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CUAD Compliance InfoSight available to Dakota CUs

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BISMARCK, N.D. (12/3/12)--The Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD) is making its CUAD Compliance InfoSight available to all affiliated credit unions in North and South Dakota.

CUAD is the 42nd state league to sign on with League InfoSight Inc., a Georgia-based corporation, said CUAD. 

CUAD Compliance InfoSight is a free online compliance resource for CUAD members. The Web-based resource provides credit union staff, management, and volunteers 24/7 access to compliance questions, topics and issues that affect credit union operations on a federal and state level.

Each league creates and updates its state information, which is shared across state lines so users can access information from all the other states.  So far, 45 leagues and the Credit Union National Association participate in InfoSight, a repository of searchable federal compliance information and a storehouse of state-specific data. 

The new service "is another key addition to the value and service that our member credit unions receive from the association" said Amy Kleinschmit, director of compliance. She added the service "will help our credit unions to stay on top of the most important issues on which regulators and examiners focus.  It supports and enhances our current compliance services."

OpSS Council paper discusses card chip technology

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MADISON, Wis. (12/3/12)--Will smart cards be the standard for U.S. plastic payments within the next five years? According to a new white paper from CUNA Operations Sales and Service (OpSS) Council, that will be the case if major card companies' wishes come true.

Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express all have recommended timelines to make smart card technology the standard in the U.S. by 2017.

The paper, entitled "The Smart Card Timeline: Moving From Mag-Strive to EMV Technology," explores the merits and complications of switching from magnetic stripe to smart card technology.

EMV stands for Euro, MasterCard and Visa, a global inter-operation of integrated circuit or chip cards and point of sale terminals that is used in authenticating credit and debit card transactions. The U.S. has lagged behind other countries in adopting the smart chip technology.

The CUNA OpSS Council paper discusses factors that are converging to make the migration to smart cards more likely and palatable to the U.S. market. These factors include global acceptance, mag-stripe obsolescence, soaring counterfeiting and fraud trends, and the increasing popularity of mobile transactions, it said.

The paper also noted that cooperation will be needed to complete a shift to smart cards, with major investments from all players-consumers, retailers, card issuers, processors and equipment vendors.

The white paper is available online by using the link.  CUNA Council members are eligible to receive complimentary copies of more than 300 CUNA Council white papers.  For more information, use the link.

NeighborBench acquires Counter Risk Group

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FREDERICK, Md. (11/30/12)--NeighborBench, which provides advanced compliance solutions for credit unions, has acquired Utah-based Counter Risk Group, a compliance consulting firm.

The new organization is being formed as a credit union service organization (CUSO)  under the name NB Risk Partners to enable additional parties in the industry to participate more actively in the CUSO's operations.

Counter Risk Group combines real-world experience with pragmatic technical innovation to help hundreds of financial institutions manage regulatory risk, said NeighborBench in a press release.

"Leveraging secure, cloud-based technology to help financial institutions manage risk cost-effectively has been our core goal from the start," said Ken Wolff, CEO of NeighborBench.

"Throughout our 21-year history, Counter Risk Group has had the opportunity to work with credit unions and banks of all sizes," said Kenneth Agle, president/CEO of Counter Risk Group. "Our experience has taught us that managing regulatory risk is a challenge for every financial institution." He noted that his company's team was involved in the original development of NeighborBench's platform.

CUs add fraud text alerts from TMG

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DES MOINES, Iowa (11/29/12)--Cardholders at nearly 60 financial institutions can now opt-in to receive fraud text alerts on their mobile banking devices, a service offered by The Member's Group (TMG) to its clients' cardholders.

Also, TMG Financial Services, a sister company and agent issuer of ATIRAcredit for more than 50 financial institutions, has signed on to provide TMG's fraud text alert services to ATIRAcredit cardholders.

