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CU Student Choice tops 6 million in student loans

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WASHINGTON (7/1/08)--Credit Union Student Choice, a credit union service organization that helps credit unions make private student loans, announced that it approved more than $6 million in private student loans for the upcoming school year. More than 250 credit union members are benefiting from the loans, said Jon Jeffreys, president of Credit Union Student Choice. “Unlike the vast majority of private loans, ours feature zero origination fees. The savings from that alone balances of $7 million is potentially more than $300,000,” he added. Credit unions involved with the system include:
* Affinity Plus FCU, St. Paul, Minn.; * Digital FCU, Marlborough, Mass.; * Eli Lilly FCU, Indianapolis; * Members 1st FCU, Mechanicsburg, Pa.; * NASA FCU, Bowie, Md.; * Northwest FCU, Herndon, Va.; * NuUnion CU, Lansing, Mich.; * San Antonio (Texas) FCU; * Star One CU, Sunnyvale, Calif.; and * Wright-Patt CU, Fairborn, Ohio.
Service partners with Credit Union Student Choice include: Callahan Credit Union Financial Services Limited Partnership CUSO, Callahan and Associates, PSCU Financial Services, Digital Dialogue, Credit Union Direct Lending, CU*Answers and L9.com.

CU 24 Allpoint extend CU HERE agreement

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (6/30/08)--Credit Union 24 (CU 24) extended its relationship with the Allpoint Network to offer the CU HERE Premium ATM and point-of-sale network. The network has 50,000 surcharge-free ATMs to credit union participants. CU 24 signed a multi-year deal with Allpoint. The network, combined with CU 24’s point-of-sale network, will give credit union members about half a million access points nationwide. U.S. consumers spent $8.8 billion on ATM surcharges in 2006 and 2007, according to CU 24. The average surcharge was $1.86 in 2007, and the most common surcharge was $2. Some financial institutions charge as much as $3, the company said in a release. CU 24 is an ATM and point-of-sale network based in Tallahassee, Fla.

Products and Services briefs (06/26/2008)

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* NORTH CANTON, Ohio (6/27/08)--Kern Schools FCU, Bakersfield, Calif., recently used Diebold to deploy imaging ATMs with deposit automation features in all of its branches. Since implementing the ATMs, Kern Schools members have expressed greater satisfaction with their banking experiences. “Our members specifically use the new machines because they know the bulk note acceptors allow for immediate credit-on-cash deposits,” said Vincent Rojas, president/CEO of Kern Schools FCU. The credit union used brochures, videos and posters to educate members on the ATMs’ features. Kern Schools FCU has more than $1.6 billion in assets ... * RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (6/27/08)--CO-OP Financial Services will host “TechTrends,” a set of half-day information sessions July 15. The seminars will provide credit union executives with executable strategies to compete with larger financial institutions, said CO-OP Financial Services President/CEO Stan Hollen. Speakers will discuss check imaging at the ATM, kiosk, branch, home and retail locations; branding; future trends; the role of philanthropy in expanding business opportunities; and how credit unions can identify their ideal interchange structure ... * AUSTIN, Texas (6/27/08)--BancVue, a financial services provider, and FIRST ROI, an online marketer, announced the creation of C4, Certified Champions for the Community of Credit Unions. C4 comprises professionals experienced in credit union operations who aim to ensure the BancVue’s sales, implementation and consulting efforts meet credit unions’ needs. C4 members were trained in a program taught by Dennis Dollar, principal partner of Dollar Associates LLC and former chairman of the National Credit Union Administration ... * SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (6/27/08)--Meta Payment Systems has contracted with Fiserv and TransUnion to expand its short-term, small-dollar loan alternative, iAdvance, which can be accessed on MetaBank-issued prepaid cards. iAdvance will offer users a two-minute enrollment and advance process. Funds will be available to borrowers immediately and repayment performance will be reported to three credit bureaus. The product will be launched in the fall. MetaBank is a federally chartered savings bank administered by the Meta Payment Systems division ... * LONG BEACH, Miss. (6/27/08)--Credit unions can view a free 30-minute webinar July 16 to learn more about the Select-A-Branch ATM network by ATM manufacturer Triton. Select-A-Branch is surcharge-free for cardholders and can be branded for each credit union. It also offers a pay-per-use structure. Triton is a global ATM manufacturer with more than 180,000 installations in 24 countries ...

CUNA Mutual Liberty Mutual alliance marks a decade

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MADISON, Wis. (6/27/08)--CUNA Mutual Group and Boston-based Liberty Mutual recently marked the 10th anniversary of their strategic alliance to offer auto, home and renters insurance to members of credit unions through CUNA Mutual’s MEMBERS Auto and Homeowners Program.
Paul Kiersnowski, left, Liberty Mutual, presents a guitar signed by the BoDeans to CUNA Mutual Group President/CEO, Jeff Post, center, during CUNA Mutual’s Discovery Conference last week. The guitars commemorate the 10-year anniversary between the two companies. Joe Kunesh, right, CUNA Mutual, helped present the guitars. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
The alliance has generated more than $26 million in fee income for participating credit unions. Last year, the program paid credit unions $7.4 million in non-interest income, said Bill Jolicoeur, CUNA Mutual vice president. “CUNA Mutual brings the expertise in managing credit union relationships and marketing to credit union members, while Liberty Mutual brings innovative products, varied distribution channels and prompt and dependable claim service,” said Melanie Foley, Liberty Mutual vice president and manager, direct marketing. More than 3,200 credit unions with 38 million eligible members participate in the program. To commemorate the anniversary, CUNA Mutual and Liberty Mutual each donated a guitar autographed by members of the music group, the BoDeans, who performed at CUNA Mutual’s Discovery Conference in Hollywood, Fla., last week. The guitars sold for $925 during a silenct auction, which raised more than $13,500 for the National Credit Union Foundation’s disaster relief fund.

