Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive
150x172_CUEffect.jpg
Contacts
LISA MCCUEVICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

Products Archive

Products

Two Montana CUSOs merge

 Permanent link
HELENA, Mont. (10/1/08)--UniPro Systems Ltd. will merge with CUsource effective Oct. 15. Both provide back office support for credit unions. UniPro, a credit union service organization, is headquartered in Helena, Mont. It processes share drafts, and provides print mail services and network security. CUsource is a credit union service organization owned by 10 Montana credit unions. It provides data processing and real estate services to 27 credit unions in Montana. CUsource is headquartered in Great Falls. The Montana Credit Union League’s service corporation, League Service Group; Rocky Mountain CU; and CUsource have been equal investors in UniPro since its beginning. The merger will reduce redundancies and improve efficiencies, said Tracie Kenyon, Montana league and League Service Group president/CEO.

CUNA Mutuals CompleteEd makes first student loan

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (10/1/08)--Tamara Sanner, 20, is completing her dream of continuing her education at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with the help of CUNA Mutual Group’s CompleteEd private student lending plan.
Tamara Sanner, 20, was the first to receive a private student loan to fund her college education through CUNA Mutual Group’s new CompleteEd program. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
She is the first recipient of a student loan in the program. Sanner, a Spanish major, hadn’t considered private student loans to pay for her education. “I found out about CompleteEd first through the Internet,” she said. “Then I called my credit union [Great Wisconsin CU] to ask for great options, and they recommended CompleteEd.” CompleteEd was introduced this summer and is offered by 40 credit unions nationwide. Qualifying credit union members can receive a 0.25% interest rate discount through the program. The application process was smooth and easy for Sanner. “My questions were all answered and the loan was processed quickly,” she said. “College costs are rising roughly 4% to 6% annually, so parents and students are looking for ways to close the gap on funding higher education,” said Jeff Meyer, CUNA Mutual vice president of product development. Sanner, a long-time Great Wisconsin CU member and Portage, Wis., native will graduate in 2010. “I don’t know how I would have returned to school without a private student loan,” she said. Great Wisconsin CU, Madison, Wis., has $427 million in assets.

Councils free paper Deepen indirect-borrower ties

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (9/30/08)--Credit unions can learn the results of a project designed to help them deepen relationships with indirect members in a free white paper offered by the CUNA Lending Council. “Developing Members From Indirect Borrowers: Lessons Learned” examines findings from CUNA Mutual Group’s Indirect Borrower’s Pilot Project. The project was designed to deepen relationships with new indirect members and help identify the next best products to cross-sell to indirect borrowers. The white paper includes information on the overall project and its results, the indirect lending environment, profiles of participating credit unions, and the project’s findings and conclusions. A second white paper, “Serving New Americans,” examines how to reach and better serve resident and non-resident aliens and first generation immigrants. The paper diagrams policies, operations, products, services and marketing. “Most important is to gain the trust of New Americans by reassuring them that in contrast to what they may have experienced with financial institutions in their homeland, their deposits are insured and safe with the credit union,” according to the paper. Credit union case studies illustrate how to gain the trust of new Americans, provide a safe means of conducting financial transactions, and in the process achieve membership growth. For more information, use the links.

NYCEs SUM allies with MoneyPass

 Permanent link
SECAUCUS, N.J. (9/30/08)--NYCE Payments Network signed an agreement with MoneyPass Network to offer participants in NYCE’s SUM selective surcharging program the option of adding access to MoneyPass Network’s 13,000 surcharge-free ATMs. NYCE’s SUM program allows cardholders of participating financial institutions to make surcharge-free withdrawals at about 2,950 designated ATMs of other SUM program members. NYCE will offer SUM Program participants the ability to supplement their SUM surcharge-free access with participation in the MoneyPass Network. MoneyPass is a network of Elan Financial Services, which provides ATM and debit card processing solutions for financial institutions. NYCE Payments Network is an electronic payments network and a Metavante company.

Products and Services briefs (09/26/2008)

 Permanent link
* TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/29/08)--The Florida Credit Union League (FCUL) Service Group partnered with Ventelligence to offer credit unions a way to manage third-party relationships. Ventelligence is an automated system that streamlines vendor management processes and provides a Web-accessed contract database, third-party vendor risk assessments and due diligence templates, and procurement strategies. The system aims to help credit unions manage third-party contracts, perform risk assessments and due diligence, and streamline and improve their procurement strategies ... * GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (9/29/08)--CU*Answers announced that a new tool for helping authenticate member information related to Red Flag compliance is available to its clients using CU*BASE. CU*Answers programmed an interface with Experian’s Authentication Services ne (AS1) for helping its clients meet new compliance requirements. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act requires a financial institution to authenticate a new member through verification of criteria. AS1 uses multiple data sources, including Social Security numbers, addresses and other resource data. Soon clients will be able to inquire about a variety of verifications and validations returned by Experian, CU*Answers said ... * ATLANTA (9/29/08)--LEVEL5, a consulting and facilities development firm specializing in financial institutions, announced that it named Tom McGrath as vice president of sales. It also named Fred Booker and Kathleen Stasia as directors of the Mid-Atlantic and Florida regions. LEVEL5, based in Atlanta, is CUNA Strategic Services provider. For more information, use the link ...

Expedited payment adds revenue to online bill payment

 Permanent link
SAN FRANCISCO (9/29/08)--Financial institutions must incorporate expedited payments now or risk losing $5 billion in fees to third-party billers, a new study finds. The Javelin Strategy and Research study indicated that 32 million consumers actively use online banking bill payment in the U.S., and the volume of expedited bill payments will reach 400 million transactions by 2013. “Most consumers currently initiate expedited bill payments directly with the biller versus their financial institution,” said James Van Dyke, Javelin president. “Financial institutions have the opportunity to directly offer expedited payment services, reaping fees and strengthening their payments franchise.” The report also indicated that 45% of existing mobile bankers use expedited payments at least once a month and certain age groups are poised to drive mobile channel growth. “While the online channel is primarily used for expedited payments, mobile could represent incremental value to banking and bill pay customers,” said Bruce Cundiff, Javelin director of payments research and consulting. Consumers are accepting higher fees associated with expediting bill payments in lieu of facing costly late payment charges, Javelin said. The price of expedited payments could double over the next five years--to $16 in 2013.

