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White Paper: Realtors Can Benefit CUs

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (4/29/13)--A new white paper from credit union service organization CU Realty Services seeks to ease credit union fears about working with realtors.

While some credit unions think they might lose first-mortgage loans by working with agents, just the opposite happens, said Mike Corn, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based CU Realty Services president/CEO.

"Credit unions worry they'll lose first-mortgage loans, but our client credit unions saw business grow," he said. And while some fear members will receive poor service, members whose credit unions had strong real estate programs gained significant service benefits, Corn said.

The paper is based on a survey of 200 employees at member credit unions about the perceived disadvantages and advantages of working with realtors on real estate deals for their members.

The No. 1 concern among more than a third of respondents was that realtors "can refer members' purchase mortgage loans elsewhere." The next biggest fears were that agents would "provide poor service" and that they "may not understand/work well using our processes."

Yet credit unions' concerns were not confirmed by survey data, the paper said. When asked about the most relevant advantages to realtor relations, 41.2% said they were "a great value-added resource for our members." Just as many said realtors "can help us keep our members' purchase mortgage loans at the credit union." Another 17.6% percent said real estate agents "can refer new business back to our credit union."

Results indicated that 38.5% of respondents said offering real estate services would mean improved services for their membership base and 30.8% said they would grow purchase mortgage business. Another 15.4% specified they want to strengthen their position as members' primary financial institution.

Getting Americans to choose credit unions as their best financial institution is a strategic vision for the credit union movement. One of the ways to do this--through credit unions' Unite for Good campaign--is by fostering service excellence, said the Credit Union National Association. Consumers can find out more information about credit unions at aSmarterChoice.org.

CO-OP Partnership Offers Mobile Card And Alert

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (4/26/13)--CO-OP Financial Services is partnering with Ondot Systems of San Jose, Calif., to provide its client credit unions with a CO-OP-branded service that allows credit union members to control their card use.

"CO-OP Financial Services is dedicated to providing credit unions with the means to offer greater control and convenience to their cardholding members, and greater assurance of fraud protection," said Stan Hollen CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO.

"With the dominance of smartphones, mobile banking is emerging as the primary channel for member account access," he said. "This service will provide credit unions with another opportunity to strengthen relationships with members and increase the transaction activity of the cards they issue."

Cardholders can lock and unlock their cards and set controls and alerts based on their preferences related to transaction type, merchant, location and thresholds.

Members can perform specific self-service functions, including balance inquiries and funds transfers, and card management functions such as reporting fraudulent transactions and lost/stolen cards.

The service will be available by the end of year, CO-OP said.

Symbionce Financial Solutions Partners With New Jersey League

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EAST HANOVER, N.J. (4/26/13)--Symbionce Financial Solutions LLC, a New Jersey-based home loan credit union service organization (CUSO) serving credit unions nationwide, is the New Jersey Credit Union League's newest business partner.

Symbionce is owned exclusively by credit unions and is partnered with 75 credit unions nationwide (The Daily Exchange April 23). Its fully customizable real estate services include mortgage and home-equity loan originations and servicing.

"Our management team has an extensive background in member service as well as exceptional direct credit union work experience specific to the products, services and specialized financial solutions we offer," said Ann South, Symbionce managing member. "Our mortgage and home-equity services support your need to stay on top of all aspects of your home-loan programs without having to add to staff or incur expenses for specialized computer systems and expanded office space."

Symbionce provides credit unions with on-line access to home loans so the credit union can maintain control of its portfolio. Client credit unions view every aspect of individual home loans, from application through processing, underwriting, closing and life of loan services.

Harland Clarke Nets 10 Awards For Creative Work

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas (4/25/13)--Harland Clarke, a provider of integrated marketing services, payment and security solutions to more than 11,000 financial institutions nationwide, has been recognized for its creative efforts, with 10 awards.

Harland Clarke is a CUNA Strategic Services Provider.

Harland Clarke received seven 2012 American Graphic Design Awards for excellence in direct mail, email and Internet marketing campaigns. Among the clients Harland Clarke worked with in earning the awards was Honda FCU, Torrance, Calif.

The awards are sponsored by Graphic Design USA (GDUSA), a news magazine for graphic designers and other creative professionals.

The GDUSA awards, which spotlight the fastest-growing and most valuable areas of design for business, are prized by advertising agencies, institutional designers and publishers nationwide. This is the seventh year that Harland Clarke has received top honors in the competition.

The company also received two Platinum and one Gold Awards in the 2012 MarComm Awards Competitions. Its Platinum award was for a catalogue created for A.T. Cross and a second Platinum for a campaign developed for PNC Business Credit. A brochure produced for the PNC Business Credit earned a Gold MarCom Award. All three wins are in the direct mail category of the international competition.

