GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (12/19/14)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, has launched a National Credit Union Administration-endorsed small-dollar lending program for federal credit unions designed to protect members from predatory payday lenders.
Payday Alternative Loans (PALs), part of CU*Answers' "Just Turn it On" initiative, gives credit unions a chance to transition borrowers to more traditional products offered by credit unions and break the cycle of reliance on payday loans.
With its "Just Turn It On" initiative, CU*Answers helps credit unions manage the launch of new products.
"CU*Answers will configure the product, provide training, policy examples and ensure the credit union is prepared to leverage results and help members, " said Mary Dwyer, CU*Answers account executive.
PALs are not only an economical choice compared with traditional payday loans; they can strengthen the member's credit history. When a member can be removed from the negative cycle of payday lending, they can successfully move toward more traditional forms of lending.
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (12/18/14)--Diebold Inc., a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider, has introduced two new series of cash-recycling ATMs.
Diebold's 3500 and 3700 series are designed to improve cash management efficiencies, mitigate risks with security management technology and enable institutions to economically expand ATM networks to reach more consumers.
"Diebold continues to broaden its next-generation, modular ATM platform with technology that answers a wide variety of financial institutions' needs, including improving operational productivity and enhancing security at the self-service channel," said Frank A. Natoli Jr., Diebold executive vice president/chief innovation officer. "The 3500 and 3700 series will extend and leverage the advantages of our new platform, while adding world-class, multifunction recycling capabilities."
Both ATM series feature ActivRecycle modules, which automatically detect counterfeit notes, sort cash and reuse deposited cash to improve efficiency. The cash-recycling capabilities reduce monitoring and refilling needs, providing tellers with more opportunities to interact with members.
Diebold's 3500 and 3700 series feature the ActivGuard intelligent alarm system, which consolidates security functions into a single embedded system to help credit unions better manage risk.
The ATMs also support Diebold's ActivEdge, the industry's first anti-skimming card reader that prevents all known forms of ATM skimming.
Additional features such as biometric fingerprint readers, security cameras, encryption technology and monitoring services offer comprehensive protection.
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (12/17/14)--Mobile bill payment has increased among U.S. consumers by 70% since 2013, with 27 million U.S. online households now paying at least one bill from their phone, according to the seventh annual Billing Household Survey from Fiserv Inc.
At the same time, consumers value having a number of options for bill payment, as the survey showed an average consumer uses three different payment methods each month (Finextra Dec. 15).
Roughly 65 million U.S. online households now have a smartphone, and 40% of smartphone owners pay at least one bill from their phone, according to Fiserv. Smartphone bill payers paid an average of two bills per month from their phones. Among millennials (Gen Y), 62% pay a bill using their smartphone, and Gen Y smartphone bill payers paid an average of three bills per month from their phone.
The most popular bills paid by phone include mobile (15 million), cable (14 million) and electric (8 million).
More consumers are also making payments by tablet in 2014. Some 19 million U.S. online households paid a bill using their tablet device each month, an increase from 13 million in 2013. The number of tablet owners interested in receiving and paying bills via their device increased to 23 million, up from 18 million in 2013.
Many consumers switch payment methods from month to month--and value that flexibility, according to the survey. About 43% of consumers said having multiple billing and payment options improves satisfaction with their biller, regardless of the bill type or the size of biller.
Consumers often have to make emergency payments via biller website (46%), financial institution website (46%), phone (41%) or walk-in payment (29%). Again, consumers value the ability to make last-minute emergency payments, with 57% saying they are more satisfied with the biller when emergency options are available.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (12/16/14)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, is beta-testing a new data warehouse designed for the mobile credit union executive who wants to track credit union performance on a daily basis.
My CU Today
collects key credit union data from CU*BASE, the CUSO's core data processing platform, and presents that data to users in ways that can be acted on quickly.
CU*Answers describes CU Today Alerts as similar to a morning newspaper. Email alerts of the credit union's performance are delivered early each morning. Alerts can be set up on custom parameters and sent to anyone.
My CU Today Trends allows users to log into the web application and view long-term trends of the data points. These graphs show the movement of data and performance over time, granting the user the ability to track successes and areas that need improvement.
"It is our first automated external data warehouse presented for client use," said Randy Karnes, CU*Answers CEO. "It focuses on the credit union leader as the distributor and coordinator of their data, and allows every stakeholder internally and externally to be in the know."
Currently, My CU Today is tracking 60 credit union balance, member and transaction data points from CU*BASE with many more earmarked for tracking in 2015, including cash, delinquency and in-process information.