PSCU online bill pay boosts subscribers use

 Permanent link
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (9/29/08)--Credit unions enrolled in PSCU Financial Services’ Bill Pay Summer Beat the Heat sweepstakes added 24,100 subscribers and 74,000 incremental payments during the two-month promotion in June and July. There also was a 3.6% increase in subscribers making more than three payments per month. The sweepstakes offered a grand prize of $10,000, a $1,000 first prize, and an iPod NANO for five second-place winners. Each credit union was guaranteed one $100 winner. Each subscriber that made three online bill payments in a month was entered into the contest and received one entry for each payment made during the month. There were 2.3 million entries and prize winners were drawn randomly. Tami Maggio, Meriwest CU, San Jose, Calif., won the $10,000 prize. Other winners were from Stanford FCU, Palo Alto, Calif.; Red Canoe CU, Longview, Wash.; and Telhio CU, Columbus, Ohio. PSCU is a credit union service organization that serves 1,100 financial institutions nationwide.

Diebold patents would help ATMs produce revenue

 Permanent link
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (9/26/08)--ATM manufacturer Diebold has received seven patents for its Campaign Office software, which delivers one-to-one marketing messages to ATM users. The software can transform ATMs into revenue-generating business tools, Diebold said. Campaign Office uses member demographics and account information to deliver marketing messages to users. The software’s server includes a database of current member information and a table that defines marketing screens and messages for non-members. Credit unions can use the software to present a student loan offer to a college student, provide interest rates on luxury car loans to business professionals, give renewal rates to consumers with expiring certificates of deposit terms and create targeted messages to non-members. Credit unions also can personalize the ATMs to support specific locales, unique backgrounds, languages and informational and branded service messages. “Delivering the right message at the right time can invite [members] into the branch to acquire additional products and services, helping increase positive teller-member interaction,” said Charles E. Ducey, Jr., Diebold senior vice president of global development and services. Diebold is based in North Canton, Ohio.

Ike prompts free emergency shared-branching offer

 Permanent link
SAN DIMAS, Calif. (9/26/08)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc. (FSCC) is offering free emergency shared-branching services to credit unions impacted by Hurricane Ike. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for any credit union affected by the hurricane to continue to service their members,” said Sarah Canepa Bang, FSCC president/CEO. FSCC encourages credit unions, including non-shared-branching credit unions, affected by the hurricane to contact the network for free services. The emergency shared-branching program was developed during flooding in Louisiana three years ago after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

PCUA introduces service to connect MBL buyers sellers

 Permanent link
HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/25/08)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) introduced Loan Trader, an online service for buyers and sellers of member business loans. Loan Trader lists loans available for purchase by industry type, and type and location of collateral. Buyers can look for participation loans that fit their own criteria (Life is a Highway Sept. 23). Sellers also can release data so that credit unions can perform due diligence on their loan participation. On Oct. 6, PCUA will host a webcast to demonstrate the program. For more information, contact the league. Registration is due by Sept. 30.

Products and Services briefs (09/23/2008)

 Permanent link
* WESTBROOK, Maine (9/24/08)--Educational materials warning young credit union members about identity theft are available to Maine credit unions, Synergent announced. The pieces were originally created for Central Maine CU, Lewiston, by Synergent’s graphic design team. The $75 million-asset Central Maine distributed the materials to its 8,600 members to warn them about fraud, phishing and scams. “Members are thankful for the information provided to them with this insert because they were not aware of the dangers of child identity theft,” said Denise Oullette, vice president of marketing at Central Maine. Synergent provides technology services, card services, print and creative services, and check processing and support services to Maine credit unions ... * SAN DIEGO (9/24/08)--Mid-America Credit Union Association has endorsed Compliance Coach’s Regulatory University and CompliancePal software. “Both products specialize in mitigating compliance risk within the credit union community,” said Travis Kasten, Mid-America vice president. Regulatory University offers web-based courses to credit union professionals. CompliancePal offers a five-step system to enable compliance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act Identity Theft Red Flags rule ...

Visa announces issuance of unembossed cards

 Permanent link
SAN FRANCISCO (9/24/08)--Visa says it will begin issuing unembossed cards for Visa consumer debit, business debit and consumer credit cards. Unembossed cards have printed personalized information, such as account number and cardholder name. They are accepted by most Visa merchants and can be used for online, mail and phone purchases (BusinessWire Sept. 23). The $552 million asset United Heritage CU, Austin, Texas, helped test the new cards. “Being able to instantly provide members with Visa cards has helped us drive activation, usage and loyalty while reducing costs,” said Michael Ver Schuur, United Heritage executive vice president. Traditional embossed cards require lengthier production times. They must be created off-site and are shipped to cardholders after enrollment. Visa has permitted unembossed prepaid cards since 2005.

FIMAC Mid-Atlantic to offer risk management solutions

 Permanent link
DENVER (9/24/08)--FIMAC Solutions, a developer of risk management and profitability software for credit unions, announced an agreement to allow Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU to offer FIMA’s Risk Analytics Model (ALM) and Balance Sheet Manager software to its member credit unions. The ALM Model is an income simulation and net-present-value asset and liability management model. Balance Sheet Manager’s “what if” simulations provide credit unions with a measurement of the impact management decisions will have on the balance sheet and income statement. Mid-Atlantic Corporate will combine the output of the reports with consulting services and other value-added analysis. Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU is based in Middletown, Pa.

