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Products Archive

Products

Connecticut league partnership offers discounted electricity

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SHELTON and MERIDEN, Conn. (4/1/10)--The Credit Union League of Connecticut announced a strategic partnership with Discount Power Inc., which will give credit union members savings on electricity costs. The partnership will provide members with up to 20% savings on their electricity. Credit union members also can receive a free home energy checkup from Dr. Energy Saver--a $300 value. The checkup will identify specific steps one can take to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency, said Jon Parella, Discount Power president. Once enrolled in the program, members will recognize savings within 30 days of their meter reading date, the league said. Enrollment with Discount Power is free. “We work very hard to provide our affiliated credit unions with valued and desired products and services, with the goal of strengthening the bond between credit unions and their respective members,” said Tony Emerson, president/CEO of the Connecticut league.

Large-CU core processor market share shifts says researcher

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FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (3/31/10)--The market share for large credit union core processors shifted during the five-year period between 2004 and 2009, according to recently released market research. Bradway Research analyzed its market share of credit union core processing vendors between Dec. 31, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2009 and recently published its report. The report shows evidence of a dramatic decline in total credit union charters and focuses on the market share shift among the largest credit unions with assets exceeding $1 billion, said the firm. The universe of credit union core processing vendors has consolidated by acquisition. However, the remaining number of vendors is still abundant, particularly for smaller credit unions, said Bradway. As of Dec. 31, more than 50 core processing software or outsourcing vendors were still in business and handling more than one credit union. The five biggest core processing vendors by revenue--Fiserv, FIS, Symitar, Open Solutions, and Harland Financial Solutions--all have more than one core processing platform for credit unions, lead by Fiserv, Bradway said. The number of large credit unions expanded to 159 from 99, or 60%, from 2004 to 2009, while the total credit union market decreased by 3,034, or 28%. Fiserv maintained a large market share position for 2,031 credit unions with $50 million or more in assets but slipped to No. 2 in providing core processing solutions to the largest credit unions. “The market share gain by Episys from Symitar was distributed against several other credit union core platforms,” said Bill Bradway, founder and managing director of Bradway Research. “Episys’ market share moved from 23% to 33% during the five-year period.” Other vendors notching multiple takeaways during the period include Open Solutions and FIS. “The takeaway momentum decreased dramatically during 2009, most likely due to the credit crisis and the arrival of two new core processing platforms for credit unions from Fiserv and Harland Financial Solutions,” Bradway added.

Southwest Corp. Digital Defense offer security solutions

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SAN ANTONIO and DALLAS (3/30/10)--Southwest Corporate FCU and Digital Defense Inc. (DDI) have partnered to increase their support for the corporate's member credit unions in the areas of information and network security and compliance management. DDI is a provider of information security assessment and security compliance solutions. It will provide services such as its Vulnerability Lifecycle Management-Pro (VLM-P) solution, a scanning solution. Members will receive Frontline platform access including Active View Workflow Management module, vulnerability remediation guidance, prioritization and assignment, a personal security analyst with security certification credentials, executive and technical reports, and custom management summary reports. Southwest Corporate members also can sign up for other DDI services such as Penetration Testing, Risk Assessments, Information Security Policy Manager, Web Application Testing, Social Engineering, and Security Training options for both staff and members.

PSCU Financial Services helps CUs on overdraft opt-in

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (3/30/10)--PSCU Financial Services launched a new Reg E-Overdraft Opt-In service with CUInitiative that provides member contact options to help credit unions obtain the required overdraft opt-in from members. Credit unions are required to obtain the opt-ins to comply with a new overdraft regulation, Regulation E, effective July 1. The service is available to any credit union. CUInitiative aims to help gain maximum enrollment from members for services cost effectively. “Our new service will help credit unions comply with the new amendments that require opt-in authorization from each share draft member before charging an overdraft fee caused by a one-time debit transaction or ATM withdrawal,” said David J. Serlo, president, PSCU Financial Services. “We offer member contact options that help explain the new requirements to accountholders and obtain overdraft authorization.” Credit unions can select activities from options including: a customized digital message that gives instructions for overdraft protection; a scripted outbound call from a Total Member Care professional that shows the credit union name on caller ID; and an interactive voice response with an introductory message and toll-free number that allows members to provide opt-in authorization. PSCU Financial Services also can provide credit unions with a toll-free number their members can call for answers to frequently asked questions about the new overdraft requirement. PSCU Financial services, a credit union service organization, is based in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Products and Services

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* (3/29/10)--Access to Money, which provides and operates nonbank ATMs and outsourced student loan services, and People Capital, a turnkey private student loan company, announced a three-year exclusive partnership to bring People Capital's loan lending technology to credit unions and community banks. Access to Money now offers both origination and servicing support. People Capital's technology will allow Access to Money to offer new private loan options. People Capital will share origination and other fees for loans that Access to Money originates. Access to Money will use People Capital's Human Capital Score credit risk metric for students and young adults to assess student loan risk ... * MADISON, Wis. (3/29/10)--CUNA Mutual Group's April 1 Discovery Webinar, "Shedding Some Light on Regulation Z Compliance," has 1,100 registrants, but openings still remain. The free session, presented by lending authority Bill Klewin, will provide tools for maintaining multi-featured, open-end lending as a viable lending strategy. Registration closes April 1 at 10 a.m. CT. To register, use the link ...

New England CU Services partners with business college

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MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (3/26/10)--New England Credit Union Services (NECUS) has created a college tuition savings opportunity for Massachusetts credit union employees and their family members through a partnership with the New England College of Business and Finance (NECB). NECB’s offers online degree programs (EWeekly March 24). The partnership with NECB will save credit union employees and their family members almost half the cost of standard college tuition rates for undergraduate degrees, and a quarter of the cost of standard graduate degree tuition rates, said the Massachusetts Credit Union League. Employees of NECU’s 230 credit unions and their family members are eligible to receive $500 and $1,000 scholarships.

