Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

Products Archive

Products

Northwest FCU first CU to win ITAC member protection award

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (3/1/11)--Northwest FCU's commitment to protecting its members from identity theft and fraud will be honored at the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. today. T
Click to view larger image John Franklin, left, executive vice president/chief operating officer of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and Anne Wallace, president of ITAC, present the first Excellence in Member Protection Award to Northwest FCU's Bill Cook, senior vice president of planning/member services, at CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference today. (CUNA Photo)
he Herndon, Va., credit union is the first credit union to receive the Excellence in Member Protection Award from ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center, a national advocate for ID theft victims. "An important part of our commitment to our members is providing them with the programs and services that improve and protect their financial well-being," said Gerrianne Burks, president/CEO of the $2 billion asset credit union. "ITAC Sentinel provides the essential tools needed to do that. We are confident that our partnership with ITAC, who is known as a leader in identity protection and an advocate for identity theft victims, will strengthen the protection and financial security of our members," she said. ITAC Sentinel is offered in partnership with Intersections Inc., a provider of consumer and corporate identity risk management services and a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider. "As the incidence of ID theft escalates, few consumers are equipped to protect themselves from this risk. Education and a top-notch ongoing review and analysis of credit transactions and reports such as that provided through ITAC Sentinel are the best defense," said John Franklin, executive vice president/chief operating officer at the Credit Union National Association, in recognizing the success of Northwest FCU on educating its members on the perils of identity theft.

Strategic Solutions boot camp addresses bottom line

 Permanent link
ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/1/11)--Even in a tough economy, credit unions can gain more of their members' profitable business--if staff know how to do it. To help credit unions boost their bottom line while developing staff's ability and likelihood to ask for additional member business, Strategic Solutions is offering a Trainer Certification Boot Camp for its Member Advocacy Pathways (MAP) program. MAP provides an internally driven process to transfer order-taking front-line employees into business-generating advocates. Employees learn:
* About life events that trigger the greatest needs for financial services; * How to initiate conversations with members that uncover those hidden needs; * How to offer solutions that are mutually beneficial to the credit union and the member; and * How to engage members in taking action on those offers.
The MAP boot camps are held each spring and fall in St. Paul, Minn. The next boot camp will be May 10-13. Registration is open through April 26. The program is designed for credit unions' internal trainers, marketing managers, branch/operations managers and employees responsible for staff development. More than 150,000 members from credit unions across the U.S. have seen financial assistance provided to them from MAP-trained employees.

Diebold improves uptime security at Union Square FCU

 Permanent link
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (3/1/11)--Diebold Inc. is providing several integrated services to assist Wichita Falls, Texas-based Union Square FCU in monitoring, remote services and enhanced security for its network of 21 ATMs. It also is providing deposit automation technology to six of the credit union's ATMs. Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. The services provided include Advisor ATM monitoring, OpteView remote services, endpoint protection monitoring, software subscription management and help-desk support. Diebold also added deposit automation technology hardware that supports envelope-free transactions, including enhanced note acceptors (ENA) and Intelligent Depository Modules (IDM). The ENAs allows users to deposit up to 50 mixed-denomination notes, which are then verified and itemized note by note. The IDMs accept and process checks and bill payment documents. The ATMs display cash and check deposit details on screen for member verification and print deposit details, including check images, on receipts. Automated note and check verification at the ATMs has allowed Union Square FCU to evolve from posting transactions the next business day to real-time posting, giving members immediate access to deposited funds. Also, the credit union now collects deposits for those ATMs weekly instead of daily, which reduced the cost of collecting the deposits. "Deposit automation not only adds convenience to ATM transactions, it also adds an element of trust for users," said John M. Deignan, vice president, chief marketing officer, Diebold. "Union Square has reported an increase in the volume and value of check and cash deposits at its image-enabled ATMs. This is consistent with deposit automation implementations across the industry. Real-time account credit and detailed transaction summaries make the enhanced, envelope-free deposit experience attractive to consumers." Diebold and Union Square plan to launch MobiTransact, a mobile banking solution, later this year so members can use their mobile devices to complete transactions, transfer balances and make bill payments.

2010 marked growth for myCUmortgage

 Permanent link
FAIRBORN, Ohio (3/1/11)--Credit union partners of myCUmortgage closed 7,800 loans, resulting in nearly $1 billion in total loan volume for 2010, the credit union service organization (CUSO) of Wright-Patt CU, Fairborn, Ohio, announced last week. That meant a 24% increase in loan activity and 22% in loan volume, with myCUmortgage paying a record $3.6 million to its partners for loans closed last year. The CUSO attributed the results to the addition of new credit union partners, an increase from 100 partners beginning in 2010 to 127 partners representing more than two million members and $18 billion in assets. New partners include:
* West Virginia National Guard FCU, Charleston, W. Va.; * Travis CU, Vacaville, Calif.; * Tiffin St. Joseph FCU, Tiffin, Ohio; * Medina County FCU, Wadsworth, Ohio; * Seven Seventeen CU, Warren, Ohio; * McGraw-Hill FCU, East Windsor, N.J.; and * BFG FCU, Akron, Ohio.
"myCUmortgage's focus of offering more revenue to our credit union partners at lower costs to their members enabled us to experience tremendous growth," said Tim Mislansky, president of the CUSO. "We believe credit unions work best when credit unions work together and the payment of $3.6 million to our partners in a challenging financial year is a testament to this collaboration." The CUSO attributed its 24% loan volume hike to historically low mortgage interest rates, more awareness of credit union mortgage products, greater market penetration and active credit union partners. "Before myCUmortgage, we only offered a 15-year term mortgage," said Susie Breitmeyer, chief lending office at $142 million asset Class Act FCU, Louisville, Ky. In the nine months Class Act has been working with the CUSO, it has closed 22 loans totaling more than $2.7 million in 20- and 30-year terms. "This partnership is helping our credit union grow as we provide a product for our community wants and needs," Breitmeyer said.