Sponsored by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, the annual MarCom Awards competition judges creativity and excellence in the work of corporate marketing and communications teams, advertising agencies, design firms, public relations firms and production companies worldwide.

Supervisory Committee/Internal Audit Conference Dates Set

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MADISON, Wis. (4/25/13)--The CUNA Supervisory Committee and Internal Audit Conference, Dec. 8-11 at Las Vegas, Nev., will address new trends that directly affect the oversight roles of attendees, the Credit Union National Association announced.

Through a curriculum specific to credit union supervisory committees and internal auditors, the conference provides attendees with knowledge and updates on their roles and oversight duties in the coming year, CUNA said.

"The board and supervisory committee uphold the trust and reliability for which credit unions are known," said Kevin Smith, CUNA director of volunteer education. "By empowering them to keep their knowledge and oversight sharp, we're looking after the credit union movement as a whole."

The annual conference will cover topics such as fraud, types of audits, growth of internal audit departments and oversight.

Attendees also have the opportunity to earn credits toward their Certified Credit Union Volunteer Designation by completing applicable on-site sessions and exams.

CUDL Expands Into Canadian Market

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ONTARIO, Calif. (4/24/13)--CU Direct Corp.'s CUDL auto lending network has expanded its operations into Canada.

CUDL, which includes more than U.S. 1,060 credit unions and 9,400 auto dealers, has launched Auto Premier, based in Montreal, Quebec, which will leverage its products and technology to provide automotive Web strategies and solutions to the Canadian credit union marketplace.

The company has partnered with Canada's largest credit union/cooperative, Desjardins Group, in developing the credit union's new auto research and buying website, eSpaceAuto.com.  Desjardins Group, based in Levis, Quebec, serves 5.2 million members throughout Canada and has $195 billion in assets. 

The credit union's new website, which incorporates the technology and e-tools used in CUDL's lending services solution, CUDL AutoSMART website program, will help connect its members to more than 2,200 auto dealer and merchant partners throughout Quebec to shop for and buy their next vehicle.

The new site and program also will provide Desjardins Group with a key resource designed to enhance both member brand awareness and overall member satisfaction, and help drive member financing at the dealership.

CO-OP EMV Test Successful

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (4/23/13)--CO-OP Financial Services received its Europay-MasterCard-Visa certification with Visa, following a successful test with a credit union's global membership.

EMV-enabled Visa debit cards functioned successfully in at least six countries for members and staff of Bank-Fund Staff FCU, Washington D.C., with online transaction processing performed by CO-OP Financial Services. 

"CO-OP is developing EMV technology in a phased approach and we expect to make our online EMV debit solution generally available to clients later this quarter," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO.

The credit union tested CO-OP's Phase I processing solution of online EMV transactions from a contact EMV card.

The credit union serves employees and family members of World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. 

The credit union issued 11 EMV-enabled Visa debit cards to members and staff during the pilot, which extended from late December to early April. This is the first step in the credit union's overall EMV strategy.

Staff members used the cards in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Romania, Peru and Uruguay."

TMG Fraud Strategies Saved Clients $12M

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DES MOINES, Iowa (4/23/13)--Fraud detection and prevention strategies offered by The Members Group (TMG) saved clients, including credit unions, more than $12 million in potential fraud losses in 2012, the payments processor said last week during a webinar.

After investing in a custom set of fraud solutions, each TMG client realized a significant return on investment last year, explained the webinar's host, Karen Postma, director of client services. "When fraud was confirmed, the TMG Fraud Detection team put a stop to the suspicious transactions, saving our clients not only financial--but reputational--damage."

TMG's fraud products and services include several new technologies, such as Fraud Text Alerts and Adaptive Control, a fraud detection solution that monitors cardholder behavior over time, assigning custom, real-time strategies on an individual cardholder level. That will become increasingly important as the country migrates to Euro-Mastercard-Visa standard and fraudsters shift away from counterfeiting in favor of account takeovers, Potsma said.

"In account-takeover cases, a fraudster poses as a legitimate applicant to gain access to credit," Postma added. "Often he will behave himself for many months to earn an increased credit line. Then, without warning, the fraudster will rack up huge balances and suddenly default."

DDoS Is CUNA Tech Council's May 1 Webinar Topic

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MADISON, Wis. (4/22/13)--"Mitigating and Responding to a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack" is the May 1 topic of a CUNA Technology Council webinar.