Among the credit unions offering TMG's fraud text alert service are:

  • Deere Employees CU, based in Moline, Ill., with 22 locations in Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wisconsin;
  • DuTrac Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa, serving members in 11 Iowa locations;
  • Eli Lilly FCU, Indianapolis, Ind., and its seven branches in Indiana;
  • Mission FCU, San Diego, with 22 branches throughout San Diego County;
  • Purdue FCU, West Lafayette, Ind., with 11 locations in the state; and
  • United Nations  (UN) FCU, Long Island, N.Y., with three branches in New York, and locations at UN duty stations in Rome, Italy; Vienna, Austria; Geneva, Switzerland; and Nairobi, Kenya.
TMG's partners and cardmembers have "encouraged the development of mobile features for credit cards, particularly a tool like this that allows us to act quickly when there is a questionable transaction," said April Schmaltz, vice president of marketing for TMG Financial Services.

Merrill Halpern, assistant vice president of card services at UNFCU, noted that cardholders are "an important line of defense in the ongoing fight against card fraud. By providing our members with real-time transaction information--right on their mobile devices--we have given them a useful tool, alongside us, to combat fraud."

The alerts are triggered by a financial institution's "unique fraud prevention strategies, not by individual cardholder-initiated settings, which is excellent for budgeting and account management," said Karen Postma, TMG cards risk senior manager. "But when it comes to fraud prevention, you really need those texts to be driven by proven prevention strategies and highly trained specialists."

When a transaction is flagged as risky, cardholders receive a text message asking them to verify the transaction or report it as a possible fraud. If the transaction is reported as fraudulent, TMG places a hold on the account to prevent further transactions and works with the cardholder to resolve the situation.

Six more credit unions are planning to deploy fraud text alerts in first quarter of 2013. TMG will soon add e-mail to its contact strategy so cardholders can choose between text and e-mail communication to receive the alerts.

CUSO broker-dealer to provide investments for CUs

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IRONDALE, Ala. (11/28/12)--Corporate Investment Services Inc. and Multi-Bank Securities (MBS) Inc. have formed a strategic relationship to provide investment products and additional securities-related services to Corporate Investment Services' credit unions.

Corporate Investment Services Inc. is a wholly owned credit union service organization (CUSO) and subsidiary of Corporate America CU in Irondale, Ala.  Multi-Bank Securities Inc. is a Southfield, Mich.-based broker-dealer.

Among the securities related services they will provide are negotiable certificates of deposit and funding resources.

Through the partnership, Corporate Investment Services' customers can obtain free safekeeping through an independent third party; free portfolio analysis reports through BondEdge; access to a portfolio accounting tool, SunGard; and expanded fixed-income investment products.

The CUSO also will offer MBS' proprietary, online platform, eConnectDirect to its credit union customers.

CUSOs free call campaigns yield results

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (11/27/12)--Two credit union service organizations (CUSOs) based in Grand Rapids, Mich., teamed up for the third year to offer free call campaigns to about 200 credit unions in the cusasterisk.com network.

The CUSOs--Xtend Inc. and CU*Answers Inc.--released results of the 10-month campaign and said the outbound member communication was a significant lead generator for credit unions across the board.

A record 79 credit unions participated, said Xtend President Scott Collins. He noted the reports "indicate it was far and away the most successful year."

"Member conversations yielded an average lead rate of more than 23%, including several that exceeded a 50% lead rate," Collins said, adding that more credit unions selected campaigns designed to generate load leads than in previous years.

CU*Answers sponsored the 2012 Free Call Program. A 2013 Free Call Program was announced before a group of credit union CEOs at a recent strategic planning conference, the CUSOs said.

Marketing CUSO announces merger communications kit

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LENEXA, Kan. (11/26/12)--Beyond Marketing LLC, a Lenexa, Kan.-based credit union service organization (CUSO), is offering a free kit to help credit unions communicate with members more effectively during the merger process.

Beyond Marketing has experience in the internal and external roles of merging credit unions and is available to advise credit unions on the process. 

"When two credit unions agree to merge, the operational, administrative, cultural, and regulatory requirements involved can be overwhelming," said Larry Hayes, Beyond Marketing CEO. "It's essential to dedicate the time and resources to successfully manage all the moving pieces. Our intent is to help credit unions retain members, think proactively about communications and focus on their success and sustainability during all phases of their merger." 

Beyond Marketing recommends merging credit unions should prepare communications to reach three groups:  Members, internal staff and the community. Each audience has a role to play in the success of the transition. Effective communications with each helps to retain resources and members, while minimizing the quantity and severity of service disruptions, the CUSO said.

