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NEW: PCUA's McCormack To Receive Wegner Lifetime Award

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MADISON, Wis. (9/3/13, UPDATED 10:15 a.m. CT)--The National Credit Union Foundation has named Jim McCormack, president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, as one of three winners of the 2014 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.
 
This is the first time in NCUF's history that three awards for Lifetime Achievement will be given. McCormack's award will be one of four total Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented at a special dinner hosted by NCUF at the Grand Hyatt Washington on Feb. 24 during the Credit Union National Association's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference.
 
"Jim has done outstanding work at PCUA throughout his career," said John Gregoire, chair of NCUF Wegner Awards Selection Committee and president of The ProCon Group in Madison, Wis. "Countless credit union members have been positively affected by his work, which is evidenced by the passion and commitment of his numerous supporters."
 
NCUF last week named Tim Haegelin, retired president/CEO of Generations FCU in San Antonio, Texas, as the first recipient of the 2014 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.
 
McCormack began his credit union career in 1971. Before joining PCUA in 1981, he held positions with CUNA Mutual Group both in Pittsburgh and at its corporate headquarters in Madison, Wis.
 
McCormack is also CEO of Pacul Services Inc., PCUA's service corporation, and CEO of Pennsylvania Credit Union Service Centers Inc., which administers the credit union shared branching network in Pennsylvania.
 
Under McCormack's leadership, PCUA created the Pennsylvania Credit Union Better Choice Program. The program is a public/private partnership between the state treasurer's office, state credit union regulator and 72 Pennsylvania credit unions with 215 branches statewide. It offers an alternative to payday lending, with the goal of helping consumers transition from a predatory lending environment to a wealth-building environment through credit union membership. Since inception, credit unions have made 65,000 Better Choice loans valued at $32 million, saving consumers $23 million over traditional payday lenders.
 
McCormack orchestrated a joint exercise between the PCUA Board and a steering committee of credit union professionals to develop the only mandatory statewide public awareness/advocacy initiative in the country, the iBelong campaign. The campaign promotes Pennsylvania credit unions in media such as TV, cable, radio, newspaper and magazines. Four other states have adopted iBelong over the past five years, with several others considering it as well.
 
More than twenty-five years ago, McCormack founded state credit card processing, which now serves more than 200 credit unions. PCUA administers one of the largest correspondent card programs in the country and offers debit and other payment products and services.
 
Since the 1980s, McCormack has launched many ATM initiatives for credit unions, including the creation of CU$, a selective surcharging compact among Pennsylvania credit unions, that provides consumers enjoy surcharge-free access to credit union ATMs throughout Pennsylvania.
 
McCormack has also demonstrated leadership in credit union advocacy. He cultivated a strong relationship with U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, former senior member of the House Financial Services Committee and the main driver of H.R. 1151, the National Credit Union Membership Access Act. McCormack also led lobbying efforts to modernize the Pennsylvania State Credit Union Code, maintaining equal powers between state and federally-chartered credit unions, and overcame significant banker opposition.
 
He spearheaded the relationship with the Credit Union National Association and attorneys in litigation at both the federal and state levels defending the substantive and procedural rights of credit unions regarding community chartering. He organized the successful strategy for defense of credit union tax status in Pennsylvania court system.
 
McCormack has served for many years on national boards and committees, including CUNA, CUNA, CUNA Service Group/CUNA Strategic Services, NCUF and the Credit Union Service Centers. He was a charter member and table officer of the Credit Union House Board. McCormack currently serves on the CUSC Board, League Info Sight Board, and is a Credit Union Business Services Trustee.

GECU's Juntos Avanzamos Gala Provides School Supplies

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FARMERS BRANCH and EL PASO, Texas (8/30/13)--
El Paso, Texas-based GECU received the Cornerstone Credit Union League's Juntos Avanzamos, or Together We Advance, designation Wednesday. Presenting the Juntos Avanzamos Flag is League President/CEO Dick Ensweiler.
El Paso, Texas-based GECU held its Juntos Avanzamos flag-raising ceremony--designating its commitment to serving Hispanics--Wednesday with some special guests: 36 students from Sageland Elementary School, who heard how important a credit union can be to achieving their dreams and received school supplies.
 
