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Products Archive

Products

HRTD Conference OKd for SHRM credits

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MADISON, Wis. (2/1/11)--For the fifth consecutive year, the CUNA HR/TD Council’s annual conference has been approved to provide attendees with Society of Human Resources Management recertification credits. The national conference takes place April 10-13 in San Francisco. The conference includes breakout sessions, learning labs and workshops the following HR and training development topics:
* Leadership development; * Healthcare reform; * Building strong teams; * Employment laws; * Staff development; * Employee engagement; * Presentation skills; * Leading change; * Employee evaluations; * Emotional intelligence; * Social media as a recruitment tool; and * Defining, driving and molding culture.
Attendees can earn up to 15 recertification hours toward their Professional in Human Resources, Senior Professional in Human Resources and Global Professional in Human Resources recertification through Human Resource Certification Institute. Three certification credits are offered to attendees of the pre-conference workshop and up to 12 credits to those attending general sessions and breakouts. Also, recipients of the first ever CUNA HR/TD Council Excellence Awards will be recognized at the conference.

CUsource Bluepoint offers item process RDC solutions

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VISTA, Calif. (1/31/11)--CUsource, a Montana-based credit union service organization (CUSO), and Bluepoint Solutions, a provider of remote deposit capture (RDC), item processing and enterprise content management solutions, have partnered to provide check processing technology to credit unions. CUsource will centrally host Bluepoint’s end-to-end item processing suite, and branch and home capture solutions. Through the partnership, Bluepoint’s solutions--including item processing, branch capture and home capture--will initially be implemented in 65 branches across about 30 different credit unions. CUsource products and services’ line includes data processing, print mail, real estate, security, and draft services. The CUSO currently provides share draft services for 52 credit unions representing more than 400,000 members, and processes about 17 million items annually. Vista, Calif.-based Bluepoint, a 2010 CUNA Technology Council “Best of Show” winner, offers an end-to-end, image-based item capture and payment processing solution.

Balance Sheet Solutions webinars tackle investments

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WARRENVILLE, Ill. (1/31/11)--Balance Sheet Solutions has completed the first session of a three-part webinar on “Introduction to Marketable Securities,” with more than 120 participants enrolled. The free educational series offers a first look at securities investments available to federal and state-chartered credit unions. The sessions are broken down into three topics:
* Investing in Marketable Securities--Necessary First Steps; * Overview: Federal Agencies; and Overview: Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS); and * Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMOs).
The series explores the initial steps on getting started in investing and continues into more complex investment types. The next session, on Tuesday, will cover federal agency securities, including bullets and structured issues. The Feb. 8 webinar will give an overview of the MBS market, including CMOs. Balance Sheet Solutions is recording the sessions. For more information, contact Balance Sheet Solutions at 888-796-6389, ext. 2846, or email jan.stammer@balancesheetsolutions.org.

Shazam invests in Internet PIN-debit maker

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DES MOINES, Iowa (1/28/11)--Shazam electronic funds networks has made a strategic investment in the payment authentication company Adaptive Payments, which has developed technology that uses mobile or landline phones to help verify Internet personal identification number transactions conducted at participating websites. In September, Shazam and Adaptive Payments partnered to provide Internet PIN debit processing and gateway services for financial institutions nationwide. Shazam and Adaptive Payments also are working together on a person-to-person payments solution, using mobile technology in real time (Payments Source Jan 25). Ft. Lauderdale. Fla.-based Adaptive’s technology is developing a person-to-person smartphone application Shazam would offer to its partner financial institutions. Adaptive also is working with funds-transfer companies on a similar service, according to Ralph Bianco, chief operating officer. Adaptive uses what it calls a five-factor authentication process that combines cardholder information and transaction data with the PIN consumers use at the point of sale or at ATMs. The technology also validates a consumers Internet protocol address and phone number used in the transaction.

CUNA Mutual to sell Australian business

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MADISON, Wis. (1/28/11)--CUNA Mutual Group has reached an agreement in principle to sell its Australian business operations to QBE Insurance Group. CUNA Mutual concluded its Australian business would be better positioned to serve its customers and for future growth under a different ownership structure. The agreement does not affect CUNA Mutual’s commitment to its remaining international operations in Europe and the Caribbean, the company said. QBE Australia is a member of the QBE Insurance Group, Australia’s largest international insurance and reinsurance group and one of the top 25 global insurers and reinsurers as measured by gross written premium. QBE Australia has more than 50 offices spanning each state and territory in Australia.

