RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/1/12)--CO-OP Financial Services and Diebold Inc. have partnered to offer CO-OP ATM Managed Services, a complete ATM fleet implementation and management suite for credit unions.
Diebold will market and sell CO-OP ATM Managed Services and offer its Diebold Integrated Services as part of the product suite. The suite includes anti-skimming, currency management, enterprise security and software deployment services.
Diebold also will offer CO-OP Payment Processing services for signature and personal identification number (PIN) debit and ATM transactions.
The new suite of services is a vendor-neutral managed service solutions designed to address the individual needs of clients. The agreement enables CO-OP to provide credit unions with the two primary ATM hardware options.
"Diebold brings significant marketing power and a high-quality brand to the partnership," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "Like our own organization, Diebold has strong relationships with credit unions and understands the need to minimize expenses, simplify management and maximize member experience at the ATM."
With the new services, credit unions can turn over all their ATM-related issues to a single source so they can focus on their core financial services to members. The CO-OP ATM Managed Services solution includes:
- Fleet consultation and financing, including technology recommendations and financing/leasing analysis and options;
- Fleet maximization and innovation, including deployment and implementation of new or upgraded devices, and compliance updates;
- Fleet management and coordination, including device support, management of vendor services, and a single source for support and billing; and
- ATM processing, including CO-OP Connect infrastructure, terminal driving, reporting, advanced fraud detection and prevention, and adjustment processing.
LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. (3/1/12)--Sunkist Employees FCU is the first credit union to sign with CU*NorthWest under the Small Credit Union Initiative, a pilot program designed to help small credit unions access more robust data processing and management tools.
"By empowering the credit union management with the CU*BASE toolset and the associated professional services available from our network, the only thing limiting the credit union to increase product and service offerings to their members is their own desire and creativity," said Greg Smith, CU*NorthWest CEO. "It starts with a desire on the part of the credit union to change its future and in this case a peer partner with the spirit to collaborate. Then we contribute a truly disruptive price and put virtually every tool we have within reach of the credit union."
To qualify for the program--conceived within the cuasterisk.com network of partners--credit unions were required to have a mentor/sponsor to help with implementation and support.
1st Valley CU, with $33 million in assets, San Bernadino, Calif., served as Sunkist Employees FCU's sponsor. "I firmly believe that collaboration is the key to ensuring survival of small credit unions," said 1st Valley CEO, Gregg Stockdale.
"CU*NorthWest's data processing system is really built for this kind of collaboration. We helped with the planning, configuration, and actual conversion. We continue helping the credit union today. The technology allows us to be really seamless and makes it efficient for my staff to help," Stockdale said.
Other programs are being tested with different configurations by other cuasterisk.com partners with a goal of having deeper discussions at the next network partners meeting in May.
"We will now be able to serve our members with products and services we never thought were within our reach," said Olivia Bautista, CEO of Sunkist Employees FCU, with $5 million in assets, Sherman Oaks, Calif. "The support we receive from the other CU*NorthWest credit unions will no doubt expand our capacity--it is true collaboration among cooperatives."
Sunkist went live with CU*NorthWest on the CU*BASE software on Feb. 4.
DES MOINES, Iowa (2/29/12)--Following the unexpected death of Coopera CEO and founder Warren Morrow, the staff at Coopera, its parent company Affiliates Management Co. (AMC) and partner Credit Union National Association (CUNA) stand ready to continue Morrow's work.
Murray Williams, AMC chief administrative officer and chief operating office of the Iowa Credit Union League has been named acting CEO of Coopera. Williams worked closely with Morrow since Coopera's inception, providing strategic counsel. On an interim basis, Williams will provide leadership to Coopera staff and act as a pro-tem contact for current and prospective clients and partners.
"We have a tremendous team in place at Coopera to carry Warren's vision forward," said Williams. "He was a good friend and an inspiration to us all. His life will continue on through all of us and through Coopera."
"Warren built Coopera into a visionary company with a very bright future," said Patrick S. Jury, AMC chairman and CEO. "He was always proud that Coopera was much larger than one person. While Warren's passing is a tragic loss to us and the entire credit union movement, we will persevere, and Coopera will live on."
Citing the company's mission, staff, partnerships and support from the credit union industry, Jury said Coopera will carry on its service to the credit union movement. With the continued support of CUNA, Coopera will work to introduce more credit unions to the growth potential of the Hispanic community.
"CUNA is fully committed to its partnership with Coopera and the vital mission that we share together--to help credit unions grow in membership and assets through the Hispanic market," said Mark Condon, CUNA senior vice president of business and consumer publishing.
In addition to its consulting efforts, Coopera introduced several new products and partnerships designed to attract Hispanic consumers to credit unions. Among these is the Coopera Card, a reloadable prepaid card built for Hispanic cardholders. Nine credit unions have signed on to make the card available to Hispanic members.
Another offering is the Hispanic consumer website, El Poder es Tuyo, created by Coopera and CUNA and adopted by more than 40 credit unions nationwide.
Coopera Vice President Miriam De Dios and Client Account Coordinator Anna Haug will help lead the company while serving clients, managing partnerships and presenting on the Hispanic market opportunity at several upcoming industry conferences and events, including:
- CUNA's Marketing and Business Development Council Conference, March 7-10, New Orleans;
- CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference , March 18-22, Washington, D.C.;
- Latino Credit Union Conference, June 15-17, San Diego;
- America's Credit Union Conference & Expo, June 17-20, San Diego; and
- CUNA's Community Credit Union and Growth Conference, Oct. 23-26, Denver.
"Warren established and grew Coopera to be the premier conduit for helping the Hispanic community attain dignified financial services through credit unions, and it's our intention to carry his vision into the future," said De Dios.