The focus of merger communication is member retention, said the firm. During a merger, members can become frustrated with service interruptions and lack of communication, and will often consider another financial institution. That is especially true for members subject to the greatest level of changes, such as receiving new member and account numbers and suffixes or changes in electronic/online services and in fee structures.

How well merging credit unions share merger details with members is as important as how well the credit unions manage the operational, system, product and service changes that will occur, said the CUSO.  Keeping staff informed, engaged, and optimistic is a key component of meeting operational needs, and it also sets a tone for member communications, Beyond Marketing concluded.

MoneyDesktop offers MoneyMobile PFM app

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PROVO, Utah (11/26/12)--MoneyDesktop, a provider of an online banking-based personal financial management (PFM) solution to banks and credit unions, has released MoneyMobile, a financial mobile application designed to make managing money easier through interaction and visualization.

The app combines account aggregation capabilities with a functional design and a back-end synching engine that immediately syncs financial information between devices. It is integrated with the credit union's Internet banking platform.

A new feature within the app is BubbleBudgets. While the typical PFM solution creates budgets with bar charts, BubbleBudgets creates a bubble for each budget, depending on its relative value. This provides users with an accurate portrayal of each category, focusing on the spending and relative importance of each area. The use of colors within the bubbles alerts users to their status in each category.

CUAnswers announces CUBase 12 2 upgrade

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (11/21/12)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, has released the 12.2 software upgrade for its flagship data processing software, CU*BASE.

The upgrade is the last of three major upgrades CU*Answers will deploy to its data processing clients this year, the company said.

New features include:

  • A new online campus for credit union education;
  • Mobile Web bill pay for EasyPay; and
  • Enterprise Risk Management tools built right into CU*BASE.
Also, the upgrade made it easier to set up bonus dividends and interest rebates. In years past, CU*Answers assisted credit unions with set up of the program, which required some customization. Although it was a free service, credit unions still could not configure and execute the process fully on their own. A new menu function has been added so credit unions can set up their own bonus programs.

The new function also gives the credit union the ability to run a simulation of the live files without actually posting, and can be run as many times as it would like. Gividends, a division of CU*Answers, has offered to assist credit unions this year in walking staff through the process to make sure the tool is easy to use.

CO-OP offers P2P digital wallet paper

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.  (11/21/12)--CO-OP Financial Services, a credit union service organization that offers shared branching, ATM and payment services, is offering a white paper to attendees of a free webinar on person-to-person (P2P) payment and digital wallets.

The one-hour webinar, titled, "Are P2P and Digital Wallets Right For Your Credit Union?" will be held at 11 a.m. (PT) Dec. 5.

The white paper focuses on definitions of P2P/digital wallets and enabling technologies, a review of key industry developments, and CO-OP's recommendations for credit unions considering P2P/digital wallets adoption. The white paper will serve as the basis for the webinar presentation.

Among the topics the white paper and webinar will cover include:

  • Definitions of P2P, digital wallets, near-field communications and wallets not requiring a swipe or a tap. In addition to describing technology in plain language, this section also provides examples of products and providers currently on the market, as well as assessments of adoption successes and challenges to-date.
  • A survey of key recent industry developments from leaders in technology, financial services and retail point of sale.
  • CO-OP's recommendations for P2P technology and digital wallets.
  • A summary of CO-OP's vision for the future for P2P/digital wallets and CO-OP's current and of its planned services in this area.

CU provider IWS sells assets to Kingsway

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BOCA RATON, Fla. (11/20/12)--Intercontinental Warranty Services Inc. (IWS), a provider of after-market vehicle protection services to credit unions nationwide, will sell certain assets to a Kingsway Financial Services Inc. affiliate.

Current management, led by James H. Hawk, IWS president/CEO, will remain in place.

IWS provides vehicle service agreements, mechanical breakdown insurance, and guaranteed asset protection to credit unions' members in conjunction with their auto loans.

Kingsway owns several companies connected with the insurance industry and specializes in helping them build value. It will rely on the IWS management team to ensure continuity and maintain its relationships with existing credit union clients while continuing to grow its business, said Larry G. Swets Jr., Kingsway CEO.

The change of ownership will be essentially transparent to client credit unions, but enhancements will include a broader product line, greater staff resources, and improved technology, Hawk said.