CO-OP Network makes gains in Southeast

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (6/27/08)--Several Southeastern credit unions have entered into agreements with CO-OP Financial Services, adding 56 ATMs and a league to its national surcharge-free network. Entering into agreements with CO-OP are: the Alabama Credit Union League (ACUL); Tuscaloosa (Ala.) CU; Jefferson County Teachers CU, Monticello, Fla.; Tampa (Fla.) Postal FCU; Gulf Winds FCU, Pensacola, Fla.; Florida Central CU, Tampa, Fla.; and Tampa (Fla.) Bay FCU. CO-OP has more than 3,500 surcharge-free ATMs in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Partnerships include those with several Florida credit unions: Suncoast Schools FCU; Eastern Financial Florida CU, South Florida; GTE FCU, Tampa; and Grow Financial FCU, Tampa. CO-OP ATMs can be found in 7-Eleven, Costco, Walgreens, Publix and Cumberland Farms stores. CO-OP Financial Services provides products and services including ATM network access, processing, debit card services and shared branching. The CO-OP network offers more than 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs.

Micro Merchant helps CUs manage marketing resources

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NORCROSS, Ga. (6/26/08)--Credit unions can develop, customize and print marketing materials with a central Web portal through Micro Merchant. Micro Merchant is a platform of Dynamic Marketing Systems, which is a provider of Web-enabled marketing resource management solutions. Micro Merchant offers design templates that can be used for banners, posters, inserts and ads. A direct mail feature is available--and the materials can be mailed directly from the Micro Merchant site. The print-on-demand service aims to reduce waste from large print quantities, reducing cost. “Many financial institutions today may not have the personnel or the time needed to execute their marketing programs consistently,” said Gordy Cain, Dynamic Marketing Systems CEO. “Our system provides financial institutions with the ability to communicate consistent brand messages across multiple branch locations and departments, a capability that is often lacking among many financial institutions.”

Fiserv tools aim to pre-empt foreclosures

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (6/26/08)--Credit unions can proactively identify and contact troubled borrowers with customized repayment solutions to prevent foreclosures by a new resources from Fiserv. The Predictive Risk Index Score Modeling (PRISM) and Home Retention Solutions focus on helping financial institutions forecast delinquencies and provide expanded member care to offer refinancing and negotiate workable resolutions. “The ability to identify, monitor and create solutions for at-risk borrowers is critically important to financial institutions,” said James Smith, Fiserv executive vice president of portfolio services. “It is not economically beneficial to lenders or borrowers to have mortgage loans enter in foreclosure.” By outsourcing loan analysis and customer contact to Fiserv, financial institutions won’t have to purchase and deploy analytic software or employ mortgage default efforts, Fiserv said. PRISM can identify risky accounts before they turn delinquent. After an analysis is complete, financial institutions can have Fiserv perform more detailed loan-level risk analyses on identified accounts. This requires no additional information from the financial institutions and leverages the use of PRISM data. Fiserv management then reviews the findings and recommends steps financial institutions can take to mitigate loss. Home Retention Solutions work one-on-one with borrowers to negotiate a repayment plan, forbearance or modification. When it is not in the borrower’s best interest to keep the home, Fiserv experts can take a deed in lieu of foreclosure or short sale. Fiserv provides information management and electronic commerce systems and services to the financial services industry.

Renewal of CUNA Freddie Mac alliance provides mortgage options

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McLEAN, Va. (6/25/08)--A package of services to help credit unions manage their mortgage business will remain available through a renewed alliance agreement between the Credit Union National Association and Freddie Mac. “With the current economic climate, this renewed alliance ensures that credit unions will continue to have options to succeed in the mortgage lending market, including affordable lending solutions to meet the needs of low- to moderate-income borrowers,” said Wes Millar, CUNA Strategic Services senior vice president. The alliance provides:
* Expanding execution and mortgage product options such as cash sale advantages on mortgages available through Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide; * Customized learning opportunities with assistance and training on Freddie Mac Home Possible Mortgage suite, and other low-downpayment mortgages to help low- to moderate-income borrowers; and * Technological advantages including Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector automated underwriting service and a Mortgagebot with Loan Prospector business-to-consumer website for online mortgage lending.
For more information, use the link.

MoneyGram webinar addresses walk-in solutions

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MADISON, Wis. (6/25/08)--MoneyGram is hosting a webinar on walk-in payments as alternative payment solutions July 15 at 1 p.m. EDT. Greg Waltz, vice president, strategic planning, MoneyGram International, will present the webinar. A guest speaker from Aite Group LLC also is scheduled to provide attendees with information. The webinar is geared toward senior alternative financial solution executives, collections managers, and treasury and cash management officers. Attendees will learn how to collect more payments, generate fee-based revenue, receive real-time payment notification and manage payments online, and provide services to the unbanked. More than 1.2 billion walk-in payments were performed in 2007, and this figure continues to grow at 5%, MoneyGram said. MoneyGram is a payments service company that serves financial institutions, including credit unions.

