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CUs student loans serve four of Top 10 MBA schools

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WASHINGTON (2/1/10)--Four of the top 10 global business schools, as ranked by The Financial Times, offer custom graduate private student loan programs from credit unions participating in Credit Union Student Choice. The schools include the University of Pennsylvania--Wharton, Harvard Business School, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management. Credit Union Student Choice is a credit union service organization that partners with credit unions to offer student loan programs. In addition to the four schools ranked in the top 10, credit union loan programs are being offered at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. All of the programs launched in 2009 and will be offered in 2010. Credit unions offering programs include:
* Digital FCU, Marlborough, Mass.; * Harvard University Employees CU, Cambridge, Mass.; * Star One CU, Sunnyvale, Calif.; * MIT FCU, Cambridge, Mass.; * Emory Alliance CU, Decatur, Ga; and * University of Virginia Community CU, Charlottesville, Va.
Credit Union Student Choice has expanded to serve nearly 100 credit unions nationwide with undergraduate private student lending services and graduate programs.

CUNA Mutual to host Reg Z seminars in March

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MADISON, Wis. (2/1/10)--CUNA Mutual Group is hosting two national seminars to help credit unions meet the deadline for Regulation Z and continue to offer multi-featured open-end lending. The seminars are March 15 in Orlando, Fla., and March 19 in Las Vegas. The seminars will provide information regarding the changes, specific tasks associated with achieving compliance and peer-to-peer interactions. Credit unions use multi-featured open-end lending is used by credit unions to establish long-term borrowing relationships with their members. The affirmation of this “sign once, borrow for life” process ensures credit unions’ ability to provide lending convenience to their members, said CUNA Mutual. The Federal Reserve Board published new rules in January 2009, regarding non-home secured open-end lending. The rules will require many credit unions offering multi-featured open-end lending plans to change how they manage their plans. The new rules take effect July 1. Credit unions can register for either seminar through CUNA Mutual’s website.

Equifax offers ability to pay tools for Reg Z

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ATLANTA (2/1/10)--Equifax Inc. announced it is offering a suite of “ability-to-pay” assessment tools to help credit card issuers comply with amendments to Regulation Z from the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosures Act, which go into effect Feb. 22. The Federal Reserve Board released its rules for compliance on Jan. 12. Equifax’s ability-to-pay solutions include verified and modeled personal and household income and wealth information, which was built using actual wealth and income data provided through Equifax’s IXI and TALX businesses. Equifax’s data sets can be distributed real-time online or batch-delivered offline to help issuers assess a consumer’s ability to pay. The assessments occur at multiple touch points throughout the customer life cycle, including: batch and instant prescreen, invitation to apply, new account underwriting and line management review. The Equifax solution suite includes:
* Actual, employer-provided income and Internal Revenue Service-provided 4506-T tax filings which are Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Regulation Z compliant; and * Income estimation models that are empirically derived and statistically sound, FCRA compliant, and consistent with the new Regulation Z guidelines.
The Equifax ability-to-pay suite also features a view of a consumer’s assets and obligations and turnkey solutions to provide the debt-to-income and debt-to-assets ratios, and the residual income measures outlined by the new regulations.

CU 24 announces 45 new CUs joined network in 2009

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (1/29/10)--Credit Union 24, a point-of-sale (POS) and ATM network, announced that 45 credit unions joined the network last year. The credit unions represent a combined $4.9 billion in assets and have more than 620,000 members in 19 states. Credit unions are seeking out alternatives for ATM and POS services as the economy has evolved, according to Jim Park, president/CEO. Credit Union 24 is headquartered in Tallahassee, Fla. For a full list of the credit unions that joined the network last year, use the link.

Syphr creates credit report loan savings site

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FERNDALE, N.Y. (1/28/10)--Syphr has developed a new credit report and loan savings website, MoreThanACreditReport.com, which is affiliated with SaveOnYourLoans.com. The site offers consumers credit scores, credit reports and credit monitoring. Consumers also can use RateMatch--a loan analysis report--which shows consumers where they can save money on their auto or home loans with a credit union or local community bank. The average savings per month per user is $239. Syphr is a technology and marketing credit union service organization located in Ferndale, N.Y.

