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Trust For CUs Launches New Brand At GAC

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WASHINGTON (2/27/13)--TRUST, a mutual fund created by and for credit unions, will launch its new brand identity at the Credit Union National Association's 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.

"We've gone through this rebranding effort to more accurately represent the TRUST brand and its three portfolios to the credit union industry," said Jon Jeffreys, TRUST vice president. "This process started with thorough market research to help us identify what credit unions value most about TRUST and how to best visually represent these pioneering credit union mutual funds."

TRUST identified five key differentiators it offers to the industry, based on market research with credit union executives regarding their investment needs:

  • Partnership and collaboration with its investors;
  • Knowledge and resource management to help portfolio managers make educated investment decisions;
  • Access to financial information to save its investors time when doing research;
  • Loyal partners that stand by TRUST and its investors; and
  • Strategic resource to prepare its investors for credit union trends and forecasts.
"Our branding campaign is a conscientious effort to raise the visibility of TRUST and its capabilities at a time when the industry liquidity is at an all-time high and competitive options that fit balance sheet needs are desired," said Jay Johnson, TRUST treasurer.

TMG, CO-OP Join To Offer MasterPass

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DES MOINES, Iowa and RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (2/27/13)--The Members Group (TMG) and CO-OP Financial Services announced the companies will offer their members MasterPass, a digital service introduced Monday by MasterCard.

"Credit unions are looking for trusted partners to capitalize on opportunities, such as the future of digital payments," said Shazia Manus, CEO of TMG. "Together, our companies will be a single point of entry to the most innovative, tailored, cost-effective products and services as they prepare for next-generation banking." 

The service allows consumers to use any payment card or enabled device to make a purchase and enhances the shopping experience online, in-store or on any device, said the companies. They also announced TMG Financial Services, a third-party credit-card agent issuer and sister company to TMG, has committed to offering the digital wallet to its more than 65,000 cardholders.

According to MasterCard, the MasterPass suite of services will:

  • Provide merchants with a consistent way to accept electronic payments, regardless of where the consumer may be;
  • Allow banks, merchants and partners to offer their own digital wallets; and
  • Enrich the shopping experience for consumers before, during and after checkout.
Since forming a strategic partnership in January 2012, CO-OP Financial Services and TMG have offered credit and debit card processing products and other payment solutions to the credit union industry.  

"This is a very exciting time in the payments industry, and the introduction of MasterPass will contribute to simplifying digital shopping," said Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. "We formed our partnership with TMG to offer the best processing platform for each client's unique needs, and our mutual partner, MasterCard, has introduced an important addition."   

MasterPass joins several other digital payment solutions the companies are bringing to the credit union marketplace. For credit unions, the solutions increase top-of-wallet potential; for members they create multiple ways to transact, yet with a consistent experience across all channels, said CO-OP and TMG.

Mid-Atlantic Corp Launches FInection Video Channels

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MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (2/27/13)--Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU in Middletown, Pa., Monday announced the launch of FInection, a group of video channels to inform, educate and entertain its member credit unions and the entire credit union industry.

"In today's world, everything is at your fingertips, and we wanted a way to connect with credit unions in an easy to view, interactive way," said Jay Murray, president/CEO of Mid-Atlantic Corporate. "FInection was created to accomplish that."

FInection, a combination of the words "financial" and "connection," will showcase weekly economic updates with a credit union spin. Programs include the corporate's monthly financial reports, updates from corporate account managers, and non-financial videos, such as Tips of the Week and Fun Facts.

Creating the video channels has "taken a lot of hard work, but I think our members and credit unions throughout the country will like what they see," said  Jaime Agostino, the  corporate's marketing manager.

FInection can be viewed from any location with Internet access, including mobile phones and tablets.

CUNA Mutual Unveils AskAuto App

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WASHINGTON (2/26/13)--New technology that assists credit union members in shopping for and purchasing a vehicle was unveiled Monday by CUNA Mutual Group at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington D.C. 