CUANM to offer remittance solution to CUs

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NEW YORK (3/26/10)--The Credit Union Association of New Mexico (CUANM) will expand access to BNY Mellon’s Remit Worldwide global remittance solution to credit unions in New Mexico and nationwide on a white-label basis, the two organizations announced Thursday. A major form of cross-border funds transfer, remittances enable credit unions and other financial institutions to expand their product and service offerings to consumers interested in remitting funds to beneficiaries abroad. “Enabling credit unions to provide global remittances as a new customer service provides us with a superior product that is important to the underserved new immigrant community,” said CUANM CEO Sylvia Lyon. “This group comprises a significant and rapidly growing consumer group that credit unions are committed to serving,” she added. CUANM will add Remit Worldwide to its suite of outreach products, according to Mike Athens, CUANM vice president of association services. Remit Worldwide will be marketed by CUANM as Worldwide Remit.

CU 24 introduces PINless bill payment

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (3/25/10)--Credit Union 24, a credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale (POS) network, now supports PINless bill payment transactions for participating credit unions' members. The service provides credit unions the tools to deliver a payment system without implementing new or altering existing processing systems. PINless bill payment transactions allow members to pay bills using their ATM or debit card without having to enter their personal identification number (PIN). It works with one-time or recurring payments. Cardholders set up the transactions with their merchants via the Internet, telephone or an in-person representative. Credit Union 24's support routes the transactions to the credit unions' existing processor for approval. "Credit Union 24's support of PINless bill payment transactions is automatic," said President/CEO Jim Park. "Credit unions do not have to change anything about their current processing platforms or operating procedures; they can simply inform their members about this available technology," he added. PINless transactions are processed the same way as standard POS transactions, providing an additional revenue stream for credit unions. Park said credit unions can generate increased interchange income by encouraging members to use the PINless method while simultaneously reducing back office expenses of processing check and automated clearing house (ACH) returns. Credit Union 24 also offers marketing materials about the service.

FSCC shared branching locator app on iPhones

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ONTARIO, Calif. (3/25/10)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc. (FSCC), the Shared Branching Network, Wednesday launched its new credit union Shared Branching locator application on iTunes. The free application is available to download and offers more than 6,400 locations to perform Shared Branching transactions. The application features the familiar swirl logo representing CU Service Centers so members know the application is authentic. The application already has generated more than 1,000 downloads and more than 3,000 searches since it was announced on Twitter last week, according to the FSCC network. It currently ranks No. 73 in the top 100 free financial services applications and is the only credit union-specific application appearing in the top 100 rankings on iTunes. Credit unions participating in Shared Branching can add a link and icon to their website so members can easily download the application.

Thursdays SBA audio conference adds speakers

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MADISON, Wis. (3/24/10)--Thursday’s Credit Union National Association (CUNA) audio conference focusing on Small Business Administration (SBA) lending has added four speakers, CUNA said. Roger Heacock, CEO of Black Hills FCU, Rapid City, S.D.; Kevin Tiede, Black Hills business loan manager and expert on SBA lending; SBA’s John Wade, and Frank Kressman, an attorney with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), will participate. They join speakers that include: CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz, SBA Administrator Karen Mills, and Mary Dunn, CUNA senior vice president and deputy general counsel. The conference, “Credit Union Business Lending: Working with the SBA and the NCUA to Make More Business Loans,” will be offered at 1 p.m. CST. Tuition is $49. To register for the conference, use the link.

CUcorp partners with CU Student Choice

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WASHINGTON (3/23/10)--CUcorp, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL), and Credit Union Student Choice, a credit union service organization (CUSO) that provides private student lending services to credit unions, announced a strategic business partnership. MCUL President/CEO David Adams noted that “this partnership will help more credit unions offer affordable student loan products to their members. As colleges and universities struggle with their traditional funding sources, more families are looking for private student loans, giving credit unions an opportunity to support the educational advancement of their members.” Credit Union Student Choice provides credit unions of all asset sizes and fields of membership with a turnkey program that enables them to grow and diversify their loan portfolios through the delivery of fair-value private student loans. CUCorp is a marketing company, based in Livonia, Mich. Since launching with 10 credit unions in May 2008, Credit Union Student Choice has now grown to serve more than 100 credit unions with its undergraduate private student lending program. To date, the CUSO has helped more than 12,000 members attend college and funded nearly $170 million in private student loans.

FSCC joins VendorTrack third-party management program

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MADISON, Wis. (3/22/10)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) is the first Gold sponsor of VendorTrack, a CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) provider. “The benefits of being a Gold sponsor include a higher level of exposure to potential credit union clients and better serving current customers with their due diligence needs,” said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. FSCC, Ontario, Calif., offers a Shared Branching network with financial access points at more than 6,300 locations. VendorTrack is a third-party vendor management system developed by CSS and TraceSecurity. It has grown to 877 registrants as of March, from 33 credit unions in the beginning of 2009. More than 50 of the registered credit unions have asset sizes of more than $1 billion. Over 53% have less than $100 million in assets. Fourteen credit union leagues also are registered for the service. Credit unions can subscribe to the services for $99 per year. Those already registered will be grandfathered into the pricing structure. New credit unions will receive a free 30-day trial.

uMonitor announces P2P money transfer service

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ORLANDO, Fla. (3/22/10)--uMonitor has introduced a person-to-person (P2P) money transfer service as a part of uTransfer Release 5.0. uTransfer allows users to move money online in a secure environment. The solution, which has been available since 2003, is used by credit unions and banks of varying asset sizes. The new P2P service will let consumers send and receive money electronically via e-mail and mobile phone to and from any third party with a credit union account. uTransfer Release 5.0 also has expanded back-office reporting, analytics, support, risk management and operational capabilities, uMonitor said. “Facilitating transactions between credit union members’ and their friends and family not only enhances service for the existing members, but also will provide a point of contact into new relationships,” said Dinesh Sheth, uMonitor CEO. uMonitor’s solutions include New Account Setup and Online Funding with Switch Kit, New Loan Application Processing, Funds Transfer Service, Bill Presentment and Payment Solutions, Premium Account Management Service, and Advisor-Client Relationship Management.

