Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive
150x172_CUEffect.jpg
Contacts
LISA MCCUEVICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

Products Archive

Products

Fiserv technologies CheckFree investments combine

 Permanent link
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (3/3/08)--Fiserv plans to combine its subsidiary, Interactive Technologies, with CheckFree Investment Services so CheckFree clients can access Technologies’ Advantage Fee billing and revenue management system. About 70 of Interactive’s clients will be affected by the integration. Advantage Fee manages the lifecycle of client billing, revenue management and fee verification processes. The solution offers compliance through automated rules-based processing, process controls over invoice approvals, reports, revenue analysis and custom invoice messaging. Fiserv provides core processing solutions for financial institutions including credit unions.

CU Outreach Solutions names third league CEO to board

 Permanent link
DUBLIN, Ohio (2/29/08)--Mike Beall, president/CEO of the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA), has been named as an ex officio member of the Credit Union Outreach Solutions (CUOSI) board of managers. CUOSI was formed in 2006 by the Ohio Credit Union League to offer outreach, and community commitment initiatives and programs to credit unions. StretchPay, a credit union salary advance alternative, is the first program CUOSI has introduced. CUOSI membership is composed of three leagues: Ohio, Wisconsin, and MDDCCUA, and 40 credit unions across the U.S.

White paper addresses developing a card portfolio

 Permanent link
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (2/28/08)--TNB Card Services’ new free white paper aims to help credit unions improve their credit card portfolio programs. “Turning a Card Program into a High Performing Asset” explains how credit unions can maximize existing accounts by controlling risk, increasing income, managing attrition and growing the account base through loyalty programs, pricing and products. It also discusses marketing and promotion (LoneStar Leaguer Feb. 27). High-performing card programs average 18% penetration of the member base and 10% product yield, said Dusty Bowers, TNB senior vice president and client relationship manager. The paper also provides information about how credit unions can generate revenue by leveraging cardholders’ available credit.

CO-OP Network now at Sunshine State Walgreens

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/27/08)--Roughly 631 CO-OP Network surcharge-free are now available at Walgreens stores throughout Florida. CO-OP will be placing its logo on the machines during the next two months to signify access for credit union members. “Our members have immediate access to these machines, no sign-up required,” said CO-OP Financial Services President/CEO Stan Hollen. CO-OP’s partnership with Walgreens is the company’s fifth retail partnership in less than four years. CO-OP ATMs also are available in 7-Eleven stores, Costco, Publix and Cumberland Farms. CO-OP Financial Services operates the CO-OP Network, which provides participating credit unions’ members with access to 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs.

Reloadable prepaid cards ready from CO-OP

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/27/08)--CO-OP Financial Services is offering reloadable prepaid cards, which members of participating credit union can use to make purchases where MasterCard and Visa debit cards are accepted. The cards also can be used at CO-OP Network surcharge-free ATMs. Features of the cards include in-branch load and reload, direct deposit, personalization and online tracking. They also are protected against unauthorized purchases and can be replaced if lost or stolen. CO-OP Financial Services, a credit union service organization, provides shared branching, ATM access and processing, and debit and credit card services.

Aimbridge marks 2007 with more expansion

 Permanent link
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (2/26/08)--Aimbridge Lending Solutions worked with 450 credit unions in 2007 and introduced several new technologies, including AimbridgeConnect, Loan Generation Services and Credit Desk Support (CDS). “We developed a foundation for a new generation of solutions that enables credit unions to capture loans through a variety of consumer product categories by connecting the lender to the consumer,” said Steve Bentley, Aimbridge founder. Aimbridge also launched a new website for its auto lending solution. Automotive Avenues allows credit union members to select a used car from a list of certified vehicles, price it and then order it. Aimbridge markets auto loans and insurance products through partnerships with credit unions and auto dealers.

Survey Securities brokerages follow FIs lead on fraud

 Permanent link
ATLANTA (2/26/08)--Securities and brokerage firms are using lessons learned from the financial industry to fight online fraud and identity theft, according to a recent survey. Digital Resolve’s survey indicated that most securities and brokerage professionals (76%) believe their companies understand the seriousness of fraud and identity theft. About 80% of respondents said they had not experienced fraud or identity theft within their online channel. “In today’s rapidly changing online criminal environment, effective security cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Dennis Maicon, Digital Resolve executive vice president. “It’s important to implement technologies that address all of a firm’s top security concerns, while covering every customer touchpoint.” Because many financial institutions have strengthened their online security, criminals have moved to industries they perceive as more vulnerable, such as securities, brokerage, insurance and non-financial targets, according to George Tubin, TowerGroup research director. Besides regulatory compliance concerns, Digital Resolve survey respondents listed unauthorized systems access and customer data breaches as top security concerns. About 95% of respondents considered stronger log-in authentication beyond usernames and passwords to be an important security feature. A majority also said transaction monitoring, fraud research and reporting are the keys to business security. Digital Resolve, a business unit of Digital Envoy, provides anti-fraud solutions to financial institutions, including credit unions.

