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Diebold To Overhaul 1,100 SECU ATMs

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (5/30/13)--Diebold Inc. will update and replace more than 1,100 ATMs for Raleigh, N.C.-based State Employees' CU (SECU).

Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

Upon completion of the project, SECU's entire ATM fleet will be Diebold Opteva terminals, with more than 65% featuring Diebold's deposit automation technology.

Branded as "CashPoints," SECU's ATMs span the entire state of North Carolina. Because CashPoints ATMs are free to both members and nonmembers, SECU's ATM channel experiences high traffic and requires daily vendor cash management visits to retrieve envelope deposits for off-site processing. The new deposit automation-enabled Diebold ATMs will minimize those visits, because envelope-free deposits will post automatically to consumers' accounts without additional processing.

"Diebold's deposit automation technology will help to drastically reduce the frequency of our vendor cash management trips," said Leanne Phelps, SECU senior vice president of card services. "This efficiency will result in significant cost and time savings that will help SECU better serve our members, while delivering an improved consumer experience at the ATM."

SECU's new deposit automation-enabled terminals allow consumers to complete teller-like cash and check deposits and receive receipts via e-mail, if desired. The ATMs also deliver the industry's fastest transaction time for a typical deposit--up to 30 bank notes and 10 checks in less than 60 seconds, said Diebold.

Addressing security needs, all of SECU's Opteva ATMs will include Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) card readers, to reduce card fraud against counterfeit, lost or stolen cards. As the technology grows in popularity, SECU will accept transactions from EMV cardholders without requiring terminal upgrades. EMV card readers are part of Diebold's multi-layered ATM security approach, which includes information security, fraud protection, consumer safety, physical security and security consultancy.

CO-OP Financial Offers Mortgage Lending Services

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (5/29/13)--CO-OP Financial Services Tuesday introduced CO-OP Mortgage Solutions, a suite of mortgage lending services for credit unions that combines technology applications, legal/regulatory expertise and call-center support.

"Mortgage lending is a cornerstone product for credit unions, yet building the in-house capacity to support mortgage portfolios and keeping up with complex regulatory mandates can be difficult for many institutions," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "CO-OP Mortgage Solutions brings technology, expertise and availability to credit unions needing a comprehensive and cost-effective mortgage offering to grow and retain membership."

The CO-OP Mortgage Solutions suite includes four services:

  • Correspondent Lending Program for mortgages credit unions may not want to hold on their balance sheets. Benefits include reduced operational costs, remaining compliant and avoiding buy-backs.
  • Loan Servicing for compliant, high-touch subservicing of performing and non-performing loans. Benefits include technology applications that provide credit union managers with real-time views into loan performance and a service team to save credit unions time and money, while protecting their investments.
  • Origination Services for domestic support in the processing, underwriting and closing of residential mortgages. The services include fulfillment solutions that are Secure Ammunition and Firearms Act-compliant and loan-origination system software.
  • Settlement Services for nationwide access to title insurance, uninsured title products and closing services. The services are designed to help credit unions close more loans faster, with greater control of the settlement process.
CO-OP Financial Services is offering CO-OP Mortgage Solutions in partnership with LenderLive Network Inc., Glendale, Colo., and will operate services via CO-OP Member Center, a wholly owned subsidiary of CO-OP Financial Services based in Fort Worth, Texas.

New Products Integrate Mobile Payments, Online Ads

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SAN FRANCISO and RA'ANANA, Israel (5/29/13)--Two new payment products seek to improve integration between marketing and mobile payments.

San Francisco-based Banno is developing advertising technology that financial institutions, including credit unions, can tie to payments and other financial products.

A provider of data-enriched Web and transaction marketing services for financial institutions, Banno recently introduced a product that offers products based on consumers' areas of interest. The product, called Kernel, integrates across different bank channels, including mobile, online and phone.

It analyzes a user's engagement to produce marketing specific to how the consumer uses each channel. As a result, credit unions and banks can cultivate strong leads and actionable opportunities for their products and services, Banno said.

