WARRENVILLE, Ill., and OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (8/1/12)--Balance Sheet Solutions LLC (BSS), a broker/dealer, investment adviser and asset-liability management and risk management consultant to credit unions, has partnered with CU Investment Solutions LLC (ISI) to create operational efficiencies.
By partnering with CU Investment Solutions, BSS is able to essentially outsource the back-office compliance function along with the operation, trading and settlement functions, the company said.
BSS is a wholly owned credit union service organization of Alloya Corporate FCU, Warrenville, Ill.
ISI, chartered in 1998 and located in Overland Park, Kan., is a corporate credit union-controlled brokerage firm that cleared more than $10 billion in trades for credit unions during the past year.
BSS cleared close to $3 billion in trades during the same period.
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (8/1/12)--Fiserv Inc., a financial services technology firm, said Tuesday that its net income jumped 79% in the second quarter, buoyed by revenue growth and a charge that cut into net income a year ago.
Fiserv reported net income of $161 million, or $1.17 a share, in the quarter ended June 30. That compares with net income of $90 million, or 62 cents, in the second quarter of 2011. Last year's second quarter included a $61 million charge related to debt retirement.
Revenue increased 3.4% from the same time a year ago to $1.1 billion from $1.065 billion.
Fiserv also released its speaker and agenda details for Fiserv Forum--Fall 2012, its annual credit union client conference, to be held Sept. 10-13 in Las Vegas.
Speakers include Fareed Zakaria, journalist, author and global thinker; Pranav Mistry, a visionary inventor who pushes the boundaries of technology and design; and a special guest speaker on Sept. 11 to recognize the significance of that day in U.S. history.
Fiserv Forum--Fall 2012--previously called Innovate--is the largest annual technology-focused event for credit unions, and is expected to attract more than 2,000 credit union and financial technology professionals.
Strategic decision-making, growing credit union membership, expanding digital channels, managing risk and payment portfolio opportunities are among areas that will be addressed at Fiserv Forum. The conference will feature a 35,000 square-foot Technology Showcase.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (7/31/12)--CO-OP Shared Branching reported growth during the first six months of 2012 following the merger of CO-OP Financial Services and FSCC Inc., which was effective at the first of the year.
CO-OP Shared Branching added 55 credit unions to its client roster in the first half of 2012, which is 31% more than the 42 credit unions that CO-OP and FSCC combined added during the first half of 2011.
CO-OP Shared Branching added 301 new physical branch locations to its network through June 30, compared with 221 new locations added by the two companies individually by mid-year 2011, a 36% increase.
A total of 1,758 credit unions participated in CO-OP Shared Branching as of June 30. The number of branch locations totaled 4,648, making CO-OP Shared Branching the fourth largest-branch network nationwide, behind three national banks.
"The expansion of the CO-OP Shared Branching network was one of our key objectives in unifying credit union shared-branching services last year, so that credit unions could better serve their members," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "Credit unions are clearly seeing the benefits to them of the efficiencies we have gained in branding, technology and administrative costs as a result of the merger."
In addition to branches, CO-OP Shared Branching has 2,200 Vcom Kiosk locations at 7-Eleven stores.
DURHAM, N.C. (7/30/12)--Cognitive Options Group, a national consulting firm specializing in mortgage compliance and loan due diligence reviews, is providing operational advisory services to credit unions.
"As regulatory compliance for real estate financing becomes more complex, the need for credit union directors and management to understand the volatile rule-making environment is critical," said Penny Showalter, Cognitive Options Group managing director. "Growing fiduciary reasonability for a credit union's leadership increases the need to engage mortgage industry experts for guidance."
At a recent credit union Strategic Lending conference, Showalter discussed the increasing complexity of mortgage lending and the effect of the Dodd-Frank Act and rules and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight on credit union mortgage products and policies and procedures. The firm will continue speaking at industry conferences throughout the year to help educate financial services firms on complying with the new regulations and avoiding risky practices.
MONETT, Mo. (7/27/12)--Gladiator Adaptive Threat Management methodology blocks an average of 20,000 confirmed malicious connections for Gladiator CoreDEFENSE Managed Security Services clients every day, according to ProfitStars, a division of Jack Henry and Associates.
Gladiator's Security Research department analyzes new attack methods to protect clients from new security threats. Its Adaptive Threat Management methodology streamlines multiple threat intelligence sources and multifaceted security solutions, and applies counter measures to emerging attacks. Once threats are identified, Adaptive Threat Management safeguards are pushed to the entire client base of more than 800 credit unions and banks.
Adaptive Threat Management's safeguards respond to new attack methods by blocking dangerous connections, stopping malware downloads, and preventing communications with known malicious hosts on the Internet. The security controls adapt to the speed at which technology and researchers identify new threats, providing security coverage for many financial institutions before they are impacted.