007 would like this safety deposit box

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (1/28/11)--The new Sunova CU branch in Winnipeg, Manitoba features a safety-deposit-box vault that would do 007 proud. All that’s missing is the James Bond theme song. The vault includes some of the latest in high-tech security--features such as a window that frosts over to ensure privacy as the member steps in and a biometric scanner that reads fingerprints. Sunova associate Scott Davey said the company that installed the units--Gunnebo Canada--told the credit union Sunova is the first financial institution in North America to get the boxes (Winnipeg Free Press Jan. 25). Members aren’t required to sign a ledger and they don’t need a key or a teller with a duplicate key to open the compartment where the box is stored. Instead, box owners use a debit card to enter the vault, which is accessed through the ATM lobby. Inside, members insert their card into a computer terminal, and enter their personal identification number. Then, the member inserts his or her finger into the biometric scanner to confirm his or her identity, and a robotic arm behind the wall retrieves the deposit box and sets it on a small table below the computer terminal. A door slides open, and members can access their box. When they’re finished, they push a button and the door slides shut. The robotic arm returns the box to its compartment, and the member retrieves his or her debit card. Because an employee no longer needs to be present, members can access their safety deposit box at any time. Davey said the new vault has been getting rave reviews since the branch opened last week. “People are very impressed. They absolutely love it,” he said. “A few people have said ... it’s very James Bond-ish.”

Four vendors join 16 in Minnesotas Vendor Involvement

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (1/27/11)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) welcomed 20 participants to its Vendor Involvement Program (V.I.P.) on Jan. 1. The V.I.P., created in 2005, provides service organizations with an opportunity to work with MnCUN and increase their visibility among Minnesota credit unions. Designed to optimize business relationships with the state's credit unions, the advertising program offers annual meeting packages, exposure and opportunities to participate in new MnCUN initiatives. Of the 20 organizations, four are new, while 16 have renewed their participation. The new vendors are:
* AmeriCU; * CRW Insurance; * John M. Floyd & Associates; and * StarWest Chevrolet Honda Sports.
The program "gives credit union service providers an easy way to get their message in front of Minnesota credit unions," said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN president/CEO. "In a time when so many companies are looking to make the most out of their advertising dollars, this packaged program provides opportunities throughout the year to speak directly to their target audience." Participants must offer professional service, quality product lines and competitive pricing, and must appreciate the qualities that make credit unions unique and understanding the importance of service. Participation does not constitute an endorsement by MnCUN.

Worldwide Interactive offers VSoft item capture to CUs

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DULUTH, Ga. (1/27/11)--VSoft Corp., an information and technology provider of process improvement solutions for financial institutions, has partnered with Orlando, Fla.-based technology provider Worldwide Interactive Services to offer VSoft’s Teller and Home/Office Item Capture services to its CUtopia core credit union customers. CUTopia’s core software solution was developed to provide credit unions with an in-house system that can be tailored to meet both individual credit union and member needs. Leveraging CUtopia e-Suite banking with VSoft’s remote deposit capture solutions helps credit unions reduce operational costs and compete with larger institutions, said John Panteleon, president/CEO at Worldwide Interactive Services. “VSoft shares in our dedication to helping credit unions stay ahead of the technology curve and guarantee member satisfaction,” Panteleon said. VSoft’s teller capture solution allows credit unions to capture deposits at the teller window, or behind the teller line in the branch back office, depending on strategy, branch footprint and deposit mix. Its Home/Office Item Capture solution enables credit unions to further extend their services by providing added convenience for personal or small-business members.

Open Solutions DNA 3.0 to help CUs create revenue

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GLASTONBURY, Conn. (1/27/11)--Technology provider Open Solutions Inc. has released the newest version of its enterprise-wide core relational platform, DNA 3.0. The first new release since DNA was introduced in 2008, DNA 3.0 has more than 120 enhancements. DNA 3.0 will create new revenue opportunities for credit unions by supporting their ability to offer new products and services. “In the wake of recent regulatory changes, we sought to enhance our core platform and enable our financial institution clients to succeed in a troubled economy,” said Esther D’Albero, vice president of core-product development at Open Solutions. “Recent changes to the financial regulatory environment have challenged institutions to look for non-traditional sources of revenue.” DNA 3.0 also allows financial institutions to offer new products and services to small business customers, an increasingly important market for banks and credit unions, and gives them more opportunities to cross-sell because products are better segmented in the new version. Butch Leonardson, senior vice president and chief information officer of BECU, Seattle, said his credit union’s conversion to DNA 3.0 exceeded expectations. “The entire process went very smoothly; over the course of one weekend our credit union went live with the new platform and the following Wednesday our command center shut down. Through the course of this transition, every effort was made to mitigate possible issues and in the end, there were none that needed to be addressed.”

