Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive
150x172_CUEffect.jpg
Contacts
LISA MCCUEVICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

Products Archive

Products

Serving Underserved conference discount ends today

 Permanent link
PHOENIX (5/1/09)--Today is the last day to take advantage of a discounted registration fee for the 35th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved to be held June 11-13 in Phoenix. The conference is sponsored by the Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. Confirmed speakers include:
* Donna Gambrell, director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund; * Gigi Hyland, National Credit Union Administration board member; * Errol T. Lewis, columnist for the New York Daily News, television commentator and former community development credit union organizer; * Ellen Seidman, senior policy advisor at Shorebank--one of the nation’s leading community development banks; and * Guy Messick, a pioneer in the development of credit union service organizations.
For more information, use the link.

Open Solutions uMonitor partnership has 20 FIs

 Permanent link
GLASTONBURY, Conn., and MEMPHIS, Tenn. (4/30/09)--Open Solutions Inc. and uMonitor announced Tuesday that more than 20 financial institutions, including credit unions, have selected their integrated services, offered through a new partnership. Open Solutions offers integrated enabling technologies for financial service providers throughout the U.S., and international markets. uMonitor is a financial solution services provider for banking customer acquisition and retention. CDC FCU, based in Atlanta, and Meritrust CU, Wichita, Kan., are among the clients who recently leveraged the partnership. By adding uMonitor's uOpen and uFund, an online account opening and funding solution, and uTransfer, an account-to-account money transfer solution, the credit unions now have end-to-end online delivery for new clients.

PSCU Financial gateway hub receives Metastorm award

 Permanent link
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (4/30/09)--PSCU Financial Services received a Metastorm Enterprise Process Advantage Award at Metastorm’s Global User’s Conference for its use of Metastorm Integration Manager to establish an enterprise-wide data gateway hub, based on a service-oriented architecture and Web services. Metastorm is a global software provider of enterprise architecture, business process analysis, and modeling and process management solutions. The first application for the new hub involved transmitting of more than one million messages a day with First Data Corp., a credit card services company. PSCU Financial Services’ data gateway hub is configured for high availability with complete hot failover capabilities between the cooperative’s data centers. If a response to a credit card transaction is not received, for example, the system will automatically execute backup actions. Additional processes will be added to the hub this year. In 2010, the credit union service organization (CUSO) expects it to process 100 million transactions a month. “Deploying this new technology streamlines processing and provides more efficient operations,” said Steve Lattman, the CUSO’s chief technology officer. “It also enables our cooperative to speed the development and introduction of new services.”

CO-OPs Next Generation Network at 1000-CUs mark

 Permanent link
ATLANTA (4/29/09)--CO-OP’s Next Generation Network (NGN) “switch”--the technology that makes shared-branching transactions possible--has reached 1,000 participating credit union clients. NGN, the most-often used switch for shared-branching programs, delivers improved security, enhanced functionality and lower cost to participants, said CO-OP Shared Branching. In addition to shared branching, credit unions using NGN can access various electronic funds transfer (EFT) end-points, including CO-OP Fast Branch kiosks, CO-OP My Deposit (home deposit) and CO-OP Mobile (mobile banking). Through one streamlined connection, credit unions can offer members a variety of account-access solutions that best position credit unions to compete against banks. “The capabilities afforded to credit unions with NGN are numerous. It continues to provide an easy and efficient method for credit unions to access shared branching,” said Carroll Beach, president/chief operating officer of CO-OP Shared Branching. “Driven by member needs, it is now the platform for a host of innovative products that fortify credit unions’ financial distribution channels. The success of NGN is only possible through the strong cooperation of credit union participants.” Nearly 1,300 credit unions offer shared branching (with 1,000 using the NGN platform) through CO-OP Shared Branching. That represents more than 80% of all shared-branching participants. With more than 3,600 branch locations available for member use worldwide, shared branching ranks fourth in the nation in terms of branches among financial institutions, behind Wells Fargo/Wachovia, Bank of America and Chase/Washington Mutual.