CSS Digital Insight team up on online banking

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MADISON, Wis. (6/24/08)--Credit unions can provide online banking services to their members through a new alliance between CUNA Strategic Services and Digital Insight. The agreement includes:
* Consumer Internet Banking--provides online bill payment, funds transfer, online statements, check images and reorders, customer support and more; * Members Business Services--includes cash management and forecasting, business bill payment, payroll services, online tax payments and other services; * Finance Works--available in October, the solution transforms the credit union’s website into an online financial management hub for members. Members can view all of their finances in one place, understand their cash flow and bills, and get a better picture of their spending habits; and * Growth and Retention Services--offers marketing, research and training tools to help credit unions drive adoption and active use of Internet banking and online bill payment.
“Digital Insight has a wealth of knowledge about how consumers and businesses manage their finances, and this expertise is built into every solution and services it offers,” said Wes Millar, CUNA Strategic Services senior vice president. “Our new relationship will help credit unions better capture, grow and deepen primary financial relationships with members, especially those in emerging market segments.” “A strong online presence and the means to drive active use of the online channel is vital to the success of credit unions that want to remain relevant to members today and tomorrow,” said Sasan Goodarzi, Digital Insight president. “This relationship demonstrates that we are making good on our promise to provide credit unions with the products and services needed to compete and win in the marketplace.”

FSCC celebrates shared branch excellence

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (6/24/08)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) honored credit unions June 11 with its sixth annual globe awards.
(From left) Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) President/CEO Sarah Canepa Bang presented Roger Michaelis, president/CEO, iQ CU, with the Self-Service Branch Award for Outstanding Performance June 11 in Chicago. FSCC Executive Vice President and Chief Operation Officer Bonnie Kramer helped present the award. (Photo provided by Financial Service Centers Cooperative)
The awards were presented during the annual shareholders’ meeting in Chicago. Credit unions and partners were selected based on performance and their commitment to excellence on the FSCC network for 2007. Exceptional Performance awards recipients were:
* Patelco CU, San Francisco; * The Golden 1 CU, Sacramento; and * Service CU, Portsmouth, N.H.
Host System Performance for Uptime award recipients were:
* Xceed Financial FCU, El Segundo, Calif.; * Western FCU, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; and * Vons Employees CU, El Monte, Calif.
Member Awareness of Shared Branching award recipients were:
* Spokane Teachers FCU, Spokane, Wash.; * Chevron FCU, Oakland, Calif.; and * Point Loma FCU, San Diego.
Patelco also received the Largest Acquirer award; Digital CU, Marlborough, Mass., received the Largest Issuer Award; and Northrop Grumman CU, Lancaster, Calif., received the Largest Single Outlet award. Mountain America CU, West Jordan, Utah, received the Most Branches on the Network award and Service CU received the Largest Acquirer on U.S. Military Bases award. iQ CU, Vancouver, Wash., received the Self-Service Branch Award for Outstanding Performance.

CUDL Prime Alliance merge lending symposiums

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LAS VEGAS (6/24/08)--CUDL announced Friday at its 10th annual auto lending symposium that it will partner with Prime Alliance Solutions Inc. for next year’s conference. The CUDL/Prime Alliance Lending Symposium, scheduled for May 13-15, 2009, will provide credit unions with information about lending, major issues and trends that affect the industry. “While credit unions are currently consumers’ ‘flight to safety,’ we look forward to creating a forum where credit unions can network, learn and interact,” said Keith Nolan, Prime Alliance executive vice president of sales and marketing. CUDL is a credit union service organization that provides point-of-sale and indirect lending services to credit unions. The organization is based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Prime Alliance is a credit union service organization that provides mortgage solutions to the credit union industry.

Products and Services briefs (06/20/2008)

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* WESTLAKE, Ohio (6/23/08)--Cardwell, a strategy implementation consultancy that started out as an executive search firm working with credit unions, celebrated its 25th year in business with the credit union industry. Cardwell offers Connections Online, a strategy execution solution and leadership symposiums. “Credit unions are looking for strategic performance and operational efficiency more than ever before,” said CEO Jim Cardwell. “Progressive credit unions are retaining their relationship-driven ‘people cultures,’ while concurrently establishing systems for higher levels of ‘performance impact’” ... * LAKEWOOD, Colo. (6/23/08)--Credit Union Service Network (CUSN) hired Dale Pierce as its new business development account manager. His duties will be to attract new shared-branching participants to grow the network throughout CUSN’s regional market. Pierce formerly served as CEO for Denver Water Department CU, Denver, for five years and held positions at St. Vrain Valley CU, Longmont, Colo., and Members FCU, Aurora, Colo. ...

Synergent receives 98 satisfaction rate from CUs

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WESTBROOK, Maine (6/23/08)--Synergent received a 98% satisfaction rating from credit unions for its responsiveness, relationship with partners and expertise in a recent satisfaction survey. Luke Labbe, president/CEO, PeoplesChoice CU, Biddeford, Maine, said his credit union is impressed with Synergent’s responsiveness. “Credit unions are the embodiment of service and Synergent understands and embraces this philosophy at a very high level,” he said. Synergent serves clients through open communication between staff members and internal resources, said Rebekah Higgins, card services manager. “Each credit union has an assigned account relationship manager (ARM), and another responsibility of the ARM is to conduct site visits to ensure the credit union staff is pleased with the service they are being provided,” added Diane Roy, account relationship manager. Synergent provides the Symitar Episys platform, along with other technology, business and service solutions to credit unions. The company serves more than 200 credit unions in New England and upstate New York.

