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California/Nevada Leagues Team With Digital Benefits Advisors

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ONTARIO, Calif. (8/30/13)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are partnering with Digital Benefit Advisors to offer a private benefits marketplace to help credit unions manage their benefits costs and provide their employees with more options.
 
Digital Benefits Marketplace will be offered through the leagues' benefits solution site, CUVitality Marketplace.
 
The new partnership "will empower our members and their staff to make better health insurance decisions," said Diana Dykstra, leagues' president/CEO. "In addition, the Marketplace will become a true online storefront with a comprehensive range of policies and plans from multiple carriers, as well as a call center with licensed customer advocates to guide individuals through the selection process."
 
Offerings will include health, life, disability, accident, critical illness, long-term care, dental and vision insurance, along with other products and services. The private exchange will open Oct. 1 for plan dates effective Jan. 1.

CUNA Trainer's Portal Adds 46 Elements

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MADISON, Wis. (8/29/13)--Forty-six new member-service and human resource/training items have been added to CUNA Trainer's Portal in both print and interactive formats, announced the Credit Union National Association today.
 
The full list of available training program elements and CUNA Trainer's Portal subscription details are available at trainersportal.cuna.org.
 
CUNA Trainer's Portal elements, created by the same team responsible for CUNA CPDOnline, are designed for credit unions' use in developing effective, practical, creative, customized courses. Trainers can mix and match elements to build courses or presentations that align with their vision of what a learning experience should look like, said CUNA.
 
"Creating custom training that reflects a credit union's methods and goals is now readily attainable by users of CUNA Trainer's Portal," said Brad Covey, CUNA manager of web course development. "The recent addition of nearly 50 new elements to the portal will allow credit unions to easily integrate diversity awareness, creating an inclusive workplace, and budgets and accounting into any training program."
 
CUNA Trainer's Portal Member Service elements provide training professionals with credit union-specific building blocks for custom frontline training to raise organizational service standards. The newly introduced member service items include:
  • Double-entry accounting;
  • Financial ratios;
  • Asset-Liability Committee worksheet;
  • Financial statement scavenger hunt; and
  • Five new quizzes on accounting, budgeting and financial statements.
 CUNA Trainer's Portal human resource/training items cover diversity, human resources and training best practices. The newly introduced human resource/training items include:
  • Steps for creating an inclusive workplace;
  • Steps for establishing a diversity and inclusion program;
  • Ideas for inclusive communications in meetings;
  • Nine new HR/Training worksheets; and
  • Thirteen new HR/Training quizzes.
CUNA Trainer's Portal presents 312 elements across 11 categories. It provides interactive quizzes and activities, audio, video and printable worksheets and tools in Word or PDF format.

2014 Development Education Registration Open

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MADISON, Wis. (8/29/13)--Registration is open for all three 2014 Credit Union Development Education (DE) training classes, the National Credit Union Foundation said Wednesday.
 
For first time, three DE training sessions will be held in one year, with the first program taking place January in Chapel Hill, N.C., followed by others in April and September in Madison, Wis.
 
Attendees of the NCUF six-day total immersion experience will learn about credit unions' social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive education and professional networking.
 
"There is such a demand right now for DE training that we've decided to hold an additional training next year in North Carolina," said Lois Kitsch, NCUF's national program director. "The past few programs have been filling up months ahead of time and we also realize the positive impact that even more DE training alumni can have on the credit union movement."
 
The first DE training of 2014 will take place Jan. 22-29 at the Rizzo Conference Center, near the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. The next two trainings will be held April 23-30 and Sept. 10-17 at The Lowell Center, which is part of the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison.
 
This also is the first time that registration for all the year's DE trainings are open at the same time. The registration fee includes seven nights of single-room lodging and all training materials and meals.
 
DE training is open to everyone from new employees who need a credit union orientation to seasoned executives who need to recharge. DE graduates:
  • Acquire skills in credit union outreach initiatives, problem solving, technical assistance, team building and public presentations.
  • Earn certification as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs).  They join a networking group of more than 1,000 graduates in America and more than 30 other countries.
  • Realize that local issues are indeed global--and that global issues are local.
  • Understand that credit unions grow stronger by working cooperatively.
  • Return to their jobs with new understanding of how to promote cooperative principles and credit union values as advantages in today's competitive financial services marketplace.
To register, use the link.

CO-OP Announces It Will Acquire Minority Ownership Of Finivation

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (8/28/13)--CO-OP Financial Services announced Tuesday that it will become a minority owner of Finivation, which will strengthen an existing technical partnership for Web and mobile application development and middleware that connect hosts and acquirers for emerging CO-OP products.
 
"CO-OP is investing in the latest solutions and technologies that make it more convenient for members to do business with their credit unions," said Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. "Developing digital payment channels is essential in today's market. With Finivation, we can continue to leverage our own technology to rapidly innovate to serve credit unions.
 
"Finivation is deeply committed to the needs of the credit union movement as it already counts many large credit unions as clients and through its work with the CUNA Technology Council," said Hollen.
 
The New York City-based Finivation played a key role in the development of the Credit Union Financial Exchange (CUFX), an open standard for efficient systems integration in the credit union ecosystem. Launched by the CUNA Technology Council in early 2012, the goal of CUFX is to reduce the time required for systems integration so credit unions can quickly launch new solutions for their members.
 
CO-OP has long established payments standards for financial transactions switching and settlement in both ATM/point of sale and shared branching. CO-OP intends to fully support CUFX for information exchange.  
 