Gladiator CoreDEFENSE Managed Security Services include around-the-clock management, correlation, and monitoring of multiple security layers designed and developed for financial institutions. Its security uses a broad-based, multi-layered approach to guard critical data and repel malicious attacks from both outside and inside an institution's network.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (7/27/12)--Credit Union 24, a credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale (POS) network, said its popular surcharge-free ATM programs have collectively saved credit union members more than $20 million in ATM surcharge fees during the first six months of 2012.
"Consumers require--and always will--fee-free access to their cash, and only within the credit union movement can consumers find the largest surcharge-free ATM access," said Jim Park, Credit Union 24 president/CEO. "Providing this widespread, surcharge-free ATM access is possible because of our network's collaborative business model."
Forty-two percent of credit unions polled in Credit Union 24's 4th annual Credit Union Industry Survey, which was conducted in the spring, cited an increased use of ATMs among their membership in the past year. This continues a trend of nearly half of credit unions reporting an increased use of ATMs among credit union members nationwide.
Further analysis of the ATM savings achieved during the past six months illustrates that Credit Union 24's participating credit unions' members are saving, on average, $3.3 million per month and $110,000 per day.
ATLANTA (7/26/12)--Equifax has released a new fraud mitigation solution to eliminate identity misuse by fraudsters when they attempt to open new accounts.
Instant credit applications are a primary source of new business for the financial services industry, and as online channels expand, so do the number of fraudulent or compromised accounts. Equifax's Suspicious ID interprets fraudulent activity patterns in real time by monitoring suspicious activities across an entire network of financial services organizations and other related industries. It also delivers scores and attributes that provide a basis for assessing risk.
Suspicious ID provides rapid analysis of spikes in suspicious application data, catching questionable attempts or high-risk applications upon account opening in real time. It also reduces the common problem of "false positives" that appear when a member's information is entered incorrectly.
Suspicious ID also improves fraud capture rates and decreases the need for manual reviews, Equifax said.
MADISON, Wis. (7/26/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will host the CUNA Security & Fraud Institute, Oct. 22–25, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
CUNA Security & Fraud Institute consists of three tracks:
Introduction: Students learn the basics of credit union security with sessions focused on physical security such as administering policies and procedures, preventing and responding to robberies and other types of workplace violence, as well as electronic security, emerging fraud scams, internal crime prevention and planning for business continuity.
Certification: Attendees gain a deeper understanding of security procedures through sessions such as social engineering, electronic fraud issues, external and internal security audits and integrating it and facility security issues. Attendees will also get an opportunity to gain insights from a former robber. Those who successfully complete a written exam can earn their Credit Union Security and Fraud Expert designation.
Update: Security professionals looking to brush up their skills and stay informed on current trends in credit union security will benefit from sessions such as developing a comprehensive security strategy, protecting members, conducting a risk assessment and performing successful fraud investigations. Attendees have the option to complete testing to recertify their Credit Union Security and Fraud Expert designation.
The program also features a robbery simulation, which takes place at a local credit union, and a vendor reception.
LINDEN, N.J. (7/25/12)--Integrated Media Management (IMM), a document output management and automation technology provider, and Advanced Fraud Solutions (AFS), which specializes in preventing check and plastic card fraud, have partnered to help financial institutions to better counter transaction fraud at the teller line.
The collaboration merges IMM's Teller Item Capture with AFS' TrueChecks, giving financial institutions advanced notification of potentially fraudulent transactions in real time.
IMM clients will also receive AFS' DEPOSIT CHEK service from Early Warning, a fraud prevention and risk management tool that instantaneously analyzes demand drafts and issues alerts upon image capture to provide frontline personnel with up-to-date account and item information. The real-time warnings help to prevent losses from returned items, counterfeiting and other fraud schemes by allowing the financial institution to place extended holds on deposits.
DENVER (7/25/12)--CO-OP Member Center, a subsidiary of CO-OP Financial Services, is partnering with mortgage services provider LenderLive Network Inc. to help credit unions outsource mortgage lending.
LenderLive's relationship with CO-OP Member Center provides CO-OP members with comprehensive and component services that are private labeled and geared to enhance the credit union's member relationships. Credit unions will have access to a conforming loan purchase program to provide members a multi-product environment. LenderLive also brings title services in 50 states for origination and default management.
CO-OP Member Center, based in Fort Worth, Texas, provides credit unions with a portfolio of 24/7 member, lending and inbound call services. The telephone and Internet call center supports roughly 300 credit unions, including nearly 40 clients with assets exceeding $1 billion.
MADISON, Wis. (7/24/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has released its 2012-2013 Credit Union Environmental Scan (E-Scan).
Based on extensive research conducted by CUNA's National Research Group, E-Scan presents trends and projections critical for strategic and business planning.
Highlights from the 2012-2013 E-Scan include:
Compliance: The current regulatory environment demands that credit unions have a comprehensive compliance strategy, and invest resources to understand and implement regulatory changes.
