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ECCHO launches national check payments certification program

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas (6/21/11)--The Electronic Check Clearing House Organization (ECCHO) has launched the National Check Payments Certification (NCPC) program to help financial institutions enhance their knowledge of check products and processing. The new program, announced at the Credit Union National Association’s America’s Credit Union Conference and Expo in San Antonio, is designed to help financial institutions enhance critical check knowledge essential for check products and processing. The Upper Midwest Automated Clearing House Association, Viewpointe and the Wisconsin Automated Clearinghouse Association are partnering with ECCHO to prepare training for an annual certification exam that ECCHO will administer. ECCHO is also enlisting other partners to maximize the availability of the program. Initial partners include EPCOR and The Bankers Bank. “Improvements in the check system have changed the characteristics and processing requirements of checks while greatly increasing the efficiency of the check payments system and enabling huge industry savings,” said David Walker, ECCHO president. “However, some of these changes have resulted in staffing reductions that dilute the industry’s collective expertise.” The resulting challenge, replacing traditional paper check knowledge with an understanding of the new electronic check environment, has created the need for a national program for check payments certification, Walker added. More than 96% of all checks are processed electronically, according to the “The 2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study,” released in December. The volume of checks processed in 2009 was more than $24 billion, with a value totaling $31 trillion.   The NCPC certification exam will test the knowledge levels of individuals in four subject areas:
* Rules, laws and regulations; * Fraud and risk mitigation; * Check operations; and * Check products.
ECCHO and its partners are offering a pilot exam in November. The first publicly available certification exam will be held in spring 2012.

CUNA Mutual debuts smartphone technology at CUNAs ACUC

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SAN ANTONIO (6/21/11)--Credit union members will be able to start their loan application process on their smartphones using technology developed by and available through CUNA Mutual Group.
John Putman, director of lending business systems at CUNA Mutual, debuts the new Smartphone loan technology at the Credit Union National Association’s America’s Credit Union Conference. The technology is a mobile version of CUNA Mutual’s loanliner.com product, which is used by more than 500 credit unions nationwide. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group.
Unveiled Monday at the Credit Union National Association’s America’s Credit Union Conference in San Antonio, the Smartphone Loan technology is a mobile version of CUNA Mutual’s loanliner.com product, which is used by more than 500 credit unions nationwide. “By clicking into your credit union’s website, you’ll be able to easily access a loan application just as if you were sitting at your computer,” said John Putman, director of lending business systems at CUNA Mutual and product leader for Smartphone Loans. “This is not a mobile app that requires downloading, so the process is secure and simplified.” Students said they would be more likely to join a credit union if access to products and services was available through mobile channels, according to research CUNA Mutual conducted with University of Wisconsin-Whitewater last year. “We know credit unions want to increase their loan volumes and attract younger members,” Putman said. “This Smartphone Loan technology accomplishes both.” The loanliner.com application system uses CUNA Mutual’s Loanliner lending compliance expertise to ensure the application presented to the member complies with appropriate state and federal regulations and required disclosures. The loanliner.com application system interfaces with credit union’s loan origination system to provide an underwriting decision back to the member in seconds and then transports application data back to the loan origination system.