Finivation's primary role in CO-OP product development will continue to be maximizing efficient connectivity to support emerging product lines and building adaptive applications that serve CO-OP's credit unions and their members. Finivation and CO-OP also will work together to build a middleware solution that will serve technology providers, payment processors and credit unions.
 
"We have worked essentially as an internal partner in conjunction with CO-OP's highly innovative product development team, so welcoming CO-OP into our ownership is a natural extension of the existing relationship," said Finivation CEOBrian Bodell.
 
"In addition to CO-OP products, Finivation will serve our current clients and partners and, with CO-OP's support, we plan to expand our presence assisting credit unions, other financial institutions and technology providers," said Bodell.
 
The companies did not disclose the specific terms of CO-OP's minority ownership of Finivation.

Diebold Releases New ATM Software

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (8/28/13)--Diebold Inc.'s Agilis 3 automated teller machine (ATM) software, released Tuesday, has been certified by many of the industry's network processors nationwide, including First Data, Elan Financial Services, Fiserv, NetWorks and Vantiv.

Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

The open architecture design of the Agilis 3 software application reduces the time and cost of implementing advanced functionality, such as branding elements, text messaging and e-mail alerts, receipts through a mobile device and customized preference settings, into the ATM channel, Diebold said.

"In today's environment, it is imperative that banking channels operate synergistically," said Mychal D. Kempt, Diebold vice president, North America operations. "The open architecture design of Agilis 3 enables an ATM to communicate with other banking channels such as mobile." The enhancements will "help our customers stay in tune with consumer technology and best utilize their self-service channel."

With Agilis 3, financial institutions also can align their ATM fleet with changes that will impact the self-service channel, including terminal software migration to Windows 7, Europay, MasterCard and Visa compliance; payment card industry guidelines; and Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

Expedited EMV Implementation Launched

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MONETT, Mo. (8/28/13)--JHA Payment Processing Solutions, a division of Jack Henry and Associates, has launched an expedited Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) implementation process for U.S. chip card issuance.

Because some chip card implementations may require direct project involvement by card brands, creating potential scheduling bottlenecks, Visa provides a streamlined EMV implementation path for select chip card profiles. PPS is the first processor to make such a program available to its financial institution clients, Visa said.

"Everyone's eyes are on EMV right now and it is only a matter of when for U.S. financial institutions that have yet to adopt the cards," said John Postle PPS general manager.

Through the expedited process, PPS can reduce financial institutions' implementation costs, testing requirements and overall timeframes. Its process for certain chip card profiles can be as simple as for non-chip products; no host-to-host testing is necessary and card validation is optional, the company said.

To qualify for the streamlined process, a processor must have successfully completed a prior U.S. chip issuance project with Visa and meet other eligibility requirements. PPS allows credit unions and banks to consolidate card processing services with a single point of contact for settlements, adjustments and reconciliations.

Federation To Host N.Y. CDFI Conference

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NEW YORK (8/27/13)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions will host the Sixth Annual New York Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) Statewide Conference, Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 in Albany, N.Y.
 
This year's conference theme, "CDFIs: Partnering to Build New York State Communities," is about leveraging, enhancing capacity and building partnerships.
 
Among the topics to be addressed at the conference are:
  • Collaboration and partnerships;
  • Creating opportunities for responsible savings and loan products for consumers;
  • CDFIs and affordable housing ownership in New York;
  • Partnering with New York state agencies;
  • Integrating financial services and products for employees in the workplace;
  • Technology advancement and shared platforms to meet CDFI technology needs;
  • Immigrant loans;
  • Risk management; and
  • Entrepreneurship;
 
Speakers for this year's conference include:
  • Michael Swack, founder, Carsey Institute;
  • Alex Horowitz, research manager, Safe Small-Dollar Loans Research Project, Pew Charitable Trusts;
  • Monica Copeland, senior program officer, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs' Office of Financial Empowerment;
  • Justine Zinkin, CEO, Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners and Neighborhood Trust FCU, New York;
  • Tristram Coffin, CEO, Alternatives FCU, Ithaca, N.Y.; and
  • Kim Jacobs, CEO, Community Capital New York.

CUNA Mutual Event On Member Centricity Sept. 24

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MADISON, Wis. (8/27/13)--CUNA Mutual Group's one-day, free symposium on how credit unions can gain member centricity will be held Sept. 24 in Tampa, Fla.
 
Headlining the "Battle for the American Consumer: A Symposium on Member Centricity," is Don Peppers, author of several books on consumer-centric strategies. Peppers has been recognized by the Times of London as one of its "Top 50 Business Brains" and on Accenture's list of the "Top 50 Business Intellectuals."
 
"Our one-day symposium will feature some of the best and brightest minds in the business world on winning the battle for consumers over other financial institutions," said host Jon Lass, CUNA Mutual Group senior vice president, strategy and business development.
 
Also presenting at the event will be Michelle Eten, REI vice president of digital marketing. The largest consumer cooperative in the world, REI has built a customer centric retail model while remaining true to its cooperative roots.
 
Lass will discuss how credit unions can win the battle for their members' business. Dorothy Leaderer and Jennifer Norr of CUNA Mutual Group's customer operations unit will present a workshop on measuring the customer experience and using that data to become more member centric.
 
The symposium begins at 7:30 a.m. and concludes by 4 p.m. Credit union staff wanting to attend must register with Catie Shannon at catie.shannon@cunamutual.com or (608) 665.8374.

NEW: CO-OP To Acquire Minority Ownership Of Finivation

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (8/27/13 UPDATED 1:50 p.m. CT)--CO-OP Financial Services will become a minority owner of Finivation, a move to strengthen an existing technical partnership for Web and mobile application development and middleware that connect hosts and acquirers for emerging CO-OP products.