Mortgage school focuses on limiting economys effects

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/26/08)--Mortgage lending professionals can learn how to limit the effects of the economy and the mortgage crisis on their credit unions and members at the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Residential Mortgage Lending School April 7-11 in Atlanta. The school will cover loan servicing, marketing strategies, appraisals, operational improvements, underwriting and mortgage regulations. Attendees also will learn about the role mortgages play in member relations. Other on-site CUNA offerings include:
* Security and Fraud Institute: Introduction, April 27-May 2 in St. Pete Beach, Fla. The sessions will cover internal fraud and security, including workplace violence, robbery and scams; * Security and Fraud Institute: Advanced, April 27-May 1 in St. Pete Beach, Fla. The sessions will cover new threats and security trends, end-user training, risk analysis, managing and reporting fraud, and security issues; * Robbery and Fear Seminar, April 27 in St. Pete Beach, Fla. The seminar will take place after the Security and Fraud Institutes at a local credit union; * Business Development School: Part I, April 27-May 2 in Atlanta. The school will train attendees to build a plan based on their credit union’s strategic plan and develop a budget; * Sales and Service Culture Institute, April 15-18 in San Diego. The school will teach attendees how to strengthen member relations and generate revenue; * Branch Management Institute: Foundations, April 14-17 in Baltimore. This will teach the skills necessary for branch management in financial management, sales, compliance, and recruiting to increase employee retention; * Branch Management Institute: Strategies, April 14-17 in Baltimore. The institute focuses on leadership skills, sales strategies, managing different generations and generating revenue; * Management Essentials for Supervisors: Introduction, April 6-11 in St. Pete Beach, Fla. Introduction teaches technical management skills, including hiring, interviewing, retaining, coaching, disciplining and firing; * Management Essentials for Supervisors: Advanced, April 6-10, in St. Pete Beach, Fla. Advanced will teach management skills, negotiating, ethics, branding and communications; * Compliance Fundamentals Seminar, April 26-27, in Atlanta. The school will cover more than 25 regulations that affect credit unions; * Regulatory Compliance School: Introduction, April 27-May 2 in Atlanta. Introduction covers National Credit Union Administration requirements and guidance, along with regulations for mortgage and consumer lending, deposit accounts and general operations; * Regulatory Compliance School: Update, April 27-May 1 in Atlanta. The school reviews Introduction topics and discusses e-banking, disaster recovery plans, compliance audits, Bank Secrecy Act issues and due diligence; and * CUNA Human Resources, Training and Development Council Summit, April 20-23 in Boston. Breakout sessions will be divided into human resources, training and an executive series tracks.
For more information, use the links.

Whos Who in Americas CUs inducts 8804 for first edition

 Permanent link
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (2/25/08)--Who’s Who in America’s Credit Unions has chosen 8,804 inductees for its inaugural 2008 edition. The publication and award program is designed to honor leadership, accomplishment and service in the credit union field. The editorial advisory board selected inductees, based on their accomplishments and service. A minimum of five years or other experience is required. More than 10,000 people were nominated nationwide--including volunteers (60%), credit union managers (25%) and other credit union specialists from leagues or trade associations (15%). The board also plans to dedicate each year’s edition to an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the credit union movement. Dedications will be announced in March. For more information, use the link.

Webinar topic Marketing selling insurance to members

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/25/08)--CUNA Mutual Group (CMG) has created a free webinar that aims to help credit unions be more innovative in marketing personal insurance products. The recorded webinar is available on the CMG site (use the link). Keith Kremers, MEMBERConnect sales specialist, leads the webinar with special guest Jim Sarver, manager of CEFCU Financial Services. Sarver shares his credit union’s story of success with direct marketing and talks about how direct mail helped the credit union. The webinar also describes the opportunities available through CMG’s MemberCONNECT program and how they can help credit unions with agency relationships. “We’re not suggesting credit unions drop their agencies in favor of MemberCONNECT,” Kremers said. “We are suggesting they can significantly increase their product distribution.” For more information, use the link.

Wescom Resources Group sees 26 revenue increase

 Permanent link
PASADENA, Calif. (2/22/08)--Wescom Resources Group (WRG), a technology service provider backed by the $3.7 billion asset Wescom CU, reported a 26% revenue increase for 2007. The increase is attributed to the addition of 17 clients and a 28% increase in bill pay volume. WRG also acquired eCU Technologies in Pennsylvania, almost doubling its client base, the company said. Other achievements include:
* Processing 3.25 million ATM deposit envelopes, an increase of 8%; * Receiving a Best Practices Award for Secure Messaging; and * Launching Software Developer’s Kit for MemberEdge clients. The kit allows clients to build customized Web pages within their home banking system.

FIS processed 38.5 million loans at year-end

 Permanent link
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (2/22/08)--Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) announced that it processed more than 38.5 million loans for 84 clients in 2007. Nine new lenders signed contracts with FIS to deploy Mortgage Servicing Package (MSP), and 17 lenders renewed their MSP contracts. FIS also released Magnifide MSP and Magnifide Business Intelligence--a tool for data, reporting, queries and analytics.

