartered in Denver, will report to Tom Fowler, executive vice president and managing director of Summit’s media division. The transaction is Summit’s fourth major acquisition since being formed in November 2006, according to the company.

CUDL looking to create acceptance corporation

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (7/21/08)--CUDL, an indirect lending business partner for credit unions, has asked the National Credit Union Administration for permission to create an acceptance corporation. CUDL believes that creating the corporation would help credit unions make auto loans more efficiently, according to Tony Boutelle, CUDL president. CUDL also “has no intention of having our acceptance corporation compete with other credit unions,” Boutelle told News Now. The NCUA has not given CUDL a time frame or indication on whether the corporation would be approved. “This is the first step in the blueprint,” Boutelle said. “(The corporation) is something that we think makes sense.” CUDL is owned by 85 organizations, including 76 credit unions. It arranged 556,000 auto sales worth $12 billion last year.

Wis. league partners with Advanced Fraud Solutions

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PEWAUKEE, Wis. (7/21/08)--The Wisconsin Credit Union League Services Corp. announced that it is partnering with Advanced Fraud Solutions (AFS). AFS offers TrueChecks and TrueCards products, which are software tools that help credit unions identify fraud and safeguard assets (Weekly Update July 18). Since 2007, AFS has helped financial institutions in 12 states save millions of dollars by detecting fraudulent checks. Freedom CU, Warminster, Pa., detected $86,000 in counterfeits in two months, according to AFS.

CU members can bank through Blackberrys

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BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (7/18/08)--Credit union members with Blackberrys under a Verizon Wireless contract can now participate in mobile banking. America First CU, Ogden, Utah, and BECU, Seattle, are two credit unions that offer the service for Blackberry users. Members can get account balances and transaction history, transfer funds, view and pay bills, and view the last five transactions completed on their mobile devices, Verizon said in a press release Thursday.

Products and Services briefs (07/17/2008)

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* RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (7/18/08)--CUDL has partnered with Five Star CU, Dothan, Ala. CUDL will integrate Five Star’s back-office processing and loan origination with its national auto lending program. “Our decision to partner with CUDL is driven primarily by a need to offer point-of-sale resource to our members who are financing with competitors already established at various dealerships in our service area,” said Robert Steensma, Five Star CEO. The credit union also will use CUDL’s AutoSMART program, which will provide the credit union with online vehicle research tools ... * LA HABRA, Calif. (7/18/08)--South Western FCU, La Habra, Calif., has installed envelope-free ATMs at its two branches and college campus location. The ATMs scan checks and bills and will display the image on the ATM screen in less than one minute, the credit union said. “We’ll reduce operating costs, which will allow us to offer higher savings yields and lower loan rates,” said Laura Poore, South Western president/CEO ... * BROOKFIELD, Wis. (7/18/08)--Fiserv announced that Virgin Media implemented CheckFree’s Reconciliation and Exception Management solution to automate the reconciliation of customer revenue-related accounts. The company can link statement interfaces into CheckFree’s reconciliation system, allowing the team to access and integrate information faster. Fiserv is a financial services provider for financial institutions including credit unions. Virgin Media’s financial shared services center is located in Bradford, United Kingdom ... * GLASTONBURY, Conn. (7/18/08)--Open Solutions partnered with Superior Press to provide Open Solutions’ Imaged Payment Technology Group clients with a hardware deployment solution for check capture. The solution includes inventory and fulfillment management, hardware testing, packaging welcome kit materials, reporting, shipping notifications, online services request and order tracking. Open Solutions, based in Glastonbury, Conn., provides check capture services to credit unions ...

EPL teams up with Indirect Lending Technologies to launch portal

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (7/17/08)--EPL Inc. has teamed up with Indirect Lending Technologies to launch the EPL Dealer Portal powered by the Dealer Indirect Lending and Leasing System. The portal is Web-based and simplifies the indirect lending process for dealers. It was originally designed for credit unions. “The system contains robust reports, covers a lot of items auditors review for internal monitoring of the indirect program, and Indirect Lending recently added a Dashboard screen that provides at-a-glance real-time management information,” said Glenn Bryan, senior vice president, Legacy Community FCU, Birmingham. The credit union went live with the portal April 1, 2007. EPL is a credit union-owned integrated technology solutions provider. Indirect Lending Technologies offers technology solutions for indirect lenders.