Morrow's colleagues have been overwhelmed by the support received from all corners of the industry, according to Jury. "We have reflected as a staff that this is why working in the credit union movement is so special," said Jury. "We are a part of a compassionate community."
SAN ANTONIO (2/29/12)--A representative from Harland Clarke Corp., will offer insights on member engagement and retention during the 19th annual CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Conference, March 7-10 in New Orleans.
Harland Clarke is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
Stephen Nikitas, Harland Clarke senior marketing strategist, will discuss 10 actions credit unions can take immediately to strengthen relationships with members.
"There are several easy, cost-effective actions that financial institutions can take to strengthen their balance sheet and grow their loan portfolios as they navigate recent changes in the economy and regulatory environment," Nikitas said.
Nikitas has more than 30 years of experience in strategic planning, marketing, public relations and executive speechwriting. He has been a senior executive at financial institutions in New York, California and Massachusetts, developing and implementing sales and marketing programs that have resulted in significant growth in loans, deposits and accounts.
For Harland Clarke, Nikitas provides consultative services to banks and credit unions, helping them craft marketing and retail strategies and campaigns to take advantage of existing market and financial conditions to grow targeted portfolios.
MANSFIELD, Texas (2/28/12)--Texas Trust CU, with $680 million in assets in Mansfield, Texas, is the first credit union in Texas to offer Deluxe Corp.'s SwitchAgent, an automated service that makes it easier for consumers to switch their accounts from another financial institution.
SwitchAgent helps consumers transfer pre-authorized payments and deposits, such as gym memberships, car loans, mortgages, utility bills, and Social Security and payroll deposits, from their old bank account to their new Texas Trust account.
The SwitchAgent concierge service will be available for free to all new Texas Trust account holders. Members will receive a customized schedule and billing notification for each automated payment and deposit, simplifying the transition process and the transfer of pre-authorized transactions.
According to J. D. Power & Associates, 66% of account holders would consider switching financial institutions, but don't because of the laborious transition process related to pre-authorized transactions. With SwitchAgent, Texas Trust will automate the process for new members, requiring only 30 minutes of their time, compared with 10 to 20 hours without SwitchAgent.
By leveraging Deluxe Corp's proprietary database of payers and creditors, Texas Trust can anchor members to their accounts more quickly, reducing the likelihood that a new account will go inactive.
"The average consumer has 1.3 automated deposits and nearly four automated payments associated with their accounts," said Jim Minge, Texas Trust CU president. "It can take several months to move these transactions. That prevents many consumers from switching financial institutions even if they are unhappy."
NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. (2/28/12)--CU Companies, a Minnesota-based credit union service organization, has unveiled an iPhone app that allows consumers to view mortgage rates, find nearby ATMs and receive news alerts and videos.
CU Companies said its original intent was to provide a tool that would allow consumers to quickly view--and that would push--mortgage rates. The ATM location finder was added to give the app longevity, and the news alerts and videos were added to provide financial education.
The company also announced the election of its new board officers:
- Steve Ahlness, chair, Greater Minnesota CU, Mora, Minn.;
- Tom Smith, vice chair, TopLine FCU, Maple Grove, Minn.; and
- Phillip Kopischke, secretary, SharePoint FCU, Hopkins, Minn.
Additional board members include:
- Paul Dammann, Soo Line CU, Minneapolis;
- Mark Everson, Wings FCU, Apple Valley, Minn.;
- Kathleen Harrington, Heartland CU, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; and
- Patrick Pierce, City & County CU, Saint Paul, Minn.
DENVER, Colo., and ROCKVILLE, Md. (2/27/12)--NeighborBench and Mountain West Credit Union Association (MWCUA) have entered into a strategic partnership that makes Mountain West the official distributor of NeighborBench's compliance solution for credit unions nationwide.
The NeighborBench compliance solution offers automated tools that reduce the cost, time and resources typically required to comply with regulatory demands, the partners said last week.
"Managing regulatory compliance is one of the greatest challenges our credit unions are facing," said Mountain West President/CEO Scott Earl. He added the solution "adds a powerful automated and online element to our Compliance Solutions tool that will help credit unions address this challenge."
Mountain West Credit Union Association is the league serving member credit unions in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. The association has offered compliance solutions regionally since 2008.
LA JOLLA, Calif. (2/27/12)--ClosingCorp's SmartGFE Service now makes real-estate closing data available to credit unions.
SmartGFE enables credit unions to instantly create good faith estimates (GFEs) that are compliant with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The service provides GFEs with almost no user interaction, the La Jolla, Calif.-based company said.
Additional features include the ability to deliver current rates for real estate closing services nationwide as well as transfer taxes and recording fees. Custom configuration is available so credit unions can access data from specific service providers.
ClosingCorp provides real estate closing cost data and technologies to mortgage lenders, real estate providers and consumers.
HOUSTON and REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (2/27/12)--Pulse and Obopay will work together to enable real-time money transfer capabilities for financial institutions that participate in Pulse's debit/ATM network.
The agreement between Pulse and Obopay enables Pulse network issuers to offer person-to-person (P2P) and account-to-account (A2A) transfers using Obopay's Mobile Money for Banks and Credit Unions service. The service employs Pulse's existing connectivity and settlement processes.
Accountholders at participating financial institutions can also instantly receive funds from other financial institutions in their debit accounts.
A joint Pulse and Obopay statement said advantages for financial institutions include real-time authorization for transactions, interchange income from fund transfers, a simplified user experience and expedited deposits for members.
"A growing number of mobility-minded consumers require instant payments and transfers," said Judith McGuire, Pulse's executive vice president of product management.
ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland (2/24/12)--Verafin Inc. said its customer base grew by 25% in 2011 and it now has more than 800 customers relying on its behavior-based fraud detection and compliance software.
Verafin is a CUNA Strategic Services partner.
