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MRG and Xerox team to classify mortgage documents

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DALLAS, Tex. (11/1/10)--MRG Document Technologies (MRG), a provider of mortgage document preparations software and compliance technology to credit unions, banks and lenders nationwide, announced that it has partnered with Xerox Mortgage Services to provide DataGlyphs technology, enabling the automatic classification of scanned and uploaded documents into the BlitzDocs collaboration suite. MRG’s customers can embed mortgage-loan information on a document using DataGlyphs, a form of a barcode that acts as a portable database. When documents are printed and signed by the borrower, they can be uploaded directly into BlitzDocs without manual classification or inserting cover pages. “DataGlyphs enable MRG's customers to easily classify documents in BlitzDocs and benefit from technology that simple barcoding lacks--automating and accelerating the mortgage lending process,” said Todd Moncrief, vice president of business development at Xerox Mortgage Services. "With our customers delivering tens of thousands of loans into the secondary market using BlitzDocs, we are committed to enhancing our solution with advanced technology that streamlines document management processes and reduces costs,” he added.

Bluepoint Solutions launches mobile check deposit app.

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (10/29/10)--At the recent BAI Retail Delivery Show & Expo, Vista, Calif.-based Bluepoint Solutions, a leading innovator in remote-deposit capture (RDC), announced the availability of the first mobile remote-deposit capture solution integrated into an application built for Android-powered smart phones. Bluepoint has configured its’ QwikDeposit ToGo application for Google’s Android operating system in response to the increasing demand and popularity of Android. QwikDeposit ToGo enables consumers to securely deposit checks with a camera-equipped smart phone, providing faster availability of funds and added convenience. Account holders initiate mobile-banking sessions, key in their deposit amount and simply snap photos of both the front and back of the check with their smart phone cameras. The software captures the check, formats the image, automatically corrects any image distortions or skewing and confirms the images meet Check 21 and mobile image-quality standards. All transactions are transmitted with multiple layers of security and, if necessary, can be traced back to registered smart phones, marked with time and location, in order to combat fraud. According to data released by research company, ComScore, Google’s Android operating system has the most momentum in the U.S. smart phone market. The data indicates that Android-based phones currently make up nine percent of the U.S. smart phone market, but have posted the fastest growth of any smart phone platform over the last six months.

Open Solutions releases new enterprise-wide core relational platform

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GLASTONBURY, Conn. (10/27/10)--Open Solutions Inc. has released the latest version of its enterprise-wide core relational platform. DNA 3.0 is the first new release since Open Solutions introduced DNA in 2008. It contains more than 120 enhancements designed to respond to rapid changes in the financial services industry. The enhancements are expected to help credit unions offer new products and services, serve the small business market and cross-sell to members. DNA 3.0 also significantly improves the core conversion process to aid credit unions engaging in mergers and acquisitions, the company said. The release was announced at the 2010 Bank Administration Institute Retail Delivery Tradeshow and Conference.

Datacard Group introduces entry-level card issuance system

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MINNETONKA, Minn. (10/26/10)--Datacard Group has a new entry-level central card issuance system that aligns with the needs of credit unions, banks, retailers and other mid-volume card issuers in emerging markets. The Datacard MX1000 system offers up to 500 cards-per-hour productivity and features proven technologies based on the company’s best-selling portfolio of MX Series systems, but at a lower price. “It’s an ideal entry-level system,” said Dino Balafas, director of central issuance product management for Datacard Group. “Card issuers can build their programs and get familiar with the personalization capabilities and the easy-to-use Windows-based user interface. Then, as their programs grow and become more successful, they can make an easy transition to other higher volume systems within the MX Series. The MX1000 system is available in several fixed configurations, each designed to align with specific card issuance needs. The MX1000 system can also be seamlessly integrated with the Datacard MXD Lite card delivery system and the Datacard MXi envelope insertion system to create a complete card-to-envelope solution.