Filenes Debt in Focus tool attracts nearly 120000

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MADISON, Wis. (1/28/10)--Filene Research Institute’s Debt in Focus software tool has helped nearly 120,000 consumers in North America measure their debt and improve their financial fitness, Filene said. The tool was released seven months ago. Debt in Focus provides consumers with anonymous financial assessments and budgeting tools. Users can access the tool through their credit union’s website. Early results show Debt in Focus’ approach has allowed credit unions to reach consumers who are intimidated by traditional face-to-face financial assessments, Filene said. A typical user spends 15 minutes with the tool. Average credit scores of users were 637, and average debt loads totaled $128,000. The tool relies on self-reported data. Half of the tool’s users are under the age of 36. About 75% of visitors to the site said their primary banking relationship is with a credit union.

Phone-based applications offered to support loan growth

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. and ONTARIO, Calif. (1/28/10)--Financial Services Centers Cooperative (FSCC) and PSCU Financial Services Tuesday launched a new product, CIMple Loan by Phone. The solution can be implemented by any credit union, including non-Shared Branching credit unions, nationwide. The solution allows credit unions to take loan applications by phone. Any member can call 866-MY.CU.NOW to complete a loan application. They also can receive balance information and make account transfers. There is no monthly minimum payment for the service. Any credit union can promote the service by placing the phone number on its website. The credit union industry has originated 6.2% more loans year-to-date than during the same period in 2008, according to third quarter data from Callahan and Associates. The amount of outstanding loans has grown by 3.8% over the same period. FSCC, based in Ontario, Calif., offers a credit union Shared Branching network with 6,300 full-service deposit-taking locations in the U.S. and abroad. PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, Fla., is a credit union service organization that serves more than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide.

Filenes Innovations for 2010 report available

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MADISON, Wis. (1/27/10)--The Filene Research Institute has released a report, “Key Findings: Blueprints for Innovation,” which provides a road map for credit unions looking for innovative ways to help their members generate wealth, build relationships in the community, and cooperate with other credit unions. The report provides 14 innovations that credit unions can adapt to their own institutions to help members in three ways:
* Build wealth, through Prize-Linked Savings, a Giving CD, and other programs; * Overcome debt; and * Borrow responsibly, with tools ranging from rent loans to auto loans.
The report also includes ways that credit unions can share information with other credit unions to increase their cooperation and collaboration. Among one of the member-centric ideas Filene noted is Prize-Linked Savings. Prize-Linked Savings pays out regular interest rates on savings and offers additional opportunities for returns in the form of prizes awarded to accountholders through periodic drawings. The report includes the story of eight Michigan credit unions that banded together last year to offer “Save to Win.” By pooling their resources, the credit unions offered a $100,000 grand prize to one member in January, and individual prizes to members on a monthly basis. More than 11,700 accounts were opened as a result. The program is being expanded this year, with more than 20 credit unions participating. For more information, use the link.

LoanLiner.com integrated on SAIL platform

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MADISON, Wis. and AUSTIN, Texas (1/27/10)--CUNA Mutual Group and Teres Solutions announced that they integrated CUNA Mutual’s online loan application system, loanliner.com, with Teres Solutions’ SAIL lending automation platform. The combined offering will allow loanliner.com credit unions to provide their members with instant decisions on loan applications submitted via the Web. Also, the credit unions can streamline their lending processes, from application submission to loan approval and funding. The integrated loanliner.com and SAIL platforms also will help then credit unions’ customers streamline other lending processes. This includes providing instant origination of loan applications in SAIL, which eliminates the need for manual re-keying. Credit unions also can manage applications submitted through loanliner.com using the SAIL workflow and intuitive interface, reducing the need for additional training and consulting, the companies said. CUNA Mutual Group recently released an upgrade to the loanliner.com system with significant enhancements. More than 12 million members have access to loanliner.com through 550 credit unions nationwide. In 2008, more than 550,000 applications were submitted using loanliner.com, representing more than $7.6 billion in requested credit and an estimated $4 billion in booked loans. More than 215 credit unions use Teres Solutions SAIL platform for their direct and indirect lending automation needs.