Pre-conference offers CUNA Board Fin Lit Certificate

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/28/11)--A new pre-conference workshop has been added to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Volunteer Institute taking place May 1-4 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The pre-conference workshop, set for April 30, will address the National Credit Union Administration's recently issued rule requiring that credit union directors be financially literate. The pre-conference curriculum aims tol help directors:
* Understand what it means to be financially literate; * Make sense of the balance sheet and income statement; * Understand capital; * Explore major risks every credit union faces; and * Ensure adequate internal controls over risk.
Participants will receive a handbook, a ratio formula sheet and a Board DashBoard template. Those who successfully complete the onsite exam will receive the CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate and pin. For more information about the pre-conference workshop, visit the link. To learn more about four other options to earn the certificate and the new requirement, use the link.

Biz continuity disaster prep focus of CSS Ongoing Ops alliance

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/28/11)--Whether a hurricane or a knocked-out power grid, disruptions to a credit union's operations need to be
Click to view larger image CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) announced two new alliance providers--Ongoing Operations and Passageways--and the renewal of two relationships--Harland Clarke and Perimeter E-Security--Sunday at Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. From left: Brian Otte, senior vice president corporate development, Perimeter E-Security, Milford, Conn.; Julie Esser, director new alliances, CSS; Christopher Beltran, co-founder/vice president product development, Passageways, West Lafayette, Ind.; Jerry Austin, executive director, Harland Clarke, San Antonio, Texas; and Kirk Drake, CEO, Ongoing Operations, Hagerstown, Md. (Photo provided by CUNA Strategic Services)
corrected quickly and efficiently. To help credit unions prepare for any situation, CUNA Strategic Services Inc. (CSS) has entered into a strategic alliance with Ongoing Operations LLC. "Ongoing Operations provides a full range of business continuity and disaster recovery services to 130 clients nationwide," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "It protects more than 20% of industry assets." The Hagerstown, Md.-based credit union service organizagion was selected after a proactive request for proposal and due diligence process, said CSS. Ongoing Operations will offer CU Recover, which includes:
* Business continuity planning methodology and software; * Business impact analysis; * Business continuity plan development; * Risk assessments; * Disaster recovery testing; * Disaster recovery audits; * Crisis management notification systems; * Crisis management plans; and * Tabletop exercises.
"With our firsthand knowledge of the industry, we are uniquely positioned to offer solutions developed specifically for credit union requirements," said Kirk Drake, CEO of Ongoing Operations.

Passageways is CSS new provider for streamlined compliance

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/28/11)--A new alliance between CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) and Passageways LLC offers credit unions ways to collaborate across a wide range of company initiatives. "Credit unions need ways of efficiently sharing information across many audiences, whether they are board volunteers, staff members or executives," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "Passageways provides the tools for credit unions to effectively communicate governance, compliance and operational issues." The Passageways solutions include portals for boards; strategic planning; and community, vendor, knowledge, lobby, sales and learning management. "As credit unions look for operational efficiencies, making the right information available to staff and volunteers assumes importance," said Paroon Chadha, co-founder/vice president. "Passageways continues to serve credit unions across the country through various collaborative solutions. This alliance will bring increased awareness about our offerings, especially the board and vendor management portals." Based in West Lafayette, Ind., Passageways is privately held by Purdue FCU and Passageway employees. It added 40 new customers in 2010 for its portal products.

Allpoint APTUS forge agreement on surcharge-free ATMs

 Permanent link
BETHESDA, Md. (2/28/11)--ATM network operator Allpoint has entered into an agreement with ATM operator APTUS Financial, Portland, Ore. The agreement provides Allpoint’s 1,100 member issuers and more than 25 million card holders with access to about 1,000 surcharge-free ATMs in 20 states. “Continuing to increase the scale and density of surcharge-free access provides our member banks and credit unions with a strong convenience message to their cardholders and allows our member prepaid issuers to compete more effectively for new business,” said Ben Psillas, president of Allpoint. “The ability of Allpoint to drive traffic to ATMs and the retail locations where they are placed is well proven,” said Rick Holt, president of APTUS Financial. “Allpoint puts significant effort into driving network value through its mobile ATM locator apps, online tools, financial-institution marketing and other initiatives. This makes Allpoint an ideal partner for APTUS as we look to increase transaction volumes across our portfolio.”

CUAnswers McQueen create ALM alliance

 Permanent link
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (2/28/11)--CU*Answers, a core processing credit union service organization, and McQueen Financial Advisors, a Securities Exchange Commission-registered investment advisory and asset liability management (ALM) provider, have formed an alliance to improve the ALM processes and reporting for their clients. Through the alliance the two firms will collaborate on data sharing, reporting of ideas, new tools, educational programs and more in-depth consulting. “The level of knowledge and analytical skills required to manage risks has increased exponentially in the last five years, and the goals of this alliance step outside the normal ALM practices and increase awareness of all facets of risk management through analytical tools,” said Jim Vilker, vice president of professional services at CU*Answers. The two firms have scheduled a calendar of educational events that include classroom training, regional training events, conference training and webinars for 2011.