Roughly 99% of the school's students are Hispanic, and of those, 85% are social-economically disadvantaged, said the Cornerstone Credit Union League (Leaguer Aug. 29).  Each student received two bags full of back-to-school supplies.
 
GECU President/CEO Crystal Long said earning the Juntos Avanzamos, or Together We Advance, designation is important because it lets the community know that the credit union is committed to meeting its needs.
 
Students from Sageland Elementary School attended GECU's Juntos Avanzamos flag-raising ceremony in El Paso, Texas.  Each picked up two bags of back-to-school supplies at the event. Roughly 99% of the school's students are Hispanic and 85% of these students are social-economically disadvantaged. (Photos provided by the Cornerstone Credit Union League)
The credit union has met the needs of lifetime member Erich Morales. "I learned how important a credit union relationship is from my father," he told the gathering. Morales opened his first account at GECU when he was the age of some of Sageland's students. "I earned $5 for each lawn I mowed, and I would keep $2.50 and deposit the other $2.50 in my GECU savings account," he told them.
 
As he grew older, he saved more and began borrowing. Morales was the first in his family to go to college, he said, thanking the credit union for helping him achieve that dream.  "I was able to go to college partly because of my savings and partly because of the student loans I was able to receive from the credit union. Had it not been for the credit union, I may not have been able to go to college, and if I hadn't been able to go to college, I would not have been able to go to law school."

The credit union was with him every step of the way, he said, adding it also financed cars and houses. He also received one of the credit union's first business loans.
 
The event was covered by Univision,  KFox 14 News, and local Spanish newspaper, El Diario. In addition to distributing school supplies to the students, GECU also has distributed thousands of school supplies at several of its branches throughout the city. It also offered free back-to-school immunizations.

Cars Line Up Across Nation For CUs' Free Gas

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MADISON, Wis. (8/30/13)--Seasons FCU in Middletown, Conn., picked up the gas tab this week for consumers, with employees personally pumping $20 of free gas for the first 200 drivers in line--a total of $4,000 in free gas--as part of the national "Take Back Your Banking" campaign.
 
Employees of Seasons FCU pump $20 of free gas for each of the the first 200 drivers in line at a gas station in Middletown, Conn., as part of  the nationwide "Take Back Your Banking" event.
It was a scene repeated over and over across the country Wednesday and Thursday as credit unions and community banks in 38 cities did the same, pumping more than $150,000 in free gas to 7,600 people. The institutions used the event to urge consumers to go local in their banking and many credit unions garnered some media attention about the good credit unions do for their communities.
 
"This effort signifies a growing trend of community banks and credit unions across the country partnering up to demonstrate that there are better banking options than the megabanks," said Gabe Krajicke, CEO of Kasasa.com, a resource for consumers using free rewards checking accounts at local credit unions and banks.
 
Seasons FCU staff had a little fun while pumping gas. The credit union's CEO, Keith Wiemert--who is also chair of the Credit Union League of Connecticut and interim CEO of the league-- was in Madison, Wis., attending league staff orientation meetings while staff pumped gas. But he was there in spirit--some staff donned Keith Wiemert masks as they pumped the gas. Others wore red superhero capes.
 
Long lines of cars were the rule of the day at gas stations in 38 cities across the U.S. Credit unions participating pumped free gas to encourage consumers to bank locally, instead of at megabanks. (Photos provided by Seasons FCU).
In Auburn Hills, Mich., about 400 drivers began lining up at 6:40 a.m. Wednesday for free gas pumped Cornerstone Community Financial CU employees, said the Detroit News (Aug. 28).  Many left when they realized they weren't among the first 200 drivers.  CEO Heidi Kassab said she was surprised by the response, noting that $20 is not a lot of gas, but everyone was thankful. Staff "heard some great stories" about what the recipients were going to do with the gas--such as visiting family members and running run errands, she said.