CUNA GAC crashers host free webinar

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MADISON, Wis. (3/19/10)--"Crashers" at the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) will host a free webinar entitled "Rehash the Crash: They came, they saw, they Crashed the GAC." The webinar, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET March 30, will take an in-depth look into how the crash came about, the crashers' experience and their perspective and opinions on the future of the credit union movement. Budget restraints mean most credit union employees under age 30 have limited access to learning and networking opportunities such as last month's GAC. Crash the GAC was created as a low-cost solution to the problem. Crash participants were a diverse cross-segment of Gen Y, ranging in age from 22 to 30 and holding industry skills from the areas of marketing, lending, branch management and community outreach. "We created the crash to get younger credit union professionals more involved in the movement," said Brent Dixon, crash creator and young adult adviser for the Filene Research Institute. "Many would have never had the chance to attend CUNA GAC if it weren't for the crash. Our goal was to surround ourselves with credit union leaders and pioneers to learn, inspire and challenge us to further the credit union movement." Plans are being made for a Crash The 1, where 20 under-30 credit union professionals will go to Las Vegas July 11-14 for The 1 Credit Union Conference hosted by the Credit Union National Association and the World Council of Credit Unions. Participant and sponsor information will be available in early April. To register for the free Rehash The Crash webinar, or for more information use the links.

Washington league to offer MBL school

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (3/19/10)--The Washington Credit Union League is offering education to credit unions on small business lending. The Business Lending School in Federal Way, Wash., will teach credit union staff to effectively and safely underwrite business credit requests and to satisfy state and federal regulatory expectations for their business lending activities. “It’s no secret that banks have pulled back credit lines to small business since the financial collapse of 2008 and 2009,” said Washington Credit Union League President/CEO John Annaloro. “The state’s credit unions are fully capable of supporting member-owned businesses and filling the commercial lending gap left by banks.” Washington credit unions have 3.4% of the business lending market while banks control more than 96% (KNDU.com March 18). The school’s curriculum includes:
* Mastering Accounting Practices for Various Business Types; * Unraveling the Financial Statement and Tax Return, and Cash-Flow Analysis; * Analyzing Business and Personal Financial Statements; * Developing Financial Projections for Credit Worthiness Determinations; * Developing Credit Administration Policies and Procedures; and * Analyzing Commercial Real Estate Credit Requests and Reviewing Commercial Real Estate Appraisals.

Newtek offers free website for small businesses

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NEW YORK (3/19/10)--Newtek Business Services is offering free websites through the Newtek SiteCenter to support business owners who launch, upgrade or maintain their online presence. SiteCenter is a bilingual do-it-yourself Web product with more than 1,000 design schemes that allow business owners to create their own custom-built website. The center also includes e-commerce features at no extra charge. If additional features are added, such as a shopping cart application or Newtek’s NewtPay or NewtPay Pro payment systems, there are nominal charges, Newtek said. Newtek also recently partnered with Members 1st FCU, Mechanicsburg, Pa. Newtek, a CUNA Strategic Service provider, offers business services, including electronic payment processing and Web hosting.

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.

PSCU Financial online billing boasts one million subscribers

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (3/17/10)--PSCU Financial Services’ PayLynx bill pay platform has one million subscribers. The platform achieved a 22% annual growth in subscribers and a 20% jump in transactions for 2009. About 20 credit unions converted to the platform in the past year, the company said. “This program is part of our consolidated eCommerce suite that is setting a new standard of growth for our cooperative and member credit unions,” said David J. Serlo, PSCU Financial Services president. “We have seen continued growth in [the platform’s] adoption among our members.” PayLynx provides one central payment center to manage all bill payments and e-mail notifications with statement availability, summary information and a secure link to the bill pay site. Reminders notify subscribers when a bill needs to be scheduled or has been paid. The program also protects subscribers against unauthorized transactions or processing delays, said PSCU Financial Services. It reimburses subscribers for any late payment-related charges, up to $50, if a payment arrives after its scheduled due date. PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, Fla., is a credit union service organization.

VINtek launches tax tag title calculator

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PHILADELPHIA (3/17/10)--VINtek, a provider of automotive collateral management and direct auto finance services for auto finance lenders, has launched www.taxandtags.com, an interactive, real-time tax, tag and title fee calculator for consumers, dealers and auto lenders, including credit unions. The tool was previously available only through VINtek’s direct-to-consumer lending platform. The calculator lets users estimate the amount of state and county-specific taxes, registration fees and title fees for vehicle purchase or refinancing. It also calculates the monthly payment for an auto loan with the fee amounts. The site offers fee calculations for 51 U.S. jurisdictions, the company said. The lender receives the loan application from a potential borrower and can determine the tax, tag and title fees using the Web-based calculator. The fees then are rolled into the total financing amount. Tax, tag and title fees can exceed 8% of the purchase price of a vehicle. The industry needs a real-time tool to help lenders calculate for their customers the complete cost with the amounts included, said Larry Highbloom, VINtek president. “There is significant demand from consumers for the ability to verify what their monthly payment amount will be whether they are purchasing from a dealer or another consumer, purchasing a vehicle they are currently leasing or simply refinancing their existing auto loan,” Highbloom said.

N.Y. association teams up with CU Student Choice

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ALBANY, N.Y. (3/16/10)--The Credit Union Association of New York has teamed up with Credit Union Student Choice, a credit union service organization (CUSO) that provides student lending services to more than 100 credit unions nationwide. The partnership takes the “guesswork” out of providing student lending services for credit unions, according to William J. Mellin, association president/CEO. “While private student lending by traditional lenders has fallen off, the cost of higher education has continued to escalate, creating a funding gap that can effectively be filled by credit unions,” he said. The CUSO has funded nearly $170 million in private student loans.