First 2011 Discovery webinar to check economys pulse

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/25/11)--CUNA Mutual's first Discovery Webinar of 2011, to be held March 17, will feature insights about the road to economic recovery and the risks that remain. The free session, "Is It Over Yet … Or is This the Calm Before Another Economic Storm." will be presented by Dave Colby, CUNA Mutual chief economist, at 12:15 p.m. CT. He will share his economic and credit union forecasts, discuss their operational implications, and review key risk factors for the recovery and credit unions' long-term role in consumer finance. Multiple employees of individual credit unions can join the session. Registration is open through March 17. Other 2011 Discovery events include:
* April 18: Lending Trends, presented by Dan Kaiser; * May 24: Technology Strategies and Trends, presented by Rick Roy; * June 18-21: Discovery sessions offered at the Credit Union National Association's America's Credit Union Conference (ACUC); * July 19: Regulation double-feature, presented by Bill Klewin and Brad Pricer; and * Oct. 4-2: Second Annual Online Discovery Conference.
CUNA Mutual Group insurance, retirement and investment products provide financial security and protection to credit unions and their members worldwide.

CU Members Mortgage restructures operations

 Permanent link
DALLAS (2/25/11)--CU Members Mortgage has restructured its operations and management team. While all four regional offices will continue to serve credit unions and their members in originating home loans, the management team has been centralized in the company’s Dallas office to oversee direct lending, correspondent lending and sales. As part of this restructuring process, CU Members Mortgage divided its partnership levels to focus on its Mortgage Ease I and II partners, which it now refers to as the direct lending department, and Mortgage Ease III and IV partners, now referred to as the correspondent lending department. With the restructuring, CU Members Mortgage also announced these management changes:
* Matthew Abbink has been named vice president of direct lending; * Randy Shannon has been named vice president of correspondent lending; and * Vice President/National Sales Lorraine Lachapelle will relocate from the California office to Dallas.
CU Members Mortgage provides comprehensive mortgage services to more than 1,000 credit unions, CUSOs and leagues nationwide.

New program launched to help CUs cross-sell

 Permanent link
BOCA RATON, Fla. (2/25/11)--Tranzact Information Services has launched Loyalty Assurance, a new program that helps credit unions identify cross-selling opportunities in near real time. Tranzact IS’ Loyalty Assurance program leverages credit inquiries from all three bureaus to identify members who are actively seeking an auto loan, mortgage, credit card or installment loan. To demonstrate the program, Tranzact IS is offering credit unions a complimentary opportunity analysis that offers insight into the credit inquiry activity within their membership during the past 30 days. The free evaluation outlines activity by inquiry type, state, and credit bureau, and identifies members who would meet qualifying credit criteria.

CU 24 selects FIS for switch services

 Permanent link
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (2/25/11)--Credit Union 24, the U.S.’s largest credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale network, will has selected FIS for switch services for its participating credit unions. FIS, based in Jacksonville, Fla., serves more than 14,000 institutions in about 100 countries. “We have conducted an extensive analysis to evaluate the options for delivering even greater value and flexibility to our credit union-owned network considering market changes and the growing regulation of the financial environment,” said Jim Park, president/CEO of Credit Union 24. “It is clear that FIS’ switch capabilities are a good fit for Credit Union 24’s overall strategy of providing industry-leading payment products and services needed to navigate an increasingly complex and competitive market,” Park added.

VolCorp beefs up security for online app

 Permanent link
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. and ZURICH (2/24/11)--Volunteer Corporate CU (VolCorp), Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., has deployed VASCO’s DIGIPASS GO 6 in combination with VACMAN Controller to secure online access for its member credit unions. Several years ago, VolCorp rolled out DIGIPASS GO 6 to protect access to VolCorp Online, an online tool for its member credit unions. The adoption of multi-factor authentication was prompted by the increased risk of online attacks in the financial industry and recommendations by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA issued guidance to credit unions that Internet-based services should use appropriate security measures and technologies to authenticate users. VolCorp decided to implement VASCO’s DIGIPASS GO 6 in combination with the authentication software, VACMAN Controller, to meet the NCUA’s compliance recommendations and because it could be readily integrated with existing applications. More than 2,500 credit union users have been equipped with a customized DIGIPASS GO 6, allowing them to securely log-on to VolCorp Online. The new feature replaces static passwords with dynamic one-time passwords.

MnCUN expands partnership with CO-OP

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/24/11)--CO-OP Financial Services and Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) are expanding their marketing partnership, with MnCUN now offering all CO-OP products and services. MnCUN, St. Paul, Minn., will market CO-OP products to more than 150 Minnesota-based credit unions with roughly 1.5 million members. CO-OP offers services designed to maximize member convenience and operational efficiencies for credit unions, including the CO-OP Network payments network, payment processing, e-commerce, shared branching and call center services. CO-OP Financial Services has more than 30 credit union clients in Minnesota, and provides more than 400 surcharge-free ATMs to members of participating credit unions in the state through its flagship CO-OP Network. Credit union members also can access 28,000 surcharge-free CO-OP Network ATMs nationwide, 9,000 of which take deposits. The two organizations are celebrating the agreement at the Credit Union National Association’s Governmental Affairs Conference, Feb. 27 through March 3 in Washington, D.C. CO-OP Financial Services is a sponsor of MnCUN’s “Minnesota Night” on Monday.