"CO-OP is investing in the latest solutions and technologies that make it more convenient for members to do business with their credit unions," said Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. "Developing digital payment channels is essential in today's market. With Finivation, we can continue to leverage our own technology to rapidly innovate to serve credit unions.
 
"Finivation is deeply committed to the needs of the credit union movement as it already counts many large credit unions as clients and through its work with the CUNA Technology Council," said Hollen.
 
The New York City-based Finivation played a key role in the development of the Credit Union Financial Exchange (CUFX), an open standard for efficient systems integration in the credit union ecosystem. Launched by the CUNA Technology Council in early 2012, the goal of CUFX is to reduce the time required for systems integration so credit unions can quickly launch new solutions for their members.
 
CO-OP has long established payments standards for financial transactions switching and settlement in both ATM/point of sale and shared branching. CO-OP intends to fully support CUFX for information exchange.  
 
Finivation's primary role in CO-OP product development will continue to be maximizing efficient connectivity to support emerging product lines and building adaptive applications that serve CO-OP's credit unions and their members. Finivation and CO-OP also will work together to build a middleware solution that will serve technology providers, payment processors and credit unions.
 
"We have worked essentially as an internal partner in conjunction with CO-OP's highly innovative product development team, so welcoming CO-OP into our ownership is a natural extension of the existing relationship," said Finivation CEOBrian Bodell.
 
"In addition to CO-OP products, Finivation will serve our current clients and partners and, with CO-OP's support, we plan to expand our presence assisting credit unions, other financial institutions and technology providers," said Bodell.
 
The companies did not disclose the specific terms of CO-OP's minority ownership of Finivation.
 

Fulda Area CU Chooses CUNA CPDOnline

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MADISON, Wis. (8/26/13)--Fulda (Minn.) Area CU has chosen CUNA CPDOnline, a Web-based training service, to provide its staff with access to training opportunities, the Credit Union National Association announced Friday.

CUNA will work with the credit union to incorporate CUNA CPDOnline's learning management system and curriculum as key elements of its training programs.

"We are committed to providing our training team with the best tools to develop our staff's knowledge, skillsets and expertise," said Linda Jacobson, Fulda Area CU president. "We know that with the added benefit of CUNA CPDOnline's dedicated training management and delivery resources, they'll be able to keep our programs strong and increase our credit union's potential as a whole."

CUNA CPDOnline includes professionally designed courses and exams, and combines the ease of an on-demand learning management system with self-study credit union courses with personal assistance whenever needed.

Invest In America Offers Real-time Discount Request Data

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LIVONIA, Mich. (8/26/13)--CU Solutions Group's Invest in America loyalty program is now offering real-time discount request data through the Credit Union Member Discount from General Motors. 

Credit unions participating in the Invest in America program at the premium level will receive instant notification when their members visit www.mygmdiscount.com and request an authorization to use the GM Credit Union Discount for the purchase of a new Chevrolet, GMC or Buick.

The discount allows qualifying credit union members to request the "preferred pricing" discounted price. Because more than 90% of requests convert to a purchase, the data provide a solid lead for auto lending.

"In today's fast-paced world, this real-time reporting of GM authorizations gives credit unions exactly what they need--the ability to reach out quickly to their members and help them secure credit union auto financing," said CU Solutions Group CEO David Adams. "We are constantly working with our valued Invest in America partners like General Motors to further strengthen the program, and this enhancement is proof of that effort," Adams said.

More than 425,000 credit union members have used their GM Credit Union Member Discount to purchase a new GM car or truck through the discount program, which was launched in 2009. Invest in America currently has more than 2,500 credit unions participating in the discount program.

Real-time authorization code access is among the benefits offered to credit unions enrolled in Invest in America's GM Premium Program. Credit unions enrolled at the Premium Program also receive custom marketing materials.

Pennsylvania League Expands Partnership With JMFA

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (8/23/13)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) has expanded its business partnership with John M. Floyd & Associates (JMFA).

"JMFA's depth of performance-improvement expertise continues to provide our members with resources to maintain a strong organization in spite of the challenging financial services environment," said Corinne Sherman, PCUA senior vice president, fee services. "JMFA's products enable our members to improve their overall performance while providing affordable resources that help strengthen their members' financial well-being."

In addition to the existing contract for JMFA Overdraft Privilege and JMFA ODP Compliance and Performance Review, the agreement adds contract renegotiation services; non-interest income/non-interest expense studies; process improvement studies and business strategies; and planning services.

The contract agreement extends the partnership between PCUA and JMFA to provide member credit unions with performance and revenue enhancement strategies that began in 2003.

Equifax Product Predicts Credit Risk

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ATLANTA (8/23/13)--Equifax has released a product that delivers a more in-depth picture of past credit behavior to better predict future credit trends.

By using Equifax Dimensions, lenders can see up to two years of detailed consumer credit activity, which allows them to make more precise and profitable lending decisions, the company said.

Equifax Dimensions analyzes hundreds of detailed payment characteristics to identify consumer patterns by industry and account type. Clients can access 24 months of consumer balance, payment and credit use data to differentiate behaviors and for better insight to consumers' decisions.

Equifax Dimensions allows lenders to:
  • Identify which consumers are most likely to open accounts;
  • Predict how much and where consumers are likely to spend;
  • Create an indicator for credit line increases and the likelihood for staying current on payments following an increase;
  • Determine ratio of spending against certain factors, such as balance or payment;
  • Identify propensity of a consumer to accept a balance transfer;
  • Predict capacity to incur additional debt while staying current;
  • Determine "breaking point" of spending that will lead to default; and
  • Evaluate credit risk to better pre-empt default and/or bankruptcy.