Xetus introduces loan management tool

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PALO ALTO, Calif. (1/26/11)--Palo Alto, Calif.-based Xetus, has rolled out the XetusOne Loan Management System, which allows lenders to manage lending activity through a Web-based platform. A loan management system (LMS), unlike a standard loan origination system (LOS) allows for the comprehensive management of a loan--including origination, subordination or modification--throughout its lifecycle. Xetus President/CEO Scott Stein said a trend toward generalization has taken over the lending industry, with than 7,000 financial institutions experiencing nearly a 5% decrease in employees in the 12-month period leading up to September. Institutions holding less than $100 million in assets experienced a 16.5% cut. “Leaner, time-strapped banks and credit unions have been pressed into finding ways to manage more loans with fewer people, and XetusOne LMS delivers that capability,” Stein said. XetusOne tracks milestones, assigns tasks and sets conditions, helping users manage data, compliance auditing and state-specific documentation. The XetusOne platform also allows lending employees to use the same interface to review subordination requests, restructure mature home equity lines of credit, modify non-performing loans and analyze cash flow. With cloud-based Web capability, XetusOne allows multiple users to collaborate in real-time on the same file. Once a user enters a borrower’s data into the system, XetusOne auto-populates related fields.

CU Risk Council adds website

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (1/26/11)--The Credit Union Risk Council (CURC) has unveiled a new website. The website provides credit unions with information, resources, and a connection channel for federal law enforcement regarding risk associated with card products. It also contains an interactive forum for exclusive use by staff members at credit unions, federal law enforcement agencies and Visa and MasterCard companies. The new CURC website is the first to provide federal law enforcement with a secured resource to connect with credit unions in support of investigative efforts. The site provides credit unions with a single source for news, articles and information pertaining to risk in the card business. The Credit Union Risk Council was formed in 2008 to address the topic of risk management from the unique perspective of credit unions. Council members work together in a spirit of cooperation to act as advocates for credit unions and to create industry solutions specifically designed for credit unions. Participating institutions are: Card Services for Credit Unions, Credit Union Card Center, Credit Union 24, CUNA Mutual Group, Jack Henry & Associates, The Members Group, Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, PSCU Financial Services and TNB Card Services. Advisory participants include: the FBI, MasterCard, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service and Visa.

Fiserv adds new tools for online banking

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (1/25/11)--Fiserv has added functionality to its consumer online banking solution for community financial institutions and renamed it. eCom will be renamed Retail Online. The company, a financial services technology solutions provider, said the enhanced solution includes an advanced look and feel, new personal financial management tools and an integrated landing page that provides immediate access to features customers use most often, including CheckFree RXP for bill payment and ZashPay person-to-person payments. Retail Online was released in December, and will be deployed by Fiserv within its community banking platforms throughout 2011. The company’s clients running its Premier core system have been familiar with the solution as eCom since its introduction in 2000. Cleartouch clients know the product as Retail Internet Banking for Cleartouch. Clients running the Precision bank platform will be introduced to the product as an additional online banking option this spring. Going forward, these online banking solutions will all be Retail Online. Fiserv said the enhanced landing page enables customers to perform financial tasks with fewer clicks. From the landing page, consumers also can view a snapshot of their spending habits, check account balances and transfer funds between accounts. The latest enhancements were based, in part, on an in-depth ethnographic study of online banking consumers that showed a desire for an experience that goes beyond generic services, the company said.

Two CUSOs name script-writing contest winner

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GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (1/25/11)--Jenny Moroski from Royal Oak, Mich.-based Rome CU was selected as the winner of a script-writing contest sponsored by two Grand Rapids, Michigan-based cooperative credit union service organizations—Xtend Inc., and CU*Answers Inc. Moroski’s winning script was written to to help spur auto-refinance loan activity at the $18 million-asset credit union. The contest was held in conjunction with an initiative to deliver 500 free outbound calls to members for credit unions in the cuasterisk.com network. The 500-call campaigns, sponsored by CU*Answers, were selected to drive member awareness of credit union services. The scripts from the contests will be incorporated into the Xtend call center’s work processes.

Intuit unveils SnapTax for iPhone Android

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (1/24/11)--Intuit announced that SnapTax, a mobile application that allows people to prepare and file their taxes, is now available nationwide for both iPhone and Android from TurboTax. Intuit Financial Services is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. Introduced last year in California, SnapTax allows taxpayers with simple returns to snap a photo of their W-2 with their mobile phones and then automatically enters the information into their tax return, Intuit said. Taxpayers answer a few basic questions, review their return for accuracy and tap “File Now” to electronically file their federal and state tax returns in minutes. According to a release, SnapTax uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to streamline tax preparation and shows a running tally of the refund, or taxes owed, every step of the way, according to the release.

Bluepoint announces record performance

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VISTA, Calif. (1/24/11)--Powered by strong customer growth and retention, technology solutions provider Bluepoint Solutions, a 2010 CUNA Technology Council “Best of Show” winner, experienced a record performance in 2010. Bluepoint saw a 32% increase in new direct clients, with an existing customer renewal rate of more than 95%. The company also experienced record growth in the adoption of its ImagePoint item processing solution, with 24 credit unions using it to move item processing operations entirely in-house. Bluepoint launched one of the industry’s first remote-deposit capture solutions for smart phones in July. With increased smart phone use and consumer demand for mobile banking applications, the company said it has already experienced rapid adoption of the new solution, QwikDeposit ToGo. CUNA council award was presented at the the BAI Retail Delivery conference.