Click to view larger image CUNA Mutual Group's Steve Hoke demonstrates AskAuto mobile lending technology during a press briefing at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference on Monday morning in Washington, D.C.  (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)

AskAuto is a downloadable smartphone and tablet application that offers credit union members vehicle information and loan-application assistance to simplify their vehicle-buying experience.

"It's easy to use, and will help credit union members shop and buy smart," said Steve Hoke, CUNA Mutual director of loan growth products and product leader for AskAuto. "This technology gives members the ability to apply for a loan anytime, anywhere using their smartphone."

By scanning the vehicle identification number, the member learns basic vehicle information, including average retail cost of the new or used vehicle and Environmental Protection Agency mileage estimates. The application saves the information along with the member's notes and ranking preferences so the member can compare vehicles before a purchase. The member can also submit a credit union loan application through AskAuto.

The comparison feature is really important to members, Hoke said. Forty-four percent of likely car buyers plan to use a smartphone to compare prices on the dealer lot ("Mobile Auto Insights," Greystripe Inc., April 2011).

"AskAuto also gives credit unions the ability to send messages to their members while the member is on a car dealer's lot using GPS technology," Hoke said. AskAuto uses patent-pending technology to do this, Hoke explained. The messages are customizable and can provide members guidance on the best loan available from their credit union.

The technology uses CUNA Mutual's  loanliner.com product, which is employed by more than 500 credit unions nationwide.

The loanliner.com application system leverages CUNA Mutual's  LOANLINER lending solutions to ensure the application presented to the member complies with all appropriate state and federal regulations and required disclosures. Where available, the loanliner.com application system interfaces with credit union's loan-origination system to provide an underwriting decision back to the member in seconds, and then transports application data back to the loan-origination system.

More than $600 million in loan requests have been submitted through CUNA Mutual Group's smartphone loan technology since it debuted in June of 2011, and 45% of smartphone loan applicants express interest in payment-protection products, Hoke said.

Early adopter credit unions will begin using AskAuto in March, and the full release is scheduled for early this summer.

CSS Calendar Program Donates To CU4Kids On Behalf Of CU

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Click to view larger image CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) Inc. donated a percentage of its net proceeds from 2012 sales of the Credit Unions for Kids-branded calendar on behalf of a purchasing credit union. Jessica Hrubes (left), CSS director of alliance management (left), and Joe Dearborn, senior director, Credit Unions for Kids/Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, announced the $1,000 donation in the name of MembersOwn CU in Lincoln, Neb., to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in Nebraska.  (Photo  provided by CUNA)
MADISON, Wis. (2/26/13)--Credit unions continue to show their support of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals by purchasing calendars branded with Credit Unions for Kids.

"This year's sales enabled CUNA Strategic Services Inc. (CSS) to make a $1,000 donation on behalf of MembersOwn CU in Lincoln, Neb.," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "We plan to make another donation next year as well."

The calendar program, administered by CSS, resulted in $2,500 in credit union donations in 2012. More than 94,500 of the calendars have been sold since 2010, with more than $7,500 in donations going to the Credit Unions for Kids program.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in Nebraska will get an extra benefit, because of a commitment from CSS to donate a percentage of its net proceeds from sales of the specially branded calendar. One purchasing credit union was randomly selected to receive the donation.

"CUNA Strategic Services has not only raised critical funds for our Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, but they've also helped drive awareness of the Credit Unions for Kids program through the sale of their calendar," said Joe Dearborn, senior director for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Credit Unions for Kids has raised more than $100 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals since its inception in 1996. It ranks only behind Walmart and Costco as one of the largest donors to the program, which assists children and their families.

For more information, use the link.

MoneyDesktop Reports Record Customer Growth

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PROVO, Utah (2/25/13)--MoneyDesktop, which provides a personal financial management solution to credit unions and banks, reported record customer growth of nearly 80% from 2011 to 2012, and a 445% increase in recurring monthly revenue. 

