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Products and Services briefs (09/25/2009)

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* COLUMBUS, Ohio (9/28/09)--Bob Ezell, vice president of product marketing for Computer Service Inc. in Paducah, Ky., was elected president of the Association for Financial Technology (AFT) during its annual meeting Sept. 13-15 in Tucson, Ariz. Other officers elected include: Vice President David Foss, president of ProfitStars, and Treasurer Kevin Tweddle, chief operating officer of bank intelligence solutions at Fiserv. New board members are: Brian Otte, senior vice president of corporate development at Perimeter eSecurity; Kelli Schultz, senior vice president of business development at iPay Technologies; and Tom Shen, board member at CBG Holdings. AFT is a technology-focused association that serves more than 80% of the credit union, banking and thrift market ... * MERIDEN, Conn. (9/28/09)--The Credit Union League of Connecticut announced its Compliance School for 2010, a six-month program that provides full-day workshops to credit union professionals in the Northeastern U.S. Credit union professionals with credit unions under $20 million in assets can attend at no cost. Others including affiliated credit unions with the Credit Union National Association can pay a fee to attend, or a discounted full-program rate. The school aims to help credit unions with changing compliance obligations in “today’s volatile environment,” the league said ... * NORTH CANTON, Ohio (9/28/09)--Delta Community CU, Atlanta, recently incorporated a Diebold Integrated Services outsourcing solution. Diebold is an ATM manufacturer based in North Canton, Ohio. The Diebold solution will allow the credit union to adjust personnel access permissions and create access reports when investigating security incidents and for auditing purposes. Delta has 19 branches in Atlanta and more than 30 ATMs. The solution will allow the credit union to focus on growing the branch and managing staff, Delta said. Outsourcing can help financial institutions focus on core capabilities and avoid expenses associated with acquiring and maintaining security systems, Diebold added ... * ALBANY, N.Y. (9/28/09)--CUC Mortgage Corp. recently introduced an enhancement to “Application Status,” an online resource for borrowers. The update allows loan applicants to check the status of their mortgage applications at credit unions, view outstanding conditions, and access information about the processor, underwriter and those assigned to their applications. Loan applicants also can view and print materials. CUC Mortgage is headquartered in Albany, N.Y., and works with credit unions and their members on mortgages in six Northeastern states ...

Northwest FCU revises collection strategy

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HERNDON, Va. (9/28/09)--Northwest FCU has revised its late loan collection payment strategy, with marked success. The credit union, using Digital Mailer’s Automatic Relationship builder, sent out 673 e-mails the week of Aug. 20 to members delinquent on loan payments. About 63% responded and provided payments. “I think that’s pretty good,” said Cindy Cherry, Northwest FCU collections manager. “It’s definitely improved the success of our collection efforts.” DigitalMailer’s e-mail program targets delinquent members with customized e-mail messages. Traditionally, credit unions send notices after 15 days, but Northwest is sending the messages after five days. Automatic Relationship Builder synchronizes the reports with DigitalMailer’s e-mail engine, filling in variable fields. It also collects delivery and open-rate data and input the data into the credit union’s collection software. Credit unions, by using the resources they already have--such as members’ e-mail addresses--can find cost-efficient methods to improve their collections, said Ron Daly, DigitalMailer president/CEO. “There’s no doubt today’s economy is challenging credit unions as they collect loan payments,” he added. A Federal Reserve statistical release from second quarter 2009 indicates that charge-off and delinquency rates at commercial institutions have increased. The statistics indicate:
* Residential real estate loans grew to 8.84%; * Credit cards grew to 6.70%; and * Other consumer loans grew to 3.73%.
“As more credit unions face growing member delinquencies, more are looking for new strategies in the collections area,” Daly added. Based in Herndon, Va., Northwest FCU has $1.7 billion in assets.