Xtend returns dividend raises price

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (1/24/11)--Xtend, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, declared its first-ever dividend and raised its stock price. Xtend provides an array of managerial, operational, marketing, technical planning and consulting services for credit unions. The company released its final audited financials to its 52 stockholders on Dec. 7 along with a dividend of 3%. Xtend’s board of directors also voted to increase the price of the company’s stock for the first time since 2008. The new stock price of $19,500 for an ownership block of 200 shares became effective Jan. 1.

iPay launches service to convert small-biz members

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MONETT, Mo. (1/21/11)--iPay Technologies has launched a service that assists in converting small business customers from consumer online bill payment systems to a bill payment system better suited for small businesses. By automatically tracking transaction volumes and types, iPay’s Biz 2.0 Crossover allows financial institutions to identify which customers use a consumer bill pay platform for their business payments. Biz 2.0 Crossover then uses that account insight to deliver professional communications to help them recognize the benefits of converting to iPay’s small business bill pay solution, Biz 2.0. The messages can be presented as banner ads on a financial institution’s consumer bill pay homepage during a user’s online session, on Web pages or via e-mail. Each communication includes an enrollment prompt to enroll online for Biz 2.0. “Today, small businesses need to optimize operating efficiencies and cash flow, simplify funds management and effectively control delegated tasks,” said Bill Ready, president of iPay Technologies, a division of Jack Henry & Associates Inc. “However, most of them are not achieving these basic goals if they are using a consumer online bill payment product. The tendency to use a consumer bill pay solution typically stems from familiarity with the platform and its functionality, and many small businesses simply are not aware that dedicated online bill pay solutions are available to them.” For example, Ready said Biz 2.0 processes billing and payroll without consolidating orders or using spreadsheets. It also supports direct deposits, payday schedules and advance reminders.

CU Members Mortgage stays steady in shaky 2010

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DALLAS (1/21/11)--With the nation’s economy still sluggish--especially in the mortgage industry--CU Members Mortgage continued to buck the trend, assisting credit unions with mortgages and keeping its home loan activity steady throughout a challenging 2010. Noteworthy 2010 statistics for CU Members Mortgage include:
* 16,300 applications produced from April through September (up from 10,500 during same period in 2009); * 150% increase in loan applications in 2010; * Increased staff from 95 in 2008 to 131 in 2010; * Signed 44 new credit union partners, 10 of which became Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-approved; and * 111 credit union partners became FHA approved in 2010.
“In the midst of last year’s application boom, we’ve watched the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act present challenges that have increased the time necessary to process a loan,” said Linda Clampitt, senior vice president of CU Members Mortgage. “We’ve watched investor guidelines become even more conservative and documentation requirements become more demanding. We are still awaiting loan officer compensation changes under new regulatory guidelines--and don’t forget the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act is looming.” In 2009, there was focus on FHA loans becoming more available, requiring credit unions to have a partner that could help them provide FHA loans on a sponsored level. This trend continued in 2010, but with an added edge that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was eliminating loan correspondents, leading to big changes in the FHA approval process, the company said. This change became effective Jan 1. While it changed the approval process, creating a sponsored third-party program, CU Members Mortgage still actively provides FHA loans for its partners. Also in 2010, the tax credit expired, signaling the end to the incentive helping so many buyers purchase new homes--which may have been the primary motivator in the jump in mortgage applications last year, CU Members Mortgage said. As the tax credit expired, however, rates were still low, which kept refinance applications flowing. For 2011, Clampitt predicted that as the mortgage lending environment changes and becomes more rigid, specifically as the SAFE Act unfolds, staff will become experts in their field with registration and licensing, continuing education and other components. As a result, more credit unions will seek the expertise of mortgage aggregators to provide a product for both compliance and membership growth, she added.

MeridianLink teams with Experian on online services

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COSTA MESA, Calif. (1/20/11)--MeridianLink and Experian have joined forces to create a solution to improve the delivery of online financial services while increasing reliability of new account and credit decisions. The new solution will help mitigate fraud and reduce back-end operational costs, said the companies. MeridianLink developed the industry's first multi-channel account opening and loan origination platform. Experian is a global information services company. "Banks and credit unions are looking for online account opening and lending solutions that are based on accurate data returns from a variety of real-time inquires like Experian's PreciseID provides," said Edward Guerin, vice president of business development at MeridianLink. "With Experian's support, our tightly integrated solution delivers that." The Experian function ensures that every new account or loan application meets clearly defined identity authentication, verification, Office of Foreign Assets Control screening and credit criteria in real time. MeridianLink's system enhances the convenience and delivery of lending and account opening, It can be set up to communicate with existing systems to offer integration of third-party products and consolidate applicant data from all existing channels--Web, branch, call center, indirect and kiosks.