The Oakland Press also covered the event, quoting Cornerstone Marketing Manager Stephanie Leahy, who said the credit union is "just encouraging local consumers that there are better alternatives available." Banking local, she said, fuels the local economy.
 
In Jackson, Mich., horns honked, people cheered and CP FCU employees gave away gas at P.S. Food Mart, according to the Jackson Citizen-Patriot (Aug. 28). And the reactions among recipients?  "Awesome." "Amazing."  "Really nice." "Free is always good."

The first vehicle arrived at 7:30 a.m., 1 1/2 hours early, and a line of cars continued for several blocks. Jackson police officers helped direct the traffic flow. "We're trying to spread the word around the community about banking locally," CP FCU Vice President Sarah Ermatinger told the newspaper. "High bank fees and gas prices are at the top of people's minds, and we are giving them relief at the gas pumps and how they can get a break on the [bank] fees as well."
 
One customer ran out of gas while in line, Ermatinger said. The driver pushed his car about a block and received help from employees and police to get his free $20 of gas.
 
The nationwide events attracted local press and broadcasters looking for compelling photos of long lines of cars:
  • EverythingLubbock.com reported Thursday on Texas Tech FCU, Lubbock, Texas, taking over a gas station, pumping gas and talking to local residents about banking with a credit union or community bank, instead of megabanks.
  • WCAX News in Colchester, Vt., Thursday featured a story, "Free gas giveaway highlights local credit unions" and a number of photos at the pumps where North Country CU was pumping gas.
  • KSLA.com in Shreveport, La., reported on Pelican State CU in Shreveport "using a unique technique to get you to 'take back your banking.'"
  • MyFoxPhoenix.com noted that two valley credit unions--Altier CU in Tempe, Ariz., and Credit Union West, Glendale--pumped free gas, while MyFoxAtlanta.com pointed out Family Savings CU was participating.
Such events can foster service excellence while raising awareness about the value of credit unions. Fostering service excellences and raising awareness, along with removing barriers, are the components of the Unite for Good campaign launched by the Credit Union National Association and state leagues to work toward the vision of Americans choosing credit unions as their best financial partners. Use the links for more information.

NEW: CU Loans Grew In July, Savings Declined

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MADISON, Wis. (8/30/13, UPDATED 1:40 p.m. CT)--Credit union loans outstanding grew in July and credit  union savings balances declined, according to the Credit Union National Association's monthly  sample of credit unions.
 
Loans grew 1% to $634 billion in July, compared with a 0.5% increase during the same period last year. Unsecured personal loans rose 2.1%, followed by new-auto loans (1.8%), used-auto loans (1.6%), fixed-rate mortgages (1.3%), credit card loans (1.2%), and adjustable-rate mortgages (0.9%). Other mortgages and home-equity loans declined 1.1% and 0.1%, respectively.
 
Savings balances dropped 0.6% in July to $925.1 billion, compared with a 0.8% decline in July 2012. Money- market accounts and one-year certificates grew 0.6% and 0.1%, respectively. Share drafts (3%), regular shares (0.9%) and individual retirement accounts (0.9%) all decreased in July.
 
Regarding asset quality, credit unions' 60-plus-day delinquency rate remained at 1% during the past six months.
 
With loan growth outpacing savings growth in July, the loan-to-savings ratio increased one percentage point--to 68.5% from 67.5% in June.  The liquidity ratio--the ratio of surplus funds maturing in less than one year to borrowings plus other liabilities--was 18% in July.
 
Total credit union membership grew 0.4% during July to 98 million.
 
The movement's overall capital-to-asset ratios remained at 10%. The total dollar amount of capital $111 billion.

Affinity Plus FCU CEO Markland Resigns

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (8/30/13)--Kyle Markland, president/CEO of Affinity Plus FCU, St. Paul, Minn.--Minnesota's second largest credit union with $1.6 billion in assets--resigned Thursday, effective immediately.
 
David Larson, Affinity Plus senior vice president, was named interim CEO. Larson is executive director of the Affinity Plus Foundation and sits on the board of the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation.
 