Speakers Bill Podborny, chief security officer of Alliant CU in Chicago, and Glen Roberts, information security researcher of University FCU in Austin, Texas, will lead the session through the following topics:
  • A short intro to DDoS;
  • Detecting the signs of a DDoS attack;
  • Questions to ask a vendor if you are considering a contract with DDoS mitigation provider;
  • A breakdown of one credit union's experience with a DDoS attack; and 
  • Incident response best practices.
Podborny oversees corporate data security, incident response, and corporate business continuity efforts for Alliant, and Roberts manages the IT Infrastructure and Security team at University.

The free webinar is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (CT). Use the resource link to register.

CUNA Management School Attendees Can Earn CCUEs

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MADISON, Wis. (4/22/13)--The Credit Union National Association is providing an opportunity to earn CUNA Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) designation at a 2013 CUNA Management School, July 14-26, in Madison, Wis. 

"This program is both for those new to the credit union movement and those that have been around but are looking to add to their knowledge of what makes a credit union successful," says Meghann Dawson, manager for instruction design for CUNA's Center for Professional Development. " By earning CCUE designation, a person gains greater overall perspective of the movement and becomes more adept at strategizing for success."

CUNA Management School not only helps develop effective leadership skills, it also, in cooperation with the highly regarded Graduate School of Business at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, offers a blended curriculum of university classes and experiential learning. Many graduates go on to hold upper-level executive positions at credit unions and credit union organizations.

CUNA Management School faculty is comprised of distinguished University of Wisconsin professors, credit union professionals, attorneys and industry experts. The full curriculum takes the form of three two-week terms over consecutive summers.

Credit union-specific topics and activities included in each year's programs include:

  • First year: management, leadership, philosophy, risk management and lending;
  • Second year: financial accounting, strategic management, executive presentation skills, crisis management and compliance program management; and
  • Third year: innovation, business law and ethics, strategic marketing and social media.

Through the use of a sophisticated asset-liability management simulation created by Stanford University, attendees also will have the chance to manage a credit union's finances first-hand without the risks involved in making real-life, complex financial decisions.

In addition to graduating, students who successfully complete three comprehensive exams, two written projects and an oral exam over the course of their three-year curriculum earn the CUNA Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) designation.

CUNA Management School was founded in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the goal of helping credit unions develop future leaders and a leadership pipeline to their fullest potential. Three other regional schools have since been developed around the country with the same goal in mind.

Use the resource link below for more information about the CUNA Management School in Madison, to find a school in your region, and for registration information.

CUDL Pre-approval Programs Fund $291M In Auto Loans

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ONTARIO, Calif. (4/22/13)--CUDL, administrators of an auto lending network consisting of more than 1,000 credit unions and 9,400 auto dealers, announced that its pre-approval programs have helped credit unions fund $291.3 million in member auto loans during the past three years.

More than 350 credit unions have implemented the credit union service organization's pre-approval programs, with 77% of the programs' pre-approved members who visit the dealership getting vehicle loans funded through their credit unions.

The number of credit union-funded loans through the SMART Approval program tripled between 2011 and 2012, while the number of credit union-funded loans through CUDL's Pre-Approval Campaign Manager program jumped 57% during the period.

SMART Approval helps credit unions provide members with an online pre-approval application and loan decision through the credit union's website. This streamlines the loan process and eliminates member inconvenience in waiting for a loan decision at the dealership. As a result, credit unions enhance their ability to retain member loans, while improving the member's overall auto buying experience.

The Pre-Approval Campaign Manager program helps credit unions integrate their pre-approved member data into the CUDL system to ensure members receive the same marketed loans and rates when they go to the dealership.

CU Is First To Implement MasterCard Digital Wallet

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (4/19/13)--Lake Trust CU, a member-owner of credit union service organization PSCU, is the first U.S. credit union to deploy MasterCard's MasterPass digital wallet service, PSCU announced.

PSCU's initial implementation of MasterPass provides online shoppers with a simple check-out process by eliminating the need to enter detailed shipping and card information with every purchase. In addition to MasterCard cards, consumers can use other branded credit, debit and prepaid cards.

"PSCU member-owners like Lake Trust are forging into exciting new territory to more deeply engage members with services that truly simplify their lives and add value to their credit union relationship," said Michael J. Kelly, president/CEO of St. Petersburg, Fla.-based PSCU. "MasterPass is a prime example of how credit unions can quite easily and quickly enhance their standing as the preferred financial service provider in their communities."

Members of Lansing, Mich.-based Lake Trust CU can register their payment cards, store their payment, billing and shipping information and set their security credentials and preferences through the credit union's own branded MasterPass site. Once registered, members can select MasterPass as their payment method at participating merchants and speed through checkout.

"Payment methods and channels are evolving at an incredibly rapid pace," said David Snodgrass, Lake Trust CU president/CEO. "Secure and simple payment technology like MasterPass gives our members greater opportunities for transactional convenience. We want our members to know Lake Trust is committed to continual innovation in financial services that can enrich their lives."