NeighborBench Ongoing Operations now partners

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FREDERICK and HAGERSTOWN, Md. (11/20/12)--NeighborBench, a provider of compliance solutions for credit unions, and Ongoing Operations, a business continuity and cloud services provider, have formed a partnership to deliver information technology (IT) services and other related solutions to credit unions.

Ongoing Operations is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

"Leveraging secure, cloud-based technology has been a key component of our platform from the start," said Ken Wolff, NeighborBench CEO.

"Developing new ways to help credit unions streamline their IT operations is the primary focus of our research and development efforts," said Kirk Drake, Ongoing Operations president/CEO. "Keeping up with compliance can be challenging for credit unions of all sizes. We believe the NeighborBench solution offers an extremely efficient way to maintain compliance in IT and throughout the entire credit union."

NeighborBench's compliance solution combines automated tools with professionals to help reduce the primary challenges of compliance: cost, time, resource requirements, and the disruptive nature of traditional consulting firm solutions. Learn more at www.neighborbench.com.

Beyond traditional solutions such as business continuity planning, data back-up and workspace, Ongoing Operations has added cloud solutions to help credit unions with their everyday IT needs.

VINtek helps auto lenders comply with Ga ELT rule

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PHILADELPHIA (11/19/12)--VINtek, a provider of automotive collateral management, electronic lien and title (ELT) services and direct finance processing, is assisting automotive lenders, including credit unions, in Georgia with compliance on finalized electronic lien title (ELT) legislation.

The Georgia Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) published rules in October regarding the ELT portion of HB 865, which was passed in March and signed by the Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in May. Automotive lenders recording more than 500 liens a year on Georgia vehicle titles are required to choose a vendor and implement an ELT program by Jan. 1, said VINtek.

For lenders who receive more than 200 liens a year, the deadline is July. Automotive lenders recording more than five liens in Georgia per year have until Jan. 1, 2014 to comply with the new ELT program.

ELT replaces paper titles with an electronic exchange of data between the Georgia MVD and an ELT service provider, acting as an intermediary on behalf of a lien holder. The program reduces costs by eliminating paper and automating a manual process.

ELT also eliminates exposure to a growing area of fraud that involves falsified lien release letters. Perpetrators create fictitious lien release documents and receive clear titles from the DMV without lienholder knowledge. In an ELT program, only the lien holder of record can electronically release its lien--the DMV will reject any attempted release of lien via a letter, said VINtek.

TMG PolicyWorks paper How CFPB impacts card services

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DES MOINES, Iowa (11/19/12)--Although the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has heavily focused on mortgages since its inception, credit and debit cards are likely to become a priority for the agency, according to a new white paper from The Members Group (TMG) and PolicyWorks.

"Attention to consumer protections on cards is gaining steam as battles continue over interchange issues," write co-authors Dan Lozier, TMG director of client relations, and Jeff Andersen, PolicyWorks regulatory counsel. "On the credit side of the coin, a proposed settlement of more than $6 billion, offered by Visa, MasterCard and other major banks to pay for price-fixing claims brought by merchants, continues to make headlines as various stakeholders argue their side of the matter."

The CFPB continues to question the adequacy of disclosures, according to the paper, titled "How the CFPB Will Impact Your Community Financial Institution in 2013." Card issuers' marketing of various add-on products is another area under significant scrutiny by the CFPB. These products can include debt protection, identity theft protection, credit score tracking and others supplementary to the credit provided by the card itself, said the authors.

The CFPB's Consumer Complaint Database could have a positive effect for credit unions that issue cards, according to the paper.

"In fact, the Green Internet Group, a company specializing in online reputation management, believes 70% of Americans now say they consult product reviews or consumer ratings before they make their buying decisions," the paper said. "If consumers use the Consumer Complaint Database similar to how they use consumer reviews to evaluate bank cards, those products issued by credit unions and community banks have the potential to stand out from competitors."

Verafin on Deloittes fastest growing companies list

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ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland and Labrador (11/16/12)--Verafin Inc., a  provider of fraud detection and anti-money laundering software, announced that it ranked 231st on Technology Fast 500, Deloitte's ranking of 500 of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America.

Verafin is a CUNA Strategic Service provider.

Rankings are based on percentage of fiscal year revenue growth during the period from 2007-2011. The company grew 358% percent during the period.