Fiserv offers Web mobile self-service channels

 Permanent link
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (2/23/11)--Financial services technology solution provider Fiserv Inc. has rolled out LoanServ: LoanLink, a new module that gives lenders the ability to offer borrowers access to their loan information in real-time via the Internet or Apple iPhone or iPad applications. The LoanLink iPhone/iPad application from Fiserv is designed to help lenders take advantage of a high-demand channel to improve customer acquisition and retention rates. The number of mobile phone users who conducted one or more banking services via their mobile phone increased from 23% in 2008 to 30% in 2010, according to a study conducted by Fiserv in 2010. In the same study, Fiserv found that 43% of all consumers were interested in conducting a financial transaction on their mobile phone, and interest was greatest (60%) among Gen Y consumers. Lenders can provide borrowers with mobile access to services such as:
* Account cross-referencing; * Loan payments; * Payoff requests; * Payment histories; * Address and contact information updates; * Member/customer financial information; and * Information about loan modification and alternate options.
With LoanLink lenders can offer member/customers 24/7 access to their loan records, and they can pull information directly from the LoanServ platform in real time, avoiding the typical data-sync issues associated with batch processing.

New financial counseling training program offered

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/22/11)--An enhanced version of the Credit Union Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP) is available to credit union staff as a result of a collaboration between the National Credit Union Foundation's REAL Solutions initiative, Credit Union National Association’s Center for Professional Development (CUNA CPD), and the Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, and Virginia credit union leagues. Through FiCEP, a self-study program offered by CUNA, credit union employees learn financial counseling and how to assist members with financial difficulties. Previously, FiCEP students had the option of attending a face-to-face school or learning through self-study. The enhanced version includes self-study guides, eight webinars (one per module), and two in-person meetings. The eight webinars review the printed materials and add real-life experiences. The in-person meetings include networking, education and proctored exams.

TMG Financial Services hosts CARD best practices webinar

 Permanent link
DES MOINES, Iowa (2/22/11)--Jeff Russell, president/CEO of TMG Financial Services (TMGFS), will lead a free, one-hour webinar of best credit card practices in the post-Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act world at 11 a.m. CT today. Topics to be discussed include managing risk and rate compression. The webinar will also explore how to run an efficient portfolio as the rules of the CARD Act continue to be defined. As an agent-issuer with a business model unlike most credit card issues, TMGFS has had an accelerated view of the ramification of the landmark CARD Act, Russell said. “Within our own portfolio, we have a unique view of how the CARD Act impacts a variety of metrics,” he said. “As the first anniversary of the CARD Act approaches, we want to offer insight and tips, as well as identify potential pitfalls, so credit unions can learn from our experiences.” The webinar will not include a discussion of selling credit cards portfolio, Russell emphasized. TMG’s core products include credit, debit, ATM and prepaid solutions, and online reporting, item processing, ACH, ALM and printing services.

CSS Illinois Service Corp. team up on prepaid travel

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (2/18/11)--CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) has expanded its partnership with the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) Service Corporation (LSC) to market LSC’s Visa TravelMoney card for credit unions and their members. Since 2009, CSS and LSC have partnered to market the gift and general purpose reloadable debit card programs. Offered by LSC as part of its CU MONEY prepaid product family since 2007, the TravelMoney card provides the security of travelers’ cheques and the convenience of a Visa card, said the companies. Currently, 628 credit unions nationwide already offer TravelMoney to their members. LSC serves more than 2,500 credit unions in 45 states with its CU MONEY products, including gift cards. “Offering the Visa TravelMoney Card is a natural evolution of our relationship with LSC and will enhance credit unions ability to serve their members with a low cost option in the marketplace,” said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. “By furthering our alliance with CSS, we will see increased volumes and be able to provide even better pricing to help credit unions compete in the marketplace,” said George Fiegle, LSC executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Consumers want these products--prepaid cards are the third evolution of the card payment business, following credit cards and debit cards, and are the fastest growing form of payment in the past 20 years.” TravelMoney Cards are accepted by 25 million Visa merchants and at ATMs worldwide. Card users also enjoy unlimited reloads up to $5,000 at the credit union or via the Internet.

Annual video conference expands prize field

 Permanent link
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (2/18/11)--Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization (CUSO) CU*Answers has expanded the prize field for its fourth Annual Video Contest. Rather than awarding one prize for Best Video Idea, participants can also contend for Best Complete Video and Best Jingle. The winning video concept will be determined by CU*Answers and Grand Rapids-based production company, Fulvew, and premiered at the CUSO’s annual leadership event, at which time the Best Complete Video and Best Jingle will also be unveiled. Contestants will vie for their chance to win a portion $1,500 in each category. The contest theme for 2011 is “Our Credit Union is a Community.” Entrants can illustrate their key communities and involvement within them. The winner will be added to the collection of member-focused videos available from Fulvew for full customization and branding for clients to use in their lobbies or on their websites. To be eligible, entrants must be CU*Answers clients. Submission details and requirements are online. Use the link. Best Video Idea submissions are due March 15. Best Complete Video and Best Jingle submissions are due May 1.