Mortgagebot forms partnership with Harland Financial Solutions

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MEQUON, Wis. (6/20/08)--Harland Financial Solutions will recommend Mortgagebot PowerSite, a Web-based loan-origination system, to its clients and prospects as a preferred solution as a result of a partnership with Mortgagebot announced Tuesday. PowerSite users also will be able to implement software that helps transfer application data collected by the site to Harland Financial Solutions’ mortgage solution and loan documentation products. More than 125 Harland clients already use PowerSite. PowerSite takes applications directly from consumers and allows branch, call center and other non-mortgage staff to take applications with minimal training. It also allows borrowers to complete an application and get pre-approved with full disclosures in 20 minutes or less. Mortgagebot PowerSite automates mortgage loan applications for 800 lenders nationwide, and half of the nation’s top 100 financial institutions, including credit unions. More than 70% of all consumers who search for low mortgage rates look on the Internet, and one-fourth of all lenders originate more than half of their loan volume online, Mortgagebot said in a statement.

CSS transition to RBS gift cards effective July 30

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MADISON, Wis. (6/20/08)--Credit unions with Travelex Visa gift cards under a strategic alliance with CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) will need to make their transition to the RBS Lynk/CSS Gift Card program before July 30. CSS recently announced a new strategic prepaid gift card alliance with RBS Lynk and an enhanced Travel Card offering in its continuing alliance with Travelex. Travelex is discontinuing its gift card program. Credit unions under the Travelex gift card program may continue to sell their existing Travelex Visa Gift Card inventory until July 30. "As we searched for a gift card provider, we were impressed with how easy it was for credit unions to roll out and deliver this program to their members," said Wes Millar, senior vice president, CSS. CSS has sent two letters to credit unions announcing the change to the gift card program and the final date. RBS Lynk's new, enhanced gift card program includes:
* Gift Card inventory with no up-front investment--the cards are paid for when activated; * No program implementation or annual fees; * "America's Credit Unions" brand on the Visa Gift Card; * Free Gift Card packaging with each card; and. * Two free marketing kits per year.
Travelex has broadened its prepaid Travel Card program to include four cards, including two U.S. card products. For more information, use the resource links.

FSCC elects officers

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (6/19/08)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) elected officers for its board of directors June 11 at the 17th Annual Shareholders’ meeting in Chicago. Steve Dahlstrom, president/CEO of Spokane (Wash.) Teachers CU, was elected chairman of the board and will serve a fourth term as chairman, FSCC announced. Other officers are:
* Vice chairman: Steve Stapp, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif.; * Treasurer: John Fiore, president/CEO, Motorola Employees CU, Schaumburg, Ill.; and * Secretary: Patricia Smith, CEO, Unitus Community CU, Portland, Ore.
Stapp and Fiore are each serving a third term. Smith is serving a second term. Incumbent board members elected are:
* Fiore; * Roger Michaelis, president/CEO, iQ CU, Vancouver, Wash.; and * Stan Swenson, president/CEO, Northrop Grumman FCU, Gardena, Calif.
Other board members are:
* Wayne Bunker, president/CEO, Provident CU, Redwood City, Calif.; * Norman Okimoto, president/CEO, Hawaiian Tel FCU, Honolulu; and * Ron Westad, president/CEO, Arizona FCU, Phoenix.

New Jersey league partners with CO-OP Network

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (6/19/08)--New Jersey credit unions will have access to more than 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs through a sponsorship agreement with the New Jersey Credit Union League and CO-OP Network. “The CO-OP has a great retail presence in New Jersey through 7-Eleven and other key retailers,” said Paul Gentile, president/CEO, New Jersey Credit Union League (Weekly Exchange June 16). There are more than 400 ATMs in the CO-OP Network in New Jersey. The league said it will create a pricing and set-up program to grow the network in the state. CO-OP Network is operated by CO-OP Financial Services, which consists of 2,000 member credit unions nationwide and 24 million cardholders. CO-OP ATMs can be found at stores such as 7-Eleven, Kmart, Publix groceries, and Cumberland Farms, and in airports. Each CO-OP ATM has a CO-OP Network logo and an online branch locator that provides locations within a 10-mile radius.

Diebolds skimming technology receives banker tech award

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (6/18/08)--ATM manufacturer Diebold received the Banker Technology Awards 2008 Retail Award for Delivery Channel Security for its skimming detection technology. The technology detects the presence of skimming devices to help prevent ATM fraud and the loss of millions of dollars each year for financial institutions. The feature is included in every new Diebold Opteva motorized card reader at no charge. Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. The average industry cost for similar technology is between $1,200 and $1,500 per unit, Diebold said. Skimming can account for as much as 99% of ATM attacks in geographic areas, Diebold added. “In addition to the industry’s growing fraud concern, the No. 1 concern among financial institutions’ customers is the theft of personal financial information--surpassing terrorism, job security and natural disasters,” said Charles E. Ducey Jr., Diebold senior vice president of global development and services.