Louisiana league partners with CO-OP

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/16/10)--The Louisiana Credit Union League is partnering with CO-OP Financial Services to offer the CO-OP Network to Louisiana credit union members. The network offers access to 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs. The network will be marketed to the state’s 226 credit unions. The league has participated in CO-OP Shared Branching for more than 14 years. “We have a tremendous opportunity to expand surcharge-free ATM access to credit union members in Louisiana through this partnership,” said Eric Porter, CO-OP executive vice president of business development and marketing. CO-OP Financial Services is based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

CO-OP to buy SHARE SYSTEM from Members United Corporate

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WARRENVILLE, Ill., and RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/16/10)--Members United Corporate FCU and CO-OP Financial Services have entered into a non-binding letter of intent for CO-OP to purchase SHARE SYSTEM from Members United for an undisclosed amount. SHARE SYSTEM is an ATM and debit card program for credit unions, primarily in Indiana. "While this service is extremely valuable to many of our members, it is a product that for us is unsustainable over the long term due to aggressive marketplace competition and ongoing investments in technology," said Joseph P. Herbst, CEO of Members United. The corporate "sought a credit union-owned organization that does business at an appropriate scale to offer value and seamless integration for our members, and that would be willing to retain the SHARE SYSTEM staff to ensure a smooth transition for the credit unions and their members," Herbst added. Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP, said the "acquisition adds 69 new payment processing credit unions to CO-OP Financial Services and more than 100 ATMs to the surcharge-free CO-OP Network. This is an extension to our market presence, particularly in Indiana, that will enable us to provide even more comprehensive coverage for the access and convenience needs of credit unions and their members." During the next few weeks, CO-OP and Members United will complete due diligence and finalize definitive terms of agreement. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter, they said.

CUNA Mutual webinar to address Reg Z

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MADISON, Wis. (3/12/10)--CUNA Mutual Group continues its Discovery Webinar series April 1 with a look at the ins and outs of compliance to new Regulation Z requirements. Bill Klewin, CUNA Mutual associate general counsel and consumer lending authority, will share background on the regulation change and provide information to help evaluate lending policies and procedures. The free session, “Shedding Some Light on Regulation Z Compliance,” will give participants tools they can use to successfully maintain multi-featured, open-end lending as a viable lending strategy, CUNA Mutual said. Multi-featured, open-end lending is used by credit unions to establish long-term borrowing relationships with their members. The affirmation of this “sign once, borrow for life” process ensures credit unions’ ability to provide lending convenience to their members. The Federal Reserve Board published new rules in January 2009 for non-home secured open-end lending. The new rules will require many credit unions offering multi-featured open-end lending plans to change how they manage their plans. The new rules take effect July 1. To register for the webinar, use the link.

Products and Services briefs (03/11/2010)

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* ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (3/12/10)--PSCU Financial Services announced that it has signed another three-year commitment as a Chairman’s Roundtable sponsor for the Filene Research Institute. PSCU Financial Services was the organization’s first Chairman’s Roundtable sponsor six years ago. Past funding from PSCU Financial Services helped Filene conduct more than 15 research projects on Generation Y, including the CU Tomorrow program that helps educate credit unions on how to attract and retain young adults. PSCU Financial Services is a credit union service organization based in St. Petersburg, Fla. ... * MONETT, Mo. (3/12/10)--Jack Henry and Associates, a provider of integrated technology solutions and data processing services for financial institutions, announced that it is experiencing more record growth for its remote deposit capture (RDC) solution, provided by its ProfitStars division. RDC is a Web-based electronic payment processing platform that allows businesses to make remote deposits by scanning checks they receive as payment and converting them to electronic transactions. On Jan. 4, ProfitStars achieved an all-time high of more than 1.25 million transactions processed. It also processed more than 14 million RDC transactions and moved $13 billion in funds, representing an increase of 52% in transactions processed compared to those processed in January 2009. ProfitStars supports more than 32,000 businesses in more than 100,000 locations ... * CHAPIN, S.C. (3/12/10)--PM Systems Corp. (PMSC) has created a video production unit, FI-Studios, to help financial institutions with their video needs. FI is “hitting the streets” after spending a year in staffing and program development, PMSC said. FI provides animated logos, Web video, television commercials, premium Web profiles, standard Web slideshows, help guides and tutorials, testimonials, pre-roll videos, product overviews, industry specific videos, video banner ads and ticklers and third-party videos. PMSC is based in Chapin, S.C. ...

New alliance offers Illinois CUs small biz solutions

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WAKEFIELD, Mass. (3/11/10)--A new strategic merchant processing alliance between Primax and the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) Service Corp. (LSC) means that credit unions across the country now have a new avenue to help them serve and strengthen their relationships with their local business community. Primax will serve as a merchant provider and cash advance provider for more than 3,100 credit unions served by LSC in 45 states. Primax offers LSC’s credit unions the flexibility to set up merchant programs for businesses with various outsourcing options. The marketing alliance features an Agent program in which the credit union refers its merchant to Primax, who then takes care of the details and operations support to allow the merchant to be set up and in business. LSC recently hosted a webinar detailing how the program works. By providing processing services for merchant retail, mail order, telephone, and Internet transactions, credit unions assume no liability and at the same time can benefit from a new revenue stream, said the partners. “Local merchants in particular are looking for lower-cost processing options, and these services are a great opportunity for credit unions and can lead to other business relationships,” said George Fiegle, LSC executive vice president. “Our partnership with Primax is another way in which we are fulfilling our mission to help credit unions compete."

CU Members Mortgage offers new online mortgage platform

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DALLAS (3/11/10)--CU Members Mortgage partnered with Lender Processing Services to implement the next generation of online mortgage lending technology, Empower, beginning in the second quarter. The new platform includes a more modern, user-friendly online application, improved tools and helpful calculators for members. The platform includes a side-by-side loan comparison to help members understand their loan options. It also provides delivery of rate alerts and loan status updates, and features electronic upload and distribution of documents. Credit union members will still have the 24/7 loan application ability that will pull credit information and provide an instant loan decision in minutes. CU Members Mortgage will begin training their credit union partners on the new system in April and will begin official roll-out in May. The target completion for the roll-out of all the new sites is May 15, said Wallace Jones, CU Members Mortgage national training director.