CU 24 adds 582000 members in first quarter

 Permanent link
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (4/28/09)--Credit Union 24, a credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale (POS) network, announced Monday the addition of four credit unions to its network and 12 long-term contract renewals in the first quarter of 2009. They represent a total of more than $4.3 billion in assets with 582,000 members. The new and renewing credit unions cited the long- and short-term benefits of credit union-owned POS and nationwide surcharge-free ATM access as vital tools in growing and retaining membership. “One of the many reasons for joining the Credit Union 24 network is the value and return on investment generated for our credit union and our members as a result of being a member-owned POS network,” said George Joseph, manager of Dade County FCU in Miami, Fla. He added that it would save members thousands on ATM surcharge fees. The four new credit unions that joined the network are Avestar CU, Bloomington, Minn.; Dade County FCU, Miami, Fla.; O.U.R. FCU, Eugene, Ore.; and Toro Employees FCU, Bloomington, Minn. The 12 renewing credit unions signed up to five-year contracts.

CU Benefits tailors discounts for CUs

 Permanent link
DALLAS (4/28/09)--Credit Union Resources, an affiliate of the Texas Credit Union League, has partnered with New Benefits to offer a discount card program, products and services to credit union members. CU Benefits Express offers savings on health-related items such as vision care, chiropractic visits, prescription drugs, dental care, hearing aids, alternative medicine, vitamins, nutritional supplements and diabetic supplies. “Whether it is glasses, contact lenses, prescription drugs, nutritional supplements or diabetic supplies, these discounts can add up to hundreds of dollars each year,” said Mark O’Bryan, CU Resources senior vice president and chief business officer. With the partnership, participating credit unions also can offer services through LifeLock, an identity-theft prevention program; TelaDoc, a network board of physicians that provide cross coverage consultations; and Coast to Coat Vision, which offers savings on eye care and supplies.

Program offers consumers car payment guarantee

 Permanent link
CINCINNATI (4/27/09)--LeaseCompare.com announced a program that would protect consumers who lose their jobs by covering their monthly car payments up to $600 per month for one year. The monthly car payments are made directly to the lien holder. Consumers are automatically enrolled in the program at no cost when they finance, lease or refinance a vehicle through LeaseCompare.com. “Consumers who are unsure about their current employment situation are hesitant about buying a new or used car,” said Tarry Shebesta, LeaseCompare.com president. “Programs like these can help spark auto sales and the economy by giving consumers confidence in buying a new or used car. For many, owning a reliable vehicle is critical to earning a living at all.” LeaseCompare.com provides direct-to-consumer auto leasing and financing. The site allows consumers to evaluate new and used vehicle leasing from credit unions, banks and other auto lenders. Consumers can lock in the lease or loan offer that appeals to them and apply for credit online.

CUNA webinar tuition includes archive access

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/24/09)--Credit unions now have access to archived versions of Credit Union National Association (CUNA) audio conferences and webinars that their staff members attended live as part of their registration tuition. The archived events, which will be available for six months, were included in the tuition price to help credit unions stretch their training dollars. Credit union professionals can log into CUNA’s new archived programs Web page to access the archived events they registered for, along with any events they have access to because other employees at their credit union registered for them. For more information, use the link.

Mortgagebot launches iPhone app

 Permanent link
MEQUON, Wis. (4/24/09)--iPhone users can now view and compare mortgage rates and fees from credit unions and other lenders with Mortgagebot’s Mortgage Marvel iPhone application. Mortgage Marvel extracts data from lenders’ product databases to provide mortgage quotes. “In seconds, iPhone users can download the free Mortgage Marvel application from the iPhone App Store to gain instant access to mortgage rate and fee quotes,” said Rick Allen, Mortgagebot director of strategic initiatives (Mortgage Banking April 1). Mortgagebot expects to grow its lenders’ marketshare with the application, as credit unions and banks can benefit from increased application volume from potential borrowers who use iPhones or iPod Touches. Mortgagebot is based in Mequon, Wis.

Products and Services briefs (04/22/2009)