"For somebody who worked with Kyle for 12 years, I was certainly surprised," Larson told News Now. "But I respect his decision."
 
Affinity Plus Chief Administrative Office Liz Hayes resigned in July. Larson said Markland's resignation was not related to Hayes' departure.
 
The Affinity Plus FCU board will conduct a nationwide search for a permanent CEO. The search will also include internal candidates, Larson said.

CU CEOs Optimistic On Loan Demand

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PLANO, Texas (8/30/13)--Credit union CEOs' expectations for increased loan demand have doubled the past 12 months, according to Catalyst Corporate FCU's most recent CU CEO Confidence Survey. The second quarter 2013 measurement rose 4.2 points over the first quarter report and surged year-over-year nearly 13 points.
 
Although Tom Farrar, president/CEO of the $4.8 million asset Printing Office Employees CU (POE CU) in Los Angeles, would like to see loan demand rise, he views the fact that his members aren't borrowing as positive in some ways. "I sincerely hope loan demand will increase over the next six months," Farrar said. "There's a lot of talk about the economy improving. We're not seeing that here," he told Catalyst Corporate.
 
POE's field of membership revolves around the printing industry, Farrar said, and all of the credit union's select employee groups have experienced downsizing.
 
"It's tough on the members and on the credit union," he said. "However, the overall financial condition of my members is improving, not because of the economy, but because of lessons learned in the downturn. People are making progress in turning around bad credit scores. That's why they're not taking out loans."
 
Farrar said POE CU's members may soon loosen their purse-strings a bit. In the meantime, the credit union is well-capitalized and will continue to ride out the storm, he said.
 
Brian Turner, Catalyst Strategic Solutions' director and chief strategist, offered his analysis of CEOs' increased optimism for loan demand.
 
"During the first half of 2013, consumer sentiment improved just enough to see overall annualized loan growth increase to about 4%, aided by a sizeable increase in auto sales during the first quarter," Turner said. "This helped to push the industry's vehicle loan growth upward to about 9%, and mortgage loans increased 4% during the same timeframe. Both increases are welcome improvements over the doldrums of the past three years."
 
Most of the loan growth continues to reside in the industry's largest peer group, $500 million or more in total assets, Turner said. "This group, which represents about 94% of the industry's assets, but less than 7% of the number of credit unions, experienced a 9% increase in loans. This indicates that the remaining 93% of the credit unions collectively experienced a 6% decline in loans--mostly from institutions with less than $150 million in assets. The good news is that the rate of decline is half the rate experienced during the first quarter of 2013 for these credit unions."
 
Turner questioned whether some of the loan growth for the first half of the year might be associated with heightened consumer loan demand that typically occurs in summer or early fall. "If the association is significant, the 4% annualized growth rate may be unsustainable over the second half," he said. "There is early evidence that consumer spending is cooling off again after hitting a 3% increase during the first quarter."
 
Catalyst's overall CU CEO Confidence Index remained virtually unchanged for the second quarter in a row, increasing less than 0.25 point over last quarter. Other survey results show a 2.7-point increase in CEOs' confidence in members' future financial condition (in six months) and a 2.6-point decrease in confidence for their own credit union's future financial condition (in six months). Expectations for share deposit growth fell for the second consecutive quarter by about two points.
 
Catalyst Corporate's quarterly survey measures CEO confidence in the economy in six key areas:
  • Current financial condition of members;
  • Current financial condition of the credit union ;
  • Anticipated financial condition of members in six months;
  • Anticipated financial condition of the credit union in six months;
  • Anticipated loan demand at the credit union in six months; and
  • Anticipated share deposit growth at the credit union in six months.
The survey questionnaire was sent to 1,356 CEOs of Catalyst Corporate member credit unions in July. Responses totaled 201 or a 14.8% response rate. Additional details, including graphs with the survey's historical data, are available under Links & Forms/Surveys on Catalyst's website. Use the link.

Credit Card Balances See First Year-over-year Hike Since 2008

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ATLANTA (8/30/13)--The total balance of credit cards increased in the year ending in July to $533.6 billion from $533.3 billion, the first year-over-year increase in five years, according to Equifax's latest National Consumer Trends Report.