Cardwell updates strategy-execution tool

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (3/11/10)--Cardwell, developer of Connections Online 4.0, has updated Connections, a strategy execution tool, with enhanced reporting capabilities. The tool includes updated dialog reports, a new metric report, an updated resource utilization report, and a new all projects report. The updates were made so users could gain easier access to the reporting tools within the software. The dialog reports have been updated for all tabs, and the layout has been improved for quicker access. On the individual dialog report, performance indicators, metrics and project tasks have been added, making performance discussions more productive. The report is used to better manage meetings, which is where most managers spend more than 50% of their time, said Karla Norwood, Cardwell president. Managers can print the new metric report for any metric from any metric module, including organization, department, project or people tabs. The updated resource utilization report allows users to sort by departments, rolled up departments or a single department. The report allows leaders to sort how resources are being used for projects within the organization. The new all projects report lists projects from all departments, allowing users to view project activity in comprehensive mode. Cardwell, based in Cleveland, Ohio, is a software development and management-consulting firm. It helps clients, including credit unions, succeed by improving organization-wide alignment and cross-functional collaboration through its Connections Online strategy execution tool.

Sacher Consulting Callahans to offer ALL consulting

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WASHINGTON (3/11/10)--Sacher Consulting and Callahan and Associates have partnered to offer a comprehensive package to credit unions that includes a customizable allowance for loan loss (ALL) policy, consulting and access to relevant webinars. ALL policies should be part of credit unions’ governance structures, said Alix Patterson, chief operating officer of Callahan and Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based research firm for credit unions. With the struggling economy, credit unions are being impacted by declining home real-estate values and other aspects of the recession, Patterson said. Mike Sacher, principal, offers accounting, governance and education services to credit unions. Premier America CU, Chatsworth, Calif., hired Sacher for is consulting. “We wanted to develop a more structured and reliable methodology to ensure a reasonable funding level that was both realistic and defensible,” said Marge McNaught, Premier America CU chief lending officer. Sacher specializes in credit unions’ needs. It develops ALL methods that are practical and meet generally accepted accounting principles, the firms said.

CSS JMFA extend partnership

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MADISON, Wis. (3/10/10)--CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) Inc. has expanded its agreement with John M. Floyd & Associates (JMFA) of Baytown, Texas, which will provide credit unions with a program to enhance their bottom line by improving their contracts for processing and technology services. JMFA Contract Optimizer provides advice on areas such as pricing, service, support and conditions related to contracts for:
* ATM/debit card processing; * Core data processing; * Credit card processing; * Check vendors; * Telecommunications; * Image/item processing; and * Internet banking.
As part of the agreement, JMFA Contract Optimizer will be available to all credit unions and will be integrated into CSS's VendorTrack product. VendorTrack provides credit unions with a secure, centralized repository to manage third-party relationships and due diligence documents. “This service is a valuable addition to the products CUNA Strategic Services offers its member credit unions,” said CSS Senior Vice President Wes Millar. “With the vendor resources provided by VendorTrack and JMFA’s expertise in contract negotiations, credit unions will be able to make better-informed decisions when looking for the best service at the best price. This is especially relevant in today’s business environment.” Many credit unions dealing with economic challenges are looking to improve their bottom line without further budget cuts or additional member fees, according to John M. Floyd, chairman/CEO of JMFA. “With our knowledge of the industry and its ever-changing climate, we can help credit unions optimize savings for their products and services,” he said. Floyd explained that by analyzing the terms and costs of a credit union’s current contracts, JMFA’s experts discover areas of savings and improved service. They take that information and determine benchmarks for the existing vendors to meet to maintain a contract. The initial analysis is free, representing a savings of $1,500 to $2,500 over competing contract consultant fees. Since 2003, JMFA Contract Optimizer has had a 98% success rate, saving financial institutions more than $24 million by lowering the cost of contracts while improving the level of services received.

Gila announces charge-off recovery collection services for CUs

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AUSTIN, Texas (3/10/10)--Gila Corp., through its business unit Gila Group, announced that it has expanded its service offerings into charge-off recovery collection services. Gila Group’s contingency collection model is an alternative to selling debt, according to Jason Schmer, vice president of client development (VerticalNews.com March 6). Some credit unions, because of the poor economy, have experienced a declining net income and net worth. The absence of a recovery post charge-off impacts credit unions’ performance, Gila said. Gila Group was founded to manage collections for credit unions and financial institutions. The company offers outsourced collections, payment processing and call center services.

EasCorp expands remote deposit for smartphones

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (3/10/10)--Eastern Corporate FCU (EasCorp) and its wholly owned subsidiary Vertifi Software announced they have expanded their remote deposit capture service for smartphones, DeposZip Mobile, by developing a downloadable software application for Google’s Android platform. The corporate previously introduced a similar application for the iPhone. Both applications were developed by Vertifi as a plug-in for a credit union’s mobile banking service. The applications use a built-in camera to acquire the images, and image pre-processing and validation takes place on the device. Checks are processed electronically end-to-end through Vertifi, and deposits are posted to members’ accounts in real time. EasCorp is based in Burlington, Mass.

myCUmortgage pays partners 2.5 million

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FAIRBORN, Ohio (3/10/10)--myCUmortgage, a division of Fairborn, Ohio-based Wright-Patt Financial Group, paid more than $2.5 million to its partners in return for purchasing mortgage loans. myCUmortgage and its credit union partners increased closed-loan products by more than 180% between 2008 and 2009. The increase is because of low market interest rates, high efficiency, credit unions’ positions as trusted lenders and the first-time home buyer tax credit, the company said. DESCO FCU, Portsmouth, Ohio, is one of myCUmortgage’s partners. The credit union made more than $60 million in mortgage loans in 2009. Wright-Patt Financial Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wright-Patt CU, Fairborn, Ohio.

