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Products Archive

Products

Diebold wins Remote Service Leadership Award

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FOXBORO, Mass. (7/1/09)--Diebold Inc., North Canton, Ohio, has won the 2009 Axeda Remote Service Leadership Award for its OpteView Remote Services solution that connects remote ATMs in real-time to the people and systems providing service and support. The OpteView Remote Services solution offers:
* A 20% improvement in ATM availability; * Remote resolution of 20% of total issues; * A 19% decline in field service visits; * Reduction in issue resolution time from an average of one to three hours down to 30 minutes or less; and * A field service mileage decrease of 175 per miles per ATM.
The award recognizes one organization that delivers maximum value through the effective deployment of remote service technology. The winner is selected by Aberdeen Group, an independent analyst that covers the remote service/smart service market. Diebold’s OpteView installations have increased by 400% in the last 17 months.

CO-OP Shared Branching adds 264 new centers

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ATLANTA (7/1/09)--CO-OP Shared Branching added 264 new locations during the first half of this year to its network of more than 3,720 shared branches and 2,000 self-service kiosks. Shared Branching offers a low-cost alternative for credit unions that want to provide a branching distribution channel that can compete with the nation’s largest banks, according to CO-OP Shared Branching.
Click to view larger image CO-OP Shared Branching added 264 new service centers nationwide in the first half of 2009. (Photo provided by CO-OP Shared Branching)
“We are not seeing growth of shared branching clustered in any particular region of the country,” said Carroll Beach, president and chief operating officer. “Instead, the new locations are scattered all over the U.S.” Capital Educators FCU, Meridian, Idaho, is scheduled to go live with Shared Branching this fall. The credit union has not been forced to close any branches or freeze expansion plans due to the economy but said it sees shared branching as an important complement to its other branches. “We’ve done extensive analysis to determine where we should build brick and mortar, and in the process have uncovered certain geographic areas that need a branch presence but don’t have enough membership to justify the cost of construction, said Mike Hill, Capital Educators CU executive vice president. “In those places, we are using shared branching as a supplement to retain accounts.” The credit union loses accounts mostly due to members moving and expects shared branching to offset the issue, Hill added.

Dillinger changed how Diebold protected vaults

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (6/30/09)--ATM manufacturer Diebold says real-life gangster John Dillinger, the subject of a new film, “Public Enemies,” changed the way the company protected financial institutions’ vaults. “Public Enemies,” starring Johnny Depp as Dillinger, is set to be released Wednesday. Dillinger led the Dillinger Gang in the early 1930s and was the first man labeled by federal law enforcement as “Public Enemy No. 1.” During his 13-month career as a gangster, his group killed 10 men, wounded seven others, robbed numerous banks, raided police arsenals and staged three jailbreaks. Because many of Diebold’s clients were worried about their financial security with Dillinger on the loose, Diebold partnered with Lake Erie Chemical Company in the early 1930s to create a teargas system that could be triggered during a robbery. Teargas canisters were placed in the buildings so that the gas would envelop the institution’s lobbies. Diebold reported brisk sales of the system throughout five states in the Midwest, where Dillinger and his gang had been involved in heists. Diebold, a CUNA Strategic Service provider, is headquartered in Canton, Ohio. The company celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

Intuit to host town hall meeting via Twitter

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (6/29/09)--Intuit Inc. will host a virtual town hall meeting Tuesday on Twitter with credit union representatives and small business industry experts to discuss capital for small businesses. Intuit provides business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, financial institutions including credit unions, consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products include QuickBooks, Quicken and TurboTax software. The meeting will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Phil Bryan, senior vice president of retail and lending at Metro CU, Springfield, Mass., is slated to participate. The discussion will provide tips on how small businesses can obtain credit, build relationships with financial institutions and the steps small businesses need to take to get credit. Credit unions and community banks are “excellence and accessible” sources of credit, according to the Intuit Future of Small Business Report on Small Business Credit Outlook. Participants must have a Twitter account to participate. For more information, use the link.

Diebold launches cash-accepting device

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (6/26/09)--ATM manufacturer Diebold has launched the Enhanced Note Acceptor (ENA), a cash-accepting device, at its ATMs. ENA allows deposits of up to 50 mixed-denomination notes in an envelope-free transaction. The ENA module is offered as a standard feature on Diebold’s Opteva ATM or as an onsite field upgrade. Envelope-free transactions help eliminate empty-envelope and closed-account fraud, Diebold said. The number of deposit-automated ATMS across 26 countries has more than quadrupled since 2003 to more than 96,000 at the end of 2007, according to a Retail Banking Research study. Demand is expected to grow by 670,000 deposit-automated units deployed by 2018. Diebold is headquartered in Canton, Ohio.

Rebate check mailing drives CUs remote deposit

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BURLINGTON, Mass. and UNIVERSAL CITY, Texas (6/25/09)--Credit unions looking to launch at-home remote-deposit check-capture solutions may want to take note of a credit union that launched its remote deposit when it mailed out annual rebate checks. Randolph Brooks FCU (RBFCU) launched its DeposZip remote deposit solution when it mailed members’ annual debit card rebate checks, which resulted in 7,800 users registering for remote deposit. The credit union did not plan for the two to coincide, but decided to take advantage of the opportunity, according to Mary O’Rourke, RBFCU assistant vice president of member service operations. “We were able to pitch remote deposit capture at the same time we provided members something in their hands that they could directly scan,” O’Rourke added. Remote deposit allows consumers to deposit their money into accounts at any time and anywhere they have access to the Internet and a scanner, RBFCU said. RBFCU, Universal City, Texas, has a mobile primary membership base. Military transfers and deployments are common, so the credit union is a good fit for remote deposit, said George Dow, vice president of business development at EasCorp. The corporate credit union developed DeposZip. RBFCU members have made more than $8 million in remote deposits since the credit union deployed DeposZip in February.

