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CU Direct to integrate lending platform with Systronics' core offering

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ONTARIO, Calif. (4/1/15)--Through a new partnership, CU Direct will integrate its Lending 360 loan origination system (LOS) with Systronics' core system solution.

Systronics Inc. will resell CU Direct's Lending 360 loan origination platform to its more than 70 credit union clients.  Lending 360 can be used by a company such as Systronics or a credit union service organization to serve an entire client base, while also remaining a LOS for individual credit unions, CU Direct said.

"We searched for a partner to help us provide an affordable LOS system to the smaller credit unions," said Dennis McLoud, Systronics CEO. "In CU Direct we have found that partner. Integration with our core system will provide ease of use and efficiencies for our credit union customers while also opening the door for accessing the indirect lending market."

Paul Kirkbride, senior vice president of CU Solutions at CU Direct, added: "Working together, and using the full suite of Lending 360 features, we can help Systronics core processing customers improve the lending experience and gain a competitive edge."

NFCC acquires Student Loan Alliance

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WASHINGTON (3/31/15)--The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has acquired the Student Loan Alliance (SLA).

SLA was formed in 2012 by seven current NFCC member agencies as a joint venture to build a national platform for student loan counseling. The agencies include ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco, GreenPath Debt Solutions, Money Management International, Navicore Solutions, Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management and Take Charge America.

The venture produced an online portal for consumer access to services and the framework for a more comprehensive counseling experience.

Student loan debt recently surpassed credit card debt at $1.3 trillion, and is now second only to mortgages in terms of total consumer debt. Among the 43 million total federal student borrowers, 7.3 million are at least 90 days delinquent on their loans, 5 million are in default and millions more are in negatively amortizing income-driven repayment plans.

"The need for a high quality, comprehensive and consumer-driven program to assist student loan borrowers is urgent," said Susan C. Keating, NFCC president. "Student Loan Alliance resources will help our member agencies fill that need for consumers in every state."

In the fall, the NFCC will launch a network of certified student loan counselors. All participating counselors will be required to complete specialized training that covers the complete inventory of student loan programs associated with repayment, forbearance or other forgiveness options.

In addition to the training requirement, counselors will have to successfully complete an additional round of examination to earn special certification.

Synergent task force tackles payments systems

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WESTBROOK, Maine (3/30/15)--Synergent recently held the inaugural meeting of its payment systems transformation task force and addressed EMV, Apple Pay, big data and data breaches.
Click to view larger image Madeline Aufseeser, senior analyst for Aite Group, addresses the first meeting of the Synergent and Maine Credit Union League payment systems transformation task force at the CU Service Center. (Maine Credit Union League)
The task force, initiated by Synergent and the Maine Credit Union League, consists of a dozen credit union representatives with payments system experience or senior executives with a strong understanding of payments.
"Today, credit unions have many competitive advantages; they have been recognized for their strong adoption of mobile services," said John Murphy, league president and president of Synergent. "Think about how mobile technology is changing the way members conduct their finances. This task force is one way that Synergent will continue to make sure credit unions are well-positioned for the future."
Aite Group Senior Analyst Madeline Aufseeser presented the challenges and opportunities of the evolving payments environment.
"Yes, we will have some regulatory challenges," Aufseeser said. "However, the opportunities are being built around creating revenue for credit unions, competing in the marketplace and bringing added value to members."

She advised credit unions mine their data to analyze payments behaviors and segment members. "Your credit union will want to increase debit card usage and build relationships for more loyal members," Aufseeser said.
"Rewarding members for using your credit union's card is going to get bigger, and your card will need to be top in the mobile wallet. Keeping your card relevant to your members is important."
Tim Verreault, senior vice president at Evergreen CU, Portland, Maine, said task force discussions will help credit unions determine the right product offerings to members, even as they face the challenges of resource availability and revenue growth.
Rebekah Higgins, Synergent vice president of payment services, presented how Synergent is prepared to help credit unions launch EMV-and-chip technology, tokenization and Apple Pay.
"Payments covers such a wide range of issues and services and is such a significant part of credit union operations.  This task force will help to provide leadership in navigating all of the changes happening at a rapid pace," added Murphy.
Synergent is a credit union service organization that provides technology services, check and cards processing and direct marketing services to credit unions.

CEB TowerGroup ranks Fiserv's LoanServ best in class

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (3/27/15)--A recent report from CEB TowerGroup tapped Fiserv Inc.'s LoanServ platform as best of class in three of four categories.
LoanServ was recognized in the areas of core servicing functions, shared systems and enterprise support.
The Loan Servicing Systems Technology Analysis report cited LoanServ as one of the most comprehensive enterprise loan servicing systems available for small, medium and large loan servicers.
LoanServ provides self-service options for borrowers to access and update their information online in real-time, make payments, request payoffs and print payment histories. It also has been enhanced to help borrowers avoid delinquency and default and to help loan servicers meet regulatory requirements.
Further, LoanServ allows customer service scripting guidance to be embedded in the loan servicing process, facilitating problem resolution and improving customer satisfaction.
Over the past 10 years, Fiserv expanded LoanServ from a mortgage-only system into a comprehensive enterprise loan servicing system that can manage consumer, auto and equity loans.

CU Direct, Carlypso put car buyers behind the keyboard

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SAN CARLOS, Calif. (3/26/15)--Online automotive marketplace Carlypso has announced a partnership with CU Direct, a provider of lending solutions to the credit union market.
Currently available in California, Carlypso offers auto sellers and buyers a new method of purchasing used cars. Carlypso generates a fair market price for vehicles based on millions of vehicle transactions each month and coordinates all of the logistics for the seller, including finding buyers, coordinating test drives and delivering the vehicle.
"Now, in a few easy steps we can give an instant loan approval to our consumers at a very attractive rate," said Nicholas Hinrichsen, co-founder of Carlypso. "This paired with the great deal they are getting by buying a car online with Carlypso Deals makes purchasing a car a very affordable option for the savvy car shopper."
CU Direct's Matt Brown added: "Carlypso has quickly become a go-to destination for people looking for a quick way to find the best deals on cars online. By partnering with Carlypso we can help smart car shoppers get their loans approved quickly and easily online so they get first mover advantage on those great car deals."

Equifax, Zoot streamline mobile account opening

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ORLANDO, Fla. (3/25/15)--Equifax and Zoot Enterprises have announced the release of Mobility Plus, a new solution for mobile account opening.
With Mobility Plus, consumers can capture a photo of their ID with their smartphone or tablet to help complete some portions of the account application.
It performs a search-match analysis to authenticate the applicant's identity and to determine if any fraudulent activity is associated with the device.
Mobility Plus also offers instant prescreening capability by pulling Equifax data and payment information. This gives financial institutions more insight into the consumer's financial history, opening the door to cross-sell more credit products.

Kasasa part of new MnCUN, BancVue partnership

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/24/15)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) and BancVue have announced a partnership to offer new services, including Kasasa's free, reward-checking account program, to the state's credit unions.
"BancVue has a solution that aligns well with the collaborative nature of our member credit unions," said John Ferstl, MnCUN's vice president of Network Service Corp. "I also believe our members can benefit from BancVue's consumer research-based solution set to help them compete."
BancVue has a well-established track record of bringing credit unions together--a philosophy called "co-opetition"--an ideal fit for the network, according to MnCUN's release.
MnCUN and BancVue will work together to help credit unions acquire new members and compete in today's retail banking market.