"Consumers interact with a multitude of self-service banking channels across an ever-expanding array of devices," said Wade Arnold, Banno CEO. "Kernel simplifies the collection and analysis of these interactions to expose an individual's intent and changing interests. Automatic campaign ad delivery allows institutions to set and track their campaigns as well as visually explore their success. Now, banks and credit unions can address a consumer's needs with purpose and accuracy, delivering the right product message over multiple channels."

Ra'anana, Israel-based ZooZ, a payment platform company, offers a product that allows consumers to pay for merchandise directly from an advertisement rather than navigating to another site (Payments Source May 24).

Users tap on a banner ad within an app, which launches ZooZ's payments engine. If users have previously registered with ZooZ, they don't have to enter a card number or other payment details.

ZooZ is selling the new in-ad system to advertising agencies and is testing the technology with some unidentified companies.

CU Direct Presents Best Practice, Diamond Awards

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LAS VEGAS (5/28/13)--CU Direct Corp., a provider of lending solutions to the credit unions, announced the winners of its 2013 Best Practices Awards during the credit union service organization's annual lending conference last week in Las Vegas. 

The event's awards dinner recognized four credit unions for their lending practices and success in 2012.  Three credit unions were awarded by CU Direct for their best practices in business development and dealer relations, portfolio management and marketing to members. The fourth was presented with the CU Direct Diamond Award for its overall excellence and success in the lending marketplace.

Best Practice Awards went to:

  • Visalia, Calif.-based Tucoemas FCU, in business development and dealer relations;
  • Tampa, Fla.-based GTE Financial FCU, for portfolio management; and
  • Harborstone CU, Lakewood, Wash., for marketing to members. 
The Diamond Award was presented to TTCU, Tulsa, Okla., for its continued success in advancing its lending programs and championing the importance of a credit union-owned delivery channel.

ATM Industry Association Video: 'Cash Lives'

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (5/24/13)--The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) has released "Cash Lives," a video proclaiming that despite the proliferation of electronic payment, cash payments remain alive and strong.

"Reports of the death of cash have been greatly exaggerated," said Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA. "Watch 'Cash Lives' to find out why this idea is sheer nonsense. It's a punchy, red-hot video about what cash means to humanity even in this digital age."

The idea for the video was conceived by the group's ATM Cash Council, whose mission is to track global cash demand, circulation and use today, while protecting the freedom of the world's citizens to choose to use cash if they wish.

The theme of the video, which is posted on YouTube and other social media, is that cash lives on because it is fungible, a quality that has never been replicated by digital systems, as explained on the video by Stephen Dubner, author of the global business best-selling book "Freakonomics."

To watch the video, use the link.

CUNA Bank Secrecy Act Conference Focus Announced

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MADISON, Wis. (5/23/13)--The Credit Union National Association announced topics for the CUNA Bank Secrecy Act Conference, Nov. 3-6 in Orlando, Fla. 

In partnership with the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisers, CUNA's BSA conference brings together Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance officers, state and federal examiners, industry experts and regulators for discussion, networking and education on BSA compliance issues.

The annual conference covers all of the BSA statutory and regulatory training requirements that compliance professionals need to comprehend and comply with the complex federal BSA law, CUNA said.

"When it comes to BSA compliance in today's environment of increased regulation, we don't want any of our attendees left guessing," said Tracy Blaske, CUNA instructional design manager. "With that in mind, we make sure this conference covers all the bases from law updates to interactive Suspicious Activity Report case studies."

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of Foreign Assets Control agencies will provide updates to attendees. State examiners and attorneys also attend.

Attendees earn the CUNA Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Specialist (BSACS) designation by successfully completing an on-site exam. For more information, use the link.

TMG Catalyst Data Analytics Tool Bolsters Card Profitability

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DES MOINES, Iowa (5/23/13)--The Members Group (TMG) this week announced the addition of a card-portfolio data-analytics tool to its product suite.