PSCU CUSO extends Fiserv online bill payment

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (1/20/11)--PSCU Financial Services has agreed to continue offering Fiserv’s Checkfree RXP bill payment capabilities through PSCU’s PayLynx online bill payment platform. During 2010, PSCU Financial Services, a credit union service organization, facilitated marketing campaigns with more than 170 credit unions to help increase bill payment activation. By year-end, CUSO had 1.1 million bill payment subscribers. “A robust online bill payment platform attracts members and is an influential factor in selecting a primary financial institution,” said Mike Yatros, interim CEO of PSCU Financial Services. He particularly mentioned Fiserv’s continuing platform innovations, such as its ZashPay SM person-to-person (P2P) payment option, which “allows members to quickly send or receive money using existing online banking accounts, regardless of the recipient’s financial institution.” PSCU Financial Services’ PayLynx online bill payment solution is deployed at more than 475 financial institutions.

Newteks Small Biz Authority has new website

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NEW YORK (1/20/11)--Newtek Business Services, The Small Business Authority, has rolled out a new website. The goal of The Small Business Authority branding strategy is to establish its website as the online destination spot for small businesses. According to Newtek, a CUNA Strategic Services provider, the 27 million small businesses nationwide represent 51% of non-farm gross domestic product and 99.7% of all employer firms. Features of thesba.com that impact small-business owners include:
* A free monthly newsletter for independent small business owners; * The SB Authority Small Business Index; * The SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey; * News reports and updates about the economy for the small business owner; * SB authority informational videos; and * Information on acquiring products and services for independent business owners.
The new website includes small business news, monthly economic measurements, monthly owners’ market sentiment measurements, monthly SB University tips for business owners, cost savings and discounts on small business products and services, and news out of Washington, D.C., or state governments affecting business owners. “The Small Business Authority, through its new website, will be supporting the business community with a forum to learn, educate, and exchange ideas with other business owners by providing blogging space for independent business owners and writers,” said Barry Sloane, CEO and chairman of Newtek Business Services. “The sharing of information, ideas, and thoughts amongst members of this community is invaluable to those interested in studying and learning the dynamics of what is occurring to business owners across America.”

CUDL to promote CUs at NADA conference

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ONTARIO, Calif. (1/19/11)--CUDL, an indirect and point-of-purchase auto lending credit union service organization, will represent more than 900 credit unions at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention for the eighth consecutive year. The convention takes place Feb. 5-7 in San Francisco. The largest event for automobile dealers in the U.S., the NADA convention draws attendance from roughly one third of all U.S. dealerships. Although credit unions faced strong competition in 2010, with the return of banks and other lenders to the auto lending marketplace, credit unions have seen their market share gain momentum the second half of the year, going from a low of 16.2% in March, to a year-to-date market share of 17.6% in November, according to CUDL. CUDL continued to experience growth with its national auto lending network in 2010, signing 151 new credit unions and 1,158 new dealerships. CUDL’s national lending network includes 6,900 dealerships and 920 credit unions representing 27.5 million members nationwide.

New service connects loan buyers sellers online

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CHATSWORTH, Calif. (1/18/11)--Credit union-owned and operated Business Partners LLC (BPLLC), a provider of member business lending services for financial institutions nationwide, has launched BP Connect, an online marketplace that connects financial institutions looking to purchase loans with those who sell loans. BPLLC's loan participation platform enables buyers and sellers to interact directly in an online marketplace. Sellers can post loans they have available for viewing by potential buyers, who can view loan bundles and receive daily alerts with newly posted loans. BPLLC's existing standards and platform also allow participating institutions to complete due diligence quickly and easily, said the credit union service organization. For financial institutions seeking to remix their balance sheets, BP Connect provides a way to purchase or sell residential real estate, auto loans, credit cards and other consumer loans. "With this new participation marketplace, it's easier than ever for financial institutions to manage liquidity, reduce their concentration risk, and diversify their portfolios," said Jean Faenza, president/CEO. "We've removed the middleman and created an environment where buyers and sellers can easily find each other and conduct business using our advanced loan participation platform and tools." The Chatsworth, Calif.-based BPLLC's member business lending services include origination, underwriting, documentation, servicing, and risk management and reporting. It has more than $1.5 billion in business loans under asset management.

Verafin passes 600th customer milestone

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ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland (1/18/11)--Verafin, Inc., a Canadian provider of compliance, anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud detection software, has surpassed 600 customers in North America. Through 2010, Verafin, a CUNA Strategic Services provider, had more than 630 bank and credit union customers, marking the strongest quarter in the company’s history with a triple digit year-over-year customer growth. “When you consider that we signed our 500th customer in May 2010, this continuing growth proves that financial institutions see the value in bringing together fraud and AML [FRAML] processes,” said Jamie King, co-founder and CEO of Verafin. “As we rapidly deploy to more banks and credit unions, with a single fraud and AML solution that drives higher customer satisfaction and increased efficiency, the industry is recognizing how a combined solution lowers the risk of financial and reputational loss.”

