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CU is first FI in Oregon to offer Kasasa banking

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ST. HELENS, Ore. (1/18/12)--St. Helens (Ore.) Community FCU has become the first financial institution in Oregon to launch Kasasa banking, a brand of free banking accounts that pays members to use their account with what interests them most--high interest or digital downloads from iTunes or Amazon.com.

"Kasasa  delivers what research shows people really want but believe they can't have--great financial products with the personal service of a community based financial institution," said Jeff Schwarz, president/CEO at St. Helens Community FCU.

The $161 million asset credit union is offering two Kasasa financial products:

  • Kasasa Cash, a free checking account that pays high interest for every month the account holder qualifies; and
  • KasasaTunes, a free checking account that rewards consumers with digital downloads from iTunes or Amazon when they qualify.
The products are free, reward-based accounts, with no minimum balance required to earn the rewards, no monthly service fees, free online banking and other convenience services and worldwide ATM fee refunds.

To receive Kasasa account benefits, each monthly qualification cycle, accountholders are asked to enroll to a few simple things such as enroll to receive eStatements, use a debit card a minimum number of times, and have an electronic transaction such as direct deposit or automatic debit post and clear their account.

In 2009, Kasasa was piloted in six other U.S. markets. In the first two months, participating community financial institutions reported growth rates up to 150% on new account openings and 372% in deposits at institutions focused on deposit growth.

Alloya VSoft now item-processing partners

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WARRENSVILLE, Ill., and DULUTH, Ga. (1/18/12)--Alloya Corporate FCU and VSoft Corp. have entered into a strategic partnership to outsource the Warrensville, Ill.-based corporate's back-office item-processing services to VSoft. The partnership will become effective Feb. 5.

"Alloya will benefit from reduced operating costs and improved net product margins, reduced facilities expenses, and a deepened partnership with a best of breed company in the item processing space," said Charles W. Furbee, acting CEO at Alloya. He noted that VSoft's willingness  to hire the employees affected by the transaction  was an important consideration in the decision.

The transaction "perfectly illustrates our go-forward strategy of partnering with quality companies to provide value added services to our members on an aggregated basis, rather than Alloya manufacturing [the services] itself," Furbee said.

In addition to hiring the current item processing staff at Alloya, VSoft will sublet space in the corporate's Albany, N.Y., facility to house them, said Murthy Veeraghanta, managing director and CEO of VSoft.

The transaction means VSoft will acquire a stable and knowledgeable staff to provide ongoing service to credit unions while supplying a platform to grow the business, VSoft said.  VSoft  will be able to leverage its relationship with the corporate to bring future products to credit unions, while providing "a profitable platform from which to serve others in the marketplace," said Veeraghanta.