"2012 was a phenomenal year for MoneyDesktop," said Ryan Caldwell, the company's CEO and founder.

MoneyDesktop now provides its PFM platform to more than 380 financial institutions nation-wide through partnerships with more than 27 online banking providers, an increase of more than 100% in partner relationships from 2011. The company also created at least 60 new jobs during the year, increasing its work force to more than 90 employees.        

The expansion was driven in part by the launch of MoneyDesktop's award-winning mobile PFM application, MoneyMobile. The app helped the company win five Best of Show honors in 2012, including recognition at the CUNA Technology Council Conference, Finovate Spring, Finovate Fall, BAI Retail Delivery and CU Water Cooler Symposium.   

"The awards, along with all-around record growth, show how MoneyDesktop's PFM solutions are impacting the industry," Caldwell said.

CSS, MoneyGram To Mark 40th Anniversary

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DALLAS and MADISON, Wis. (2/22/13)--MoneyGram and CUNA Strategic Services will commemorate their 40-year relationship of working together to provide credit unions nationwide with payment services during next week's Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference, Feb. 24-28.

"Our 40-year relationship is a testament to MoneyGram's commitment to providing affordable and convenient payment services to credit unions and their members," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president.

As the unbanked and underbanked population grows, many U.S. consumers seek the safety of ownership unique to credit union membership and the customized services common to membership-only organizations.

"To have a successful and consistent 40-year working relationship with one organization is not a common occurrence today," said Rex Northern, MoneyGram vice president for financial institutions. "MoneyGram and CSS are among the few businesses that can proudly promote a long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship. Our consistent pricing and reliable product offerings are benefits that credit unions have enjoyed for 40 years. Thousands of credit unions use our services because we bring their members the services they want, and we look forward to continuing the relationship."

MoneyGram provided credit unions with free educational webinars on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rules on remittance transfers, Millar noted.

MoneyGram will be among the CSS providers showcased on the main aisle in the GAC Exhibit Hall. MoneyGram will feature its full suite of payment solutions that credit unions can provide their members. MoneyGram's booth is No. 354.

Catalyst Corporate Adds Conference To AGM

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PLANO, Texas (2/21/13)--Catalyst Corporate FCU will present a two-day economic conference following its second annual meeting April 9 in San Diego.

During the annual meeting, the Plano, Texas corporate credit union will review activities and financial performance for 2012, will be reviewed, provide members with an outline of 2013 plans, and conduct board elections.

Among the speakers at the conference will be Steven Rick, senior economist at the Credit Union National Association. Rick will share insights on the economic climate for credit unions.

Jim Van Dyke, CEO of Javelin Strategy and Research, a firm that provides insights into customer transactions and strategies for increasing sustainable profits for financial institutions, will discuss mobile banking as a value-added product.

Steven Houle, director of advisory services at Catalyst Strategic Solutions, will present financial and investment strategies to help credit unions manage their balance sheets in today's economic environment.

Kelly McDonald, a marketing and advertising expert featured on CNBC and in Forbes and BusinessWeek, will discuss how to improve the member experience as it relates to credit unions.

Jackson Hataway, a specialist in organizational development and strategic planning, will couple real-world examples with new theories of corporate growth as he offers suggestions for accelerating credit union success.

CURoots Members OK Ownership Transfer To Calif League Services

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ONTARIO, Calif. (2/20/13)--The membership of CURoots Cooperative has approved transfer of ownership to the California League Services Corp. 

CURoots services include shared compliance and specialty internal audit services. CURoots' current compliance and audit services/contracts will continue uninterrupted.

"This will minimize the duplication of efforts within the credit union system and furthers the objectives of credit union collaboration," said Gary Perez, CURoots board chairman and president/CEO of USC CU in Los Angeles.

The membership approved the transfer at a special meeting on Friday.