Finance: Expected to play a more strategic role in the face of a changing operating environment, chief financial officers must accept greater accountability for their credit union's success.
Lending: As the economy improves, it's vital to focus on getting new members to transfer loan balances and sign up for new products and services.
Membership growth: Within eight years, the incomes of Gen Y members are expected to exceed those of baby boomers by $500 billion. Nearly 70% of young non-members are unaware of the credit union movement. Promoting credit union's not-for-profit model is a good strategy to reach out to this civic-minded generation.
"E-Scan is essential reading for credit union board members, top level executives and anyone invested in the future of their credit union," said Steve Rodgers, CUNA editorial director. "By keeping a close eye on the significant economic trends and being willing to adapt to unforeseen variables along the way, credit unions will not only be able to prepare for the future, they'll have the power and knowledge to shape it."
CUNA also offers a package of strategic planning resources to help credit unions plan year-round. Use the link.
MADISON, Wis. (7/24/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is partnering with CO-OP Financial Services to award 18 scholarships to attendees of CUNA's 2012 Community Credit Union & Growth Conference, Oct. 23-26 in Denver. The application deadline for scholarships is Sept. 7.
This is the third consecutive year that CO-OP Financial Services is sponsoring scholarships to the conference.
The 2012 Community Credit Union & Growth Conference will focus on how to turn growth-generating ideas into concrete action plans. The conference also hosts CUNA's 2012 Community Credit Union of the Year Award, which honors community credit unions that best exemplify the principles of the credit union movement.
"Through CO-OP Financial Services' generous sponsorship, we will be able to expand our audience at this CUNA signature event," said Todd Spiczenski, CUNA Center for Professional Development vice president.
"CO-OP Financial Services is partnering again with CUNA on this event because we know this conference consistently offers a top-notch speaker line-up, highly relevant breakout sessions and tools for credit unions to bring creative ideas to life," said Stan Hollen, President/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services. "Supporting participation at this event is a strong fit with our commitment to help credit unions prosper and bring innovative ideas into practice."
MILWAUKEE (7/23/12)--Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. (MGIC), a private mortgage insurer, has announced the availability of mortgage insurance through BytePro.
Byte Software provides mortgage software solutions to thousands of credit unions, banks and brokers nationwide. Through the integration, MGIC provides access from BytePro to MGIC's online mortgage insurance-ordering platform, the Loan Center.
The interface is available in both BytePro versions--Standard and Enterprise.
DES MOINES, Iowa (7/20/12)--The Members Group (TMG) and sister company Coopera will host a free webinar Tuesday for financial institutions seeking to reach underserved consumers and will roll out the Coopera Card, a reloadable Visa prepaid card designed for Hispanic cardholders.
The webinar, entitled "The Coopera Card--A Reloadable Prepaid Card for the Hispanic Cardholder," will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. CT Tuesday.
TMG Retail Payments Product Manager Konrad Christensen and Coopera CEO Miriam De Dios will discuss the Coopera Card's features and benefits. Topics covered will include:
- Market opportunity for Hispanic prepaid reloadable cards;
- Features/benefits of the card;
- Instant issue capability;
- Cardholder support options;
- Materials to attract Hispanic consumers; and
- Return on investment proforma cost analysis.
"Young and largely underserved, the Hispanic community is a critical group for community-based financial institutions," said De Dios.
TMG and Coopera developed the card for credit unions and community-based banks.
For more information use the link.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (7/20/12)--Intuit Inc., a small business payroll provider, now offers a free payroll app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that simplifies paycheck calculations for new employers and small businesses that process payroll by hand.
Snap Payroll frees payroll professionals from relying on a spreadsheet and their own math skills to determine the appropriate pay and how much to deduct for taxes. It lets employers calculate paychecks away from their desktops.
The app provides guidance to the 31% of small businesses that are processing payroll manually as well as first-time employers who don't know where to begin. The tool is always updated with the latest tax rates, Intuit said.
Employers enter the hours employee hours worked and pay rates and the app does the math. It also keeps a record of paycheck history and includes federal and state tax withholding forms.
The Snap Payroll app is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in the iTunes App Store. So far it supports employers in Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.
Intuit provides business and management solutions for businesses and financial institutions, including credit unions.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are urging the U.S. Congress to increase credit unions' member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in business loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said.
DALLAS (7/20/12)--CU Members Mortgage, a mortgage services provider, signed roughly 22 credit unions nationwide during the second quarter of this year.
Partnering with CU Members Mortgage helps credit unions to offer mortgage lending services with reduced risk and increased income while the service provider works with the credit union at its level of comfort.
Donna Wade, vice president of lending/member relations, Jackson (Miss.) Area FCU, said her credit union signed with CU Members Mortgage because the credit union's management team sought to offer a simple mortgage lending solution to retain members and attract new ones.
"Our ultimate hope is to enhance the value of our credit union with these services so it will become our members' primary financial institution," Wade said.