Fiserv sells half of insurance business to Trident IV

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (7/16/08)--Fiserv announced that it has sold half of its insurance business, Fiserv Insurance Solutions, to Trident IV, a private equity fund managed by Stone Point Capital LLC. Fiserv received about $510 million in net after-tax proceeds. Stone Point Capital is a global private equity firm based in Greenwich, Conn. Fiserv is a provider of information technology solutions for financial institutions including credit unions.

SVPCO sets monthly items dollar value records

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NEW YORK (7/15/08)--SVPCO, the paper and electronic check exchange business of The Clearing House Payments Company LLC, announced Monday that its image payment network set records for monthly items and dollar value last month. Average daily volume was 22.4 million items, an increase of 115% compared with last year. The network processed 470.9 million check images, a 115% increase compared with last year. Dollar value was $773.8 billion, a 88.2% increase from last year. “Exchanges of items for non-network financial institutions are a new source of volume and they are expected to continue growing strongly for the remainder of 2008,” said Susan Long, The Clearing House senior vice president. “The network’s capacity to handle transit items is another way institutions are leveraging the power of the nation’s leading image exchange network to reduce paper check processing costs.”

Texans CU announces new CUSO

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DALLAS (7/15/08)--Texans CU announced the launch of Innovative Support Solutions (ISS), a new credit union service organization. ISS will provide risk management and fraud protection, operations and consulting services to financial services and related industries. “Our initial focus is to meet the tactical needs of credit unions,” said Ray Seefeldt, ISS president. “ISS will support credit unions in various ways, allowing credit union executive management and boards to focus on their specific organizations and member needs.” Risk management services range from transaction risk analysis and management to regulatory consulting services such as Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act development and implementation. Operations solutions include database management, information technology operations outsourcing and hosted processing services. Consulting services will provide professional services including core system implementation, integration, upgrade and related support.

OnPoint seeks to reduce scan costs through TotaleAtlas

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LINDEN, N.J. (7/15/08)--OnPoint Community CU, Portland, Ore., is aiming to reduce the costs of manually scanning and indexing completed documents by selecting Integrated Media Management’s (IMM) TotaleAtlas document preparation solution. “The biggest savings in making this change will be the reduction in costs that come from no longer moving documents between branches,” said Grant Gaines, OnPoint technology manager. Members can sign documents by using a digital signature pad. The file is automatically indexed and archived as a PDF file. OnPoint also will use the DocQ module, which provides for partially signed documents to be stored in a queue so that signer or co-signer can complete the document electronically at a different time or branch. OnPoint has 185,000 members and 11 branches. It has $2.5 billion in assets.

Mississippi hosts SE regional directors conference this week

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JACKSON, Miss. (7/14/08)--The Southeast Regional Credit Union Directors Conference is being held in Biloxi, Miss., this week, with more than 450 attendees expected. This year’s theme is “Lighting Paths, Changing Lives.” “Participants will leave the conference energized and confident in their ability to ‘light the path’ to their credit unions’ and members’ success,” said Charles Elliot, Mississippi Credit Union Association president/CEO. Attendees also will participate in a school-supply drive to help Mississippi gulf coast area schools and shelters. The conference, which began Sunday and ends Wednesday, is conducted by the credit union leagues of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Credit unions who missed the conference might want to check out the Credit Union National Association’s directors conference and materials. Use the link for more information.

Space still available at DE summer session

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BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. (7/11/08)--Space is still available at the Development Education (DE) Summer Session Aug. 14-20 in Seattle, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) said last week. The DE program helps individuals connect with their goals and the broader cooperative community. Throughout the interactive, six-day training being held at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island, students study about national and international credit union systems and cooperatives. Training focuses on cooperative principles, social impact, and credit union uniqueness as a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. Joshua Kurtz, chief financial officer, Millstream Area CU, Findlay, Ohio, attended the program last year. “Every day as I listened to the different speakers and we acted out different scenarios, it became clearer to me exactly what my purpose and responsibility in life was,” Kurtz said. “I now can say with confidence that it is helping people less fortunate make their lives better-- whether it’s community service, donating money, or simply sitting down with a member to show how to balance a checkbook. I now know that I am committed to serving people.” DE training is open to everyone--from new employees needing a credit union orientation to seasoned executives. Registrations will be accepted through August 4, unless the class fills up earlier. For more information, contact Program Director Tom Decker at 800-356-9655, ext. 4374 or e-mail tdecker@ncuf.coop. NCUF is the primary sponsor of the DE program. Support is provided by the World Council of Credit Unions, the Credit Union National Association, CUNA Mutual Group, state credit union leagues and foundations.