CU 24 adds 28 CUs in 2010

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (1/18/11)--Twenty-eight credit unions joined ATM and point-of-sale network Credit Union 24 during 2010, representing nearly $1.2 billion in assets and 185,000 members. A total of 65 credit unions also renewed long-term contracts with the network during the year, representing more than $7.1 billion in assets and more than 955,000 members. The 65 renewing credit unions have relationships with Credit Union 24 that extend as far back as 1982 and route more than 17 million transactions annually through the Credit Union 24 network. Eight credit unions joined the credit union-owned network in the fourth quarter, representing $476 million in assets with more than 69,000 members. Also in the quarter, 26 credit unions renewed long-term contracts with Credit Union 24, representing more than $3.3 billion in assets with more than 390,000 members.

EasCorp reports more response to DeposZip

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (1/14/11)--Three more credit unions agreed to offer DeposZip, the remote-deposit capture service offered by Eastern Corporate FCU (EasCorp), Burlington, Mass., and its subsidiary, Vertifi Software, LLC. The new users include $1.5 billion GTE FCU of Tampa, Fla.; $57 million E&P FCU of Washington, D.C.; and $3 billion Ent FCU of Colorado Springs, Colo. Ent FCU intends to offer DeposZip Mobile to its members through the freely available downloadable applications for iPhone and Android devices, while GTE FCU will provide the DeposZip Desktop version. E&P FCU will offer both programs to its members. Sixty-four credit unions offer DeposZip, including 15 with assets exceeding $1 billion. To date, 113,000 registered household and business members have deposited more than $738 million into their credit union accounts through DeposZip--including $61 million in deposits using smartphones since the mobile program became active in early 2010.

TMG PolicyWorks team for compliance service

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DES MOINES, Iowa (1/13/11)--TMG has partnered with PolicyWorks, a regulatory compliance firm that not only guides a credit union through the compliance process, but also manages that process. “The compliance experts at PolicyWorks are at the top of their field,” said Jeff Russell, TMG executive vice president. “Pairing them with TMG clients will ensure that their credit, debit and prepaid portfolios are not only profitable and growing, but on point with the letter of the law.” PolicyWorks, owned by the Iowa Credit Union League provides credit unions nationwide with customized compliance solutions. With a team of legal and financial services professionals, PolicyWorks provides training and guidance to help credit unions navigate and implement regulatory compliance changes.

Switch scales tier-elite data centers

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LAS VEGAS (1/13/11)--Telecommunications provider Switch has expanded to meet the future data-center needs of its clients, including credit unions. Switch, a CUNA Strategic Services Provider, yesterday announced the expansion of its Western U.S. data center campus, SuperNAP-West, to more than 2 million square feet of data center space. At 407,000 square feet, SuperNAP-7 (NV), located in Las Vegas, is the world’s highest density, ultra-scale data center, according to Switch. With the addition of more than 1.6 million square feet of space, SuperNAP-West is also home to a massive fiber gateway that includes some of North America’s largest telecom providers. With the expansion, the SuperNAP-West campus will deliver:
* 500 megavolt-amperes (MVA) of power capacity; * 567 MVA of generator capacity; * 294 MVA of uninterruptible power supply; * 202,000 tons of cooling; * 22,000,000 cubic feet per minute of airflow; * Over 31,000 cabinets; * 24/7/365 on-site security, safety, operations, and critical infrastructure personnel; and * 500,000 square feet of additional on-net office space.
Switch provides bandwidth, data centers and connections to credit unions at competitive prices, helping them stay on top of security, business continuity, and compliance issues.

Filene teams with student loan program on Gen Y

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WASHINGTON (1/12/11)--The Filene Research Institute, Madison, Wis., has partnered with a private student lender to help its clients forge deeper relationships with young adults. The lender, Credit Union Student Choice, Washington, D.C., is a credit union service organization serving more than 175 credit unions nationwide. “Credit unions offering the Student Choice program have funded more than 21,000 loans in the last three years, and many of those borrowers are brand new credit union members,” said Mike Weber, vice president of marketing Credit Union Student Choice. “Add in the fact that our program helps credit unions connect with borrowers in their local field of membership and it’s obvious these new members present a genuine opportunity for a deeper, long-term relationship. To achieve that though, it’s imperative that credit unions have a full understanding of what it will take to successfully serve the financial needs of young adults,” he added. Student Choice will kick off the partnership by hosting two free client webinars in February and March, both of which will be delivered by Brent Dixon, Filene’s young adult advisor. The first webinar will focus on the products, services and recruiting strategies credit unions need to serve young adults. The second webinar will highlight today’s digital culture and its impact on how businesses connect with consumers.