Ensenta Receives Patent For CO-OP Check Imaging Software

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REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (4/18/13)--Ensenta Corp., a remote deposit capture software provider, has been issued a patent for risk mitigation software widely employed by credit unions through the CO-OP My Deposit check imaging suite.

"CO-OP Financial Services congratulates Ensenta on the Patent Office's decision to grant this patent," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO and a member of Ensenta Corp.'s board of directors. "It affirms our business partner's significant research and development efforts over the last 10 years, and the high quality of base technology available to credit unions through product providers such as CO-OP."

The Ensenta software helps protect credit unions from accepting fraudulent check images in remote deposit applications. The software evaluates the images based on 150 qualities--too dark, too light, check number location and so on--to ensure authenticity. The credit union member benefits because the checks they deposit can be cleared in real-time. 

Ensenta sought the patent to protect its intellectual property, provide additional client confidence in the technology and enable it to more vigorously promote product features and benefits.

The Ensenta software is used in the CO-OP My Deposit remote deposit check imaging suite, which includes CO-OP My Deposit for individuals and small businesses; CO-OP My Deposit Mobile for mobile device usage and CO-OP My Deposit Branch for back office processing.

TMG Hosts Card Fraud Prevention Webinar Today

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DES MOINES, Iowa (4/18/13)--The Members Group (TMG) will host a free, hour-long webinar, "The Fight Against Card Fraud--ROI Knockout," at 1:30 p.m. CT today.

The webinar will help card teams and others understand which fraud prevention and detection strategies provide the greatest return on fraud investment.

"Because fraud trends are constantly changing, the battle against card fraudsters continues to escalate," said Karen Postma, TMG client service director and webinar host. "Now, with the U.S. migration to [Europay-Mastercard-Visa] on the horizon, credit unions and community banks need to adjust their strategies to combat new and emerging risks."

Among the topics to be addressed during the presentation, include:

  • Changing trends in fraud schemes and tactics;
  • Effective fraud prevention and detection strategies for financial institutions; and
  • Fraud investment return on investment calculation, with recent TMG client results.
To register for the webinar, use the link.

CO-OP Launches iPad Mobile App

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (4/17/13)--CO-OP Financial Services has launched a new iPad App for CO-OP Mobile.

With the app, iPad tablet users can connect to their personal accounts and credit-union-hosted Web pages.

CO-OP Financial Services will host a free webinar on the new service at 11 a.m. PT Thursday.

"The iPad App for CO-OP Mobile is another indicator that mobile banking is a key to competing successfully in the future," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "This application gives credit union members access that they expect and offers credit unions a way to customize and differentiate their services from competitors."

CO-OP Mobile iPad access includes account balances and cash flow charts that summarize debit and credit activity; account history; transfers; and global positioning system-enabled access to CO-OP Network ATM or CO-OP Shared Branching locations. Credit unions can customize the app with their loan and account opening services, rates and promotions or social media sites.

The new iPad app adds to CO-OP's product line of mobile banking solutions, which include iPhone and Android applications, and CO-OP My Deposit Mobile for iPhone/Androids, Mobile Web and Text Banking. 

The iPad App for CO-OP Mobile is available immediately to credit unions participating in CO-OP Mobile.

TMG Adds New Design To Prepaid Card

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DES MOINES, Iowa (4/16/13)--The Members Group (TMG) has added a new design option for its ATIRAreload Visa prepaid card. The plastic is now offered in a black background with silver lettering, in addition to the green background design already available.

The new design was created to appeal to a wider demographic and to keep the card top-of-wallet with cardholders, TMG said.

"TMG's financial institution clients recognize the potential for prepaid to reach new audiences, including wealthier wallets and Gen Y customers," said Konrad Christensen, TMG retail payments product manager. "Although prepaid has traditionally targeted the underserved, there is new evidence that mainstream consumers are attracted to the product. The new design option for the TMG ATIRAreload prepaid card will allow our clients to market to more potential cardholders."

The prepaid market climbed nearly 20% in 2011 to $483 billion, according to the Mercator Advisory Group. It is expected to jump to nearly $600 billion in 2013. Research also indicates the growth isn't limited to underserved consumers, said TMG. A report from the Aite Group found 33% of prepaid users have incomes above $45,000, and 15% of these cardholders earn more than $70,000. The research also revealed more than one-third of prepaid cardholders have college degrees.

Consumers are attracted to prepaid cards because they can limit their spending to the amount on their cards, avoiding high-interest rate fees and costly overdraft charges, Christensen said. Many credit union members also choose prepaid cards as a safeguard against identity theft and fraud, and to reduce the need to share sensitive information about their personal checking or savings accounts, he added.