Branded "Catalyst," the consumer intelligence solution is designed to help credit unions better monitor, learn from and adjust to the changing behaviors of their members.

"Data analytics is about working smarter, rather than harder," said TMG Director of Client Relations Dan Lozier. "With solutions like Catalyst, community financial institutions can get to the heart of their customers' needs and wants more quickly. Catalyst allows financial institutions to readily identify the strengths and weaknesses of their card portfolios so they know where to spend their time and which cardholders to target for increasing activation, usage and balances."

Developed in conjunction with TMG's strategic partner, IQR Consulting, Catalyst leverages a financial institution's own credit card-portfolio analytics to develop a better understanding of cardholders on an individual level. With "snapshot" and "trending" reports, financial institution executives don't have to dig through the data to understand how portfolios are performing. Rather, the reports allow management to quickly assess the health of the portfolio and take corrective action where needed, TMG said.

Catalyst connects card teams with TMG and IQR experts who review the reports and understand the portfolio. The conversations help credit unions make smart decisions about the member segments they target, TMG said.

New CUNA Entrepreneurial Leadership School To Inspire Innovation

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MADISON, Wis. (5/22/13)--The CUNA Leadership Institute, Nov. 3-8 in San Diego, will challenge attendees to rethink what it takes to oversee an organization while helping inspire personal leadership, the Credit Union National Association said. 

The new CUNA Leadership Institute will expose attendees to innovative approaches to leadership development through a curriculum specific to the needs and challenges of credit union leaders.

"It's one thing to be told how other business leaders have found success in their roles, but this institute is going to ask more of participants than taking notes and soaking up facts and ideas," stated Kevin Smith, CUNA director of volunteer education. "We'll challenge attendees to discover and develop new approaches to leadership, utilizing their individual strengths and personalities to cultivate innovation and fresh ideas at their credit unions."

Sessions will be led by thought leaders from within and outside the credit union movement. The institute curriculum will involve team-building events and after-dark challenge sessions.

Highlights of this first CUNA Leadership Institute include:

  • Calculated strategic decision-making;
  • Discerning worthwhile data amidst the clutter;
  • Scenario planning and management-team preparedness;
  • Disruptive thinking and innovation; and
  • Attracting, harnessing and developing a talented staff.
To register for the CUNA Leadership Institute, use the link.

CUNA Mutual Expands Customer Contact With SAS

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CARY, N.C.  (5/21/13)--Using predictive models built with software from business analytics provider SAS, CUNA Mutual Group, through its TruStage Insurance Agency, has revamped its customer contact strategy to provide more relevant, timely offers to credit union members.

CUNA Mutual and TruStage have achieved better customer satisfaction, increased revenue and reduced cost, SAS said.

Since 2006, CUNA Mutual has mined its databases with SAS to create internal reports. Now, using SAS Enterprise Guide as its primary predictive modeling tool, the insurer is embracing more advanced uses of the software.

"By leveraging advanced regression techniques, we successfully developed new models to help us determine a better strategy for targeting consumer prospects," said Simon Gao, CUNA Mutual vice president of consumer analytics. "Our results have been strong, both contributing to our organization's bottom line and enabling us to most efficiently reach the credit union members who most need the protection our products provide."

CUNA Mutual, through TruStage, uses SAS for other projects, such as developing forecasting models and automating scoring to identify the best prospects to target as most suited to cross selling opportunities. In addition, the team is visualizing data better with JMP desktop statistical discovery software from SAS.

Webinars To Tackle Variety Of Topics In May

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MADISON, Wis. (5/20/13)--Several webinars with topics relevant to credit unions are scheduled for the next two weeks by various groups.