CU*Answers is signing up beta-test clients to begin populating the credit union data warehouses and will launch to beta-testing credit unions in early 2015.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (12/15/14)--LEVERAGE
an affiliate of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, is relaunching HRx, a full-service human resources firm, in Florida and Alabama.
Services offered by HRx include employee placement, employee screening, professional employer organization and employee surveys. HRx also provides executive recruiting.
"Credit unions will tell you that executive recruiting is difficult," said LEVERAGE President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "To be able to utilize a solution like HRx takes the pressure off of finding that right employee. Plus, HRx can fill many human resources needs to help credit unions offer services they may not be able to offer on their own."
MADISON, Wis. (12/12/14)--CUNA Mutual Group has announced the schedule for its 2015 Credit Union Protection webinar series.
CUNA Mutual Group risk management specialists will conduct seven webinars
throughout the year as a free benefit for fidelity bond policyholders.
"The CU Protection webinar series is extremely popular with credit unions because they offer actionable insights on relevant topics in a very time-efficient manner," said Theran Colwell, CUNA Mutual director of credit union protection risk management. "The webinars are one of our most valuable and recognized risk management tools that help safeguard credit unions."
Webinars will be recorded and stored along with previous webinars for credit union staff to access in the CU Protection Resource Center on cunamutual.com
Topics, dates and times include:
Conducting Your Vendor Due Diligence, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. (CT): Choosing a trustworthy third-party service provider is more important than ever before. Minimize risk by making sure your vendors' strategic directions and contracts align with the credit union's risk appetite.
Managing Risks for Emerging Payments, Feb. 11, 1 p.m. (CT): Ensure payment methods are fast, reliable and secure--whether members are at the point of sale, online or using mobile technology. Learn about emerging payment risks and ways to protect the credit union and its members.
Growing Loans Safely Through Lending Oversight, March 18, 10 a.m. (CT): Credit union growth strategies likely include increasing loans--consumer, indirect, real estate or business lending. Learn how to establish policies, procedures and general oversight to manage risks and optimize growth.
Reduce Employee Risks Through Better Controls, May 13, 10 a.m. (CT): Conducting background checks on new hires and having internal controls in place help reduce risk, but may not be enough. Hear real-life scenarios to watch for warning signs and how to implement additional loss controls.
Employment Practices for Hiring, Firing and Everything in Between, June 17, 1 p.m. (CT): Forty-one percent of employer misconduct claims are for employee retaliation, according to 2014 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission statistics. It's vitally important to have correct policies and procedures in place related to hiring, documenting, disciplining and firing.
Litigation Trends and Managing Your Risk, Sept. 16, 1 p.m. (CT): Litigation trends show no signs of slowing. This webinar will break down the credit union industry's greatest loss trends and provide actionable insights to help better manage operational risks and class-action lawsuits.
Confront Cyberrisks Head-On, Oct. 14, 10 a.m. (CT): Some of the largest data breaches occurred in the last two years. The average cost of a data breach is a staggering $3.5 million, according to the May 2014 Ponemon Institute's Cost of Data Breach study. Learn how to identify cyberrisk exposures, assess threats and take steps to recover from a breach and better protect your reputation.
New for 2015 are three 90-minute sessions designed to provide additional focus on each webinar topic and more time to participate in the live Q-and-A sessions. The deep-dive webinars are scheduled for February, June and September.
LAKE MARY, Fla. (12/11/14)--D+H has entered into an agreement with Optimal Blue that will broaden the scope of solutions offered to its MortgagebotLOS loan origination clients, including product eligibility, pricing and secondary marketing services.
"We understand how important it is for our clients to maintain a seamless experience throughout all stages of the origination workflow," said Bill Neville, president, D+H USA. "By integrating Optimal Blue's system with MortgagebotLOS, we are making it easier for our clients to optimize their operations so they can focus on what they're known for--providing outstanding service to their customers."
Through the agreement, mortgage lenders will be able to access Optimal Blue product and pricing functionality without leaving the MortgagebotLOS environment. Secondary marketing and loan-lock functionality accessed within Optimal Blue will be consolidated and synchronized with MortgagebotLOS in real time.
Through Optimal Blue, lenders can perform secondary marketing functions, automate lock policies and processes, receive detailed pricing information both real-time and historically, and build and maintain loan products, profitability and branch structures.
Once each loan has been sourced and priced through Optimal Blue, it may be processed within MortgagebotLOS for submission to preferred lenders. Users can also pre-qualify borrowers through select lenders by leveraging Optimal Blue's automated underwriting capabilities.