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Contactless conversion drives transactions

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EAST HANOVER, N.J. (7/28/09)--Novartis FCU, East Hanover, N.J., has experienced an increase in transaction volume of 9.4% after converting all of its debit accounts to contactless debit cards last May. Transactions per active account also are up by 19%, the credit union said. Norvartis has a monthly volume of more than 32,000 transactions, with an average of 19.6 transactions per active account--an increase in sales of 8.6% before the conversion. Members like the speed and convenience the cards offer, and have found widespread availability of contactless terminals in the Metro New York City area, the credit union said. “We conducted several seasonal promotions, including several Wii giveaways, that helped build awareness and boost transaction volumes,” said Ann South, Novartis CEO. The credit union has more than 1,600 active debit accounts. Novartis converted its debit accounts to contactless cards through PSCU Financial Services, a credit union service organization based in St. Petersburg, Fla. With contactless cards, data is stored on a microchip and transmitted using radio frequency identification. The transaction takes 15 seconds, compared with 25 for a traditional magnetic stripe card. Contactless cards are processed as signature transactions.

CU24 expanding despite tough economy

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (7/28/09)--Credit Union 24, a credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale (POS) network, announced that 24 credit unions have joined the network and 36 credit unions have renewed long-term contracts. The network is expanding, despite a tough economy, for several reasons. Credit unions have cited an increase in interchange income and access to surcharge-free ATMs for members as two reasons for joining or renewing their contracts with the network. Fee-free financial access is particularly important as credit union branches close and consumers reduce their use of credit, Credit Union 24 said. The network also has grown because of its relationship management team, which provides credit unions with qualitative information to help them understand the electronic funds transfer (EFT) environment. The data helps credit unions evaluate the most profitable short-term and long-term EFT opportunities, Credit Union 24 said. Credit Union 24 anticipates that it will continue to grow this year. Though the company has added new relationships in Michigan and has expanded in Wisconsin, Virginia and the Pacific Northwest, it is not specifically targeting any geographic area. The two credit unions to mostly recently sign onto the network are Front Royal (Va.) CU and PEF FCU in Highland Heights, Ohio. Front Royal has more than $45 million in assets, and PEF FCU has more than $20 million in assets. Credit Union 24 is headquartered in Tallahassee, Fla.