CMG MI launches online audio mortgage tips

 Permanent link
SAN FRANCISCO (2/17/11)--CMG Mortgage Insurance Company (CMG MI) has launched “Blaine’s Sound Bytes,” a series of online audio files providing tips and best practices on mortgage lending topics for credit unions. Each sound byte was developed and recorded by Customer Training Manager Blaine Rada. A partial list of topics includes credit score factors; maps-photos-comps (MPC) appraisal; requiring tax returns; the Cs--capacity, capital, credit and collateral; and the top three risk factors. Sound bytes can be accessed on the CMG MI website. As Rada records new sound bytes in response to market changes, the files will be posted and announced to customers via e-mail.

Check deposits without scanners topic of white papers

 Permanent link
SARATOGA, Calif. (2/17/11)--All My Papers (AMP), a developer and distributor of software for image cash letters, has released a solutions paper on remote deposit capture (RDC) using scanners without hardware magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) readers for check image exchange. The advent of remote deposit camera capture (RDCC) challenges current assumptions about check image processing, AMP said. It is more than just a mobile-phone application. Check image deposits that were once captured with traditional RDC scanners with hardware MICR are now captured by mobile phones, desktop flatbed scanners, and digital cameras without hardware MICR. MICR data such as bank routing numbers and account numbers now must be read accurately using software-only applications. The AMP solutions paper covers the issues raised by the emerging RDCC technology:
* Check images captured with RDCC devices often have poor image quality and are not in the correct file format required for check image exchange. A different image processing strategy must be used for each type of device to ensure the check images flow through the exchange process with minimal returns and rejections. * Checks scanned by consumers and small businesses have a greater chance of being presented multiple times because users don’t go through the rigorous workflow that truncating the original paper checks requires. Duplicate check detection is now important to minimize customer service costs, prevent mistakes and deter fraud. * Exchange networks, like the Federal Reserve Bank, have limited the file formats for Image Cash Letters (ICL) for exchange. However, this file conformance is in contrast to the many and unique ICL file formats that financial institutions use for RDC. The RDC file formats are often proprietary to a particular financial institution. Any adopted solution must be able to create the exact format required by the destination point of the ICL. * To attract and retain customers, the financial institution RDCC process must ensure a positive member/customer experience. Consumers do not want to take repeated pictures of checks or have deposits go to the wrong bank or account. Speed and accuracy of extracted data and check images are essential.

CU24 PinPoint Research announces survey tools

 Permanent link
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. and EMERYVILLE, Calif. (2/16/11)--Two survey-related resources designed specifically for the credit union industry have been released. ATM and point-of-sale (POS) network Credit Union 24 has released its third-annual credit union industry survey to identify trends in financial products, services and industry challenges. Credit union representatives can access the 14-question survey online between now and the closure of the exhibit hall during the 2011 Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington D.C. Feb. 27 through March 3. The survey can also be completed in-person at the Credit Union 24 booth--using the two iPads that will be given away to randomly drawn winners. In a separate announcement, PinPoint Research has launched MyCUsurvey.com, a new online, low-cost, Web-based research tool designed for the credit union industry. The new research service provides credit unions with an affordable, standardized approach to conducting member satisfaction surveys. MyCUsurvey.com also will be demonstrated at the CUNA GAC. MyCUsurvey.com offers a turnkey approach to customer satisfaction surveys, giving credit unions a standardized, benchmarked approach to assess member services. Rather than using a build-it-yourself survey, MyCUsurvey.com offers preconfigured survey templates designed by credit union professionals to provide basic demographics. It measures six key areas, including overall satisfaction, willingness to recommend, branch satisfaction, employee performance, and service satisfaction. Reports include benchmarking data comparing a credit union’s performance to national, regional and like-sized (by asset range) credit unions. Benchmarks are created from an independent national sample of credit union members and updated biannually. The reports also include charts and graphs. The raw data can be downloaded to spreadsheets for further analysis.

Diebold focuses on smaller U.S. banks

 Permanent link
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (2/16/11)--ATM manufacturer Diebold Inc. reported strong revenue growth and said it is having success in the U.S. with smaller U.S. banks. Diebold is CUNA Strategic Services provider. As smaller retail banks upgrade their ATMs, they are concerned with security, according to Gil B. Luria, an analyst with Wedbush (American Banker Feb. 15). Diebold reported $182.6 billion in revenue from security in the fourth-quarter, a 7% increase from the fourth quarter of 2009. (To view Diebold’s financial statement, use the link.) The company also forecasts a 4%- to 7%-rise in revenue from security for 2011. Overall, total revenue jumped 9% in the fourth quarter to nearly $791 million. Revenue for the year increased 4% to $2.7 billion. “Diebold delivered significant growth in revenue and generated more than $200 million in free cash flow during the fourth quarter,” said Thomas W. Swidarski, Diebold president and chief operating officer. “In addition, our financial service orders in North American grew substantially as that market continues to recover and demand for our deposit automation solutions increases in the regional bank space.” Diebold reported revenue of $594 million from financial self-service sales in the fourth quarter, an increase of 8% from the same period the year before. The company forecasts a further rise of 5% to 8% for 2011.