Products and Services briefs (02/20/2008)

 Permanent link
* NORTH CANTON, Ohio (2/21/08)--Diebold has been recognized for the second year in a row as a Top Outsourcing Service Provider by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. Award winners are judged on company size and growth, customer satisfaction, depth of competence and management capabilities. Judges also look at revenue, customer outcomes, relationship management approaches, management talent and experience. Diebold’s outsourcing capabilities include self-service devices, deposit automation, security solutions, cash management, debit card processing, software deployment, network management and monitoring, break-fix services, site management, content distribution and configuration management, the company stated. Diebold, based in North Canton, Ohio, is represented in 90 countries ... * DES MOINES, Iowa (2/21/08)--The Members Group’s (TMG) ATIRAgift card program was named a Paybefore award winner in the “Best Materials Design and Presentation” category for its 2007 holiday marketing campaign, “Busy Holiday.” It is eligible for the Category Best Winner award at the 2008 Prepaid Card Expo in Las Vegas next month. TMG’s “Busy Holiday” campaign started last September and encouraged credit unions to start an ATIRAgift program for the holiday season. TMG provides credit, debit, ATM and prepaid card solutions to financial institutions, including credit unions ... * DALLAS (2/21/08)--ALM First Financial Advisors LLC, a fee-based financial advisory firm serving credit unions, has named co-owners (from left) Tom Manley, Angela Calvert and Emily Hollis as partners. Hollis previously worked as president, Calvert as executive director, and Manley as managing director of ALM. In their new roles, Calvert will oversee the funds management and sales and marketing components, Hollis will run operations and product development, and Manley will lead the company’s advisor/analyst teams. (Photo provided by ALM First Financial Advisors LLC) ... * RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/21/08)--CUDL announced that it has completed a SAS 70 Type II audit of its controls related to the company’s CUDL and CUDL DApp systems. This is the second year in a row CUDL has received the certification. The certification verifies that CUDL has accurate controls in change management, customer service and development practices, the company stated. CUDL is a credit union service organization that assists credit unions with indirect auto lending ... * SAN FRANCISCO (2/21/08)--mFoundry has been named as one of the “Ten Emerging Mobile Players to Watch in 2008” by IDC, a global provider of market intelligence and advisory services. mFoundry was chosen because of its flexible mobile banking solutions, IDC stated. mFoundry’s Spotlight Financial Platform offers credit unions mobile banking, payments, coupons, loyalty and contactless services ...

New lobby brochures cover ID theft phishing plastic

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/21/08)--A new line of “quick read” lobby brochures from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) covers identity theft, phishing and plastic card protection. The three brochures are based on CUNA’s most popular statement stuffers:
* Stop Identity Theft, which offers tips to prevent or recover from identity theft, including important phone numbers and websites; * Phishing: Stay Off the Hook, which provides an online to-do list to help members be savvy Internet users and conduct safe transactions online; and * Protect Your Plastic Cards, which provides tips on smart ways to use credit and debit cards at home, on the computer and at stores.
A new drive-up envelope, What to Do When Your ARM is Due, explains three options available when an adjustable-rate mortgage is due for an adjustment. It also encourages members to seek loan advice and help from their credit unions. Your College Savings Answers handbook was revised with updated statistics, tables and photos. The book covers savings plans with accounts, investment options, loans grants and other aid. For more information, use the links.

Dynamic Card Solutions offers contactless card issuance

 Permanent link
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (2/20/08)--The newest version of Dynamic Card Solutions’ (DCS) CardWizard software has contactless capabilities. Contactless personalization will be available with the FCP 20/20 card personalization instant-issue solution and the Datacard 150i embosser. The card market is continually evolving, and contactless technology is making headway because of its ease and convenience, said Ron Zanotti, DCS vice president of sales and marketing. “Having the ability to instantly issue a contactless card increases the number of card transactions and shortens the time it takes consumers to use their cards for first purchase,” he said. Contactless cards cost less than $25 and improve the speed of micro transactions, the company said. Contactless cards are signature-based, which generates interchange revenue for financial institutions. MasterCard, Visa, and American Express support contactless cards. They issued 12.5 million PayPass, 5.7 million PayWave and more than 3 million ExpressPay cards last year, DCS said. DCS provides instant issuance and personal identification number solutions for financial institutions, including credit unions.

XP Systems IMM expand partnership

 Permanent link
LINDEN, N.J. (2/20/08)--Integrated Media Management (IMM) and XP Systems are partnering to offer a Check 21 solution that will allow credit union staff using XP System’s XP2 to scan checks at teller stations and enter information to XP2, reducing error. The integration of XP2 and IMM’s teller capture will be available with Release 15 for XP2. Affinity FCU, Des Moines, Iowa, has deployed the solution. It estimated that the solution would free up 6,500 hours per year that tellers would spend scanning checks, the company stated. IMM, based in Linden, N.J., provides document output management and automation technology. XP Systems is based in Moorpark, Calif.

Mortgagebot sees 20 growth

 Permanent link
MEQUON, Wis. (2/19/08)--Mortgagebot LLC announced that 2007 yielded a record number of clients as well as volume on its PowerSite solution and market penetration among financial institutions, including credit unions. Mortgagebot added 140 new partners, beginning 2008 with more than 750--an increase of 20%, the company said. “Credit unions often implement new technology to be competitive, and the primary business of many savings institutions is mortgage lending--so it’s not surprising that we count hundreds of those organizations among our partners,” said Dan Welbaum, Mortgagebot chief marketing officer. Despite the subprime mortgage crisis, Mortgagebot reported that same-store client mortgage increased by an average of 22%, compared with a drop in the overall mortgage market of 15%, according to the company. “The fact that banks, savings institutions and credit unions are implementing our technology at such a record pace means they understand how vital it is in 2008 to meet their borrowers online,” said Scott Happ, Mortgagebot president/CEO. “These lenders realize that the market has changed and to be competitive, they must wholeheartedly embrace the online mortgage origination channel.”