"I believe our continued growth is a direct result of a dedication to our customers, which saw us achieve an impressive Net Promoter Score," said Jamie King, Verafin's CEO. "This dedication was at the heart of the team's product innovation, resulting in regular software functionality updates that helped our customers successfully fight financial crime."
During 2011, Verafin's momentum continued as it achieved these milestones:
- A 46% increase in bookings from 2010;
- A continued customer retention rate of 99%;
- A ranking of 128 on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500, which ranks the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America;
- Further integrations with core banking systems, bringing the total to 65;
- New partner relationships with Open Solutions Inc., and FPS Gold;
- Technological advances in fraud detection, including tools for finding customer debit cards used at common points of compromise; and
- A new office opening in Birmingham, Ala.
Verafin's fraud/anti-money laundering (FRAML) software solution analyzes customer activity and data for anomalous activity across transaction channels, enabling fraud detection and Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance professionals to respond to suspicious activity. The FRAML software is a complete package, from alert generation to case management and automated electronic regulatory reporting, Verafin said.
PHILADELPHIA (2/24/12)--VINtek has been awarded its third U.S. patent for vehicle financing technology.
The VINtek technologies covered by the business-process patent help potential vehicle buyers determine the total cost of a vehicle, including tax, tag and title fees, anywhere through the Internet. It also produces and presents vehicle purchase documentation, including electronic loan documents, to consumers and allows them to electronically sign these documents.
Consumers also have access to a remote Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) submission process that alleviates the need for them to spend hours at a DMV office. Simultaneously, it delivers lender protection by perfecting their liens. Much of the process is processed in real time over the Web using multiple websites and workflow tools that interact with each other.
"We anticipate our patented process to be in high demand as more vehicle purchases occur online," said Larry Highbloom, VINtek president/CEO. "This will help all participants complete the document-fulfillment aspects of a vehicle purchase anytime and anywhere."
MADISON, Wis. (2/23/12)--For the sixth consecutive year CUNA HR/TD Council's annual conference, to be held April 18-21 in San Antonio has been approved to provide attendees with Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recertification credits.
The conference will feature breakout sessions, learning labs and workshops that cover a wide range of human resources (HR) and training topics, including:
- Employee engagement;
- Leading change;
- Measuring successful training;
- Social media as a recruitment tool;
- Labor and employment law update;
- Reading and understanding financials;
- Economic update;
- Leadership skills;
- Succession planning;
- Health-care reform; and
- Adult learning.
Attendees at the conference can earn up to 16 recertification hours toward their Professional in Human Resources, Senior Professional in Human Resources and Global Professional in Human Resources recertifications through the Human Resource Certification Institute. Three certification credits are offered to attendees of a pre-conference workshop and 13 to those attending general sessions and breakouts. The conference will be held at the Marriott Riverwalk San Antonio.
The second annual CUNA HR/TD Council Excellence Awards will also be presented at the conference.
MADISON, Wis. (2/23/12)--The new CUNA Lending Compliance School, to be held Aug. 6-9 in Las Vegas, offers a rigorous curriculum presented through a variety of learning channels, says the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
The event is produced by the CUNA Center for Professional Development and endorsed by the CUNA Lending Council.
The new CUNA Lending Compliance School provides a detailed exploration of lending compliance. The program is for those who seek a thorough knowledge of lending compliance by understanding the major regulations that impact credit unions.
The school uses a blended learning approach with several different learning channels, including on-site lectures, peer discussions, print materials, interactive online courses and a pre-conference webinar. The multi-channel format is designed to engage learning styles to improve retention and the overall experience.
CUNA Lending Compliance School topics include:
- Indirect Lending;
- Advertising Credit Products;
- Fair Lending Act;
- Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA);
- Risk Rating and Grading;
- Member Business Lending;
- Collection Regulations;
- Lending Regulations;
- Reg Z: Truth in Lending; and
- National Credit Union Administration Privacy.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (2/22/12)--Intuit Financial Services has introduced Intuit Tablet Banking for the iPad so consumers can manage their finances from the mobile devices.
The new app gives credit unions and banks a new way to meet their member/customers' demand for an array of technology solutions, said Intuit Financial Services, which is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
With the app, credit union members can:
- View account balances and transaction history;
- Transfer funds between eligible accounts;
- Locate nearby ATMs and branches; and
- Access their credit union's mobile website.
Tablet manufacturers expect to sell more than 124 million tablets worldwide by the end of the year, said Intuit.
Consumers using a combination of online and mobile solutions are 45% more likely to interact with their financial institution than those who only go online, according to a recent Intuit study of 50,000 mobile banking customers.
"We understand the wide technology needs of consumers who want financial information at their fingertips, whether at home, on-the-go, or at work. By expanding our offerings, we're helping banks and credit unions better serve some of their most active customers," said CeCe Morken, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit Financial Services.
More than 450 U.S. credit unions and banks offer Intuit's mobile Web, text message and downloadable application solutions to conduct banking tasks via iPhone, Android, Blackberry and iPad devices. Intuit's Tablet Banking App for iPad is available through the iTunes store under the brand name of each credit union and bank that offers it.
DES MOINES, Iowa (2/21/12)--The Members Group (TMG) has implemented First Data's DefenseEdge tool to speed detection of card fraud attempts.
Karen Postma, TMG senior cards risk manager, said DefenseEdge quickens the process of identifying and neutralizing card fraud attempts by enabling more precise rule setting so fewer transactions require investigation by a card analyst.
DefenseEdge can identify non-monetary actions that represent a fraud risk, such as requests to change an address or personal identification number (PIN). TMG's fraud detection system then makes this information available on demand.
Financial institutions can also use DefenseEdge to respond to fraud patterns such as "bust-out fraud," which occurs when a criminal opens multiple credit accounts with the intention of spending to the credit limit and then disappearing. For example, DefenseEdge can help counter this activity by counting the number of invalid CV2/CV attempts within a specific timeframe, with a block placed on accounts that exceed this threshold.