CU Members Mortgage provides mortgage services to more than 1,000 credit unions, credit union service organizations and leagues nationwide.
ATLANTA (7/19/12)--Equifax has introduced a product that allows credit card issuers to identify prospective consumers with a higher propensity to borrow and repay.
Equifax's TIP Scores provide predictive analytics that allow card issuers the ability to better tailor their marketing campaigns and more precisely target members and customers.
With TIP Scores, card issuers can pre-screen more consumers for pre-approved offers. By leveraging Equifax's credit file information, TIP Scores allow lenders to better market to consumers using pre-determined identifiers that measure borrowing propensity and delinquency likelihood at any given time, the company said. The indicators assign consumers a digitized score, with a higher number indicating a borrower's increased likelihood to both accept an offer and open an account.
The latest card data from Equifax's National Consumer Credit Trends Report indicates 9.2 million new bank cards were originated from January to March, representing an increase of 27% over January-March 2010 totals. The data suggest sustained growth in new card originations and credit limit during the past 12 to 24 months, supporting the assertion that card issuers are actively growing their portfolios, Equifax said.
"As the economy continues to recover and U.S. consumers' debt position improves, card issuers are now beginning to ramp up their direct marketing efforts," said Scott Waid, Equifax's senior vice president of product innovation and management. "However, issuers are monitoring the return on investment of their marketing budgets much more closely than they had pre-recession. TIP Scores provide the most direct route to help card issuers achieve their marketing goals by more clearly identifying and targeting those select consumers with the highest true propensity to accept their offer."
HENDERSON, Nev. (7/19/12)--Bluepoint Solutions, a provider of remote deposit capture, item processing and enterprise content management solutions, and Open Solutions Inc., a provider of collaborative enterprise technology, have expanded their partnership to provide Open Solutions' DNA-tMagic clients a teller transaction archive and reporting application.
Following the completion of each teller transaction, Bluepoint's Receipt Manager application automatically launches to capture and create a detailed summary of the transaction. The information is then archived and made immediately available to authorized users within the financial institution and to account holders. Credit unions and banks can also create customized prompts asking tellers to perform functions, including signature verification, and cash drawer tracking, and/or highlighting marketing or product information to the account-holder.
Bluepoint Solutions, which serves more than 1,100 financial institutions, and Open Solutions, which primarly serves community financial institutions, initially partnered in 2008 to launch DNA-tMagic, a fully integrated teller capture application. Receipt Manager can be used in conjunction with DNA-tMagic or independently, depending on the type of transaction.
WICHITA, Kan. (7/18/12)--After opening for business a little more than a year ago, Central Star Financial Solutions (CSFS), a credit union service organization, announced it is now working with 12 credit unions in Kansas to provide mortgage and insurance services.
The services include mortgage origination, processing and document preparation for mortgage loans, funding for mortgages, mortgage consulting, and a full service, independent insurance agency.
"It's great to see that what we've built has made an impact so quickly," says Lee Williams, president of Central Star CU and CSFS board member.
Many credit unions cannot provide these services to their membership because of their size and the complexity of the mortgage and insurance industry, said CSFS. The mortgage products available include fixed-rate conventional mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, Federal Housing Administration mortgages, Veterans Administration loans, U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development loans and bridge loans for refinances and purchases, and home equity loans.
"Our focus on growth during 2012 includes offering our service to Kansas credit unions that currently provide limited or no mortgage services to their members," said Matthew Hamm, CSFS CEO. "Our service is convenient and easy to use, which is perfect for small to mid-size credit unions."
MADISON, Wis. (7/18/12)--Keynote speakers have been announced for the Credit Union National Association's annual (CUNA) Experience Learning Live! (ELL), Sept. 30-Oct. 3, at in Denver.
CUNA Experience Learning Live! is designed for training professionals who want to improve their training and the educational culture at their credit union.
Attendees can connect with credit union trainers nationwide, and create new content and learning opportunities for their staff.
Attendees can also gain inspiration for new training techniques and skills from the 2012 ELLy Award winners, who will be recognized at the conference. The ELLy Awards honor outstanding credit union training programs and training professionals.
CUNA Experience Learning Live! keynote speakers include:
Carmen Taran, who is a leader in the virtual presentation movement and a cognitive scientist. She has a passion for virtual presentations and an understanding of the human psyche which she uses in her role as an executive coach at Rexi Media. Her presentations and workshops help business professionals use communication skills to increase revenue, train or motivate, and differentiate themselves.
- Doug Stevenson, is the founder and president of Story Theater International, a speaking, training and consulting company based in Colorado Springs, Colo. He has coached more than 1,000 business professionals, including CEOs, entrepreneurs and even a member of the House of Lords in London. Stevenson is the creator and author of The Story Theater Method Book for strategic storytelling in business.
Tamara Kleinberg, who is the chief imaginator of Imaginibbles. As an idea tinkerer, serial entrepreneur, nationally published author, innovation enthusiast, martial artist and host of "imagi-NATION: disruptive innovator's road tour," she created Imaginibbles to help people and organizations unleash their imaginative mind and unlock their entrepreneurial spirit to thrive.