California and Nevada Leagues Launch Marketing Firm

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ONTARIO, Calif. (8/22/13)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have launched a marketing firm to serve and assist member credit unions, affiliates and business partners.

Image Arc Marketing Services will offer graphic design, copywriting, annual reports, direct mail, newsletters, e-blasts, logo and brand development, brochures and video services.

"The leagues recognized the need to offer professional marketing services to its member credit unions to help them succeed and thrive," said Carol Payne, leagues' vice president of communications and marketing. "Image Arc will offer services that may be customized to a credit union's needs and budget--whether it's a small credit union seeking resources to produce creative campaigns and collateral or a larger credit union in need of adjunct marketing support."

George Sun, the leagues' new external marketing and member communications manager, will serve as manager of Image Arc Marketing Services. Sun has more than 14 years of experience in the credit union industry. He is a former leagues publications specialist and writer, and served for seven years in consumer business development for Baxter CU, Vernon Hills, Ill.

Filene Launches Digital Strategies Program

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MADISON, Wis. (8/21/13)--Filene Research Institute and digital strategy research firm Novarica can help credit unions adapt to consumers' changing shopping behaviors with Filene's new Digital Strategies program to enhance credit unions' online sales.
 
"Our research shows that online is now the primary research and shopping channel for a majority of consumers," said Jason Milesko, Filene chief impact officer. "We want to enable credit unions to quickly adapt to consumers' changing shopping behaviors, give [credit unions] tactics to improve online visibility, and make their online shopping experience effortless for consumers."  
 
Credit unions interested in learning more about Digital Strategies can sign up for a free informational webinar on Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. CT. Use the link.
 
The program comes at a time when 50% of consumers report searching exclusively online for financial services products, according to Filene research. Mobile searches for banking terms increased by 20 times in the past three years. Selling online is crucial for credit unions' entire delivery channel systems, said Filene.     
 
Filene added that the program will help credit unions use their online channels more effectively to attract members and retain loyalty with:
  • Competitive benchmarking and online visibility assessment;
  • On-demand phone and e-mail support;
  • Briefs and reports;
  • Online training;
  • Best practices webinars; and
  • Access to an exclusive Filene Digital Strategy community.
"Online visibility is essential for credit unions," said Rob Rubin, Novarica managing director. "Many consumers today shop online and buy in other channels like the branch. Small changes in online experience and making products easy to find have an enormous impact on sales."
 
Program participation costs are determined by credit union membership and asset size. In the webinar, Filene will lay out the program's details and research behind it.
 
To learn more about Digital Strategies, use the links.

D + H Completes Acquisition Of Harland Financial Solutions

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TORONTO (8/20/13)--Davis + Henderson (D+H) has completed its $1.2-billion acquisition of Harland Financial Solutions.

"The enthusiastic support received in the capital markets and in our client markets since we announced the transaction is much appreciated and reflects the clear value creation potential of this transformational acquisition," said Gerrard Schmid, CEO of D+H.

The all-cash transaction was funded through subscription receipts and extendible convertible unsecured subordinated debentures for gross proceeds of $690.2 million and from borrowings under a new credit facility.

The two companies have a combined client base of 6,200 financial institution customers.
Harland Financial Solutions is a subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings Corp. The subsidiary sold is not the same organization as Harland Clarke. Corp., the check printers, which is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

Equifax Upgrades Income Verification Service

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ATLANTA (8/19/13)--Equifax has enhanced its retro income verification service, Point In Time, and integrated it with its Spectrum Verification Services Platform.

The upgrade provides lenders and servicers with a tool to reduce repurchase requests by delivering the current and accurate loan-level verification of a borrower's employment and income at the time of loan origination, Equifax said.

Point In Time delivers timely and precise income data to confirm original verification information, according to Equifax. Using a custom, automated workflow designed to capture and reuse employer data by tracking and documenting agent progress and findings, the service verifies a borrower's income at the point of loan funding without compromising data security.

Point In Time then documents and archives all information obtained during fulfillment to ensure accuracy and completeness, Equifax said .

Point In Time now allows lenders and servicers to:
  • Place multiple employers with one order;
  • Search and manage orders by loan number;
  • Receive fulfillment documents in PDF format;
  • Monitor and view other orders in progress;
  • Report at an individual level to monitor performance;
  • Send results to the document management system;
  • View results multiple times; and
  • Order results in a "batch" format.

CUNA Mutual's MemberCONNECT Celebrates 30 Years

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MADISON, Wis. (8/19/13)--Thirty years ago, CUNA Mutual Group founded its MemberCONNECT program to help credit unions serve members who were historically underserved by insurance companies. Today, the value of the program has been embraced by a majority of credit unions around the country, said the company.

Click to view larger image MemberCONNECT, CUNA Mutual Group's program to help credit union members who have historically underserved by insurance companies, is celebrating 30 years of providing service to nearly 14 million members through more than 4,000 credit unions. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
In 30 years, the program has grown to help protect nearly14 million members. For credit unions, more than $66 million in non-interest income was paid in 2012 alone.

 "We created a standardized and pre-complied marketing approach that took a complex set of products and made them easy to implement," said Kevin Lentz, vice president of direct to consumer for CUNA Mutual Group. "Not only was it easy to get started, it was easy to manage and maintain. That's still true today."

"In the early 80s, we saw how credit unions had difficulties making products and services available beyond their core competencies," said Lentz. "The value of the program is that we've done all of the work to make it even easier to serve credit union members," said Lentz.