DefenseEdge is available to all TMG debit and credit clients.
SAN ANTONIO (2/17/12)--Harland Clarke Corp. will expand its Statement Solutions offerings with new transpromotional marketing and operational capabilities, the company announced Thursday.
A CUNA Strategic Services provider, Harland Clarke said the enhancements and its proprietary analytics will help credit unions turn account statements into targeted marketing communications with one-to-one messaging.
Account holders open their account statements to review their transaction history. Statement Solutions will provide a key touchpoint, which means financial institutions can include customized messaging applicable to each accountholder, the company said.
As a result, credit unions and other financial institutions can achieve a higher marketing return on investment, extend customer relationship management strategies and increase cross-sales opportunities for products and services, said Harland Clarke.
"Our financial institution clients are looking for ways to maximize value across their businesses, and one way to do that is through secure transactional account statements," said Harland Clarke President/Chief Operating Officer Dan Singleton.
"We have made significant investments in transactional print processes and state-of-the-art equipment to increase production capacity, enhance operational efficiencies and support advances in messaging and mail management," he added.
The company will offer transpromotional marketing for both print and electronic statements.
PLANO, Texas (2/17/12)--Catalyst Corporate FCU, Plano, Texas, will soon offer a lockbox payments processing service.
Catalyst Corporate's new lockbox service will manage repetitive tasks, such as incoming credit card or loan payments, address changes, correspondence, unsigned checks and checks without payment coupons, said Karen Coble, Catalyst Corporate's vice president of sales.
Credit unions will be able to view their lockbox activity, images and reports through Catalyst Corporate's online account management system (TranZact).
The lockbox service includes: daily mail pick-up from a post office box, opening and sorting out mail that requires special handling, scanning the check and payment coupon, endorsing the check, electronically reading or manually entering MICR line information from checks, electronically reading or manually entering optical character recognition line and handwritten information from payment coupons, courtesy amount recognition/legal amount recognition technology character recognition of the check amount, manual verification of check amount, payments applied in accordance with credit union business rules, and same-day electronic deposit of checks.
In addition, payment output files (defined by member) and daily reports will be posted on TranZact for credit unions to download. Catalyst Corporate will retain and dispose of images and physical documents as directed by the credit union.
MADISON, Wis. (2/17/12)--Registration is open for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Business Lending Certification Institutes, July 16-20 in Madison, Wis.
The CUNA Business Lending Certification Institutes is designed to provide a practical education on business lending and, via expert-led sessions, address real-life business scenarios.
Presented in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, Executive Education, Small Business Development Center, the CUNA Business Lending Certification Institutes are offered in three parts:
Fundamentals. Attendees will develop a foundation for business awareness and an understanding of the components involved in business lending services.
Credit analysis. This school addresses the challenges business members face in making debt service payments and meeting other financial responsibilities.
Advanced credit analysis. Students will gain hands-on experience with credit analysis.
"This program offers training and resources to help credit unions achieve a strong and sustainable member business lending program," said Courtney Cantwell, CUNA manager of instructional design. "Not only does it help them grow their member base, but it strengthens their presence in the community."
MADISON, Wis. (2/16/12)--CUNA Certified Financial Counselor Schools will be held June 11-14 in Austin, Texas.
The schools offer credit union counseling professionals the opportunity to hear financial counseling experts share their insight into the latest theories and practices of financial counseling. Through live sessions and face-to-face discussions, attendees will develop the skills and confidence they need to help members through the range of financial situations they may face, said CUNA.
The schools are offered in three parts:
CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School: Part 1. Attendees will learn how to properly assess the current financial situation of their members and explore the available resources and strategies that will help get members on track to financial independence.
CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School: Part 2. The school will explore prevention strategies that will keep members out of debt and troubling financial situations. Attendees will learn how to help their members understand the underlying causes of their financial difficulties and give them the knowledge they need to monitor their expenses effectively.
CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School: Update. The update session will survey the current practices and theories of financial counseling. Attendees will hear from leaders in financial counseling and stay up-to-date with the counseling techniques and practices that will help members reach their financial goals.
Credits and on-site examinations for the Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC) certification are provided onsite. Recertification of the CCUFC certification is also available as part of the CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School: Update.
ST. LOUIS (2/16/12)--Missouri Corporate CU, St. Louis, announced it will offer LT's third-party correspondent financial service solution, Private Correspondent Gateway.
The Missouri Corporate transition from the APEX ACH system to LT's solution will include the ability to offer member credit unions with their own branded cash management platform for their select-employee groups.
All of these services will include LT's integrated biometric authentication for enhanced security.
"LT's correspondent experience and ability to accommodate our needs within a tight time line particularly played into our decision process," said Dennis DeGroodt, Missouri Corporate CU president/CEO.
MADISON, Wis. (2/15/12)--Credit unions that participate in the free 2012 National Youth Saving Challenge also will receive a new package of free loan-campaign promotional materials aimed at making National Credit Union Youth Week a family affair.
The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) loan campaign ties in with the Saving Challenge--which runs the month of April--and gives credit unions an opportunity to build member loyalty by providing adults a tangible reward for launching youth down the path of successful money management.
"Credit unions may be surprised to learn there are more than 20 million nonmember youth living in the homes of current members," said CUNA Youth Week Coordinator Joanne Sepich. CUNA's combined package connects new loan generation to the popular Youth Week, April 22-28.
The National Youth Saving Challenge is held in conjunction with National Credit Union Youth Week.
Last year nearly 146,000 young members deposited $28.5 million into their saving accounts during the week--with 9,058 new accounts opened.
Participation in the free Saving Challenge is an opportunity for credit unions to build strong relationships with young members--and their families--in their communities by reinforcing the benefits of credit union membership.