CUAnswers offers anti-fraud tips to CUs

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (6/25/09)--When credit and debit cards are compromised, credit unions are faced with numerous struggles. CU*Answers, a credit union service organization (CUSO) based in Grand Rapids, Mich., has provided a list of tips credit unions can follow to prevent problems if a data breach occurs. CU*Answers suggests that credit unions:
* Push their credit and debit vendor for automated solutions--There might be tools and options of which they are unaware; * Get a compromised card list electronically--An electronic version of a list of compromised card numbers is often available from a card vendor, instead of a fax; and * Review options for fraud detection--Take advantage of the way networks can monitor and flag potential fraud.
CU*Answers also noted that if provided a list of compromised card numbers, it can compare it against the credit union’s ATM, debit or online card database and return a report and database file of matching member accounts. The list can then be used with CU*Answers’ CU*BASE tools, including List Generator, Query or Member Connect. CU*Answers offers credit unions online banking, member check processing and direct deposit processing services.

CU picks PSCU Financial mFoundry for mobile banking

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (6/24/09)--Chicago-based Alliant CU announced Tuesday that it selected PSCU Financial Services and mFoundry to deliver mobile banking to its 250,000-plus members. The mobile banking solution from PSCU Financial Services and mFoundry eliminates costly implementation processes by using Alliant’s existing connectivity with multiple data sources, said PSCU Financial Services. The solution includes 24/7 support by customer representatives and marketing. “Mobile banking is another service in our remote channel strategy to deliver a world-class online banking and remote access member experience,” said Rudy Pereira, Alliant chief technology and operations. PSCU Financial Services provides credit, debit, ATM prepaid and bill payment services to financial institutions. mFoundry provides mobile banking and payments solutions for credit unions and banks. Alliant has $6 billion in assets.

Products and Services brief (06/23/2009)

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* MADISON, Wis. (6/24/09)--FoolProof’s financial literacy education system won the CUNA Technology Council’s Best of Show Award at the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) 2009 America’s Credit
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Union Conference and Expo in Boston. FoolProof offers credit unions five financial literacy programs for high school and community groups, parents, college students, young adults and adults. The system is centered on credit union principles and the concepts of consumerism and features videos, podcasts, online modules, and more to enhance learning. FoolProof is owned by FoolProof Financial Education Systems. The Education Credit Union Council and the Colorado Credit Union Association’s Credit Union Strategic Partners partnered with FoolProof to offer the program to credit unions and other not-for-profit educational institutions. From left are: John Morawski, lead judge from the council and chief technology officer for the Massachusetts Credit Union League; Nick Buettner, FoolProof vice president and chief operating officer; Benjamin Zanfagna, FoolProof financial education coordinator; Karen Morgan, senior vice president of Credit Union Strategic Partners; Dan Mica, CUNA president/CEO; and Bob Stowell, council judge and senior vice president and chief operating officer for US FCU in Burnsville, Minn. (Photo provided by CUNA) ...

CUNA finds partner to help reach Hispanic market

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MADISON, Wis. (6/23/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) recently created a strategic partnership with Coopera Consulting to provide products to help credit unions serve the Hispanic market. CUNA and Coopera will offer products and services to help credit unions reach and serve the Hispanic market, including assessments, training, consulting, translations and Hispanic consumer products. “Credit unions will now have greater access to a variety of Hispanic outreach products and services,” said Dan Mica, CUNA president/CEO. “By combining CUNA’s resources with Coopera’s expertise, we are able to offer credit unions high-quality solutions that will help them reach this vital but still widely underserved community.” Hispanics are the fastest growing and most underserved population in America, according to Warren Morrow, Coopera CEO. “We are convinced that credit unions need Hispanics as much as Hispanics need credit unions,” he said. The Hispanic population is expected to reach nearly 103 million by 2050. About 40% to 55% of Hispanics are unbanked. They access fringe financial service providers such as check cashers, remittance shops, and pawn shops--many of which charge exorbitant fees. In 2004, CUNA appointed leaders in the credit union industry to a Hispanic Outreach Task Force that served as a sounding board for Hispanic outreach-related research and product ideas. CUNA’s Membership Growth Task Force also identified reaching out to underserved markets as one of its top priorities in 2008. Since then, CUNA has worked with Coopera to develop a strategic plan to help credit unions grow by serving Hispanics. “Credit unions are well-positioned to serve this emerging market, and they must act now before it’s too late,” said Winona Nava, CUNA board member and chair of CUNA’s Hispanic Outreach Task Force.

