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CUNA calculator microsites updated for mobile, customization

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MADISON, Wis. (7/22/14)--The Credit Union National Association has updated its financial decision-making microsite, Credit Union Calculators.
 
The tool is used by credit unions to help their members to experiment with financial variables, showing them rather than telling them why the credit union difference matters.
 
With four new calculators, the update also provides additional options for customization and access to new features. Credit unions can now add their logo and website colors, and can link multiple times to the entire calculator suite, as well as to each individual calculator.
 
The redesigned calculators also are built in a responsive design, making them easy to use with smart phones, tablets and computers, CUNA said.
 
"This easy-to-install but powerful update is all about minimizing the distance between the credit union and its members," said Joanne Sepich, CUNA's director of consumer education. "With mobile access, customization opportunities and automatic updates, credit unions can now demonstrate to their members their ability to respond to changing technology needs."
 
Its tools and features allow members to not only anticipate the impact of their actions, but also to acquire important financial education, including:
  • Multidimensional financial projections;
  • What-if scenario planning;
  • Step-by-step member walkthroughs;
  • Printable reports and detailed graphs; and
  • The ability to toggle variables and observe their effects.
For more information, use the link.

CU Wallet reports 65 signings

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LOS ANGELES (7/21/14)--CU Wallet, a collaborative, credit union owned and directed mobile payments technology provider, reported the signing of 65 credit unions, representing more than 7 million members, since the company's launch nine months ago.
 
CU Wallet is the industry's first mobile payments initiative designed specifically for credit unions, by credit unions. Since the company's inception, CU Wallet has forged alliances with several core, online and mobile banking providers, to facilitate integration and communication among member-facing channels.
 
CU Wallet credit union members can now deploy a mobile payments, mobile wallet product offering to attract a new generation of members, generate new, sustainable streams of revenue and meet the demands of mobile membership.
 
"Collaboration among credit unions continues to be one of our industry's greatest strengths," said Keith Sultemeier, president/CEO of Kinecta FCU, Manhattan Beach, Calif., with $3.3 billion in assets. "The CU Wallet platform makes collaboration easy and efficient, but still allows credit unions to tailor the member experience. Having a singular platform is advantageous to merchants, giving them the opportunity to reach a large pool of consumers through a trusted, secure channel."

LEVERAGE now offering ID theft services to member CUs

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla., (7/18/14)--LEVERAGE, an affiliate of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU), has introduced identity theft coverage through Member Security Center, allowing credit unions to provide a cost-effective added level of security to their members.

"With more consumers doing their financial transactions and buying online, identity theft is a major concern for credit unions," said Patrick La Pine president/CEO of LEVERAGE and LSCU. "The Member Security Center is a great way for credit unions to strengthen their relationship with their members, as well as offer them peace of mind while conducting their business online."

Member Security Center offers credit union members a proactive approach to identity theft prevention. The service monitors if the member's information has been exposed before a data breach occurs. Prevention of a breach saves the credit union any costs associated with the breach and protects credit union members from the difficulties following an incident of identity theft.

Member Security Center coverage offers members three tiers of service ranging from $1.95 per month to $12.95 per month, depending on the level of coverage.

"This product is a solution for all credit unions, regardless of size, to increase their non-interest income as well as offer members a much needed and valuable service," La Pine said.

Newtek hits $1B milestone in SBA 7(a) loans

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NEW YORK (7/17/14)--Newtek Business Services Inc., The Small Business Authority, announced its lending subsidiary, Newtek Small Business Finance, has approved more than $1 billion in SBA 7(a) loans since 2003. 
 
Newtek Business Services is a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.
 
The financings have created or preserved more than 29,000 jobs as reported by each borrower with their application to Newtek Small Business Finance and The Small Business Administration for the loan being requested, according the U.S. Small Business Administration.
 
"Over the past 11 years, we have systematically built our lending platform with strict adherence to our stringent underwriting guidelines, intense focus on the credit quality of our loans and our signature top-notch customer service," said Barry Sloane, Newtek Business Services Inc. chairman and president and CEO.
 
