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Buzz Points signs Alcoa Tenn FCU

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AUSTIN, Texas (9/23/14)--Alcoa Tenn FCU, with $185 million in assets, has selected the Buzz Points merchant-funded loyalty program for its members.
Buzz Points is a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.
The program is free and allows members of the Alcoa, Tenn.-based credit union to earn rewards while supporting the local economy by using their debit cards for everyday shopping.
To date, 15 credit unions have enlisted in the Buzz Points program, with seven signing up in 2014.
"As Blount County's oldest financial institution, we have always prided ourselves on being the stable, local financial institution that is most in tune with the counties that we serve," said David Gill, Alcoa Tenn FCU vice president of business development and branch operations.

"By rewarding our members for shopping locally and by providing the independent businesses in our community with the same sophisticated data analysis, market insights and targeted marketing capabilities used by the largest national chains and online retailers in the country, Buzz Points gives ATFCU the ability to play an even greater role in the continued economic stability and growth of the entire region," Gill added.
The program is the only merchant-funded rewards platform that works with community financial institutions and local businesses to engage mutual customers. Credit union members can earn points by using their debit cards whenever they shop, but they earn more points for shopping locally and the most points for shopping with local businesses enrolled in the program.
Buzz Points creates additional revenue for financial institutions and gives local businesses a marketing solution that provides data analysis and targeted marketing technologies to expand their market reach, attract new business and increase the loyalty of existing customers while also helping to offset the higher interchange fees that small businesses are often burdened with.

Symitar reports record client growth

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MONETT, Mo. (9/22/14)--Core processor Symitar, a division of Jack Henry and Associates, added a record 44 credit unions to its client roster during the 2014 fiscal year, which ended June 30.
"We believe that each credit union that evaluated Symitar and its competitive alternatives, and ultimately selected Episys or CruiseNet, represents an important endorsement of our technology, consistent service levels, expert staff and management of client relationships," said Ted Bilke, Symitar president.
Five of the credit unions selecting Symitar's Episys core platform during the 2014 fiscal year have assets exceeding $1 billion, positioning Symitar as the core processor for 90 of the 218 credit unions that have assets of more than $1 billion.
Twenty-seven of Symitar's new credit union clients chose Episys as an outsourced environment. Nine in-house Episys clients elected to migrate to EASE, the Episys outsourced solution, and 11 in-house CruiseNet clients elected to migrate to outsourced delivery. Symitar now supports 100 Episys clients and 50 CruiseNet clients with its outsourced offerings.

CO-OP's CardNav gives cardholders mobile control

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/19/14)--CO-OP Financial Services will introduce CardNav by CO-OP, a mobile-card control and alert application, during a webinar Oct. 22, and roll out the product for credit unions later in the month.
"CardNav by CO-OP empowers credit union members to decide when, where and how their mobile credit and debit cards are used in advance and in real-time," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "This application for smartphones and tablets simultaneously addresses two key demands of today's member--greater functionality in mobile payments and greater personalized control and security."
The webinar will be held at 2 p.m. (ET) Oct. 22, and presented by Pat Yarmulnik, CO-OP senior product manager, and Ryan Zilker, senior manager of market analysis. To register, use the resource link.
CardNav helps credit unions provide their members with full control of their credit and debit cards. User-specified controls for card use include on/off, location, spending limits and transaction and merchant types, with the same parameters governing real-time alerts.

CUAnswers reports growth, dashboard release

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (9/18/14)--CU*Answers, a credit union service organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich., reported stockholder growth has increased and the release of a new patronage comparison dashboard.
The core processor to 200 credit unions nationwide also announced a "Cost of Compliance" contest.
CU*Answers added eight new stockowners during the 2014 business year. In the last five years, the 100% credit union-owned core processor has added more than 50 new owners, matching the number of owners added in the 10 years prior. In that same five-year period, the price of new stock ownership has increased by $100,000. CU*Answers currently has 126 credit union owners.
CU*Answers also recently introduced a new patronage comparison dashboard, which allows credit unions to instantly compare the participation of two specific segments of the credit union membership, narrowed down any number of ways.
Population segments can be defined by the type of membership, reason for joining the credit union, gender, age range, tiered service level and balance range, then compared side-by-side on account activity and products used.
The tool allows credit unions to better align future marketing campaigns with products and services, CU*Answers said.  
The CU*Answers "Cost of Compliance" contest is sponsored by its compliance division, AuditLink. Open to all credit union CEOs and chief financial officers, the contest asks participants to create a template that provides a standard way of calculating the cost of compliance.
The template should list the costs of compliance and provide a way of tracking the costs. Participants are also asked to provide an implementation plan for their standard of calculating the cost of compliance.