Six CUs see results with outsourced call centers

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (6/23/09)--Six credit unions that outsourced their call centers to PSCU Financial Services reduced their expenses while improving efficiency, according to a recent study. KPMG surveyed the six credit unions, which transitioned to PSCU Financial Services’ Total Member Care, and examined the subsequent business impact. Some improvements:
* Abandon rates dropped to 3% from 15%; * Speed of answer improved to 30-to-40 seconds from two to four minutes; and * Single-call resolution rates jumped to a range of 86%-96%.
One credit union reduced costs per call by 71% while experiencing an increase in call volume due to longer hours of operation. Another credit union realized savings of $430,000 when compared to using internal staff for after-hours support, the study said. PSCU Financial Services recommends that credit unions partner with a call center provider to answer ember calls after business hours. It also recommended that credit unions allow overflow calls to be diverted to an outside contact center. “The call center is a primary point of contact with members,” said David J. Serlo, PSCU Financial Services president. “When a representative is able to answer a member’s question or resolve an issue, members are often very receptive to discussing other needs that may lead to new business.” PSCU Financial Services is a credit union service organization based in St. Petersburg, Fla., that serves more than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide.

CUSO Financial Services launches life stage workshops

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SAN DIEGO (6/22/09)--CUSO Financial Services (CFS), a broker dealer and registered investment adviser, will offer workshops to help educate credit union members about their finances and how they can plan for financial needs through various life stages. The interactive workshops will offer information about getting started in investing, rebuilding and growing retirement assets, transferring wealth and assessing income needs in retirement. The CFS program tailors workshops, marketing materials and training for advisers based on each credit union’s demographic profile. CFS provides the materials free to registered investment advisers. Several credit unions already are offering the workshops. They include: Fort Campbell FCU, Clarksville, Tenn.; University of Kentucky FCU, Lexington, Ky.; CORE CU, Statesboro, Ga.; and GeoVista CU, Hinesville, Ga. University of Kentucky FCU said the program received an “unbelievable response.” “More than two-thirds of the attendees [made] follow-up appointments to speak privately with investment advisers,” said Steve Seals, University of Kentucky FCU investment adviser.

CUNA updates Compliance and Marketing Guide

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MADISON, Wis. (6/19/09)--The Credit Union National Association has released the second edition of its Compliance and Marketing Guide. The updated guide lays out regulatory changes pertaining to credit union marketing efforts and includes new sample ads reflecting the changes. The guide provides details on:
* Basic National Credit Union Administration advertising regulations--Covers advertising accuracy and discrimination in credit union advertising and which rules apply to federal or state-chartered credit unions; * Share account products--Explores marketing share account products and other related issues stemming from the Truth in Savings Act; * Consumer and real estate-related loan products--Outlines the application of Truth in Lending and advertising open-end and closed-end credit, home equity line of credit, credit cards, and more; * Consumer leasing--Examines the Consumer Leasing Act and lease rates; and * Various issues--Privacy disclosures, deposit tickets, brochures, prescreening, do not call rules, CAN-SPAM, faxing, promotions and giveaways, state laws, and penalties for noncompliance.

CUSN elects board members presents awards

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (6/19/09)--Credit Union Service Network (CUSN) announced the results of its May 29 board of directors elections. Branda Abbott, president/CEO of Colorado United Credit Union in Denver, was elected as the newest member of the board. She has served in the credit union industry for more than 10 years and has been involved with Western CUNA Management School, the Rocky Mountain CUES Council, and CUSN’s Governmental Affairs Committee and Denver Chapter board. Mark Uden, president/CEO of Mutual 1st FCU, Omaha, Neb., was re-elected for a 3-year term. CUSN also presented three excellence awards. Spirit of America Federal Choice CU, Lincoln, Neb., received the Greatest Issuer Transaction Growth Award for growing its transactions by 103%. Elevations FCU, Boulder, Colo., was presented with the greatest Acquirer Transaction Growth Award for growing its transactions 53%. White Crown FCU, Denver, received the award for the largest ratio of annual issuer transactions to total members. The credit union achieved a ratio of 7.6. Colorado CU, Littleton, received the Marketing Excellence Award for the best marketing campaign. Carroll Beach, president/CEO of CO-OP Shared Branching, received the Vision Award. CUSN’s annual meeting was held in Englewood, Colo. More than 32 member credit unions and 80 attendees were present. Guest speakers at the meeting included Carolina Lane, senior vice president of business development and marketing at CO-OP Financial Services. CUSN is a credit union service organization based in Lakewood, Colo.

FI Compliance Solutions offers risk-management service

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KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (6/19/09)--FI Compliance Solutions is offering the newly released GRC Pro Version 2.0, a risk-management service, to financial institutions at no charge for three months. Credit unions and banks can use GRC Pro Version 2.0 to assess their system of internal controls based on the key areas of their Capital Adequacy, Asset Quality, Management and Internal Control, Liquidity and Market Sensitivity (CAMELS) rating. GRC Pro will determine how well credit unions and banks have implemented the safety and soundness standards required by federal agencies and whether related risks have been mitigated, FI said. The solution also offers a proprietary control design evaluation tool. GRC users can generate an executive summary documenting their risk profile, an overall safety and soundness rating, and a detailed report showing risks by severity and category. “One of the main reasons we have so many failures is not due to unnecessary risk-taking but instead a failure to incorporate sound risk-management fundamentals,” said Eric Strohl, president/CEO of FI Compliance Solutions. “Many institutions are operating with policies and procedures that are simply detrimental to the health of the organization.” FI Compliance Solutions provides corporate governance and compliance solutions for financial institutions.