CSCU returns 100 Visa IPO proceeds to CUs

 Permanent link
CLEARWATER, Fla. (9/24/08)--Card Services for Credit Unions (CSCU) announced that it will distribute a special mid-year Visa initial public offering (IPO) patronage dividend worth $28.9 million--100% of what CSCU received from Visa. The distribution will be made this month. CSCU will base its distributions on volume from the inception of CSCU in 1989 through December 2005. About 2,600 credit unions will be included in the distribution--an average of $11,100 per credit union. “We also are exploring options to allow member credit unions to invest their Visa IPO windfall back into the product that generated the proceeds in the first place--their card portfolio,” said Robert Hackney, CSCU president. “Some credit unions might consider converting primarily classic card portfolios to platinum, since they generate 80% more revenue per account.”

CO-OPs fraud call center saves millions per month

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/23/08)--CO-OP Financial Services announced that since it has launched its in-house fraud call center one year ago, it has helped credit unions save millions of dollars per month by monitoring and preventing fraudulent charges to cardholder accounts. CO-OP helped SAFE CU, North Highlands, Calif., save $183,000 in fraud charges in one month, the credit union said. The call center, Card Member Security, also has lowered the number of false positives it receives by 40% below the industry average. CO-OP also monitors personal identification number (PIN)-based transactions and debit signature transactions. “Monitoring PIN-based transactions using different scoring models than signature-based transactions is critical to digging deeper into fraud intelligence,” said Connie Trudgeon, CO-OP vice president of operations. “Because cardholders typically have different spending patterns with their PIN-based versus signature transactions, a credit union will have a clear advantage when these two types of transactions are managed separately and will have a greater opportunity to detect fraud patterns,” she said. CO-OP’s Concierge program also helps credit unions provide additional contact and travel data for their mobile members and monitor suspicious activity while considering members’ travel itineraries. CO-OP is a credit union service organization that offers credit union members access to 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs.

FSCC Cardtronics launch gift card giveaway

 Permanent link
HOUSTON and SAN DIMAS, Calif. (9/23/08)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) and Cardtronics announced that they will launch the Journeyin’ Through Virginia Sweepstakes to complement the California Cruisin’ sweepstakes already underway at participating 7-Eleven stores in California. The winner will receive $5,000 in CU for Kids gift cards. Credit union members can enter into the contest by authenticating themselves at a Cardtronics Vcom terminal at participating 7-Eleven stores in Virginia. Members must be participants of the CU Service Centers Network with FSCC Shared Branch Network. FSCC provides 5,500 full-service deposit-taking locations in the U.S. and overseas. Cardtronics is an ATM operator in Houston.

Southwest Corporate to launch remote deposit program

 Permanent link
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/22/08)--Southwest Corporate plans to unveil Member Capture, its consumer-oriented remote deposit product on Oct. 28--the opening day of the corporate’s 31st annual Economic Forum in Dallas. Credit unions can sign up to begin implementing the solution. Product pricing will be available (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 18). Member Capture allows credit union members to deposit checks from their homes with a computer, Internet connection and flatbed scanner. The program can be accessed through the credit union’s home banking program. “Member Capture is a membership growth and retention tool,” said Brad Ganey, Southwest Corporate vice president of item processing services. “We mapped it to the lowest-tech user with a slow Internet connection and incorporated an online tutorial to guide users through the three-step deposit process.”

CO-OP expands marketing tools for older ATMs

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/22/08)--CO-OP Financial Services announced that its ATMContent Manager will be compatible with all new and older Diebold and NCR ATMs. That means credit unions with older ATMs can configure their machines’ screens with customized text. The upgrade is debuting this month. “Many ATMs on the marketplace are not yet Windows-based and are running older OS/2 code,” said Kathy Herziger, CO-OP vice president of product development. “Changing screens on any new or legacy ATM can be a lengthy, costly process, but ATMContent Manager allows credit unions to control and create their own marketing campaigns.” ATMContent Manager is a web-based tool for credit unions seeking to remotely create, manage and deliver ATM screen messages on demand. Credit unions using the manager include Mountain America CU, West Jordan, Utah. The credit union has used ATMContent Manager on its 80 ATMs since January 2007. CO-OP is a credit union service organization that provides more than 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs to credit union members.

CSSTravelex offer new foreign currency options

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (9/19/08)--Credit unions can offer their members more foreign currency options through two new products that are now included in the CUNA Strategic Services/Travelex alliance agreement. Travelex Cash Passport prepaid currency cards, with no purchase fees for credit unions, and CashPax were added to the suite of travel money solutions. The new Cash Passport cards are the only prepaid foreign currency cards available in the U.S. that can be used to lock in an exchange rate for euros of British pounds. The cards allow travelers to purchase goods and services at any retailer that accepts MasterCard or to withdraw money from ATMs abroad. Cash Passport comes with global emergency assistance, which offers members assistance 24 hours a day for lost wallets or passports, medical assistance, legal problems and translation assistance. If the card is lost or stolen, the balance is protected and can be replaced in 20 minutes in most locations worldwide. Travelex CashPax is a bill-sized pack of foreign currency that provides traveling members with enough foreign currency to pay for incidentals--such as taxis upon arrival--and is a great combination with Cash Passport cards. The packs include small denominations of paper money and coins in bundles of $100 or $250. They are available in Canadian dollars, euros, Australian dollars, British pounds, Japanese yen, U.S. dollars and Mexican pesos. “Cash Passport is currently the only foreign currency card on the market, and we believe these cards will be the wave of the future because they are safe, fast and economical,” said Wes Millar, senior vice president of CUNA Strategic Services. “The Cash Passport card will allow credit unions to offer their members an excellent way to plan their spending while traveling overseas,” said Christopher Russell, Travelex’s executive vice president of outsourcing, Americas. “In addition, credit unions can continue to offer the unique products and services their members have come to expect.” A study, conducted by YouGov plc on behalf of Travelex, indicates that demand for this new product is already established with 43% of recent travelers likely to use a Cash Passport in the future. For respondents, the security of PIN and signature protection (37%) and convenience of ATM withdrawals (32%) were the most important features. When considering foreign exchange purchases, most U.S. respondents (37%) looked for a competitive exchange rate that the new euro and British pound cards provide, plus the ability to lock in those rates.