New investment option benefits Community Investment Fund

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MADISON, Wis. (10/25/10)-A new two-year certificate of deposit (CD) investment option from National Cooperative Bank (NCB) is available to credit unions seeking to support the Community Investment Fund (CIF) of the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). Credit unions that open the two-year CD account at NCB can designate 50%, 75% or 100% of interest earned on the account for donation to the NCUF and state credit union foundations. Credit unions are not required to purchase stock in NCB to participate. “CIF with NCB” was created by a strategic collaboration between NCB and NCUF. Other products include CDs with terms of six months, 12 months, 18 months and three years and a liquid money market deposit account. For more information, use the link.

mFoundry launches mobile banking adoption guarantee

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LAS VEGAS. (10/25/10)---mFoundry, a provider of live, nationwide secure mobile financial solutions, has launched an “Adoption Services” program to complement its “90 Day to Live” club. mFoundry said its adoption services package harnesses multiple media on a cost-effective basis for maximum impact, including:
* E-mail, website, and text messaging campaigns with device-optimized actionable responses via short message service (SMS) push; * Use of social media, including the financial institution's Facebook, Twitter and other social media presence; * Contextual mobile advertising; * On device “instant on” with no need for website enrollment, particularly targeting the offline user; and * Offline user enrollment through call center response and in-branch contact.
mFoundry technology is used by more than 200 banks, credit unions and credit union service organizations, including CO-OP Financial Services and PSCU Financial Services. New mFoundry customers can opt for a package of adoption services that guarantees a minimum adoption rate of 10% of the marketed base within one year of launch, the company said.

CUs can use corporate prepaid incentive cards to reward employees

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (10/22/10)--Prepaid incentive cards are a way for credit unions and other businesses to present monetary awards for outstanding sales or service, holiday bonuses and other achievements. Corporate Incentive Cards offered by PSCU Financial Services, a credit union services organization (CUSO), allow businesses to present employees with either personalized or non-personalized prepaid Visa cards. “Our business organizations like the user flexibility offered by a Visa prepaid card and our staff members appreciate the ease and simplicity of the application process. We can import cardholder personal information directly from a spreadsheet/template, and all the cards can be delivered to our credit union in one shipment,” said Liang Han, general manager of operations, Bank-Fund Staff FCU. Because prepaid incentive cards are not classified as gift cards, they are not subject to CARD Act rules. Therefore, monthly maintenance fees can be charged and they can carry shorter expiration dates, said PSCU Financial Services. The CUSO offers free promotional materials including greeting card-carriers to help credit unions market these corporate prepaid cards to small businesses. Like other cardholders, prepaid cardholders have access to 24/7/365 support from PSCU Financial Services’ Contact Centers. “This prepaid incentive card is just one of many services credit unions can market to attract and serve the needs of small businesses,” said Ron Silvia, director of Debit, ATM & Prepaid Services, PSCU Financial Services. Corporate incentive cards must be bulk ordered, but can be shipped to the credit union or the business.

Fiserv enhances Virtual Branch for CUs

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (10/21/10)--Fiserv Inc. has announced multiple enhancements to Virtual Branch, its online banking suite for credit unions. Virtual Branch has refined its user interface and integrated capabilities that enhance the online delivery channel with account origination, bill payment, lending, mobile banking and other convenience tools. Expanded integration enables Virtual Branch to support member-friendly online banking capabilities that include bill payment, check image archives, cross-sell, home deposits, lending platforms and mobile banking.

CUBase deploys new help system

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (10/21/10)--The CU*BASE processing system now incorporates a new help system called “Show Me the Steps.” Provided as part of the CU*BASE 10.3 software release, “Show Me the Steps” is designed as a companion to the existing online help and provides additional coverage for the system at a procedural level. A table of contents organizes directions by job description to allow staff members to easily find common functions for their position and duties. Credit unions can also submit procedural directions formed in their branches for addition to the new online help system. CU*BASE is the flagship product of CU*Answers, a 100% credit union-owned credit union service organization (CUSO) in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Identity Guard a sponsor in Protect Your Identity Week

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CHANTILLY, Va. (10/20/10)--Intersections Inc., a provider of identity risk management services such as Identity Guard, announced it has joined the coalition of Protect Your Identity Week (PYIW) sponsors. Intersections is a CUNA Strategic Services partner. Identity Guard will aid PYIW efforts by offering videos, articles and consumer tips on the PYIW website at www.ProtectYourIDNow.org. PYIW educates the public about the risk and prevention of identity theft with special events, articles and online information. The Credit Union National Association is also one of PYIW’s sponsors.