 Permanent link
* ATLANTA (4/23/09)--Credit Union Service Corp., which operates as CO-OP Shared Branching, re-elected three members to its board of directors. Dick Ensweiler, president, Texas Credit Union League; Karol Griffin, board president, Credit Union Centers of Indiana; and John Radebaugh, president/CEO, North Carolina Credit Union League, were elected to three-year terms. CO-OP Shared Branching represents 80% of credit unions participating in shared branching ... * BROOKFIELD, Wis. (4/23/09)--Fiserv announced an outsourcing service to help large and mid-sized financial institutions--including credit unions--reduce their automated clearinghouse (ACH) processing costs. Fiserv already has outsourcing services for smaller institutions, but will offer a more robust version for larger institutions. Three models are available: hosted services, in which Fiserv runs the institution’s existing platform at the Fiserv Data Center; ASP, in which Fiserv hosts and performs various operational functions for the bank on a Fiserv software processing platform; and BPO, in which Fiserv hosts and runs all aspects of an institutions’ ACH processing. Fiserv is an information management technology provider based in Brookfield, Wis. ... * PHILADELPHIA (4/23/09)--VINtek announced that it processed a record number of lien applications from financial institutions for commercial vehicles, including tractors, trailers and other rolling stock. The record represents the highest volume of lien perfection applications VINtek has filed in 20 years. VINtek is a provider of automotive collateral management services and direct auto finance solutions for credit unions and banks ... * DENVER (4/23/09)--Credit Union Resource Group (CURG) has reelected two members to its board: Kerry Spradling, White Crown FCU, and Elizabeth Stetz, president/CEO of W.E.S.C. FCU to three-year terms. The elections took place during CURG’s annual meeting April 9. Others elected to leadership positions include: Chairman Horacio Peralta, president/CEO, B.C.S. Community CU, Wheat Ridge, Colo.; Vice Chairman, Bill Becker, public affairs manager, Norbel CU, Fort Collins, Colo.; Treasurer Steve Pearson, president/CEO, Fellowship CU, Lamar, Colo.; and Secretary Elizabeth Stetz, president/CEO, W.E.S.C. FCU, Casper, Wyo ...

CSS goes green for Earth Day

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/22/09)--CUNA Strategic Services Inc. (CSS) sold 61,000 of its environmentally friendly 2009 “Goinggreen” calendars and donated 10% of the proceeds to the Earth Day Network. Goinggreen features monthly green living tips and was printed on recycled paper. The tips encourage members to make small changes in their lives that can yield measurable results for the planet. CSS donated $2,800 to Earth Day Network, a non-profit group seeking to promote a healthy sustainable planet through education, politics, events, and consumer activism. CSS offers the popular green calendar again in the recently released 2010 calendar catalog, and will continue its pledge to donate 10% of the net proceeds to Earth Day Network.

PSCU Financial Debit card transactions up in 08

 Permanent link
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (4/22/09)--PSCU Financial Services, a credit union service organization (CUSO), reported that it processed 644 million debit card transactions in 2008--a 22% increase compared with the previous year. PSCU Financial processed 950 million credit, bill-payment and debit transactions--a 17.4% jump from 809 million in 2007. It also paid a cash dividend of $45.8 million to its owners, including $35 million from the sale of MasterCard and Visa stock (Cardline April 17). The CUSO also elected four credit union executives to its board of directors during the 2009 Member Forum in Orlando, Fla.:
* Jane Watkins, president/CEO, Virginia CU, Richmond, Va.; * Ariel Chun, president/CEO, University of Hawaii FCU, Honolulu; * John Walling, president/CEO, Christian Community CU, San Dimas, Calif.; and * Gene Foley, president/CEO, Harvard University Employees CU, Cambridge, Mass.
Foley replaces Gallagly, former CEO of Florida Central CU, who died March 31. PSCU Financial provides credit, debit, ATM, prepaid, bill payment and contact center solutions for credit unions.

Webinar on performance evaluation offers no surprises

 Permanent link
WESTLAKE, Ohio (4/22/09)--Cardwell will offer a free a webinar Thursday entitled, “No Surprises!” about credit unions’ performance evaluation process. The webinar is the third installment of Cardwell’s “Connect with Leaders” webinar series. It begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT. “No Surprises!” will provide information on innovations and best practices regarding a credit union’s performance evaluation process. It also aims to help CEOs and managers build confidence in their staff as they solve problems and achieve goals. The webinar also seeks to cover:
* How to handle the year-end discussion of overall performance; * How to integrate performance software tools; * How to link performance to compensation; * What key lessons have been learned; * What challenges remain; and * How to make the performance evaluation process valuable to the employee, boss or organization.
Cardwell is a software development and management-consulting firm based in Cleveland, Ohio.

ALM First surpasses 9 billion in managed funds

 Permanent link
DALLAS (4/21/09)--ALM First Financial Advisors reached $9.1 billion in funds under management in March because of new clients and existing clients’ growing deposits, the company said. ALM First is an advisory firm for credit unions that helps manage balance-sheet risk, investment portfolios and develop strategies to improve financial performance. The firm has 124 clients. “Today’s consumers are saving more and spending less, and credit unions are seeing this reflected in their deposit volumes,” said Angela Calvert, ALM First partner. “We see this trend in our growing volume of funds under management. And with regulatory issues drawing increased attention in today’s financial services industry, we also see more credit unions looking to third-party advisers for help with their asset-liability management.” Some of ALM’s growth also can be attributed to fears about the banking community’s stability. About 39% of Americans feel confident in the stability of banks, according to a survey ALM cited. “This ‘flight to safety’ creates a great opportunity for credit unions,” Calvert said.