One attendee will be selected to become the ELL Idol and receive a complimentary registration. Applicants can e-mail or mail a five-minute video pitching what they would like to present during an ELL breakout session. Applicants are asked to keep in mind that ELL attendees expect to walk away with a bucket of tools, tips and take-home ideas. For more information, use the link.
HERNDON, Va. (7/17/12)--DigitalMailer, a digital communication provider in the financial industry, will showcase My Virtual StrongBox and debut its latest features at FinovateFall 2012 in New York City, Sept. 12 and 13.
It is the first time DigitalMailer will feature one of its digital communication products at Finovate, a demo-based conference for innovative companies in banking and financial technology.
My Virtual StrongBox allows credit union members to securely upload important documents such as wills and insurance documents to their financial institutions' online document library.
Using My Virtual StrongBox, members load documents into their financial advisers' protected document library using the same secure-document technology financial institutions use to deliver online statements, notices and tax documents.
Northwest FCU, Herndon, Va., was the first financial institution to offer My Virtual StrongBox to its member. The $2.4 billion, 113,000-member credit union set up free virtual strongboxes for all of its 68,000 electronic statement users as a "freemium" for saving the institution hundreds of thousands of dollars in postage and printing costs.
MADISON, Wis. (7/16/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), in collaboration with The Rochdale Group Inc., has announced a new program, the CUNA Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Certification Institute, which will take place Dec. 3-6 in New Orleans.
The institute aims to provide credit union executives with knowledge and tools to incorporate ERM into their culture. Drawing on the ERM expertise of The Rochdale Group, Inc., attendees will leave the institute with an understanding of their risk appetite and how risk management can drive decision making at their credit union.
"The current economic environment has increased credit union awareness of risk management," said Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO. "CUNA is committed to providing credit unions with the tools and resources they need to make informed strategic decisions," he added, noting that the educational alliance with The Rochdale Group Inc. will do just that.
"With the increasing importance of enhanced organizational risk management for credit unions, we believe that leveraging the strengths of our organizations will allow us to better assist credit unions with their ERM needs and decision making," said Tony Ferris, partner at The Rochdale Group Inc.
Attendees at the institute can earn their Credit Union Enterprise Risk Management Expert (CU-ERME) designation, certifying them as a credit union expert in ERM.
SAN ANTONIO (7/16/12)--Harland Clarke Corp., a provider of payment solutions and marketing services, has launched Harland Clarke Digital, a suite of digital marketing solutions for powering multichannel digital communications.
Harland Clarke is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
The suite features Harland Clarke's SubscriberMail e-mail platform, mobile campaigns, compliance technology, website development, branded education and employee training portals and online surveys. Harland Clarke Digital also includes strategic and professional services, including creative development, campaign management and results analysis.
"With the introduction of its newest brand, Harland Clarke is proactively addressing its clients' needs to help them expand their opportunities and positions in an increasingly digital marketplace," said Mike Ferguson, Harland Clarke Digital vice president and general manager. "As more and more organizations concentrate their marketing focus on digital channels, Harland Clarke Digital looks to serve as a valued partner and source of strategic expertise in helping them successfully navigate the changing online landscape."
MINNEAPOLIS (7/16/12)--Cachet Financial Solutions, a provider of commercial and consumer remote deposit capture (RDC) solutions, has launched a tablet-accessible remote deposit capture option.
With Select Business Tablet, users get all of the functionality of an advanced RDC system from their tablet device. Credit unions and banks can offer executives and business owners the opportunity to monitor, and to submit deposits remotely, track deposits made by their employees in the office and to the field, and supervise employees' deposit activities.
Select Business Tablet provides credit unions and banks with a way to track the success of their RDC programs. Product managers also can access and monitor the system through their tablets or computers.
SEAL BEACH, Calif. (7/13/12)--SaveDaily Inc., a provider of low-cost mutual-fund investing platforms used by credit unions and other financial institutions, has agreed to relocate its platform to the Lightwave Data Center in San Diego. The center is operated by American Internet Services (AIS).
AIS is an enterprise-class data center, cloud and managed-services company that provides network, security and solutions engineering capabilities.
SaveDaily recently announced several marketing agreements with financial institutions and investor networks that are expected to add new customers to the company's mutual fund investing platform.
"We have been working with SaveDaily, a pioneer in the field of paperless brokerage solutions, for two years and have seen first-hand how their business is taking off to the point where they needed to do a tech refresh," said Tim Caulfield, AIS CEO.
Credit unions, banks, broker-dealers and other financial service providers are adopting the SaveDaily platform to offer mutual fund investing to their members and customers at low costs under their own brands. For one flat monthly charge, investors in mutual funds on the platform can have unlimited positions and unlimited transactions without transaction fees. There are no minimum amounts that have to be invested into any single fund, and investors can move in and out of funds at any time with no additional cost, said the company.