CU Resources league expand services for Arizona CUs

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DALLAS (10/19/10)--Credit Union Resources Inc., the service corporation of the Texas Credit Union League, will offer products and services to Arizona credit unions through a new partnership with the Arizona Credit Union League & Affiliates. Arizona credit unions can learn more about Credit Union Resources’ products and services at lunch-and-learn sessions on Oct. 28 at the Arizona league office in Phoenix and on Oct. 29 at Hughes FCU in Tucson. Each session will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Services emphasized by the partnership include:
* Safety and soundness products such as supervisory committee audits and internal audits; * Compliance review services; and * Trainings and informative updates through the shared compliance program.

Calif.Nevada leagues CUs launch CURoots CUSO

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ONTARIO, Calif. (10/19/10)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and several credit unions are working together to introduce a new credit union service organization (CUSO) called CURoots to help trim back-office expenses. CURoots will launch on-site compliance services in January 2011, according to a league release. Participating credit unions will be able to share compliance officers and gain access to the expertise of compliance professionals. Membership in CURoots is expected to minimize back-office expenses through collaboration in varied operational areas, with additional services to be developed based on interest expressed by credit unions. Lucy Ito, the leagues’ senior vice president of credit union growth and development, has been named CEO of CURoots. CURoots membership is open to all credit unions, credit union trade associations and CUSOs. The date for the first membership meeting and board election is yet to be determined.

First Data adds new account opening program

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ATLANTA, Ga. (10/18/10)--First Data Corp., an electronic commerce and payment processor with credit unions among its clients, has signed an agreement with MeridianLink Inc. to add XpressAccounts, an automated new member application and account opening program to its Internet banking service. Meridian was chosen because of its flexibility, said First Data. There is an increasing consumer demand for this capability, the Javelin Strategy and Research firm reports. The No. 1 benefit, a Javelin study found, is that online account opening can significantly reduce the cost of opening and servicing accounts. Javelin estimates that processing an application manually costs banks and credit unions an average of about $60. That's higher than the cost estimates from online account opening vendors, showing a mid-range of $15. MeridianLink Inc. is a provider of enterprise business solutions for end users in the financial services industries.

Registration open for April 2011 DE training

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MADISON, Wis. (10/18/10)--Registration is now open for the 2011 Credit Union Development Education (DE) training class taking place April 6-13 in Madison, Wis. Attendees of the six-day total immersion experience will learn about credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive education and professional networking. DE training is open to everyone from new employees who need a credit union orientation to seasoned executives who need to recharge. Participants cite many benefits of attending DE training:
* Graduates acquire skills in credit union outreach initiatives, problem solving, technical assistance, team building, and public presentations. * Graduates earn certification as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). They join a networking group of more than 1,000 graduates in America and 30 other countries. * CUDEs realize that local issues are indeed global--and that global issues are local. * CUDEs understand that credit unions grow stronger by working cooperatively. * CUDEs return to their jobs with new understanding of how to promote cooperative principles and credit union values as distinct advantages in today’s competitive financial services marketplace.
For more information, visit the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) website (use the resource links). NCUF is the primary sponsor of the DE program. Support is provided by CUNA Mutual Group, the Credit Union National Association, the World Council of Credit Unions, state foundations and leagues.

CUs WESCO Net selects Comcasts high-speed WAN

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (10/15/10)--A new fiber-wide area network with up to gigabit speeds is scheduled for activation for Michigan credit unions by the end of 2010. The new network will interlink WESCO Net's three data centers, providing redundancy for existing connections and support for advanced services such as cloud computing efforts, real time long distance data replication, and real time media support. According to WESCO Net's Dave Wordhouse, vice president Network Technologies, Comcast Business designed a high-speed fiber network that met its requirements for site survivability, performance, and reliability. "Our customers demand performance and the ability to enhance our communications redundancy and bandwidth capacity allows WESCO Net to offer new cloud computing initiatives, online data replication and archival at extremely competitive rates," said Wordhouse. WESCO Net is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based provider of hosting and managed services for credit unions.