"Only two major consumer credit segments are currently growing: auto financing and student loans," said Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. "In all other segments, consumers are reducing their debt burdens, either negatively, through foreclosures and bankruptcies, or positively, through payoffs--payoffs are dominating in most cases today.
 
"We expect mortgage balances to begin rising again over the next several months as new home purchase loans overtake foreclosures and payoffs," she said.
Other year-over-year changes in balances include:
  • Student loans increased 11.3%, to $884.2 billion from $794.6 billion;
  • Auto loans rose 10.9%, to $826.8 billion from $745.3 billion;
  • First mortgages decreased 0.9%, to $7.72 trillion from $7.79 trillion;
  • Home-equity installment loans declined 4.1%, to $136.5 billion from $142.3 billion; and
  • Home-equity revolving debt dropped 8.9%, to $504.1 billion from $553.2 billion.
Other highlights from the data include:
 
Credit cards:
  • Serious delinquencies represent 1.86% of outstanding balances in July 2013, a decrease of more than 11% year-over-year;
  • Total new credit opened from January to May is the highest since 2008 and an increase of more than 6% from same time a year ago, to $77.7 billion $72.9 billion;
  • From January to May, the total number of new loans also rose more than 6% from the same time a year ago, to 16.6 million from 15.6 million; and
  • Both new loans and new credit year-to-date in May are four-year highs.
Student loans:
  • Total student loans originated from January to May is 4.2 million, a decrease of 9.3% from same time a year ago;
  • From January to May, new credit totaled $24.3 billion, an increase of nearly 4% from same time a year ago;
  • More than 60% of new student loans in May were distributed to borrowers between the ages of 24 and 39, a modest decrease from the same period last year; and
  • Write-offs year-to date in July totaled $11.6 billion, an eight-year high and an increase of more than 58% from a year ago.
Home Finance:
  • The total balance of home finance write-offs year-to-date in July is $96.3 billion, a decrease of more than 22% from same time a year earlier and the lowest since 2007;
  • First mortgages in severe delinquency (30-days past due) represent 6.24% of outstanding balances, a decrease of 22% from the same time last year;
  • Similarly, the total balance of first mortgages 90-days past due or in foreclosure is less than $310 billion, a five-year low and a decrease of more than 25% from same time a year ago; and
  • By loan type, severely delinquent balances (90-days past due or in foreclosure) for home-equity revolving ($8.3 billion) and home equity installment ($4.4 billion) in July 2013 are five-year lows.

A New Trend: Minnesota CUs Modify Annual Meetings

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ST. PAUL, HOYT LAKES and DULUTH, Minn. (8/30/13)--Many credit unions are using an old channel--annual meetings--in a new way to position themselves as creative, contemporary financial institutions, according to the Minnesota Credit Union Network.

The reason is that the credit union industry is evolving and placing a heavy emphasis on attracting the next generation of borrowers and savers, MnCUN said.

Three Minnesota credit unions have strategically modified their annual meetings to meet the changing needs of their membership.

SPIRE FCU, a $596 million asset credit union in Falcon Heights, welcomed a record-setting number of members--nearly 2,000--to its Annual Meeting and Member Appreciation Day in February, its third year of coordinating the annual event with a twist. The attendance represented a 40% jump from 2012, and a 1,300% increase from 2009.

An inspirational keynote speaker, a guaranteed one-hour time limit, and cash are the draw, MnCUN said.

SPIRE President/CEO Dan Stoltz leads the hour-long meetings, providing broad education about SPIRE and the credit union difference, and discussing economic trends.

As for the cash, SPIRE is the first credit union in the country to incentivize annual meeting attendees. It's the credit union's "strong overall financial picture" that has allowed it to provide a $25 cash payment to all attendees, according to SPIRE.

