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OpenClose teams with PRMS on risk management

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (9/1/11)--OpenClose, a developer of Web-based loan origination software, has partnered with Precision Risk Management Systems Inc. to provide risk management/hedging solutions and advanced production analytics to OpenClose clients. “Providing advanced risk management/hedging solutions that can help our clients maximize their loan execution and minimize their operational risk was a next logical step in our end-to-end lending solution,” said J.P. Kelly, president of OpenClose. OpenClose provides Web-based products such as loan origination software, loan pricing, website design and social media marketing for credit unions, banks and mortgage lenders. Precision Risk Management Systems provides both software and managed hedge services to the mortgage industry.

CUNA Mutual launches retirement guidance technology

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MADISON, Wis. (8/31/11)--CUNA Mutual Group has released an online retirement guidance platform designed to take the guess work out of managing individual retirement goals. RetireOnTarget will assist more than 140,000 credit union employees whose 401(k)s are administered by CUNA Mutual in moving toward their retirement goals. “Retirement planning tools have been available for many years to participants, but we believe RetireOnTarget is different and better,” said Kevin Thompson, senior vice president, Asset Accumulation, CUNA Mutual. “RetireOnTarget is proactively presented to participants. They don’t have to search for it and they can quickly edit it for their personal situation. We use an ‘easy button’ approach so they can make changes to get themselves back on target. Frankly, people want guidance, not just education.” The technology employed by RetireOnTarget enhances CUNA Mutual’s outcome-based approach to retirement plans by helping participants make informed decisions, Thompson said. Plan participants can determine if they’re investing enough, adjust the risk of their asset allocation and alter goals and retirement dates.

Diebold to unveil first virtualized ATM

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (8/30/11)--Diebold has introduced a prototype for the world’s first virtualized ATM. “Virtualization will fundamentally change the way Diebold--and its customers--deploy solutions to the marketplace,” said Frank A. Natoli Jr., Diebold vice president and chief technology officer. “It enables unified management of a wide array of services and paves the way for orchestration of multiple channels. This development is an important milestone on Diebold’s road map to leveraging cloud computing technology in the retail financial space. This technology is a game changer for our industry.” Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. Diebold developed the virtualized ATM prototype in collaboration with VMware, a provider of virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions. Virtualization removes the onboard computer from the ATM, tying each terminal in a fleet to a centralized computing resource. In this scenario, the physical components of a single server provide resources to many “virtual” ATMs. The virtual environment consolidates resources throughout a self-service network and across delivery channels, said Diebold. With consolidated resources, ATM providers can establish centralized data centers and establish better security for IP addresses. Through better server use and unification of ATM management, virtualization also will boost operational efficiency, enable faster failure recovery and more rapid software upgrades and services deployment, said Diebold.

Smartphones tablets can process plastic

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BASKING RIDGE, N.J. and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (8/29/11)--Verizon Wireless and Intuit have unveiled a new strategic alliance giving small businesses the ability to process credit card payments on smartphone and tablets. Verizon Wireless will offer Intuit’s GoPayment mobile payments app and a pocket-sized credit card reader through its 2,300 retail stores and business-to-business sales channels. The mobile card reader plugs into the audio jack of supported smartphones and tablets, and lets business owners swipe credit cards and debit cards. The app also allows users to enter card information manually. “Payments and transactions are often the biggest hurdle businesses face,” said Mike Schaefer, executive director of the Business Solutions Group for Verizon Wireless. “Our value proposition is to streamline, simplify and enable business owners to get paid with minimal delay. This collaboration with Intuit is an important part of our strategy to bring the most innovative online and mobile tools to our customers.” Small businesses need the flexibility to accept payment from customers in the way customers want to pay, added Chris Hylen, general manager of Intuit Payment Solutions. “Rather than lose out on potential business, anyone who sells a product or service can now easily and affordably give their customer the option of playing with plastic,” he said. Intuit Financial Services provides banks and credit unions with on-demand solutions and services that make it easier for consumers and businesses to manage their money.

Dwolla readies proximity payments tool

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DES MOINES, Iowa (8/29/11)--Dwolla, the online, social, mobile and location-based payment platform supported by The Members Group (TMG)--will release a new tool that will allow users to exchange funds with people and merchants in their proximity through their smartphones. Proxi, as the new tool is called, also allows users to exchange funds without the use of cards or near-field communication (NFC) technology. “Proxi represents a software solution to mobile payment’s current hardware problem,” said Dwolla Founder Ben Milne referring to near-field communication, a technology predicted to change the way consumers make point-of-sale transactions. “While we continue to be excited for more development in technologies like NFC, we’re not willing to take a wait-and-see approach. We’re enabling safe, affordable mobile payments right now.” Along with its peer-to-peer uses, Dwolla sees Proxi as a way for merchants to accept mobile payments without investing in additional hardware. Milne and his team said Proxi will become an invaluable tool for mobile merchants, such as farmer’s market vendors or taxi drivers. After launching Proxi on a smartphone, mobile merchants can broadcast their location, making themselves “visible” to other Proxi users within a specified radius and for a specified amount of time. For instance, a farmer’s market vendor may opt to make his booth visible to Dwolla users within five miles for one hour through Proxi. This will provide potential customers a real-time list of nearby Dwolla-accepting merchants. “We anticipate the addition of Proxi will encourage even more financial institutions to see Dwolla as a key to attracting Gen X and Gen Y,” said Brian Day, product development architect for TMG, the company distributing Dwolla to credit unions and community banks. “Members of the younger generation are drawn to the benefits of mobile payments, and the financial institutions who can give them a safe, affordable option will win customers for life.” TMG is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Affiliates Management Company, which is owned by Iowa credit unions and their members.

Kentucky league teams up with Missouris iVia Exchange Services

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ST. LOUIS (8/26/11)--The Kentucky Credit Union League and the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) have entered into a joint marketing agreement to open the Kentucky credit union marketplace to the Missouri league’s subsidiary, iVia Exchange Services. iVia Exchange Services, formerly League Item Processing Center, provides credit unions with imaged item processing, remote branch capture, consumer deposit capture and iMerchant point of deposit for small business members. “The consolidation of Fed Districts and advances in technology have removed any geographic barriers to item processing,” said Kevin Brueseke, MCUA chief financial and services officer. “Whether credit union leaders choose to settle through a corporate credit union or some other entity like the Federal Reserve, we have systems and processes in place to meet their item processing needs.”

CUNA offers articles on CUs as safe harbor

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MADISON, Wis. (8/25/11)--The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Copy & Art Express newsletter service is offering credit unions two new free articles--“Your Credit Union: Safe Harbor in Financial Storms” and “U.S. Credit Rating Slips: What (If Anything) Does it Mean to You?”--to remind members that credit unions are strong and stable. “These two articles remind consumers that credit unions are a safe haven for their hard-earned money, even during times of economic uncertainty,” said Vikki Kinsler, manager of the Copy & Art Express newsletter service. While the downgrade in the U.S.’s credit rating has shaken investors, the credit rating drop has actually had a positive short-term impact on bonds, the credit rating article explains. “Major swings in the stock market can be unsettling for consumers, making this a good time to remind them that credit unions insure members’ savings to at least $250,000, Kinsler said. “Federal insurance from the National Credit Union Administration protects members’ money in credit union share savings, share draft/checking, money market, share certificates, trust and retirement accounts.” The “Safe Harbor” newsletter article reminds members that credit unions have a strong capital position. That strong capital base--undivided earnings and reserves--helps credit unions and their member-owners weather uncertain economic times, it explains.

SHAZAM offers dual-message PIN transactions EMV support

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DES MOINES, Iowa (8/24/11)--The SHAZAM Network has created a dual-message personal identification number (PIN) product and plans to expands its support of the Europay-Mastercard-Visa (EMV) chip. The product will use a dual-message transaction with separate authorization and settlement messages for PIN-based transactions, a capability previously only available only on signature-based transactions. The support for both single and dual-message PIN products will allow SHAZAM debit cardholders to make PIN-based purchases at more online retailers. “Our financial institution participants understand the importance of increasing PIN debit transactions,” said Michael Hollinger, SHAZAM president/CEO. “SHAZAM will be enhancing PIN processing though support of EMV chip and PIN technology and the dual-message PIN system technology. This will give debit cardholders more options, more security, and overall, more reasons to choose their SHAZAM card over any in their wallet.” In addition to e-commerce, the dual-message PIN product can be used at brick-and-mortar merchants that accept signature debit transactions, such as restaurants, car rental companies and hotels. The solution provides the SHAZAM PIN debit brand as an alternative to lessen the cost and effort required by the Dodd-Frank Act for merchants and financial institutions, so they can integrate network routing alternatives allowed by the Federal Reserve Board’s final rules. Once the card transaction is made, SHAZAM’s processing system will track the number of completions to the original authorization to prevent the cardholder or merchant from posting more than the original approved authorization. The dual-message PIN transactions will be considered PIN transactions for routing purposes and will follow SHAZAM operating rules. Interchange rates for the dual-message transactions have not been set.

New CUNA youth activity book highlights saving CU difference

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MADISON, Wis. (8/24/11)--The new, “Clink! Clink! It’s Money Time,” activity book from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) invites kids to make sense of earning and saving. “Recent research shows that very young children are capable of understanding basic concepts that underlie consumer decisions,” says Vikki Kinsler, a manager with CUNA’s consumer publishing team. “‘Clink! Clink!’ gives parents opportunities to have conversations about the use of money with their kids at an impressionable age.” Designed for youth ages five to 12, the full-color book features activities such as a crossword puzzle, a water slide maze, and a financial word scramble that incorporates saving, financial literacy and the credit union difference. Kids also can “Crack the Credit Union Code,” matching famous faces with corresponding coins or bills, and discover ideas for thoughtful gifts to create on a budget. The message that the credit union is the smart place to save is built into the exercises, and covers such topics as:
* Credit union terminology (member and share); * Saving terminology (deposit, withdrawal, account, interest and principal); and * How saving at the credit union keeps money safe for the future.
“Clink! Clink! It’s Money Time” is designed for kids who make deposits. CUNA suggests using it as entertainment in the branch while adults conduct business or as a handout after a school presentation.

Second Online Discovery Conference set

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MADISON, Wis. (8/23/11)--CUNA Mutual Group’s second annual, daylong Online Discovery Conference, to be held Oct. 4, offers 13 credit union-focused sessions for free through the Internet. Online Discovery is the Web-based equivalent of a face-to-face conference without the associated expenses or time away from the office. CUNA Mutual Group’s Discovery events have drawn more than 4,000 participants in the past year. The conference also includes networking opportunities such as chat rooms, message boards and an exhibit hall. Registration guarantees access to conference materials after the event is over. Registered individuals can access all 13 session recordings and download event materials for nine months after the event. Registration opened Monday. For more information, use the link. The online event is designed for chief executive officers and senior leadership teams of credit unions, but all credit union and league employees can attend, said CUNA Mutual.

MBS partnership offers research on small-biz behavior

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (8/23/11)--Through a partnership with Barlow Research Associates Inc. (BRAI), credit union clients of Member Business Solutions (MBS) will have access to research on financial behaviors of small businesses. BRAI provides financial institutions with research on small businesses and their banking habits. MBS, a wholly owned credit union service organization of Southeast Corporate CU, Tallahassee, Fla., is the only industry participant to acquire this research for its clients’ use. BRAI annually surveys 4,000 small businesses on their relationships with financial institutions. MBS partners also can attend BRAI’s quarterly Economic Pulse webinars. At the events, attendees receive updates on current economic conditions, such as the global financial crisis, unemployment and U.S. debt, and how they could affect changes in business banking.

Pact provides CIF option for N.J. CUs

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (8/22/11)--An alliance among Corporate One FCU, the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation (NJCUF) and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) will provide New Jersey credit unions with another avenue for investing in the Community Investment Fund (CIF). The NJCUF is the charitable foundation of the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL). The Community Investment Fund support helps the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation provide programs such as Financial Reality Fairs and BEST Internship Program. The CIF is a way for credit unions to support the state credit union initiatives and the NCUF’s national program’s and grants. The new Corporate One CIF option offers credit unions the ability to choose products such as callable and bullet U.S. Government agency securities and negotiable certificates of deposits. No capital is required from the credit union and Corporate One membership is not required to invest. Corporate One can also help credit unions that want to ensure a fixed amount is returned to the foundations choose products to fit their asset/liability strategy.

IMM adds new feature to TotaleAtlas

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LINDEN, N.J. (8/22/11)--Integrated Media Management (IMM), a document output management and automation technology provider, has released the latest version of TotaleAtlas, its flagship document presentment application. TotaleAtlas automates the space between a financial institution’s core system and imaging backend by creating a secure 128-bit encrypted, non-editable PDF document with embedded signatures. IMM’s newest version of TotaleAtlas imports pre-existing or scanned PDF documents into a document set. This provides financial institutions with a tool to bring third-party documents, such as payroll stubs, credit reports and titles, into the active document set in DocQ workflow. A primary driver behind TotaleAtlas 5.1.0 was to launch TotaleAtlasWeb, IMM’s remote signature capture and document delivery solution, which offers secure online document viewing and public key infrastructure (PKI) digital signature technology, the company said. As a result TotaleAtlas 5.1.0 includes:
* Internet banking portal integration, which allows signers to gain access to their documents via home banking login; and * Non-Social Security number authentication, which provides an option to signers without a social security number to sign remotely via the Web while still providing a PKI signature.

LSCUs LEVERAGE signs exec recruitment service agreement

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (8/19/11)--LEVERAGE, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions’ (LSCU) service corporation, signed a new marketing agreement with O’Rourke & Associates to offer executive recruiting services to credit unions in Florida and Alabama. “This marketing agreement with LEVERAGE will allow O’Rourke to expand its presence in the Southeast, giving credit unions a new option for executive searches from a trusted system partner with a great track record of success,” said LEVERAGE President/CEO Patrick La Pine. O’Rourke & Associates offers expertise in executive and management recruitment, senior leadership, succession planning and leadership assessment, and compensation and retention analysis.

MnIPC Cachet team up on mobile deposit services

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (8/19/11)--Check processor Minnesota Item Processing Corp. (MnIPC), a credit union service organization, has partnered with Cachet Financial Solutions to offer Select Mobile, Cachet’s mobile remote deposit capture application. The application allows account holders to initiate mobile-deposit sessions on their smartphone or tablet cameras. To make a deposit, credit union members snap photos of the front and back of checks and send it to the financial institution. Before transmitting the images, Select Mobile formats the images and corrects any distortions or skewing and confirms that the images meet industry Check 21 and mobile image-quality standards. All transactions are transmitted with multiple layers of security and, if necessary, can be traced back to registered smartphones to combat fraud. Along with Select Mobile, MnIPC clients will also be able to use Cachet’s Select Business solution for their merchant capture and consumer/home capture needs.

Alloya to offer suite of RDC services

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WARRENVILLE, Ill. (8/18/11)--When it is chartered on or around Nov. 1, Alloya Corporate CU will offer a suite of remote deposit capture solutions, including ATM, teller, mobile, consumer and merchant capture. The Warrenville, Ill.-based corporate said it hopes to help its member credit unions capture the Gen Y market with an iPad app and another application that allows consumers to make deposits by taking photos of checks with their smartphones and transmitting the images to their credit unions. For credit unions seeking to capture the small-business market, Alloya will offer remote deposit capture products for merchants. “Having robust technology as part of a credit union’s operation is a necessity these days when the consumer and business members are demanding it and with so many competitors who can afford to offer it,” said Kevin Brauer, Alloya senior vice president of member relations. “With the power of aggregation with membership in Alloya, even small credit unions can take advantage of the highest levels of state-of-the-art technology at very affordable rates.”

Corporate America signs with BluePoint Solutions RDC services

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IRONDALE, Ala. (8/18/11)--Corporate America CU, Irondale, Ala., has partnered with Bluepoint Solutions to provide remote deposit capture services. “We wanted to be able to offer the option of an easier transition for our new members who are currently licensed for the Bluepoint Solutions branch and teller capture applications,” said Corporate America CU President/CEO Thomas Bonds. “We also have quite a few members that are interested in many of the newer remote deposit channels such as mobile capture, home capture and merchant capture.” Corporate America CU did not lose any of its members’ capital in the recent corporate credit union fallout, has no legacy assets and is not requiring an additional capital requirement from existing or joining credit unions.

Webinars on FFIEC guides authentication announced

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MADISON, Wis. (8/18/11)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CUNA Strategic Services providers and other vendors are offering Webinars to help credit unions meet the new requirements of the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council (FFIEC) Authentication Guidance. CUNA Strategic Services and TraceSecurity will present a free webinar “Preparing to Comply with the New FFIEC Guidelines” at 1 p.m. CT today. The new guidelines emphasize the necessity for performing and reviewing annual comprehensive risk assessments, effective “layered security” for mitigating identified risks, and improved member/customer and employee awareness programs. Among the issues to be covered in the webinar:
* Changes to the guidance since the 2005 revision; * How the new changes impact credit unions; * The new “best practice” standards; * The necessary steps needed to ensure compliance; * How to determine a compliance road map; and * What examiners will assess after the deadline.
TraceSecurity is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. The CUNA Center for Professional Development will present the webinar “New FFIEC Guidelines: Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment” at 2 p.m. CT, Sept. 7. Catherine Yao, information systems officer in the National Credit Union Administration Office of Examination and Insurance, will address what the NCUA expects credit unions to have in place by January 2012 and what the examiners will be looking for. Yao will outline the three main components of the guidance: risk assessment, layered security and member/customer awareness She will be joined by be a representative from one of CUNA’s strategic partners and a credit union information technology professional to discuss the guidance and offer credit union best practices. Also, HEIT, a provider of cloud-delivered, managed services for community financial institutions, will present a Webcast, “Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council Authentication Sleeper Details, Trends & Challenges” at 10 a.m. MT, on Aug. 24. The webinar will include insight from a recent survey of peer community financial institutions on key issues regarding 2011 authentication trends and challenges. Among the questions to be addressed:
* What is the real purpose of the supplemental guidance? * What are the minimum requirements mandated? * Why is multi-factor authentication not required for retail/consumer online transactions? * What additional authentication technologies should be considered? * What needs to be done right to prepare for 2012 examinations?

Jwaala eWise to offer online payment solution

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AUSTIN, Texas (8/17/11)--Jwaala, an online banking solution provider and payment solution provider eWise are partnering to offer an online payment alternative for credit union members, merchants, and billers. Through the partnership, the Secure Vault Payments (SVP) solution has been integrated into Jwaala’s Better Online Banking platform (BOB), allowing users to make payments to online merchants and billers through automated clearinghouse (ACH) transactions. SVP is a private online payment network developed by the National Automated Clearinghouse Association and eWise. Consumers select the SVP payment option on a merchant’s site and are directed to their online banking site, where they sign in and make the payment. By using the financial institution’s online banking site and the ACH network, the payment is immediate, verified and does not require the consumer to create an account at the merchant site where confidential information is typically stored, so consumers do not have to share personal account information. Jwaala and eWise recently joined to provide the payment alternative to members of West Jordan, Utah-based Mountain America CU, which who has been live with Jwaala’s BOB platform since May. The SVP payment option will be available to all financial institutions deploying Jwaala’s BOB platform.

Akcelerants first-half 2011 sales up

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MALVERN, Pa. (8/16/11)--Akcelerant, a provider of connected software technology to the financial services industry, added 16 customers--including credit unions--during the first half of the year. Among Akcelerant’s new clients are: American Airlines FCU, with more than $5.4 billion in assets Fort Worth, Texas; Randolph-Brooks FCU, with $4.3 billion in assets, Live Oak, Texas; and Michigan State University FCU, with $2.1 billion in assets, East Lansing, Mich. Akcelerant, with offices in Malvern, Pa. and Vancouver, British Columbia, provides connected software applications to the financial services industry through multiple product lines and integration to service providers. About 500 financial institutions in 50 states and all provinces of Canada use Akcelerant technology.

Heartland to launch payments smartphone app reader

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PRINCETON, N.J. (8/16/11)--Card payments processor Heartland Payment Systems has launched a payments application that allows merchants to accept credit, debit and gift card payments through their mobile devices. Mobuyle is designed for brick-and mortar-businesses looking for off-premise processing capabilities or on-site flexibility. Capabilities include adding extra point-of-sale (POS) payment terminals to shorten long checkout lines. With the application merchants can accept all major credit and debit cards, including corporate cards and Heartland loyalty and gift cards via secure card swipe or manual entry. Mobuyle also features electronic signature capture, global-positioning system location capture, merchandise picture storage, and voice authorization capabilitie. Merchants can download the Mobuyle application for free at the Android Market and purchase the Mobuyle reader, which plugs into a phone audio jace, directly from Heartland. Mobuyle’s first application is designed for retail environments and serves Android smartphones. Heartland will begin releasing applications for other smartphones and mobile devices, including the iPhone, the iPad and iPod Touch, later this year.

Computer Services Inc. to purchase HEIT

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PADUCAH, Ky. and FORT COLLINS, Colo. (8/15/11)--Computer Services Inc. (CSI), a financial services technology company, will acquire HEIT, a provider of cloud-based managed compliance security and information technology (IT) services. The acquisition of HEIT, which operates two secured data centers that are staffed around the clock, in Fort Collins, Colo. and Austin, Texas, would make CSI one of the largest cloud and managed-service providers for financial institutions nationwide. The acquisition is expected to be finalized Sept. 1, according to the two companies. The acquisition would expand CSI’s existing 5,200 customer base by more than 400 community banks and credit unions and its portfolio of products and services while helping it meet client compliance, security, and infrastructure management needs. CSI also would provide financial institutions the option of outsourcing their IT function. Cloud-based managed services allow financial institutions to access on-demand technology and IT services without being required to purchase, build, and integrate expensive data centers, networks and servers. CSI delivers core banking, payments processing, Internet, card services, risk assessment, fraud prevention, network management, regulatory compliance and document delivery solutions to financial institutions and corporate entities nationwide.

Mobile banking paper addresses shift to self-service

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DES MOINES, Iowa (8/15/11)--It’s time for financial institutions to rethink the way they service consumers--understanding that today’s consumer increasingly values self-service over traditional customer service—according to a new white paper from The Members Group (TMG). The shift in customer preference has elevated the importance of products like mobile banking for community-based financial institutions, according to the white paper’s author, Brian Day, product development architect. “Making time for chit-chat is not a priority for Generation Y, nor even Gen X and their parents, the Boomers,” wrote Day in the white paper, “Self Service as Customer Service.” “We are a busy, mobile society, and we expect our financial institutions to stay in stride. Day explores the top five mobile banking activities--checking balances, transferring funds, paying bills, depositing checks and finding an ATM--and what he calls the “mobile banking triple play.” The triple play refers to the three methods of accessing mobile banking-- text, browser and application. Day also provides an analysis of the benefits mobile banking provides financial institutions, and shares customer service cost figures on a per-engagement level. A core strength of mobile banking is the ability to retain and attract customers and members, Davis writes. One study by Javelin Research indicates that a growing percentage of consumers are switching financial institutions to access emerging technologies like mobile banking. To read the paper, use the link.

Agility FEMA webinars set for Preparedness Month

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (8/12/11)--Agility Recovery is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps in September for National Preparedness Month,” a nationwide effort to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, workplace and communities. Agility Recovery is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. To better educate credit unions about the importance of continuity planning, Agility is offering free educational webinars, tools and resources each week of September. Among the webinars offered:
* “Culture of Preparedness: The 72 Hour Rule,” Sept. 7, 1 p.m. (CT). Chief David Paulison, former administrator of the FEMA will discuss the need for businesses to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours following any interruption. Paulison will outline the steps a business can take to help meet the 72-hour goal. * “The 10 Commandments of Disaster Preparedness,” Sept. 14, 1 p.m. (CT). Businesses face difficult decisions in the aftermath of a crisis, whether it’s as small as a server malfunction or as catastrophic as a hurricane or forest fire. This webinar will provide actionable steps to enhance preparedness. * “Personal and Community Preparedness,” Sept. 21, 1 p.m. (CT). While data recovery and business continuity may form the backbone of a disaster recovery strategy, if employees are unable to report to work, having your systems back on line may prove worthless. Bob Boyd, president/CEO of Agility Recovery, will present strategies and best practices for helping your employees prepare for a crisis. * “Survivor Panel: Real World Lessons Learned,” Sept. 28, 1 p.m. (CT). Hear stories of recovery and lessons learned by business owners. Each crisis teaches different lessons, whether it’s a building fire, a broken pipe or a hurricane. A question-and-answer session will follow.

SACU implements fingerprint scans for log-ons

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SAN ANTONIO (8/12/11)--Employees at $2.9 billion asset SACU, San Antonio, can log on to their workstations with one touch of a finger, using biometrics authentication through DigitalPersona’s readers and software. SACU purchased a combination of DigitalPersona U.are.U readers and keyboards, and also has laptops with built-in fingerprint readers. SACU’s implementation team conducted a pilot program, recruiting and training representatives from each department within the credit union as “biometrics subject matter experts (SMEs). The department SMEs set up their team members’ finger scans and taught them how to use the readers. The team also staggered the installation of the readers and implementation of the program in the departments during 60 days. “The return on the investment can be measured in a number of ways, including the immediate benefits of increased security and time savings,” said Bob Dimas, SACU’s biometrics project sponsor. “Over the long term, time savings can be translated into dollars through the efficiency of service and lessened manpower to provide password resets, but it is hard to assign a dollar value for increased security. We just know it is good for our cooperative and for our members.”