CUNA renews strategic alliance with Verafin

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MADISON, Wis. and ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland (3/9/10)--Verafin, a compliance, anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud detection software provider, and CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) have extended their alliance for five years. The contract builds on a three-year strategic alliance that helped drive Verafin to the forefront of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) solutions for credit unions. "With the regulators' intensified focus on the Bank Secrecy Act, the growing complexity of money laundering schemes and the increasing need for fraud detection, it is important that CUNA Strategic Services provide a solution for credit unions to meet these challenges," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. The alliance "offers an all-in-one program that can help credit unions improve their processes and greatly reduce the overwhelming manual workload that they face in meeting regulatory requirements," Millar added. "Combating fraud and money-laundering will continue to be a key initiative for the financial services market in 2010," noted Jamie King, Verafin CEO. Verafin approaches risk analysis and detection by improving BSA/AML automation. It searches out suspicious activity with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) instead of the more common rules-based technology. AI replicates human reasoning and enables Verafin to catch suspicious activity that rules-based solutions may miss. It combines four elements:
* BSA/AML compliance--Provides automated CTR (currency transation report)and SAR (suspicious activity report) reporting as well as automated BSA record keeping; * Fraud detection--Detects fraudulent activity such as debit, check and account fraud, and reduces losses; * Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) red flags--Facilitates creation of red flags and configuration by type, assigns investigation/expiration to flagged accounts, verifies Social Security numbers, checks against internal watch lists and mines for suspicious personal ID information; and * Watch List and 314(a) checking--Checks people, vendors and businesses against the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals ( SDN) list, performs 314(a) searches, checks incoming and outgoing wires and flags positive matches, alerts compliance officer, accommodates fraud lists and internal watch lists, and maintains exemption lists.
Nearly 500 financial institutions employ Verafin for their compliance and anti-fraud needs. It is the exclusive provider of BSA/AML and fraud detection software for CSS and 40 credit union leagues.

Colorado CUs team up on CULoanZone.com

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SAN FRANCISCO (3/9/10)--The Credit Union Association of Colorado, Colorado credit unions and oFlows Inc. last week launched CULoanZone.com, a website that matches individuals with credit unions they are eligible to join. The site also allows them to apply online for loans through those credit unions. Four credit unions in the Denver area are on the site. Anyone in Colorado can apply for a loan. The four credit unions are: Horizons North CU, Northglenn; Red Rocks CU, Highlands Ranch; BCS Community CU, Wheat Ridge; and Denver Community CU. The credit unions also launched a six-week media campaign on TV and the Web to promote the site. The group produced and ran a television ad on 9News, an NBC affiliate in Denver. The campaign also is supported by ads on 9News.com, and targeted local efforts, including tear sheets, and takeaways posted on community bulletin boards. The group hopes the site can be expanded to include more credit unions in the Denver area, and more media outlets throughout the state. “CULoanZone.com is an excellent example of how credit unions can collaborate to support their individual goals,” said Rick Cranston, director of business and product development for the Credit Union Associations of Colorado and Wyoming. “We are excited to be a part of this innovative solution.”

Harland increases clients in mobile Internet banking

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LAKE MARY, Fla. (3/9/10)--Harland Financial Solutions announced that it signed more than 120 new Cavion Internet banking clients in 2009, surpassing its record set the year before. It was the third straight year of 100-plus sales for the solution. Harland also announced that it has surpassed 100 Cavion Mobile Banking Professional clients since the product’s release in 2008. The application provides financial institutions an alternate delivery channel to offer consumers via core system integration. It allows consumers to conduct banking transactions like account transfers and bill payment, and to view balances and cleared check images in real time from a secure interface. Financial institutions also can offer text message-based mobile banking through Cavion Mobile Banking SMS. Harland offers electronic banking services, including Internet banking, business banking, voice banking, mobile banking, website development and hosting, and Internet bill pay. One credit union that selected Cavion for its Internet banking is XCEL FCU, Secaucus, N.J. Michael Mahiya, vice president and chief information officer, said there would be no interruption in its bill pay service while Cavion is implemented. The credit union also plans to roll out Cavion Mobile Banking Professional.

Internet PIN Debit Advisory Council formed

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ATLANTA (3/9/10)--Acculynk has formed the Internet personal identification number (PIN) Debit Advisory Council with partner electronic funds transfer (EFT) networks. The council will establish the processes, procedures, rules and best practices around PaySecure for Internet PIN debit. PaySecure is a software-only service for PIN online debit payments. The council brings together leaders from partners such as ACCEL/Exchange, Alaska Option, Credit Union 24, PULSE and SHAZAM. Membership in the council is open to EFT networks that have partnered with Acculynk for PaySecure. The company is considering extending membership to e-commerce. PaySecure was introduced in March 2009 in a pilot program that included ACCEL/Exchange and several small merchants. PULSE announced a partnership with Acculynk in late March 2009 for Internet PIN debit that was followed by partnership announcements from four other EFT networks and ACCEL/Exchange’s commercial roll-out of PaySecure across the eligible base of issuers in November. Acculynk expects to announce two more EFT networks in the next two months. Acculynk is based in Atlanta.

CUNAs activity book has CU difference

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MADISON, Wis. (3/8/10)--From finding words that begin with the letters “CU” to decoding tips to become a millionaire, kids can play their way through the “Fun With Money” activity book from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The book is geared toward elementary and middle school youth, and it “sneaks in” credit union terminology and savings strategies. “It wasn’t enough for us to put out a dozen activities to keep young minds occupied,” said Joanne Sepich, a director with CUNA’s consumer publishing. “We wanted to introduce the concept of saving at the credit union, as well.” The full-color activity book has word finds, a crossword puzzle, quizzes, a maze, and a credit union mad lib. Threads that position the credit union as the best place to save are woven through the activities, covering such topics as:
* Credit union terminology--members, dividends and share accounts; * Saving terminology--accounts, goals, deposits and withdrawals; and * How savings compound at a credit union.
Designed as a premium for youth who make deposits, “Fun with Money” works as a leave-behind after a school presentation or as entertainment in a credit union branch while adults meet with a loan officer. For more information, use the link.