EasCorp introduces mobile check deposits

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (1/27/10)--Eastern Corporate FCU (EasCorp) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Vertifi Software, have expanded their remote deposit capture service to include mobile deposits. The new service, DeposZip Mobile, went live last week at Torrance (Calif.) Community CU. The service relies on downloadable software applications that can be used on smartphones. An iPhone application is available from the App Store and another application is being developed for Google’s Android platform. Vertifi developed the software as a plug-in to the credit union’s mobile banking service. Members use the built-in camera to acquire the check images. Checks are processed electronically through Vertifi, and deposits are posted to members’ accounts in real time. DeposZip was developed for desktop scanners in 2007 by EasCorp as the first remote deposit capture services for consumers and was made commercially available to and through financial institutions as a hosted service, EasCorp said.

Products and Services briefs (01/25/2010)

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* COLUMBUS, Ohio (1/26/10)--Five Ohio credit unions have selected Aimbridge Indirect Lending’s WhereMembersBuy.com to offer members online shopping and buying and lending privileges for new and used vehicles. The credit unions are: Directions CU, Toledo; Cintel, Cincinnati; CME CU, Columbus; Champion CU, Toledo; and Mercy Health Partners FCU, Toledo. The online service provides members access to thousands of new and used vehicles in Ohio, financing options, and the ability to save vehicles in a virtual garage and schedule a test drive. Aimbridge is a provider of integrated multi-channel, multi-lender auto-buying and lending services which markets auto loans and insurance products through partnerships with dealerships and financial institutions ... * ST. PAUL, Minn. (1/26/10)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) welcomed 26 participants to the 2010 Vendor Involvement Program, which links community service organizations with MnCUN and increases its visibility with Minnesota credit unions. Of the 26 organizations, six are new and 20 have renewed their participation for 2010. New organizations include: The Advantage Network, Apex Print Technologies, Harland Financial Solutions, Professional Recovery Services of Minnesota, Reposessors Inc. and World Wide Auto Media ... * DEARBORN, Mich. (1/26/10)--The CTS Marketing Knowledge Partners, a new strategic partnership providing marketing for credit unions and small and mid-size banks, kicked off last week. CTS offers credit unions integrated market research, Internet marketing, public and investor relations, and an opportunity to partner with top-level practitioners. CTS says credit unions and small and mid-size banks need to partner with experts in consumer and market research, communications planning, public relations and Internet marketing ... * PHILADELPHIA (1/26/10)--VINtek, a provider of automotive collateral management services and direct auto finance solutions for credit unions and other lenders, announced that it will manage vehicle titles for Santander Consumer USA Inc. (SC USA), resulting from SC USA’s acquisition of the indirect auto loan portfolio of Triad Financial. Santander has a $7 billion non prime auto portfolio and owns Drive, RoadLoans and Santander Auto Finance brands. It specializes in offering financing solutions to borrowers with limited or below-average credit scores ...

CU 24 announces 21 renewals in Q4

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (1/25/10)--Credit Union 24, a credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale network, announced that 21 credit unions renewed long-term contracts with the network in the fourth quarter 2009, representing more than $2.8 billion in assets and more than 300,000 members. About 73 credit unions renewed contracts in 2009, which represents more than $12.5 billion in assets and more than 1.3 million credit union members. The 21 credit unions renewing include:
* Altamaha FCU, Jesup, Ga.; * Baton Rouge (La.) Telco FCU; * Bayport CU, Newport News, Va.; * Beach Municipal FCU, Virginia Beach, Va.; * Breco FCU, Baton Rouge, La.; * Brightstar CU, Sunrise, Fla.; * DOW Louisiana FCU, Plaquemine, La.; * Fairfax (Va.) County FCU; * Federal Employees CU, Birmingham, Ala.; * First Coast Community CU, Palatka, Fla.; * Frederica CU, Brunswick, Ga.; * Gwinnett FCU, Suwannee, Ga.; * JetStream FCU, Miami Lakes, Fla.; * Metro North FCU, Jacksonville, Fla.; * Newport News (Va.) Municipal Employees CU; * Piedmont CU, Danville, Va.; * Richmond Fire Department CU, Richmond, Va.; * Roanoke (Va.) Valley FCU; * South Dekalb Church FCU, Decatur, Ga.; * Tempe (Ariz.) Schools CU; * Valley Industrial CU, Waynesboro, Va.
CU 24 is based in Tallahassee, Fla.