Among them:

  • The National Federation for Community Development Credit Unions will host a free webinar, "Doing Well by Doing Good--Growth and Low Income Credit Unions," from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. CT Tuesday.
  • The Credit Union National Association is conducting a free webinar on the new "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign at 2 p.m. CT Wednesday.  The webinar will feature a legislative briefing on the tax situation facing credit unions, and information on the tools CUNA and state leagues are providing to help credit unions join the tax status fight. (See related News Now story, CUNA Tax Advocacy Webinar is Wednesday.)
  • The Members Group, First Data and RAZR Marketing will host a free webinar, "Relationship Loyalty in a Social Media World," for financial institutions on at 1 p.m. CT Thursday. The hour-long event will share insight on changing consumer expectations and how cultural developments drive new innovations in financial institution loyalty programs.
  • J. R. Bruno and Associates, a consulting firm to Small Business Administration (SBA) and member business lenders, will conduct a webinar on the advantages of SBA and member business lending on at 11 a.m. CT Thursday.
  • The federation will host a free webinar, "Effective Loan Management," from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. CT on May 28.

CU Magazine's Coverage Of FinovateSpring 2013 Continues

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SAN FRANCISCO (5/17/13)--Credit Union Magazine continues its coverage of FinovateSpring 2013, a two-day showcase of the innovations in financial and banking technology.

Click to view larger image FinovateSpring 2013, held in San Francisco Tuesday and Wednesday, showcased 63 innovative financial services products, which were demonstrated to conference attendees. Credit Union Magazine Editor-in-Chief Steve Rodgers provided coverage of the conference. (Photo provided by CUNA)
Credit Union Magazine Editor-in-Chief Steve Rodgers attended the conference, watching 63 companies showcase the latest products in financial services. At the end of the event, participants voted on the Best Show presenters, who included:

  • BehavioSec, for its new security layer based on user typing/swiping patterns;
  • BillGuard, card charge dispute platform, BillGuard FI;
  • Dwolla, FISync service to enable banks to originate real-time payments;
  • iQuantifi, new financial planning and advice tools;
  • MoneyDesktop, personal financial management platform and integrated "deals";
  • Personal Capital, iPhone app and interbank funds transfer; and
  • SoMoLend, person-to-person lending platform.
For further coverage of FinovateSpring 2013, use the link.

California And Nevada Leagues Launch Compliance Tool

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ONTARIO, Calif. (5/17/13)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have launched PowerComment, an interactive online tool designed to help credit unions in the two states more efficiently express their compliance concerns to regulators.

"We want to encourage credit unions to comment on proposed rules, and make it easy for them to do so, in an effort to minimize the impact of final regulations," said Sharon Lindeman, the leagues' vice president of regulatory advocacy. "When we spend the time up front and comment on proposals, we can help shape the rules and try to stop overly burdensome directives later."

PowerComment.org will allow credit unions to:

  • Find up-to-date and easily digestible information on proposed rules, including a summary of pending regulations and potential financial, operational and member service impacts;
  • Participate in discussions to increase their understanding of proposed regulatory rules; and
  • Write comment letters to regulators and immediately submit them.

CU Magazine Highlights Finovate Coverage

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SAN FRANCISO (5/16/13)--Credit Union Magazine Editor-in-Chief Steve Rodgers is onsite in San Francisco this week providing coverage of FinovateSpring 2013, a two-day showcase of the best innovations in financial and banking technology.

Click to view larger image FinovateSpring 2013 was held in San Francisco Tuesday and Wednesday. Over the course of two days, 72 presentations showcased the latest, most innovative products in financial services  and the 1,000 attendees voted on the "Best of Show."
Use the link to view Credit Union Magazine's coverage.

Finovate conferences are demo-only with companies receiving just seven minutes on stage to demo their latest innovations to the audience.

Among the presenters at FinnovateSpring 2013 Tuesday was MoneyDesktop, a provider of online banking-based personal financial management solutions.

MoneyDesktop introduced Insight and Target, data-driven analytics tools that aggregate information from MoneyDesktop's personal financial management (PFM) platform to help financial institutions better understand account holders' banking relationships and create focused marketing strategies to specific users.