Products and Services briefs (09/18/2008)

 Permanent link
* BROOKFIELD, Wis. (9/19/08)--CUNA Mutual Group selected Pinstripe Inc. to deliver a talent acquisition program for its headquarters in Madison, Wis., and its Fort Worth, Texas, call center location. Pinstripe is a recruitment process outsourcing company and will deliver exempt and non-exempt corporate and field hires for positions in finance, information technology, product, customer service, sales, human resources and others ... * NEW YORK (9/19/08)--SVPCO, the paper and electronic check exchange business of The Clearing House Payments Company, announced that Southwest Corporate FCU, Plano, Texas, is connected to the SVPCO Image Payments Network. The corporate connection is through the SVPCO Gateway DTA, which allows institutions to send and receive bulk files of images on a peer-to-peer basis through the network. Southwest also uses SVPCO’s File Transfer Protocol Internet-based connection so institutions can link to the SVPCO network and exchange check images ... * GLASTONBURY, Conn. (9/19/08)--Open Solutions, a provider of integrated enabling technologies for financial services providers, has been invited by the Massachusetts Bankers Association to participate in a disaster recovery simulation Sept. 25. Rich Kelso, vice president of shared services at Open Solutions, will speak at the event. “These types of disasters can happen in the blink of an eye without much warning or preparation time,” he said. “That is why it is vitally important for institutions to have a plan in place, well before a disaster strikes. This event will help participants make their plan come to life and see how this situation could truly unfold” ...

New CO-OP signage IDs surcharge-free ATMs

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/19/08)--CO-OP Financial Services is offering its first subsidized ATM Signage Program so credit union members can identify surcharge-free ATMs. “With CO-OP’s ATM Signage Program, credit unions display their logo side-by-side with CO-OP Network, reinforcing to members that they truly don’t need a bank,” said CO-OP President/CEO Stan Hollen. The network has more ATMs than any bank network, and more than 70S of network ATM volume occurs at credit union-owned ATM locations, the company said. The signage is offered as a backlit display or banner with stand for drive-up terminals. CO-OP will subsidize the logo up to $400 per terminal. Free “CO-OP Network ATM Inside” decals also are available.

Diebold listing on NYSE extended

 Permanent link
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (9/18/08)--ATM manufacturer Diebold announced Wednesday that it has been granted an additional period for continued listing and trading on the New York Stock Exchange through Oct. 31. Trading of the company’s shares on the exchange will remain unaffected. If Diebold does not become current with its Securities and Exchange Commission filings during the extension period, the NYSE could grant an additional extension period or move to initiate suspension and delisting procedures. Diebold expects to file its delinquent financial statements this month upon completion of its internal review of other accounting items. The statements include:
* Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007; and * Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended June 30, 2007; Sept. 30, 2007; March 31, 2008; and June 30, 2008.

TMGs new website includes blog

 Permanent link
DES MOINES, Iowa (9/18/08)--The Members Group (TMG) redesigned its website to include a blog, the Payment Industry Insider. The blog is authored by several TMG employees. It provides opinions and information on card processing and payment technologies, and it reports on the credit union industry. An e-mail or feed reader subscription is available. TMG’s new site uses Google Maps and Twitter feeds. The site is part of a larger online plan including an intranet for employees and extranet for clients. The intranet will offer internal documents, processes, product details and an employee forum. The extranet will offer TMG servicing updates, product training and ways to share feedback with TMG. TMG is a credit union service organization owned by the Iowa Credit Union League.

CUAnswers 10249 members sign up for e-statement

 Permanent link
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (9/18/08)--CU*Answers reported that 10,249 members signed up for e-statements during a two-month marketing campaign, a 161% increase compared with the period prior to the campaign. The company gave a Nintendo Wii to a randomly selected credit union member who enrolled in the e-statements program. The contest was marketed to clients, using the CU*Base processing system. Members who sign up for e-statements will collectively save their credit unions $51,000 in postage, and $20,000 in envelopes and handling costs annually, the company said. CU*Answers is a credit union service organization in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Audio conference to tackle ID theft prevention compliance

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (9/17/08)--Credit unions can discover if the components of their identity theft prevention programs meet industry requirements during the Identity Theft Red Flags Audio Conference, offered by the Credit Union National Association. The Sept. 29 audio conference will cover:
* Required components of an identity theft prevention program; * Procedures for creating, implementing, and administering the prevention program; * Conducting a risk assessment for required accounts; * Applicable red flags for credit union operations; and * Required approvals and reporting.
Also, credit union professionals can ask compliance questions during the Oct. 30 Pressing CU Compliance Issues Audio Conference. The conference will address three or four of the most popular hot-topic issues--as determined by feedback received from credit unions. Participants can help build the agenda by e-mailing their questions to cucomply@cuna.coop before the conference. A panel of compliance experts will tackle topics and clarify the areas of concern. Participants also can ask questions about additional compliance topics during the conference. For more information, use the links.

