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CUANY Coopera provide new resources to service Hispanics

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DES MOINES, Iowa (5/1/12)--The Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) and Coopera are collaborating to offer the 2012 Hispanic Member Growth Strategy, a program to help New York credit unions increase their memberships within the Hispanic community.

Under the program, Coopera will provide new resources to New York credit unions working to grow Hispanic membership.

With one out of two Hispanics being unbanked or underserved, serving Hispanic members provides significant opportunities for credit unions, Miriam De Dios, Coopera vice president.   

"Hispanics comprise the youngest, fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, making them ideal next-generation credit union members," De Dios added.

Five mid-sized credit unions ($25 million-$250 million in assets) participating in the 2012 Hispanic Member Growth Strategy program will receive a one-time Hispanic Opportunity Navigator (HON) assessment; semi-annual member analysis reports; access to Coopera's library of education tools including marketing guides, templates and webinars; and an annual follow-up to its HON assessment.

Three small credit unions (with assets under $25 million) in the program will receive a one-time member analysis report, and access to Coopera's library of education.

"The mission of the Hispanic Member Growth Strategy program is to help New York credit unions lead their customers down a path to financial responsibility," De Dios said. "Credit unions can provide many products and services to the Hispanic community that larger financial institutions cannot. The program will help New York credit unions identify Hispanic outreach opportunities within their neighborhoods and create affordable banking alternatives to meet the needs of this community."

Seventeen percent of New Yorkers are Hispanic, and by 2025, one in five New York residents will claim Hispanic heritage, according to the CUANY. "Because the Hispanic population is very young as compared to other U.S. ethnic groups, we expect New York credit unions will be interested in investing in service to Hispanic members as a part of their efforts to lower the average age of membership," said Allison Barna, director of the New York Credit Union Foundation and community development for the association.

The Credit Union National Association and Coopera Consulting, a subsidiary of the Iowa Credit Union League formed a partnership to design "El Poder es Tuyo" (the power is yours) a customizable, personal finance a Spanish-language personal finance Website for Hispanic credit union members and potential members. For more information use the link.

Remote payment council announces debit chipPIN working group

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WESTWOOD, N.J. (5/1/12)--The Secure Remote Payment Council (SRPc) has formed a working group to define and adopt a point of sale and ATM solution for chip and PIN acceptance for PIN debit networks. 

The group's goal is to provide interoperable adoption of chip and PIN debit payments to the industry, while supporting innovation, choice, and the proven track record of PIN security in reducing payment fraud, SRPc.

The working group includes leading PIN debit networks STAR, SHAZAM, PULSE, NYCE, AFFN, ACCEL/Exchange, ATH, Credit Union 24, CO-OP Financial Services and Jeanie.

SRPc  is a nonprofit, inter-industry trade association that supports the growth, development and market adoption of debit-based internet e-commerce and mobile channel payment methods that meet or exceed the security standards for PIN-based, card-present payments.  Its members include merchants, financial institutions, merchant processors, issuer processors, payment brand companies, payments authentication hardware providers, payments authentication software providers and payments consultants. 

In February, the SRPc published an open letter on chip and PIN calling on the industry to review the ramifications, understand their risks and come together to ensure that chip and PIN deployment in the U.S. is open to all market participants in an equitable manner.  This working group is a first step in answering that call to action.

The debit networks have a history of working together--especially with regard to improving security--to define standards that maintain the integrity and quality of the U.S. payment industry.

PIN debit is a growing payment method. In 2009, debit cards were used in 35% of noncash payment transactions. They eclipsed checks as the most frequently used noncash payment method, and 88% of debit cards supported both PIN- and signature-based transactions, according to Federal Reserve statistics on the debit card industry.  

The SRPc and the debit networks are concerned that the current international standards for chip technology do not consider the competitive, newly regulated, real-time payment infrastructure within the U.S. For example, the new regulations on debit card interchange fees and routing now require that issuers support at least two unaffiliated brands on debit cards to provide merchant routing choice--a requirement that will need to be accommodated within chip technology going forward, said the council.  Deployment of a single interoperable chip and PIN solution for PIN debit should put in place one of the biggest remaining puzzle pieces to spur the U.S. payment industry toward adoption of chip technology, said SRPc.