DES MOINES, Iowa (4/6/11)--TMG has released a white paper on how community financial institutions, including credit unions, can use reloadable prepaid cards to reach a wider network of consumers through their business clients. “One business owner represents an entire community of potential cardholders,” writes Konrad Christensen in the new white paper, “Getting Down to Business: How Financial Institutions Can Attract and Retain Business Clients with Reloadable Cards.” “Most small to mid-sized companies are linked to hundreds of customers, employees, partner firms and suppliers--each representing a group of prospective reloadable card users.” Credit unions can “touch” consumers through existing or new business members--who have existing relationships with those consumers--rather than expending resources on a hit-and-miss process of marketing to consumers without prior relationships, Christensen said. Reloadable prepaid cards as an alternative to payroll checks is one of the uses Christensen explores in the white paper. Beyond the benefits of providing a progressive, convenient service to business members, using the reloadable cards as payroll give the issuing financial institution access to consumers it may not otherwise reached, he said. A credit union service organization, TMG’s core products include credit, debit, ATM and prepaid solutions, and online reporting, item processing, ACH, ALM and printing services.
SAN FRANCISCO (4/6/11)--CMG Mortgage Insurance Co. (CMG MI) has launched a homebuyer education program for Wisconsin credit unions offering low-down-payment home loans through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). The program is free to credit unions and their members applying for WHEDA loans. WHEDA works with lenders, developers, local government, nonprofits and community groups to provide low-cost, fixed interest rate mortgages to low- and moderate-income families and individuals. WHEDA requires borrowers to complete a homebuyer education program as part of the application process. To assist Wisconsin credit unions in meeting this requirement, CMG MI has joined with The Housing Education Program, a division of Consumer Credit Counseling Services. “The Housing Education Program’s curriculum is innovative in its focus on the elements that drive long-term success as homeowners, even providing a customized written action plan to members completing the program,” said Joe Dillon, senior vice president and general manager of CMG MI. “Working together, we have crafted a phone counseling process that is both accessible and relevant. In addition, as long as the member remains in the home, this program makes housing specialists and credit counselors available free of charge.” While the mortgage is being processed and underwritten, the member can begin the homebuyer education modules and the budget worksheet. When the credit union receives a CMG MI mortgage insurance certificate, the member can call to set up the pre-closing counseling appointment. A joint venture between CUNA Mutual Insurance Society and PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., CMG Mortgage Insurance Co. provides private mortgage guaranty insurance to protect credit unions against potential losses if a borrower defaults.