New virtual Realtors FCU joins CU 24 network

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (6/18/09)--Credit Union 24, a credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale (POS) network, announced that the nation’s only completely virtual credit union, Realtors FCU, has joined its surcharge-free ATM and participant-owned POS network. Realtors FCU, launched May 1 and headquartered in Rockville, Md., exclusively serves members of the National Association of Realtors. “Members of Realtors FCU have unique financial and cash-flow requirements,” said Tom Glatt, president/CEO of Realtors FCU. “Our partnership with Credit Union 24 enhances our offerings as a financial services provider.” The Credit Union 24 network aims to generate interchange income for credit unions and provide surcharge-free ATM access at more than 50,000 locations nationwide for those credit unions’ members.

Products and Services briefs (06/17/2009)

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* TEMPE, Ariz. (6/18/09)--The LemmonTree Marketing Group reported that two of its credit union clients received national recognition in marketing and public relations. Michigan First CU, Lathrup Village, Mich., was recognized at the 2009 American Marketing Association’s Spectrum Awards for its entry in the Public Relations category. The credit union submitted a CD multimedia presentation about its student branch program and was one of three finalists in the contest. Jefferson County Employees CU, Birmingham, Ala., was one of three finalists in the Spectrum Awards’ Brand Identity category. The credit union created a Cool Cash Kids logo for its Cool Cash Kids Club to enhance its brand identity with the younger generation and their parents ... * RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (6/18/09)--CO-OP Financial Services announced that it doubled the size of its National Relationship Management team by adding Tiffany Doty and David Stevens to foster client relations and develop growth opportunities for credit unions in California and the Northwest. Doty has 10 years of experience with wireless applications and managed a conversion to CO-OP’s Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) network for Transaction Network Services Inc. Stevens has more than 20 years of industry experience with products including EFT, ATM hardware and maintenance, communications and prepaid cards. He recently worked in marketing and sales for a large debit and credit card processor for credit unions. CO-OP is a credit union service organization offering ATM network access, ATM processing, debit and credit card services ...

One click helps e-statement programs grow

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HERNDON, Va. (6/17/09)--A new "One Click" e-statement enrollment program offered through DigitalMailer and available to clients and non-clients has three credit unions seeing results. Belvoir FCU, Fort Belvoir, Va., has offered e-statements for seven years, averaging about 125 new e-statements loaded per month. After initiating "One Click," the credit union loaded 472 new e-statements--4.5 times greater than normal. Subsequent months running the promotion showed significant growth in adoption, with a 5% growth rate. Hudson River Community CU, Glens Falls, N.Y., experienced a 20% growth in e-statement enrollments after its "One Click" promotion. In the first eight days, 339 members enrolled in e-statements, up significantly from its monthly average enrollment of 84 members. Palmetto Citizens FCU, Columbia, S.C., sent its "One Click" e-mail out to more than 6,000 members. The e-mails were delivered in less than two minutes and recorded a 33% open rate. After six days, roughly 697 members had clicked the "I Agree" button to enroll in e-statements. DigitalMail estimates that credit unions spend about $1 per paper statement they mail. Its "One Click" campaign provides the credit union with e-mail templates that can be customized. It sends the e-mails over its certified distribution system, which tracks and confirms delivery rates. The company said that e-statements are also more secure than delivering paper statements to unattended mailboxes.

Colorado CUs offer car buying financing privileges

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (6/17/09)--Colorado credit union members have a new way to shop for cars, access credit union financing and purchase vehicles at pre-negotiated, no haggle prices. WhereMembersDrive.com, which launched officially Monday, provides access to thousands of new and used vehicles in the state, with all the services necessary to select and purchase a vehicle. Members employing the service can perform virtual car shopping, get direct access to credit union financing options, save vehicles in their virtual garage, schedule a test drive or speak to a representative who can provide them with more information. Credit Union of Denver, a $424.7 million asset credit union in Lakewood, Colo., and Elevations CU, an $899 million asset credit union based in Boulder, have joined forces with WhereMembersDrive.com. The virtual service aggregates inventory by partnering with organizations such as AutoNation Direct and Automotive Avenues.

Wisconsin league to study online investment ed

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PEWAUKEE, Wis. (6/16/09)--The Wisconsin Credit Union League says that credit unions in the state will have an opportunity to receive free education and earn recognition through an investment education program, called REAL Progress and Pathways to Prosperity (RP3). The league is part of a group receiving a grant from the Investor Protection Trust to help provide online investment education tools to 4,000 credit union employees in the state. It is coordinating the study with the University of Wisconsin and Gov. Jim Doyle's Council on Financial Literacy. Participating credit unions will be provided free online courses through Educated Investor University, an online education program. Credit unions in the state have until the end of July to sign up employees. The league will conduct a webinar on the topic June 23 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. CT. For more information, use the link.

Corporate One to offer PSCU Financials card platforms

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (6/15/09)--PSCU Financial Services announced a long-term strategic partnership with Corporate One FCU of Columbus, Ohio. Under the agreement, Corporate One will offer PSCU Financial Services’ credit and debit/ATM processing platforms to its 800 member credit unions, and smaller and mid-size credit unions nationwide. “This new relationship will allow us to offer the same exceptional solutions to credit unions that, in the past, were unable to obtain these programs because of lower volumes or cost considerations,” said Robert Coyan, Corporate One senior vice president of marketing and operations. PSCU is a credit union service organization that serves more than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide.