Insight leverages aggregated PFM user data to help financial institutions gain a deeper view into their account holders' spending habits.

Click to view larger image MoneyDesktop's Matt West, vice president of sales, and Ryan Caldwell, CEO, unveil a back-end data-analytics and marketing platform to go with MoneyDesktop's personal financial management offering. (Photos provided by CUNA)
Target, which builds on Insight, turns data visualization into action and helps financial institutions to offer relevant marketing content and products to account holders in real time.

Other products presented Tuesday included:

  • Leaf, a mobile payments platform for small-business owners. The second-generation of Leaf lets small business owners manage their inventories and budgets;
  • Moven, a mobile banking product featuring "Spend, Save, and Live" tools to help consumers manage and improve their financial health;
  • Venmo Touch, which eliminates the need for consumers to constantly retype their credit card information when making purchases on their mobile devices;
  • SCard-GO, a mobile app that allows consumers to reduce the number of plastic cards they carry in their wallets to one secure card; an
  • Expensify, an invoicing program that lets bills brand their invoices. Customers can pay their bill through Expensify with direct deposit or PayPal.
 

MnIPC Partners With CUsource

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (5/16/13)--Minnesota Item Processing Corp. has formed a partnership with CUsource, a Montana-based credit union service organization (CUSO), to combine deposit-item volume and help control cost for credit unions.

"MnIPC has consistently provided excellent member service and innovation, which has led to the evolution of the organization and made it the quality client partner it is today," said MnIPC Vice President Michelle Carlson, noting the company will work with CUsource on its credit union deposits. "This cooperation between entities within the credit union system is a mutual benefit for all parties involved."

CUsource is a credit union-owned CUSO headquartered in Great Falls, Mont. It provides data processing, draft processing, real estate, print and mail and security services to credit unions in Montana, Kansas, Washington and Wyoming.

MnIPC provides item processing solutions, including image capture, Check 21 services, remote deposit capture, mobile deposits and online image archiving.

Webinar Today On Employment Practices Liability

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MADISON, Wis. (5/15/13)--CUNA Mutual Group's 2013 Credit Union Protection Webinar series continues today at 10 a.m. with a session on employment practices liability.

Jayne Campbell, CUNA Mutual staff underwriting specialist, and Joni Lovingood, senior consultant in CUNA Mutual's Risk Management area, will present the latest workplace issues and actionable steps to reduce employment-practices-liability claims exposure.

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the latest workplace issues, legislation and employment trends;
  • Identify practical, actionable steps to take with policies/procedures and training; and
  • Learn how to reduce liability exposure.
To register, use the link.

Filene, Consultant Launch Vertex Manager Training

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MADISON, Wis. (5/14/13)--Filene Research Institute and Michael Neill and Associates, a sales culture, training and development firm, have partnered to create Vertex, a year-long virtual management development program for credit union middle managers.

During the program, performance coaches work with managers one-on-one to assess current performance, create customized management development plans using Web-based training modules and support-plan execution.

Coaches for the program include:

  • Steve Winninger, retired CEO of Lake Trust CU, Lansing, Mich;
  • Michael Neill, president of Michael Neill & Associates; and
  • Tansley Stearns, Filene impact director.
Credit unions currently using Vertex include:

  • FedChoice FCU, Lanham, Md.;
  • Collins Community CU, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
  • NuPath Community CU, Wyandotte, Mich.; and
  • 121 Financial CU, Jacksonville, Fla.

Autoland Reports 17% 1Q Sales Increase

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CHATSWORTH, Calif. (5/14/13)--Autoland Inc. reported a 17% year-over-year increase in first quarter sales with credit union members continuing to take advantage of available credit to replace aging vehicles, the Chatsworth, Calif.-based auto buying service said.

As a result of the sustained purchase behavior, Autoland's first quarter profitability increased 29% over the same period last year.

Direct loan volume to credit union partners also improved by 21%, with the credit union service organization's auto loan retention rate increasing to a combined 85%.