Southwest Corporate offers remote deposit program to 350th CU

 Permanent link
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (2/18/08)--Southwest Corporate has signed a 350th credit union--Odessa ECU--to its remote deposit program. With the program, a scanner captures check images at the credit union, ATM, or credit union member’s business. The images are transmitted to a central processing facility. The remote deposit software instantly verifies image quality, balances the transactions and sends the check images to Southwest Corporate, where they are archived for online member access (LoneStar Leaguer Feb. 14). Check imaging eliminates the time and money spent on encoding checks, said Southwest Corporate. “Lots of credit unions are now saving lots of money by processing checks electronically,” said Jody Beck, Southwest Corporate senior vice president of operations. “Remote deposit services is a product that has essentially doubled during the past year. And I think it is important to point out that this is a service that didn’t even exist three to four years ago.” Odessa has $8.3 million in assets.

Filene study addresses methodology for performance

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/15/08)--The Filene Research Institute has released a new study that addresses how credit unions can measure success when industry averages aren’t a useful comparison. “Financially ‘High Performing’ Credit Unions: Evaluating Performance within a Strategic Financial Vision” by Harold M. Sollenberger, outlines a methodology and approach designed to enable credit union management teams to assess financial performance in meaningful ways, says Filene. Sollenberger is professor of accounting and information systems with the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University. He has taught for 25 years and often is an instructor at the Credit Union National Association’s Financial Management School. In the report, Sollenberger answers the credit union research questions:
* What constitutes “high performance” when compared with others? * How do you measure your institution? * Against what institutions do you measure your credit union?
Effective assessment of financial success is relative to a credit union’s strategic financial vision, its peer group, selection of financial ratio measures and actual financial results, Sollenberger said. The study also addresses the unique mission of credit unions and how it affects goals. Sollenberger frames financial performance measurement within a credit union’s specific strategic financial vision. He then outlines various strategic vision models and measurements for credit unions to consider, illustrating his methodology with actual credit union data. For more information, use the link.

Products and Services briefs (02/14/2008)

 Permanent link
* SAN ANTONIO (2/15/08)--Digital Defense Inc. (DDI) announced that the Frontline Compliance Management Solution, which supports financial institutions in meeting regulatory obligations while protecting assets, is now available. DDI developed the solution to ease the burden associated with achieving regulatory compliance. The solution aims to help organizations with regulatory exams and includes information illustrating the current compliance status of the institution’s security program. TruMark Financial CU, Trevose, Pa., has deployed the product ... * MADISON, Wis. (2/15/08)--Credit union consultant and former Credit Union National Association executive Victoria Joyal and former CUNA Mutual Group executive Cynthia Venden have created CVJ Solutions. “Our goal is to provide clients with an integrated and comprehensive suite of research, marketing and sales development services, custom-designed to capitalize on emerging marketplace opportunities to help them grow, thrive and achieve bottom-line results,” Joyal said ... * RIVERSIDE, Calif. (2/15/08)--Auto Expert, an auto buying service and subsidiary of Altura CU, was recognized by the California Council on Excellence with a Gold Level California Award of Performance Excellence (CAPE). This is the second time the company has received a CAPE award--last year, it received a Silver Award. Auto Expert also received the Governor’s Award for Excellence, awarded to two organizations the past 13 years. Auto Expert provides auto locating and auto buying services for members of 21 partner credit unions in Southern California ... * TUKWILA, Wash. (2/15/08)--Kerry Oldenburg has been named president/CEO of Prime Alliance Solutions. Oldenburg previously served as the company’s vice president of development. She started her new role as CEO on Monday. Also, Shiela Finley also was named executive vice president, succeeding Carolyn Hultquist, who will retire at the end of March. Finley assumes operations, sales and marketing responsibility. Before joining Prime Alliance, she worked as an account manager at Ticor Title ... * SAN FRANCISCO (2/15/08)--mFoundry, a mobile financial platform provider, announced that Gary Norcross, president/CEO of Transacting Processing Services of Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), has been appointed to mFoundry’s board of directors. Norcross will join representatives from PayPal, NCR and Motorola. mFoundry also has recently contracted with FIS and PSCU, a credit union service organization ...

Its Me 247 is CUAnswers new online banking system

 Permanent link
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (2/14/08)--CU*Answers has released It’s Me 247, an online banking system that allows members to customize their banking accounts. The system is customizable in theme, page style and color scheme. Members can select pictures and receive e-alerts for account balances, deposits, withdrawals or loan payments. Security features are controlled according to each member’s preference through the personal Internet branch (PIB) profile. PIB is a layered security option that works with security features already embedded within It’s Me 247. Members can set up their PIB profile, selecting the day and time their “branch” is open and the geographic locations transactions are allowed. CU*Answers also has contracted with 17 credit unions converting to the CU*BASE Member Processing system. CU*Answers is now sold out for conversions until early next year. This is the 10th consecutive year that CU*Answers has sold out its client conversion calendar. The 2008 conversions represent about 130,000 members and $8 million in revenue. CU*Answers is a credit union service organization headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich.

CU Business Capital named new MDDCCUA partner

 Permanent link
COLUMBIA, Md. (2/14/08)--Participating credit unions will receive discounts from Credit Union Business Capital (CUBC) through its partnership with the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association. CUBC is a credit union service organization that offers business services, business deposits, cash management and business lending to credit unions (Focus Newsletter Feb. 11). Programs include:
* Business loans/leases, participation and Small Business Administration loans; * Business deposit products; * Business checking; * Business certificate and money market accounts; * Business on-line e-banking; * Business credit and debit cards; * Business investments and insurance; * Remote deposit capture; * Merchant services; * Consulting and ongoing training; and * Commercial insurance products.