MADISON, Wis. (7/12/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has released CUNA Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP) modules in an eBook format.
The modules, designed for use on iPads, Nooks, computers and other devices, are the first credit union specific training modules available as eBooks.
"With our new eBook format, credit union volunteers will have more convenient options to get the information and the training they need, whether they are in the office, at home, or on the road, " said Kevin Smith, CUNA director of volunteer education.
By completing VAP modules and the corresponding exams, credit union volunteers can earn recognition, awards and pins.
These VAP titles are available as eBooks:
- V02--Financial Reports for Volunteers, fifth edition;
- V03--Managing Risk, sixth edition;
- V305--The Basics of Risk Assessment for Volunteers;
- V409--Financial Management, third edition;
- V415--Asset-Liability Management for Directors, second edition; and
- V428--Understanding the Audit Report.
CUNA VAP offers credit union volunteers pertinent credit union information and training in a flexible format. It features more than 40 quick courses on topics such as credit union fundamentals, board of directors and supervisory committee fundamentals, leadership, marketing, planning and regulatory compliance.
LINDEN, N.J. (7/12/12)--Integrated Media Management (IMM), a document output management and automation technology provider, has introduced a solution to provide financial institutions with Web contracting and electronic signatures in the cloud.
Document Exchange is the next generation of IMM's document delivery and electronic signature capture solution. It extends greater efficiencies, cost savings and user convenience through an intuitive, hosted experience, the company said. Financial institutions receive a 100% Web-based product that does not require scanning software, signature pads or digital certificates traditionally needed for electronic signing events.
Browser- and device-independent, Document Exchange performs identify verification, intent to sign and document integrity validation to produce legally enforceable electronic signature records, said IMM.
The new offering is powered by Adobe EchoSign, an electronic signature service that supports six million users worldwide.
NEPTUNE, N.J. (7/11/12)--CU Student Lending LLC has launched its 2012 private student loan and private student loan consolidation programs--the cuScholar Private Student Loan and the cuGrad Private Student Loan Consolidation.
A credit union service organization, CU Student Lending is a network of credit unions offering private student-lending options to students and families nationwide.
The program is powered by Fynanz lending technology and includes loan participations to enhance and mitigate risk. Fynanz is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
cuScholar Private Student Loan and the cuGrad Private Student Loan Consolidation are replacing the EdAccess Private Student Loan and EdSucceed Private Student Loan Consolidation within the cuStudentLoans program.
The cuScholar Private Student Loan offers the same benefits as its predecessor, which includes low rates and borrower benefits from credit unions, and is used to help students and their families bridge the funding gap in higher-education financing.
"Students today face challenges in higher costs and less aid when financing their higher education," said Alice Stevens, CU Student Lending LLC chairman. "Credit unions are happy to answer the call and help these students reach their educational goals responsibly, both during school and after graduation, through the cuScholar Private Student Loan and cuGrad Private Student Loan Consolidation."
The cuStudentLoans program, which currently serves more than 150 participating credit unions, uses common underwriting and pricing in all of its loan products.
MADISON, Wis. (7/11/12)--Credit unions must invest in training for both managers and employees to get the most from the performance evaluation, according to a new CUNA Human Resources, Training & Development Council white paper.
Managers need to be taught how to use the evaluation as a tool to encourage honest, open dialogue and how to provide effective coaching, according to the paper, "Performance Evaluations in the CU Industry: Updating a Tired Task to Drive Change & Goal Achievement." Employees need to be educated on the value of the assessments so they can properly engage in the process.
Management training plays an important role in ensuring that the evaluations provide feedback that is most beneficial to the employee. It can also help teach managers how to engage employees in a constructive dialogue about the positive and negative aspects of the evaluations.
At The Partnership FCU, Arlington, Va., managers take part in human resources quarterly management meetings to discuss as a group the performance review process and how to write a performance review. Managers also have a toolkit with documents to reference and a handheld guide on how to write successful evaluations. Before meeting face to face with employees, managers meet with human resources to discuss evaluations. A human resource representative explains what belongs in the review and what doesn't, and the types of examples needed to support statements in each objective.
Employees also must be engaged in the process for performance evaluations to be most effective and evoke change, said the paper.
Barksdale FCU, Bossier City, La., has embedded much of its evaluation process into the culture by introducing it early on to new employees. "The employees definitely know what is expected of them," said Rose Suire, vice president of human resources. "It's job specific, based on the performance plan an employee is given in the first week of employment."
Once the evaluations are approved by human resources, the manager and the employee sit down to discuss the results and set new personal and department goals. "We can see that the conversations are happening because the comments are inputted into the evaluations," Suire said.
"We encourage them to have two to three conversations throughout the year."
To download the white paper, use the link.
LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. (7/10/12)--The board of directors of CU*NorthWest, a Liberty Lake, Wash.-based credit union service organization (CUSO), has approved and distributed its first dividend since it launched operations in 2005.