Conference to address due diligence for third parties

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MADISON, Wis. (7/11/08)--Credit union professionals can learn about effective due diligence for third-party e-commerce and other credit union payment system issues at the Credit Union National Association’s upcoming Payment Systems Conference, Sept. 8-10 in Baltimore. The conference will cover National Credit Union Administration due diligence guidelines, vendor risk assessment, and effective planning for third-party e-commerce. Other conference highlights include:
* Payment systems for business members--explains how to structure small business payments services, additional products to consider and the value of offering cash management services; * Update on check imaging and Check 21--explores check imaging trends, new legal risks and credit unions’ relationship with the Electronic Check Clearing House Organization; * Fraud implications of automated clearing house (ACH) evolution--identifies new ACH volume drivers, attack vectors and the impact on retail payments, the fundamental relationship basis, and tools for detection and prevention; * Unauthorized member ACH debit--discusses Regulation E dispute process, the differences between Regulation E and the ACH rules, and the rights and requirements for consumer and business members; * Managing cross-channel payment risks--examines wire and credit/debit card attacks, fraud prevention, and enterprise-wide transaction monitoring; and * National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) update--risk experts will address compliance, new ACH rules, new NACHA pilots and more.
Attendees will hear about current and pending legislation that will affect credit cards and other payment systems issues and marketplace innovations. For more information, use the link.

DealerTrack Aimbridge partner to expand auto lending

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LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. (7/10/08)--Credit unions will be linked with auto dealers through a new interface provided by Aimbridge Lending Solutions and DealerTrack Holdings. DealerTrack and Aimbridge partnered to combine DealerTrack’s 22,000 automotive dealers with Aimbridge’s proprietary credit filtering process. Dealerships can use DealerTrack to make an automated request to Aimbridge’s lending system to determine whether the applicant is pre-approved at any credit union, is already a credit union member, or fits any other of the filters the Aimbridge system supports. Dealers then select a credit union and submit the loan application to Aimbridge for processing. Aimbridge’s affiliated finance sources are also available with DealerTrack’s. “With this change, the total number of finance sources on DealerTrack as of June 30 is 659,” said David Trinder, DealerTrack senior vice president of network solutions. “Under the old method it would have been 533.” Aimbridge partners with credit unions and auto dealers to market auto loans and insurance products. DealerTrack is a provider of on-demand software and data solutions for the U.S. automotive retail industry.

Defense Council IWS team up for Returning Heroes Home

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DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (7/10/08)--Intercontinental Warranty Services (IWS), a provider of vehicle service agreements and mechanical breakdown insurance to credit unions, will donate to the Returning Heroes Home charitable organization through a partnership with the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC). Returning Heroes Home will receive funds from each IWS product sold through DCUC. IWS also is raising money for the organization through its Top Achiever’s Conference by selling raffle tickets to attendees. It will match the money collected from tickets and donate the total to the organization. The organization aims to meet the physical and emotional needs of American war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Warrior and Family Support Center, formerly known as the Soldier and Family Assistance Center, is a facility at Fort Sam Houston where the patient and family benefit from an environment that helps the injured heal and teaches them how to cope with their disabilities. DCUC, located in Washington, D.C., is an organization of credit unions whose membership consists of military or U.S. Department of Defense personnel. IWS is based in Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Auto lending symposium provides keys to fast lane