Stanford FCU first to deploy small biz PayLynx service

 Permanent link
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (2/14/08)--Stanford FCU, Palo Alto, Calif., is the first credit union to use PayLynx for Small Business from PSCU Financial Services, the company announced. The credit union migrated business accounts that were using PayLynx and made the platform available to all small-business owners Feb. 1. “Platform installation and account conversions went very smoothly,” said Celeste Auger, Stanford FCU product manager. Stanford FCU has 550 small-business checking accounts, but Auger said she is hoping to build business deposits. The credit union is promoting deposits through e-statements, statement inserts and e-mails. It also launched a quarterly newsletter with financial tips and information about business products. PayLynx, powered by CheckFree, offers accounts payable functionality, authority levels for security and auditing, and e-bills and alerts. PSCU Financial Services has 500,000 PayLynx subscribers. Stanford FCU has more than $800 million in assets.

Diebold announces 55th dividend increase

 Permanent link
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (2/14/08)--Diebold has declared a first-quarter cash dividend increase of 6.4%, marking the company’s 55th consecutive annual increase. The dividend is 25 cents per share on all common shares. It is payable March 7 to shareholders of record at the close of business Feb. 25. The dividend represents $1 per share annually. Diebold, an ATM manufacturer, has representation in 90 countries worldwide.

CashEdge awarded funds transfer transaction patent

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (2/13/08)--CashEdge received a patent for a funds-transfer method that allows individuals to transfer funds between their accounts hosted at different financial institutions. It also can fund new accounts at new financial institutions. Under the patent, a third party financial management system can withdraw assets from an account at one financial institution and deposit the assets into a second account at a second financial institution. A debit instruction initiates the withdrawal and a credit instruction initiates the deposit. “The patent lays the groundwork for our next generation payment platform that enables transfers across multiple payment networks,” said CashEdge Vice President of Marketing Jeremy Sokolic. CashEdge provides financial applications to financial institutions, including credit unions.

FCUL Service Group to offer Experians ScoreRight

 Permanent link
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (2/13/08)--FCUL Service Group has partnered with credit bureau Experian to offer ScoreRight to member credit unions. ScoreRight is a credit score tool that helps credit unions educate their members about how their financial decisions impact credit scores. Providing information on how financial decisions influence credit scores can improve loan closing efficiency, reduce rate shopping, increase repeat business, strengthen member relationships and attract new membership, according to FCUL Service Group. Credit bureaus use several factors to determine a credit score, including the number of credit accounts held by an individual, payment history, delinquent accounts, public records and the length of time an account has been open. FCUL Service Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Florida Credit Union League.

CUNA Brokerage Services sales conference this week

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/13/08)--FOCUS 2008, a national sales conference for financial advisors and sponsored by CUNA Brokerage Services Inc., begins today at the Sheraton Atlanta. The conference will end Sunday. It offers more than 30 workshops with topics that include retirement income planning, structuring annuity contracts, gifting strategies, Six Sigma investing, unified managed accounts and investing in real estate. Many workshops meet continuing-education credit requirements. Annual compliance training also will be offered. Pat Croce, author and former team president of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Jerry Linenger, former NASA astronaut, will be guest speakers.

Products and Services briefs (02/11/2008)

 Permanent link
* SEATTLE (2/12/08)--Washington State Employees CU (WSECU) is using Google Gadgets to provide members with access to current rates, branch locations and financial calculators. WSECU manages the rate and calculator content through the Fuze Digital Solutions knowledge base. Fuze provides customer care solutions for financial institutions, including credit unions ... * DES MOINES (2/12/08)--TMG Financial Services has acquired credit card portfolios from St. Cloud FCU, St. Cloud, Minn.; MEMBERS 1st Community CU, Marshalltown, Iowa; and Wyo Central FCU, Casper, Wyo. The acquisition adds $6.3 million in account balances and 5,000 accounts to TMG. TMG is a credit card agent and credit union solutions provider ... * ARVADA, Colo. (2/12/08)--Credit Union Service Network (CUSN) has added Air Academy FCU, Colorado Springs, to its shared-branch network. Air Academy will open all 12 of its branches as credit union service centers. The service centers are located in Highlands Ranch, Parker, Elizabeth, Castle Rock, Monument, Fountain and Colorado Springs. Through shared branching, CUSN credit union members have access to more than 2,900 service centers nationwide and overseas ... * LATHAM, N.Y. (2/12/08)--Island FCU has signed with Covera Card Solutions to convert to its FlexDebit program, which will allow the credit union to process personal identification numbers and signature debit transactions. Island FCU is based in Hauppauge, N.Y. The partnership also includes access to the CO-OP Network. Covera provides credit unions in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut with card programs ... * RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/12/08)--CU Direct Corp. (CUDL), a credit union service organization that administers an indirect auto lending network, has partnered with Pennsylvania State Employees CU (PSECU) to improve member products and services. PSECU, based in Harrisburg, also will incorporate CUDL’s AutoSMART program, which offers members online vehicle research tools and access to dealers and their inventories. CUDL partners with more than 640 credit unions nationwide ... * FOSTER CITY, Calif. (2/12/08)--Web strategy consultant Extractable and Credit Union ONE, Detroit, have contracted to build the credit union’s website. The site will offer online account opening and funding, secure e-mail communication with staff, blogging, RSS feeds and online employment applications. The credit union “can’t build branches on every corner,” said Tom Schaeffler, Credit Union ONE executive vice president and chief operating officer. “However, by providing an excellent website, we can offer products and services to members any time. Right now, 90% of our members who visit the site use our home banking product”...