Diebold Introduces Online Security Management Tool

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (4/15/13)--Diebold Inc. has introduced a new online tool that centralizes the management of security operations.

The tool, called SecureStat, unifies security services and systems into a single, real-time interface, Diebold said.

Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

At the heart of SecureStat is a personalized dashboard that uses customizable, distinct widgets to provide a snapshot of a user's entire security platform, including locations, security systems and devices.

SecureStat integrates with existing hardware, software, monitoring and other managed services. Diebold clients can leverage the equipment manufacturers of their choice, and can connect all of their security products and services within a single, online management interface. As organizations evolve security, SecureStat also allows for migration to future technologies, Diebold said.

SecureStat is offered as a value-add to Diebold security services customers.

CUNA Mutual Introduces New Online Risk Assessments

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WASHINGTON (04/15/13)--CUNA Mutual Group added four new Online Risk Assessments to its Credit Union Protection Resource Center to help Bond policyholders avoid some of the fastest-growing and most costly risks.

"The assessments generate additional questions based on the responses and provide a risk rating and high-level recommendations related to the risk area. They are easy to use and accessible to credit unions anytime," said Brad Mundine, senior manager, CUNA Mutual Group Credit Union Protection Risk Management.

The following risk assessments can help credit unions avoid costly losses:

  • Wire Transfer--Unauthorized funds/wire transfer losses have increased in frequency and severity as fraudsters impersonate members in requesting transfers, primarily by phone and fax.
  • Data Network Security--Data breaches concern CEOs and information technology professionals across the globe due to financial, compliance, legal and reputation risks breaches create. The information-rich financial services industry is a top target. The cost to recover from a data breach is devastating, making vigilance a must.
  • Internal Controls--Employee dishonesty losses have historically been the largest claims category in terms of dollars paid. Effective internal controls are the foundation of a safe and sound credit union.
  • Lending Oversight--Credit unions need to increase lending oversight to reduce the risks of loan officers approving loans outside of the established loan policy, creating fraudulent loans and inadvertently granting loans to identity thieves.
Every risk assessment is unique and interactive to each credit union. The assessments have been created to ask distinctive questions pertaining to each unique situation and  provide specific risk exposures results and recommendations on mitigating a solution.

Other online risk assessments cover check fraud, disaster preparedness, internal controls and plastic card fraud. Along with webinars, RISK Alerts, white papers, videos and other loss prevention tools, risk assessments are just some of the no-cost services available to all CUNA Mutual Group Bond policyholders, which represent 86% of all U.S. credit unions.

CU Business Group, Paychex Partner On HR, Payroll Services

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PORTLAND, Ore. (4/12/13)--CU Business Group, a business-services credit union services organization, has partnered with Paychex to offer credit unions human resources and payroll products and services.

The two organizations teamed up in an effort to help credit unions become a one-stop shop for business members.

"Credit unions need to better position themselves as the primary financial institution for their business members," said Larry Middleman, CUBG President/CEO. "The more services the credit union can offer, the stronger the relationship they can build to become the trusted financial advisor for that business and others in the community."

Credit unions can sign up for Paychex services through CUBG to take advantage of their exclusive referral program. For each successful business referral sent to Paychex, the credit union will receive a referral fee.

The Credit Union National Association and credit unions are working to be able to do more for the nation's credit-strapped small businesses.  They are urging Congress to pass legislation to raise credit unions' member business lending cap (MBL) to 27.5% of total assets, up from 12.25%. Doing so would generate $14.5 billion available for MBLs--and increase jobs by 158,000 in the first year without costing the taxpayer, according to statistics from CUNA.

Auto Expert Reports Increases In Sales, Revenue

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (4/11/13)--Auto Expert, an auto locating and buying service, reported a 30% increase in car sales for 2012 over 2011.

Net income for 2012 rose 148% over 2011, and revenue was up 24%, the company said.

An affiliate company of Riverside, Calif.-based Altura CU, Auto Expert is partnered with 10 California credit unions representing 750,000 members.

"Auto Expert had a terrific 2012," said Chris Andrus, Auto Expert president. "Clearly, there was a great deal of pent-up demand for new cars. People who put off auto purchases over the past few years while the economy sputtered, finally returned to the marketplace. Sales continue to be strong in 2013."

Aftermarket sales revenue--derived from sales of DVD players, paint sealants, back-up cameras and similar accessories--was up 6% in 2012, compared to 2011.

In its customer service ratings, Auto Expert reported a net promoter score of 93% and a member satisfaction rating of 98%. "We also had a customer satisfaction survey return rate of 47%," said Andrus, who pointed out that a typical survey return rate is between 10% and 15%.