August on-site learning events include finance skills

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MADISON, Wis. (6/18/08)--Credit union professionals can learn investing and financial management techniques to enhance credit union performance in today’s economic environment during multiple August on-site learning events offered by the Credit Union National Association. Learning events include:
* The Economics and Investments Conference, Aug. 3-6 in Chicago, which offers practical ideas for managing credit union investments. The conference reviews current indicators, statistics and insights to forecast the economic climate. It then examines national mortgage market and auto industry trends, as well as the credit union loan-to-share ratio national average. Asset/liability management (ALM) techniques to enhance credit union performance with today’s uncertain interest rates will be provided, along with strategies to maximize capital investments, control interest expense, and manage interest margins. * The Introduction to Credit Union ALM and the Economy Pre-Conference Workshop, offered the morning of Aug. 3, will explore key financial components that credit union staff and volunteers should understand. Attendees will also practice making decisions with different scenarios affected by economic trends. * Financial Management School: Part I, Aug. 17-22, Denver, which introduces ALM, ratio analysis, investment policy, budgeting, pricing loans and deposits, cost accounting, and more. This school is for volunteers and credit union staff who wish to expand their finance expertise. * Financial Management School: Part II, Aug. 17-21, Denver, which builds on many topics discussed in Part I along with advanced issues such as: portfolio and core deposits management, forecasting and strategic planning for long-term growth, investment options and measuring risk-based capital. * Financial Management School: Part III, Aug. 20-23, Denver, which provides an annual update of current issues. This year’s topics will cover new regulatory and accounting issues facing the industry, unrelated business income tax, advanced cost accounting, bonds, net economic value and leadership issues.
For more information, use the links.

Products and Services briefs (06/16/2008)

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* CHICAGO (6/17/08)--Digital Dialogue, a PSCU Financial Services company, recognized two credit unions that use Financial Service Centers Cooperative’s (FSCC) custom call center services provided by Digital Dialogue. First Tech CU, Beaverton, Ore., received the Leadership Award, and Pacific Marine CU, Camp Pendleton, Calif. received the Service Innovator Award. The awards were presented at FSCC’s annual meeting in Chicago. First Tech has $1.8 billion in assets, and Pacific Marine has $479 million in assets. FSCC is based in San Dimas, Calif. ... * ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (6/17/08)--David J. Serlo, president/CEO of PSCU Financial Services, was named the 2008 Ernst and Young Florida Entrepreneur of the Year. He received the award in Orlando, Fla., June 5. The award recognizes men and women who excel at growing and sustaining market-leading businesses. Serlo was noted for building and leading PSCU, a credit union service organization created 25 years ago. Serlo will compete for the national Entrepreneur of the Year Award Nov. 12-16 in Palm Springs, Calif. ...

Products and Services briefs (06/13/2008)

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* GLASTONBURY, Conn. (6/16/08)--Open Solutions, a provider of integrated enabling technologies for financial services providers, announced that it has entered into a European strategic alliance with Hewlett Packard. All Open Solutions products, including The Complete Banking Solution: DNA/The Complete Credit Union Solution, will be delivered through the Hewlett Packard direct sales and reseller network in Europe. Hewlett Packard will implement, customize, localize and support the products under the agreement ... * CONCORD, Mass. (6/16/08)--Fair Isaac Corp., a provider of analytics and decision management technology, and Memento Inc., a provider of fraud and compliance solutions for credit unions, announced they will jointly offer Memento Security to financial services companies. “Fraudulent activity is being found to originate inside the company, posing a dual threat to a financial services firm’s balance sheet and reputation,” said Doug Clare, vice president, fraud protect management, Fair Isaac. With the partnership, Memento can help financial institutions monitor, detect investigate and prevent internal fraud, said BC Krishna, Memento CEO ... * WASHINGTON (6/16/08)--Mike Weber, former vice president of marketing and public relations for Dupaco Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa, and past chair of the Credit Union National Association’s Marketing and Business Development Council, has joined The Credit Union Student Choice’s management team as vice president of marketing. Weber has worked in advertising, marketing and public relations for more than 14 years. Credit Union Student Choice helps credit unions offer private student loans to members ... * SAN FRANCISCO (6/16/08)--mFoundry has been selected by Bank Technology News as one of its annual “Ten Technology Companies to Watch” in the June 2008 issue. mFoundry was the No.1 company in the ranking. The company was profiled in the 2007 ranking and is one of three companies to be selected for the listing more than once. mFoundry provides mobile banking and payments solution for credit unions ...

Classic teller video series now on DVD

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MADISON, Wis. (6/13/08)--The classic Teller Survival Guide video from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is now on DVD. The series originally was recorded on VHS in the early 1990s to help credit union tellers with common credit unions issues. The videos were recently reformatted onto two DVDs. The Teller Survival Guide Series Disc 1 includes the titles:
* The Rookie--Outlines skills, how to overcome five most common reactions of rookies, communication, responding to a line of members, and the differences between a credit union and a bank; * Fine Tuning Your Skills--Teaches 10 tips for professionalism, relationships with other departments, handling difficult situations, and common policies and procedures; and * The Drive-Up Window--Identifies tips for drive-up window professionalism, communication and handling common problems.
Disc 2 includes: * Common Scams and Collusion--Classifies and explains how to handle internal security threats, extortion, check kiting and fraud; * Common Balancing Errors--Examines the basics of balancing a cash drawer and how to find and avoid balancing errors; and * Robbery--Provides employee steps and goals before, during and after a robbery. For more information, use the links.