CUNA Mutual MIA announce joint investment venture

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/20/09)-- CUNA Mutual Group’s MEMBERS Capital Advisors and Madison Investment Advisors, Inc., (MIA) announced a joint venture to form Madison Asset Management, LLC. The venture aims to bring more investment products and resources to credit unions, Jim Buchheim, CUNA Mutual vice president of corporate communications, told News Now. MEMBERS Capital also will be able to put a stronger focus on its core insurance options for credit unions. “While many investment firms have reduced staff, downsized or restructured as a result of the difficult markets over the last two years, MEMBERS Capital and MIA have decided to strengthen their capabilities, which will benefit both entities and our customers,” said Jim Metz, chief operating officer of the asset-management business line of CUNA Mutual. The arrangement adds about $5 billion in assets under management for MIA. CUNA Mutual will focus on developing retirement products and services, including pension and 401(k) products, annuities, life and long-term care products. MIA and its subsidiaries manage about $7.5 billion of actively managed mutual funds, fixed-income portfolios, risk-sensitive equity accounts and personalized balance portfolios. The company has about 75 full-time staff in Madison, Wis.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Chicago. The expected closing date for the venture is June 30. Staff working for MEMBERS Capital and MIA will be offered positions by Madison Asset Management, CUNA Mutual said. MEMBERS Mutual Funds and MEMBERS Managed Account Prorams will be offered through CUNA Brokerage Services and other broker-dealers, CUNA Mutual said.

Tool measures ROI for CUNA CFO Council Conference

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/20/09)--Credit union finance professionals can calculate their return on investment in attending the 15th annual CUNA CFO Council Conference and Roundtable, May 17-20, in Las Vegas. The council has posted a Conference ROI Calculator spreadsheet on its website. “The conference is not an expense, but an investment in the credit union's future,” said Peg Lamb, council treasurer and senior vice president of finance for DFCU Financial CU in Dearborn, Mich. “The networking alone is one of the best reasons to attend. Educational sessions that teach new concepts and offer take-aways that can be immediately implemented back at the credit union.” Individuals can input their conference expenses on the calculator, check all of the boxes of interest, and go to the bottom of the spreadsheet to find the ROI. “These are hard facts just waiting to be shared with your CEO about attending the conference,” says Lamb. The conference’s sessions include:
* State of the Economy--How the recession, mortgage crisis and bailouts will affect credit union balance sheets and earnings performance; * Liquidity Management--How Much is Enough, Where to Find More and How Much Will it Cost? * Effective Asset/Liability Management Strategies for Volatile Markets; * The Ethical Missteps in the 2008 Financial Crisis; * Merger Strategies for Uncertain Times; * Earnings Improvement Opportunities With ABC and Product Profitability Management; * Income Generators and Expense Reducers; * Financial Accounting Standards Board Update: Accounting Issues; and * Productive Chaos: Riding the Wave of Change.
A special National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) session will be held May 19 to discuss the corporate stabilization program. J. Owen Cole, director of NCUA’s Office of Capital Markets and Planning, will provide attendees on the latest information and regulations. For more information, use the links.

LoanLink Center CUSN ink marketing pact

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/17/09)--CUNA Mutual Group’s LoanLink Center is now providing external call center support services to Credit Union Service Network (CUSN) through a new marketing agreement that includes promoting The LoanLink Center lending and member services to CUSN clients. The agreement creates new resources for marketing the center to 95 customers and all potential customers of CUSN in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. The agreement allows CUSN to generate leads and interest for The LoanLink Center's lending solutions and member services. CUSN is partnered with the CO-OP Shared Branching network, which works through the Next Generation Network. The LoanLink Center’s strategic, long-term relationship with CO-OP Shared Branching makes this agreement advantageous for CUSN and The LoanLink Center, CUNA Mutual said.