FirstCorps check processing goes fully electronic

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PHOENIX (6/15/09)--FirstCorp announced that its check processing program is 100% electronic, as of June 4. Prior to June 4, return items were printed by the Federal Reserve Bank, flown and couriered to FirstCorp, and then sorted and couriered to each credit union. With the electronic process, credit unions receive return items in a secure file from FirstCorp the same day they are returned by the Federal Reserve Bank. The electronic process is saving thousands of dollars on transportation costs, FirstCorp said. Electronic processing of incoming returns from the Federal Reserve Bank was the final step in FirstCorp’s initiative to create a completely electronic check processing program. The first step was taken in December when FirstCorp converted to image capture and exchange for check collection participants through implementing branch capture, teller capture, ATM capture and remote deposit capture. FirstCorp is based in Phoenix.

FSCC announces client excellence awards

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (6/15/09)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc. (FSCC) honored several credit unions at its Seventh Annual Globe Awards presented during FSCC's 18th Annual Shareholders' meeting June 10 in Las Vegas. "2008 was an especially challenging year for many credit unions, but with commitment, determination and cooperation, credit unions continue to put members first and FSCC is proud to mark their achievements," said FSCC President/CEO Sarah Canepa Bang. Exceptional Performance Awards honored credit unions for branch system availability and host system performance for processing transactions on the FSCC network's switch. Recipients are:
* Patelco CU, San Francisco, receiving two awards--one for online availability of 100% processing for 1.9 million transactions at 45 branches, the other for being the largest acquirer on the network; * Chevron FCU, Oakland, Calif., for the highest online approval; * Water and Power Community CU, Los Angeles, for online availability for processing issuer transactions; and * TruWest CU, Scottsdale, Ariz., for its low denial rate--recorded at 0.05%--in processing issuer transactions on the network.
Outstanding Performance Awards recipients were:
* Digital FCU, Marlborough, Mass., Largest Issuer Award for processing more than 860,000 transactions; * Northrop Grumman CU, Lancaster, Calif., branch, Largest Single Outlet Award, with 160,000 transactions; and * Service CU, Portsmouth, N.H., Largest Acquirer on U.S. Military Bases Award, with 16 locations.
Also, an Outstanding Service Award went to FSCC's call center, Total Member Care, operated by PSCU Financial Services. It performed three million shared-branching transactions in 2008.

Four CUs honored as call center innovators

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LAS VEGAS (6/12/09)--PSCU Financial Services, a financial services credit union service organization, honored four credit unions that best used its custom call center to enhance member service in the last year. PSCU Financial Services is a provider of Total Member Care--its 24/7 call center operations for credit unions. Awards were presented during San Dimas, Calif.-based Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc.’s 2009 annual meeting in Las Vegas. Hawaiian Tel FCU, University of Hawaii FCU and Hawaii USA FCU, which are all based in Honolulu, and Kealakekua, Hawaii-based Hawaii Community FCU received the Call Center Innovator awards. The credit unions conducted cultural training to better align Total Member Care service representatives with members’ needs. In response, Total Member Care adopted Hawaiian elements to its call center services, including island-themed hold music and a cultural-focused custom training regiment, plus other solutions to ensure members of the Hawaiian credit union community are serviced to fit their needs and expectations. The awards signify the four credit unions’ collective effort to deliver a seamless transition for their members to Total Member Care’s mainland call center. “Each year, PSCU Financial Services recognizes credit unions that find unique ways to maximize member service through our round-the-clock call center operations,” said Peter Schmitt, executive director. “By encouraging implementation of cultural elements from their state, these credit unions created a system to make members feel more comfortable with, and thus more likely to use, our call center services.”

530 CUs already signed on to VendorTrack

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MADISON, Wis. (6/12/09)--More than 530 credit unions and nine credit union leagues have taken advantage of VendorTrack’s secure, Web-based vendor management system to centralize their third-party relationships, since it launched a few months ago. Also, 65 vendors are currently using VendorTrack to facilitate the requests they receive from credit unions for their due diligence information and to respond to requests for proposal. Along with all 23 of the CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) alliance providers, the more-than 40 other vendors include: PSCU Financial Services, Symitar, Fiserv and CO-Op Financial Services. Attendees of the America’s Credit Union Conference and Expo in Boston this month can find out more about VendorTrack through one of several educational sessions. The sessions will be held June 22 at the CSS theater in the exhibit hall. Vendor sessions are slated for 7:30-8 a.m. and 6-6:30 p.m., EDT. The credit union session will be held at 5:30 p.m. Developed by CSS and TraceSecurity, a CSS alliance provider, VendorTrack helps credit unions ensure that their third-party vendors comply with regulatory responsibilities and best practices when dealing with sensitive information. It allows credit unions to centralize vendor data, manage relationships, assess vendor risk, and ensure compliance with policies and controls. Credit unions can request their current vendors to sign up, and they can manage the information based on the level of criticality of the relationship--one of the National Credit Union Administration’s requirements for these relationships. Credit unions also can set notification alerts for contract expirations, requests for proposal and updated vendor information. For more information, use the link.