"As more partners recognize the value in having our service operate as an extension of their lending department, we're able to service more of their members and retain the financing at a greater rate for the credit union." said Jeffry Martin, Autoland president.

Autoland continues to expand its partner base, Martin said. "We'll remain focused on expanding our service to markets in California, Washington and Oregon, but interest in Autoland from credit unions in other states remains high," Martin said. "We'll look to grow our service footprint into new territories as we determine it feasible to do so."

California, Nevada Leagues Partner With Community Mortgage Funding

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ONTARIO, Calif. (5/13/13)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have partnered with Community Mortgage Funding (CMF) LLC to assist California member credit unions with their mortgage lending needs.

The Pomona, Calif.-based credit union service organization will provide league member credit unions servicing, loan origination, underwriting and processing services. CMF also will offer ongoing education and consulting services such as home-buyer seminars and custom marketing.

CMF will provide a $400 credit toward the cost of the appraisal for each loan that closes within the first 90 days of becoming a new CMF client.

"Our partnership with Community Mortgage Funding will help our member credit unions by creating an outlet for them to sell mortgage loans to their members and reducing their concentration risk, thus allowing them to be competitive in the market," said Tony Kitt, vice president of strategy and innovation at the leagues.

Community Mortgage Funding offers three business models to accommodate the level of participation best suiting its credit union clients' needs.

Those three business models are:

  • Sales Builder Track--provides a cobranded online mortgage loan center, allowing credit unions to offer mortgage loans to their members without the added cost and operational impact of offering home loans in-house;
  • Relationship Builder Track--allows credit unions to be active in the application process by working directly with their members during the initial stages; and
  • Business Builder Track--allows credit unions to generate additional fee income by managing the origination and processing functions of the mortgage transaction.

FedComp Chooses Ongoing Operations Hosting Platform

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (5/10/13)--FedComp, a provider of in-house and online data processing for credit unions, has selected CUNA Strategic Services provider Ongoing Operations for its secure and redundant hosting platform.

Ongoing Operations is a business continuity and technology credit union service organization that serves hundreds of credit unions nationwide and operates three data centers.

"We selected Ongoing Operations because of its deep industry knowledge, along with its focus on security and strong disaster recovery background," said Karen Rys, FedComp vice president of operations.

The hosting platform will include hosted desktop, exchange and other infrastructure services to help increase efficiency, security and up-time.

Cloudworks is Ongoing Operations' Cloud Services product line. Cloudworks offers cloud architecture and a menu of technology outsourcing options to help organizations become more efficient.

Midwest Business Solutions Offers Farmer Mac Loans

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BISMARCK, N.D. (5/9/13)--Midwest Business Solutions is now a direct seller of loans to Farmer Mac, said MBS President/CEO Phil Love, in a column in the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas' newsletter.

Farmer Mac offers fixed- and variable-rate financing on farm land, ranch land and farm facilities (The Memo May 8). 

Leased farm ground may also be eligible. Variable rates can fluctuate monthly, or on a one-, three-, five-, 10-, 7/1- or 10/1-year basis. Fixed rates can be locked up to 25 years. Amortizations on loans can run up to 30 years, Love said.

The property must be involved in production of an eligible commodity listed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and must have at least $5,000 of annual gross agricultural sales.

Farmer Mac also offers an AgEquity Line of Credit that gives a farmer a five- or 10-year draw period followed by a repayment period of up to another 25 years. The payments during the revolving-draw period are interest only and will fluctuate monthly, Love wrote.

Mortgage amounts are typically up to $11 million, and the maximum loan request for any borrower is up to $30 million. Payments can be set up monthly, semi-annually or annually.

Because the loans are sold on the secondary market, they represent no risk to credit unions, he said. Credit unions that have agricultural loans on their books, may find the product valuable to manage balance-sheet exposure.