PSCU Financial Services forum outlines growth strategies

 Permanent link
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (4/17/09)--PSCU Financial Services will offer preferential relationship pricing to credit unions that sign a binding letter of intent to move their business to the cooperative within 36 months, announced President/CEO David Serlo, at the credit union service organization's (CUSO) 2009 Member Forum.
PSCU Financial Services President/CEO David Serlo discusses products and services that can be part of a credit union's growth strategy at its 2009 Member Forum. (Photo provided by PSCU Financial Services)
"We will give credit unions the benefit of discounted pricing even though they are using a competitive platform to fulfill existing contracts for up to three years," he said. While cutting costs is important, Serlo emphasized this tactic isn't enough to overcome the existing economic hole. "Credit unions need to leverage the scalability of their partnership with PSCU Financial Services and other industry cooperatives, and employ strategies specifically designed to promote growth." He discussed several PSCU Financial programs:
* Its Contact Center, which can generate revenue, cross-sell products and services, and provide the kind of 24/7 support that generates member loyalty, Serlo said. * Its AdvisorsPlus consultants, which can help credit unions boost activation and use rates. Serlo noted that credit unions using the consulting service expanded use of their credit portfolios the past 18 months between 20% and more than 50%. * Risk management services, which help credit unions expand debit and credit platforms without undue risk, he said. "Over the past three years, fraud chargeoffs are just 3.5 cents per $100 in sales for members, compared to the national average of 6.5 cents," Serlo said.
Other growth strategies should include targeting and building relationships with Generation Y consumers and small business owners. PSCU Financial has introduced a product portfolio aimed at small business owners, and it equips credit unions to attract young adults through a private student loan CUSO and a mobile banking platform. PSCU Financial Services, based in St. Petersburg, Fla., serves more than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide. It is owned by more than 600 member credit unions, representing more than 13 million accounts and 822,000 subscribers. Its Contact Centers handle more than 16 million inquiries a year.

Andera expansion provides easier online packages

 Permanent link
PROVIDENCE, R. I. (4/16/09)--Andera, a provider of online account opening and funding solutions for financial institutions including credit unions, announced that new packaged Editions are available. Editions are solutions that aim to reduce the complexity, cost and marketing associated with online account opening. Andera’s Editions include:
* Community Edition, a starter solution for online account opening, with low startup costs and quick implementation; * Premium Edition, a mid-range solution that aims to offer functionality and easy implementation; * Premium + Edition, which offers the functionality of Premium Edition plus integration to core and Internet banking systems; and * Enterprise Edition, a flagship solution for online account opening with advanced customization, integration, logic and workflow capabilities.
Organizing its platform into the Editions series indicates Andera’s strategy to turn the online environment into a way for institutions to generate revenue, according to Craig Wilke, Andera vice president of products. “We heard loud and clear that the market is looking for online account opening solutions based on best practices with simpler setup and quicker time to market,” he said.

Diebold takes steps on environmental impact

 Permanent link
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (4/16/09)--ATM manufacturer Diebold is initiating several efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Diebold has selected its long-time associate, James N. Merrell, to lead its environmental stewardship initiative. “Climate change is very real and natural resources are actively diminishing,” Merrell said. “The time is now to take responsibility for the impact our operations may have on the environment and to serve as active participants in the global recovery effort.” Merrell’s first priority is to establish environmental policies, including developing a performance baseline for resource consumption. He also formed a global advisory board to implement policies, collect data, evaluate performance and share information. Other initiatives Diebold has undertaken:
* Diebold’s Opteva ATMs are among the most energy efficient in the industry, but the company’s engineers continue to work to make them more efficient, Diebold said. * Diebold is participating in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a nonprofit organization that facilitates dialogue between institutional investors, purchasing organizations and senior corporate management from large companies. Diebold contributes to CDP’s global gas-emissions database and formuls information to motivate governments and corporates to prevent climate change. * Existing buildings Diebold owns in Northeast Ohio also are being retrofitted for more effective control of HVAC systems for enhanced energy efficiency. * The company also has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building. Diebold’s Greensboro, N.C., warehouse was designed for silver certification under the LEED Green Building Rating system. To be LEED-certified, buildings must meet the highest green building and performance measures, and be deemed an environmentally responsible, healthy place to live or work.

PCLender.com paper addresses mortgage lending

 Permanent link
HONOLULU (4/15/09)--Risky business models that led to the failure of many national commercial banks and non-depository mortgage bankers have opened up an opportunity for credit unions to gain mortgage lending market share, according to a white paper from PCLender.com. The paper is “The Future of Mortgage Lending: Why the time is right for credit unions to increase market share and how they can effectively compete in the new marketplace.” It recommends that credit unions grow their share by exploiting their core advantages. The advantages include strong relationships with members, healthy balance sheets and an abundance of expertise, according to paper author Lionel Urban, PCLender.com president. The paper also addresses case studies from Patrion Mortgage and Hawaii State FCU, Honolulu. Both have grown their market share in mortgage lending through Web-based tools.