The sale and transfer of assets will be finalized on Feb. 28, when the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues will assume operation of CURoots.

All member credit unions of the leagues will be eligible for CURoots' preferred member pricing as of March 1, and the $20,000 membership fee will no longer be required. 

"Bringing CURoots services under the leagues will leverage our larger scale and help reduce costs and increase efficiencies," said Diana Dykstra, leagues president/CEO. The service will "provide our member credit unions in California and Nevada with additional compliance and internal audit solutions, which will complement current league compliance services such as InfoSight, CU PolicyPro, and the Research and Information hotline," she added.

18 Organizations In Minn Vendor Involvement Program

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (2/19/13)--Eighteen organizations are participating in the Minnesota Credit Union Network's Vendor Involvement Program (VIP) in 2013.

VIP was created in 2005 to provide committed service organizations with an opportunity to work with MnCUN and increase their brand visibility among Minnesota credit unions. The program is designed to optimize business relationships with the state's credit unions. Participants can receive advertising with exclusive benefits at MnCUN's major conferences and speaking engagements, and can participate in new MnCUN initiatives.

VIP "gives credit union service providers an easy way to promote their offerings to Minnesota credit unions," said John Ferstl, MnCUN Network Service Corp. vice president. "At a time when companies are looking to get the most out of their advertising budgets, this program provides specific opportunities to target potential clients and can help create brand loyalty among credit unions."

Of the 18 organizations, one is a new participant this year.

Participants in VIP agree to offer professional service and quality product lines. The companies must appreciate the characteristics that make credit unions unique and understand the importance of providing the best service possible to Minnesota's credit union members, said MnCUN.

CUNA Mutual Partnership To Aid CUs With Health Care Reform

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MADISON, Wis. (2/15/13)--CUNA Mutual Group is partnering with Digital Benefit Advisors (DBA) to help credit unions navigate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and shape their employee benefits strategy.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the act in 2012, and many of the law's key elements will take effect beginning in 2013.

"Health care reform is changing the way businesses offer and fund employee health plans," said Brad Pricer, CUNA Mutual Group senior manager of employee benefits. "Regardless of whether a credit union opts to offer employee health insurance going forward, it will need to take action to ensure it is compliant with the new law."

When the ACA became law in 2010, CUNA Mutual Group provided credit unions with an overview of the law and its impact. Through the partnership with DBA, CUNA Mutual Group will expand the resources available to credit unions to help them understand changes and when and how to best modify their current employee benefits packages.

DBA is the largest division of Digital Insurance, an employee benefits agency specializing in insurance for small businesses and mid-sized companies.

"This partnership is another example of CUNA Mutual Group's commitment to delivering best-in-class solutions to credit unions," said Robert Trunzo, CUNA Mutual Group Insurance and Financial Services president. "Digital Insurance is the nation's largest and most technically advanced employee benefits-only agency, and its expertise--combined with our focus on individual credit unions--will bring added capabilities to help credit unions address a significant business need."

Jack Henry Partners With TransCard To Offer Prepaid Cards

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MONETT, Mo. (2/14/13)--Jack Henry & Associates is partnering with TransCard to prepaid cards to credit unions and banks.

Jack Henry's ProfitStar and Symitar divisions will sell the cards, which give credit unions the ability to offer payroll cards, reloadable prepaid cards, and gift cards that generate additional revenue from commercial and retail members, and also attract new members from the underbanked and unbanked market segments.

Credit unions can hold the deposits, share in the interchange income, and set their own pricing, which generates cardholder fee income.

TransCard, which offers prepaid products to financial institutions, will provide operational support and customizable marketing materials for the cards.

Jack Henry also announced its Symitar division received commitments from 18 credit unions to adopt its Episys core platform during the first half of the organization's 2013 fiscal year, which spanned July 1 to Dec. 31.