The Net Promoter score asks one question--How likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague?--so organizations can get a clear measure of their performance through the eyes of their members or customers.

CUNA Mutual Offers Protection Webinars

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MADISON, Wis. (4/11/13)--CUNA Mutual Group will present two Credit Union Protection webinars to assist credit unions in keeping their employees healthy and safe while minimizing the credit union's exposure to losses for workers' compensation and employment practices liability.

The April 17 webinar topic is "The Aging Workplace & Worker Safety." Presenters will discuss the realities of the aging work force, the impact it can have on safety and practical ideas to help reduce disabling workplace injuries that cost businesses millions of dollars annually.

On May 15, CUNA Mutual Group will discuss "Employment Practices." Workplace discrimination charges and employment practices liability lawsuits are rising. This session will explore the latest workplace issues and actionable steps to help reduce a credit union's employment-practices liability-claims exposure.

Registration is available to CUNA Mutual Group's Fidelity Bond policyholders. All webinars are one hour long and begin at 10 a.m. CT.

In 2012, more than 9,000 credit union professionals registered to attend a Credit Union Protection webinar.

Additional live webinars available to CUNA Mutual Group Bond policyholders include:

  • "Communication, Social Media & Crisis Management," July 24;
  • "Insurance Coverage Adequacy," Aug. 21;
  • "Vendor Management: Due Diligence & Liability," Sept. 18;
  • "Cyber Risks: Threats & Loss Control," Oct. 16, and
  • "Lender Liability," Nov. 13.
To register, use the link.

Beyond Marketing Offers Social Media Service

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LENEXA, Kan. (4/10/13)--Beyond Marketing LLC, a Lenexa, Kan.-based credit union service organization, has launched a social media marketing communications service for credit unions.

Socialaunch was designed to ease the social media management process for credit unions, Beyond Marketing said.

"A strong social media presence is much more than opening a Facebook or LinkedIn account and adding a comment once or twice a week," stated Beyond Marketing CEO Larry Hayes. "Consistently creating valued content of interest can simply become overwhelming for most tasked with feeding the social media monster. That's where Socialaunch becomes a value, with the right product at the right place at the right time."

Credit unions can select specific levels of social media enhancements or customize their own, based on need, Beyond Marketing said. Enhancements can include simple upgrades to existing social pages/profiles, creation of new profiles and invitations to connections. More sophisticated solutions, such as content creation and a content calendar for planning social media topics and online launch dates, are also offered. 

Beyond Marketing offers a free 30-minute social analysis to help credit unions begin the social media process.

FX Networks Exec Added To THINK 13 Lineup

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.  (4/9/13)--Nicole Clemens, senior vice president of series development at FX Networks, has been added to the speaker lineup of CO-OP Financial Services' THINK 13 Conference.

Clemens will discuss the risks involved with taking a television show from concept through production, and the rewards of pushing the envelope with edgy original programming. Managing risk and change is behind the conference theme of "Disrupt Business as Usual," with a roster of out-of-the-box thinkers sharing insights on how credit unions can approach risk and produce transformative change.

Clemens began her career in entertainment industry as an executive at Spelling Television, then moved to ICM Partners, a talent and literary agency. She was a book-to-film/television agent before being promoted to lead the motion picture literary department. She joined FX in June 2012.

ATM Wiki Launched

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. and NEW YORK (4/9/13)--The ATM Industry Association and IPayments Forum have launched WikiATM.com to serve as a repository of global ATM data.

WikiATM.com will create a definitive body of knowledge on all aspects of the ATM and promote cross-channel integrated payments with the ATM serving as the hub for financial self-service retail delivery, the two organizations said.

The wiki will act as an industry best practices portal with members only access. Participation is open to all industry professionals but they must be registered as a member.

A wiki is a website that allows users to add and modify content via a Web browser using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor. The wiki invites users to edit any page or to create new pages within the website, using only a plain-vanilla Web browser without add-ons.

In creating the wiki, ATMIA and IPayments cited a need for open standards and best practices for integrated cross channel interoperability across the payments industry, which they said is at a cross roads with new emerging electronic payments options and potentially disruptive technologies that threaten to marginalize traditional payments channels.

ATMIA is a global non-profit trade association with over 3,700 members in 60 countries. The IPayments Forum is a financial services industry online community that serves the electronics payments industry.

TMG Hosts Payments Podcasts

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DES MOINES, Iowa (4/8/13)--Payments processor The Members Group has launched a series of podcasts 15 minutes or less in length about payment topics important to credit unions and banks.

TMG Podcasts feature a monthly expert guest and speaks with TMG Vice President of Marketing Georgann Smith.