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (7/9/08)--More than 400 attendees representing 150 credit unions attended CUDL’s Auto Lending Symposium to learn how to transition into the “fast lane.”
Tony Boutelle, president/CEO of CUDL, opens the 2008 Auto Lending Symposium in Las Vegas. More than 400 individuals from 150 credit unions attended the event. (Photo provided by CUDL)
The event provided credit unions with information on marketing, dealer relations, risk management and collections. “Collaboration is the key to our success--by working together we can affect real change and move credit unions to top of mind for auto loan financing,” said Diana Dykstra, president/CEO, San Francisco Fire CU. Tony Boutelle, CUDL president/CEO, opened the conference. His remarks were followed by presentations from other industry experts, including:
* Jay Johnson, executive vice president, Callahan and Associates; * Larry Biernaki, president/CEO, Arkansas FCU, Jacksonville, Ark.; * Rick Poulton, president, Better Branches; * Bob Boucher, senior vice president of lending, Sikorsky Financial CU, Stratford, Conn.; * Susie Huss, associate vice president of consumer lending, American First CU, La Habra, Calif.; * Melinda Zabritski, director, Experian; and * John Sidman, automotive credit and automotive consultant, Experian.
CUDL also announced a new partnership agreement with Citadel FCU, Thorndale, Pa., and the new CUDL/Prime Alliance Lending Symposium. The symposium is a result of a merger between the Auto Lending Symposium and the Prime Alliance Symposium, which is a mortgage event for credit unions. Ten credit unions were honored for their exemplary automotive lending practices in one of five categories: Marketing to Members, Business Development and Dealer Relations, Portfolio Growth and Management, Remarketing and Collections and Marketing AutoSMART to members. CUDL presented CUDL Diamond Awards to two credit unions for their successful auto lending programs. Next year’s symposium will take place May 13-15 in Las Vegas.

Diebold is exclusive ATM provider at Beijing Olympics

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BEIJING (7/9/08)--Diebold Opteva ATMs will exclusively provide ATM services for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, the company announced Tuesday. The Bank of China has installed Opteva ATMs in the key competition venues and facilities in the Olympic and Media villages in Beijing and Qingdao. The machines will be available in three languages--Chinese, English and French. Diebold, which has a strategic alliance with CUNA Strategic Services, is placing components and parts in warehouses ahead of schedule to ensure their supply to the Games. The company also will keep its customer service center in the region open 24 hours per day. “As the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 World Expo draw near, cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are becoming more open,” said Daniel Hu, Diebold vice president and managing director, North Asia and China. “Visitors to China will need more convenient access to financial services.” Diebold is an ATM manufacturer that provides financial services to financial institutions including credit unions.

Report Exceptional service is key to profitability

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MADISON, Wis. (7/9/08)--Exceptional service is the key to profitability, according to a new best practices report from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Credit Union Magazine "Best Practices: Secrets of High-ROA Credit Unions” describes the strategies of eight credit unions for keeping their return on assets (ROA) above the national credit union average. The credit unions--ranging in assets from $1 million to $1.5 billion--average a 1.5% ROA and say their profitability is a byproduct of exceptional service. Each of the featured credit unions has taken a different approach to achieve profitability, but all display certain characteristics--like focusing on member needs. They recognize that credit unions can give back more to members through higher deposit rates, lower loan rates, lower and less frequent fees, and dividends. The credit unions watch their spending, but avoid cost-cutting measures that negatively affect member service or satisfaction, the report said. For more information, use the links.

Harland Clarke check card wins international award

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SAN ANTONIO (7/9/08)--CUNA Strategic Service provider Harland Clarke won first place in the International Card Manufacturers Association’s Elan Awards in the “Best Secure Financial Card” category for its first clear Visa check card, created for Alabama State Employees CU. The ClearCheck Card was created to support the credit union’s ClearChecking program. It targets the 24-35 age group, but is generating interest from other age groups. “The card is very popular with prospective members and our existing members,” said Barry Mask, marketing director, Alabama State Employees CU. “In the first two weeks of its introduction, new checking accounts increased by more than 300%. New members told us they had considered switching checking accounts and the new clear card was so unique and innovative, they decided to make the move to Alabama State Employees CU.” Harland Clarke is a provider of payment solutions and serves 15,000 financial institutions including credit unions. Alabama State Employees CU, Montgomery, Ala., has more than $139 million in assets.

CU Retail Delivery Convention touts member-centric culture

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (7/8/08)--JetBlue Airways executive Ann Rhoades emphasized the importance of creating a "member-centric culture," during her keynote address at the Credit Union Retail Delivery Convention in Chicago.
From left: Chicago's Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois Dorothy Brown welcomed Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc. (FSCC) President/CEO Sarah Canepa Bang and Ann Rhoades, JetBlue Airways executive and keynoter at FSCC's Credit Union Retail Delivery Convention. (Photo provided by Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc.)
The convention was hosted by Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) during the week of June 9. Rhoades discussed ways a credit union can cultivate a retail environment that promotes growth for members and employees. She stressed the need to hire the right people, create a disciplined culture of excellence, and hone in on the credit union's value system. She also noted the importance of management buy-in and the value of hiring and retaining "A players." "Your people are key to creating a culture that promotes integrity, career development and accountability," she told attendees. Other speakers included inspirational speaker and Paralympics Ski Racer Josh Sundquist, who expressed appreciation for support from Children's Miracle Network (CMN). As an ambassador for CMN, he thanked credit unions for participating in Credit Unions for Kids. Other speakers offered retail delivery trends, emerging issues and tools to grow membership and compete in areas such as expansion of financial services, self-service solutions, marketing strategies and technology.