CU Business Group appoints four to new advisory board

 Permanent link
PORTLAND, Ore. (9/17/08)--CU Business Group announced that four members have been appointed to its newly formed advisory board. “The role of the advisory board is to provide input and direction from our credit unions’ perspectives,” said Larry Middleman, CU Business Group president/CEO. “The advisory board will strengthen our perspective of the marketplace for business services in the credit union industry.” Middleman selected each member of the board, based on experience and expertise. Members include:
* Carl Roer, vice president of lending, Sound CU, Tacoma, Wash.; * Brian Sherrick, executive vice president, operations and lending, Postal CU, Woodbury, Minn.; * Gary Smart, vice president of business services and lending, Crane FCU, Crane, Ind.; and * Jeff Stone, executive vice president, member business services, North Island CU, Chula Vista, Calif.
CU Business Group provides business lending, deposit and consulting services to credit unions. It is partnered with 11 corporate credit unions.

Mobile banking will help CUs reach Gen Y

 Permanent link
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (9/16/08)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) and PSCU Financial Services have partnered to create a mobile banking solution so credit unions can attract and retain members of Generation Y. “A credit union that isn’t sure about offering mobile because of the expense or the technology can put those two concerns aside and get on with the business of serving members--Gen Y and otherwise--using mobile,” said Sarah Canepa Bang, FSCC president/CEO. The companies’ combined access to member data and the options of browser-based or applet solutions provides the credit unions with a robust banking solution, said Kenton Potterton, PSCU executive director of new product development. A recent study by the Deloitte Center for Banking Solutions indicates that 21% of consumers ages 18-34 use their cell phones for mobile banking, compared with 10% of the general population. Generation Y has more than 75 million members and collective annual income of $1.89 trillion. Gen Y’s earnings are expected to increase by 85% during the next decade to $3.5 trillion, exceeding Baby Boomers’ earnings by $500 billion, the study said. FSCC offers the credit union Shared Branch Network with more than 5,500 deposit-taking locations in the U.S. and overseas. PSCU Financial Services, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., is a credit union service organization that serves more than 1,100 financial institutions nationwide.

Disaster Recovery Plans topic of compliance webinar

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (9/15/08)--Disaster recovery plans are top-of-mind for many credit unions experiencing the effects from storms this hurricane season. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will host a webinar Dec. 11 about disaster recovery, titled, “Does Your Disaster Plan Meet Regulatory Requirements?” The webinar will discuss regulatory requirements for an effective disaster recovery plan and provide step-by-step guidance on what should be included in a plan. The webinar will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. The webinar is part of the CUNA Regulatory Compliance eSchool, which features webinars every week on different topics. For more information or to register, use the link.

Open Solutions teams with ContentFast on e-mail compliance

 Permanent link
GLASTONBURY, Conn. (9/15/08)--Open Solutions and ContentFast are partnering to give Open Solutions’ credit union clients access to e-mail archiving and surveillance in a hosted environment, known as Software as a Service (SaaS). ContentFast’s MessageWatcher e-mail solution provides credit unions access to e-mail archives through an online application. Credit unions also can import existing e-mail archives, e-mail accounts or e-mail backup files into MessageWatcher. “MessageWatcher comes with 18 pre-populated policies, including ‘Theft Prevention,’ ‘Harassment Prevention,’ ‘Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Compliance’ as well as the Office of Foreign Assets Control rules,” said Craig Dinan, ContentFast vice president of business development. “Financial institutions are expected to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, Anti-Money Laundering regulations, and to protect their employees and members from security breaches and harassment,” Dinan added.

CashEdge launches online account capabilities

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (9/15/08)--CashEdge, a financial applications provider for financial institutions, has introduced OpenNow/FundNow Express, an online account-opening solution designed for small and medium-sized financial institutions. Features of the product include instant identity verification and decisioning, enhanced account verification, convenient funding, standard business rules and a customizable workflow. Credit unions also can brand OpenNow’s interface with their own logo and graphic identity. The product also provides access to risk management, compliances services, tools and databases. OpenNow/FundNow processed nearly 1.7 million applications in 2007. The solution can be ready in two weeks.

FSCC shared branching has strong growth in 08

 Permanent link
SAN DIMAS, Calif. (9/12/08)--Transaction volumes at Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) have increased between 14% to 32% at multiple shared branching channels, the company said. Members are performing about 215,000 transactions on Fridays through the network. Deposits through the network average $1,166 and the average withdrawal is $573. Credit advances are $962 and payments $482. The FSCC network offers credit union members 5,500 access ATM points at 7-Eleven stores and shared-branch kiosks. Members use the access points for deposits, withdrawals, loan payments, credit advances and transfers, FSCC said. “Our numbers are significantly ahead of goal, but I guess we shouldn’t be surprised,” said Sarah Canepa Bang, FSCC president/CEO. “Americans turn to credit unions when times get tough, and the fact that credit unions work together to provide this kind of convenience is just another reason why.”

Summit FCU member wins 100000 in sweepstakes

 Permanent link
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (9/11/08)--A member of Rochester, N.Y.-based The Summit FCU is the grand prize winner of the $100,000 Bonus Bucks Sweepstakes sponsored by Digital Insight Corp. The member, Brandon W. Fritts of Hilton, N.Y., received a check for $100,000 Wednesday at The Summit headquarters in Greece, N.Y. Digital Insight, a provider of online banking services and a CUNA Strategic Services provider, conducted the sweepstakes between May and June. To enter, members or customers of participating financial institutions had three options:
* Enroll as a new online bill payer; * Make online entries such as bill payment; and * Mail in an entry form.
Fritts was chosen from more than 700,000 eligible entries. The Summit FCU was among 486 participating financial institutions.

Postal service taps Diebolds security program

 Permanent link
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (9/11/08)--ATM manufacturer Diebold will implement a multi-site video security program for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) under a three-year agreement. Diebold Security will install cameras, encoders, software and networking equipment. It also will provide education and training with maintenance and support services at targeted postal service sites. Diebold will build the new security system on open architecture to allow for future expansion or reconfiguration. A federal government mandate requires all federal agencies to migrate their network systems to IPv6, which will replace the current IPv4 system. Diebold will install systems compatible with both protocols. The USPS relies on video security to combat robberies, burglaries and other security breaches indoors and outdoors, Diebold said. Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. For more information, use the resource link.