Verafin was also listed on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50, a ranking of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Canada.

The company's five-year revenue growth rate resulted in a 25th place ranking.

"Last year, when we ranked in the 2011 Technology Fast 500, we felt it spoke to our amazing growth," said Brian Whiteway, Verafin chief financial officer. "To place in this year's rankings is a firm indication of our team's success at creating a long-term vision that is built on achieving strong and sustainable annual growth. Our continued momentum is a testament to the hard work of everyone here at Verafin. It also speaks to the strong relationship we strive to develop with our customers, the passion they share for our solution and our commitment to working with them."

myCUmortgage closed 1200 loans in October

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FAIRBORN, Ohio (11/16/12)--myCUmortgage, a credit union service organization that offers mortgage solutions for credit unions, announced that its partner credit unions closed more than 1,200 loans totaling $165 million in October, a one-month record for the company.

Year-to-date, myCUmortgage partner credit unions have helped more than 9,000 members attain nearly $1.2 billion in mortgage loans.

More than 25% of the loans helped members purchase homes. In a period of historic low interest rates, mortgage lending has been dominated by refinance volume, the company said.

"For our credit union partners to be able to make one in four loans a purchase mortgage shows their commitment to purchase lending," said Tim Mislansky, president of myCUmortgage.  "Over time, rates will move up, and credit unions that have a purchase money plan will be the ones that remain successful."

Newtek launches SMB management platform rings NASDAQ bell

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NEW YORK (11/15/12)--Newtek Business Services, The Small Business Authority, rang the opening bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange Wednesday morning in preparation for the launch of the Newtek Advantage, a mobile real-time SMB management platform for small businesses.

Newtek is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

The platform, which is more than a mobile application, places critical transactions of a small- to medium-sized business, as well as economic, e-commerce and website traffic data, on the business's smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. It is the first of a series of cloud-based platforms for small business being launched by Newtek.

Newtek is a Web hosting company, payment processor, gateway provider, Web designer and Web services company. Its new platform will aggregate and drive real-time information to business owners' smartphone or tablet so they can manage their business from mobile devices without an information technology (IT) department.

The company says the Newtek Advantage means:

  • More time spent on sales instead of administrative matters;
  • More control with fewer surprises, with business statistics and metrics available in real time;
  • Accelerated profits from decision-making with up to date information;
  • Real-time information  whenever, wherever the business operator is; and
  • Decreased IT expenses because everything is in the cloud.
"We believe that mobile applications hosted in the cloud will continue to proliferate and become the standard for independent business owners," said Newtek President/CEO Barry Sloane.

LEVERAGE among three entities to acquire CUVM

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASEE, Fla. (11/15/12)--LEVERAGE, the service corporation of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, and Strategic Partners and CU Solutions Group have agreed to acquire Credit Union Vendor Management (CUVM).

CUVM is full-service contract management solution that works to reduce or eliminate the burdenassociated with managing vendor relationships and help credit unions comply with vendor duediligence and minimize vendor risk.

"This collaboration between our three league service corporations is a great example of the type of partnership needed to bring great products and services to credit unions," said LEVERAGEPresident/CEO Patrick La Pine, noting that "CUVM has a proven name in the marketplace."

The ownership group consists of LEVERAGE; Strategic Partners, Mountain West Credit Union Association's service corporation; and CU Solutions Group, a national credit union service Organization (CUSO) with a broad base of credit union system owners. The new CUVM ownership group has a long history of supporting credit unions with solutions that enhance their ability to serve their membership.

The deal will enhance contract management processes and provide efficiencies in purchasing. The CUVM platform will allow credit unions to focus resources on serving members, while ensuring that their vendor management program meets required National Credit Union Administration standards, said the new owners.

"With the growing volume of regulatory compliance requirements, automation and overall risk management are critical for credit unions," said Dave Adams, CEO of CU Solutions Group. "CUVM is a great solution for helping credit unions manage and automate vendor due diligence; it also provides the personal touch of supporting clients, including assisting with the collection of vendor information."

CUVM was developed as a CUSO by a group of credit unions, vendors and industry professionals to provide an outsourced solution for vendor management and due diligence. CUVM offers its vendor management solution to credit unions throughout the nation.