CO-OP Financial adds ATM management service

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (6/13/08)--A new ATM management service from CO-OP Financial Services will help free credit union staff from daily ATM terminal maintenance chores. “CO-OP ATM Management was created to administer all ATM upkeep and maintenance, taking care of the everyday tasks associated with ATMs,” said CO-OP President/CEO Stan Hollen. “[It] serves as a credit union’s ATM back office.” The service results from a partnership between CO-OP and CU Anytime, a New-Mexico based credit union service organization. ATM Management features include:
* Telecom equipment installation coordination and ongoing support--aiding communication protocol knowledge with Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, dial-up, leased line and wireless options; * Hardware and software management--installing new devices and upgrading existing devices; * Cash support--scrutinizing all cash levels, including cash replenishment, emergency cash deliveries and adjustments at individual machines; * Deposit processing--from envelope deposits to ATM image proofing; and * First- and second-line maintenance--monitoring all devices and terminal alarms, and managing service needs to ensure members have uninterrupted access to cash.
CO-OP Financial Services is a credit union service organization that provides more than 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs to participating credit union members.

Mid-Atlantic Corporate forms benefitsinsurance CUSO

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MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (6/12/08)--Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU announced the formation of a new credit union services organization (CUSO), Sollievo Group LLC, to offer benefits and insurance services to credit unions. Sollievo will offer retirement programs, and executive and defined benefit pension plans. It also will work with credit unions looking to divest their defined benefit plans. The CUSO plans to offer credit union bond coverage, commercial and professional liability coverage, and property and casualty insurance. Ed Fox, retiring CEO of Mid-Atlantic Corporate, will head Sollievo. “There is a need for credit unions to have access to fairly priced, structured packages that focus on their specific concerns and challenges,” he said. Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU is a corporate credit union that provides investment, lending and payment services, share draft and electronic bill payment processes to a national field of membership. It is headquartered in Middletown, Pa.

Digital Dialogue FSCC sign 10-year pact

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CHICAGO (6/12/08)--Digital Dialogue, a PSCU Financial Services company, signed a 10-year contract extension with Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) of San Dimas, Calif. The news was announced Wednesday at FSCC’s 2008 annual meeting in Chicago. FSCC and Digital Dialogue first partnered in 2003. FSCC is a credit union service organization that provides a shared branching network for credit unions that serve members in remote or distant areas. The FSCC shared branching network has 5,000 access points for credit union members. FSCC also has a call center, credit union kiosks, 2,000 7-Eleven kiosks and more than 2,900 branches nationwide. Digital Dialogue is a provider of financial call center operations and software solutions for credit unions. It developed custom-branded call center services for FSCC credit union members, including transactional support and customized greetings for each credit union.

SBA launches tax savings resource center for small biz

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WASHINGTON (6/11/08)--The U.S. Small Business Administration has created an online tax savings resource center for small businesses so they can understand how they can benefit from the 2008 economic stimulus package. Earlier this year, President Bush signed the package into law. The package includes several tax incentives for businesses, including:
* A 50% bonus depreciation allowance on equipment purchased and placed in service in calendar 2008; and * A nearly 100% increase (to $250,000 from $128,000) in the amount a business can expense for equipment purchased and placed in the business tax year beginning in 2008.
The new resource center demonstrates benefits entrepreneurs can gain and includes three resources:
* Fact sheet, explaining the small business tax benefits; * Depreciation calculator, to provide an estimate of first-year depreciation available under the provisions; and * Online seminar, with a brief tutorial summarizing the tax benefits and concluding with the depreciation calculator.
However, because there are often exceptions, small businesses should contact their tax advisor for exact applications to their situation or visit the Internal Revenue Service website.

NACUSO launches blog journal

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (6/11/08)--The National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO) announced it has launched a blog journal on its newly redesigned website. The site was launched April 28 during the NACUSO 2008 Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The manager of the blog will be Jim Jerving, who owns a communications business and serves as board chairman of Heritage CU, Madison, Wis. His first post, “Developing Networks: A Matter of Survival,” is focused on networking and the views of Randy Karnes, CU*Answers CEO. “The blog will focus on the issues that are important to NACUSO and its National Center for Collaboration and Innovation as well as credit unions--critical thinking, innovation, collaboration and implementation,” said Thomas Davis, NACUSO CEO. “The blog is another means of bringing added value to the members of NACUSO.” A donation by PSCU Financial Services’ to the National Center for Collaboration allowed NACUSO to expedite the website redesign and blog development. Collaboration between credit unions and credit union service organizations is one of the center’s primary goals.

PCUA offers credit card audit program

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (6/11/08)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) Card Services has developed a new service that will perform a quarterly audit on the status of credit unions’ credit card accounts held by staff and volunteers, the PCUA said. Cards of all credit unions and staff should be audited, said PCUA (Life is a Highway June 10). The audit:
* Determines that the account is in good standing; * Reviews and validates any payments, transactions or adjustments that were posted internally at the credit union; and * Determines if critical changes have been made to the account.
Fees are based on the number of cardholders audited and range from $200 to $500 annually, PCUA said.

NewsGator evolves CUs intranet into social network

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BOSTON (6/11/08)--NewsGator, a social computing provider, has helped evolve CME FCU’s intranet into a social network, according to Joe Toth, CME assistant vice president. “It allows for users to add colleagues into their profile and exchange information across departmental boundaries,” Toth said. “These features, along with other social computing capabilities provided by the solution, have led to improved productivity by saving our employees an average of 30 minutes a day.” CME FCU is located in Columbus, Ohio. NewsGator recently announced the availability of Social Sites 2.0, an upgrade for NewsGator’s social computing solution for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Social Sites 2.0 allows users to interact, collaborate and find people they need to do their work. Social Sites offers community capabilities, that:
* Allow employees to share ideas, information and documents by enabling them to create ad hoc communities around common interests, areas of research and projects; * Provide for easy discovery of groups via customized recommendations, tags, searches and lists of recently created and popular communities; * Offer a discussion component with e-mail integration; * Simplify content additions by allowing content to be tagged into the community, added via social bookmarks and RSS feeds; and * Offer chronological views of community activity from both a single community and consolidated from all communities a user joins.
Social networking capabilities:
* Provides employees with social network graphs based on explicit and implied connections; * Show each user their strongest connections based on common content, interests and intranet activity; and * Recommend colleagues to a user based on common community membership, tags and RSS subscriptions.