Credit unions can earn income at origination and earn servicing income throughout the life of the loan, although the loan is not on the credit union's books, he added.

CUcorp, CUSG To Merge

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LANSING, Mich. (5/8/13)--The boards of the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL), CUcorp and CU Solutions Group (CUSG) have approved a plan to merge CUcorp into CUSG.

The merger, which would take effect July 1, is pending shareholder approval in two weeks at the CUSG shareholder meeting, said Dave Adams, MCUL president/CEO.

MCUL also announced the resignation of Todd Mason, executive vice president and chief product officer for CU Solutions Group, and the hiring of Ken Ross, who will be executive vice president and chief operations officer of the trade association.

Ross formerly served the league as vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, before becoming commissioner of what was then known as Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (now the Department of Insurance and Financial Services). Most recently, Ross has been general counsel for Citizens Bank. He will start at the league Aug. 5.

CUcorp is a wholly owned subsidiary of MCUL. It offers credit unions member business services, insurance programs, operational support, lending and payment solutions.

CU Solutions Group is owned by more than 100 investors made up of leagues, credit unions and Credit Union System organizations including CUNA Mutual Group and CO-OP Financial Services. It serves offers nationwide solutions in four areas: marketing, technology, membership enhancements and performance management

DuTrac Community CU Introduces Car Buying App

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (5/7/13)--DuTrac Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa, has introduced a CUNA Mutual Group-designed smart phone application to assist credit union members with the car-buying process.

Click to view larger image Click for larger view
With the AskAuto app, shoppers can scan vehicle identification numbers to obtain average retail costs and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mileage estimates from a smart phone or mobile device. It also lets them make notes and rate vehicles for comparison.

The app can send messages about loan options and dealer partnerships to shoppers.

Shoppers can apply for a loan at any time using a mobile device.

In most states, shoppers can scan their driver's license to prefill portions of the loan application. The AskAuto app also prefills vehicle information, ensuring accuracy, the credit union said.

Technicolor FCU's Baron Captures CO-OP THINK Prize

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (5/6/13)--Robert Baron of Technicolor FCU, Burbank, Calif., with his idea for a "Virtual Teller System," is the winner of the CO-OP THINK Prize 13 and the recipient of $10,000.

The three finalists in the competition presented their ideas to attendees of THINK 13 in Chicago, Thursday. Baron, director of marketing for Technicolor FCU, was announced the winner at the conference's gala the same evening.

The two other finalists and their ideas were:

  • Andree Kirk, online services administrator, San Francisco (Calif.) FCU, "Shared Member Application Platform"; and
  • Deborah Larson, branch manager, Dakota Plains CU, Enderlin, N.D, "Switch Kit App."
"Our goal with the CO-OP THINK Prize is to promote and inspire creative thinking on industry issues, and each of the three final business plans were wonderful displays of that," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO.

CO-OP Financial Services and CO-OP THINK Prize 13 sponsor MasterCard presented the $10,000 award.

"One of the biggest structural dilemmas the credit union industry faces is that 'banking hours' are usually the same as 'working hours,' making interpersonal engagement between members and credit unions more difficult," Baron said in his business plan describing his entry. "I have developed [a plan for] a secure virtual teller system that would allow members to visit any branch without ever having to leave their home or office, through video-conferencing from either a computer or mobile phone."

World CU Conference Early Bird Deadline May 9

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MADISON, Wis. (5/3/13)--The early bird registration deadline for the World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) 2013 World Credit Union Conference ends May 9.

After May 9, the registration fee increases $200.

Keynote speakers at the conference--to be held July 14-17 in Ottawa, Canada--include Simon Sinek, corporate leadership strategist; Charlene Li, social media and technologies expert; and Ian Shelley, information technology and mobile payments guru.

"We have focused on creating a high caliber education program for this year's conference," said Brian Branch, WOCCU president/CEO. "As we gather in Canada's capital, this event will equip, connect and champion the global credit union community."

The conference also features local visits to credit unions, breakout sessions and opportunities to network.