Bill payment sweepstakes boosts use by 17.8

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (10/14/10)--Online bill payment usage by inactive subscribers increased 17.8% among the 129 financial institutions who enrolled in PSCU Financial Services’ Bill Pay Summer Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes also resulted in an 8% increase in subscribers making their first online bill payment and a 6% increase in members making three or more online payments each month. Subscribers who made three online payments during the June 1 to July 31 sweepstakes period were entered into the sweepstakes, which offered a grand prize of $10,000, a first prize of a $1,500 travel certificate, and two second prizes of Amazon Kindle e-book readers. The Bill Pay Summer Sweepstakes was conducted by PSCU in conjunction with Fiserv, Brookfield, Wis.

Datacard Group acquires Dynamic Card Solutions

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MINNETONKA, Minn. (10/13/10)--Datacard Group has acquired Dynamic Card Solutions, a provider of instant issuance software for financial card programs. The acquisition includes Dynamic Card Solutions’ CardWizard software, which is used at more than 5,500 bank and retail locations (VerticalNews.com via Investment Weekly News Oct. 16). Together, the two companies have more than 30,000 instant issuance installations. Instant issuance allows credit unions and retailers to provide ready-to-use financial cards in minutes to increase activation rates and revenue streams. DataCard plans to maintain Dynamic Card Solutions’ staff and a facility in the Denver, Colo., area.

CUNA offers training bundle again for limited time

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MADISON, Wis. (10/12/10)--Credit unions can make the most of tight training budgets by taking advantage of a limited-time Credit Union National Association (CUNA) offer for unlimited training access. CUNA is offering its Training Bundle price for unlimited access to audio conference, webinar and eSchool training. Training Bundle options include: six months for $2,499; or one year for $3,999. Discounted prices are available for credit unions with assets of less than $20 million. The offer is good until Jan. 15. Topics covered by CUNA’s Training Bundle include compliance, marketing, lending, finance, human resources, training, security, operations, volunteer development and more. “For one affordable price, credit unions can increase efficiency and stay abreast of the latest regulations while providing training to staff in all disciplines,” said Marlo Foltz, CUNA’s director of blended learning. For more information, use the link.

HEIT Simpler-Webb merge cloud technology for FIs

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. and AUSTIN, Texas (10/11/10)--HEIT and Simpler-Webb have merged to become a managed services provider for community financial institutions leveraging cloud technology. The company will operate under HEIT and serve more than 450 credit unions and community banks (VerticalNews.com Oct. 16). It will offer cloud-based managed services, which enable financial institutions to access on-demand technology and services without networks, data centers, servers or applications. HEIT provides institutions help with strategic planning and managing information technology performance, security and compliance. HEIT is based in Fort Collins, Colo. Simpler-Webb is based in Austin, Texas, and offers information technology solutions. HEIT also announced that it has elected Tom Shen to its board. He previously served as executive vice president of product, engineering and operations for Digital Insight.

Contest spurs 9079 e-statement enrollments

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (10/8/10)--A recent contest sponsored by CU*Answers has resulted in an increase in the number of credit union members opting to receive E-Statements over mailed statements. During the August and September contest period, client credit unions realized 9,079 E-Statement enrollments, a 48% increase compared with the two months prior to the contest. Isabella Community CU, Mount Pleasant, Mich., witnessed a 96.15% increase in E-Statement enrollment compared with the previous two months. Nearly 4,000 statement inserts were ordered by 60 credit unions, driving the cost to $0.015 each. The expense to Isabella Community CU was $114.25--about $0.44 for each new E-Statement enrollment. CU*Answers provides marketing services for credit unions.

Synergent rebates 750000 to CUs

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PORTLAND, Maine (10/8/10)--Synergent has decided to rebate $750,000 to credit unions that use its services. The rebate is based on the volume of business each credit union conducted with Synergent during Aug. 1, 2009 through July 31, 2010. Synergent provides technology, card, check processing and support services for credit unions. Synergent, a subsidiary of the Maine Credit Union League, has 200 credit union partners. John Murphy, league president, said credit unions have incurred additional expenses from share insurance assessments and increased regulatory requirements during the past 18 months. Synergent is “regularly looking for ways to provide assistance to the credit unions it serves,” Murphy said.