Trust for CUs moves to open architecture

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/15/11)--The Trust for Credit Unions’ (TCW) recently revamped open architecture offers more flexibility and paves the way for expanded investment options. The open architecture offers the ability to select from multiple providers for critical roles such as investment management, transfer agent, and compliance. The ability to negotiate better terms/fees with multiple providers, access to professional investment management resources, and strong board of trustee oversight are just a few of the benefits of the current business model, said the trust’s distributor. The Trust for Credit Unions—the only mutual fund family solely for credit unions--was created in 1987 by industry leaders who sought more investment options as liquidity swelled. The three funds that now make up the Trust for Credit Unions--Money Market Portfolio, Ultra-Short Duration Portfolio, and Short Duration Portfolio--ranging from overnight to about two years. During its 23 years, the trust has served over 500 credit union investors with total fund balances peaking at $4.1 billion. The TCU board of trustees, which meets quarterly, is composed of eight members from credit unions and outside professionals. The fund’s administrator, CUFSLP, is composed of 39 credit unions with Callahan Financial Services, the fund’s distributor, serving as the general partner.

CUsource teams with Online Resources on online bankingbillpay

 Permanent link
CHANTILLY, Va. (2/15/11)--Online financial services provider Online Resources Corp. and CUsource LLC, a Montana-based credit union service organization, have signed a reseller agreement for Internet banking and bill payment services. The new agreement provides CUsource’s more than 20 credit unions access to Online Resources’ suite of personal financial management, mobile banking, expedited payments, consumer marketing and call center services. This year, 11 credit unions representing more than 120,000 members will convert to Online Resources’ platform. Members of CUsource’s cooperatives will have the opportunity to employ Online Resources’ recently enhanced Internet banking and bill payment application. Online Resources also offers member-specific marketing tools designed to increase awareness, boost online member service, and drive adoption and up-sell opportunities. Driven by consumer-usage pattern intelligence, the service incorporates contextual messaging throughout the interface, such as help links and advertisements that are timely and relevant to the member.

CU car-buying service sold to Max Media

 Permanent link
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (2/14/11)--Max Media Group Inc. has closed its acquisition of Members Autolink, a car-buying service that works with eight Tampa Bay-area credit unions. The credit unions served by Members Autolink include Achieva CU, City County CU, Service 1st CU, Tampa Bay FCU, Service 1st CU, Tampa Postal CU, Florida West Coast CU, Pinellas CU, West Coast Federal Employees CU. Max Media provides revenue-generating content to social-based online community markets, including www.hotautoweb.com. The company also owns the Maximum Motoring Radio Show. In business since 2005, Members Autolink seeks to simplify the car-buying experience for credit union members by providing favorable purchase terms while providing credit unions with the opportunity to finance the purchase. Credit union members can locate, purchase, finance and insure their vehicle while the credit union oversees the process.

CUBG kicks off 2011 with 35th CU

 Permanent link
PORTLAND, Ore. (2/14/11)--Business services credit union service organization (CUSO) CU Business Group (CUBG) began 2011 by adding its 350th credit union client, Dover FCU of Dover, Del. Dover FCU is also CUBG’s first credit union client in Delaware. CUBG now serves credit unions in 41 states. In January, CUBG added six credit union clients, bringing the company’s client total to 353. In 2010 the organization signed 28 new credit unions. President/CEO Larry Middleman attributed much of CUBG’s growth to the addition of new products and services in 2010. The CUSO began offering remote-deposit capture and automated clearinghouse (ACH) origination solutions for businesses last year, and launched a full-service Small Business Administration lending program. The organization has seen a rise in demand for third-party reviews of member business lending programs and portfolios, Middleton said. CUBG performed 36 specialty consulting projects in 2010. Demand has also grown for training, Middleton said. In addition to its regular webinars and regional training sessions, CUBG now offers courses for credit union boards and business loan committees and custom training for credit union business services staff.

Bank data added to peer analysis tool

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/11/11)--Callahan & Associates’ just-released Peer-to-Peer 3.0 software includes access to financial performance data from more than 7,000 U.S. commercial banks and draws upon five years of quarterly Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. bank records. The upgraded version of Peer-to-Peer analytics software has historical trending, reporting, benchmarking and peer-group analysis using credit union data. It includes built-in credit union-bank comparison sets, performance evaluations of local community banks and their individual branches, and customized bank/credit union peer groups within specific, tailored markets. Other improvements include complete credit union call report data; a keyword financial search engine; automatic update capabilities; multiple-chart PowerPoint file export; and expanded access to 10 years of credit union statistics, including Callahan’s FirstLook program integration.

mFoundry launches mobile deposit capture service

 Permanent link
SAN FRANCISCO (2/11/11)--mFoundry has launched mDeposit Express, a standalone mobile-deposit capture solution that credit unions and banks can use to provide their customers and members with an immediate deposit solution, regardless of their mobile banking platform. mDeposit Express can be converted into a complete, multi-mode mobile banking solution with a direct-host or home-banking system without disrupting the mobile deposit service. “More than 275 financial institutions currently use mFoundry for mobile banking,” said Drew Sievers, co-founder and CEO of mFoundry. “There are many more financial institutions out there that just need mobile deposit capture today, or may be locked into a mobile-banking solution that doesn’t support mobile capture. With our new offering, they can deploy mobile capture today, with the option to seamlessly upgrade to mFoundry’s full mobile banking product in the future.” mDeposit Express is immediately available to all banks and credit unions, and can be implemented in 30 days or less.

Dell closes SecureWorks deal

 Permanent link
ROUND ROCK, Texas (2/11/11)--Dell has expanded its information technology-as-a-service offerings with the acquisition of information security services provider SecureWorks Inc., a provider of information security services. SecureWorks processes more than 13 billion security events and sees at least 30,000 malware specimens each day. The company protects more than 3,000 customers worldwide, including over 1,500 banks and credit unions as managed security services clients.