"Our clients are rightly focused on providing the best possible service to their customers, which makes it tricky to find time for researching new payment solutions or obtaining industry insights from knowledgeable experts," Smith said. "With these quick-hit podcasts, we hope to keep our clients updated on the latest trends, products and innovations without taking too much time away from what is typically a very busy work day."

Each podcast is archived. The online podcast library houses 14 episodes in the series, including the latest, "The Changing Card Fraud Landscape." The episode features analyst Nicole Reyes and offers her insight on how the country's move to the Euro-MasterCard Visa standard and cardholders' use of social media are reshaping credit and debit card fraud strategies.

Other TMG podcast topics in the library include:

  • Trends in the prepaid cards market;
  • Data analytics for credit and debit card portfolios;
  • Where to place your bets in the digital-wallet space; and
  • How photo cards work to boost wallet share.
Use the link to access the archived podcasts.

THINK 13 Conference Adds 'Disruption' Panel

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (4/5/13)--CO-OP Financial Services has added "The Disruption Challenge" to the line-up of its THINK 13 Conference events.

The Disruption Challenge pits two debating teams against each other to argue competing approaches to business change and risk. The first team, "Massive Changers," will make the case for swift, dramatic and significant change to credit unions. The opposing team, "Measured Changers," will argue that credit unions will succeed and ultimately thrive if change is implemented incrementally. Attendees will vote for the point of view they think won the debate.

The debate will be facilitated by conference Master of Ceremonies Valerie Coleman Morris, a former business and finance correspondent for CNN, and moderated by Caroline Willard, CO-OP Financial Services executive vice president, markets and strategy.

The two teams include:

Massive Changers

  • Patrick Basler, president, First Financial CU, Chicago;
  • Michael Bell, attorney and counselor, Howard & Howard; and
  • Sarah Snell Cooke, publisher/editor-in-chief, Credit Union Times.
Measured Changers

  • Frank Diekmann, publisher, Credit Union Journal;
  • Jill Nowacki, vice president, development, MAPS CU, Salem, Ore.; and
  • Sandra Scott, vice president, card services and product management, Patelco CU, Pleasanton, Calif.
The debate also will feature a panel of experts. The two teams will ask questions of the panel to help support and illuminate their arguments. The panelists are:

  • Mollie Bell, chief engagement officer, Filene Research Institute;
  • Chip Filson, chairman, Callahan & Associates;
  • Susan Mitchell, CEO, Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates;
  • Brandi Stankovic, partner, Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates.

Webinar Focuses On Serving Immigrants

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DES MOINES, Iowa. (4/5/13)--Coopera, in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association, has teamed up with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions to host a free webinar, "Adapting Products and Services to Serving Immigrant Markets," April 16, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. CT.

"Immigrants are a vibrant, dynamic part of our nation's economy and represent a tremendous untapped and emerging market for credit unions," said Miriam De Dios, Coopera CEO and a webinar presenter.

"They are consumers, homeowners and business owners," she said. "It is essential for credit unions to acknowledge both the opportunities among this market segment, as well as the diversity of particular needs among immigrant families. The ability to connect with this crucial segment of the growing Hispanic marketplace can reap tremendous ongoing rewards in terms of loyalty and member growth."

The webinar will provide insights to better serve the financial needs of underserved markets like the Hispanic and other immigrant populations.

Topics to be covered include:

  • The current immigrant market, and needs and opportunities to serve this rapidly growing demographic;
  • The changing needs of a credit union's immigrant members;
  • How cultural differences affect employees' roles at the credit union, as well as interactions with members and potential members;
  • Strategies and innovative programs to serve immigrant markets; and
  • Innovative products and services to better serve this market.
 To register, use the link.

Intuit Offers Mint To CUs

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MONETT, Mo. (4/4/13)--Intuit Inc. is making Mint, its popular online personal finance solution, available to credit unions and banks.

"More than 12 million people already use Mint.com to manage their complete financial picture and have identified savings of more than $30 billion toward their personal goals," said Greg Wright, Intuit Financial Services vice president of product management. "By blending Mint with their digital banking home page, financial institutions can provide immediate, meaningful financial insights to their customers, help more people save money and further deepen banking relationships by recommending relevant financial products at the time when people are most interested."

Intuit Financial Services is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

Intuit acquired Mint in 2009 and is responding to financial institutions' requests to incorporate the personal financial platform into their online and mobile offerings. The solution is available to financial institutions now for implementation later this year.

Among the features Mint offers:

  • Shows users their entire financial picture in one place, automatically organizing spending into categories and using charts to indicate where money is going;
  • Offers free advice on how to save money, and delivers personalized alerts and insights based on individual transactional behavior, financial habits and goals;
  • Provides on-the-go tracking with mobile apps; and
  • Suggests products and services.