Texas league develops BSA DVD series

 Permanent link
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/11/08)--The Texas Credit Union League has developed a new Bank Secrecy Act Compliance DVD series aimed at helping credit unions with compliance. “Training is an area of particular importance to our credit unions, and specifically, compliance training,” said Dick Ensweiler, league president/CEO. The DVD, “Probing the Particulars,” is a follow-up to the overview and introductory information provided in the league’s 2006 Bank Secrecy Act Compliance DVD. It takes an in-depth look at what is required in the Currency Transactions Reports and Suspicious Activity Reports (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 9). The video includes explanations, illustrations for filling out forms, training for boards of directors, risk assessment, member due diligence and Office of Foreign Assets Control requirements, the league said. “We had a great deal of interest in our initial training DVD, and as an overview, it was effective for the majority of staff at credit unions,” said Suzanne Yashewski, league vice president of regulatory and compliance. “But it didn’t detail the day-to-day workings with BSA. Now this two-disc training covers all the bases--a general overview and form-by-form training.”

CU Members Mortgage Its business as usual

 Permanent link
FORT WORTH, Texas (9/11/08)--Despite problems in the mortgage industry, including a government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, CU Members Mortgage reports that for its 900 credit unions partners, it’s business as usual. “Our credit union partners can have confidence that they are working with a stable and financially strong lending partner, and that is vital in these changing times,” said Linda Clampitt, CU Members Mortgage senior vice president. CU Members Mortgage has reduced its exposure to credit risk by implementing fraud prevention techniques, such as requiring more 4506 forms and using third-party fraud detection. Due to its underwriting and processing procedures, it has “very few repurchase demands from investors,” the company said. “By using prudent underwriting standards, we’re in a position to withstand most any shock that comes our way,” she added.

Products and Services brief (09/09/2008)

 Permanent link
* TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/10/08)--Credit unions nationwide can receive discounts on office supplies for the next five years through an agreement the retailer has made with the Florida Credit Union League (FCUL) Service Group. The partnership aims to help credit unions save money on supplies, products, furniture and printing from Office Depot without paying service fees. The program is launched under the National Credit Union Purchasing program. FCUL Service Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Florida Credit Union League ...

Connecticut league offers vendor management program

 Permanent link
MERIDEN, Conn. (9/10/08)--The Credit Union League of Connecticut has provided affiliated Connecticut credit unions with vendor management software relative to the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) letter to credit unions, “Evaluating Third-Party Relationships.” The software is for evaluation and due diligence requirements NCUA outlines in its letter. “It is imperative for the league to support our credit unions with this important tool to meet regulatory requirements,” said Anthony Emerson, league president/CEO. The software was developed by Buckley Technology Group, a league strategic business partner. The program includes corresponding reporting capabilities; provides for comprehensive vendor identification, full monitoring and survey; and facilitates risk assessment performance exceeding NCUA regulatory requirements, said the league. The software is part of the league’s strategic process for 2008-2009, and works with the Connecticut Compliance Solution.

Metavantes mobile banking at Corporate Network eCOM

 Permanent link
MILWAUKEE (9/9/08)--Metavante announced that it will re-sell Metavante Mobile Financial Services and provide mobile banking and payments solutions to Corporate Network eCom, a credit union service organization and a majority-owned subsidiary of U.S. Central. eCom provides electronic financial services to the Corporate Credit Union Network, serving about 8,400 credit unions. Metavante Mobile Financial Services is powered by Monitise Americas, a mobile banking services and payment provider. eCom offers Metavante Mobile Financial Services to U.S. Central’s 26 corporate credit unions. eCom offers mobile features, the ability to obtain account balances, bill payment and funds transfers. The services integrate into eCom’s MemberPay products. “Aligning with Metavante for bill pay, and now mobile financial services, directly supports eCom’s role as a payments aggregator,” said Marcie Haitema, executive vice president of correspondent services for U.S. Central and presiding manager of eCom. “eCom must offer the right combination of technology solutions for our members’ strategic markets going forward, such as Gen Y, the un- and under-banked and small businesses. We believe mobile will be the key to success in those markets.” Metavante hopes to offer future services, including access to mini-statements showing account activity, text messages informing members of account balances and the option of making expedited payments. Metavante, based in Milwaukee, delivers banking and payments technologies to more than 8,000 services firms worldwide.

FICS enhances system for reports to Ginnie Mae

 Permanent link
DALLAS (9/9/08)--Financial Industry Computer Systems’ Mortgage Servicer and Commercial Servicer can now report directly to the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) through Ginnie Mae’s new Reporting and Feedback System (RFS). “The RFS reporting feature allows our customers to easily remain in compliance with Ginnie Mae without having to incur additional expenses to develop customized interfaces,” said Susan Graham, FICS president. RFS is being implemented under Ginnie’s Business Process Improvement initiative to streamline reporting processes. Ginnie Mae was created in 1968 to expand access to affordable housing opportunities by linking global capital markets to the nation’s housing markets. FICS provides technology solutions to the mortgage industry.