First Carolina Corporate expects record brokerage year

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (11/14/12)--First Carolina Corporate CU, Greensboro, N.C., expects a record-breaking performance from its brokerage program after partnering with Protective Securities earlier this year.

The corporate has trades of nearly $200 million in securities through October.

The partnership has provided First Carolina access to a wider selection of securities and allowed it to be more price competitive, the corporate credit union said.

The brokerage relationship has allowed the corporate to grow its accounts and add staff to handle increased business, said Fred Eisel, senior vice president/chief investment officer of First Carolina and a registered Protective Securities representative,

"Protective Securities has an online Advisor Portal, which makes areas such as trading, compliance training, settlements and commission statements very efficient," he said. "Members like the wide variety of bonds, and due diligence is easier for them. It's a large, extremely well capitalized firm backed by a large parent company, Protective Life."

CUNA World-Class Service Leadership Institute in May (11/13/2012)

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MADISON, Wis. (11/14/12)--CUNA World-Class Service Leadership Institute, to be held May 20-22 at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver, will offer insights into techniques for improving credit union service culture, says the Credit Union National Association. 

The institute will use the hotel and its staff as the focal point of its curriculum. Attendees will hear the first-hand accounts of The Ritz-Carlton's service elite, and during their stay, see those same service principles implemented. Professionals from all levels of credit union operations attend the institute every year to improve their member service techniques and learn from industry experts.

Sessions and topics covered include: Examinations of the current state of service in America, developing leaders rather than managing employees, and behind-the-scenes insights into the Ritz-Carlton's approach to cultivating high service standards.

CUDLs AutoSMART reaches 1 million milestone

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Ontario, Calif. (11/13/12)--CUDL, administrators of the nation's largest auto lending network for credit unions, has announced that its AutoSMART program and vehicle shopping website has reached one million vehicles in dealer inventory posted to the site.

CUDL revealed that the AutoSMART website reached the record milestone as the number of credit unions and dealers participating in the website program continue to grow.  

"Through years of working closely with our credit union clients, we have endeavored to provide a robust research site that credit unions can make their own and that will provide them the means and capabilities to retain member financing and help grow their auto loan portfolio" said Phil Maniaci, senior vice president, CUDL Automotive.  "Achieving the one million vehicle milestone reinforces the value proposition that AutoSMART provides to dealers and credit unions, as well as the 34 million credit union members we serve."

Introduced in 2005, the AutoSMART website program is designed for credit unions and their members, and provides CUDL's partnering credit unions with a vehicle shopping and research site that can be branded, customized and marketed to members as their own. Through the AutoSMART website program, credit unions can also provide their members with a online pre-approval application and loan decision. As a result, the program provides credit unions with a key resource designed to enhance both member brand awareness and overall member satisfaction, and help drive member financing. 

Unveiled within the past two years, CUDL's AutoSMART mobile app for smart phones and tablets, replicates features of the AutoSMART website as a fully functional app giving credit unions a tool that helps them stay connected to their members through the entire vehicle buying process.

For dealers, the AutoSMART website program offers a resource to promote their stores and vehicle inventory, connecting them to more than 1,000 credit unions and their 34 million credit union members nationwide.

For credit union members, the AutoSMART website offers an advanced vehicle shopping experience, providing robust research capabilities and an expanded library of online shopping resources designed to help them get a good deal on their next vehicle purchase.

Cachet Financial to develop mobile app for underbanked

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MINNEAPOLIS (11/9/12)--Cachet Financial Solutions, a provider of remote deposit capture solutions, announced its participation in the development of PreCash's FlipMoney, the first practical mobile wallet application for the underbanked market.

Utilizing Cachet's Select Mobile Capture technology, FlipMoney offers instant remote check deposits to a companion prepaid card. Funds are available within minutes, rather than the standard three to six days it takes with traditional mobile check deposit solutions.

"There is a need for the convenience of mobile check deposit among prepaid card users, but PreCash knew these people would not fully embrace the technology until it could deliver their money faster," said Steve Taylor PreCash CEO. "Many prepaid card users live paycheck-to-paycheck. They cannot wait several days for a check to clear. Cachet was instrumental in helping us develop a way to offer instant check deposit on our FlipMoney mobile wallet platform."