Symitar also saw strong demand for outsourcing from credit unions of all sizes. Fourteen credit unions migrated from their in-house Symitar systems to outsourced solutions. Four of the credit unions elected to migrate to Symitar EASE, the Episys outsourced solution, and 10 moved to the Cruise outsourced solution.

HR/TD Conference Offers SHRM Recertification Credits

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MADISON, Wis. (2/13/13)--For the seventh consecutive year, CUNA HR/TD Council's annual conference will offer Society for Human Resources Management recertification credits to attendees. 

The conference will be held April 21-24, at the Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.

Human resources and training topics to be covered include:

  • Innovation;
  • Health care reform;
  • Employee benefits;
  • Leadership skills;
  • Credit union industry update;
  • Disney's approach to training;
  • Generational differences; and
  • Labor and employment law update.
Recipients of the third annual CUNA HR/TD Council Excellence Awards also will be recognized at the conference.

Attendees at the conference can earn up to 15.25 recertification hours toward their Professional in Human Resources, Senior Professional in Human Resources and Global Professional in Human Resources recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute. Pre-conference workshop attendees will receive three certification credits. Those attending general sessions and breakouts will earn 12.25 credits.

CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School Set For June

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MADISON, Wis. (2/13/13)--The CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School, June 9-13 in New Orleans, is designed to help credit union counseling professionals develop skills to guide members through their financial lives.

Through live sessions, face-to-face discussions and insights from financial counseling experts, attendees gain confidence in their counseling abilities and learn to inspire financial confidence in their credit union's members.

CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School can be attended in three parts: Part 1, Part 2 or Update:

  • CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School: Part 1. Attendees learn to assess members' current financial situation and explore resources and strategies to help get those members on track toward financial independence.
  • CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School: Part 2. Attendees learn prevention strategies to keep members out of troubling financial situations and to educate members on the underlying causes of financial difficulties.
  • CUNA Certified Financial Counselor School: Update. Attendees hear from leaders in the field and stay up-to-date with the latest counseling techniques to help members reach their financial goals.
For those attendees who choose to earn their Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC) designation, CUNA offers on-site exam credit toward certification. Both Part 1 and Part 2 must be completed to become certified. Attendees of Update can recertify their CCUFC designation.

Akcelerant, FirstClose form mortgage settlement partnership

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MALVERN, Pa. (2/12/13)--Akcelerant, a provider of hosted and on-premise solutions to the financial services industry, including credit unions, has formed a partnership with FirstClose, an aggregator of mortgage settlement services.

Mutual customers of Akcelerant and FirstClose will be able to order real estate services from nationally recognized vendors directly from the Akcelerant Framework.

The Akcelerant Framework's collection solution supports integration with service providers to reduce delinquency and streamline processes such bankruptcy and foreclosure, said the companies.

The partnership will create a collection connector to allow service requests for automated valuation models, broker price opinions, appraiser price opinions, full appraisals, title reports, flood certifications and other services at any time during the lifecycle of a loan, or many loans.

In November, Akcelernat formed a partnership with CUNA Mutual Group and its Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI) alliance partner (News Now Nov. 6). The three-way partnership offers credit unions insured by the CPI alliance of CUNA Mutual Group and State National with a connector for the Akcelerant Framework, providing credit unions with a single platform to execute daily collection activities such as accessing CPI details, filing claims, tracking claims and other functions.

Federation offers financial environment webinar series

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New York (2/11/13)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, in partnership with Thompson Consulting and Training (TCT), is sponsoring a series of webinars for community development credit unions on the current financial environment.

The federation and TCT will present an overview of the series at 3 p.m. ET Feb. 20.

Topics of webinars in the series include:

  • Expanding loan portfolios to maximize loan profitability;
  • Managing interest-rate margin to achieve profit objectives;
  • Effective loan management; and
  • Accurate and empirical allowance for loan losses placement.
Webinars are for credit unions of all sizes.

For more information, use the link.

Xtend relocates to new HQ

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (2/11/13)--Xtend Inc., a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, has relocated its staff to a new corporate headquarters. 