"This winning formula has enabled us to withstand multiple lending cycles and emerge as the largest non-bank lender in the U.S.  In fact, it is with this industry-recognized experience and expertise that we have been able to accomplish continued robust growth in our lending platform, with even further improvement in the credit quality of the loans we originate," Sloane added.

TMG launches point-of-sale See2Pay app for Google Glass

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LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (7/16/14)--No hocus-pocus. Just a swipe of a finger across the temple, and voila: You've just spent $13.91 on ice cream.
 
Payments processor The Members Group (TMG) demonstrated Tuesday how the combination of its new See2Pay app, the Dwolla payment platform and Google Glass gives consumers the ability to make point-of-sale transactions without currency, card or phone.
 
Ryan Anderson, vice president of product for The Members Group, pays for ice cream using Google Glass, Dwolla and TMG's new app, See2Pay. (TMG Photo)
"It was a 'wow' moment when our clients saw the video and realized that you can make a hard-currency-based transaction with a wearable device," Ryan Anderson, TMG vice president of product, told News Now.
 
Global sales of wearable technology are expected to reach $19 billion by 2018, according to an October 2013 Juniper Research report. "Consumers will be spending money on them," Anderson said. Names in the wearable market include Google Glass, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Apple iWatch.
 
"Consumers are looking to financial institutions to lead them through the landscape of payments technologies," he told News Now, adding, "Using cash or plastic isn't painful, but the next generation has to be simple."
 
TMG released the app's code on GitHub, a web-based hosting service for software development projects. "This gives it to the developer community for them to build on it, and anyone can improve it," Anderson said, adding, "It will further promulgate payments on Google Glass and the Dwolla networks."
 
The app is the first to make money transactions between Dwolla merchant and consumer users.

Ongoing Operations, Digital FCU, Xand form partnership

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (7/15/14)--Ongoing Operations, a provider of business continuity solutions for credit unions, has formed a partnership with Digital FCU, Marlborough, Mass., and Xand, a data center provider, to help credit unions in the northeast United States ensure uninterrupted member service.
 
Ongoing Operations is a CUNA Strategic Solutions alliance provider.
 
"Even with the latest technological advances, having alternate data center space within driving distance can be critical for credit unions during a crisis situation," said Kirk Drake, Ongoing Operations CEO.
 
The Xand data center, located in Westchester County, safely outside major threat zones but close to New York City, was designed to provide the ideal environment for mission-critical business applications. The Xand facility will also feature a direct connection to Ongoing Operations' network. This will allow credit unions to leverage Ongoing Operations' connectivity solutions to ensure that critical third-party applications such as debit card processing, online banking and ATMs remain online in the event of a crisis.
 
"We are a firm believer in collaboration and have used Ongoing Operations for our own business continuity planning efforts for several years," said Dave DeWitt, vice president of risk management at the $5.5 billion-asset credit union. "This CUSO partnership further enhances disaster recovery capabilities for the benefit of more credit unions within our region."

MoneyGram official check program helps Members 1st mitigate fraud

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DALLAS (7/14/14)--MoneyGram, a global money transfer and payment services company, announced a five-year renewal of its agreement with $2.6 billion-asset Members 1st FCU, Mechanicsburg, Pa., to provide check services through its PrimeLink Official Check outsourcing program.

MoneyGram is a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.
 
"MoneyGram has been a strong ally assisting us in mitigating fraud losses," said Stephen Murray, Members 1st FCU executive vice president. "Beyond fraud prevention, we've also found MoneyGram's effective and reliable web-based platform, customer care and reliability to be critical to the success of our continued relationship."
 
MoneyGram has supported Members 1st FCU with its PrimeLink Official Check service since 2004. The company also helps prevent fraud losses by identifying fraudulent checks and provides support to credit union personnel who use the program.
The program offers financial institutions a cost-efficient way to manage clients' checks, including daily balancing and reconciliation, inventory management and real-time updates through an online platform.
 
MoneyGram provides check processing programs to more than 1,000 financial institutions nationwide.