Prepaid card papers from PSCU Financial Services

 Permanent link
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (2/10/11)--In the past, prepaid cards were primarily a gift card product for most credit unions. But times have changed, according to two white papers released by PSCU Financial Services, a credit union service organization (CUSO) based in St. Petersburg, Fla. The papers, "A Case for Prepaid Cards" and "Achieving Profitability with Prepaid Cards," are available for free at the CUSO's website. Use the link. According to PSCU Financial Services, the papers document explosive growth for reloadable cards. Sales were up 52% in 2009 and money loaded onto the cards was 46% higher for 2009 than in previous years. By contrast, sales of gift cards were up 15% and money loads increased 17%. "Reloadable cards offer the ability to strengthen existing relationships, deliver an alternative to potential new members who may not qualify for a debit card and are attractive for the underserved market," said Ron Silvia, vice president debit, ATM and prepaid products, at the CUSO. "This product also enhances relationships through the recurring member contact required to reload the cards," he added. Driven by the economic downturn, members are turning to reloadable cards to help them stick to a monthly budget. The cards also are a money management tool for those struggling to obtain or maintain credit and debit cards, according to the papers. The CUSO said these cards also deliver a strong revenue stream since they are not subject to gift card regulations in the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 and new debit regulations. PSCU Financial Services, which serves more than 1,500 financial institutions nationwide, also offers free white papers on credit, debit, eCommerce, cards for small businesses and call centers.

Aptys Solutions adds ACH functions to PayLOGICS

 Permanent link
ROCKWALL, Texas (2/10/11)--Payments network provider Aptys Solutions has added automated clearinghouse (ACH) functionality to its PayLOGICS processing platform. Rather than sending all ACH transactions to the Federal Reserve for clearing, PayLOGICS allows correspondent service providers the option of first clearing items within their network of banks. Using the ACH functionality in PayLOGICS enables financial institutions to exchange ACH items with other financial institution partners, while sending their remaining transactions to the Federal Reserve or corporate credit union. Among its capabilities, Aptys’ ACH functionality includes exception item management, automated scheduling, warehousing, returns, reversals and origination. Because ACH and checks processed through PayLOGICS employ the same architecture, financial institutions eliminate the need to create a new infrastructure to manage ACH payments. Aptys’ architecture allows financial institutions to validate a transaction file and conduct duplicate checking on the same file. Through Aptys’ Active Archive, financial institutions can store any transaction type in a single location and search, perform exception-item management, and analyze risk across payment types, identifying and preventing errors before they happen.

Agility SBA webinar to discuss disasters impact

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/9/11)--Small-business owners can participate in a discussion about major disaster events that caused business interruptions in 2010 during a free webinar at 2 p.m. on Feb. 15.

The webinar will be hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery Solutions. Agility Recovery Solutions is a CUNA Strategic Solutions provider.

In addition to looking back at the most unusual event--the BP oil spill--the hour-long discussion, Disaster Recovery Year-in-Review: A Retrospective on Events that Shaped Business Continuity, will include a summary of lessons learned, tips on how to prepare for unforeseen catastrophes and new trends influencing business continuity planning.

SBA has partnered with Agility Recovery Solutions to offer business continuity strategies for small-business owners via its PrepareMyBusiness website.

Loan officers up volume with online lending tools

 Permanent link
MEQUON, Wis. (2/8/11)--A new study shows how loan officers are shattering the traditional production ceilings that prevent them from taking only a few applications each day. Instead of seeing the online channel as competition, tech-savvy loan officers are embracing the online channel with point-of-sale solutions. DFCU Financial of Dearborn, Mich., employs PowerSite from Mortgagebot. PowerSite automates the mortgage application, pricing and approval process, and helps free loan officers from the burden of paper forms and manual data entry. Between 2008 and 2009, DFCU increased online purchase and refinance applications by 220%. Online pre-approvals jumped by 113%. “Our loan officers are definitely using PowerSite technology to increase their volume,” said Cheryl M. Nelson, vice president and manager of mortgage Services for DFCU Financial, a 200,000-member credit union with 24 offices in southeastern Michigan. A recent market study by Lieberman Research Group of Great Neck, N.Y. confirmed that while the consumer-direct online channel will grow 157% by 2013, loan officers will continue to take about half of all bank and credit-union mortgage applications, said Scott Happ, Mortgagebot president/CEO. Mortgagebot retained the services of First Wellesley Consulting Group, an independent consulting firm from Wellesley Hills, Mass., to study the business benefits lenders can gain when they equip their loan officers with “smart” online tools that automate the mortgage application, pricing, approval, and disclosure process. “The lenders we studied have equipped their loan officers with user-friendly, loan-officer-specific origination tools,” said Jim Jones, president and founder of First Wellesley Consulting. “We found that while some loan officers see the Internet as competition and shy away, loan officers at Mortgagebot client organizations are embracing online-lending technology as their ‘best friend’--and they’re using it to boost production, provide a superior borrower experience, and increase their internal efficiency.” Advantis CU of Milwaukie, Ore., is an example. Using PowerSite, Advantis CU loan officers have tripled loan application volume since 2005, according to Darin Walding, lead real estate loan officer at the credit union. “We implemented Mortgagebot’s ‘Loan Officer Web Sites’ solution to give each of our loan officers a personalized mortgage Web site. Now they’re using their personal sites to bring in more loans--as well as to ‘brand’ themselves in our community and cement relationships with members.” First Wellesley’s Jones also noted more than application volume improves when loan officers take advantage of online technology. That’s because today’s borrowers want and expect the improved service afforded by the 24/7 convenience and speed of “smart,” interactive, online mortgage-application technology. “Our members are increasingly comfortable with shopping and applying for a mortgage online,” said Wendy Hewitt, a loan officer at DFCU Financial. “That gives me more time to spend with borrowers who really need personal attention. Now members can apply anytime over the Internet, and I am immediately notified when an application comes in. I contact the borrower, we discuss their options, and I answer their questions. After that, we communicate mostly by e-mail. Many times they only have to come into our offices for closing.” Nelson said that DFCU members rate their satisfaction with the credit union’s online mortgage application at more than 95%. Walding said that borrowers actually thank Advantis CU loan officers for directing them to the credit union’s easy-to-use, online mortgage application.