The CUSO now occupies a 2,000 square-foot suite on the second floor of the building that also serves as the corporate headquarters of Xtend's CUSO partner, CU*Answers Inc.

"This is another milestone event in the history of our company," said Scott Collins, Xtend president. "The significant growth that our company experienced over the past several years meant that we were pushing the limits of our existing floor plan sooner than we had expected."

The build-out of the new space was completed in less than three months, and the Xtend team was relocated the weekend of Feb. 2-3. 

Xtend also announced that sales for the first quarter were slightly ahead of projection. The results were fueled by increasing demand for its back office, compliance monitoring and contact-center brands.  

"Coming off a record performance during our 2012 fiscal campaign, we were cautiously optimistic about getting out of the gate fast in 2013," said Collins. "To be ahead of budget on both the sales and expense side of the ledger puts us in a solid position as we track toward mid-year, and we couldn't be happier."

Bluepoint Solutions signed 73 CUs in 2012

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HENDERSON, Nev. (2/8/13)--Bluepoint Solutions increased its customer base in 2012, adding 73 credit unions. The growth is driven by demand for mobile deposit services and increased focus on teller and branch efficiency, the company said.

Bluepoint closed out the year with its largest revenue grossing quarter in company history.

To account for the increase in its customer base, Bluepoint added 25 full-time employees. The company also signed several new partnership agreements in 2012 and relocated its headquarters to a new facility in Henderson, Nev.

In 2012, Bluepoint launched a browser-based version of its FASTdocs 5 enterprise content management (ECM) solution with electronic-signing abilities. The company also released a new version of its Check 21 teller capture solution, ImagePoint Teller, which integrated the product with multiple core systems for improved usability. And, Bluepoint added automated check loss prevention tools to its suite of Check 21 capture applications.

ICUL partners with CU Mobile Apps

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (2/8/13)--ICUL Service Corp., a subsidiary of the Illinois Credit Union League, has partnered with CU Mobile Apps, a provider of mobile banking solutions.

ICUL Service Corp. began searching several years ago for a mobile solution to meet the needs of credit unions in response to a growing consumer demand for mobile applications, said George Fiegle, ICUL Service Corp. executive vice president/chief operating officer.

"Their product is very reasonably priced, the links are already in place, it's highly customizable, implementation is quick--and they have an excellent understanding of the industry's needs," Fiegle said of CU Mobile Apps.

The product's platform works with both iPhones and Android devices, including iPod Touch and iPad, as well as Android Mobile, Android Tablet, and Kindle Fire devices.

CU Mobile Apps also offered the potential for building mobile applications into existing ICUL Service Corp. products, including its reloadable prepaid debit product, Fiegle added.

CU Mobile Apps' design accepts and integrates newer technologies as they become available, without restructuring/redesign delays and without additional subscription charges.

CU Members Mortgage creates lending makeover package

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DALLAS (2/7/13)--CU Members Mortgage has created a lending analysis package to help credit unions evaluate potential mortgage loan penetration in specific markets--a stepping stone to revamping their mortgage programs.

CU Lending Makeover is designed to analyze growth strategies, potential rate fluctuations and purchase money expertise.

The program analyzes current market volume and demand in a specific marketplace, allowing a credit union to see the growth opportunity in potential dollars earned, the company said. Dallas-based CU Members Mortgage evaluates a credit union's current approach to home loan programs and makes recommendations to increase activity. 

The makeover program also provides a customized proposal, drawn from the company's work with more than 1,000 credit unions nationwide, to bolster a credit union's mortgage program.

CU Members Mortgage said it will assist credit unions in finding ways to put their new program into action and review progress as credit unions move forward with active solutions to reach more members.

Shazam publishes EMV specifications

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DES MOINES, Iowa (2/7/13)--The SHAZAM network has released chip-and-PIN or Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) network specifications to its industry partners in anticipation of U.S. migration to the EMV standard.