The second credit union, NorthRidge Community CU (NRCCU) in Hoyt Lakes, decided it was time for a change in the face of declining attendance at its traditional annual meeting. The $35 million institution made its first move toward a format change a few years ago, attempting barbeque-style annual meetings at the city park pavilion. However, with continued low attendance, NRCCU moved ahead with a complete overhaul in 2013.

With credit union offices in four cities across north central Minnesota's "Iron Range," NorthRidge converted its annual meeting to a weeklong celebration, involving all branches and staff in drawings, decorations and member education. NRCCU's staff primarily focused on educating members--reminding them that they're owners of the institution and therefore eligible to help direct the future of the credit union by serving on the board and supervisory committees.

At Minnesota Power Employees CU (MPECU) in Duluth, it's the little things that make the difference, said MnCUN. MPECU has created a hybrid between the traditional and modern annual meeting formats, infusing its event with formality, practicality and innovation.

To draw a crowd for its annual meeting, the $85 million credit union reminds members that they are the owners of the institution and mails personalized invitations. MPECU draws attendees together for a social hour prior to the meeting, conducts all official credit union business in under a half hour, and wraps its annual event with a formal dinner.

MPECU also incorporated an innovative incentive to attract young adults to its event: Child care. Staff hires two of its members who are teachers to provide kids' activities and games, offered as a service to parents with young children. Once the business meeting concludes, they join their parents for dinner with a special a kids' meal and gift bag as a "thank you" for their participation.
 
The credit unions modified their meetings to foster service excellence, one of the key components of the Credit Union National Association's and leagues' national Unite For Good Campaign.  The campaign works toward the strategic vision of American's choosing credit unions as their best financial partner. 

Al George, 'Epitome Of Volunteerism,' Dies

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (8/30/13)--Al George, a former California Credit Union League and Credit Union National Association chairman, has died.

George was called "the epitome of volunteerism and leadership, but most importantly a personal friend," by Diana Dykstra, president/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, in an announcement of his passing.
 
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney noted that George was "quite literally a lifetime credit union volunteer."
 
"He was a true friend, a great leader and mentor and will be missed by us all.  He will of course live on in the spirit of the credit union movement, which he so forcefully embodied for more than 65 years," Cheney said.

George dedicated his life and career to the greater good of the credit union movement, serving on the North Island CU board here board for more than 60 years.  Dykstra recalled George once said, "It's difficult for me to focus on one unique accomplishment as a volunteer. I feel every contribution is important."

George's volunteer credit union activities began in 1948 as a director of San Diego Gas & Electric CU (now Financial 21 CU) while he was a 43-year utility engineer for the company. In 1951 he became president of the board of that credit union and a director of the California league.

"Al was league chairman in 1962 and received the Leo H. Shapiro Award in 1981, Volunteer of the Year Award, and the President's Award for his 50 years of volunteer service," Dykstra recalled.

He also served as past chair of the CUNA and was a former director of the World Council of Credit Unions. In 1953 he joined Central CU during its organization effort and continued 43 years of volunteer service there until its 1996 merger into North Island CU. He served on the Supervisory Committee after the merger, and in 1998 began serving on the board of directors, including a three-year term as board chair. He retired from his volunteer service in July after serving this industry for 65 years.

Steve O'Connell, president/CEO of North Island CU, said George was "a remarkable man who embodied the true spirit of 'people helping people.'"

O'Connell added, "Al started in uniform with the U.S. Marine Corps and was called into action for four years during World War II (three major campaigns and 26 months overseas). He never forgot the importance of serving those who serve our country. Al's legacy is one of love for his family, and commitment to volunteerism, credit unions, and the country."

CUbroadcast: BizKid$ Building Financially Fit Gen Z

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MADISON, Wis. (8/30/13)--BizKid$, a credit union-funded public television series that teaches kids about money management and entrepreneurship, is rolling along after five years, winning awards and continuing to teach kids how to make and manage money, the show's program director told CUbroadcast in a Tuesday video broadcast.

BizKid$, which just received its second Emmy award in June, has been nominated for 13 Emmys in the past five years it has been on the air, Danielle Brown, the National Credit Union Foundation's BizKid$ program director, told CUbroadcast.