Diebold Installs Shared Branch ATM At Premier Community CU

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (4/3/13)--Diebold is installing two new Opteva ATMs featuring the CO-OP NextGen ATM shared-branching solution at Premier Community CU's new Lodi, Calif., branch.

Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

The solution allows members of participating CO-OP Shared Branching credit unions to access to other credit union accounts or sub-accounts such as a certificate of deposit or an individual retirement accounts using Premier Community's ATMs.

"Driven by CO-OP, Diebold's shared-branch ATM solution transitions routine shared branching transactions from the teller line to the low-cost self-service channel," said Mychal D. Kempt, Diebold vice president, North American operations. "Doing so allows credit unions to migrate the servicing of shared branch members to the ATM, giving credit unions more time to spend on complex member transactions."

Standard ATMs normally can access only accounts linked to an ATM/debit card, limiting most transactions to checking and savings accounts.

Based in Stockton, Calif., Premier Community CU designed its new Lodi branch to offer enhanced efficiencies for members and non-members. The shared-branch ATMs feature deposit automation technology, which allows members--and members of participating CO-OP Shared Branching credit unions--to complete envelope-free cash and check deposits. The ATMs process deposited notes and checks, along with other transactions, allowing Premier Community members more flexibility at a self-service device.

Premier Community is also enhancing security and efficiency at its Lodi branch with a Diebold Express Cash Recycler. The teller automation solution accepts cash, verifies note authenticity, sorts notes by denomination, reuses them for withdrawals, and stores cash securely at the point of transaction.

First Tech Launches Native Windows Phone Banking App

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (4/2/13)--First Tech CU, Mountain View, Calif., announced it is the first credit union in the U.S. to introduce a native Windows Phone mobile banking application with integrated mobile deposit and bill pay functionality.

With the launch of the app today, First Tech members can bank from their Windows Phone, iPhone or Android smart phone.

First Tech will launch its new Windows phone app on-site at the main Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., today. Microsoft employees and First Tech members will be able to view the app on a phone display, chat with First Tech App experts and personalize their Windows Phone at a laser engraving station.

"As Microsoft's credit union, it's very important for us to serve our members and demonstrate our support of the Windows 8 mobile platform," said Greg Mitchell, president of the $5.6 billion credit union.

The First Tech Windows Phone app is a free download for its members at windowsphone.com.

Through the application, members can check account balances, view transactions, make deposits, pay bills and transfer funds between First Tech accounts. The application also provides a search feature that helps members locate local branches and ATMs nationwide.

CUAnswers Releases Grand Opening Kit, Announces Upgrade

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (4/2/13)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, will ship a new Grand Opening Kit to its clients at no cost.

The kits provide materials to drive the marketing of features within the CU*BASE core processing platform and It's Me 247 online banking.

The new Grand Opening Kit will focus on Debit Card Round Up programs and how to promote the service to members. CU*Answers has released three Grand Opening Kits since June to promote various services to credit union membership. 

The free kit will include a banner, posters, balloons, brochures, routing slips, stickers and window clings. The kits have been produced so credit unions can add marketing campaigns without the hassle or cost of product design and development. 

CU*Answers also announced it will deploy the latest software upgrade to its flagship data processing software. The CU*BASE 13.0 software upgrade will be sent to all service bureau clients April 14 and to in-house clients May 13-14 at no cost. 

The upgrade is one of the major software enhancements CU*Answers will deploy during 2013, the company said. It will add functionality to virtually every key area within the core software and the It's Me 247 Online Banking platform.

BALANCE Offers Special Sequestration Tools For CUs

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (4/1/13)--BALANCE Financial Fitness Program is responding to federal government spending cuts by providing its partner credit unions with financial education resources to assist members affected by the sequestration.

The resources include specialized counseling, an online toolkit and workshops to support efforts to minimize the negative effects on members' finances as they face furloughs.

Cynthia Campbell, vice president of $2.941 billion asset Tinker FCU in Oklahoma City, Okla., noted the credit union's experience with BALANCE.

"BALANCE has been taking excellent care of TFCU members for six years so it was no surprise that [its staff] were willing to come alongside of us to help our members facing sequestration at Tinker Air Force Base," Campbell said.

She contacted BALANCE "to see if we could set up a special counseling type that would help our members streamline their budgets and explore solutions for making it through this time of reduced income. Within a day of listening to my needs, BALANCE had the special counseling set up, and we had it advertised on our website as a resource for members within the week."

The San Francisco-based BALANCE serves more than 600 financial institutions in the U.S. with financial counseling and education tools.