"By publishing our network's required changes early, SHAZAM's goal is to ease the development efforts of issuers, acquirers and merchants in the industry," said Dan Kramer, SHAZAM senior vice president. "As the U.S. moves toward EMV implementation, SHAZAM certification requirements will be very straightforward and closely aligned with existing certification requirements."

SHAZAM also is assisting in developing a common U.S. application identifier (AID). "We are fully committed to a common solution," said Terry Dooley, SHAZAM senior vice president and chief information officer. "A priority for us is working with all industry stakeholders on the enhancement of the terminal selection process to provide network choice at the time of the transaction."

SHAZAM will soon publish an EMVCo-certified common core definitions-compliant application and EMV card-profile specifications.

EMVCo was formed in 1999 by Europay International, MasterCard International and Visa International to manage, maintain and enhance the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for Payment Systems, according to the EMVCo website.

SHAZAM is participating in several industry groups, discussing how to implement the new payment technology, Kramer said. The groups include the Secure Remote Payments Council, SmartCard Alliance, EMV Migration Forum, Merchant Advisory Group and EMVCo.

Calif league, CURoots discuss transferring ownership

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ONTARIO, Calif. (2/7/13)--The California Credit Union League says it is in discussions with CU Roots Cooperative about transferring CURoots' ownership to the California League Services Corp.

CURoots offers shared compliance and specialty internal audit services, which will continue uninterrupted, said the league.

"This represents a great opportunity for CURoots users and potential users who will benefit from the streamlining of efforts and the cost savings," said Gary Perez, CURoots board chairman and CEO of USC CU in Los Angeles.

"The ownership of CURoots would expand from 18 organizations to 324 credit unions that own the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues," said leagues President Diana Dykstra.

All member credit unions will be eligible for CURoots' preferred member pricing. A special meeting of CURoots' membership is set for Feb. 15 to vote on the sale and transfer of assets. A simple majority is required for approval.

CUNA, federation offer fin ed webinar

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MADISON, Wis. and NEW YORK (2/6/13)--The Credit Union National Association and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions are offering a webinar on Equity Express, a new program to help increase the wealth of asset-poor households through financially smart, sustainable choices.

The webinar will be held at 2 p.m. ET Feb. 19.

Credit union participants will learn how to help members decrease household expenses, increase savings and reduce environmental impacts.

Equity Express was developed by Center for Neighborhood Technology, a Chicago organization that promotes more livable and sustainable urban communities.

Presenters include:

  • Adam Mays, social ventures associate, Center for Neighborhood Technology;
  • Sarah Marshall, marketing and partnerships manager, North Side Community CU, Chicago; and
  • Melanie Stern, federation senior program officer, and coordinator, Better Directions.
Presenters will share their knowledge of cost-saving opportunities in financial planning, energy use, transportation, communication and food.

To register, use the link.

Perimeter E-Security rebranded as SilverSky

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MILFORD, Conn. (2/6/13)--Perimeter E-Security has rebranded itself as SilverSky, a cloud provider of information security solutions.

SilverSky is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

Perimeter E-Security recently combined assets with USA.NET. SilverSky will offer four suites of protection of e-mails, networks, managed applications and managed security services.

"SilverSky is the culmination of the innovative technology, industry leading business email and proven managed security services we have delivered to market for years with our carrier-class software platform," said Tim Harvey, SilverSky CEO.

"As SilverSky, our strategy is to unbundle our previously exclusive software to make it available to every customer organization. We believe this is a game changer--and will enable growth-minded leaders to pursue their business ambitions by providing true [Internet protocol] loss prevention to minimize security concerns," Harvey added.

The company has invested more than $20 million in the past four years to develop cloud-based security software, built to safeguard the information assets of thousands enterprises and regulated businesses, including credit unions, while satisfying regulations and audit standards.