Bonus networking and educational sessions include:

  • Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions' charity golf tournament, a fundraising and networking event at the Loch March 18-hole golf course July 13.
  • Global Women's Leadership Forum, the annual networking and educational gathering of the Global Women's Leadership Network, the world's only peer-to-peer credit union women's leadership organization. The network will meet prior to the conference on July 14 and will include a presentation from Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize winner and co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
  • World Council's Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) program, the annual educational and networking event for credit union professionals age 35 and younger. Five scholarship applicants will receive all-expense-paid scholarships to the 2014 World Credit Union Conference in Australia. The WYCUP program begins July 14 and runs concurrently with the conference.
 To register, use the link.

Fiserv Offers PopMoney Instant Payments

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (5/2/13)--Fiserv Inc., a provider of financial services technology solutions, announced the availability of Popmoney Instant Payments.

Through Fiserv's Popmoney application, consumers can send money to friends, family and service providers, and have it credited to the recipient's account within seconds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Popmoney is currently offered at more than 1,800 credit unions and banks.

The Popmoney Instant Payments feature extends the functionality of the Popmoney social person-to-person payments service, allowing credit union members to send money to other consumers and have it credited to the recipient's account within seconds. Uses could include making a last-minute rent payment, sending money to a family member in an emergency or paying a small business or service provider upon completion of a project.

Popmoney Instant Payments facilitates real-time payments via connections with Fiserv solutions such as the Accel payments network, which accelerates funds transfers across retail, biller and social person-to-person payments, and non-Fiserv networks. Initially, the service is available to financial institutions that offer Popmoney and are members of the Accel payments network or the STAR Network--a potential reach of hundreds of financial institutions and tens of millions of consumers.

CU Service Centers Rebrands As CO-OP Shared Branch

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (5/1/13)--CU Service Centers and its "swirl" logo and signage at participating credit unions will be replaced by CO-OP Shared Branch in a two-year rebranding process.

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Migration to the new logo will occur in a phased approach for the benefit of shared-branch users and participating credit unions and state networks.

The decision on the consumer branding initiative was approved by the boards of directors of Service Centers Corporation (SCC), Credit Union Service Corp. (CUSC) and FSCC LLC, the three entities comprising CO-OP Shared Branching.

"The merger of CO-OP and FSCC last year has led to a rapid expansion of the industry's shared-branching network--and the opportunity to unify the brand and make the unique credit union concept of shared branching much better known to consumers," said Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. "We can do this by drawing on the CO-OP name, which is already well-known to them through our ATM network."

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CO-OP Financial Services also slightly revising the ATM brand, to ensure that the ATM and shared-branch networks present the same look and feel to consumers. CO-OP Network is being rebranded "CO-OP ATM."

CO-OP Network, which incorporates 30,000 ATMs nationwide, 9,000 of which are deposit-taking, is the largest credit union ATM network, and larger than any network operated by a bank.

Diebold Announces Realignment Plan

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (5/1/13)--ATM manufacturer Diebold Inc., a CUNA Strategic Services provider, announced a multi-year global realignment plan.

Diebold is moving toward a more centralized management structure to drive swift action and clear accountability across its global operations, the company said. As part of the new structure, it identified four long-term transformation initiatives to deliver savings during the multi-year realignment program. They include:

  • Globalizing the company's service organization and processes to align with the increasingly global and more complex nature of the business;
  • Creating a unified, center-led global organization for research and development;
  • Transforming the company's general and administrative cost structure by increasing the use of existing shared-services centers in low-cost regions, instituting common processes and leveraging industry best practices across the company; and
  • Focusing on commercial effectiveness.
The initiatives are expected to improve cash flow and generate the investment capacity required to execute growth strategies, Diebold said. Additional investments from savings will also be made in research and development--to speed new solutions to market--as well as infrastructure improvements such as information technology systems, to accelerate transformation, improve capabilities and reduce costs, the company added.