Credit unions that have been with the program from the early days said it has reinforced trust with their memberships. "It fits right in with our credit union's philosophy--it's all about helping the members," said Sherry Saxon, president/CEO of Augusta (Ga.) Metro FCU. Her credit union has been involved with MemberCONNECT program since the beginning.

Of the more than 4,000 credit unions participating, more than 500 have been with the program from the beginning in 1983. "Working together for 30 years is quite a statement," said Lentz. "We've learned a lot from these original credit unions and have always valued their insight. Together, we've made great strides in optimizing various marketing channels and understanding how members learn and purchase services."

"With the evolution to the TruStage brand last year, we've seen even more confidence from credit unions who understand what value we can add to protecting their members," said Lentz. TruStage is CUNA Mutual's consumer marketing brand.

 What does the next 30 years look like for the MemberCONNECT program? It's continued investment and refinement, said Lentz. "We're continuing to invest in new channels, media and technologies in the ways members want. In that sense, we're constantly adapting to reflect the current marketplace."

For a full visual history of the MemberCONNECT program, use the link.

IMM Adds CU Clients

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LINDEN, N.J. (8/16/13)--IMM, a provider of eSignature, workflow and document solutions for financial institutions, recently added several credit unions as clients for its iPad eSignature application.
 
The additions include:
  • Arkansas FCU, Jacksonville, Ark.;
  • Central Star CU, Wichita, Kan.;
  • Credit Union 1, Anchorage, Alaska;
  • Fort Worth Community CU, Bedford, Texas;
  • Greater Iowa CU, Ames, Iowa;
  • IH Mississippi Valley CU, Moline, Ill.; and
  • Utah Community CU, Provo, Utah.
IMM iSign is the native iPad client application for TotaleAtlas, IMM's flagship eSignature and electronic document presentment platform. It integrates with a financial institution's core business applications to create documents readied for eSignature. The app eliminates the need for legacy signature pads and makes electronic transactions faster and more convenient, IMM said.
 

CUNA Offers Free Payments Webinars

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MADISON, Wis. (8/15/13)--The Credit Union National Association, with the support of the CUNA Technology Council, will host a series of free, one-hour monthly webinars addressing the changing nature of payment systems and technologies.
 
The series will bring in key players from the payment systems industry to share their knowledge on the future of payments.
 
"Now is a perfect to time to inform credit unions of the future of payment technologies," said James Carrick, CUNA Center for Professional Development Learning Events assistant vice president. "The next phase of payments systems is right around the corner and it won't be an optional shift for credit unions planning to stay competitive."
 
The first three webinar topics planned are:
  • Visa's View of Future of Payments Industry, Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. CT. Mark Crager, Visa head of emerging products sales, will discuss the growing impact of mobile on institution-cardholder relationships, competitive solutions to facilitate payments in all environments, product relevance and Visa's investments for mobile growth.
  • Emerging Payment--An In-Depth Look From CO-OP Financial Services, Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. CT. Caroline Willard, executive vice president, markets and strategy for CO-OP Financial Services will discuss how credit unions can prepared for the future of payments.
  • PSCU's Vision of Payments, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. CT. Fredda McDonald, PSCU executive vice president, will compare closed-loop and current rails; mobile credit and mobile debit; and cloud payments and mobile wallets. She also will discuss the role loyalty plays for credit unions and how to leverage it.
To register for the webinars, use the link.

Verafin, Harland Financial Form Strategic Alliance

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LAKE MARY, Fla. (8/14/13)--Harland Financial Solutions (HFS) and Verafin Inc., a provider of fraud detection and anti-money laundering software (FRAML), have entered into a strategic alliance that will expand Harland's existing product-centric fraud and anti-money laundering capabilities.
 
Harland Financial Solutions (HFS) Tuesday announced a strategic alliance with Verafin--a leading provider of fraud detection and anti-money laundering software provider--at HFS' Connections Conference in Nashville, Tenn. "We're seeing a demand from our clients for a complete fraud detection and anti-money laundering solution to complement our offerings," Scott Hansen, HFS executive vice president of business development, told attendees. "Verafin's reputation for technical innovation and its culture of dedicated client support is really unmatched." (Photo provided by CUNA)
Verafin is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
 
The announcement was made Tuesday at Harland's Connection Conference in Nashville, Tenn.
 
"We're seeing a demand from our clients for a complete fraud detection and anti-money laundering solution to complement our offerings," Scott Hansen, HFS executive vice president of business development, told attendees. "Verafin's reputation for technical innovation and its culture of dedicated client support is really unmatched."
 
Verafin's FRAML software helps financial institution fraud detection and Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering compliance professionals to quickly respond to suspicious activity. Under the alliance agreement, HFS Enterprise Fraud Management solution will extend beyond its existing product-specific protections such as currency transaction reporting within its teller systems.
 
"There are clear synergies between Verafin and Harland Financial Solutions, including a vision of delivering advanced technology solutions that help to revolutionize the financial services industry," said Andrew King, Verafin vice president of alliances. "Harland Financial Solutions' core processing solutions, combined with our FRAML software, will help financial institutions increase their efficiencies and proactively protect themselves, and their customers, from even the most advanced fraud and money laundering schemes."
 
With FRAML, it now will be possible for Harland Financial Solutions clients to monitor their customer behaviors simultaneously across multiple touch points throughout the enterprise. Given the increasing sophistication of fraud perpetrators, this is a necessary expansion of scope that makes it possible to identify potential suspicious activity that might otherwise be missed when analyzed in isolation within individual systems or departments. 
 
The enterprise-wide approach will allow financial institutions to more effectively respond to suspicious activity and to better prioritize multiple fraud occurrences at the member/customer level based on input from its teller system, ATM/debit/credit card systems, ACH system, Internet Banking system and core system.