Connecticut league selects Access to Money Inc.

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CHERRY HILL, N.J. (1/25/10)--The Credit Union League of Connecticut has selected Access to Money Inc. to provide services to its 142 credit unions. Access to Money will provide the credit unions with products and services including the Student Loan Origination Platform, ATM and ATM kiosks, ATM processing, Bank at School, Bank at Work, Branch Build Out, Cash Management and Security Systems for three years. It also will participate in vendor events and sponsor selected education events organized by the league. “Access to Money has the capable means to tailor its support to the specific needs of credit unions,” said League President/CEO Tony Emerson. He also noted that the league selected the company because it offers Connecticut credit unions a student loan program. Access to Money has more than 12,000 ATM terminals located nationwide in credit unions, retail stores and specialty stores. The company also provides student loan outsourcing services to university credit unions.

More members used reloadable gift cards in 2009 says CUSO

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (1/25/10)--More members used PSCU Financial Services’ reloadable gift cards in 2009 because of the cards’ convenience especially during winter weather conditions, according to the credit union service organization. PSCU Financial Services reported a 15% growth in sales of its gift cards and a 52% sales gain for reloadable cards over 2008. Total money loaded to gift cards was up 17% while the value of reloadable cards increased by 46%. “Both card formats experienced growth but different factors exert influence on prepaid gift and reloadable cards,” said Denise Stevens, PSCU Financial Services director of prepaid services. “Overall convenience and hazardous winter weather made gift cards an attractive option for many credit union members.” Reloadable cards serve two primary needs, Stevens said. They provide an easy way for members to stick to a budget year-round and during the holidays. Reloadable cards also are a tool for members who struggle to obtain or maintain payment products such as credit or debit cards. Both needs drove a 98% increase in cardholders who reloaded their cards in 2009 compared to 2008. “Many Americans who experienced job losses or who feared a future loss in income curbed their spending throughout the year,” Stevens said. “These members and others on a budget used reloadable cards in addition to, or in place of, debit or credit cards for many expenses.” About 146 credit unions participate in PSCU Financial Services’ prepaid card program. Nearly all of those credit unions issue gift cards and about half issue reloadable cards.

CUNA Brokerage names 09 Women of Distinction

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MADISON, Wis. (1/22/10)--CUNA Brokerage Services Inc. is honoring 20 credit union financial advisers with Women of Distinction awards for their performance, value to their programs, client service and overall contribution to the financial services industry and CUNA Brokerage Services. The winners also earned $250,000 or more in gross dealer concessions in 2009. The recipients will participate in a mentoring program through CUNA Brokerage to foster the growth of women new to the financial services industry. Recipients include:
* Catherine Barnes, VyStar CU, Orange Park, Fla.; * Emmor Boslet, Belco Community CU, Camp Hill, Pa.; * Jane Brockway, University of Illinois CU, Champaign, Ill.; * Linda Cohen, Coast Central CU, Eureka, Calif.; * Wendy Cundari, North County CU, San Diego; * Carol Diest, First Community FCU, Kalamazoo, Mich.; * Marcella Evans, T&C FCU, Pontiac, Mich.; * Ruby Evans, Chartway Investments & Insurance, Virginia Beach, Va.; * Judy Evers, Baxter CU, Vernon Hills, Ill.; * Leigh Glover, Southeast Financial FCU, Brentwood, Tenn.; * Kelly Goreham, Veridian CU, Waterloo, Iowa; * Anna Kamp, Anheuser-Busch Employees CU, St. Louis, Mo.; * Jane Kilby, VyStar CU; * Wendy Miletich, Wings FCU, Eagan, Minn.; * Stephanie Morales, Arizona Central CU, Phoenix; * Randie Sanford, Suffolk FCU, Islandia, New York; * Swan Shen, CFP, RTN FCU, Waltham, Mass.; * Cindy Sforza, Schools First FCU, Huntington Beach, Calif.; * Sophia Spencer, Red Canoe CU, Longview, Wash.; and * Suzi Williams, Yakima Valley (Wash.) CU.
Developed by women for women, the award debuted in 2008. CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc., a division of CUNA Mutual Group, uses financial advisers to help credit unions meet member retirement, investment and insurance needs. Working onsite at credit unions, advisers provide members with financial services.