FIS introduces remote deposit solution for consumers

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (6/10/08)--Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) announced that Xpress Deposit, a remote deposit solution, is now available for consumers. Remote deposit makes it possible for consumers to scan checks for any location, using flatbed scanner technology, and send the images to financial institutions for processing. “Credit unions can gain new deposits and increase customer retention by providing remote deposit services to consumers,” said Robert Hunt, TowerGroup senior research director. Xpress Deposit complements Commercial Capture Xpress, a remote deposit solution for businesses, according to FIS. FIS is a core processor for financial institutions including credit unions.

Katrina-damaged CU to offer remote signature document delivery

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LINDEN, N.J. (6/10/08)--Jefferson FCU, Harvey, La., was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and many of its members suffered major losses. Now, the credit unions is taking advantage of remote signature capture and secure document delivery for future disaster preparedness. The remote signature capture and document delivery, by Integrated Media Management (IMM)’s TotaleAtlasWeb, captures users’ digital signatures via the Web anytime and anywhere. The completed documents are sent back to the credit union for archival. “Our younger members want to do everything electronically, and we are discovering other age groups also appreciate having easy and fast access to their financials,” said Carrie Lopez, Jefferson FCU vice president of lending. “Our employees are inundated with paperwork, and TotaleAtlasWeb reduces the amount of paper and time it takes for documents to get back and forth between our staff and members.” Jefferson re-opened its three branches a month after the storm. The credit union’s membership increased because of those displaced from their homes and others whose financial institutions didn’t reopen. “A credit union is a family, and that is how we treat our members,” said Trina Shano, Jefferson senior loan officer. “Our goal is to help the community, especially the underserved, and those who have experienced hard times since the storm. “Many who have been relocated to Texas and Mississippi as a result of the storm are still able to maintain their membership with us thanks to IMM’s Web-based solutions,” she added. TotalAtlasWeb links credit unions and their members via the Web, which can make a difference during a disaster when traditional lines of communication are not an option, said Chuck Klein, IMM CEO. IMM specializes in document output management and automation technology and is based in Linden, N.J.

LEVEL5 to help CU with aggressive growth plan

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ATLANTA (6/10/08)--USA CU, Auburn Hills, Mich., announced that it will use LEVEL5, a consulting firm that specializes in financial institutions, to develop its aggressive growth plan. LEVEL5 is a CUNA Strategic Service provider. USA CU has $500 million in assets and 66,000 members in 50 states. In 2005, the credit union expanded its charter to include the Detroit community. The credit union chose LEVEL5 because of its five-step approach: strategic consulting, real estate, integrated design, construction management and branding. The credit union recently opened a new branch May 26. LEVEL5 helped the credit union select the location and designed the branch with service kiosks to eliminate the physical barrier of a teller line. “It has always been our practice to ensure that branch visits are a relationship-based experience, working with the same representative no matter what the task--from opening a checking account to applying for a loan,” said Tom Alter, USA CU executive vice president. USA CU also is beginning construction on a freestanding hub branch with LEVEL5 as part of the implementation of its strategic retail delivery plan.

Consumers can pay bills in cash through kiosks

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (6/9/08)--Consumers can pay their bills in cash at kiosks through an agreement with Ready Credit Corp. and CheckFreePay. Ready Credit sells prepaid MasterCards at its kiosks and decided to offer bill-pay services, according to Tim J. Walsh, Ready Credit president/CEO (ATM and Debit News June 5). Many Ready Credit clients don’t have bank accounts and prefer to use cash, he told the newspaper. Users of the kiosks will pay $1.50 for two-day bill processing and $2.50 for next-day processing of their payments. Ready Credit and CheckFree share the revenue fees, said Paul Harrison, CheckFreePay general manager. Ready Credit has kiosks in 55 stores in Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Georgia. Chicago may have kiosks next month as well, Walsh told the newsletter. Kiosks are available in grocery stores, convenience stores and Dollar Tree stores. CheckFree is a subsidiary of Fiserv, which is located in Brookfield, Wis.

VINtek offers electronic lien and title in Georgia

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PHILADELPHIA (6/6/08)--The Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program, developed by the Georgia Department of Revenue, went live May 22 with Philadelphia-based VINtek as its first authorized ELT service provider. Georgia joins 12 other U.S. states offering ELT as an environmentally friendly green alternative to paper-based titles. “Electronic titles also reduce the risk of fraud by eliminating documents that can be stolen or manipulated by a third party,” said Bart Graham, Georgia Department of Revenue commissioner. Regional Acceptance Corp., a Greenville, N.C.-based auto finance lender is the first lender to use ELT in Georgia with VINtek. VINtek is a provider of automotive collateral management services for credit unions and other lenders.