Keynoter at HRTD conference teaches success on own terms

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/12/08)--Credit union professionals who are members of Generation X or Generation Y can find out how to succeed on their own terms in any industry during a keynote session at the 14th annual CUNA Human Resources, Training and Development (HR/TD) Council Summit in Boston April 20-23. Penelope Trunk, author and business advice columnist for the Boston Globe, will offer career advice during “The Brazen Careerist.” She will provide 45 tips for developing a take-charge attitude and creative ideas. Breakout sessions will be divided into three learning tracks: Human Resources Track, Training Track and Executive Series. HR Track will cover employment law, hiring, managing adults in mid life, supporting new managers, incentive compensation for HR professionals, and influencing increased performance. Training Track explores organizational change, sales and service, compliance training, new hire orientations, training programs, front-line manager roles and generation gaps. Executive Series topics include controlling employee benefits costs, super-performing CEOs, developing new leaders, CEO compensation and communication. There is no additional charge for Executive Series, but participation is limited to 40.

CO-OP launches check imaging suite

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/11/08)--CO-OP Financial Services is offering digital tools so credit unions can electronically capture, proof and clear checks. The products, CO-OP ATM Check Imaging, CO-OP Fast Branch and CO-OP My Deposit are now available. CO-OP Branch Deposit and CO-OP Retail Deposit will be released later this year. “This technology also is valuable to members, so credit unions can leverage the convenience of check imaging to gain market share, especially among younger, tech-savvy audiences,” said CO-OP President/CEO Stan Hollen. Check imaging reduces fraud and transaction errors, and processing, courier, postage and back-office costs, the company said. “Image processing is the future, the near future,” Hollen said. “This is no longer simply a trend; it’s becoming a way of life, and credit unions should convert to check imaging or expect lower profits.”

New solution addresses ACH fraud

 Permanent link
CONCORD, Mass. (2/11/08)--Memento Inc. has introduced Memento Security, which aims to cut down automated clearinghouse (ACH) fraud. Memento Security identifies fraudulent activities including: identity fraud, kiting, reverse phishing, insider fraud and counterfeiting. The ACH network recently expanded to include more participants, which can increase risk. Risks include: increased credit, reputation and transaction; risks from non-recurring transactions and the growth of third-party payment processors that give financial institutions less visibility; new transaction types; and new network participants, the company stated. “The multitude of new payment types coupled with the explosive growth of electronic payments has opened up the ACH channel to numerous risks that [financial institutions] must take control of or they will lose more than just customers and credibility,” said BC Krishna, CEO and founder of Memento. Memento, a provider of risk, fraud and compliance solutions, has offices in the U.S. and overseas.

Agility partners with Open Solutions on disaster recovery

 Permanent link
GLASTONBURY, Conn. (2/11/08)--Open Solutions and Agility Recovery Solutions have partnered to offer Open Solutions’ credit union clients access to disaster recovery resources. Agility’s ReadySuite disaster recovery solution provides credit unions with access to fully equipped workstations where personnel can conduct business operations through temporary connections. The mobile office units can be shipped to an institution within 48 hours and are wired for voice and data communications. Credit unions “must stay continuously linked to members during natural disasters to successfully operate their businesses and provide members with the best service possible,” said Michael Nicastro, Open Solutions senior vice president and chief managing officer. “And disasters strike when you least expect it.” Agility is a CUNA Strategic Service provider.

FIS Digital Insight to offer online bill pay

 Permanent link
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (2/11/08)--Digital Insight will offer its member credit unions a Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) Premium Bill Pay and Presentment solution through a new partnership with FIS. Premium Bill Pay features variable recurring payments, user-driven alerts that provide bill pay activity information, payment authorizations through e-mail, multiple payment account options, secure messaging, real-time funds movement and access to bill information from a network of electronic billers. Digital Insight, acquired by Intuit last year, provides business and financial management solutions for financial institutions, including credit unions. Fidelity is a provider of core processing for financial institutions.

EasCorp FSCC provide overseas deposit service

 Permanent link
BURLINGTON, Mass., and SAN DIMAS, Calif. (2/8/08)--Credit union members can make deposits overseas through a partnership between Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) and Eastern Corporate FCU (EasCorp). “EasCorp’s relationship with FSCC allows us to receive member credit unions’ checks stateside electronically, via an image cash letter,” said Alan Bernstein, EasCorp senior vice president. The service is expected to reduce processing costs because “credit unions are able to collect checks more quickly than before, experience better funds availability and receive faster notification of returns,” Bernstein said. Service CU, Portsmouth, N.H., already is accepting deposits from servicemen and servicewomen in Ramstein, Germany. The credit union tested the remote capture service last November and went live just before year’s end. Deposits and payments by check represent about 80% of the dollar volume processed through FSCC network kiosks, said Bonnie Kramer, FSCC executive vice president and chief operating officer. EasCorp and FSCC’s joint program became available to credit unions stateside in 2005.