Online Discovery Conference Registration Opens

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MADISON, Wis. (8/14/13)--CUNA Mutual Group's fourth annual, day-long Online Discovery Conference, offering free credit union-focused sessions from the convenience of a computer, is scheduled for Oct. 1.
 
The Online Discovery Conference is the Web-based equivalent of a face-to-face conference without the associated expenses or time away from the office.
 
"The beauty of participating online is the convenience," said Christy LaMasney, manager of Online Discovery for CUNA Mutual Group.
 
This year's agenda features 13 credit union-focused sessions, networking opportunities, including chat rooms and message boards, an exhibit hall and prizes. Also, registration guarantees access to conference materials after the event is over.
 
John Lass, senior vice president of strategy & business development for CUNA Mutual Group, is the keynote speaker. Lass will speak on the power of leadership, culture and strategy within the credit union system. Also, the conference also will feature these industry thought leaders and topics:
  • Lerzan Aksoy, associate professor of marketing, Fordham University in New York City, "Linking Member Satisfaction to Share of Deposits with the New Wallet Allocation Rule";
  • Wendy Bryant-Beswick, vice president of marketing and business development, Generations FCU, San Antonio, "The Importance of a Digital Strategy";
  • Jon Bundy, regulatory compliance manager, CUNA Mutual Group, "Lending Compliance Pipeline: What May Be Coming";
  • Lauren Capitini, regulatory compliance manager, CUNA Mutual Group, "CFPB Mortgage Mythbusters";
  • Armando Falcon, CEO, Falcon Capital Advisors LLC, and John McKechnie III, partner at Total Spectrum, "GSE Reform--What's the Future for Credit Union Mortgage Lending";
  • Simon Gao, vice president of consumer analytics, CUNA Mutual Group, "The Power of Predictions";
  • Dan Kaiser, senior vice president and product executive of lending products, CUNA Mutual Group, "Trends in Lending and Member-Friendly Income";
  • Kevin Miller, vice president of information technology strategy and architecture, CUNA Mutual Group, "Strengthening the Member Experience Through Innovation";
  • Hendrix Niemann, managing director of practice and wealth management, CUNA Brokerage Services Inc., "Growing Your Investment Program to Increase Non-Interest Income & Member Loyalty";
  • Rob Rubin, managing director, Novarica, "Winning Over the Multi-channel Member";
  • Brian Scott, vice president, The Members Group, "Moving Your Credit Card Program to EMV--Don't Let Your Chips Fall"; and
  • Shari Storm, senior vice president, Verity CU, Seattle, "Mother Knows Best--And Spends The Most."
Each thought-leader session will feature video, audio, and a question and answer portion.
 
The online event is designed for CEOs and senior leadership teams of credit unions. However, all credit union and league employees are welcome, said CUNA Mutual.
 
"Attendees can come and go from the conference as they please," said LaMasney. "This provides great flexibility to allow many staff members from the same organization to attend, if even for just a few hours."

Analytics Guide CUs' Focus In Mobile Channel

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PLANO, Texas (8/13/13)--Catalyst Corporate's mobile banking solution features analytics that allow credit unions to track about 450 actions connected to member usage. User data are packaged in several reports.
 
"Tracking everything that happens within the mobile banking application ensures the product remains dynamic and relevant," said Chris Amador, director of consumer product management for Malauzai Inc., Catalyst Corporate's mobile banking app developer. "We turn analytics into action by modifying the app to complement the way consumers are using it."
 
Among the types of information that credit unions can track using Catalyst Corporate's mobile banking reports are:
  • User community statistics, including the number of registered users, app store downloads, and active users;
  • End-user session information that provides insight into a particular mobile session for a member;
  • Money movement details that allow the credit union to understand how much money is being moved through mobile use by a particular feature or platform; and
  • Usage details that allow the credit union to better understand which areas of the application are being used the most, for tracking return on investment.
Information in the mobile banking reports can be applied across the organization, Amador said. "For example, the marketing department may use the feature-usage report to understand how often a member is clicking on a banner advertisement," he added. "This can help in determining how often resources are dedicated to creating a new advertisement."
 
Another department might analyze the user community report to determine the penetration rate of mobile users, compared with other channels or with the entire member base, as well how many are active users who stay with it after a 90-day period, Amador said.
 
Tracking the success of a particular feature can help a credit union identify areas for improvement within the app, as well find opportunities to provide additional member service. For example, if a report indicates that a member had to submit a mobile deposit twice before it was deposited successfully, "the app developer can look to make the experience more intuitive and the credit union can reach out to assist members in resolving the issue," Amador said.

Diebold Announces ATM Upgrade Projects At Two CUs

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio. (8/12/13)--ATM manufacturer Diebold last week announced agreements to upgrade ATM operations at two credit unions.
 
Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
 
Diebold is simplifying the management and maintenance of Austin, Texas-based University FCU's fleet of more than 100 Opteva ATMs. Recent technology enhancements, including the addition of Diebold deposit automation-enabled ATMs, have elevated the role of UFCU's self-service channel, prompting the credit union to reduce the complexity of managing its fleet.
 
Enhancing security and promoting Payment Card Industry compliance for UFCU's ATMs, Diebold will maintain up-to-date anti-virus software on the credit union's terminals using ATM Endpoint Protection by Symantec. Diebold will also confirm all programs have the most recent patches through its software deployment service. UFCU can view ATM compliance status updates and track usage, cash use and other statistics via Diebold's Services Electronic Reporting Access System.
 