S1 Corp Clickatell to provide on-demand text banking

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NORCROSS, Ga. (6/6/08)--S1 Corp. and Clickatell will provide on-demand text-based mobile services through the S1 Enterprise and Postilion Banking Solutions, the companies announced at the S1 Enterprise Customer Conference in Miami. S1 and Postilion customers can use the short message service (SMS) to check account balances, transfer funds, view account alerts and conduct person-to-person payments. SMS also allows users to monitor potential fraud through their mobile phones. “As [financial institutions] continue to reach out to an increasingly mobile customer base, they require the ability to communicate interactively with their customers in a secure, real-time manner,” said Pieter de Villiers, Clickatell CEO. Clickatell’s global messaging system delivers transactions to and from cell phones over 700 networks in more than 200 countries. S1 is a provider of integrated banking solutions for financial institutions including credit unions. Postilion offers integrated solutions for self-service banking, and Clicktell provides mobile messaging solutions.

Satmetrix to drive WesCorps loyalty program

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FOSTER CITY, Calif. (6/5/08)--Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp) announced that Satmetrix, a provider of customer loyalty solutions and co-developer of Net Promoter, will head WesCorp’s loyalty program. Satmetrix will design a program for WesCorp that combines its on-demand technology with Net Promoter best practices. It allows WesCorp to collect member feedback at each customer touch point, identify and evaluate operational and strategic drivers of loyalty, and prioritize how resources are allocated to improve performance. Real-time data will be distributed to account managers with action plans and tools. “WesCorp will be able to better understand and respond to its members’ needs, improve the member experience, and boost member retention and growth,” said Richard Owen, Satmetrix president/CEO.

WesCorp lowers rates 5 on e-check processing

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (6/5/08)--Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp) will reduce member check collection files received electronically by 5% per unit, starting this month. The decrease is based on reduced clearing fees at exchange points where WesCorp participates and lower internal costs for processing work. “As more and more member credit unions embrace the new efficiencies of image processing first envisioned by Check 21 legislation, WesCorp is able to pass on these savings to our members,” said Richard Stanton, WesCorp director of product sales support. The corporate expects further price decreases before the end of the year, he added. WesCorp has $31 billion in assets and serves more than 1,000 credit unions in the U.S. and Guam.

CU Realty CUSO reaches 3.7 million in member rebates

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HERNDON, Va. (6/4/08)--CU Realty distributed more than $3.7 million in cash rebates to members, the credit union service organization (CUSO) announced at its annual meeting May 22 at Northwest FCU, Herndon, Va.
At CU Realty's 2008 annual meeting in Herndon, Va., are (from left): Juri Valdov, CU Realty chairman; Marty Wye, Congressional FCU; Scott Toler, Credit Union Mortgage Association; Michelle Sandy, managing director, CU Realty; John Ritchey, Apple FCU, Fairfax, Va.
CU Realty announced that 1,037 transactions were made by members who used the service to buy or sell a home. The CUSO also is looking to add West Virginia to the program and form credit union and real estate relationships in that area. “CU Realty is accomplishing what we set out to do: members are getting rebates, credit unions are getting loans, the community is being served and the credit union movement as a whole is flourishing by what we’re doing,” said Juri Valdov, CU Realty chairman and past Credit Union National Association (CUNA) board chair.
Colleen Daly, former president of CU Realty, is presented a board of managers honor by Juri Valdov, chairman of CU Realty during its annual meeting. (Photos provided by CU Realty)
CU Realty was formed in 2005 with 12 chapter credit union partners. The CUSO provides credit union members with free online tools, including unrestricted access to a home listing database that real estate agents use. Credit union partners are: Agriculture FCU, Alexandria, Va.; Apple FCU, Fairfax, Va.; Bank-Fund Staff FCU, Washington, D.C.; Bayport CU, Newport News, Va.; Fairfax County (Va.) FCU; HEW FCU, Alexandria, Va.; Justice FCU, Chantilly, Va.; NASA FCU, Bowie, Md.; Northwest FCU; State Department FCU, Alexandria, Va.; Tower FCU, Annapolis Junction, Md.; and Credit Union Mortgage Association.

Partnership allows CUs to automate insurance quotes loans

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AUSTIN, Texas (6/4/08)--Teres Solutions Inc., a provider of direct and indirect lending software for credit unions, has partnered with insurance and financial services company Allied Solutions to automate insurance application management for credit unions. Allied will integrate its IQQ software with Teres Solutions’ SAIL lending software. The integration will allow credit unions to automatically receive insurance quotes and placements for the loan applications they manage through the SAIL software. “Credit unions understand that automation is the key to succeeding in this hyper-competitive lending market,” said Tim Kelly, Teres Solutions CEO. Allied also announced this week that it has purchased MJB Insurance Services of Kansas City, Mo. MJB provides insurance, and financial products and services to credit unions in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Mike Button, president and owner of MJB, will be a regional vice-president for Allied along with Alan Tenbrink, a producer with MJB. They will help direct marketing efforts in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Network Boxs E-Series consolidates security ops

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HOUSTON (6/3/08)--Network Box USA announced a product line to help companies consolidate their network security through one solution. “Information technology managers face a daunting number of attack vectors, so they’ll buy several different technologies to counter these threats,” said Pierluigi Stella, Network Box chief technology officer. “This can be a logistical nightmare, creating unnecessary, complicated layers of infrastructure and draining an organization’s computing power.” E-Series uses a minimum amount of processing power required to provide effective security, Stella added. The E-Series product range includes solutions for medium-sized institutions, such as model E1000. Models E2000 and E4000 are tailored for larger institutions. The E-Series can store a library of old threats that reappear. Network Box’s product line was created in response to security breaches and virus attacks. The company serves financial institutions, including credit unions.