Zappos.com CEO added to THINK 10 Conference

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (1/22/10)--Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, an online shoe retailer, will speak at CO-OP Financial Services’ THINK ’10 Conference April 20. He will talk about how credit unions can adopt successful online retail strategies.
Click to view larger image Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, an online shoe retailer, will speak at this year’s THINK ’10 Conference, hosted by CO-OP Financial Services. Hsieh has more than 1.6 million followers on Twitter and will talk to credit unions about successful online retail strategies. (Photo provided by CO-OP Financial Services)
THINK will be April 18-20 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Its theme is, “Resetting Priorities in a New Landscape.” THINK gathers leaders from different fields to provide advice to credit unions. This year’s conference will focus on how credit unions can do more with less in today’s economy. Hsieh will speak about “Successful Business Innovations in the New Economy.” Zappos.com, which sells shoes, clothing, eyewear, watches and other apparel, grew its sales to more than $1 billion in 2008 from $1.6 million in 2000. In November, Amazon.com Inc. acquired Zappos.com for shares worth $1.2 billion. Prior to joining Zappos, Hsieh co-founded Venture Frogs, an investment firm specializing in Internet start-ups. Before that, he co-founded LinkExchange, an advertising network that was sold to Microsoft for $265 million in 1998. Hsieh has about 1.6 million followers on Twitter. CO-OP Financial Services, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., offers debit processing services, shared branching, check imaging services and mobile payment services to credit unions. It also provides a network of 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Previously announced speakers include Bob Herbold, former chief operating officer of Microsoft Corp.; Tim Sanders, former chief solutions officer of Yahoo! Inc.; and Dave Schembri, CEO of smart USA.

CUNA Mutual offers free webinar on economy

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MADISON, Wis. (1/20/10)--Credit unions will receive an assessment of how the fragile economy may affect their results and will be presented growth strategies during a free webinar offered Tuesday, Feb. 16, by CUNA Mutual Group. "Navigating the Uncertain Path to Economic Recovery" will be presented by Dave Colby, CUNA Mutual chief economist, from noon to 1 p.m. CST. Having managed through five business cycles in his credit union-industry career, Colby has learned taht beyond the numbers, all economics is local. He will share best-practice strategies and arm participants with tools they can use to compete in an uncertain economic environment. For more information, use the resource link. Registration ends Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. CT.

CUNA launches 5 job-specific BSA training programs

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MADISON, Wis. (1/19/10)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is offering five new job-specific Training on Demand programs to help credit unions meet Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) training challenges. The programs aim to address compliance requirements of credit unions through specific staff positions. CUNA is offering the program in response to high demand for the training. The programs address the requirements for these staff positions:
* Operations Staff--This program addresses how to spot circumstances in daily activities that prompt the filing of a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) and a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). Participants also will learn what information must be gathered when members request wire transfers and will understand what information must ¡§travel¡¨ with that wire. * Consumer Lending Staff--Lending is an area that money launderers have successfully used to get money gained from illegal activity into the system and clean money back out of it. During the program, participants will learn the red flags of potential money laundering, specific to the credit union loan process. * Member Business Loans--Business lending offers many opportunities and challenges for credit unions, so specialized knowledge of business organizations, transactions and underwriting is essential for credit union staff in this area, says CUNA. During this program, staff will learn the importance of performing a thorough check of new business loan members using Member Identification Policy and Customer Due Diligence programs. * Tellers--A credit union's tellers have daily contact with members and are the frontline defense against BSA violations. This training program will provide them with the knowledge of when to file a CTR and SAR and what information must be included in those reports. * New Accounts Staff--While it's a pleasure being able to shake the hand of a new member, the steps leading up to that moment require specific BSA actions. Participants of this program will learn the importance of conducting a thorough due-diligence review with new members so the account activity can be monitored for possible illegal activity.
Each downloadable package has a 30-minute to 45-minute video-like presentation with workbooks and five online exams. The presentations can be saved to a computer, DVD, or USB drive. For more information, use the links.

Fight Cyber Threats webinar Jan. 27

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MADISON, Wis. (1/19/10)--Last year was “a banner year” for information security news, and as 2010 approaches, more regulations, fines and lawsuits are occurring because of information security, according to Perimeter eSecurity. CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) is offering a free webinar Jan. 27 on how to prevent security problems. CSS will offer “Detect and Protect: Resolve to Fight Cyber Threats in 2010” at 1 p.m. CST. The webinar is 90 minutes. Perimeter will be one of three security experts on the panels. “Data security breaches are nasty business and should be avoided at all costs,” said Kevin Prince, Perimeter eSecurity chief technology officer. Prince will provide information and advice on:
* Anti-money laundering and fraud deterrence; * Network and information security; and * Identity theft protection.
Other webinar speakers include Andrew King, vice president of operations at Verafin, and Lynn Sheck, senior vice president of business development at Intersections. Verafin and Intersections are CSS providers. According to the Identity Theft Assistance Center, a nonprofit coalition of financial services companies committed to protecting members from identity theft, financial institutions and consumers need to be aware of:
* Expanded identity management; * Effects of “Red Flag” rules; * Potential regulations for consumer breaches.
Nearly 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2008, and 1.6 million households experienced fraud related to compromised bank accounts or debit cards. A data breach costs a business an average of $6.65 million a year and it takes a victim roughly 44 hours to recover from identity theft, said CSS. For more information, use the link.

CUs lose big--and win--in paper postage costs

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HERNDON, Va. (1/19/10)--DigitalMailer named its “Biggest Losers” for 2009--credit unions that have developed successful eStatement enrollment programs. About 21 credit unions helped more than 17,000 members switch to online statements from paper, which collectively realized $102,474 in savings. “It these credit unions’ members stay with them for five years, that’s a half-million dollars--and a lot of trees saved,” said Ron Daly, DigitalMailer president/CEO. Gulf Coast FCU, Corpus Christi, Texas, earned first place. The credit union saw a 720% increase in statement enrollments--saving $14,000 per year. ABCO FCU, Willingboro, N.J., won second place. The credit union saw its eStatements enrollment jump by 224%. Hudson River Community CU, Corinth, N.Y., won third, with 39%. An honorable mention went to Town of Hempstead Employees FCU, North Baldwin, N.Y., which brought in hundreds of new users. DigitalMailer provides digital communication services to the financial industry.

Net worth scenario planning tool enhanced

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WASHINGTON (1/19/10)--Record share growth and uncertain earnings are putting a greater focus on credit unions’ bottom lines. The Net Worth Scenario Dashboard, which provides a visual picture of credit unions’ projected net-worth levels, has been updated to help credit unions with the planning process. The dashboard, by Callahan and Associates, shows what might happen at credit unions in various rate environments. The tool allows credit unions to adjust net worth ratios, monthly net income, return on assets and return on equity. The dashboard is part of CUAnalyzer, a Web-based analytical tool with ratio definitions and analytical summaries. The dashboard can:
* Explain to board members what happens to credit unions as trends in growth and earnings change; * Help employees understand the effect on the net worth ratio of exceeding or falling short of a credit union’s monthly earning goals; and * Address members’ anxiety over safety and soundness by showing where the credit union is in terms of equity and how the credit union projects based on budget plans.
Callahan and Associates, a research firm, is based in Washington, D.C.