Diebold to lay off 800 workers

 Permanent link
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (2/8/08)--Diebold plans to reduce its global workforce by 800 full-time positions in an effort to reduce the company’s costs by $100 million. Most reductions will occur in North America, Brazil and Western Europe. “While these are difficult, challenging decisions, I believe they are necessary given the environment we are facing,” said Thomas W. Swidarski, Diebold president/CEO. Diebold earned $2.9 billion in revised revenue for 2007, an increase of 1% from the previous year. “While I am disappointed with our overall revenue growth in 2007, we faced significant challenges in all of our businesses,” Swidarski said. “The significant deterioration in the election systems market in 2007, the postponement of expected Brazilian lottery revenue and accelerated weakness in traditional bank-branch construction in the U.S. have negatively affected our expected year-over-year revenue growth.” The company estimated that discontinuing its bill-and-hold revenue recognition accounting method will result in a net revenue increase for 2007 and 2006 of $31 million and $27 million, respectively. Diebold expects that financial self-service and security revenue growth in the U.S. market between flat and a decrease of 5% in 2008, with revenue growth in the large, national banks being more offset by anticipated weakness in the regional bank market, Swidarski said.

PCUA launches Business Services Professional Group

 Permanent link
HARRISBURG, Pa. (2/8/08)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) announced that it has created a professional group dedicated to credit union employees serving the member business market. The Business Services Professionals Group will provide networking, learning and information sharing opportunities for professionals in member business services. The first meeting, “Member Business Lending Participation Basics,” will be held March 27. “Serving the business services market carries greater potential risk than typical consumer services,” said Rick Wargo, association executive vice president and general counsel. “The association wants to assist business services professionals in developing their skills and sharing information from their peers to minimize that risk.” Membership is free and open to business services professionals from any league-member credit union in the Mid-Atlantic region. Molly Snody, association director of business advisory services, will serve as group administrator. “Networking within the group can provide a low-cost way for small and mid-size credit unions providing business services to obtain training and knowledge they may not be able to obtain elsewhere,” she said. “It also can provide an avenue for those ex-bankers to better connect with their peers and make an easier transition into the credit union culture.”

AutoLease teams with CyberCalc Arbitrage on lease deals

 Permanent link
AUSTIN, Texas (2/7/08)—AutoLease has partnered with CyberCalc Arbitrage--a software applications provider for auto dealers, credit unions and independent leasing companies--to identify pre-owned lease deals. “Our core service is pretty simple,” said Jerry Thompson of AutoLease. “We provide lease payment advertising on dealership websites for our dealers’ existing inventories.” The partnership will allow dealers to advertise online through AutoLease, while CyberCalc will help dealers put lease vehicles in their inventories, according to AutoLease. “Pre-owned leasing is an untapped frontier,” said Jeff Cook, CyberCalc president. “Late-model, pre-owned leasing provides the greatest opportunity for consumers to drive more car for their money.” AutoLease develops software, processes and services to advertise lease payments for dealers online.

Jack Henry ups dividend adds buy-back shares

 Permanent link
MONETT, Mo. (2/7/08)—Jack Henry and Associates has increased its quarterly cash dividend 15% to $0.75 per share. The dividend on common stock, valued at $0.01 per share, will be paid on March 6 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 19. As of Jan. 29, there were 87,376,885 shares of common stock outstanding. The company also increased its 10 million share stock repurchase authorization by another five million shares, bringing the total authorization to 15 million shares. In September 2001, the company approved a buyback program authorizing the repurchase of three million shares of common stock, which was completed June 30, 2003. In October 2002, the board approved the current buyback program for three million shares. The shares increased by two million on May 2, 2005, and by five million on Aug. 28, 2006. The company will refinance its share repurchases with cash reserves or short-term borrowings from its credit facility. Jack Henry and Associates is a provider of computer systems and ATM/debit card and automated clearinghouse transaction processing services for financial service organizations.

California Agribusiness CU to become Autoland equity owner

 Permanent link
BUENA PARK, Calif. (2/7/08)--California Agribusiness CU will become Autoland Inc.’s equity owner. Adam Denbo, CEO of the Buena Park, Calif.-based Agribusiness CU, will join Autoland’s board of directors. “When I heard that Autoland was becoming a credit union service organization (CUSO), I knew that this was an excellent opportunity to ensure its continued success and service to credit unions of all sizes,” Denbo said. Autoland hopes to become a nationally owned CUSO, the company stated. Autoland is a CUSO and auto-buying resource for credit unions nationwide, with a large concentration in California, Oregon and Washington. Its services include Web tools, car-buying service for all members with new or pre-owned cars, trade-in service, a contact center, a retail dealership outlet, and a value line of vehicles.

New product allows deposits from home

 Permanent link
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (2/7/08)--CheckFree, a part of Fiserv Inc., introduced its new remote capture product Wednesday. The CheckFree Remote Deposit Capture for Consumers product enables retail customers to electronically scan and deposit checks from any location, using a personal computer, a scanner and an Internet connection. That means consumers could make deposits from home. The product provides simple, easy-to-use functionality for the user without compromising security, fraud identification or processing quality that is required by financial institutions, said CheckFree. The solution will enable financial institutions to reduce operating costs and environmental resources associated with branch operations, back-office processing, and transportation, because checks will be submitted and processed electronically. Fiserv Inc. is a Fortune 500 company that provides information management and electronic commerce systems and services to credit unions and other financial and insurance services industries.