Credit unions use their creativity to come up with fun ideas to engage--and educate--children during the National Youth Saving Challenge.
For ideas on how to celebrate National Credit Union Youth Week, use the link.
MADISON, Wis. (2/15/12)--Registration and conference information is now available for the 2012 CUNA National Credit Union Roundtable for Board Leadership, Aug. 10-12 in Chicago, announced the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
The roundtable brings together leaders from the largest credit unions in the country to discuss economic issues, membership growth strategies and governance regulations that impact the credit union industry.
During the event, attendees will:
- Examine the importance of enterprise-risk management;
- Receive updates on pressing industry topics;
- Learn the latest trends in governance; and
- Engage in facilitated open discussions on key credit union topics.
"The CUNA National Credit Union Roundtable for Board Leadership stands out as the event for board members from top credit unions to connect with their peers," said Todd Spiczenski, CUNA vice president of the center for professional development. "Once a year these board leaders come together to discuss pressing issues, share best practices and learn innovative strategies. Most important, the roundtable fosters an excellent networking environment where credit union directors can comfortably converse about issues of the day."
After the CUNA National Credit Union Roundtable for Board Leadership, is the CUNA Economics & Investments Conference will meet in Chicago on Aug. 12-15. Featuring Bill Hampel, CUNA senior vice president, research & policy analysis department and chief economist, and Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of economics and statistics, the conference gives credit union professionals an in-depth look at today's national economic landscape and tomorrow's economic future.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (2/14/12)--Member Business Solutions (MBS), a credit union service organization of Southeast Corporate FCU, based in Tallahassee, Fla., recently processed its 5,000th loan.
South Carolina FCU (SCFCU), Charleston, S.C., put MBS over the top with its business member, MacHill Machinery Solutions LLC. MacHill Machinery imports computer numerical control machines, and then modifies them with the addition of robotics and custom-engineered tooling solutions.
The $1.3 billion SCFCU, which has worked with MBS since 2006, has 5,004 business members, with business deposits of more than $28 million.
The credit union targets businesses with fewer than 25 employees and sales under $2.5 million, said Steven Majewski, business services officer.
Currently SCFCU has 276 business loans outstanding, with an average loan amount of $45,000.
"As our economy gains traction, we want to be positioned to help businesses grow," said Majewski. "The personal knowledge of our loan officers, combined with the underwriting expertise at MBS, has enabled us to expand our portfolio with quality loans."
The Credit Union National Association and credit unions have been urging Congress to raise the member business lending limit to 27.5% of assets from the current 12.25% of assets. Doing so would provide $13 billion to lend to small business owners. Injecting that amount into the economy would create roughly 140,000 new jobs at no cost to the taxpayer.
CUNA also sponsored a Small Business Hike the Hill event in Washington, D.C. last week to support the MBL increase.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (2/14/12)--In 2011, CU Realty Services awarded a total of $1.8 million in cost savings to credit union members who bought or sold their homes using the company's network of real estate agents.
On average, members saved $1,499, about 20% in real estate commissions. The top participant was Bank Fund Staff FCU in Washington, D.C., which saved its home-buying or selling members $382,000. Following closely was Northwest FCU in Herndon, Va., which disbursed a total of $337,460 in savings to its members.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based CU Realty helps members find a house, research a neighborhood and connect with an agent, while acting as an active lead channel when the member is ready for financing.
The company helps credit become the first point of contact for members looking for a home, important because more than 80% of homebuyers stick with the first realtor they meet, said Mike Corn, CEO of CU Realty Services.
"Using our online program, credit union members can pre-qualify for a loan before they ever speak with an agent," Corn said. "And we also make it easy to choose from among pre-screened, trained realtors who steer members back to the credit union for financing."
CU Realty says the program helps buyers, credit unions and realtors: members save on closing costs and are provided with a network of knowledgeable realtors, who provide high-quality service; credit unions increase their mortgage portfolios; and qualified agents receive pre-approved leads from the credit union.
MADISON, Wis. (2/13/12)--Registration and school information is now available for the 2012 Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Volunteer Certification School, Sept. 23-28 in Long Beach, Calif.
The CUNA Volunteer Certification School is designed for credit union volunteers who wish to sharpen their credit union acumen and take their duties to the next level. During the course of the week-long, volunteer certification program, credit union volunteers will gain the knowledge needed to perform their volunteer duties with confidence and expertise.
CUNA Volunteer Certification School curriculum comprises lectures and discussion sessions, culminating in five certification exams on the following topics:
- Safety and soundness;
- CEO oversight;
- Strategic planning;
- Board operations and development.
"At the CUNA Volunteer Certification School board members dive into complex credit union issues and work through them in simplified and practical ways," said Kevin Smith, CUNA Director of Volunteer Education. "The school also provides credit union board members excellent networking opportunities and the opportunity to reach a new tier of volunteer skill and excellence."
For board members seeking to earn their Certified Credit Union Volunteer (CCUV) designation who are unable to attend the live school in September, the certification program is also offered as a self-study option through the Volunteer Certification Program.
Upon successful completion of the CUNA Volunteer Certification School or the self-study Volunteer Certification Program, volunteers will earn their CCUV designation and CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate.
SAN FRANCISCO (2/13/12)--U.S. financial institutions--including two credit unions--have reported issuing an estimated one million Visa-branded, EMV chip-enabled cards as of Dec. 31.
In August, Visa announced plans to accelerate mobile innovation and the adoption of EMV contact and contactless chip technology in the U.S.
State Employees' CU, Raleigh, N.C., and United Nations FCU, Long Island City, N.Y., among the credit unions offering chip card pilot programs, according to Visa.
EMV chip technology refers to the microchip that is embedded in a credit or debit card, or even a mobile device. Sometimes misleadingly referred to as "chip and PIN," EMV chip is commonly deployed with a variety of cardholder verification methods including signature as well as PIN.
Under Visa's approach, both methods, as well as "no signature required," will continue to be available to issuers and merchants in the U.S. according to their preferences. The critical security advancement is the EMV chip, which protects the cardholder by generating a unique code every time it is used, effectively eliminating the problem of counterfeit cards. The same chip technology also enables mobile NFC payments.
Visa's approach to cardholder verification provides choices to issuers and merchants as they deploy chip cards and terminals that support signature or PIN or a combination of the two, based on the needs of their customers.
"State Employees' Credit Union was able to build on Visa's expertise and solutions to engage quickly and launch an EMV chip card program in a matter of months, not years," said Leanne Phelps, senior vice president, Card Services, State Employees' CU. "The jump-start helped us to be a leader and provide our members the products and services they want and need."
POMONA, Calif. (2/10/12)--Christmas may seem a long time ago for many, but the season may still be fresh on the mind of a credit union that found itself without power during the holiday season.
Cal Poly FCU was faced with the possibility of closing during Christmas week this past holiday season, a prospect hard to imagine during one of the busiest shopping time of year.
From Dec. 27 to Dec. 30, the credit union was without power. Faculty, staff, students and former students all were expecting their credit union to be open for business--even if the university wasn't.
"It was an interesting problem," said Cal Poly CEO Barbara Bean. "Not everyone is eager to go the distance for you during Christmas week when there are so many other things going on."
But Cal Poly FCU has developed some unique relationships through the philosophy of "people helping people."
The campus police--most of whom belong to the almost 3000-member credit union--have an emergency generator. The campus police force offered the five-person credit union a home for the holidays. Nearby Inland Valley CU, also of Pomona, offered a workstation at its facility. Both credit unions use the same core processor.
"We both use CU*NorthWest for data processing and the software lends itself to these kinds of collaborative efforts," said Chuck Papenfus, Inland Valley CEO. "There was no moving of computers or re-loading software or anything like that. They just came and logged in through the network community."
The technology piece of this puzzle was easy, Bean agreed. "CU*NorthWest made it look easy," she said. "We could access our member's data, print out receipts, create and fund loans, run reports and cut checks--virtually anything the member needed. The bottom line is our members were served."
The police station provided a unique atmosphere, Bean said. "We spoke to members through a buzzer at the dispatcher window. We had donuts every day and the police escorted our members in. It was really quite fun."
Because Cal Poly FCU had effectively spread the word out about the temporary relocation, members made an extra effort to check it out, Bean said. "That Friday was payday and we had lines," she said. "Even people who normally use our online banking features from their computer or smart phone, stopped in to see us. I think everyone enjoyed the novelty of visiting their money at the cop shop," she said.
SAN FRANCISCO (2/9/12)--FIS, a provider of banking and payments technology, has increased its ownership holdings in mobile banking and payments solutions provider mFoundry.
The two companies have been working together on mobile banking solutions for the past several years, serving more than 200 financial institution clients. The enhanced relationship will continue to combine FIS' position in financial services technology with mFoundry's mobile banking products.
"For the past few years, we have worked very closely with FIS to create the best mobile banking experience in the industry," said Drew Sievers, mFoundry CEO and co-founder. "We continue to invest heavily in enhancing our mobile banking product, but also are very excited to help FIS support its customers with a robust mobile experience."
Recently, Javelin Strategy & Research announced that FIS received top scores in its Mobile Banking Vendor Scorecard. The same study also rated mFoundry as the winner of the "Path to Mobility" award, recognizing mFoundry's leadership in Mobile Payments.
"With several years of combined success, we have an industry leading mobile platform," said Anthony Jabbour, executive vice president, FIS Financial Solutions Group.
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (2/8/12)--Financial technology provider Fiserv has purchased secure ID provider Datacard's new flex-form module, which integrates with the DataCard MXD card delivery system.
Fiserv clients will be able to personalize and attach cards to a larger card-carrier size. It also will work with Fiserv card features designed to get cardholders' attention to increase activation rates and transaction volumes, the company said.
"Companies often think that they only have an 8 ½-ince by 11-inch or A4 carrier size to work with; however, in today's market, it is increasingly important to have more space for effective one-to-one marketing and communications," said Jorge Diaz, Fiserv president of output solutions.
By offering a larger card carrier, organizations can include promotional and educational information, tear-offs, coupons and cross-sell messaging to help drive revenue and decrease expenses, Diaz said. They will also have more room to print disclosures and expanded terms and conditions that are increasingly required by industry and government regulations.
Fiserv said the new module fits in to its overall strategy of providing end-to-end production capabilities to help banks, credit unions and retailers make plastic card programs a success by increasing customer loyalty and transaction rates.
MADISION, Wis. (2/8/12)--CUNA Strategic Services, Inc. (CSS) and Diebold, Incorporated, have extended their long-standing relationship, adding another service to help credit unions serve their members.
The renewed agreement adds mobile banking to the suite of products that range from ATMs to security solutions. CSS and Diebold have worked together since 1984.
"Credit union members appreciate the convenience of mobile banking," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "Diebold has a legacy of security success that supports these technologies, providing peace of mind to credit unions and their mobile banking users."
"Diebold's mobile banking solution includes unique features that will make financial services more convenient, accessible and secure for credit union members than ever before," said Todd Knepper, Diebold vice president and solutions executive.
Using Diebold's MobiTransact mobile banking platform, credit union members can view balances and transactions, be alerted of transfers or low balances, and transfer funds. It can also enable functionality that protects ATM debit cards by notifying users of any transactions that occur while their card is locked.
Credit unions can also leverage the two-way mobile channel as a marketing tool to inform members of special offers or cross-sell appropriate products.
Open Dealer Exchange to integrate with CUDL
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (02/07/12)--Open Dealer Exchange LLC will integrate with CUDL, a provider of indirect and point-of-purchase auto lending solutions industry. Through the new alliance, CUDL will offer direct credit application and contract validation data integration from the dealer's point-of-sale system directly to the CUDL system.
The integration between lenders and dealers is fragmented, often hostile and not always secure, CUDL said. Because there is a break in workflow between a dealers' internal dealer management system (DMS) and a lender's back-end system, CUDL added, the process is vulnerable to human errors with data entry, information syncing in multiple systems and improper security measures. With a direct connection from Open Dealer Exchange, CUDL seeks to eliminate these inefficiencies for its dealer network while providing process efficiencies to its credit union members.
"The agreement with Open Dealer Exchange allows our credit union members a more streamlined approach during the contracting process," said Tony Boutelle, CUDL president/CEO. "With our combined technology expertise, lenders will have access to critical information directly from the DMS, something that is tough to do today without the connection to Open Dealer Exchange."
Open Dealer Exchange, founded in 2009 as a joint venture between ADP Dealer Services and The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, integrates a finance source or F&I product provider directly within an auto dealership's DMS. By eliminating the need for dealers to log into multiple systems or re-key data into various applications during a vehicle sale, Open Dealer Exchange's process is designed to create increased operational efficiencies, reduce contract errors and a more streamlined process with a lender or provider's franchised dealerships.
From within the DMS, dealers will be able to send complete customer and deal information directly to CUDL then complete the credit application process within CUDL. Dealers also will be able to validate contracts on each deal directly from their DMS, which acts like a spell-check to ensure all data is right, prior to being sent to the lender.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/7/12)--CO-OP Financial Services has completed the acquisition of the assets of Corporate Network eCom, including its online and mobile bill pay services.
On Dec. 15, 2011, CO-OP Financial Services announced that it had received National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) approval to purchase the assets of eCom, a subsidiary of U.S. Central corporate credit union. At the time, CO-OP said it expected the purchase to close within 90 days.
CO-OP Financial Services was selected by the NCUA after a bidding process, required as U.S. Central Corporate CU was placed into conservatorship in March 2009.
All eCom employees will become employees of CO-OP Financial Services and continue to service eCom online and mobile bill pay clients. eCom, located in Lenexa, Kan., was founded in 1999. More than 750,000 credit union members use its electronic bill payment solutions.
MADISON, Wis. (2/6/12)--CUNA World-Class Service Leadership Institute, presented by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will take place May 21-23 in Denver, Colo.
The institute offers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes glimpse into how one of the leading sales cultures in the world, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, has built its world-class reputation. Credit union professionals from all levels of the credit union's operations attend to sharpen their service techniques and learn from worldwide leaders in service.
The institute covers training employees, creating a service-oriented culture, setting service standards and performing everyday operations--every step to necessary to creating a successful service schedule, said CUNA.
Attendees will stay at the Ritz-Carlton and experience first-class service, first-hand, then return home to turn their credit union into a five-star financial institution, CUNA said.
Among the topics to be addressed:
- The State of Service in America;
- Learning from America's Best Service Providers;
- Service excellence: The Ritz-Carlton Strategy & House Tour;
- Designing a World-Class Service Program for Your Credit Union; and
- Don't Manage--Coach for Service Excellence.
"In today's consumer-driven economy, members compare your service not only to other credit unions or other financial institutions, but to every other service experience they've ever had," said Angela Prestil, director of sales culture development at CUNA. "It's so important for credit union professionals to step outside the financial world for insights into how world-class service is provided.
For more information, use the link.
MADISON, Wis. (2/6/12)--Promotional materials are available from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) for National Credit Union Youth Week and the National Youth Savings Challenge.
Graphics--celebrating this year's theme, "Be a Credit Union Super Saver!--for National Credit Union Youth Week, April 22-28, are available from CUNA's website.
Images can be used in credit union print promotions and on websites promoting National Credit Union Youth Week.
To download graphics, use the link.
The National Youth Saving Challenge takes place during the month of April. It is held in conjunction with National Credit Union Youth Week.
Last year nearly 146,000 young members deposited $28.5 million into their saving accounts during the National Youth Savings Week--with 9,058 new accounts opened.
Participation in the free Saving Challenge is an opportunity for credit unions to build strong relationships with young members--and their families--in their communities by reinforcing the benefits of credit union membership. This year, credit unions can build on the momentum created by Bank Transfer Day during 2011.
For step-by-step instructions and materials for participating in the National Youth Savings Challenge, use the link.
AUSTIN, Texas (2/6/12)--cbanc Network, an online repository of financial institution-authored content has introduced a tool that provides service providers with access to real-time trends within the industry around popular search terms, content purchases, product ratings and other member activity metrics.
With Backstage Pass, data can be filtered by asset size, financial institution type, region, and job title. Service providers also can contribute their own content, make topic analysis, and answer member questions to distinguish their brand.
Backstage Pass is comprised of two components: Connect and Analyze. Connect gives service providers the tools to interact with cbanc's financial institution membership when they are looking for help. By sharing industry knowledge, service providers can help credit unions and banks solve issues that, in turn, create a positive association with their brands.
Analyze organizes traded data so service providers can see which topics and issues are important to financial institution professionals. It also displays real-time graphs and charts that can be filtered demographically by asset size, region, and job function. This intelligence helps with webinar education, product resource decisions, developing consulting direction, and understanding market perceptions of each organization.
Additional Backstage Pass features include surveys and webcasts. Surveys allow service providers to pose questions to the cbanc membership on topics of specific interest to them. Service providers also can sponsor a webcast topic of their choice, and cbanc will advertise and host the presentation to the decision makers within its network.
