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Products and Services briefs (06/04/2010)

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* COLUMBUS, Ohio (6/7/10)--Corporate One FCU has partnered with Sallie Mae to offer the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan to 800 member credit unions. The referral program allows credit unions to earn fee income when their members receive a Sallie Mae-funded loan. Students pay interest while in school, graduate with less debt and pay off their loans faster than in longer-term private loan alternatives that have no payments until after graduation. The loans are underwritten, funded and serviced by Sallie Mae. Participating credit unions bear no risk because they serve as a referral point primarily via a link on their website. Credit unions receive a percentage of the principal amount for each loan granted and any subsequent loans to the member. Sallie Mae provides support and marketing materials including co-branded loan applications, online Web ads or "tiles," lobby posters, e-mail campaigns and statement stuffers. The loan is for students and families looking for private student loans to help them cover college after they've maximized scholarships, grants and federal assistance. Loan rates are based on LIBOR, the borrower's or co-signer's creditworthiness, and other factors. Silver Sword Capital Partners, a consulting firm that assisted in putting together the program for credit union, has offered marketing consultation to Corporate One members who offer the Smart Option Student Loan program ... * PHILADELPHIA (6/7/10)--Credit Union Resources Inc., the service corporation of the Texas Credit Union League, has selected VINtek as its preferred provider of electronic lien and title (ELT) services. VINtek is a provider of automotive collateral management and direct auto finance solutions for credit unions and other automotive lenders. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) launched a statewide ELT program in November, and VINtek will assist Texas credit unions with the conversion to paperless titles. ELT is a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to paper-based vehicle titles that enables credit unions to receive digital titles from their local DMV ...

PSCU Financial Services debit transactions up 22 in 09

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (6/7/10)--PSCU Financial Services’ member credit unions saw annual debit transactions surge 22% in 2009 and go up 16% for the first quarter 2010--mainly because of an aggressive promotional strategy, the credit union service organization (CUSO) said. Its strong growth set it on pace to reach one billion debit transactions by 2011, the CUSO added. PSCU Financial Services will conduct seven direct mail usage campaigns in 2010 and periodic sweepstakes promotions. It funds many of the campaigns and leverages its relationships with card companies to ensure that most of the campaigns carry no cost to credit unions. “Since debit interchange plays such a large role in credit union revenues, we have a specialized team that designs campaigns for our credit unions,” said Tom Gandre, group executive, PSCU Financial Services. “We also negotiate with MasterCard and Visa to offer special sweepstakes promotions conducted specifically for our credit unions. The card companies provide very attractive prizes that drive increased participation, which ultimately leads to increased card usage and greater revenue for our credit unions.” So far this year, PSCU Financial Services has conducted two MasterCard debit campaigns with response rates of 14.5% and 6.6%. “We have been extremely pleased with the results of PSCU Financial Services’ debit promotions,” said John Stegner, chief financial officer, Y-12 FCU in Oak Ridge, Tenn. “We had more than 450 accounts go from completely inactive to an average of 24 transactions a month.” A Debit Advisory Group, made up of 20 member-owner credit unions of all sizes, provides input to the cooperative’s product development and marketing teams to ensure the DebitAdvantage platform addresses current and emerging needs of credit unions. The DebitAdvantage platform supports both signature and personal identification number transactions to simplify processing and enhance fraud protection. Cardholders gain 24/7 member support through the CUSO’s Contact Center. Also, AdvisorsPlus professionals are available to help credit unions analyze their card portfolios and conduct their own promotional campaigns.