Synergent PowerPay to offer payment processing solutions

 Permanent link
WESTBROOK, Maine (2/6/08)--Synergent has partnered with PowerPay to offer credit unions in New England payment processing solutions. PowerPay will provide credit card, electronic payment, gift and loyalty card and other payment processing to credit unions with the Synergent Card Services program. PowerPay offers payment acceptance; credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards; business-to-business and government purchasing cards; petroleum cards; electronic check verification; and standard, high-speed and wireless point-of-sale solutions, said Rebecca Higgins, PowerPay card services manager. Synergent also announced that it is offering ATM Capture, which accepts checks and cash items without deposit envelopes. The ATMs scan the items and the amount while imaging both the front and back of the checks. Synergent is a subsidiary of the Maine Credit Union League.

JMFA announces contract cost reduction service

 Permanent link
BAYTOWN, Texas (2/6/08)--John M. Floyd and Associates (JMFA) has partnered with Discovering Money in Networks (DMi Networks) to offer Contract Cost Reduction Service. DMi has saved its clients $24 million since its 2003 inception, according to JMFA. The service provides financial institutions, including credit unions, with advice on pricing, service, support, and terms and conditions related to proposals, contracts and agreements on their processing and technology services. The goal of the service is to lower contract costs and increase service levels. The negotiation services include: ATM/debit card processing contracts, check vendor contracts, core data processing contracts, Internet banking contracts, telecommunications contracts, and image/item processing contracts. JMFA, a CUNA Strategic Services provider, is a consulting firm and provider of overdraft privilege programs. It services 2,000 financial institutions in the U.S. and Central America.

Webinar to feature Top Eight CU Security Tips

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis., and MILFORD, Conn. (2/6/08)--CUNA Strategic Services and Perimeter eSecurity will host a free webinar on credit union security Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. CST. The webinar, “Top Eight CU Security Tips,” will provide eight steps that credit unions can take to mitigate network risks. Perimeter will discuss how layers of protection within the network can control threat exposure and defend against the latest attacks. For more information, use the link.

Buckingham Sheahan to keynote Discovery Conference

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/6/08)--Authors Marcus Buckingham and Peter Sheahan will keynote CUNA Mutual Group’s 2008 Discovery Conference, scheduled for June 18-21 in Hollywood, Fla. Buckingham is the author of “Strengths Revolution” and has been profiled in national media, including The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. Sheahan is the author of “Generation Y: (Thriving and Surviving) with Generation Y at Work” and “FL!P.” Buckingham will deliver the opening address and Sheahan will deliver the closing. Registration for the conference has opened, with a $250 early bird discount available to those who register before March 5. The four-day conference includes 55 sessions of future-focused topics for credit union professionals. For more information, use the links.

CSCU FIS offer new card fraud solution

 Permanent link
JACKSONVILLE and CLEARWATER, Fla. (2/4/08)--Card Services for Credit Unions (CSCU) and Fidelity National Information Systems (FIS) will offer Compromise Manager, a new card fraud solution. Compromise Manager allows credit unions to delay blocks or specify a date to begin blocking; mitigate losses through timely blocking; reduce the administrative costs of staffing; provide for account actions online or data mining offline; and automate compromise notifications to cardholders. “We know that plastic card fraud is a growing concern, but we also know that fraud is manageable, and that credit cards still have the highest return on assets of any loan opportunity for credit unions,” said Robert Hackney, CSCU president. Fraud prevention is becoming a critical focus at smaller financial institutions, added Tony Ficarra, executive vice president of e-Business Services for FIS’ Integrated Financial Solutions division. CSCU has more than 3,200 member credit unions with more than 12 million Visa and MasterCard accounts. FIS is a core processor for financial institutions, including credit unions.

130 CUs sign up for CU HERE

 Permanent link
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (2/4/08)--More than 130 credit unions have signed up to participate in CU 24’s CU HERE Premium program. CU 24 is a national credit union-owned point-of-sale network. The CU HERE Premium program, which was created in December, will go live Wednesday. Member credit unions can opt into the program through 2008. Participating credit unions include 29 of the largest 200 credit unions in the U.S. Four of the top 10 markets in the U.S. are represented--Dallas; Miami; Washington, D.C.; and Atlanta. Twelve of the top 50 markets, including Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., New Orleans and Cleveland, also are represented, the company said. CU 24 has more than 100,000 ATM terminals nationwide, with access in major retailers including Walgreens, Publix, Winn Dixie, Crown Petroleum, Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Club, Food Lion, Home Depot, Dillards, Racetrac and Texaco.

Open Solutions HandySoft Global deploy process solutions

 Permanent link
VIENNA, Va. (2/4/08)--HandySoft Global Corp. and Open Solutions have partnered to offer Open Solutions’ clients with access to HandySoft’s BizFlow Business Process Management solution. BizFlow allows financial service providers, including credit unions, to improve member services through process automation. The solution ties enrollment, eligibility, lending and accounts payable forms with their corresponding data. Through the partnership, Open Solutions clients, especially Digital Document Systems (DDS) clients, can initiate, manage and monitor workflows associated with new member enrollment, lending, check processing, accounts payable and receivable, and human resources. DDS has an online archive system for access to scanned documents. The combination of DDS and BizFlow provides a foundation in which documents can trigger and update client activities and back-office operations, Open Solutions said.