Merger kit now online with expanded resources

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DENVER (10/7/10)--A merger kit compiled by Westerra CU, Denver, and Nice Enterprises Inc. is available online with expanded information. Credit unions can access the Web-based version with a password. The new version includes new and updated accounting requirements, and the impact financial position and valuation have on merger negotiations and decisions. The kit is 1,000 pages, with more than 100 PDF documents, spreadsheets and presentations that can be customized. Westerra CU has completed three mergers since the kit was launched in 2007. Two were completed in 20 months. Nice Enterprises helped the credit union with strategic planning. They compiled tools to help credit unions with the merger process, like developing a strategy, solidifying merger relationships, aligning cultures, communicating benefits for a successful member vote, gaining regulatory approval and integrating systems. More than 50 credit unions nationwide use the kit, said Westerra and Nice Enterprises.

Diebold in full compliance on ATM security audits

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (10/5/10)--Diebold, a CUNA Strategic Services provider, is fully compliant on two ATM security audits for the company’s Opteva ATMs. Diebold, an ATM manufacturer based in North Canton, Ohio, has achieved compliance with TR-39 and Payment Card Industry (PCI) personal identification number (PIN) Review audits for encrypted PIN pad and remote key loading technologies in Opteva ATMs. TR-39 audits apply to the security of PIN debit transactions within an ATM or point-of-sale environment. During PCI PIN reviews, auditors review requirements for properly securing keys via practices such as dual controls, encryption, and tamper-resistant devices and packaging. A third-party auditor reviewed Diebold’s security and process controls, ranging from employee background checks to the use of cameras to record and monitor manufacturing, storage and shipping environments. The auditor also examined Diebold’s use of tamper-evident packaging and its mechanisms for tracking products from manufacturing to their end use. Diebold will continue to perform PCI PIN Review audits annually and TR-39 audits biannually as required by the American National Standards Institute and the PCI Security Standards Council.

Calif.Nev. leagues announce partners with Canon FTSI

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ONTARIO, Calif. (10/5/10)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have announced two new strategic partnerships. The leagues have partnered with FTSI, a financial technology sales and services company, and Canon, which offers imageFORMULA check scanners and check transports for credit unions. FTSI, headquartered in Monrovia, Calif., will offer credit unions interactive educational seminars on the Bank Secrecy Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and payment-card industry standards and regulations. The Canon partnership will give credit unions discounts on Canon imageFORMULA mico-imaging machines purchased through the leagues.

ALM First buys back WesCorp shares

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DALLAS (10/5/10)--ALM First Financial Advisors has bought back all shares previously purchased by Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp). ALM provides third-party advising services to credit unions. The move will have no impact on the company’s daily operations, ALM First said in a release. The company’s operations remained 100% in-house after the 2006 stock purchase. The company is led by its original three partners, Angela Calvert, Emily More Hollis and Thomas Manley. “We will continue to focus on our core businesses of ALM and investment advisory,” Calvert said. WesCorp, San Dimas, Calif., was recently placed into conservatorship by the National Credit Union Administration.

Phone counseling cuts loan losses helps with debt

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MADISON, Wis. (10/4/10)--Offering telephone-based financial counseling has helped some credit unions reduce loan losses while helping members deal with debt, according to a new case study from CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) and Accel, a CSS provider. “Finding Hope with a Phone Call” studies the experiences of four credit unions that use phone-based services provided by Accel Members Financial Counseling:
* DuPage CU, Naperville, Ill.; * Genisys CU, Auburn Hills, Mich.; * State Employees CU (SECU) of Maryland, Linthicum, Md.; and * Wanigas CU, Saginaw, Mich.
The case study reveals that:
* Members are desperately seeking help to deal with debt. Case-study participants say more than half of their members who contact Accel are seeking debt management plans. Other debt and budget issues account for more than one-fifth of calls. * Debt management plans pay off for credit unions. Wanigas CU has received $74,000 from members through debt management plans since 2007, when it began offering Accel services. As of mid-year, Wanigas members were making payments on another $93,069 in debt. * Linking members to help before they lose hope is crucial. Participating credit unions say telephone access is vital so members can seek help six days a week, including evenings. * Staff referrals motivate members, and account for roughly half of the calls made by DuPage and SECU members. Word-of-mouth recommendations also contribute, prompting 14% of Wanigas members’ calls to Accel. * Improving members’ financial practices helps them qualify for more services. Offering telephone-based budgeting and credit score education helps members adopt better financial practices so they can successfully apply for mortgages and other products.