CO-OP Shared Branching now in S. Dakota

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ATLANTA (6/12/09)--Dakota Territory FCU, Deadwood, S.D., has joined CO-OP Shared Branching in partnership with the Mid-America Credit Union Association. CO-OP Shared Branching provides members of participating credit unions access to more than 3,700 branch access points nationwide. Dakota Territory FCU is the first South Dakota credit union to sign onto the program, CO-OP said. “Since Deadwood is a popular tourist destination, and with the new National Science Foundation’s deep underground science lab opening soon in Lead, S.D., we see this is a great opportunity to expand our member services and grow through the shared-branching network,” said Floyd Rummel, Dakota Territory FCU CEO. Shared branching will allow Dakota Territory FCU to:
* Accept guest members into its facility; * Expand its branch network to offer convenience to its members; * Strengthen its disaster recovery plan; and * Extend its hours.
Dakota Territory FCU has $20 million in assets.

New CARD Act audio conference next week

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MADISON, Wis. (6/12/09)--The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act may trigger some changes in the way credit unions serve their members with credit cards. Credit unions seeking more information about the new law can attend an audio conference offered Thursday by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). President Barack Obama signed the law last month. The national media have reported that some credit unions have received questions from their members about how the changes will affect them. The CARD Act aims to prevent lenders from making arbitrary changes to interest rates and terms associated with credit cards that have an existing balance. CUNA’s audio conference, “Requirements of the New Credit CARD Act,” will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. CT. Jeff Bloch, CUNA senior assistance general counsel, and Mike McLain, CUNA assistant general counsel and senior compliance counsel, will provide an overview of the CARD Act requirements. Mike Long, chief credit officer at UW CU, Madison, Wis., and chair of the CUNA Lending Council Regulatory Committee, will talk about the rules' potential impact on credit unions. Conference participants will:
* Examine different elective dates and restrictions on increasing the annual percentage rate; * Identify limits placed on fees that can be charged and procedures that must be followed when changes are made in the interest rate; * Hear a discussion of the other restrictions such as due dates, late payment fees, minimum payment disclosures and gift cards; * Explore new restrictions on cards offered to students; and * Obtain a look at implementing new rules from a credit union practitioner.
For more information, use the link. CUNA also noted that “Protect Your Members--Know the ID Theft Red Flags,” which was scheduled for Wednesday, has been cancelled.

Credit card portfolio sellers disappointed in partners

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PORTLAND, Ore. (6/11/09)--Results of a 2009 survey of credit union executives who sold their credit card portfolios are similar to past years’ results, AssetExchange said. The survey results indicated that sellers generally do not regret selling their portfolios, but are not particularly happy with their buyers.
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“We were interested to see if the state of the economy would alter executives’ views regarding their card portfolio sale,” said Frank Selker, AssetExchange president. “We found little change.” This is the third year AssetExchange--a credit union credit card portfolio advisory and brokerage firm--has conducted the survey. Respondents expressed dissatisfaction regarding products, pricing and service. Only 46% said they would recommend their buyers. Other highlights:
* About half of the respondents said they consider changing their arrangement when their contacts expire; * Nineteen percent are considering restarting their own portfolios, while 48% are considering evaluating new partners; * Growth among buyers has slowed--20% experienced a decrease and 24% remained the same; and * A majority said they continue to feel their partner products are superior to their own-- but that majority dropped 65% from 76% in previous surveys.

Products and Services briefs (06/09/2009)

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* BALTIMORE (6/10/09)--The Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association has renewed its agreement with John M. Floyd and Associates (JMFA) of Baytown, Texas, to be the association’s preferred supplier for overdraft services with JMFA Overdraft Privilege. The association also is extending its contact with JMFA to provide ContractOPTIMIZER and Executive Search capabilities for its 135 member credit unions. Overdraft Privilege allows credit unions to help members cover their transactions in case they make a mistake on their account or face an unexpected financial emergency. ContractOPTIMIZER aims to reduce the costs of service contracts for credit unions while improving service levels on ATM/debit processing, core data processing, telecommunications and Internet banking ... * MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (6/10/09)--Intuit plans to buy Palo Alto, Calif.-based PayCycle Inc., a payroll service with more than 85,000 small-business clients. The transaction is valued at $170 million. Intuit provides business and financial management solutions for small- and mid-sized businesses, including credit unions. Intuit is based in Mountain View, Calif. ... * HARRISBURG, Pa. (6/10/09)--Pennsylvania State Employees CU (PSECU) announced that Trusteer Rapport can be downloaded free by PSECU members as another layer of protection for online banking. Rapport protects personal information entered by users in their Web browsers. PSECU’s website provides online banking services for its members. “The Rapport product...has virtually no impact on system performance and the member’s user experience with our website. It prevents personal information from being stolen, in a way that complements existing security and anti-virus software on the machine,” said Eric Leighow, PSECU director of IT Enterprise Operations ... * MADISON, Wis. (6/10/09)--Neocase Software has implemented the Human Resources (HR) Shared Services solution, Neocase HR, at CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wis. CUNA Mutual implemented Neocase HR, a case management solution, with Neocase’s knowledge management solution, Neocase Knowledge Base. CUNA Mutual’s service delivery team and employee resource center will access the HR contact center ...

DigitalMailer offers free webinars on crisis plans

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HERNDON, Va. (6/10/09)--DigitalMailer is helping credit unions prepare for hurricane season by offering free webinars this month and in July on how to incorporate online communications into their contingency plans. The webinars use lessons DigitalMailer learned from helping credit unions launch crisis plans during disasters. DigitalMailer works with credit unions in hurricane-prone areas and provides a Crisis Management Notification System that helps deliver messages to members and staff. The webinars are scheduled for June 24, July 14 and July 28. Each starts at 2 p.m. EDT.