Diebold's OpteView Resolve ATM availability management monitoring solution will help improve the uptime of UFCU's ATMs. The solutions mean Diebold can identify and diagnose ATM errors, allow remote fixes and automatically deploy service technicians when needed.
 
In Vancouver, Wash., Diebold is delivering customized ATMs to provide an open environment for Lacamas Community CU's new Andresen branch. The branch will feature five deposit automation-enabled Diebold Opteva ATMs, including three compact ATM stations that streamline basic member-driven transactions inside the branch. The Opteva custom terminals allow members to bypass teller lines while providing more time for Lacamas staff to help members with more advanced financial service needs.
 
Within Lacamas' newest concierge-style branch, credit union personnel direct members to appropriate areas to fulfill their banking needs. At the self-service stations, members can complete envelope-free cash and check deposits, as well as traditional ATM transactions.

CO-OP Financial Services, CU Resources Expand Partnership

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., and DALLAS (8/9/13)--CO-OP Financial Services and Credit Union Resources Inc. are expanding their partnership to offer CO-OP products and services to credit unions.
 
CU Resources provides business solutions for credit unions nationwide. In addition to renewing their collaboration on CO-OP products they already offer, CU Resources will also represent CO-OP Signature and PIN Debit transaction processing, and CO-OP Credit for in-house (pass-through) credit card transaction processing.
 
"CU Resources is a great partner in our mutual goal of helping credit unions be the most convenient institutions in financial services today," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP president/CEO. "Their endorsement of CO-OP Debit, Credit and Sprig by CO-OP is a significant development in our ability to make these products available to the market."
 
CU Resources and CO-OP have partnered on CO-OP Shared Branching since 2004. The two companies also work together to offer CO-OP Network, a national network of surcharge-free ATMs for members of participating credit unions; CO-OP Member Center, for lending and member call center support; CO-OP Mobile for banking by mobile device; Sprig by CO-OP, a multi-institutional "virtual credit union branch;" and CO-OP My Deposit Mobile for remote check depositing.

CU Companies: Mortgage Delinquencies Down

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NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. (8/8/13)--In a sign the economy is recovering, mortgage delinquencies are decreasing, particularly in the last six months, reports CU Companies, a credit union service organization specializing in mortgage servicing.
 
"In May, our delinquency ratio was the lowest it has been since 2008, coming in at 1.68%," said Kathleen Nystrom, CU Companies loan servicing manager.
 
Fewer delinquent loans benefit all parties, Nystrom said.  When an account becomes past due, CU Companies attempts to contact the borrower again every three days. It sends letters informing borrowers of their options and encourages them to contact the company, Nystrom said.
 
"We know that communication is key and want both the borrower and our owner or partner to understand where the borrower is in the process and what needs to happen to move forward," she added. "We'd love to see this trend continue, as it's important to us to see the borrowers we work with succeed."

LendKey Adds $12.5M In Funding For Growth

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NEW YORK (8/8/13)--LendKey, the cloud-based lending technology company, Wednesday announced the closing of an additional $12.5 million in Series B venture funding.
 
The funding was by new investors Updata Partners and TTV Capital, and existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Gotham Ventures. 
 
LendKey, formerly Fynanz, is a CUNA Strategic Services provider
 
LendKey, which was founded in 2008 as a private student lending platform for financial institutions, will use the funds to expand its lending platform into new asset classes and accelerate the growth of its lending clients.
 
"LendKey has grown to 250 lending partners and $400 million in private student loan and private student loan consolidation originations in the past three years," said Vince Passione, LendKey CEO.  He noted LendKey is scaling its additional asset classes "with the support of Updata Partners and TTV Capital, as well as the continued confidence from our existing investors at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Gotham Ventures."
 
The new funding is in addition to the $9.5 million in venture funding received by LendKey during its Series A round of financing, bringing the total capital raised by the company to $22 million.

CU Home Mortgage Solutions, CU Realty Services Form Partnership

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SEATTLE and SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (8/7/13)--CU Home Mortgage Solutions (CUHMS) and CU Realty Services have formed a partnership through which CUHMS will offer CU Realty Service's program to its client credit unions.
 
CU Realty's Web-based program offers credit union members tools for buying or sell a home. CUHMS, based in Seattle, offers real estate lending and loan servicing.
 
"CU Realty is a good fit for our client credit unions, helping their members find a quality realtor, and research homes and neighborhoods online," said Diane Anderson, CUHMS vice president of business development. "By working with CU Realty's network of agents, CUHMS can create "stickiness" that will help us close more of our purchase mortgage applications."
 
CUHMS is owned by two Washington credit unions--Verity CU in Seattle and Harborstone CU in Tacoma. CUHMA currently works with 11 Washington credit unions. Future plans are to expand into Oregon and Idaho, and partnering with CU Realty Services will further that goal, CUHMS said. Verity CU and Harborstone CU will offer their members access to CU Realty's tools from their websites.
 
The agreement marks CU Realty Service's first entry into the state of Washington. Once the program is live in late August, credit unions working with CUHMS will be able to increase their purchase mortgage business by offering CU Realty Service's turn-key real estate program.
 
CUHMS' loan officers will promote CU Realty's program to participating credit unions' members who contact them about mortgage loans. Also, the CUSO plans to publicize the program in meet-and-greet sessions with realtors and on their websites. Verity CU plans to begin offering the program this month, and Harborstone CU will follow about a month later.

CU Business Group, Financial Tools Form Partnership

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IRVINE, CA. (8/6/13)--Financial Tools Inc. and CU Business Group have partnered to provide credit unions with Financial Tools' CASH Suite credit risk management software .
 
CUBG is a business services credit union service organization serving more than 425 credit unions in 44 states.
 