CUDL tool helps CUs dealers comply with FACTA

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ONTARIO, Calif. (1/12/11)--CUDL has developed a new tool to assist credit unions that are looking to provide auto dealers with credit score discloser notices required by the new risk-based pricing provisions of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), which became effective Jan. 1. In response to credit union requests for a solution that can be made available to auto dealers, the Ontario, Calif.-based credit union service organization, which offers indirect and point-of-purchase lending services for the credit union industry, has developed a tool that allows credit unions to provide dealers with disclosure notices through the company’s lending platform. As a result, credit unions can make credit disclosure notices available to dealers that are looking for assistance in being compliant with new FACTA requirements. CU Direct Corp., parent company for the CUDL brand, also confirmed it will offer a session addressing the new FACTA risk-based pricing requirements at its 2011 Credit Union Lending Conferences, at Newport Beach, Calif. in May, and at Washington, D.C. in September.

TurboTax expands tweeting to help taxpayers

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SAN DIEGO (1/11/11)—Tax preparation software provider TurboTax has expanded its @TeamTurboTax program to help more tweeting taxpayers beat the tax-filing deadline this year. The @TeamTurboTax team, the group of tax, tech, product and support experts who answer questions on Twitter, the 140-character limit social networking platform, has been doubled in size. TurboTax, the tax preparation software from Intuit Inc., launched @TeamTurboTax last year in response to the growing use of Twitter by customers. According to Twitter, there are currently 175 million registered Twitter users worldwide. Intuit is a CUNA Strategic Services Provider. @TeamTurboTax answers product questions, troubleshoots problems, and resolves customer service issues. To get tax and technical help from TurboTax on Twitter, taxpayers can use the link.

Fannie offers homeowner tool--WaysHome

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WASHINGTON (1/10/11)--Fannie Mae has launched WaysHome, an interactive video to educate homeowners about their options to avoid foreclosure, motivate them to make the right decisions, and encourage them to seek help. Fannie Mae, a CUNA Strategic Services Provider, is a government-sponsored enterprise chartered by Congress with a mission to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets. WaysHome is part of Fannie Mae’s Know Your Options consumer initiative to help struggling homeowners. WaysHome was developed by Fannie Mae to educate distressed homeowners on the short- and long-term impact of their decisions. Through video reenactment, WaysHome allows homeowners to experience scenarios for avoiding foreclosure, including repayment plans, forbearances, modifications, deeds-in-lieu and short sales. The video is set in a neighborhood hurt by the foreclosure crisis. Actors play three neighborhood residents--each in financial distress. Homeowners choose one of the residents to play and, as their stories unfold, make important financial decisions for them and see how the consequences of these decisions play out. Fannie Mae provides tips, tools and links during the process, and users can go back and revise their decisions if their choices lead to a negative outcome. Most choices lead to an immediate consequence followed by a related teaching point.

CU 24 partners with Palmetto Coop for ATM POS

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (1/10/11)--In a partnership of credit union service organizations (CUSOs), Credit Union 24, has joined with Palmetto Cooperative Services to provide credit union-owned point-of-sale (POS) and surcharge-free ATM services to credit unions referred to the network through Palmetto. More than 400 participating Palmetto Cooperative Services credit unions will have direct access to Credit Union 24’s ATM and POS services if they join the network. Palmetto Cooperative Services, Columbia, S.C., provides item processing and statement processing for more than 400 credit unions in 20 states. Credit Union 24, Tallahassee, Fla., has hundreds of thousands of POS locations at national retailers and local merchants, and more than 100,000 ATM terminals nationwide. “Our partnership with Palmetto Cooperative Services evolved through our mutual recognition of how, together, we provide a holistic offering of products and services that address a majority of credit unions’ needs,” said Jim Park, president/CEO of Credit Union 24.

CUNA Mutual announces 2011 risk-protection webinars

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MADISON, Wis. (1/7/11)--CUNA Mutual Group announced its schedule of 2011 Credit Union Protection Webinar Series to help reduce risk exposures for credit unions, their staffs, and their board of directors. Topics, developed exclusively for CUNA Mutual Credit Union Bond policyholders, were selected from exposures that surged in 2010, including wire transfer and lender liability claims, said Brad Mundine, regional manager of Credit Union Protection Risk Management. "In addition to the scheduled live webinar topics selected to address losses that are expected to impact credit unions throughout the year, the series will also feature four topics to address emerging risks that will be determined as the year progresses," he added. In 2010 more than 6,100 individuals representing 1,477 credit unions registered for the series. The free sessions are 60 to 75 minutes long. Use the link for times and other information. Scheduled webinars are:
* Dealing with a Data Breach, Jan. 12-- Protecting your data, customers, reputation and bottom line; * ATM Fraud: A Growing Threat, Feb. 16--Low effort for criminals could mean high losses for you; * Survive the Unthinkable, April 13--Disaster preparedness and response are key; * Employees Gone Bad, May 18--Preventing losses from employee dishonesty; * Risk Management Open Mic, July (date to be determined)--It's credit unions' turn to take the stage; * ACH Fraud Hits a Nerve, Aug. 17--Transactional procedures can minimize risk; * What You Need to Know About Employment Practices Liability, Oct. 5--How to spot issues, eliminate hurdles and reduce risk; and * The Many Faces of Fraud, Nov. 16--A look back and ahead.
March, June, September and December will be open months with topics determined later.