Cachet's Select Mobile Capture allows companies to build custom-branded applications on smartphones or tablets. Users snap pictures of their endorsed checks and submit them for processing. Before transmitting the images, Cachet formats the images, corrects any distortions or skewing, using Mitek's patented technology, and confirms that the images meet industry 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 smartphones, marked with time and location, to combat fraud.

The FlipMoney mobile wallet, including the instant check deposit feature, was recently introduced at FinovateFall 2012. Flip is currently being field tested with large-scale deployment planned later this year.

DocuSign reaches 400 clients

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (11/8/12)--DocuSign, a provider of electronic signatures, announced that has signed more than 400 credit union clients.

During the past 12 months, DocuSign added more than 200 customers representing more than $100 billion in assets, increasing the number of credit unions using DocuSign by more than 100%.

With DocuSign credit unions cut transaction cycle times from days to minutes, eliminate 'Not in Good Order' documents, and increase close rates. DocuSign also lowers costs by reducing printing, faxing, scanning and overnighting documents for signature, while increasing member satisfaction by providing the ability to open new accounts and loans in minutes--anytime, anywhere, on any device.

"DocuSign has become the credit union industry standard for eSignature by delivering immediate ROI to credit unions through faster transactions, lower costs and a better member experience," said Dustin Grosse, DocuSign chief marketing officer. "With DocuSign, credit unions have the most robust and secure eSignature platform available to support all types of financial transactions, including member loan applications, account changes and money movement."

CUAnswers offers data processing updates

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (11/7/12)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, recently announced two updates to its data processing platforms.

The company has released new concentration risk functionality to its CU*BASE GOLD core data processing platform.

The analytics tool meets the majority of the recommendations recently issued in a bulletin on Supervisory Guidance published by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

In the past two years Audit Link, the compliance division of CU*Answers Management Services, has completed concentration risk analysis for credit unions nationwide. The analysis included a review of named borrower concentrations and portfolio segments using a proprietary model that included built in stress testing. Based upon what was learned from the studies, CU*Answers developed an analytical tool set native to its CU*BASE core platform. 

In another release, CU*Answers' flagship data processing software, CU*BASE, will include Enterprise Risk Management Tools at no additional cost to credit unions. The Nov. 11 release of CU*BASE 12.2 will introduce seven new menus focusing on enterprise risk management including credit risk management, interest rate management, liquidity-risk management, concentration-risk management, transaction-risk management and compliance-risk management tools.

Corporate One FCU partners with Lockton Companies

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (11/6/12)--Corporate One FCU has partnered with Lockton Companies to provide risk evaluation and insurance and bond solutions to credit unions.

The program evaluates and can develop solutions for the fidelity bond, directors' and officers' liability, property, liability, workers' compensation, plastic card, mortgage impairment/errors and omissions and umbrella coverages.

The partnership with Lockton provides credit unions a no-cost/no-obligation extensive risk/gap review. This will help credit unions better understand their risk profile, where they have coverage or are exposed and identify any gaps or issues in the coverage. They can then benchmark against other credit unions and compare the existing coverage to what is available in the marketplace.

Following the risk-review process, if remedies are required, Lockton can develop better coverage solutions from a list of insurance markets tailored to the credit union's needs. This process helps credit unions gain a better understanding of their insurance coverage, and satisfies the vendor review due-diligence and fiduciary duty to their members and regulators, Lockton said.

Call report changes--no big impact on CUAnswers

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (11/5/12)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, is reassuring clients that the upcoming 5300 call report changes recently disclosed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) will not have a significant impact on its CU*BASE 5300 software tool. 

"There are numerous changes--yes, but sweeping changes--no," said Jim Vilker, CU*Answers vice president  of professional services and manager of Audit Link. "Since the CU*BASE 5300 software tool was introduced over three years ago CU*Answers has a dedicated resource on staff who monitors the NCUA changes and updates the software, procedures and documentation accordingly.  In fact, our call report tool was designed nimble to the point where programming is not necessary to effectuate the changes each time Account Codes are added."

