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CO-OP expands check imaging suite

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/23/10)--CO-OP Financial Services is expanding its suite of check imaging solutions to include CO-OP My Deposit: Branch, which allows its credit union partners to batch and electronically submit deposited checks for clearing. CO-OP My Deposit: Branch adds provides a server-based application that eliminates many costs associated with handling, proofing, sending via courier and processing paper checks. A certified scanner (included as part of the solution) and a personal computer with Internet access are needed for local setup. The expansion "provides clients with a single-vendor imaging solution for ATMs, consumer remote deposit capture and now branch capture," said Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. It is aimed at credit unions that look to increase efficiencies, speed transmission, reduce risks and cut costs, he said. CO-OP My Deposit: Branch, which can be purchased as a stand-alone product, is part of the CO-OP check imaging suite that features ATM Check Imaging, Fast Branch kiosks, and CO-OP My Deposit: Home, which enables members to deposit checks online using any twain-compliant scanner.

CUs success continues as focus for CSS

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MADISON, Wis. (2/23/10)--CUNA Strategic Services has added new alliances and expanded others to help credit unions succeed in today's challenging market. The alliances must pass stringent due diligence and request-for-proposal processes. They serve credit unions by increasing operational efficiencies or revenue generation; helping them meet regulatory standards and security concerns; and enhancing their relationship with members, said CSS. The most recent alliances added include:
* American Background Information Services, which is considered a pioneer in corporate security and risk mitigation. It offers background screening services that include employment or vendor screening, criminal background checks, employment and professional verification, and other security services. * John M. Floyd & Associates, which expanded its relationship with CSS to offer JMFA Contract Optimizer. Credit unions can use Contract Optimizer for expert advice on pricing, service, support and conditions related to proposals, contract and agreements--which provides savings for the credit unions. * CU-VO, which provides Internet video overlay technology for credit unions' websites. The technology will help them more actively engage their members with calls to action, advocacy and or information. * Diebold, which has continued its relationship with CSS. Through Diebold, CSS will offer the Magner line of coin and currency-handling products. * Verafin, which provides a compliance solution. Due to the success of and need for its compliance solution, Verafin will continue to assist credit unions in meeting Back Secrecy Act, fraud and anti-money laundering regulations through its relationship with CSS.
In 2009, CSS also added the Illinois Credit Union League Service Corp. to offer prepaid gift cards and reloadable debit cards, and Panini for check-scanning solutions.

CSS adds telecommunications connectivity

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MADISON, Wis. (2/23/10)--Imagine the power it takes to broadcast and distribute an Olympic athlete's feats around the globe. Now imagine a credit union harnessing that massive telecommunications connectivity. Switch Communications, in a new alliance with CUNA Strategic Services (CSS), aims to provide interconnectivity and economies of scale for credit unions with its Network Access Point (NAP) data centers. Las Vegas-based Switch's SuperNAP facility--known as a co-location center--houses servers and storage systems for other businesses. SuperNAP's residents include top technology, media, financial and government entities. One of those businesses is providing the gateway for NBC to stream and broadcast its coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games from Vancouver, B.C. "Adding Switch as a CSS alliance will deliver and supply the interconnectivity, telecommunications, and the most reliable and resilient data center facility services necessary for credit unions to collaborate and gain economies of scale," said Wes Millar, senior vice president of CSS. Switch can provide bandwidth, data centers and connections to companies of all shapes and sizes at competitive prices--particularly important as credit unions need to stay on top of business continuity and security issues, said CSS. "Credit unions will now have access to our consortium buying ecosystem that will extend the buying power of some of the largest companies in America to its member credit unions," said Switch Communications CEO Rob Roy. "With the highest security standards, our patented energy efficient design and leading telecom nexus, Switch will be extending tools that will help credit unions protect their technology assets and substantially reduce costs," Roy said. A new industry trend, called "cloud computing," is pointing enterprises to Switch's SuperNAP. Here businesses use a consumption-based model to access a variety of information technology services over the Internet. This reduces the capital expenditures for credit unions by removing hardware expenses such as on-site servers and server maintenance. Cloud computing puts software applications and computer hardware where they are accessible by users through multiple channels, not chained to a desk. It provides an infrastructure of server and storage capacity. Developers can build Web applications through its platforms. Cloud computing also offers scalability. It grows or shrinks according to the credit union's demand for service. The service is instantaneous, much like turning on a light switch. As with electricity, the credit union pays for what it uses. The CSS-Switch alliance will be a foundation for a technology consortium for credit unions. For more information, contact Julie Esser, CSS director of new alliances, at 800-356-9655, ext. 4213, or at jesser@cuna.com, or Jay Liebe, director, Switch Communications, at 702-283-8024 or jliebe@switchnap.com.