Teres Solutions opens conference to all CUs

 Permanent link
AUSTIN, Texas (4/15/09)--Teres Solutions is opening up its annual user conference to all credit unions. The conference, “Shine in ’09” will be offered May 31 to June 3 in Grapevine, Texas. The conference will have two tracks: one for Teres Solutions Software Application for Integrated Lending and another open to anyone in the credit union industry. Teres develops direct and indirect lending software products for financial institutions, including credit unions. Educational tracks and industry panels will cover how credit unions can expand this year, lending best practices, compliance imperatives, auto industry trends, merchant lending, automating cross-selling and up-selling. Many sessions will feature demonstrations of new technologies, Teres said. “With the credit union share of the auto lending market jumping to 25% this year, now more than ever, credit unions need a forum where they can share ideas on how to best take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime member and lending market grab,” said Tim Kelly, Teres CEO.

CollectionsMember Service audio conference soon

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/14/09)--The Credit Union National Association will offer an audio conference on collections and member service April 27 in addition to two audios this week on due diligence and account opening issues. “Collections and Member Service--How Can They Work Together?” will start at 12 p.m. CDT. The hour-long audio will cover:
* How financial counseling can benefit members and a credit union; * How to make collections a priority and why it should be a top priority; * What collection resources are available; * Three steps to create a stronger collection process; * Three types of delinquencies; and * Three keys to collections success.
“Vendor Due Diligence” will be offered today at 1 p.m. CDT. Topics in the audio include:
* Recent National Credit Union Administration guidance on evaluation of third-party relationships: * Effective planning for third-party arrangements; * Credit union-wide vendor-risk assessments; * Basic contracting tips; and * Creating solid staff oversight and quality control.
The audio offered Thursday, “Account Opening Issues: Signature Cards, Disclosures and Account Agreements” will begin at 1 p.m. CDT. The audio will cover:
* Membership vs. account ownership; * Signature cards; * Disclosures; and * When to update signature cards.
For more information, use the links.

Products and Services briefs (04/10/2009)

 Permanent link
* WAUSAU, Wis. (4/13/09)--Members of Connexus CU, Wausau, Wis., can now take advantage of mobile banking by signing up for the service through Connexus’ website. “With mobile banking, our members can now manage their account while they’re in line at the coffee shop or going from one meeting to the next,” said Jackie Edwards, Connexus business development manager. “We’ve literally erased the boundaries of traditional banking and given our members more freedom, and ultimately, more time in their day to do things.” Connexus has $255 million in assets ... * GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (4/13/09)--A series of “Tune-Up” tools are available for credit unions through Lender*VP, CU*Answers’ division of lending experts. The “Tune-Up” program is offered on three levels--the 5,000 Mile Tune-Up, the 25,000 Mile Tune-up and the 50,000 Mile Tune-Up. The first level is free to CU*BASE users and includes a phone consultation with Lending*VP staff. The second level includes the complete 5,000 Mile Tune-Up, a one-day onsite implementation and training visit. During the visit, a Lender*VP staff member recommends lending efficiency and profitability suggestions. For information about the 50,000 Mile Tune-Up, contact CU*Answers ... * TEMPE, Ariz. (4/13/09)--DiversityBusiness.com has named LemmonTree Enterprises Inc. as one of Arizona’s top small businesses on the Div100 list for the fourth year in a row. LemmonTree specializes in financial services marketing for credit unions and offers “Credit Union Marketing University.” Div100 is the ninth annual listing of the state’s top 100 small businesses ... * GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (4/13/09)--WESCO Net Web Services announced it has received more than 10,000 requests in the past three years for website updates. Web Services hosts 40 credit union sites and CUAnswers.com, and more than 120 websites with 250 domain names. The company also has doubled its staff in the past three years. WESCO Net is a network technology solutions provider ... * SAN DIEGO (4/13/09)--CUSO Financial Services (CFS) has been named by Diversity Business.com as one of the top businesses in the nation.. DiversityBusiness names to the list companies representing the nation’s top multicultural earners who challenge the notion that small businesses are insignificant (Obesity, Fitness and Wellness Week March 28). CFS will be honored at an awards ceremony April 29-May 1 in Orlando, Fla. CFS is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. ...

iPay Technologies offers new business bill-pay

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (4/10/09)--iPay Technologies has released Biz 2.0, a new bill pay and electronic invoicing solution. More than 390 credit unions and banks are offering the solution to small businesses nationwide, iPay said. Biz 2.0 integrates bill pay processes with iPay’s electronic invoice generation, BillPayperless. The solution allows small businesses to manage their payables and receivables with one tool (Datamonitor April 9). iPay is an independent online bill payment provider for financial institutions.