Products and Services briefs (03/05/2010)

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* GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (3/8/10)--CU*Answers has hired John Beauchamp as electronic document strategies manager. He previously worked as the director of operations for COWWW Software and at eDOC Innovations. Beauchamp will help credit unions craft e-Document strategies tailored to their needs. CU*Answers is a credit union service organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich. ... * GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (3/8/10)--Xtend Inc., a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, it will deploy the LIVECHAT Contact Center solution from LIVECHAT Software for its Web chat project. The deployment will support Xtend’s business-to-business service offerings and work with its core data processing partner, CU*Answers, to integrate LIVECHAT into a home banking business-to-consumer solution ... * TEMPE, Ariz. (3/8/10)--DiversityBusiness.com, a business-to-business Internet site, has named LemmonTree Enterprises Inc. one of the top small businesses in Arizona for the fifth year in a row. The group specializes in financial services marketing with market research and data-mining consulting to credit union clients nationwide ...

CUSN partners with CO-OP Financial Services (03/04/2010)

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (3/5/10)--Credit Union Service Network (CUSN) has partnered with CO-OP Financial Services to provide external call center lending and member support services to CUSN clients. The agreement will create new avenues and resources for marketing to CO-OP Member Center’s 98 customers and potential customers in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. CUSN will generate leads and interest for CO-OP Member Center’s lending solutions and member services, the companies said in a release. The CO-OP Member Center is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based CO-OP Financial Services. LoanLink Services from CO-OP Member Center starts with loan processing, including recording applications and underwriting. Member Services covers after-hours and as-needed call center duties, handling account inquiries, transactions and other member interactions. CUSN offers products and services that helps connect credit unions to members.

CUNA Council adds session on opportunities from economy

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MADISON, Wis. (3/5/10)--Credit unions can discuss leveraging the opportunities from the current economic climate--including The Huffington Post’s “Move Your Money” campaign--in a new session to the 2010 CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Conference March 21-24 in Washington, D.C. The town hall-style session will cover recent bank backlash, actions credit unions are taking to grow and maintain membership and the opportunity for changes in public policy that give credit unions added potential. Leading the session will be:
* Mark Wolff, senior vice president of communications, Credit Union National Association (CUNA); * Richard Gose, CUNA senior vice president of political affairs; and * Carol Payne, vice president of communications and marketing, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.
“Credit unions have been given an unprecedented opportunity in today’s economic climate,” said Anne Legg, chair of the council and vice president of marketing, Cabrillo CU, San Diego. “Banks have the lowest trust levels and credit unions have very high trust levels. How can credit unions leverage this advantage? This session is essential--a get-together of hundreds that includes no-holds-barred discussion, dialogue and brainstorming and idea-sharing.” Following the session will be a Washington Insider’s Reception, where attendees can meet with leaders who interact with Congress, the Obama administration and the National Credit Union Administration. For more information, use the links.

CU card portfolio grew at 6.5

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PORTLAND, Ore. (3/5/10)--Credit union credit card portfolios grew at 6.5%, according to AssetExchange, a credit union credit card portfolio advisory firm that analyzed portfolios of about 2,100 credit unions with portfolios of $1 million or more. From those portfolios, AssetExchange found that:
* Outstanding balances grew at an annual rate of 6.5% between December 2008 and December 2009 to $35 billion, continuing the trend of mid-single digit growth. Total assets at the credit unions grew at an annual rate of 9.7% over the same period; * Card accounts grew at a 2.9% annual rate during the same period to 12.6 million; * The percentage of portfolios that grew more than the rate of inflation during the previous 12 months increased to 70% from 66% in the fourth quarter of 2008. Eighty-four percent of portfolios grew versus 67% for the same time period in 2008; * Cards as a percentage of total assets declined to 4.8% in the fourth quarter, down from 4.9% in the same quarter of 2008 because credit union assets continued to grow faster than card balances; * Credit card penetration continues to trend near 18%; and * Seven card portfolios with about $42 million in balances sold during the fourth quarter. In 2009, 24 portfolios with about $325 million in outstandings were sold, an increase from the $98 million worth of portfolios sold in 2008 but below 2007 levels.
AssetExchange data were taken from National Credit Union Administration call report data. Inflation values at 2.72% between December 2008 and December 2009 were from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

ALM First announces regional investment sessions

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DALLAS (3/4/10)--ALM First Financial Advisors is offering half-day regional education sessions on issues that affect credit unions’ investment decisions and strategies. The free sessions will take place throughout the year. Registration is limited to two representatives per credit union. Each session will feature ALM First professional staff and financial accounting expert Mike Sacher of Sacher Consulting. Local credit unions in the region will serve as host locations. The sessions will be held at:
* Tempe (Ariz.) Schools FCU, March 16; * Westerra CU, Denver, March 17; * GTE FCU, Tampa, Fla., March 24; * Tropical Financial CU, Miramar, Fla., March 25; * SAFE CU, North Highlands, Calif., April 13; and * San Diego County CU, April 14.
The agenda includes:
* Investment strategies for managing 2010’s influx of cash; * Balance sheet risk management in an environment of rising interest rates; and * Challenges of the newly required acquisition method of accounting for mergers.
“Identifying new opportunities for your credit union and exposing yourself to potential balance-sheet strategies is essential to successfully managing this new environment,” said Tom Manley, ALM First Partner and one of the presenters. “Times have changed, making it more critical for credit unions to consider new ideas, beyond the strategies used in the past.” “None of us could have anticipated the current economic circumstances and subsequent impact on the credit union industry,” Sacher said. “But the onus is on credit unions to take the initiative to discover new ideas, seek out different methods and shift their old ways of thinking to help them emerge stronger in the future.” ALM First provides financial advisory services to credit unions.

