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CSS names Intuits FinanceWorks for online financial management

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MADISON, Wis. (3/18/10)--CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) has named FinanceWorks, an award-winning personal financial management solution from Intuit Financial Services (formerly Digital Insight), as its preferred solution. CSS noted that Americans, challenged with the economic climate, increasingly are looking to credit unions for online services to help them better manage their personal finances. Credit unions employing FinanceWorks can help members:
* See their complete financial picture in one place through aggregation of account information from more than 16,000 financial services companies; * Know how much money they really have available to spend; * Find new ways to save through budgeting and analyzing their spending behavior; * Ensure that bills are paid on time regardless of the method used to pay them; and * Simplify tax time through automatically tracking tax-deductible expenses.
"Eighty percent of consumers prefer to manage their finances at their financial institution," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "We selected FinanceWorks because it's a powerful financial management tool that's easy for members to use, and easy for credit unions to implement." The solution can be integrated with any credit union's online banking system, even those that don't use Intuit Financial Services' Internet banking platform. Credit unions can use Intuit's automated implementation tool to get the solution operating within days. Brian Grytdal, vice president of marketing at Horizon CU, Spokane, Wash., noted the credit union is seeing more activity on its website since implementing FinanceWorks. Within the first six months, the credit union saw a 5% adoption rate of the online financial tool. Intuit Financial Services said credit union members using FinanceWorks:
* Are up to four times more profitable than the average credit union member; * Have twice as many accounts, nearly 30% higher loan balances and tend to have higher incomes; * Log in to online banking twice as often as active online banking users and are more active online bill payers (61% vs. 41% of online bankers); and * Are so satisfied with the online financial management experience that 78% would recommend their financial institution to a friend or family, based solely on their use of FinanceWorks.
For more information, use the links.

CUNA Loan Portfolio Solutions webinar offered in April

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MADISON, Wis. (3/18/10)--The Credit Union National Association will offer a free webinar in April about loan portfolio solutions. The webinar, held in conjunction with the CUNA Lending Council, will be offered April 6 at 2 p.m. CT. It is geared toward mortgage lenders or anyone involved with managing a credit union’s mortgage loan portfolio and will teach attendees how to:
* Create liquidity in balance sheets; * Establish how to effectively deploy capital; * Identify credit and interest rate risk; and * Discover ways to generate earnings.
Laurel Davis, vice president, Investor Channel, will lead the session. For more information, use the link.

CUDL Prime Alliance automortgage symposium speakers set

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ONTARIO, Calif. (3/18/10)--CUDL and Prime Alliance have set the speaker lineup for their Auto/Mortgage Lending Symposium, which takes place May 4-7 in Las Vegas. The symposium brings together CUDL’s annual Auto Lending Symposium and the Prime Alliance Symposium, a mortgage lending event. The symposium theme is “Driving Home.” Speakers include:
* Jason Jennings, best-selling author and business authority; * Jason Dias, trainer consultant, generational marketing and management expert; * Steve Rizzo, personal development guru, comedian and speaker; * David Lo, JD Powers director of financial services; * Mike James, Lending Insights chief operating officer; * Kelly Kent, Decision Sciences senior product manager; * Melinda Zabritski, Experian director of automotive credit; * Jeff Lazerson, Mortgage Grader president; * Howard Banker, Fair Mortgage Collaborative executive director; * Jon Schrock, Manheim national accounts director; * Mark Coleman, GE Capital national sales manager; * Tom Millon, Capital Markets Cooperative president/CEO; and * Jeff Harry, Capital Markets Cooperative executive vice president.
Speakers will discuss business intelligence and portfolio management, risk management, best practices in marketing and credit union efficiencies, bridging the gap between lending and finance, today’s automotive landscape, creating an alternative capital market for credit union mortgage loans, fair lending and credit unions, and the latest technology from CUDL and Prime Alliance. Patrick Adams, president of St. Louis Community CU, will emcee the event. Prime Alliance is a credit union service organization that focuses on mortgage lending. CUDL is an auto lending solutions provider for credit unions.

Intersections offers advice on how to protect IDs during tax season

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CHANTILLY, Va. (3/18/10)--Intersections, a CUNA Strategic Service provider, has tips credit unions can share with their members on how to protect themselves from identity theft this tax season. Tax time involves the distribution and exchange of documents and communications with sensitive personal information including addresses, Social Security numbers, employer information and bank account numbers. “The tax time scams we can expect to see this year will generally be a rehash of years past,” said Neal O’Farrell, Intersections consumer security adviser. “What will be different, however, is the increased level of sophistication used by identity thieves and fraudsters. We can expect more clever variations of these scams that will prey on fear, urgency or greed.” Intersections advises credit unions to remind their members to:
* Be suspicious of any calls or e-mails purporting to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS will always write first--will rarely call, and will never e-mail; * Never confirm a Social Security number or bank account detail over the phone or by e-mail; * Be wary of calls asking to confirm tax information or employment status; * Have mail delivered to the front door instead of a curbside mailbox. Collect mail as soon as possible and avoid putting returns in a curbside mailbox--take them to a post office; * Use reputable online tax preparation services and avoid e-mails offering services because they are often bogus; * Ensure computers are free of malware that can steal a Social Security number or bank account password; * Choose tax preparers carefully and don’t be afraid to ask them important security questions, such as how information is protected in their offices during and after preparation, how long they keep copies of tax returns and whether they conduct background checks on employees; * Pay the IRS online if possible. If paying by check, spell out the name “Internal Revenue Service” because it’s harder to forge than IRS; * Avoid e-mailing tax returns or information to accountants; * Avoid using photocopiers for tax returns in public areas; * Shred unnecessary documents or copies when tax season ends; * Ensure computers are password-protected if tax returns are saved on them; and * Check credit reports after tax time to make sure that if personal information was stolen, it is not being used fraudulently.