CorePROFIT rebranded as Akcelerant Profitwise

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MALVERN, Pa. (2/5/13)--Akcelerant, a provider of hosted and on-premise solutions to the financial services industry, including credit unions, has rebranded its profitability measurement product line CorePROFIT as Akcelerant Profitwise.

The purpose of the rebranding is to align Profitwise with Akcelerant's other product lines--Akcelerant Framework and Akcelerant Elements, the company said.

Ackcelerant acquired CoreProfit when it bought CoreProfit Solutions in November. The product gives Ackcelerant a presence in the profitability marketplace, helping financial institutions develop, report and analyze all aspects of profitability measurement.

Akcelerant has introduced a logo for the new product line.

Fynanz rebrands as LendKey with cloud platform

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NEW YORK (2/4/13)--Private student lender Fynanz has rebranded itself as LendKey and converted to a cloud-based lending platform to expand the lending services it offers.

LendKey, formerly known as Fynanz, now offers student lending, automobile and home improvement loans through a cloud-based platform. Its lending services now include underwriting, origination, participation and servicing. (Photo provided by LendKey)
Fynanz is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

LendKey now offers student lending, and automobile and home improvement loans. Its lending services now include underwriting, origination, participation and servicing.

"A cloud-based lending platform like LendKey can enable lenders to reduce their capital and operational expenditures as they continue to lend and expand into other lending products," said  Vince Passione, LendKey founder and CEO.

LendKey's cloud-based lending allows credit unions to set up a full-scale, fully compliant lending operation within weeks. The loan components it offers, include:

  • Credit decisioning--determining whether an applicant is a good risk;
  • Origination--gathering key borrower information;
  • Participation--sharing and trading loans to spread risk;
  • Servicing--collecting payments; and
  • Demand generation--marketing and growing the portfolio.
LendKey also announced it closed out 2012 by adding seven new clients in December, bringing the company's client total to 232.

UNFCU Financial Services acquires Industrial Coverage Corp

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LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (2/4/13)--UNFCU Financial Services LLC, the credit union service organization for the United Nations FCU, has acquired Industrial Coverage Corp. (ICC), a privately held, full-service commercial and personal-insurance agency.

ICC, based in Patchogue, Long Island, will continue to operate under the Industrial Coverage Corp. name, serving its existing and new clients directly.

UNFCU Financial Services LLC will have access to insurance carriers and products for personal insurance and comprehensive business insurance, an ICC specialty area and one UNFCU Financial Services LLC said it will enter.

Among the types of coverage ICC offers are auto and property insurance for businesses with business income interruption, general liability, property of others and crime insurance included in its suite of business owners' policies.

The full integration of the two organizations will be completed within the next 30 days.

ACI Worldwide, FIS announce acquisitions

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NAPLES, Fla. and WEST ORANGE, N.J. (2/1/13)--ACI Worldwide and Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) this week each announced plans to acquire companies that provide payments technology to credit unions.

ACI Worldwide will acquire Online Resources, a Chantilly, Va.-based provider of online banking and full-service bill pay solutions, the companies announced Wednesday.

Under the terms of the agreement, the purchase is an all-cash transaction for $3.85 per share.

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction.

The acquisition strengthens ACI Worldwide's position in the online channel with the addition of complementary online banking and full-service bill payment solutions for financial institutions and billers.

The purchase also would extend ACI Worldwide's customer base with the addition of 1,000 credit unions, banks, billers, credit card issuers and other credit and payment service providers.

Separately, banking and payments technology provider FIS announced Thursday it will acquire mFoundry, a provider of mobile banking and payment solutions.

FIS previously held a 22% interest in mFoundry, which is based in Larkspur, Calif.

Founded in 2004 and serving more than 850 clients, mFoundry's mobile banking and mobile retail has been adopted by credit unions, banks, payments processors and retailers nationwide.

FIS said it anticipates paying about $120 million in cash to acquire the remaining 78% ownership interest in mFoundry. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter.