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Fiserv revenue expansion program to fill overdraft gaps

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (9/1/10)--Fiserv Monday unveiled its Revenue Expansion program, which aims to help credit unions and banks impacted by Regulation E. The regulation prohibits financial institutions from charging overdraft fees for ATM or one-time debit card transactions unless a consumer opts in to the overdraft service. Under Regulation E, consumers had until Aug. 15 to opt-in for overdraft protection offered by their financial institutions. Fiserv said it urges credit unions and banks to “create a strategy to comply, and use it as an opportunity to deepen their consumer relationships, develop innovative product offerings and create a competitive advantage.” The Brookfield, Wis.-based company created Revenue Expansion because some financial institutions don’t have the resources to create such a strategy. Fiserv has identified three areas of focus for the Revenue Expansion roadmap: new deposit products, consumer liquidity products, and cross-sell, loyalty and retention products. New deposit products provide financial institutions with the ability to present creative new offerings to consumers. The products include alternatives to free checking such as incentive or rewards-based checking; relationship or activity-based pricing; card-based initiatives such as consolidating personal identification number networks. They also include increasing debit card penetration, activation and use; and new consumer payments alternatives such as expedited electronic bill payment and person-to-person payments. Short-term consumer liquidity solutions address the potential impact from Reg E. For consumers who opt in, financial institutions can implement dynamic overdraft threshold strategies determined on an account-by-account basis that provide consumers with overdraft limits matching their capability to repay. For consumers who opt out, financial institutions may offer a small dollar, short-term loan for which qualification is based on deposit history rather than credit score. Cross-sell, loyalty and retention products, including card rewards, relationship rewards, incentive-checking products and relationship pricing, can drive consumer behavior and encourage long-term retention and greater product usage, Fiserv said. Implementing predictive analytical technologies can help financial institutions predict what product or service a consumer will want next, which can increase revenues significantly increase consumer loyalty and reduce attrition, Fiserv added. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has closely monitored Regulation E and its impact on credit unions. CUNA said it supports the ability for credit unions to offer overdraft protection plans to help members resolve short-term financial programs, in contrast to other institutions who may market such programs in a misleading manner.

Biz preparedness Can you go it alone for 72 hours

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MADISON, Wis. (8/31/10)--As part of National Preparedness Month, Agility Recovery Solutions, a CUNA Strategic Services provider, will host free educational webinars throughout September, with the first one scheduled for Wednesday. "America's businesses form the backbone of our economy. Small businesses alone account for more than 99% of all employer firms and provide nearly 45% of the nation's payroll," said Agility President/CEO Bob Boyd. "Yet, these businesses are the ones who have traditionally been unprepared with regards to an executable business continuity plan," he added. The first webinar, "Business preparedness: Can You Go Alone for 72 Hours?" will be at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT Wednesday. R. David Paulison, former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will share how and why businesses need to take steps to become self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours following any interruption. For more information about the National Preparedness Month webinars, use the link or call 866-364-9696.

CO-OP Member Center has new loan origination system

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (8/31/10)--CO-OP Member Center will use Lending 360’s new Loan Origination System (LOS), an underwriting solution, for its lending services as part of an agreement with CU Direct Corp., CO-OP announced Monday. LOS, scheduled to be on-line with CO-OP Member Center by early 2011, will provide CO-OP Member Center and its clients with a lending platform to support loan application processing across all lending channels. It incorporates CU Direct Corp.’s CUDL Decision Manager decision engine and a new customizable workflow engine, allowing CO-OP Member Center to work with its clients to structure a workflow that includes commonly adopted underwriting and customized rules. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, CO-OP Member Center is a wholly owned subsidiary of CO-OP Financial Services. CU Direct Corp. is a parent company to CUDL, an indirect auto lender for credit unions.

Fiserv launches remote deposit capture for mobile phones

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (8/30/10)--Fiserv has launched Mobile Source Capture, a remote deposit capture solution that extends the convenience of remote check capture to camera-equipped mobile phones. Mobile Source Capture leverages Mobile Deposit technologies from Mitek Systems Inc. The solution is a downloadable application for camera-equipped smartphones that allows the user to take a picture securely of the front and back of a check, then deposit the item electronically without visiting a branch, ATM, office or home. The financial institution receiving the image can deposit it for processing, clearing, settlement and posting. Mobile Source Capture initially is being targeted at clients seeking a customized or stand-alone solution, typically large financial institutions, or any institution focusing on mobile services. It will be integrated with Fiserv account processing solutions with specific integration announcements in 2010 and 2011. Fiserv, which is a global provider of financial services technology solutions based in Brookfield, Wis., has conducted customer pilot trials for the service since 2009. Based on feedback from the pilots, it expanded the product to include multi-item deposit capacity, single sign-on authentication and a virtual endorsement feature (via a virtual stamp on the back of the image). It also built in risk-mitigation for item validation during capture, and offers enterprise-wide duplicate detection and near real-time deposit review for quicker feedback to the phone user while ensuring the deposit is valid before it enters the deposit cycle.

U.S. CUs can attend Caribbean DE program

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ST. LUCIA, W.I. (8/26/10)--Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) will meet for a seven-day leadership development course in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on Sept. 22-29. CaribDE in Jamaica is co-sponsored by CUNA Mutual (Caribbean) and the Jamaica Credit Union League. Development educators who attend the event can fulfill their International DE certification. The course will feature leadership development sessions on:
* Philosophy is Good Business--the Ownership Culture; * International Credit Union Development; * Making the Difference--Leading Through Innovation; * Impact of the Global Financial Crisis--and Niches; and * Executive Leadership Skills.
The event also will incorporate the emerging discussion on current trading agreements and integration treaties in the context of current and projected regional economic performances, and expound on the current legislative, credit and investigative climate and its impact on Caribbean credit unions. CUDE's mission is to promote credit unions' social responsibility through interactive adult education and networking. Participants learn about national and international issues affecting people around the world. Program director in the Caribbean is Melvin Edwards, immediate past chair of the World Council of Credit Unions and former president of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions. The National Credit Union Foundation is the primary sponsor of the CUDE program. For more information about the CaribDE, contact Edwards at Edwards.Melvin@gmail.com or at 758-721-3991, or contact Diana Sullivan, registration coordinator, Credit Union National Association, at dsullivan@cuna.coop or at 800-356-9655, ext. 8282.

Core processor Corelation celebrates first anniversary

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SAN DIEGO (8/25/10)--Corelation Inc., a core processing solution established on Aug. 20, 2009, by a group of credit union industry veterans, celebrated its first-year anniversary Friday, according to company Chairman John Landis and president/CEO Theresa Benavidez. After one year on the market, Corelation's KeyStone core processing system has garnered success, with four commitments, said Benavidez. The San Diego-based company now has more code, two more employees, and documentation underway, Benavides said.

CUNA FACTA eSchool begins Sept. 27

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MADISON, Wis. (8/25/10)--The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) eSchool has set four sessions between Sept. 27 and Nov. 1. The eSchool, which is for credit unions' compliance, lending and operations staff, will provide information on the new provisions in FACTA, which is an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA aims to promote accuracy and ensure privacy of information used in consumer reports. The act and its regulations apply to consumer reporting agencies and anyone who furnishes or uses the consumer information provided to the agencies. Conducting the school will be Mary-Lou Heighes, a CUNA-certified Credit Union Compliance Expert and president of Compliance Plus Inc., which provides strategic planning, training, compliance and consulting services to credit unions, and Valerie Moss, CUNA director of compliance information for regulatory affairs. All sessions are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., CT. The sessions will address these topics:
* Sept. 27: Fair Credit Reporting, Consumer Reports and Basics Every Credit Union Should Know; * Oct. 2: Furnishing Information to a Credit Reporting Agency; * Oct. 25: Rules Addressing Fraud and Identity Theft; and * Nov. 1: Risk-Based Pricing Notices.
For more details and pricing, use the link.

Remote deposit capture focus of tech council paper

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MADISON, Wis. (8/24/10)--Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) promises to extend greater convenience to members while potentially reducing operating costs and investment in building infrastructures, according to a new white paper from the CUNA Technology Council. RDC is defined as using an optical scanning device--such as a home office scanner or a cell phone camera--to scan or "capture" images of the fronts and backs of checks for deposit; uploading the images on a computer, and using software to edit and send the images securely over the Internet to the credit union for processing and deposit. The paper, "Remote Deposit Capture: Thinking Out of the Branch to Better Serve Members," also notes that RDC is valuable for credit unions having members who:
* Reside some distance from a branch; * Frequently travel or are stationed in other countries; * Have college-age children at a location without a branch; and * Wish or need to make deposits during non-business hours.
RDC also may be useful to credit unions with a small number of branches and a large field of membership, as is the case with some select employee group-based credit unions, the paper said. The white paper covers these points related to RDC and RDC application development:
* A business rationale for offering RDC; * Eligibility criteria and deposit limits; * Hardware and software considerations, including functionality and platform expansion; * Image correction concerns; * Vendor partnership; * Fraud detection and risk-management controls, including duplicate detection; and * The importance of member education and trained back-up support.
The paper also profiles four credit unions and provides in depth case studies that show how RDC functions and its primary challenges and advantages. CUNA Council members can obtain complimentary copies of more than 200 white papers, including the RDC paper, while non-members can purchase the papers for $50 each. Use the link for more information.

CSS in alliance with new competitive intelligence provider

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MADISON, Wis. (8/24/10)--Informa Research Services will provide credit unions with rate intelligence and mystery shopping services through a new alliance with CUNA Strategic Services (CSS). Established in 1983, Informa provides competitive intelligence services to more than 6,500 financial institutions nationwide. Its daily comparisons of credit union vs. bank market rates at the national, state and local levels allow credit unions to efficiently, correctly, and quickly price their products and ensure the best rate for their members, CSS said. The Calabasas, Calif.-based Informa has an "earned reputation for extreme accuracy and enthusiastic customer service," according to Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. Informa also performs member satisfaction studies, sales and service evaluations; compliance testing; and other mystery shopping services to the financial services industry, resulting in powerful market information, insightful analysis and targeted recommendations, said CSS. Informa's clients include more than 500 of the top credit unions.

CUNA updates training with new reg provisions

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MADISON, Wis. (8/23/10)--The Federal Trade Commission has estimated that nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year. To help credit unions become more educated on fraud, the Credit Union National Association has updated its Identity Theft Red Flags Training on Demand to incorporate this year’s regulation changes. With “Identity Theft: Red Flags Training on Demand,” participants will learn to:
* Recognize the consumer safety goals of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act; * Define and describe the four elements of the Red Flags rules; * Describe how to address discrepancies; and * Explain how extended fraud alerts and active duty alerts help to protect members from identity theft.
Training on Demand is a downloadable, video training tool with a 30- to 45-minute expert presentation on credit union topics. It also includes five online exams. CUNA also has incorporated 2010 regulation changes into its CPDOnline RegTraC courses.

New Seminar in a Box focuses on Reg D

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MADISON, Wis. (8/23/10)--Credit union employees can receive information about Regulation D with a new Credit Union Seminar in a Box from the Credit Union National Association. Regulation D addresses reserve and reporting requirements for credit unions, banks and thrifts, by directing Federal Reserve banks to pay interest on certain balances held by or on behalf of depository institutions and allowing for the establishment of excess balance accounts at reserve banks. Under the rule, required reserve balances maintained by depository institutions that are not eligible to earn interest themselves on behalf of an eligible institution (a respondent) will accrue interest--which must then be passed back to the respondent. However, excess balances that are maintained by “ineligible” correspondents on behalf of a respondent will not earn interest. Regulation D Seminar in a Box provides credit union staff with a definition of a transaction account and deposit account, and how to calculate the six-transfer limit. The seminar will give staff the materials needed to plan and execute a 10-minute exercise or a one-hour staff workshop. Credit unions can provide the seminars at branch meetings, credit union meetings, department meetings or training sessions. Each seminar includes:
* Exercises to reinforce the skills learned; * Conversation starters and discussion points to relate the content and concepts presented to your credit union; * Definitions, guidelines, tips, tools and benefits for all the skills taught; * Action plans for using the skills taught; and * A recommended reading list to reinforce the skills learned.

uMonitor Next IT alliance to reduce abandoned applications

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. and SPOKANE, Wash. (8/20/10)--uMonitor and Next IT will combine uMonitor’s account opening and funding solution, uOpen and uFund, with Next IT’s Human Emulation Software, ActiveAgent, through a new partnership. The combination will allow the companies’ financial institution clients, including BECU, Seattle, Wash., to reduce the number of abandoned applications. “The percentage of abandoned online registrations is surprisingly high, as is the cost of follow-up with them to reclaim lost business opportunities, said Fred Brown, founder/CEO of Next IT. “By embedding ActiveAgent in the service workflow, registration completion goes up and costs go down.” Users can access a business’ online assets through ActiveAgent. uOpen and uFund lets financial institutions streamline the workflow for customers signing up for personal or business accounts.

Its Me 247 to no longer support IE5 IE6

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (8/20/10)--CU*Answers’ It’s Me 247 online banking platform will no longer be supported by browsers Internet Explorer 5 or Internet Explorer 6, effective Oct. 4. CU*Answers decided to end support for the outdated browsers because of the “rapidly changing needs of the Internet, and Microsoft ending mainstream support for these versions,” CU*Answers said. The credit union service organization, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., encourages It’s Me 247 users to upgrade to a new browser, such as Internet Explorer 7, Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome.

OpSS Council paper addresses credit card privacy issues

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MADISON, Wis. (8/19/10)--Credit unions can take credit card market share from banks today, according to a new white paper by the CUNA Operations, Sales & Service (OpSS) Council, titled “Credit Card Pricing: Effective Strategies for a Post-CARD Act Market.” Even before the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 took effect, big banks drew consumers’ ire because the government bailed them out when they got into financial trouble. Consumers also were bothered by banks’ reactions to the economy’s effects on their credit card programs and their preparations for a new regulatory environment. With a well-designed, competitive value proposition--including pricing strategies that make their cards attractive without posing excessive risk--and a comprehensive marketing/communications plan that expresses the credit union difference, credit cards can still be a credit union’s highest-yielding asset, the paper said. The paper discusses:
* Significant CARD Act provisions and pricing implications; * Effective pricing strategies; * Credit union advantages; * Metrics; and * Marketplace forecasts.
The paper also includes three case studies showing how credit unions’ pricing has evolved to fit today’s marketplace. For more information, use the link.

Lending Council Conference focuses on challenges

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MADISON, Wis. (8/19/10)--Credit union lending professionals can register for the 16th annual CUNA Lending Council Conference, Oct. 17-20 in Las Vegas. General sessions include:
* The Outlook for the Economy, Housing, and Mortgage Markets, by Dave Berson, senior vice president and chief economist and strategist, The PMI Group Inc.; * Regulator Exam Hot Buttons, by Timothy Segerson, director of supervision, Office of Examination and Insurance, National Credit Union Administration; * After the Bailouts: 10 Keys to Success for the American Credit Union Movement in the Year 2010 and Beyond, by Dennis Dollar, principal partner, Dollar Associates LLC; and * The Art of Vision, by Erik Wahl, artist and speaker.
Session topics include:
* Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac updates; * Mortgage portfolio management; * Loan growth strategies; * Current financial issues for lenders; and * Regulatory compliance.
For more information, use the link.

SEFCU acquires mortgage banking company

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ALBANY, N.Y. (8/18/10)--SEFCU, Latham, N.Y., will acquire Home Funding Finders, a mortgage banking company headquartered in Latham, effective Sept. 1. SEFCU will operate Home Funding Finders as a wholly owned subsidiary. Robert MacLasco has been appointed president. Michelle Raymond, current president of Home Funding Finders, will serve as senior vice president of the company. “This growth will allow us to expand our home loan products and services to current future SEFCU members throughout our markets,” said SEFCU President/CEO Michael J. Castellana. Home Funding Finders will continue to operate from its Latham headquarters and satellite offices. It will retain all 59 of its employees. Home Funding Finders, founded in 1983, has New York offices in Latham, Kinderhook, Hudson Valley and Syracuse. SEFCU has more than $2 billion in assets and more than 200,000 members.

Study 20 million Americans have multiple SSNs

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SAN DIEGO (8/17/10)--More than 20 million Americans have multiple Social Security numbers (SSNs) associated with their name in commercial records, according to a new study from ID Analytics, a CUNA Strategic Services provider. The study also found that rather than serving as a unique identifier, more than 40 million SSNs are associated with multiple people. ID Analytics examined more than 280 million SSNs to determine discrepancies. “Our research shows that SSNs, contrary to popular perception, do not uniquely identify an individual,” said Stephen Coggeshall, ID Analytics chief technology officer. “Most of these cases of duplication are likely due to simple data entry errors, as opposed to deliberate falsification. Organizations expose themselves and their customers to risk if they solely rely on the SSN to verify an individual.” The study also found:
* About 6% of Americans have at least two SSNs associated with their name; * More than 100,000 have five or more SSNs associated with their name; * More than 15% of SSNs are associated with two or more people; * More than 140,000 SSNs are associated with five or more people; and * More than 27,000 SSNs are associated with 10 or more people.

New Cardwell application allows data sharing

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CLEVELAND (8/16/10)--Strategy consultant and software developer Cardwell has launched Connections Online IQ, an online library and user community for Connections Online (COL). COL creates a virtual blueprint of an organization, such as a credit union, that shows an organization's goals and strategic plans, scorecards, project portfolios and plans, and individual performance management. With COL IQ, users can upload and share custom reports and tips, and post comments and issue requests. COL IQ also offers new reports, frequently added templates and training modules. Reports and templates include:
* Resource and Capacity Planning; * Employee by Basic Role (Key Result Area) and Dialog Comment; * Employees’ Last Individual Dialog Date; * Performance Appraisal Forms using data from COL; * Resource Report for ALL tasks per Employee; and * Templates.
COL IQ also features Cardwell’s new COL Web Services, which provides information technology (IT) departments and third-party developers direct access to push or pull data into or out of COL that support the four standard functions: Create, Read, Update and Delete. If a user can access the information in COL, the user can access the information through COL Web Services. COL Web Services IT department features include:
* Inter-operability between platforms; * Easy-to-read text protocols and open standards for in-house developers; and * Combined and integrated software and services from other companies.
COL Web Services also allows users to share information across applications. Users can share/aggregate/report on information across the enterprise, grabbing data from any data source and populate information in COL. They can also pull information from COL and create unique reports and their own COL apps, said Karla Norwood, Cardwell president. “With our Web services, we can make the Microsoft Outlook connector much faster now that it’s available,” Norwood said. “We can turn on RSS feeds, we can use RTF capabilities, we can create forms to fill in data, and we can do all kinds of reporting and more.”

UIECU displaces bank to provide alumni card program

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (8/16/10)--The University of Illinois Employees CU (UIECU) has been selected by the University of Illinois Alumni Association (UIAA) to offer the official card of the university, a Visa credit card, to its 625,000 members. The endorsement replaces a 19-year relationship with MBNA and its successor, Bank of America. UIAA members can carry one of five cards with designs that represent the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses. Cardholders also can enroll in a rewards program to be used for airline travel or merchandise. A portion of each purchase helps fund UIAA programs, communications and services. UIAA chose UIECU after a six-month request-for-proposals process. “After a thorough evaluation of the proposals, we found the ideal partner literally in our own back yard,” said UIAA President/CEO Loren R. Taylor. The $229-million-asset UIECU offers credit cards and other services to its 37,000 members, who include many alumni.

Product and Services brief (08/13/2010)

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* RALEIGH, N.C. (8/16/10)--Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C., yesterday introduced a program to combat “$30 cups of coffee” by charging just one cent for insufficient funds. Sunday was the effective date for new overdraft rules under the Dodd-Frank Act, which give consumers the ability to opt-in for fee-based insufficient fund protection from their financial institutions. Instead of charging $28 each time a member overdraws an account, Coastal will charge just one cent per transaction with insufficient funds, provided the member: corrects the difference before 11 p.m. the same day; or had a small transaction that did not take their end-of-day account balance into the negative by more than $10. Any account that remains negative by more than $10 after 11 p.m. will be charged the $28 overdraft fee. The changes apply to all checks and automated drafts, and debit and ATM transactions on accounts that have opted-in to Coastal’s BounceGuard Plus overdraft coverage service. Coastal has $2 billion in assets...

VINtek marks 20 year anniversary

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PHILADELPHIA (8/13/10)--VINTek, a provider of automotive collateral management and electronic lien and title (ELT) services used by credit unions, is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this month. VINtek has more than 1,200 auto finance customers, including credit unions. VINtek, founded in 1990 by president/CEO Larry Highbloom, has worked to streamline auto lenders’ processes, such as increasing operating efficiency and reducing exposure to errors and fraud. VINtek has maintained 99% of its client base since its founding. Highbloom has participated in the expansion of ELT nationwide. Fifteen states offer an ELT program, with four mandating the use of electronic titles by auto lenders. VINtek also offers the www.TitleMyCar.com consumer portal and a Department of Motor Vehicles “Concierge” service that provides remote title application and other services.

Communitymarket development topic of groups second white paper

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MADISON, Wis. (8/12/10)--The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Community Credit Union Committee has released the second of four white papers titled, “Best Practices in Community and Market Development.” The paper offers insight on how credit unions can position themselves as leaders in the financial industry and community. The paper is written to serve as a playbook for credit unions striving to be a source in rebuilding the financial lives of American families through supporting, educating and empowering their local communities. It contains rules credit unions can follow to strengthen their community and marketing development. “Credit unions cannot simply be reactive or rely on past practices for their community and market development strategies,” the paper said. “Instead, credit union executives must integrate how they will reach out to the community and innovate how they grow the member base directly into their strategic plans.” CUNA also will host the Community Credit Union and Growth Conference Oct. 6-9 in Boston. Community Credit Union Best Practices and Best Practices in Community Credit Union Performance are two sessions that will be offered. For more information, use the links.

Granite Starr launched to help CUs banks restore trust

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HOUSTON (8/12/10)--A team of financial industry professionals has launched Granite Starr, to help credit unions and local banks develop more personal connections with consumers. Credit unions and community banks will be the “financial institutions of choice in the coming decades,” said Joe Gillen, company co-founder. Granite Starr will have a collaborative approach to support and strengthen the advantages local institutions offer over megabanks, he said. Granite Starr is based in Houston, with Gillen as chairman and Mark Collins as president/CEO. Both have worked with more than 1,000 credit unions and community banks to help them grow market share and enhance service. Community banks and credit unions “have a vested interest in the overall well-being and prosperity of their local cities and towns, and a tangible desire to see that their customers and members succeed,” Gillen said. “Granite Starr will collaborate with local banks and credit unions to enhance that commitment and build long-term relationships that benefit both the institutions and the communities they serve.”

CUAnswers expands to W. Va. offers new reg tools

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (8/12/10)--CU*Answers announced that it will provide core processing services for its first credit union in West Virginia, WV United FCU, Charleston. The credit union service organization also announced several new regulatory tools. The $29-million-asset WV United FCU will upgrade to the CU*BASE core data processing system during the fourth quarter. CU*Answers is based in Grand Rapids, Mich. CU*Answers’ new tools include:
* A fee analysis by Opt In/Out status feature for CU*BASE. The tool provides an analysis of the potential impact on fee income of Regulation E, which involves overdraft protection. The tool will show members who have opted in or out who also generated fee activity from January to June; and * The capability for credit union members to select their opt in/out status on It’s Me 247 online banking. The new page allows members to select their overdraft protection options.
CU*BASE also noted a core processing software upgrade. CU*Answers implemented statement changes in accordance with Regulation Z, or Truth in Lending, and added opt in/out features for Regulation E, the company said.

New editions of two boardvolunteer handbooks released

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MADISON, Wis. (8/11/10)--Updated regulations could affect credit union boards and supervisory committees, so the Credit Union National Association encourages credit unions to obtain the latest updates in two new handbooks. The Credit Union Supervisory Committee Handbook, fourth edition, gives committee members information about a typical supervisory committee profile. The edition describes supervisory committee relationships with members, directors, other committee members, management and staff, external and internal auditors, and regulatory agencies. It also discusses:
* Qualifications; * Makeup of the committee; * Duties and responsibilities; * Legal considerations; * Insurance protection; and * Conflicts of interest.
The Directors Handbook for Credit Union Regulations, third edition, contains the recent changes to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Rules and Regulations and includes a new appendix about NCUA auditing guidance. The edition has new information on:
* The increase in the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund insurance limit; * Trust account beneficiaries and share insurance coverage; * Real Estate Lending Regulations, including Real Estate Settlement Practices Act and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act; * Regulation Z changes; * Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosures Card Act; * Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act; * An updated list of activities in which credit union service organizations can engage.
For more information, use the links.

iPhone app added to SURF ATM network

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PORTLAND, Maine (8/11/10)--Maine credit union members can use a new iPhone app to find any of the 200 surcharge-free ATMs on the SURF ATM network. The free application can be downloaded at the iTunes app store. It lists all SURF ATMs, contact info and directions to ATMs. It also displays the new SURF mascot, SURF Dude. “While in the past you would have needed to plan ahead if you wanted to access a SURF location, with this application, members will have live information regarding SURF locations and won’t need to rely on accessing the first ATM terminal that they see,” said Rebekah Higgins, assistant vice president for Synergent Card Services. Surcharge-free ATMs on the SURF ATM network save credit union members about $300 annually on fees, said Synergent, a credit union service bureau owned by the Maine Credit Union League.

Council white paper focuses on scam prevention detection

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MADISON, Wis. (8/10/10)--Credit union front-line staff who stay alert for signs of fraud and educate members to do the same can effectively protect members and credit union assets, says a new white paper just released by the CUNA Operations, Sales & Service (OpSS) Council. "Too Good to Be True: Detection and Prevention of Common Scams" describes what members are most at risk from scams, examines five common types of scams through the eyes of four credit union professionals, and provides suggestions and resources for credit unions seeking to strengthen their defenses against these crimes:
* Lottery scams, one of the most common types of mass-marketing fraud, uses telemarketing or bulk mail; * Work-at-home scams, often starting with a job offer via mail or e-mail; * Phishing, smishing and vishing, using e-mail, text or telephone to entice members into revealing personal financial information; * Debit and ATM scams, often starting with a card reader and wireless camera attached to an ATM or gas pump to capture card information; and * Wire fraud, often involving someone falsely representing the member, requesting a transfer of funds via Western Union.
"Scammers prey on the most vulnerable people by appealing to their need, greed, compassion, respect for authority figures and unsuspicious nature," the paper said. "So many different scams are out there, but awareness among credit union staff and members can expose and thwart them all," it added. CUNA Council members can receive complimentary copies of these and more

CUNAs Volunteer Institute preps directors for fiduciary duty

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MADISON, Wis. (8/10/10)--The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Volunteer Institute, Oct. 10-13 in Las Vegas, will provide credit union volunteers with an advanced understanding of the issues affecting their credit unions, including governance and fiduciary duties, CUNA said. The program focuses on content providing insight and understanding of the current industry needs and expectations, such as the changes the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) recently proposed to sections 701, 708a, and 708b of its rules. By successfully completing identified sessions and exams, attendees can earn credits for the CUNA Volunteer Certification Program toward their Certified Credit Union Volunteer designation. Key sessions include:
* “Compliance Update,” with Robert Rutkowski, head of the Credit Union Department and the Corporate & Financial Services practice group for Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A. His session will help volunteers stay on top of the ever-changing regulatory environment, for the safety and soundness of credit unions. * “High Board Involvement = Great Results: The Board's Role in Strategic Planning,” with John Redding, founder and president, Institute for Strategic Learning, LLC. He will discuss high-performing credit unions whose boards played critical roles in sparking and guiding their organizations to achieve high-performer status. Attendees will discover a best-practice model for board involvement in strategic planning, identify specific steps to strengthen their board's contribution to obtain superior results, and learn how boards applied this best-practice model to produce better-than-expected results in an unprecedented economic crisis. * “E-governance: Using Online Tools to Build Your Board's Effectiveness,” with Dottie Schindlinger, E-governance at BoardEffect. E-governance, the strategic use of online tools such as board portals to enhance the effectiveness of boards, is the latest governance trend. Board portals provide a secure online space where board members can share resources easily, communicate efficiently, conduct committee and board work between face-to-face meetings, share calendars and develop a knowledge base. * “Implementing E-governance Successfully,” with Dottie Schindlinger. Building on the keynote presentation on e-governance, this session will provide a list of steps attendees can take to implement a board software solution. * “Analyzing the Risk in Your Loan Portfolio,” with Dan Johnson, managing member, and Steve Miller, director/senior analyst, both of Twenty Twenty Analytics. Attendees will hear from industry experts about how to maximize effectiveness while ensuring the efficiency that is required to meet deadlines.
For more information, use the link.

CSS alliance offers real-time fraud checks from ID Analytics

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MADISON, Wis. (8/9/10)--Credit unions can tap into--and contribute to--a massive source of fraud identification and real-time identity fraud analysis through CUNA Strategic Services' (CSS) new relationship with ID Analytics. “The more companies that participate in the ID Network, the more valuable and accurate the information is,” said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. “This helps reduce the risk of fraud for credit unions, and credit unions can help others in return.” Founded in 2002, ID Analytics owns and operates the ID Network, a real-time, cross-industry source of identity information that combines consumer identity activity and pattern recognition to manage identity risk. With a daily flow of 45 million identity elements, the data include 2.6 million known frauds. Every day, financial institutions, credit card issuers, wireless providers, private label retailers and auto lenders use ID Analytics’ fraud solutions to detect and prevent fraud. The relationship is "an excellent opportunity to help protect more credit unions and their members with our powerful and proven fraud prevention network,' said Larry McIntosh, chief marketing officer for ID Analytics. “Credit unions now have access to the largest repository of known identity frauds in the country," he added. During the account-opening process, a credit union can--through the ID Network--submit information that is cross-referenced with information that may indicate fraud such as:
* Combinations of name and birth date associated with suspected or confirmed fraud; * Number of times a Social Security number has been submitted for scoring in the past three months; and * Number of times a fraud is reported at a specific address in the past six months.
This immediately reveals an individual’s risk level. Consumer data within the ID Network are confidential and never sold or distributed. For more information, contact Tom Lybeck at tlybeck@cuna.com or Brigette Engel at bengel@idanalytics.com.

VSoft KIVA Group in integration partnership

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ATLANTA (8/9/10)--VSoft Corp. and KIVA Group Inc. announced an integration partnership to help community-based financial institutions, including credit unions, better automate teller processes and break down information silos to improve service at all consumer touch points. VSoft offers core- and payment-processing solutions. KIVA Group provides Web-based software solutions. The companies are integrating KIVA’s Respect 7 unified teller system with VSoft’s Teller Capture Solution. Respect 7 is a technology platform and application suite. With the solution, institutions can optimize each interaction at the teller line by expediting transactions and allowing more time for the consumer relationship. VSoft and KIVA also are tying the Respect 7 channel applications to VSoft’s CoreSoft platform to empower VSoft institutions to replace legacy core systems, and achieve seamless, real-time high-performance transactions, the companies said. “Offering a full range of delivery channels with consistent processes is an essential first step to ease and convenience in banking,” said Murthy Veeraghanta, chairman and managing director, VSoft Corp. “In today’s banking environment, those who continue to strengthen and win customer and member relationships will come out ahead.”

CO-OPs THINK 11 Conference set for May

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (8/9/10)--Marking 30 years of service to the credit union movement next year, CO-OP Financial Services will hold its annual THINK Conference May 14-18 at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. The conference will award the annual THINK Prize, a $10,000 award to the entrant who presents the most effective, shareable plan for growing the credit union movement. Three finalists will present their ideas as part of the THINK 11 agenda, with the winner determined by conference attendees, online viewers and a panel of experts from the Filene Research Institute and CO-OP. CO-OP is assembling its speaker line-up. Conference organizers are seeking input from the industry on what topics would be most valuable to them. To complete a speaker questionnaire, use the link.

CETO to offer cash optimization to WesCorp member CUs

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (8/6/10)--Ceto and Associates of Atlanta, Ga., is bringing its Cash Calculator, a Web-based cash optimization solution that helps credit unions manage vault and ATM cash, to the 900-plus member credit unions served by Western Corporate FCU's (WesCorp). Cash Calculator tracks and monitors branch, vault and ATM cash levels and trends by looking at historical and current cash levels, analyzing trends and recommending the appropriate cash order and deposit amounts--down to individual denominations, said WesCorp. The tool "takes into account not only a credit union's cash order history but its member cash usage as well," said Douglas Ceto, president of Ceto and Associates. "It takes the guess work or intuition out of the branch and ATM cash-management process, giving the credit union customized and precise recommendations for ordering cash." It also standardizes the credit union's cash management and order practices by providing a quantitative method for staff to decide cash on-hand levels, and improves operational efficiencies by supplying credit unions with centralized and accessible tools to improve cash audit controls. The Cash Calculator reduces the amount of non-earning cash on hand by an average of 20%, enabling excess cash to be applied for investing and lending, said WesCorp. The calculator complements WesCorp's Cash Ordering Services available on the corporate's member center.

CU Direct Corp. unveils Lending 360

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ONTARIO, Calif. (8/6/10)--CU Direct Corp. and Lending Insights, a provider of analytical tools and business intelligence solutions, announced that Lending 360 will be the flagship brand for a new advanced loan origination system, which will provide credit unions with a single platform to support loan application processing activity. CU Direct Corp. is a parent company of CUDL, an indirect auto lender for credit unions. Lending 360 is in beta testing and slated for release early next year. With the new system, credit unions can support loan products including business, personal, auto and mortgage loans. The system aims to bring next-generation loan origination and direct loan solutions to the credit union market, the companies said in a release. The product also leverages CUDL’s Decision Manager, and a new customizable workflow engine that has cross-selling capabilities to help credit unions close more member loans.

NACUSO offers local collaboration events

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (8/5/10)--The National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO) and its National Center for Collaboration and Innovation announced a series of one-day meetings to provide credit union professionals networking opportunities. Titled “Using Collaboration to Grow and Sustain Your Credit Union,” the meetings will be held across the nation, with the first scheduled for Sept. 8 in Denver. A second meeting will on follow Nov. 4 in Ontario, Calif., at the corporate offices of the California Credit Union League and CUDL. CUDL is an indirect auto lender for credit unions. Credit union executives interested in forming a credit union service organization (CUSO) collaborative or learning about existing CUSO resources, or those interested in sharing knowledge, can attend, NACUSO said. For more information, use the link.

MeridianLink releases XA Mobile service

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COSTA MESA, Calif. (8/5/10)--Credit unions can use iPhones instead of paper forms to open new accounts for members with MeridianLink’s XA Mobile. XA Mobile is an iPhone application that is an extension of XpressAccounts, an automated account opening system. Staff can use iPhones to take photos of applicants or their drivers’ license, and upload them into the system. XpressAccounts allows credit union members to open and fund new accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week online. The system also allows existing members to open and fund secondary accounts from their homes or offices. XpressAccounts can be accessed on any computer with an Internet connection, said MeridianLink. The increasing use of Smartphones offers financial institutions new ways to connect with consumers, MeridianLink said. MerdianLink is a developer of multi-channel account-opening and loan-origination platforms and enterprise business solutions.

New CUNA Tech Council paper addresses data backup

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MADISON, Wis. (8/4/10)--As credit unions expand their reliance on software solutions and electronic documents, their data backup solutions must keep pace by providing a reliable, efficient means of storing and recovering essential information, says a new CUNA Technology Council white paper. Effective data backup supports the level of service members expect and the level of data security regulators require, according to “Backup Takes Front and Center: Capturing the Growing Tide of Data.” The paper examines:
* How data backup fits within the business impact analysis credit unions conduct as part of business continuity planning; * What factors must be considered in choosing the best solutions for backup and recovery of core processing data as well as information from other systems; * Whether and when to make the transition to disk from tape backup; and * How to adhere to best practices involving encryption, regular testing of backup systems, adequate bandwidth, and a data retention policy.
Representatives from credit unions, data backup solution providers, and core-processing companies share their perspectives in the white paper. Three case studies present examples of organizations that rely on tape backup, evolving disk backup solutions, and a blended approach. The bottom line: As credit unions invest in additional automated systems and migrate from paper documentation to electronic forms, their data storage, backup and restoration solutions must evolve as well, the paper said. For more information, use the link.

PolicyWorks launches a reg compliance blog

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DES MOINES, Iowa (8/4/10)--PolicyWorks, a compliance solutions provider for credit unions, has created a blog, “The Works,” to provide credit unions with up-to-date information on compliance topics. “The Works” will cover topics including Reg E overdraft rules, Reg Z credit card rules, the Bank Secrecy Act and marketing compliance. It also will have industry news and upcoming educational opportunities. The blog “will allow us to share information on a timely basis and have credit unions join in the conversation,” said Justin Hupfer, CEO, PolicyWorks. PolicyWorks is a subsidiary of the Iowa Credit Union League.

ICUL Service Corp. offers text messages on prepaid debit programs

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (8/4/10)--The ICUL Service Corp. (LSC), a subsidiary of the Illinois Credit Union League, is offering “member alerts” as a free enhancement for 830 credit unions nationwide that have LSC’s Everyday Spend and TravelMoney products. Cardholders can receive texts or e-mails about balance information, transactions or suspicious activity. Members can select their preferences for the program through its website, set low balance thresholds and choose the frequency of regular balance notifications. This year, LSC reduced the monthly cost of the Everyday Spend card to the member to $1.75 per month from $2 per month--a portion of which is reimbursed to the credit union. Competitors like Walmart charge $3 or more per month. The monthly fee to the credit union was also removed. In addition, the number of times in which a member can reload or fund the TravelMoney card is now unlimited, LSC said. Everyday Spend card use has increased 149% since 2009. Use of TravelMoney has grown 125%.

CUSO teams with Legacy Member Services on referrals

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (8/3/10)--PSCU Financial Services today announced a partnership with Legacy Member Services. Legacy will refer card processing, electronic banking and other services to PSCU Financial Services. In turn, PSCU Financial Services will refer personal and small business check printing opportunities to Legacy. Both organizations serve the credit union market. Legacy, Birmingham, Ala., provides checks and transaction-related products. PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, Fla., is a credit union service organization that serves more than 1,500 financial institutions nationwide.

Study CU wage hikes below 3 retain high performers

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MADISON, Wis. (8/3/10)--Base pay increases for credit unions’ employees are expected to remain below 3% through 2011, said a new Credit Union National Association (CUNA) report. Similar to employers nationwide, credit unions appear hesitant to increase fixed-salary expenses through wage increases, CUNA said. Among credit unions with $1 million in assets or more, the average 2009 percentage salary increase for management and non-management employees was 2.59%, according to the 2010-2011 Complete Credit Union Staff Salary Survey. Base pay increases for 2010 and 2011 are lower, at about 2.2%. Roughly 30% of credit union employees did not receive a salary increase in 2009. A similar percentage did not budget for 2010 wage increases and/or do not anticipate providing them in 2011. “As the economy improves and more job opportunities arise, it will be crucial for credit unions to hang on to their high-performing employees,” said Beth Soltis, CUNA senior research analyst. “As soon as business conditions allow, credit unions should analyze their ability to provide wage increases and/or variable pay to reward and retain their employees.” The survey provides compensation data for 89 full-time and eight part-time positions at credit unions with $1 million or more in assets. The positions include: base salaries, incentives, bonuses, total cash compensation and salary ranges. The report--available in print or Adobe PDF format--also contains job descriptions, benchmarks for salary and benefit expenses, base pay increases and turnover rates. An electronic version of the survey’s data tables also is available for purchase, allowing users to apply formulas and insert the data directly into a credit union’s spreadsheets. Purchasers of the survey report may also buy the Geographic Customized Salary Survey and the Online Peer Comparison. The customized geographic report provides average and median base salaries, in addition to percentile figures for selected cities or geographic areas. The online peer comparison provides unlimited access to the 2010 salary survey database, which allows users to create customized peer groups using various criteria such as: credit union name, asset size, number of members, field of membership, number of full-time employees, number of services offered, total loans outstanding, state and geographic region. Customized report parameters include percentiles and date-specific trending. For more information, use the links.