CUNA Mutual Web tools set for FACT Act compliance

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (9/8/08)--CUNA Mutual Group will offer credit unions two free risk management resources to help meet the Nov. 1 compliance deadline for implementing Identity Theft Red Flag Provisions in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003. A webinar, “Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies Under the FACT Act,” and a white paper, “Identity Theft Red Flag Rules,” are available to credit union bond policyholders in the Credit Union Protection Resource Center. “CUNA Mutual is making this webinar and white paper available as resources for credit unions to meet the Nov. 1 compliance deadline and help reduce the effects of ID theft for themselves and their members,” said Chad Nitschke, CUNA Mutual vice president of credit union protection. “Additionally, CUNA Mutual’s risk management team sent multiple RISK Alerts to keep credit unions informed of the new rules and notify them of the available resources offered by CUNA Mutual to assist in their compliance efforts.” ID theft red flags and provisions for address discrepancies are intended to implement Sections 114 and 315 of the FACT Act. The final rules implementing Section 114 of the FACT Act require credit unions to develop a written program for identity theft prevention, and assess the validity of address change requests when followed closely by a request for an additional or replacement credit or debit card. The final rules implementing Section 315 require credit unions to adopt policies and procedures to confirm that a credit report is for a consumer, rather than an identity thief posing as the consumer, when a notice of address discrepancy is returned by a consumer reporting agency, said Ken Otsuka, CUNA Mutual risk manager, product expert and webinar host.

Missouris Shared Branching locations on the upswing

 Permanent link
ST. LOUIS (9/8/08)--The number of CO-OP Shared Branching locations in Missouri has hit 71--with 12 opening this year, according to the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA). Shared Branching has more than 3,400 CO-OP Shared Branching locations nationwide--more than Wachovia, Wells Fargo, Chase and U.S. Bank. “Having locations in Missouri helps our participating credit unions provide the convenience their members demand,” said Mark Hohenstein, MCUA vice president of credit union shared branching. “I know of several instances where the national locations helped a credit union save an account when a member was moving.” Shared branches also help during a disaster. The Missouri network is helping members displaced by Hurricane Gustav, MCUA said.

Digital Dialogue on a growth spurt

 Permanent link
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (9/8/08)--Digital Dialogue is growing. The company has 250 employees and expects to double that number in the next 18 months, says Peter Schmitt, Digital Dialogue president/founder. The employees are largely based at two facilities in Michigan (The Detroit News Aug. 28). Digital Dialogue provides a 24-hour call-center service to credit unions nationwide. The company began in 1999 as a touch-tone service for credit unions offering loans to members. Now, it has more member-related services, Schmitt told the newspaper. Almost half of the 8,000 conversations the company handles per day involve balance inquiries or requests to transfer money, he says. The company has about 200 clients.

Iowa gains momentum in shared branching locations

 Permanent link
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (9/5/08)--Credit Union Service Network (CUSN) announced that during the past year, 12 credit unions in Iowa with a combined 19 branch locations have chosen to offer shared branching. The decisions are part of a strategic move to expand their services to their members, said CUSN. In April, CUSN and the Iowa Credit Union League signed a marketing agreement to promote shared branching to credit unions in the state. The agreement allowed a major expansion of shared branching to better serve members in rural and underserved areas. "Since our office is in the state complex, we are not open on weekends and we close during the week at 4 p.m.," said Brent Kowalsky, CEO of Capitol View CU. "Shared branching allows us to attract new members that previously would not have considered us because of these limitations." The $20 million asset credit union is located in Des Moines. Kent Strawn, CEO of West Des Moines-based First Class CU, said, "We strongly believe in the cooperative movement of credit unions. I have three offices I can share with other credit unions to assist with their service to their members." First Class CU has $51 million in assets.

DeposZip and FSCC team up on remote deposits

 Permanent link
BURLINGTON, Mass. and SAN DIMAS, Calif. (9/4/08)--Credit union members who submit checks from their desktops will be able to post those transactions live after Eastern Corporate FCU (EasCorp) and Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) joined forces to automate select DeposZip back-office activities. EasCorp and FSCC created an electronic interface that connects all DeposZip users with the national shared branching network. “Using FSCC’s shared-branching platform, DeposZip will operate in a ‘real time’ environment,” said Alan Bernstein, EasCorp senior vice president of business development and strategic planning. “With the capability of the shared-branching interface, members’ checks deposited via DeposZip will be routed through the FSCC network for instantaneous posting, so credit unions can offer immediate credit.” The platform will save credit unions time and eliminate the possibility of human error, he said. “Credit unions on the FSCC network can use their existing shared-branch interface to offer DeposZip, and we’re able to speed up the implementation process,” said Bonnie Kramer, FSCC executive vice president and chief operating officer. EasCorp has more than $2 billion in assets. It provides credit unions with deposit, loan and investment services, including DeposZip. FSCC offers the Shared Branch Network with 5,000 full-service deposit-taking locations in the U.S. and overseas.

Free webcast addresses teller automation in branches

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (9/4/08)--Credit union professionals can find out how teller automation can help achieve branch transformation goals through a free webcast from CUNA Strategic Services and Diebold. “Teller Automation and the Branch Revolution” will take place Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. (CDT) for operations professionals and key decision makers interested in branch transformation. The webcast will outline:
* Current ideas and market trends driving the branch revolution; * Efficiencies of teller automation in the modern branch; * Member-centric tools and resources for implementing teller automation; and * Implementation strategies and results.
A representative from Star One CU, Sunnyvale, Calif., will discuss the credit union’s use of teller automation to achieve branch revolution goals and why it chose Diebold. Star One has $3.7 billion in assets. For more information, use the links.

Finance Express announces alliance with OAG Indirect

 Permanent link
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (9/4/08)--Finance Express announced that OAG Indirect has agreed to join the Finance Express Web-based Dealer Management System. Finance Express is a provider of web-based financial services and technology for independent auto dealerships. OAG Indirect offers retail financing through a network of credit unions. “Over the past several months, we have introduced an exclusive and power lead program, integrated Route 66 Vehicle Service Contracts, expanded our dealer website products and added Manheim Market Reports to our existing vehicle valuation services,” said Dave Huber, Finance Express president. “Dealers have the opportunity to participate in nearly a dozen different live courses from ‘Understanding Subprime Finance’ to ‘Selling Techniques for Extended Service Contracts’--all free of charge to Finance Express dealers,” he added. “Credit unions have established themselves as the model of stability in the lending world,” he added.