oFlows launches origination platform for community CUs

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SAN FRANCISCO (1/19/10)--oFlows Inc., a software-as-a-service technology company for credit unions and community banks, announced its launch last week. The paperless system reduces costs and allows financial institutions to compete with larger national banks. oFlows can be implemented in a few days, the company said. USA FCU, San Diego, deployed the oFlows software. A credit union member overseas went online, was pre-approved for a loan, authenticated his identity, e-signed the required forms and uploaded supporting documents in less than 10 minutes, said the credit union. The loan file was delivered to the credit union, where it was underwritten and processed. The funds were disbursed electronically the next day. “In the past, that transaction would have taken weeks,” said Carolyn James, USA FCU chief information officer. oFlows said it believes in community-based financial institutions and sees an opportunity for them to thrive because consumer attitudes toward big, corporate banks are shifting. “We think of credit unions and community banks as the good guys of financial services,” said Scott Pitts, oFlows CEO. “The oFlows platform effectively allows them to leapfrog most of the biggest national banks.” oFlows is headquartered in San Francisco.

Statement stuffer addresses Mom whats a CU

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MADISON, Wis. (1/19/10)--A new handout from the Credit Union National
Click to view larger image Click for larger view
Association (CUNA) answers the question, “Mom, what’s a credit union?” Parents can use the handout, “What’s a credit union?” to educate children about credit unions. The handout has six panels, with tips for preschoolers, elementary, middle school and high school students. It includes actions to take and how-to tips. “There is plenty of financial education information available to teach kids how to earn and save their money,” said Lin Standke, CUNA Center for Personal Finance manager of product training. “Our goal is to have them choose the credit union as the place to keep it.” Credit unions participating in CUNA’s National Youth Saving Challenge last year reported receiving $26 million in deposits. About 140,000 members nationwide started or maintained a saving habit by opening accounts and depositing money in April.

EasCorps remote deposit capture service passes 315 million

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (1/11/10)--Eastern Corporate FCU (EasCorp) announced that its remote deposit capture service, DeposZip, surpassed $315 million in deposits. The service was launched in 2008 and has garnered 291,098 deposits. Forty-seven credit unions use the service. DeposZip allows credit union members to deposit checks from their homes or offices with a scanner. Remote deposit capture can decrease processing costs, EasCorp said. EasCorp said eight new credit unions have added the service:
* Interra CU, Goshen, Ind.; * Ledge Light FCU, Groton, Conn.; * Merrimack Valley FCU, Lawrence, Mass.; * Mutual First FCU, Omaha, Neb.; * Southbridge (Mass.) CU; * NARFE Premiere FCU, Alexandria, Va.; * St. Jean’s CU, Lynn, Mass.; and * Teachers CU, South Bend, Ind.

Moebs granted patent for overdraft checking process

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LAKE BLUFF, Ill. (1/10/10)--Moebs Services, an economic research firm, has been granted a patent for Debit Scoring, which can be used by financial institutions offering overdraft services on consumer checking accounts, according to Michael Moebs, Moebs CEO and economist. Debit Scoring is part of Moebs’ No-Bounce Checking, which allows financial institutions to assess consumer risk and establish a range of customized overdraft limits, while controlling losses, protecting revenue and increasing checking account volume. Clients who use this process can charge as little as $9 to $12 for an overdraft, Moebs said. Debit Scoring was tested in Miami and financial institutions using the service experienced only 4% in losses. Financial institutions using the traditional approach to overdraft coverage lose 20% to 30% of revenue. “I believe this process solves many of the issues financial institutions and consumers now face in the current pricing controversy impacting overdrafts,” Moebs added.

CUNAs Lending Mortgage Lending Schools offer training

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MADISON, Wis. (1/11/10)--CUNA’s Consumer Lending School and Mortgage Lending School are combining to offer a training event for credit union lenders in March. The event, CUNA Consumer and Mortgage Lending School, will be held March 28 through April 1 in Las Vegas. The school aims to help credit unions meet competitive consumer lending and mortgage demands in the current economy. “This program addresses the needs of all staff levels in a new combined learning format,” said Shawn Lanier, CUNA instructional design manager. “New lenders can learn the essentials and experienced lenders can attend advanced sessions to add to their existing knowledge. The beauty of this new format is attendees can customize their own lending.” Sessions include:
* Leadership Isn’t Always About the Title; * Lending in Today’s Market--Challenges and Opportunities; * Assessing Risk in Volatile Times Without Losing Your Shirt; * Economic Trends; and * Personal Survival in a Crazy World.
For more information, use the link.