MADISON, Wis. (2/3/12)--The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Agility Recovery Solutions will present advice for planning a communications strategy when a business crisis hits, during a free webinar at 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 14.
Agility Recovery is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
Bob Boyd, Agility president/CEO, will lead the seminar "Crisis Communications Planning--The Keystone of Disaster Recovery Planning."
The discussion will address assessing organizational needs, identifying a spokesperson and developing fact sheets and talking points.
The SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies through its "PrepareMyBusiness" website.
The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses.
DES MOINES, Iowa (2/3/12)--Eight credit unions will begin offering the Coopera Card--a reloadable Visa prepaid card built specifically for the Hispanic community.
Coopera is an Iowa-based economic development firm focusing on emerging markets.
The card is designed to provide financial institutions with a tool for attracting new members and earning additional interchange income.
The prepaid card gives Hispanic cardholders access to a secure financial management tool without fees for check-cashing, money order or money transfer services. A credit history is not required and alternative forms of identity are accepted to obtain the card.
Credit unions that will offer the Coopera Card in 2012 include:
- Amarillo (Texas) Community FCU;
- United Services CU, Asheville, N.C.;
- Beacon FCU, La Porte, Texas;
- Kearney (Neb.) Eaton Employees FCU, Kearney, Neb.;
- EECU, Fort Worth, Texas;
- Greater Iowa CU, Ames, Iowa;
- Des Moines (Iowa) Metro CU; and
- Guardian CU, West Milwaukee, Wis.
Prospective cardholders should inquire about membership status at the credit union because details may vary at each issuing credit union.
The Coopera Card was developed by Coopera in partnership with sister company and card processor The Members Group (TMG) to help credit unions ease members of the Hispanic community into the financial mainstream.
Secondary account holders can be added to each Coopera Card account to make money available to family within and outside the U.S. The cards can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Funds can be loaded onto the card through direct deposit of wages, at an issuer's branch, online or at a Visa ReadyLink merchant.
Arna Reynolds, Amarillo CU president/CEO, said the Coopera Card is an effective tool in serving the Hispanic community.
"Many of the Hispanics in our community are foreign-born, first generation, so they lack experience with traditional financial services," Reynolds told the Texas Credit Union League (LoneStar Leaguer
Feb. 2). "I believe this product will help integrate them into the U.S. financial services system."
Offering a prepaid card to a segment of the population that is largely unbanked is both a more affordable and more secure option for members, Reynolds said.
"We see it all the time," she explained. "They get their paycheck, go down to the local check casher and pay a fee to cash their check. If they have bills to pay, they might purchase money orders, and if the check casher doesn't offer remittances, they'll go somewhere else and pay the fee to wire money to family members abroad. What's left of their paycheck will go in their back pocket, which poses a security risk."
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (2/3/12)--eDoc Innovations has partnered with network solutions integrator CU*Answers Network Services to develop a virtualized appliance for its DocLogic eDocument solutions.
The virtual solution, which will be scalable with continuous backup and disaster recovery capabilities, will accelerate the deployment time of the DocLogic suite as clients expand their internal e-document strategies, eDoc said.
"A virtual system is flexible in ways that physical boxes aren't, said eDOC Innovations CEO Bret Weekes. "This design will give our clients flexibility to tailor the deployment to the architecture they already have deployed without incurring extra expense of dedicated hardware."
The virtual appliance is hardware independent and portable across computing platforms. It is compatible with most existing VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V environments.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (2/2/12)--CU Realty Services has hired Margaret J. Blankers Public Relations Group to educate credit unions on the benefits of serving as the first point of contact for members buying or selling a home.
"Being involved in the process from the beginning both strengthens member relationships and creates a new channel for credit unions to grow their mortgage loan portfolios," said Mike Corn, CU Realty CEO.
"It's well-documented that better than 80% of homebuyers stay with the first Realtor they meet, often asking that agent for help finding a loan. By providing the tools for credit unions to participate in the process before an agent is chosen, they become valuable partners," Corn said.
CU Realty said its real estate program connects members with a network of pre-screened realtors who have received training on credit union philosophy. The agents are trained to assist members with researching neighborhoods and homes, and then guide them back to the credit union for financing.
Typically, credit unions only become involved when a member needs a mortgage, Corn said. Positioning themselves as the first point of contact is a new approach for credit unions, and Corn said he believes improving communication on that process can help credit unions grow their mortgage business.
"Many of the challenges in growing mortgage volumes are because credit unions and agents traditionally work in silos," he said. "They represent different companies, have different tracks with buyers and little opportunity to collaborate. But growth isn't going to happen organically; credit unions are going to have to take proactive steps. "
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (2/2/12)--Addison Avenue Investment Services, the investment services program of First Tech FCU in Palo Alto, Calif., has partnered with Raymond James to offer investment and wealth management services.
In January, Raymond James Financial agreed to buy the Morgan Keegan brokerage, creating one of the biggest regional brokerage firms in the country. (The New York Times Jan. 11).
Addison Avenue Investment Services was initially launched in 1998 to serve the investment needs of Hewlett-Packard employees. Since then, it has grown into the largest credit union investment program in the country, with 30 financial advisers operating 38 branches in eight states and managing $2.2 billion in assets.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (2/2/12)--Seventeen credit unions, representing $3.6 billion in assets and more than 400,000 members, joined Credit Union 24, a credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale network, during the fourth quarter of 2011.
The fourth-quarter results represent the most successful sales quarter for the Credit Union 24 during 2011.
Also, James Gukeisen, formerly senior card services manager Suncoast Schools FCU in Tampa, Fla., has joined the Credit Union 24 team as a relationship manager.
At Suncoast, Gukeisen was responsible for the day-to-day operations of all non-credit card products, including debit cards, instant-issue cards, single-load gift cards and Suncoast's 200 ATMs.