Dealership Auctions joins MnCUN Vendor Involvement Program

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (8/11/11)--Ultimate Dealership Auctions has enrolled in Minnesota Credit Union Network’s (MnCUN’s) Vendor Involvement Program (V.I.P.) becoming the 29th organization to enroll in the program this year. Ultimate Dealership Auctions specializes in liquidating repossessed collateral and dealer-to-dealer consignment sales. The company hosts live auctions at its headquarters in Canyon, Minn., and online auctions through its website. Ultimate Dealership Auctions works with credit unions to find the appropriate sales option and get the best auction price for their repossessions, MnCUN. V.I.P., created in 2005, provides service organizations with an opportunity to work with MnCUN and increase their visibility among Minnesota credit unions. The program offers advertising and informational packages available at MnCUN’s Annual Meeting and Convention, and the opportunity to participate in new MnCUN initiatives.

Diebold offering customized ATM services

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (8/10/11)--Diebold Inc. is helping two credit unions tailor their member service experiences by customizing their ATM fleets. Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. An evaluation of its aging ATM fleet prompted $3 billion asset Desert Schools FCU, Phoenix, to refresh its entire self-service network. Diebold will replace 21 of Desert Schools FCU’s ATMs and upgrade another 67 terminals, adding advanced deposit-automation technology and personalized marketing capabilities. Diebold will deliver security, financial and maintenance services including anti-virus malware protection, RemoteLink to securely pull the electronic ATM journal files and first- and second-line maintenance. The outsourced solutions will help Desert Schools meet compliance and regulatory mandates, streamline ATM management and maximize uptime for its self-service network. “As we investigated options for upgrading our ATM fleet to ensure our members have access to the latest self-service technologies, we also wanted to improve our ATM monitoring and reporting capabilities,” said C. Lee Brice, Desert Schools senior vice president of strategic direction and operations. Diebold will outfit 67 of the credit union’s Opteva ATMs, including new and upgraded terminals, with deposit automation capabilities. Using the ATMs’ enhanced note acceptors and intelligent depository modules to deposit cash and checks, users will verify deposit amounts on screen. Upon acceptance of a transaction, the ATMs will print deposit details, including check images, on receipts. The ATMs also will present personalized marketing messages. Using Diebold’s Agilis Campaign Office software, Desert Schools will standardize branding across its entire ATM fleet, including uniform screen layouts, logos and interfaces. The software allows the credit union to tailor offers to specific markets, demographics and even individual members. Diebold also assisted University FCU (UFCU), Austin, Texas, in creating a teller-less banking environment. UFCU plans to open three teller-less branches in the region to provide members with independent, personalized, banking experiences. UFCU designed open, inviting branches and Diebold will provide a unique terminal that will combine self-service deposit automation technology with personal human interaction. A key to implementing teller-less branches is using ATMs with deposit automation technology. UFCU’s custom-designed Diebold ATMs support envelope-free transactions in which users load cash and checks directly into the machine. Enhanced note acceptors accept up to 50 mixed-denomination notes, and intelligent depository modules process checks and bill payment documents. The ATM displays cash and check deposit details on screen and prints details, including check images, on receipts. “We want member interactions with UFCU to be about their experience,” said Steve Kubala, UFCU senior vice president of operations and chief operating officer. “Each positive interaction will increase members’ comfort levels and encourage them to grow with us as a partner.” At the new branches, UFCU members will enter an open environment featuring individual banking stations. Each station includes a Diebold Opteva ATM, a podium and a collaboration desk. Personal financial representatives (PFRs) staffing each podium will welcome members and offer assistance with ATM transactions. The PFRs serve as credit union ambassadors--not tellers--who interact with members in a personalized, member-centric fashion. The banking station helps members complete self-service check and cash deposit and withdrawal transactions at the ATM. It also presents opportunities for PFRs to inquire about members’ needs. “Teller-less branches provide a unique level of autonomy for banking customers, allowing them to manage their own transactions,” said Charles E. Ducey Jr., Diebold executive vice president of North America operations. “But individuals may still need support. The branch designs we have developed with UFCU enable the credit union to offer that personalized support in a comfortable, sales-oriented environment.”

ICU Day 2011 artwork on CUNA website

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MADISON, Wis. (8/10/11)--Graphics and coloring pages for International Credit Union (ICU) Day 2011--Oct. 20--are available for download from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) website. The free artwork includes two coloring pages, as both jpegs and pdfs. The “world” coloring page uses the ICU Day logo of homes encircling earth and this year’s slogan, “Credit Unions Build a Better World.” The “members” coloring page features this year’s slogan above a depiction of members waiting to enter through a credit union’s glass doors. CUNA’s ICU Day website also links to a free demo of Credit Union Copy and Art Express. The site provides a free, high-resolution poster art (prints up to 8 1/2 inches x 11 inches) and two free ICU Day website graphics, which credit unions can use to link ICU Day celebration messages on their own websites. Credit unions can modify the free ICU Day articles and press releases.