Submissions are due Oct. 15. Contest winners will be announced at CU*Answers CEO Strategies conference in November. The first-prize winner will receive $2,500, the second-prize winner will be awarded $1,500, and $1,000 will go to the third-prize winner.

ProfitStars offers IT cloud solutions

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MONETT, Mo. (9/17/14)--ProfitStars, a division of Jack Henry and Associates, has introduced a service through which credit unions can move their information technology (IT) infrastructures to a cloud computing environment.

Gladiator Hosted Network Solutions provides a hosted IT infrastructure that delivers network essentials--servers, storage, network and operating systems--as an on-demand service. Financial institutions can outsource in-house network hardware, technology management and IT security and compliance responsibilities.
"The benefits of moving a financial institution's IT infrastructure to our private cloud include more than mere cost savings; moving to our hosted environment can also provide the opportunity to support security, compliance and reputational concerns more effectively," said Matt Riley, Gladiator group president.
Gladiator's portfolio of solutions include IT regulatory compliance services, managed security services, networking and communications services, as well as IT outsourcing and management services.

CUNA Mutual's TruStage protecting 15M members

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MADISON, Wis. (9/16/14)--CUNA Mutual Group announced that its TruStage Insurance Program now protects more than 15 million members. 
Click to view larger image Members of the TruStage team in CUNA Mutual Group's Madison, Wis., office gather with CEO Robert Trunzo to recognize TruStage reaching 15 million members insured. From left, Naheed Bleecker; Sarah Farino; Susan Sachatello, senior vice president of TruStage; Trunzo; Nick Mason; and Krischelle Howl. (CUNA Mutual Group Photo)
More than 1 million credit union members have been added to the TruStage program in the last year--a rate of 2,700 newly insured members each day, CUNA Mutual said.
"We are committed to helping consumers learn about insurance and confidently choose coverage in a way that is accessible and empowering. In the years ahead, we look forward to welcoming even more consumers to TruStage," said Robert N. Trunzo, CUNA Mutual Group president/CEO.
The 15 millionth member belongs to $5 billion-asset CEFCU, Peoria, Ill. The member purchased a TruStage accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy using TruStage's FastApply AD&D online application process. Introduced in 2013, FastApply AD&D is an option for members who prefer to research, apply and buy entirely online--usually in three minutes or less. 
CEFCU uses TruStage online advertising on its website, promoting insurance products designed for members and leading them to
In the past year, TruStage has offered members more digital options that include learning and engagement opportunities on Facebook and a streamlined mobile experience. Similarly, credit unions have incorporated TruStage digital assets on their websites to educate members about the brand's protection products.

8 CUs sign with CU Direct for loan origination

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ONTARIO, Calif. (9/15/14)--CU Direct, a provider of lending, automotive and strategic solutions to credit unions, has announced new partnership agreements with eight credit unions.
As a result of the new agreements, the credit unions will be implementing CU Direct's Lending 360 Loan Origination System to improve the processes associated with originating, underwriting and funding consumer loan applications.
Credit unions that will be employing the Lending 360 system include:
  • Patelco CU, Pleasanton, Calif., with $4.1 billion in assets;
  • Premier America CU, Chatsworth, Calif., with $1.58 billion in assets;
  • USC CU, Los Angeles, with $397 million in assets;
  • Kauai Community FCU, Lihue, Hawaii, with $368.8 million in assets;
  • AEA FCU, Yuma, Ariz., with $233.8 million in assets;
  • Mutual First FCU, Omaha, Neb., with $109.7 million in assets;
  • Chaffey FCU, Upland, Calif., with $104 million in assets; and
  • Rancho FCU, Downey, Calif., with $84.7 million in assets.
Lending 360 offers a configurable workflow engine that will provide the credit unions with a single lending platform designed to support loan application processing activity across all consumer lending channels, and is fully backed by CU Direct's implementation and support groups.