Owners received their dividend checks at CU*Northwest's annual meeting, held in conjunction with its Leadership Conference, June 28.
"This dividend marks a real turning point for CU*NorthWest," said Debie Keessee, secretary/treasury of the CU*Northwest board. "We are no longer a start-up company. Our first dividend check is a milestone to celebrate."
CU*NorthWest was started on a $50,000 investment in 2005 as a financial services data processor and today has clients in four western states.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (7/10/12)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based data processor, increased assets by 9.3% during 2011, the company announced at its annual ownership meeting.
The credit union service organization also increased total equity by 23.6% and improved retained earnings grew by 43.5%.
CU*Answers now has 104 credit union owners nationally. The company added 12 new owners during the previous year, representing its largest single year for new ownership growth in more than 10 years.
For existing owners, book value increased by 17.1% during 2011. Since 2007, ownership book value has increased by more than 204%, the company said.
CU*Answers also announced the four winners of its 2012 contests for Best 30 Second Spot Idea, Best Video Idea, Best Jingle, and Best Complete Video. The winning contributors, all employees of credit unions on the CU*Answers CU*BASEcore processing platform, each won $1,500 for their credit union.
The award for Best 30-Second Spot Idea was awarded to Brandt Becker at Community West CU, Kentwood, Mich. and is titled "We're Here."
The winner of Best Video Idea for the theme "Why I Work at a Credit Union" was Patty Sarne of San Antonio (Fla.) Citizens FCU.
Christie Dompierre of TBA CU, Traverse City, Mich., took the award for the Best Jingle, and Renee Maeder of Best Advantage CU, Brillion, Wis., received the award for Best Complete Video.
CU*Answers also announced the release of Just Turn it On, a new service to help credit unions get projects accomplished that they don't have time or expertise to get off the ground.
CU*Answers will act for the credit union to help it accomplish lingering initiatives. For example, if a credit union wanted to implement a service such as electronic documents but didn't have the resources or wasn't sure where or how to start, CU*Answers would send in experts to see the project through completion. It's a service to provide micro project management for implementing a feature, function or process.
MINNEAPOLIS (7/9/12)--Through a partnership with Cachet Financial Solutions, Sharetec, a core systems provider, will offer mobile deposit capture to credit unions nationwide.
Cachet's Select Mobile service allows account holders to initiate mobile deposit sessions and submit checks with their smartphones or tablets. Members key in the deposit amount, snap a photo of the front and back of the check and submit the image to the credit union.
Before transmitting the images, Cachet formats them, corrects any distortions or skewing, and confirms the images meet industry Check 21 and mobile image-quality standards. All transactions are transmitted in real time with multiple layers of security and, if necessary, can be traced back to registered smartphones in order to combat fraud, said the companies.
Alliant CU of Dubuque, Iowa, will be the first Sharetec client to go live with Mobile Deposit Capture.
MUSKEGO, Wis. (7/9/12)--Corporate Central CU in Muskego, Wis., has established a correspondent arrangement with the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) through which member credit unions can access the FRB Discount Window via their Corporate Central accounts.
The correspondent arrangement establishes Corporate Central CU as the settlement point. Members of the corporate credit union can request advances from and make payments to the FRB through Corporate Central.
In December, the National Credit Union Administration issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking about credit unions establishing access to emergency liquidity, Corporate Central said.
The new rule would require all federally insured credit unions to have access to a backup federal liquidity source for use in times of financial emergency and distressed economic circumstances.
Anticipating the need for credit unions to have a federal liquidity source, Corporate Central CU began working on a solution for members that would fulfill the likely new requirement and simplify the process of establishing and maintaining Discount Window access with the FRB.
"The greatest benefit for our members is the convenience factor," said Robert
W. Fouch, Corporate Central president/CEO. "Credit unions that have established membership with Corporate Central don't need to establish a settlement relationship with the Fed."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (7/6/12)--Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS), a mortgage processor, has acquired LendingSpace, a provider of mortgage loan origination software.
The LendingSpace technology platform will augment LPS' other origination technology solutions, which include Empower, a platform used by mortgage lenders with complex system configuration and customization needs, and PCLender, which is used by credit unions, mortgage lenders and community banks that leverage more standardized technologies.
The LendingSpace product suite features a correspondent lending platform, including full Web-enabled capabilities to improve collaboration between retail originators and their correspondent lending partners. These capabilities include loan registration, data and document integration, status, condition management, funding and secondary market and investor delivery capabilities, which are critical to the success of correspondent lenders, said the companies.
The LendingSpace product suite also features lead management capabilities, reverse mortgage product capabilities and third-party vendor integrations. All LPS origination systems, also will incorporate LPS' Loan Quality Gateway to assist originators with their loan-quality requirements.
The acquisition is scheduled to close later this month.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (7/6/12)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization (CUSO), has extended its free text-banking promotion through October 2013.