Jwaala Synergent team up for BOB

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AUSTIN, Texas (8/9/11)--Jwaala and Synergent have partnered to deliver Jwaala’s online banking platform, Better Online Banking (BOB), to Synergent’s clients. The alliance combines Jwaala’s electronic banking soution with Synergent’s service bureau offering to provide deployment and managed-hosting services to participating credit unions. Jwaala’s BOB platform combines consumer and business banking functionality with financial management tools through which members can monitor, search and trend transactions, create customized monthly budgets and manage their finances. The BOB platform includes enhanced multi-factor authentication, custom reporting and alerting, two-way secure messaging and fraud detection features to comply with layered-security guidance, recently issued by the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council. A subsidiary of the Maine Credit Union League, Synergent provides credit unions with technology services, shared branching, card services, check processing and support services and direct marketing services.

Perimeter E-Security offers secured cloud messaging

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MILFORD, Conn. (8/9/11)--USA.NET, a Perimeter E-Security brand and provider of corporate technology infrastructure, released SaaS Secure Messaging 6.0, a cloud-messaging solution with support for Microsoft Exchange 2010. Perimeter E-Security is CUNA Strategic Services provider. Among the business needs served by SaaS Secure Messaging solution with Exchange 2010 are messaging, anti-virus and anti-spam, encryption, data leak prevention, business continuity mirroring, tamperproof archiving, mobile management, collaboration, compliance and review workflows. SaaS Secure Messaging also includes enhancements designed to make migration and deployment easier, while deployment options support cloud and hybrid configurations. Platform support allows organizations to embrace the latest technology without sacrificing security and compliance. USA.NET filters 50 million emails per day, analyzes 240 million security events every day, and manages 200 terabytes of customer archives.

CUNA Council paper explores sustainability biz model

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MADISON, Wis. (8/8/11)--“Creating a New Credit Union Sustainability Business Model,” a new white paper from CUNA councils, explores how credit unions can create a viable business model in an economic environment of unprecedented challenges. Anne Legg, recent MBA graduate, vice president of marketing at Cabrillo CU, and 2008-2011 CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council chair, digs into the question--“How can credit unions create sustainability for the future?”--in her MBA thesis-turned-white paper. In the current economic environment, where operating expenses are higher than net interest margin, the credit union industry is facing many challenges: negative earnings, loss of income from recent regulation, and the possible removal of non-taxation status, says the paper. Acknowledging that credit unions are a viable financial alternative for consumers, Legg seeks a solution for credit union sustainability by examining international credit union systems and the cooperative grocery and farming industries. To achieve sustainability within the industry, Legg’s recommendations include developing a shared-value business model and suggestions for incorporating programs founded on the cooperative principles.

ICU Day stuffer envelopes promote people first

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MADISON, Wis. (8/8/11)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) released two new components of its 2011 International Credit Union (ICU) Day campaign. CUNA’s “Credit Unions Build a Better World” statement stuffer and drive-up envelope were designed to help credit unions differentiate themselves from their competitors. Using corresponding messaging and artwork, CUNA’s 2011 ICU Day campaign ties into the United Nations General Assembly declaration of 2012 as the International Year of the Cooperative, which carries the theme “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” The ICU Day statement stuffer highlights social contributions from credit unions nationwide and the cooperative nature of credit unions. This year’s stuffer also comes in electronic formats. For one price, credit unions receive both the digital version, which flips from front to back, and a standard PDF. The ICU Day drive up envelope incorporates credit unions’ cooperative aspect by emphasizing that credit unions put people’s needs and goals first. Credit unions can customize both products by adding a call to action, a logo and contact information. CUNA’s materials feature a full line of supplies, including decorations, print promotions, gifts and apparel for members, staff, and the board. The ICU Day website also includes links to free ICU Day graphics and coloring pages. Credit unions can order online or call 888/238-1360. Orders made by Sept. 16 will save up to 10% on all ICU Day materials. This year, ICU day celebration coordinators at credit unions and leagues can create personalized accounts that allow them to return to the site to check the status of their orders.

CUs get first look at CUNAs ICU Day materials

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MADISON, Wis. (8/5/11)--Credit unions can get their first look at materials for the International Credit Union (ICU) Day campaign from Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
ICU Day posters have been mailed to affiliated credit unions, and the official website for ordering materials live. The theme “Credit Unions Build a Better World” ties directly to the United Nations General Assembly declaration of 2012 as the International Year of the Cooperatives (IYC), which carries the theme “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World. “With the kick-off for IYC just a week after ICU Day, we wanted to give credit unions the tools to celebrate both events--all year long,” explained Joanne Sepich, CUNA’s ICU Day coordinator. “This year’s statement stuffer explains to members that credit unions are financial cooperatives and introduces IYC.” The official ICU Day materials website features this year’s full line of supplies, including ICU Day decorations and print promotions, gifts for members, and shirts and fleeces for outfitting credit union staff and volunteers during the celebration. The site also features links to CUNA’s free ICU Day graphics and coloring pages. The ICU Day website includes new features, designed to make the ordering process more efficient. ICU Day coordinators at credit unions can create personalized accounts and check the status of their orders. The “show me” feature links similarly priced and categorized products. The site also includes quick order lists for both standard and custom products for those who know what they need.