IBT saw CU client growth in 2010

 Permanent link
CEDAR PARK, Texas (2/7/11)--IBT, a process innovation and customer experience solution provider, has added more than 100 credit union clients in 2010, its most significant increase in credit union clients since it began offering its products and services to cooperative financial services providers. In adding these customers, IBT now has available interfaces to 20 credit union core providers and 15 Internet providers to provide a third-party platform for processing share drafts. In 2011, IBT said it will to deliver real-time transactional alerts to mobile devices through mobile and online banking channels, coupled with the instant access to images and transactions processed through teller capture, remote-deposit capture and IBT consumer capture.

Cardwells new project connector is live

 Permanent link
CLEVELAND (2/7/11)--Strategy execution consultant and software developer Cardwell said its MS Project Connector is now live in beta testing as part of Connections Online IQ. Going live with MS Project Connector means the “connector” syncs MS Project to department and enterprise projects within the Connections Online (COL) software. COL clients can subscribe to the IQ service, which allows them to gain access to the MS Project Connector for seamlessly synching projects. Once a project is created in either Connections Online or MS Project, the Project Connector syncs with the new and updated project data, said Karla Norwood, Cardwell president. Through MS Project connector, the project can sync back and forth between both applications each time the project is updated in MS Project. This allows project teams to update their own project work through the COL interface. The Project Manager can manage any project by pulling it into MS Project to update the data and then re-sync them. All updates are reflected in both “directions”--from MS Project using the connector and also from COL. “Many information technology departments and project management offices are used to the sophistication of managing a project using MS Project, but typically only a few people use it because it is not very user friendly and it’s complicated,” Norwood said. “So if projects are run from MS Project, it is a lot of work for the project owners to keep it updated because they have to rely on e-mails and phone calls to keep the project tasks current that other people are accountable for completing,” she continued. “MS Project Connector, contrarily, makes things easier not only for updating, but also for reviewing status. Executives and project stakeholders can view the current status of the project ‘just in time,’ since the project is available online 24/7.”

New core processor Corelation meets its goal

 Permanent link
SAN DIEGO (2/4/11)--In its second year of existence, core processor Corelation has signed its first three clients--all three are credit unions--and added five staff members. Credit unions signing with Corelation include:
* Cabrillo CU, San Diego; * Harbor FCU, Carson, Calif.; and * Oregon Pioneer FCU, Portland, Ore.
“We’re always keeping our eyes out for new technology to benefit our members,” said Tina Fugelsang, CEO of Harbor FCU. “We heard about Corelation and checked out their system at a recent conference and we had never seen anything quite like it.” New additions to the Corelation staff include:
* Carl Barlow--director of system architecture; * David Klimek--lead developer for electronic funds transfer services; * Jose Garcia--senior sales analyst; * Mark Brocklehurst--lead developer of conversion programming services; and * David Stewart--product manager of conversion services.
“2010 was an amazing year as our KeyStone technology became a reality by signing our first three clients and adding some highly talented staff members to support our solution,” said Corelation President Theresa Benavidez.

Fiserv teams with Worklight on fin. services apps

 Permanent link
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (2/3/11)--Fiserv Inc. and WorkLight are teaming up to help financial institutions deliver financial services applications and widgets to social network sites, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. This cross-platform application development capability will allow banks and credit unions to extend new and existing banking and payments applications to multiple environments beyond their traditional online or mobile presence. Under the terms of the agreement, Fiserv will use the WorkLight platform to build, run and manage applications for desktop computers, tablets, smartphones and other emerging devices. Initially, the two companies will focus on the delivery of lightweight, toolkit payment applications for gifting, alerts and donations that will complement existing Fiserv products and services. Over time, the companies expect to offer a range of solutions for banking as well.

Fynanz adds consolidated private student loans

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (2/2/11)--Fynanz Inc., a developer of customized private student lending solutions, including cuStudentLoan.org, has introduced a new consolidation program for private student loans. Fynanz is CUNA Strategic Services partner. The new offering, the EdSucceed Private Student Loan Consolidation, will accompany the existing EdAccess Private Student Loan in Fynanz’s suite of loan products. EdSucceed, like EdAccess, will be issued by credit union lending partners within Fynanz’s program and offer variable-rate pricing to qualified borrowers. Private student loan consolidation provides the opportunity to simplify finances and lower monthly payments and interest expenses. EdSucceed Private Student Loan Consolidation also will allow borrowers to manage their expenses by selecting either a graduated or level repayment option.