In December 2010, the company initially offered It's Me 247 Mobile Text Banking to its base of more than 200 credit union clients at no charge to credit unions for 18 months to help credit union develop a text banking presence. At its 2012 annual Leadership Conference held in June, CU*Answers extended the free period, giving credit unions an additional 18 months to grow text banking among their memberships.
It's Me 247 Mobile Text Banking includes real-time, text alerts for tasks balance inquiries, loan payment due dates, automated clearinghouse deposits and withdrawals posted. The text banking product includes an automated member pricing component to allow credit unions to offer the service for a monthly charge or on a per-text basis, with integrated relationship waivers.
It's Me 247 Mobile Text Banking is a companion to CU*Answers It's Me 247 online banking and mobile Web banking products offered by the CUSO within the cuasterisk.com network.
ST. LOUIS (7/6/12)--The Missouri Credit Union Association has signed an agreement with John M. Floyd & Associates (JMFA) to be the association's preferred provider for overdraft privilege services.
JMFA Overdraft Privilege is an automated program designed to provide credit union members with a safety net in the event of overdrafts due to member accounting errors or financial emergencies.
It also reduces staff times spent on handling and processing insufficient funds items, and helps credit unions increase their non-interest income.
MADISON, Wis. (7/5/12)--Consumers are revolting against bank fees and by doing so have handed credit unions an opportunity and a challenge. In response, CUNA's Operations, Sales & Service Council has released a new white paper titled, "Alternative Revenue Sources: An Engine for Sales & Service Growth," which offers ideas for new revenue.
The paper presents several ideas for revisiting traditional revenue sources with a fresh approach and adding innovative revenue methods to help ailing margins. Many credit unions nationwide contributed their expertise on how to readily seek revenue sources. Ultimately, each source is not only a revenue opportunity, but is also an opportunity for credit unions to be an engine for growth and development within their local communities, the paper said.
Fees are especially tricky for credit unions after the backlash against Bank of America, which in October 2011 said that it would charge $5 monthly for debit cards. The resulting uproar was a public relations fiasco for the bank that resulted in Bank Transfer Day, which helped increase U.S. credit union growth in 2011 by 1.3 million members, more than double the 600,000 who joined during the previous year (News Now May 4).
According to the council's white paper, GTE FCU, Tampa, Fla., has changed its focus back to the traditional cooperative business model, which is simply--the more business you do with the organization, the more value you receive. Its Member Advantage program, for instance, has 25% of the 180,000 members qualifying automatically if they sign up for services, such as free checking or e-statements and have additional services such as a mortgage or credit card and perform eight debit card signature based purchases monthly or three virtual banking transactions.
In return, the member receives benefits, including earning more on deposits, fewer fees and lower interest rates on loans. If members elect to have a paper statemenst, they are charged $3 monthly. Some 30% of the membership still receives paper statements.
Fees can nudge members into behavior to save money for both parties with changes that are easily made, the paper said. GTE FCU has created a scenario where it charges fewer fees, but creates more revenue.
To download the whitepaper, use the link.
MIDDLETOWN, Pa. and HAGERSTOWN, Md. (7/3/12)--MY CU Services LLC, a credit union service organizations owned by Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU, has partnered with CUNA Strategic Services provider Ongoing Operations to offer cloud computing services for credit unions.
Among the services to be offered by MY CU Service are hosted e-mail, virtual desktops, virtual servers, software as a service data backup, disaster recovery, managed firewalls and vendor connections.
Ongoing Operations LLC will offer back-end hosting for the cloud-computing services.
"Cloud computing for the credit union industry is growing rapidly, and many credit union already use it for their core processing, e-mail and payroll needs," said Drew Kishbaugh, MY CU Service president/CEO. "It makes sense for MY CU Services to move in this direction, given our current technology-based services and the direction financial technologies are heading."
DES MOINES, IOWA (7/3/12)--TMG Financial Services is celebrating its fifth anniversary as third-party agent-issuer solution provider to the credit union industry.
The company services 60,000 accounts with more than $125 million in assets under management.
"From a conventional standpoint maybe 2007 wasn't the right time to start a credit card company, as we began a slide into one of the most tumultuous economic times in a generation," said Jeff Russell, president/CEO of TMG Financial Services. "For our partners, it was exactly the right time."
TMG Financial Services also brought the Collateralized Advance Program (CAP) financing option to the marketplace. Through CAP, credit unions have the ability to earn an above-market yield while having the protection of a loan backed by a high-quality asset pool, said the company. Since 2007, TMG Financial Services has raised more than $100 million in CAP funds for more than 60 program participants. CAP partners have received more than $13 million in income from their involvement in the program.
"CAP's development is important for two reasons," Russell said. "It was, and continues to be, a good source of yield for our funding partners, when historic rates have made it difficult to find such channels. It also allowed credit unions to play an active role in keeping developing a consumer-friendly solution."