Corporate Central launches Risk Solutions

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MUSKEGO, Wis. (8/5/11)--Corporate Central CU, Muskego, Wis, has partnered with Lockton, an insurance and risk management firm, to provide risk solutions for credit unions nationwide. The partnership provides a no-cost/no-obligation risk/gap analysis performed by Lockton to help Corporate Central members understand their current coverage and identify any gaps or issues, benchmark against other credit unions and determine what can be achieved in the marketplace. Also, Risk Solutions, as the program is called, will provide credit unions with preferential access to a nationwide network of insurers and coverage options for bonds; directors and officers’ liability; property; liability; workers’ compensation, and other insurance offerings. Following the risk review process, Lockton will obtain alternative coverage solutions from a list of insurance markets to tailor the right solution for each individual credit union. The process is designed to help credit unions gain a better understanding of their insurance coverage and satisfy their fiduciary duty to their members and/or regulators.

Eleven CUs sign up for Vertifi check capture

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (8/4/11)--Eastern Corporate FCU and its credit union service organization subsidiary, Vertifi Software LLC, announced that 11 additional credit unions have committed to offer DeposZip, a remote deposit capture (RDC) service for households and businesses. Five credit unions have selected DeposZip for both desktop and mobile RDC services, including:
* Florida Central CU, $323 million in assets, Tampa, Fla.; * Nutmeg State FCU, $330 million in assets, Rocky Hill, Conn.; * Partners 1st FCU, $242 million in assets, Fort Wayne, Ind.; * Pen Air FCU, $1 billion in assets, Pensacola, Fla.; and * Suffolk FCU, $875 million in assets, Medford, N.Y.
The DeposZip Desktop and Mobile programs are supported by a common administrative platform, allowing financial institutions to leverage their offerings across multiple deposit channels while managing registrations and risk prevention. Five additional credit unions, each of which offer the DeposZip Desktop version, are adding mobile RDC to their suite of DeposZip services. Those credit unions are:
* Farmers Insurance Group FCU, $593 million in assets, Los Angeles; * GTE FCU, $1.4 billion in assets, Tampa, Fla.; * Service CU, $1.8 billion in assets, Portsmouth, N.H.; * Sharon (Mass.) CU $413 million in assets; and * Vantage CU, $673 million in assets, Bridgeton, Mo.
One credit union, $318 million asset Qualstar CU, Redmond, Wash., recently committed to DeposZip Desktop for its members. In total, 68 credit unions participate in the DeposZip program, including 14 with assets exceeding $1 billion. To date, about 140,000 registered household and business members have deposited more than $1 billion into their credit union accounts through DeposZip--including $170 million through smartphones since the mobile program went live in early 2010.

Xtend ahead of budget in 3rd Q

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (8/3/11)--Through three quarters of its fiscal year, Xtend Inc., a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based multi-owned cooperative credit union service organization (CUSO), reported that it was ahead of budget in nearly every key measurement. Overall sales through three quarters grew 18.9% year-over-year, Xtend President Scott Collins noted in his quarterly report to stock holders. “Each of our business units exceeded its third-quarter 2010 revenue, several by double digits,” Collins said. Among the business units experiencing revenue growth were mortgage services (46.9%), Member Reach electronic member-communication service (35.8%), Xtension Call Center (11.6%), back-office bookkeeping (9.8%) and Audit Link compliance monitoring (7%). The CUSO reported that sales for the first six months of its fiscal year totaled $1.12 million. Expenses also were under budget, Collins said. Also during the third quarter, Xtend was selected as the National Collaborative CUSO of the Year at the National Association of Credit Union Service Organization annual meeting.

Mortgage CUSO TruHome Solutions notes growth

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LENEXA, Kan. (8/3/11)--Since 2005, TruHome Solutions’ first year of operation, the credit union service organization has originated more than $1.7 billion in total mortgages for its client credit unions, servicing more than 13,000 total loans. TruHome passes on to its credit union clients 100% of the mortgage servicing fee income paid by the agencies, said Keith Varney, TruHome chief operating officer. Credit union mortgage production growth, among non-owner clients, grew 175% in 2010 over 2009. The number of TruHome partner mortgage clients originating all 12 months increased more than 100% during the same time. “TruHome provides an end-to-end outsourcing model that minimizes margin volatility, while at the same time helping to ensure long-term profitability for the credit union’s mortgage offerings,” Varney said. “It’s so volatile, credit unions can’t staff up for the ebb and flow of mortgage volume,” he added. “Plus, if they have it in-house it’s a fixed cost; with TruHome it turns into a variable cost. So, outsourcing certainly helps minimize the margin volatility, helps build a more variable cost structure, but also helps keep credit unions profitable long-term,” he added.

MyCUAnywhere takes new name Sprig

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ONTARIO, Calif. (8/2/11)--MyCUAnywhere, the text banking solution offered by Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) and CU Wireless, will now be known as Sprig. Sprig soon will offer the ability to transfer funds from one institution to another, provided both institutions are FSCC shared-branching members, the two companies said. Sprig currently offers authorization of internal fund transfers and access to account information, including balances, transaction history and loan status. Sprig mobile apps for iPhone and Android will also soon be available and will include all features of the text banking option plus features such as mobile deposit capture, FSCC and CU Wireless said. When launched, the new features will be provided on a per-transaction basis with no additional monthly maintenance or set up fees. FSCC is credit union shared-branching network with more than 6,700 locations nationwide. CU Wireless, a credit union service organization of Maps CU, Salem Ore., offers wireless phone plans for credit union members.