Javelin rates Intersections IDENTITY GUARD Best in Class

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CHANTILLY, Va. (6/10/09)--Intersections Inc., a CUNA Strategic Service provider of identity risk management services, announced its IDENTITY GUARD Total Protection product was named Best in Class by Javelin Strategy and Research. Javelin’s Consumer Identity Protection Services Scorecard evaluated more than 20 vendor services based on customer service, product features and product value. Javelin analyzes the services through website reviews, mystery shopping and vendor interviews. Total Protection satisfied “nearly all” of Javelin’s scorecard criteria, according to Javelin Research analyst Rachel Kim. “Javelin believes that the combination of monitoring public records databases, Internet sites and credit files from all three credit bureaus provides the most comprehensive resources for detecting exposure or potential misuse of personal information,” she said. Total Protection covers personal information, credit reports, computer, Internet and mobile. It also protects public records such as licenses, and utilities and court records not covered in credit reports.

CU Student Choice joins Mapping Your Future

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (6/9/09)--Credit Union Student Choice has joined the Mapping Your Future Friends program to help provide free career, college, financial aid and money-management information and services to schools, students and families. Credit Union Student Choice is a private student lender that services more than 70 credit unions nationwide. By supporting Mapping Your Future, Student Choice will provide the expanded online information. Student Choice’s borrowers also can receive student loan counseling through Mapping Your Future. Mapping Your Future, based in Round Rock, Texas, is a nonprofit that provides programs to schools, students and families to prepare them for college.

Southwest Corporate rolls out Image Deposit Return

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DALLAS (6/8/09)--Southwest Corporate's new Image Deposit Return service is now available to credit unions in the Federal Reserve's 11th District, and could roll out for the rest of the nation as early as July. The service automates the process of handling returned items from member deposits--eliminating paper check delivery to the credit unions. Returns are sent directly to Southwest Corporate from its direct-exchange banks, image exchange networks and the Federal Reserve Bank--reducing potential for losses by providing faster information delivery, said the corporate. "We have worked out the last few details with the pilot credit unions," said Brad Ganey, senior vice president of payment services at Southwest Corporate. The corporate is preparing to pilot the service in additional Federal Reserve districts, he added. Southwest Corporate worked with the Fed to develop the service and is one of few institutions to go live with it. The new service will complete its plans to fully automate the deposit process for credit unions. The Fed's 11th District includes 259 credit unions already using Southwest Corporate's deposit services and who will be eligible for the new service. The district includes Texas, the northern portion of Louisiana and the southern portion of New Mexico. The corporate noted that the Federal Reserve Bank's announcement that it will collapse all paper check processing into its Cleveland office by fourth quarter has left many credit unions anticipating increased courier charges and delays in the delivery of deposit returns. The new Image Deposit Return service is a cost-effective alternative that will return items online a day earlier, said the corporate.

Synergents ATM network partners with CO-OP Network

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WESTBROOK, Maine (6/8/09)--Synergent’s statewide ATM Network, SurF, has partnered with CO-OP Network. Synergent, a subsidiary of the Maine Credit Union League, provides business solutions to credit unions. CO-OP Network offers ATM access to credit union members nationwide, including 200 locations in Maine. PeoplesChoice CU, Biddeford, Maine, was the first credit union Synergent client to sign on to the service, which was launched June 1. “We joined the network to offer our members greater convenience and access to their funds without being surcharged,” said Luke Labbe, president/CEO of PeoplesChoice. Members can look for SurF locations online or by contacting the CO-OP Network.

Teres Solutions adds account opening functions to SAIL

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AUSTIN, Texas (6/5/09)--Teres Solutions and Andera have integrated Andera’s account opening solution with Teres’ SAIL lending automation platform. The integration will automate the account-opening process so account holders can have immediate access to loan products. SAIL offers new account owners access to real-time automated loan decisions, including loans for home equity, credit cards and other services. The two companies plan to offer an expanded suite of account opening and other loan automation features in the future. Andera provides online customer-acquisition technologies for retail financial institutions. Teres develops direct and indirect lending software products.

PSCU Financial expands collections platform

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (6/5/09)--PSCU Financial Services is expanding its ability to handle collections from several product lines. PSCU plans to install new software to upgrade its collections system to expand the portfolio. The upgrade and expansion is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. The software is from Akcelerant, which offers customizable collection management tools. The software will “allow us to import data from multiple sources and will facilitate and expedite the collections workflow, including analysis and reporting,” said PSCU Financial Services President David J. Serlo. Currently, more than 400 financial institutions, including credit unions, use Akcelerant software. PSCU Financial Services, based in St. Petersburg, Fla., is a credit union service organization that works with more than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide.

Companies partner on bill pay card for unbanked

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. and AUSTIN, Texas (6/4/09)--Credit unions might be interested to know that Billeo and NetSpend have partnered to offer an online service that aims to help the unbanked pay their bills online. Billeo Inc. provides services for consumers to make online purchases and bill payments. NetSpend Corp. provides prepaid debit cards. With the NetSpend card, consumers can access a menu of more than 9,200 company websites where they can search for billers and instantly pay bills. Cardholders also can download a bill management toolbar to help them save their card information in a secure eWallet, save website passwords and fill out forms. Millions of Americans do not have traditional savings or checking accounts and use check-cashing services to pay their bills in person, according to the companies. “This service is designed to give these consumers more control over their money,” said Murali Subbarao, Billeo founder and CEO.