Progress Software names Fiserv subsidiary Partner of Year

 Permanent link
BEDFORD, Mass. (4/9/09)--Progress Software Corp. has named a Fiserv subsidiary the 2009 Progress Application Partner of the Year. Fiserv, based in Brookfield, Wis., is a core processor for financial institutions, including credit unions. Fiserv was noted for its continued growth and deployment of solutions built on the Progress OpenEdge business application development platform and the Sonic ESB (enterprise service bus). Fiserv Precision software uses OpenEdge and Sonic to produce account processing software. With Sonic, Fiserv has integrated its core banking application and other products so users can tailor the technology for individual needs. “Our partnership with Progress has helped us grow at 20% a year since 1998,” said Mark Blankespoor, Fiserv senior vice president and general manager, processing services and bank solutions. Progress and Fiserv partnered in 1991. Progress Software Corp., Bedford, Mass., provides application infrastructure software for developing, deploying, integrating and managing business applications.

Bluepoint Solutions launches remote deposit capture

 Permanent link
VISTA, Calif. (4/8/09)--Bluepoint Solutions has launched a remote deposit capture (RDC) product that enables credit unions to allow members to deposit checks from their home or office using a scanner and a computer with a secure Internet connection. RDC Consumer has a user-friendly interface and a simple sign-on procedure for scanning checks that can be used with credit unions’ existing Web-based home banking systems. By making deposits more convenient, RDC can help attract and retain members, provide a new source of fee income and reduce operating costs by shifting deposits away from the teller line. Southwest Corporate FCU, Plano, Texas, works with Bluepoint Solutions to offer the latest RDC services to member credit unions, according to Brad Ganey, senior vice president, payment services. “Due to its emerging popularity among credit unions and community banks, we anticipate consumer capture technology will become a commodity among all financial institutions, along the same lines of general online banking capabilities,” Ganey said. Bluepoint’s RDC Consumer product is integrated with its transport service, which compiles image files from other RDC products--branch, teller, merchant and ATM -- for immediate clearing. Image files from deposits are maintained in a central depository for easy retrieval by the credit union.

CU Funding Access to help CUs access CDFI funds

 Permanent link
DENVER, Colo. (4/7/09)--Applying for community development financial institution (CDFI) certification positions low-income credit unions to qualify for the next round of U.S. Treasury Department funding, according to the CU Funding Access Team. The next round of funding is expected to reach $145 million, with availability of funds to be announced in August/September. A CU Funding Access release noted that for the first time, matching funds are not required. “Credit unions have been startlingly underrepresented in past funding rounds--mainly because they have neglected to become CDFI-certified and apply for funding,” the release stated. CU Funding Access Team can help credit unions obtain CDFI certification. The team is comprised of four consultants who have worked extensively with credit unions: William Myers, Blake Myers, Paola Diaz-Torrez and Molly Schar.

Account Opening Issues audio set for April 16

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/7/09)--An audio conference, “Account Opening Issues: Signature Cards, Disclosures and Account Agreements,” will be offered by the Credit Union National Association April 16. The conference will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. CDT. Listeners will learn how to:
* Examine membership vs. account ownership and identify how they are different; * Learn why properly completed signature cards are so important; * Discover what important information is contained in the disclosures provided to members; and * Identify when signature cards should be updated.
Mary-Lou Heighes, Credit Union Compliance Expert and president of Compliance Plus Inc., will lead the conference. She provides training for credit unions and leagues nationwide. For more information, use the link.

Americas CU Conference adds special group offer

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/6/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will offer groups of five or more registrants for this year’s America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) free training through the CUNA Strategic Planning Institute. This year’s conference is scheduled to take place in Boston June 21-24. Anyone who sends five or more registrants to the conference will receive five registrations for the institute--a $5,475 value. The institute will take place June 19-21 in Boston. Attendees who want to receive the special offer must register five or more by April 30 and reserve lodging at one of the conference hotels. By May 1, CUNA will contact all credit unions with five or more attendees and provide instructions on how to register for the CUNA Strategic Planning Institute. For more information, use the link.