NCUA call report changes include:

  • December 2012 call report: The Account Codes for Modified Loans in the Specialized Lending section will be eliminated and replaced with Troubled Debt Restructured Loans.
  • March 2013 call report: Account Codes will be added for reporting delinquency and charge offs based on additional NCUA loan categories.  Account Codes will also be added for unfunded commitments, credit impaired loans and investments.
  • June 2013 Call Report: The reporting requirement for loan delinquencies is will change from months to days.     
"The NCUA letter to credit unions may give the impression that the new delinquency reporting requirements are a very large change that will require major revamps to data processing systems," Vilker said. "In some cases that may be so, but not on the CU*BASE core platform. Credit unions have had the ability to pull delinquency reports in the proposed daily format for over a decade."

The larger issue is questions relating to reportable delinquency versus reporting to the board of directors and collection processing, Vilker said. "The NCUA letter only addresses the reporting on the call report and states the reasoning behind the change is consistency between all regulatory agencies," he said. "Based upon what is currently known of the required changes, nothing else in credit union operations need to change."  

CU*Answers provides services for credit unions including its flagship CU*BASE  processing system (online and in-house) and Internet development services featuring It's Me 247 online and mobile banking. Additional services include Web development, network design and security, and image check processing.

CUNA school for non-financial managers volunteers set

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MADISON, Wis. (11/5/12)--CUNA CU Finance for Non-Financial Managers & Volunteers School will be held April 21-24, 2013 in New Orleans, the Credit Union National Association announced (CUNA).

The school provides a foundational financial curriculum tailored to the responsibilities of credit union non-financial managers and volunteers.

The curriculum is designed to provide attendees with the capacity to better protect the finances of their credit union and its members and to cultivate productive financial communication between financial and non-financial managers, CUNA said. 

The essential credit union finance topics that comprise the school's general curriculum include:

  • Financial Statements 101--interpreting a credit union's financial condition;
  • In-depth financial analyses of several credit unions;
  • Credit union ratios--what they mean and the importance they hold;
  • Capital management;
  • The impact of rates, risk and returns; and
  • What asset-liability is and its importance to the credit union's financial health.
Upon successfully completing the optional on-site exam, attendees will earn their CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate, fulfilling the National Credit Union Administration requirement that credit union board members possess a proven level of financial literacy.

CU Members Mortgage announces Elite Partners Club winners

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DALLAS (11/2/12)--CU Members Mortgage has recognized four of its credit union partners for stellar performance in their mortgage departments in 2012.

The achievements were based on CU Members Mortgage's scorecard process for evaluating mortgage departments. The four credit union partners honored for their mortgage lending achievements include:

  • Credit Union of Texas, Dallas--2011/2012 Elite Partner's Club MEI;
  • Fresno (Calif.) County CU--Club MEII;
  • Eli Lilly FCU, Indianapolis--Club MEIII; and
  • Security Service FCU, San Antonio--Club MEIV.
Other honors included:

  • Eli Lilly FCU--The club's Club Overall Highest Achieving Credit Union;
  • League of Southeastern Credit Unions--The club's Top League Partner; and
  • Texas Credit Union League--The club's Marketing Achievement award.
The achievements were based on CU Members Mortgage's scorecard process for evaluating mortgage departments. The scorecard takes into account factors such as the ratio of purchased home loans to refinanced, average borrower FICO scores, a low percentage of early payoffs, and a scant default ratio. Also, credit unions score points for innovative marketing initiatives and attending educational training sessions.

CU Direct Connect named as AutoNation preferred lender

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. (11/2/12)--CU Direct Connect LLC, a credit union service organization, has signed an agreement with AutoNation Inc. that names CU Direct Connect as a preferred lender for all AutoNation dealerships in Colorado.

CU Direct Connect, through its 34 member credit unions, is collectively the largest auto lender in Colorado while AutoNation, with its 17 Go dealerships, is the largest volume auto dealer in the state.

"It makes sense for the Colorado automotive market's largest lender group and largest dealer group to cooperate for mutual growth and benefit," said Tom Helmers, CU Direct Connect chief operating officer. "We've enjoyed a positive relationship for many years, and this new preferred lender agreement will help us move that relationship to an even higher level going forward."

The parties expect the agreement to lead to mutually beneficial increases in automotive loan and lease volume and revenues, the companies said. Through three quarters in 2012, CU Direct Connect has experienced a 43% increase year over year in loan volume and a 67% increase in lease volume.