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Winter storm prompts Agility disaster recovery response

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (2/13/09)--Agility Recovery Solutions will host a webinar Feb. 25, “Best Practices for Recoveries Powered by Generators,” to provide credit unions with information about power-related disaster recovery. Agility recently helped 21 businesses in four states by providing generators after a winter storm cut their power in January. Power failure is one of the most likely scenarios of a business interruption, Agility said. During the storm, Agility provided generators to businesses in Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois and Florida. One business used a generator to open and provide community members with a free soup kitchen, wireless Internet and beds. Agility provides similar services to credit unions and also offers mobile office units, computer services and technology. The materials can be delivered to a site within 48 hours of a disaster, Agility said. “Agility restored organizations’ operations [after the winter storm] within 12 to 24 hours of receiving each disaster declaration,” said Bob Boyd, Agility president/CEO. For more information, use the link.

CO-OP offers mobile banking contactless card service

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/13/09)--CO-OP Financial Services is offering mobile banking and contactless card payment services to credit unions. Mobile banking allows credit union members real-time access to verify balances, view transaction history and transfer funds. Credit unions can offer members mobile banking by integrating the mFoundry platform into CO-OP’s Next Generation Network switch. Credit unions do not have to change their host or home banking system to participate, CO-OP said. Mountain America CU, West Jordan, Utah, adopted mobile banking three years ago and is partnering with CO-OP to offer the service to members. “We knew mobile banking would pick up in a big way, and we didn’t want to lack the ability to compete,” said Tony Rasmussen, Mountain America senior vice president. CO-OP’s contactless payment service will debut during the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference Feb. 22-26 in Washington, D.C. The service supports MasterCard’s PayPass service. CO-OP plans to support other payment forms, such as key fobs, watches or stickers. Contactless card payments do not require physical contact between the payment device and point-of-sale terminal. The consumer holds the card or device near the terminal, and the transaction is communicated through a radio frequency. Money is then debited from the consumer’s account. CO-OP, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., provides ATM network access, processing, debit and credit card services, and shared branching to credit unions.

Auto loan best practices for weak economy new report

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MADISON, Wis. (2/13/09)--Credit unions’ strategies to bolster their auto lending in the current economy are featured in a new best practices report from the Credit Union National Association. “Credit Union Magazine Best Practices: Strong Auto Lending in a Weak Economy” outlines the successes of eight credit unions who increased their auto lending programs when the pool of new-car buyers seemed to be shrinking. The profiled credit unions--ranging from $1.1 million in assets and $216,000 in auto loans to $8.5 billion in assets and $2.1 billion in auto loans--have doubled their auto loans in the past three years while keeping delinquencies low. One credit union increased its auto loans to $6.3 million in 2008 from $2.5 million in 2005 with a delinquency rate of 0.02%. Best practices reports also are available on serving baby boomers, succession planning, serving members of modest means, growing youth membership, business services providers, consumer lending, credit counseling, disaster recovery and risk-based lending. For more information, use the link.