HUB International acquires Wescom Insurance Services accounts

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CHICAGO (1/11/10)--Hub International Ltd. Announced that it has acquired the Commercial Lines and Life and Health books of Wescom Insurance Services, a subsidiary of Wescom CU. The transaction will expand Hub’s footprint in Southern California, where Wescom Insurance Services is located. Wescom works with middle market to small accounts, including property and casualty, employee benefits and life insurance. Hub, headquartered in Chicago, is an insurance brokerage. Wescom CU, Pasadena, Calif., has $3 billion in assets.

Products and Services briefs (01/08/2010)

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* FAIRBORN, Ohio (1/11/10)--myCUmortgage, a mortgage-related credit union service organization founded and managed by Wright-Patt CU in Fairborn, Ohio, is expanding its solutions to credit unions. myCUmortgage began serving Ohio credit unions in 2002, expanding regionally as demand grew. It offers credit unions origination and private-label loan options. Wright-Patt has $1.6 billion in assets ... * MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (1/11/10)--Members Insurance Agency has partnered with Partners Benefit Group (PBG) Inc. to offer new employee benefit solutions to credit unions, said the Massachusetts Credit Union League. The agency’s employee benefit services will now be provided by PBG. “We have collaborated with PBG for many years on things such as the use of high deductible health plans and how they can be used to mitigate premium increases without diminishing benefits,” said Bob Delaney, Members Insurance Agency CEO ... * SAN DIEGO and BOSTON (1/11/10)--CUSO Financial Services (CFS), a full-service broker dealer and a provider of investment and insurance solutions to credit unions, launched the ActivePassive Portfolios on the CUSO Asset Management platform. FundQuest, manager of ActivePassive, provides managed account solutions, productivity tools, investment due diligence, back-office operations and reporting services. Advisers using the CFS platform can select from 14 different portfolios to serve different tax investor situations. CUSO Financial Services is headquartered in San Diego and provides services to more than 120 credit unions ...

INews NowsI Products section goes weekly

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MADISON, Wis. (1/5/10)--Starting Jan. 11, the Products and Services section of News Now will be published once a week in the Monday edition. The change aims to provide credit union readers with the freshest and most interesting news about credit union vendors, service organizations and other items on a weekly basis. The stories published in Products and Services on Mondays will remain available to readers throughout the week’s editions.

Products and Services briefs (01/03/2010)

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* RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (1/4/10)--Bruce Fielder has been named regional sales manager of credit union ATM services for CO-OP Financial Services. Fielder will be responsible for sales and business development for CO-OP’s ATM services. He has more than 30 years of experience in sales and sales management. He joins CO-OP from Elan Financial Services, where he spent eight years as vice president of sales. Fielder will be based in Amarillo, Texas. CO-OP Financial Services, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., offers ATM networking, debit processing, ATM processing and other services to credit unions. CO-OP also offers a network of 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs ... * BROOKFIELD, Wis. (1/4/10)--Fiserv has awarded 10 winners of the National YOU WIN Sweepstakes one million UChoose Rewards points--about $10,000. UChoose is a credit and debit card rewards and loyalty program for financial institutions. Cardholders registered for the sweepstakes by using their cards for qualifying purchases in October. To redeem the points, winners can choose from products, travel, tickets, gift cards and cash back. A cardholder from Sperry Associates FCU, New Hyde Park, N.Y., was one of the winners. “Studies show that consumers who become familiar with the benefits of their credit and debit cards by using them--and then being rewarded for their usage through a program such as UChoose Rewards from Fiserv--are much more likely to remain loyal to their bank or credit union,” said Andy Brown, Fiserv vice president of product development for EFT Solutions ...