"To be nominated and to win speaks to the caliber of the shows," Brown said.

The credit union movement--including NCUF, state leagues, state credit union foundations, individual credit unions and credit union business partners--collectively raised $14 million during the past five years for the show's five seasons and 65 episodes, she added.

There is great exposure and branding for the credit union movement, arising from its BizKid$ sponsorship, Brown said.

A term has been coined for BizKid$, "Edutainment," a concept in which kids can be educated while being entertained, Brown said. "Learning doesn't have to be boring, and education and entertainment don't have to mutually exclusive," she explained.

"Kids relate to it because they are hearing from other kids, peer-to-peer--not adults," Brown added

The information in the shows should remain relevant for years to come as "evergreen content," and credit unions can purchase DVDs of episodes through NCUF at no cost, she said.

Also, credit unions can use BizKid$ episodes as a resource in schools because each episode   comes with a curriculum and lesson plan, which is free and downloadable from the BizKid$ website. "Credit unions also can look to community youth programs, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts--beyond just schools--to use these materials," Brown said.  

ATMIA White Paper: FIs Must Adapt To Mobile Payments Model

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (8/30/13)--Although it is not clear which technologies will win the mobile payments race, financial institutions, including credit unions, must adapt products and services to meet consumer expectations for the mobile payments model, according to a new white paper from the ATM Industry Association.
 
The mobile payments market is still at an early stage, and most models are just one to two years old, but consumer adoption has been rapid, the paper said. By 2017, consumers worldwide will buy $1.3 trillion worth of goods with their phones and tablets, a fourfold increase from today, according to Juniper Research.
 
Recommendations for financial institutions made in the white paper include:
  • Financial institutions should leverage critical mass and global presence of the ATM as a hub for interacting with mobile devices by integrating technology such as cardless operation. It is crucial to position the ATM as an integrated payment hub to help financial institutions shape the future payments market, the paper said.
  • With their expertise in transactions, financial institutions should consider strategic alliances with mobile payments providers. For example, the mobile network operator handles interfacing with the banking network to provide mobile payment for under banked sectors.
  • Financial institutions can leverage their own competitive advantage to extend card-based payment to include mobile payments. Financial institutions can define mobile payment as an extension of card-base payments and can help establish standards in the mobile market, the papers said. Financial institutions also have expertise with data security and fraud prevention.
To download the white paper, use the link

'Miracle Jeans Day' T-shirt Orders Due Sept. 1

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (8/30/13)--Are business-casual Fridays your very favorite work day?  Well, you can do even better if you act by this Sunday.

For a $5 donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals by Sept. 1, credit union employees can "earn" the right to wear jeans and participate in Miracle Jeans Day. For a $25 donation, participants also qualify for a Miracle Jeans Day T-shirt.

Miracle Jeans Day is Sept. 18 this year and credit unions across North America will be participating in the charity event that raises funds for 170 children's hospitals. All donations stay local to benefit the member hospital serving the community of the donor.

New for this year is a Credit Unions for Kids version of the Miracle Jeans Day T-shirt. To receive this free T-shirt with your $25 donation, contributions must be received no later than Sept. 1 by phone at  801-214-7452 or online at MiracleJeansDay.com.

From Sept. 2 to12, a $35 donation will be required to receive a free T-shirt; the added amount will help to cover fees for expedited  service. The final day to qualify for a T-shirt is Sept. 12.  To date, more than 1,000 credit unions supporters and employees have purchased these unique Miracle Jeans Day T-shirts.

In 2012, credit unions were the largest supporters of Miracle Jeans Day, with more than 600 credit unions participating in the event. Collectively those credit unions raised over $300,000 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.   
 
For more information on participating in Miracle Jeans Day, to order your Credit Unions for Kids T-shirt online, or to learn more about Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, use the resource links below.
 

CUNA Closed Monday For Holiday, No News Now

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WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (8/30/13)--The Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wis., offices of the Credit Union National Association will be closed Monday in observance of Labor Day. There will be no Monday edition of News Now.
 
News Now will resume regular publication on Tuesday.