Products and Services briefs (07/04/2008)

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* RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (7/7/08)--Members of Star One CU, Sunnyvale, Calif., will be able to deposit checks at their homes through CO-OP Financial Services’ My Deposit product. The product also can be used at Star One’s ATMs. Star One has more than $3.7 billion in assets and 77,000 members worldwide ... * ATLANTA (7/7/08)--BECU, Seattle, will launch the Firethorn mobile wallet application in the first quarter of next year, which will enable members to check their account balances, transfer funds and view and pay bills through their mobile devices. BECU has more than $8.3 billion in assets. Firethorn Holdings LLC, based in Seattle, provides mobile commerce services to financial institutions including credit unions ... * ALBANY, N.Y. and GLASTONBURY, Conn. (7/7/08)--Unitus Community CU, Portland, Ore.; Kitsap CU, Bremerton, Wash.; and Gesa CU, Richland, Wash.; have selected StreamLend Velocity for their loan origination system. StreamLend is offered by OpenSolutions Inc., which provides services to financial institutions including credit unions. Kitsap CU decided to use StreamLend Velocity because of its functionality, new forms solution, and its ability to set rates and add audit detail, said Melinda Anthony, vice president of consumer lending at Kitsap ... * THORNDALE, Pa. (7/7/08)--Citadel FCU, Thorndale, Pa., will incorporate CUDL’s AutoSMART program under an agreement with CUDL, a company that administers a point-of-sale and indirect lending network for credit unions. AutoSMART provides members online vehicle research tools and access to dealers and inventories. The credit union is hoping to also expand its online presence with AutoSMART, CUDL said in a press release ...

CU Card Center selects new partner for payroll services

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INDIANAPOLIS (7/3/08)--Credit Union Card Center (CUCC), a division of the Indiana Credit Union League’s Servicecorp, will offer Visa Payroll Cards as a prepaid solution. CUCC will partner with Innovative Card Services to offer the cards. The card allows users to have their payroll directly deposited to the card. They can access their funds by ATM, at retailers or through online merchants. The process is similar to using a debit card and saves individuals hundreds of dollars in check-cashing fees, the league said in a release. CUCC provides card processing services for more than 135 credit unions in Indiana, Kentucky, New York and Maryland.

CO-OP offers reloadable cards for youth travel markets

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (7/3/08)--CO-OP Financial Services is providing travel and youth reloadable cards, available in Visa and MasterCard, to credit unions. The CO-OP Travel Card is an alternative to traveler’s checks and is designed to build relationships between youth and credit unions, said CO-OP President/CEO Stan Hollen. “Both cards can be used at point-of-sale locations and to get cash at 25,000 surcharge-free CO-OP Network ATMs,” he added. Travel Cards carry load values from $100 to $3,000, and Youth Cards carry value from $20 to $3,000. Both can be sold in-branch by participating credit unions and can be branded with the credit union’s logo. Emergency card or cash replacement is available on the Travel Card within 24 to 48 hours. CO-OP Financial Services is a credit union service organization that provides ATM processing, debit and credit card services, and shared branching to credit unions nationwide. It also offers a network of 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs.

New version of TotaleAtlas available

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LINDEN, N.J. (7/2/08)--TotaleAtlas version 4.3 is available with new features, Integrated Media Management (IMM) announced this week. TotaleAtlas is a document preparation engine that electronically captures signatures in-branch and merges the XML data to create a secure and non-editable PDF document. With the new version, credit unions can run test and live environments on a single server. They also can search and retrieve an individual document within a set rather than receiving the entire set and then searching for the required document. The version also includes DocQ features. DocQ is a component that credit unions use to pre-prepare documents in a browser environment. DocQ allows co-applicants to sign at a different time or branch and enables employees to prepare documents in advance of a customer or member visit. IMM is a document output management and automation technology provider for financial institutions, including credit unions.