OpenClose announces mortgage software for CUs

 Permanent link
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (4/3/09)--OpenClose, developer of Web-based mortgage lending software, announced it has launched MemberAssist, a credit union-specific mortgage software platform. “MemberAssist enables credit unions to increase efficiencies in the lending process by integrating member application data into the same system used to process the loan,” said J.P. Kelly, OpenClose president of operations. The solution provides credit unions with tools to push information--such as loan rates, products and online mortgage applications--to members and prospective borrowers through online channels. Its software can be configured as a stand-alone website or integrated into an existing site. MemberAssist is the newest addition to the OpenClose AssistSeries, which is a full mortgage software suite.

Cypress adds NADA used-car guide to Mark IV module

 Permanent link
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (4/3/09)--Cypress Software Systems has added two trade-in value categories, “Rough Trade-In” and “Average Trade-In” from the NADA Used Car Guide, to its Mark IV Automobile Valuation Interface Module. The categories join the existing “Clean Trade-In,” “Clean Loan” and “Clean Retail” values. Mark IV, a loan software platform, automates the consumer loan application and decision process. Member service representatives key in application information into the software, and then receive credit reports, sources of repayment and loan policies to help speed up the loan decision process. Cypress Software Systems develops automated credit-application-decision support technology for financial institutions, including credit unions.

Webinars aim to help members in struggling economy

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/2/09)--Credit unions can learn how to reassure credit union members in the current economy by communicating strengths and the benefits of membership, and explore ways to help struggling members with their finances during three Credit Union National Association webinars this month. “Communicating Your Credit Union’s Strengths” will show how to proactively communicate credit unions’ strengths, reassure existing members and attract new ones. The April 9 webinar explores new ideas and initiatives for attracting members and how to explain the benefits of membership. Attendees also will learn how to set clear expectations to elevate service standards and how to recognize success. “Best Practices for Implementing a Financial Counseling Program” will help credit unions set up a program to teach members how to manage their finances. The April 15 webinar will detail step-by-step considerations for implementing a financial counseling program. Attendees also will receive tips and advice from three financial counselors who helped implement successful programs at their credit unions. “Foreclosure Prevention: How Can You Help Your Members?” will present possible solutions and resources April 16 that can help struggling members meet their mortgage obligations. Attendees also will learn how to evaluate a member’s capacity for a sustainable solution. Retention and liquidation options, and resources for foreclosure prevention, will be explored. More than 30 webinars are scheduled during the second quarter to educate credit union personnel about: finance and economics; human resources and training; security; lending and collections; management and leadership; marketing and business development; operations, sales, and service; and regulatory compliance. Archived versions of many recently held webinars also are available. For more information, use the links.

Prime Alliance CUDL postpone 2009 Lending Symposium

 Permanent link
TUKWILA, Wash. and ONTARIO, Calif. (4/2/09)--Prime Alliance Solutions Inc. and CUDL, two credit union lending service organizations, announced Tuesday they have rescheduled their 2009 “Driving Home” lending symposium, for 2010. Prime Alliance and CUDL are looking closely at alternatives to deliver the symposium’s educational sessions to credit unions this year, and expect to have a plan in place in the near future. Prime Alliance and CUDL said they recognize the impact recent events have made on credit unions’ bottom lines. Credit unions are monitoring travel and controllable expenses, and are focusing on helping members through the economy. “We understand our industry and recognize our customers are putting all their energies into helping members through these challenging times,” said Joe Brancucci, chairman and CEO of Prime Alliance Solutions, Inc. Tony Boutelle, president/CEO of CUDL, added: “Credit unions are leading by example through the credit crisis, continuing to lend where others have stopped. We believe it is vital that we remain focused wholly on supporting our credit unions’ efforts and postpone the symposium this year.” The two organizations confirmed they will host the “Driving Home” symposium in May 2010 in Las Vegas. Additional information will be announced within two weeks.

Corporate Synergies adds VACORP to system

 Permanent link
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (4/2/09)--Corporate Synergies LLC recently completed a core processing conversion, adding Virginia Corporate FCU (VACORP) to its core processing system and member interface. The credit union service organization (CUSO) now serves three corporate credit unions: VACORP, Southeast Corporate FCU and Georgia Central CU. Lynchburg, Va.-based VACORP converted from U.S. Central’s CCUN system to Open Solutions’ TCCUS core processing system and customized its Member$MART user interface, both hosted by Corporate Synergies. Through the Corporate Synergies CUSO, the corporates can share costs and eliminate duplication of common business functions. The CUSO also provides operational and technical support for the corporate’s core processing platform.