Products and Services briefs w 2 photos

 Permanent link
* THORNDALE, Pa. (9/3/08)--Citadel FCU’s investment services program received the CFS’ 2007 Keystone Award for Awareness at the 2008 CUSO Financial Services annual conference in San Diego. The award recognizes a program’s dedication in supporting awareness, integration and credibility. The Thorndale, Pa.-based credit union also recognized Kevin McDermott and David Layo, Citadel registered representatives affiliated with CFS with the Gold and Bronze Pacesetter status this year. The award honors the top-producing registered representatives among CFS’ 100 credit union programs. Citadel has $1.057 billion in assets ... * HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/3/08)--CU PolicyPro is available to Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) member credit unions, the PCUA said. The program is a website service with more than 200 comprehensive policies and regulatory guidance written for credit unions by regulatory experts (Life is a Highway Aug. 26). Credit unions can customize their PolicyPro website, and provide the ability to upload existing policies and procedures to a secure website. PolicyPro also provides a monthly compliance and operational newsletter, Ops Notes, which covers current issues and regulations ... * TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/3/08)--Credit unions from Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi participated in a business lending conference hosted by Member Business Solutions (MBS) in Duluth, Ga. The summit featured industry experts and covered topics such as marketing to small businesses, deposit documentation, regulatory issues, Small Business Administration 504 lending tactics and products. George Reynolds, senior deputy commissioner for the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, discussed regulatory issues. MBS is a credit union service organization owned by Southeast Corporate and Georgia Central CU, Duluth ... * DES MOINES, Iowa (9/3/08)--TMG Financial Services purchased three portfolios this summer and added a new member to its team. Credit card portfolios were purchased from EdCo Community CU, Des Moines, Iowa; Chemical CU, Clinton, Iowa, and 1st Gateway CU, Camanche, Iowa. Jay Patel also joined TMG as vice president of strategic business development. He has more than 20 years of consulting and business experience. Patel recently worked with Elan Financial Services to establish credit union credit card marketing partnerships nationwide .... * ST. LOUIS (9/3/08)--TransferOrbit Corp. announced an alliance with El Camino Transferencias, which will provide El Camino with access to the event network TU-DNRO Inc. with TransferOrbit as its exclusive money processor. El Camino has 10,000 Destination Network coverage in Mexico, including the Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros SNC network. The network has 1,500 credit unions. El Camino provides payment solutions for individuals or businesses that send to or receive funds overseas. TransferOrbit is an electronic intermediary for money transfer providers ...

Class action shareholder suit against Diebold dismissed

 Permanent link
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (9/3/08)--A class-action shareholder lawsuit filed against ATM manufacturer Diebold was dismissed Aug. 22. On Dec. 16, 2005, five shareholder lawsuits were filed against the company and its current and former officers and directors, alleging violations of federal securities laws. The cases were consolidated into a single proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. A separate class action suit against Diebold, filed by participants in the company’s 401(k) plan and alleging breaches of duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, remains outstanding. Diebold is headquartered in North Canton, Ohio.

Products and Services briefs (09/01/2008)

 Permanent link
* MONETT, Mo. (9/2/08)--Jack Henry and Associates’ Symitar division added 30 new credit unions to its client list during fiscal year 2008, which ended June 30. Twenty-seven credit unions deployed Symitar’s Episys system. About 25 chose Episys as an in-house solution, and two chose to outsource their information and transaction processing to Symitar. Three credit unions also deployed Cruise, a server solution for smaller credit unions. Two chose Cruise as an in-house solution, and one outsourced its data processing to Symitar. LA Financial CU, Pasadena, Calif., and Western FCU, Manhattan Beach, Calif., are among the credit unions that converted to Episys ... * CHICAGO (9/2/08)--Credit unions gained a national footprint while borrowers gained access to hundreds of stable lending institutions through a partnership between PBG Financial Services and Central State Mortgage, the companies said in a release last week. Central States has a network of more than 400 credit unions. The companies also announced the re-launch of Home123 Mortgage. PBG purchased the rights to Home123 and related branches from Home123’s former parent company, New Century Financial Corp. Central States Mortgage will provide all financial services, including fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages, refinancing, Federal Housing Administration loans, Veterans Association loans, interest-only loans and reverse mortgages ... * ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (9/2/08)--PSCU Financial Services, a cooperative with 500 credit unions nationwide, launched www.GiveMe20.com to help parents educate their children about budgeting, credit and debit cards. The site provides tools and tips, such as how to differentiate wants from needs and save money for the future. The site offers a spending and savings worksheet, interactive calculators, loan schedules and the long-term cost of a credit card purchase with interest. Advice is grouped by age. “Research into the financial habits and preferences of Generation Y reveals that these 79 million young adults spend at a rate of $172 billion per year and save at a rate of $39 billion per year,” said Antonio Hill, PSCU Financial Services marketing services director ... * DALLAS (9/2/08)--TNB Card Services’ Life of Balance (LOB) promotion broke previous balance transfer records and boosted card portfolios at credit unions, TNB said last week. The promotion had a response rate of 3.8%. Credit unions offering the LOB rate had an average transfer of $3,590, compared with a $2,695 average transfer for credit unions that opted for a limited time promotional rate. Shell FCU, Deer Park, Texas, averaged $3,383 per transfer check and a 4% response rate--a 58% increase in responses over its previous LOB rate in 2007. “This is the second time we’ve offered a LOB rate for a balance transfer promotion. Together the two LOB rate transfer offers increased our balances to $8.8 million,” said Sharon Hicks, Shell credit card services manager. TexasOne Community CU of Houston achieved a 5.97% response rate, and an average transfer of $3,694, and more than $380,000 in new card balances, the credit union reported ...