TMG sets agenda for 2010 client conference

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DES MOINES, Iowa (3/4/10)--The Members Group (TMG) released its 2010 Client Conference agenda aimed at this year’s event theme: Future. Growth. Now. The agenda contains presentations tailored to TMG’s client base of financial institutions looking to enhance their credit, debit and prepaid card programs. The conference is scheduled for June 14-16 in Las Vegas. Keynote speaker is Peter Duffy of Sandler O’Neill and Partners. Duffy will speak about the shift in the financial services landscape and share research and analysis on competitive issues facing community-based financial institutions. Other speakers include:
* Philippe Benitiez of Gemalto, who will discuss chip and personal identification number payments and value-added services that can increase card use and retention; * Erin McCune, Glenbrook Partners, who will talk about alternative payments, detailing how new technologies and innovative financial institutions are changing the way consumers and business interact; and * Futurist Bob Treadway, who will address trends and forces that will shape financial services and the credit union movement during the next five to seven years.
TMG is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Affiliates Management Co., which is owned by Iowa credit unions and their members. For more information, use the links.

CFOs can yield ROI at CFO Council Conference

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MADISON, Wis. (3/3/10)--Credit union finance professionals can calculate their return on investment (ROI) for attending the 16th annual CUNA CFO Council Conference May 16-19 in New Orleans. The CUNA CFO Council has released a Conference ROI Calculator on its website. Individuals can input expenses into the calculator and find their ROI. “We’re ensuring that you generate a positive return on investment for attending,” said Pam Finch, chair of the CUNA CFO Council and chief financial officer, Mid Minnesota FCU, Baxter, Minn. This year’s conference will feature sessions on:
* Non-interest income; * Asset Liability Management reporting and analytics, and best practices; * Advanced asset liability management techniques for reducing exposure to interest rate risk; * Wholesale funding strategies; * Expense management best practice and ideas; * Maximization of return on assets on credit card portfolios; and
For more information, use the links.

PSCU Financial offers digital disaster alerts

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (3/3/10)--PSCU Financial Services is offering BCP Digital Messaging to alert credit union members of disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, storms, earthquakes, power outages or freeway closures. The message lets members know they can access their accounts and perform financial transactions by directing them to an alternative branch or credit union website. The messaging system can make up to 10,000 calls per hour. It also can deliver an instructional message to credit union employees and vendors. Advance enrollment in the program is required. Once enrolled, credit unions can activate an emergency alert at any time and the cooperative will deliver member calls within a calling window of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, Fla., is a credit union service organization.

CUNA Tech Council Best of Show goes to ...

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MADISON, Wis. (3/3/10)--The CUNA Technology Council presented its Best of Show Award to Switch Communications for its Network Access Point (NAP) data centers. The award was presented at the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., last week.
Switch Communications, a CUNA Strategic Services provider, received the CUNA Technology Council’s Best of Show Award. From left are: Rudy Pereira, Council chairman and senior vice president of operations and technology, Alliant CU, Chicago; Jason Mendenhall, Switch Communications; Dan Mica, president/CEO, Credit Union National Association (CUNA); Jay Liebe, Switch Communications; John Franklin, CUNA chief operating officer; Belinda Caillouet, council executive committee member and vice president of information technology, Spokane (Wash.) Teachers CU. (Photo provided by the CUNA Technology Council)
Switch Communications, a CUNA Strategic Services provider, aims to provide interconnectivity and economies of scale for credit unions through data centers. Located in Las Vegas, Switch’s SuperNAP facility is a co-location center that houses servers and storage systems for other businesses. SuperNAP’s residents include technology, media, financial and government entities. Jay Liebe, director of integration at Switch, said that credit unions are an integral part of the country’s growth. Credit unions using SuperNAP will realize cost savings and can protect the integrity of their business, he added. The CUNA Technology Council has presented Best of Show Awards since 2001.

CUNA seeks youth for Googolplex editorial board

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MADISON, Wis. (3/2/10)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is looking for up to 12 responsible young people from different backgrounds to work as paid editorial board members for Googolplex. Board members must be in Grades 4-12 in the fall of 2010 or, if home-schooled, of the same grade-level ages. Googolplex is part of the CUNA onlineEDGE suite of personal finance tools. Googolplex includes three customizable websites designed for youth that feature interactive games, videos and colorful stories dealing with money matters and life issues. Each Googolplex site attracts a specific age group: 5-Spot for elementary schoolers, A-J's for middle schoolers, and C-Note for high schoolers. Editorial board members commit to one year of service, from June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011. During that time, they complete surveys evaluating one new story and one new game by e-mail every month. They may also complete one or two additional evaluations on subjects other than stories or games. After writing their own consumer stories at the end of their terms, board members get paid for all their work. Board members must have:
* Internet access (at school, home, or a public library) and an e-mail account; * Ability to think critically about online articles and games ; * Creativity to research and write a story; and * Commitment to complete the evaluations and story reviews on time.
Young people can showcase and develop their writing skills, play online games, evaluate stories from people their own age, and learn about their finances--while getting paid. To learn more, use the resource link. Choose Googolplex. Then select 5-Spot, A-J's or C-Note to see each website live and learn more about the current editorial boards. Credit unions with interested youth members should send a request, including grade level of the potential applicant, for an application by March 22 to Kate Neuens, Googolplex youth editorial board liaison, at kneuens@cuna.coop. CUNA takes privacy seriously in Googolplex and does not display last names or sell information to third parties.

CU Service Centers Network officers elected

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WASHINGTON (3/2/10)--The Credit Union Service Centers Network Inc. board elected two new officers to its board at the Credit Union National Association’s Governmental Affairs Conference last week in Washington, D.C. Elected were: chairman, Bill Raker, president/CEO of US FCU, Burnsville, Minn. and director, Doug Allman, vice chairman of CO-OP Financial Services and president/CEO of NASA FCU, Bowie, Md. Allman and Raker join:
* Vice chairman, Steve Stapp, president/CEO, San Francisco FCU; * Secretary/treasurer, Doug Osborn, president/CEO, Anheuser-Busch Employees CU, St. Louis; * Director, Stan Hollen, president/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services; and * Director, Carroll Beach, president and chief operating officer, CO-OP Shared Branching.
CO-OP Shared Branching and Financial Service Centers Cooperative are joined through the Credit Union Services Centers Network to offer credit union members Shared Branching services.