ITCUA selects FSCC for correspondent CU program

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (6/4/09)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc. (FSCC) announced that Information Technologies Credit Union Association (ITCUA) has selected FSCC to provide settlement support for credit unions that participate in its Correspondent Credit Union Program (CCUP). With the dissolution of ITCUA, its remote cash access program for credit unions will now be settled through FSCC’s CIMple Settlement product. ITCUA has provided credit unions with access to CCUP for years, but has to scale back due to the sluggish economy. The CCUP program will remain largely unchanged, but CIMple Settlement will be implemented to settle transactions generated through CCUP and to automate the process, eliminating back-office workload. “These difficult economic times require even greater cooperation among credit unions and the organizations that serve them,” said Sarah Canepa Bang, FSCC president/CEO. FSCC plans to design a website to provide information about CCUP and CIMple Settlement. The site will provide lists of 350 access points through CCUP, a list of transactions that may be performed and instructions on use. FSCC also intends to provide expanded disaster recovery and business continuity planning services to CCUP credit unions. FSCC is a credit union Shared Branching Network that provides 5,800 deposit-taking locations in the U.S. and overseas.

Decoupled debit core deposit strategy focus of papers

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MADISON, Wis. (6/3/09)--Two new white papers from the CUNA Operations, Sales and Service Council aim to explore how credit unions can compete against the decoupled debit and create strategies to build core deposits and member relations. Decoupled debit allows third-party card issuers to grant debit cards to credit union members and process transactions through their member checking accounts and the automated clearing house network. “The Decoupled Debit Dilemma” examines the origins of decoupled debit and outlines the opportunities available to credit unions. By understanding the wants and needs of members and merchants and the appeal of the decoupled debit, credit unions can re-engineer their debit offerings to be a competitive alternative, says the paper. “Scoring at the Core: Strategies to Build Core Deposits--And Member Relations” outlines the core deposits that are at the center of credit unions’ efforts to expand wallet share and build their deposit base. Developing business and niche deposit products, offering the full spectrum of delivery channel access to bring in new deposits, anticipating members’ economic outlook on their deposit preferences and pricing strategies, and credit unions’ competition in attracting and maintaining their core deposit base are also covered. For more information, use the links.

CU 24 Acculynk to pilot Internet PIN debit service

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (6/3/09)--Credit Union 24 and Acculynk have partnered to provide PaySecure to credit unions. PaySecure is a software-only service for personal identification number (PIN) online debit payments. Credit Union 24 is a member-owned, deposit-taking ATM and point-of-sale network based in Tallahassee, Fla. Acculynk offers software that secures online transactions. PaySecure allows online buyers to use only their debit cards and PINs to make purchases. Users enter their PIN on PaySecure’s PIN pad at the checkout, and are not required to use other hardware devices or passwords. PaySecure also provides an extra layer of security for debit card transactions to reduce fraud and charge-backs from credit unions. “We expect it will be widely adopted,” said Ashish Bahl, Acculynk CEO. A recent survey by Javelin Strategy and Research indicated that 78% of respondents said entering their PIN on the PaySecure PIN pad was as simple as entering their PIN at an ATM or grocery store. About 48% of respondents also said they would buy more products and services online if they could pay with PaySecure. Credit Union 24 is the only network solely devoted to credit unions that has partnered with Acculynk, the companies said in a release.

New Credit CARD Act topic of audio conference

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MADISON, Wis. (6/2/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has scheduled an audio conference for June 18 on requirements of the new Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009. The CARD Act, approved by the Senate two weeks ago, aims to prevent lenders from making arbitrary changes to interest rates and terms associated with a credit card that holds an existing balance. During the conference--which starts at 1 p.m. CDT--Jeff Bloch, CUNA senior assistant general counsel and Mike McLain, CUNA assistant general counsel and senior compliance counsel, will provide an overview of the CARD Act requirements. Mike Long, chief credit officer at UW CU, Madison, Wis., and chair of the CUNA Lending Council Regulatory Committee, will talk about the rules’ potential impact on credit unions. According to CUNA, conference participants will:
* Examine different elective dates and restrictions on increasing the annual percentage rate; * Identify limits placed on fees that can be charged and procedures that must be followed when changes are made in the interest rate; * Hear a discussion of the other restrictions such as due dates, late payment fees, minimum payment disclosures and gift cards; * Explore new restrictions on cards offered to students; and * Get a practical look at implementing new rules from a credit union practitioner.
To register for the conference, use the link.

Credit card penetration flat says broker

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PORTLAND, Ore. (6/2/09)--The growth rate for credit card portfolios has slowed, and credit card penetration remains flat, according to a credit union credit card portfolio advisory and brokerage firm. Card penetration was 18% in the first quarter of this year, according to AssetExchange. Outstanding portfolio balances grew 5.9% between March 2008 and March 2009 to $31 billion, down from 16% growth in the first quarter of 2008. Card accounts grew 2.4% during the same period to 12.2 million, down from 21% growth during the first quarter of 2008, the firm said. Two large card portfolios also were sold in the first quarter of this year--Kern Schools FCU, Bakersfield, Calif., at $101 million, and American First, La Habra, Calif., at $53 million. Five other credit unions sold smaller portfolios, bringing total sales to $190 million. AssetExchange’s data was based on National Credit Union Administration call report data for credit card portfolios larger than $1 million.