CUAnswers returns 1.2M dividend

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (1/7/11)--CU*Answers, a core data processing company in Grand Rapids, Mich., has announced a $1.2 million patronage dividend returned to its credit union owners. The return is a 71% increase from last year's $700,000 patronage dividend. The 100%-credit-union-owned service organization attributed its success to dedication by its owner/clients and network partners in promoting collaboration as a means for stability. The CUSO also said the number of members being processed online through its flagship processing system, CU*BASE, has increased an average 16.8% annually since 2000. The number of credit unions investing in CU*Answers has risen to 90 owners from 49 in the past 10 years.

CheckAlt Payment Solutions expands to CUs through NACUSO

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LOS ANGELES (1/6/11)--Remote deposit capture (RDC) service provider CheckAlt Payment Solutions has joined the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO), expanding its reach within the credit union industry. CheckAlt remote deposit capture offers an in-house Check21 system that allows credit unions to use images for remote deposits and to use teller capture to scan checks at the teller window. CheckAlt RDC’s process allows images to be securely stored locally for on-demand access and uploading to Federal Reserve Banks. Supporting single or multiple scan locations, CheckAlt’s RDC solution facilitates cash flow, lowers upfront and operational costs, simplifies returns processing and check clearing, and integrates with existing credit union core processors. In joining NACUSO, CheckAlt said it will attend and sponsor association events and provide best practices recommendations and data to organization members.

Verafin CUs receive Gonzo Banker awards

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (1/6/11)--Fraud and asset-liability management solutions provider Verafin was recognized along with other credit union individuals and organizations in the 2010 GonzoBanker Awards, presented by Cornerstone Advisors. Verafin, a CUNA Strategic Services provider based in St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada, was recognized with “The Big Mo’ (Momentum) Award for Ancillary Systems.” “This entrepreneurial group of Newfoundlanders is simply tearing up the fraud and AML market. Kudos to a 2003 startup that’s showing the big boys how to develop new cool stuff,” GonzoBanker said. The merger of Addison Avenue FCU, Palo Alto, Calif., and First Tech CU, Beaverton, Ore., was named the “Credit Union Deal of the Year.” “What a great shot fired over the bow for all credit unions to see that healthy, scale-driven mergers in the credit union industry could make sense,” GonzoBanker said of the merger. Randy Smith of Randolph-Brooks Federal CU, Universal City, Texas, was named Banker of the Year in the credit union category. Dave Serlo, former CEO of PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, Fla., a credit union service organization (CUSO) was named “CUSO Executive Who Will Be Missed the Most.” Serlo died June 25. The “Core Deal of the Year” in the credit union category was awarded to Patelco CU, San Francisco, and Acumen, Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv’s newest account processing solution.

Dell to acquire SecureWorks

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ROUND ROCK, Texas (1/5/11)--Dell has agreed to acquire SecureWorks, in a move that expands its information technology and information security expertise. SecureWorks is a supplier of information-security solutions, such as managed-security services, security and risk consulting and threat intelligence. It processes more than 13 billion security events and sees more than 30,000 malware specimens each day. The company has more than 1,500 bank and credit union clients and protects trillions of dollars in financial assets. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but the acquisition is expected to close early this year. Dell plans to maintain SecureWorks’ current operations and continue to make investments in enhanced security offerings.

PSCU Fin. Services member forum in April

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (1/5/11)--PSCU Financial Services’ 2011 Senior Leadership Workshop and Member Forum will be held April 6-8 in San Antonio, Texas.
PSCU Financial Services is a credit union services organization that serves more than 1,500 financial institutions. Keynote presenters include:
* Peter Orszag, a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet and director, Office of Management & Budget, 2009-2010; * Steven Levitt, bestselling author of “Freakonomics” and “Superfreakonomics,” and a tenured professor at the University of Chicago’s Economics Department; * Stan Slap, corporate strategist and author ofNew York Times bestseller “Bury My Heart at Conference Room B”; and * Erik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics” and social media/technology expert.
As in past years, the event will feature question and answer segments, discussions and panels. Sessions will meet concurrently at the event and will allow discussions with speakers in an informal environment. Breakout sessions will promote best practices for credit, debit, prepaid and e-commerce platforms; use of innovative products; risk management; and regulations.

CO-OP processed two billion transactions in 10

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (1/4/11)--Electronics payment processor CO-OP Financial Services established a new annual record by handling more than two billion transactions in 2010. The transactions, performed on behalf of its more than 3,000 client credit unions, represent more than a 10% increase compared with 2009. The total maintains CO-OP’s position as the largest volume credit union-owned processor, the company said. In addition to the annual record, CO-OP Financial Services established a new single-day record with eight million transactions on Dec. 24.