The nine integrated modules found in the CASH Suite platform provide credit unions with solutions that assist the business lenders in business development, financial analysis, risk management, pricing, automated credit memo preparation, covenant tracking, portfolio management, stress testing and in depth reporting.
 
CUBG credit unions will also gain access to the implementation, training, support and consulting services Financial Tools provides.

CO-OP THINK Prize 14 Entries Due Oct. 15

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (8/5/13)--Round One applications for the CO-OP THINK Prize 14 are due Oct. 15, CO-OP Financial Services said Thursday. Entrants will be eligible for the $10,000 grand prize sponsored by MasterCard.
 
"The purpose of the CO-OP THINK Prize competition is to inspire innovative solutions to issues facing the credit union movement," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "We encourage everyone to consider entering, for their own professional development, to make their credit unions better, to help our industry, and perhaps to win a nice sum of money."
 
The solutions put forward in the competition can take any form--such as an innovative application of technology, a new process for back office efficiency or a fresh approach to industry advertising and marketing. Although the ideas can vary widely, the entries are judged based on four main standards--impact, creativity, aggregation (the application of the idea across the industry) and implementation (the ability to be adopted).

For CO-OP THINK Prize 14, red letter dates are:
  • Oct. 15--Deadline to complete an on-line entry application;
  • Nov. 15--On or about this date semi-finalists will be notified, and invited to produce a detailed business plan;
  • Dec. 18--Semi-finalist business plans are due;
  • Feb. 15--Three finalists will be notified on or about this date; and
  • May 19--The CO-OP THINK Prize 14 winner is announced at the THINK 14 Conference in New Orleans.
Judges from CO-OP Financial Services and an industry panel select 25 semi-finalists and the three finalists.

PULSE Partners With Paydiant To Offer Mobile Payments

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HOUSTON and WELLESLEY, Mass. (8/5/13)--PULSE, an ATM/debit network, has partnered with mobile-wallet provider Paydiant to offer a payment solution that allows consumers to withdraw cash from ATMs using their smartphones.
 
The Paydiant solution will allow PULSE financial institution and merchant customers to provide a secure, branded mobile-wallet solution without installing additional hardware on ATMs or point-of-sale terminals.
 
At the ATM, consumers authenticate themselves by scanning a unique quick-response code that prompts the ATM to dispense cash via an encrypted connection to the cloud.
 
The Paydiant mobile-wallet application is enabled through a secured cloud-based system that does not store sensitive account information on the mobile device or pass account data through the retail environment. Every transaction uses two-factor authentication and tokenization, making it a secure mobile payment method, Paydiant said
 
Diebold, a self-service solutions and ATM manufacturer and a CUNA Strategic Services provider, announced a similar partnership with Paydiant last month.

CUNA Releases Supervisory Committee Fundamentals Video

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MADISON, Wis. (8/2/13)--The new CUNA Supervisory Committee Fundamentals video is available, the Credit Union National Association said.
 
The video, a resource for credit union supervisory committee members, can be purchased by yearly subscription and fulfills credits in the Supervisory track of CUNA Volunteer Certification Program.
 
The video, led by industry expert Tim Harrington, explores the duties and responsibilities of a supervisory committee member and delivers insights on the committee's role in today's credit union environment.
 
"It's a rare opportunity for CUNA to be able to offer direct live-action training from an expert like Tim that can be accessed at any time," said Kevin Smith, CUNA director of learning events. "As credit unions begin to blend learning across more channels and formats, resources like this video will be the key to making training stick."
 
In his video presentation, Harrington covers the responsibilities of a supervisory committee, performing the supervisory committee's job and being an effective supervisory committee member.
 
Topics covered in the video include:
  • Committee duties and powers;
  • Monitoring the board of directors and other officials;
  • Auditing responsibilities;
  • Working with examiners and regulators;
  • Monitoring and understanding the credit union's financial condition; and
  • Recruiting and evaluating committee members.

Mountain America CU Introduces PayPal's SendMoney P2P Payments

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WEST JORDAN, Utah (8/2/13)--Mountain America CU, West Jordan, Utah, has introduced Send Money--Powered by PayPal, a person-to-person payments solution that allows members to send money by mobile phone or e-mail.
 
"Financial companies are beginning to realize that simple money transfer capabilities will not fully satisfy their customers," said Rob Cummings, Mountain America CU senior vice president of online and mobile banking.

"Consumers are asking for the ability to pay their friends electronically, including splitting checks at restaurants, paying babysitter wages via digital money, or even sharing in monthly rent. And [members] want this service to be free and instantaneous," he added.
 
Send Money is offered through Mountain America's online and mobile banking services. To send money to a friend or family member, Send Money users need the recipient's mobile phone number or e-mail address.  The funds will be sent instantly to the recipient's PayPal account. Recipients without a PayPal account will be guided to create one and receive the money.

Speaker Lineup Set For CUNA Leadership Institute

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MADISON, Wis. (8/1/13)--The Credit Union National Association announced Tuesday that scenario planner Tom Chermack, executive coach Laurie J. Maddalena and leadership consultant Dianne Kenny have joined the speaker lineup for this year's CUNA Leadership Institute, to be held Nov. 3-8 in San Diego.
 
The new CUNA Leadership Institute combines a credit union-specific curriculum with a two-day Extreme Leadership Workshop powered by Steve Farber's Extreme Leadership Institute.
 
"Our newly announced speakers bring exactly the types of experience and innovation that the institute is centered around," said Marlo Foltz, CUNA's director of blended learning. "The combination of extreme leadership training surrounded by credit union-specific topics will provide attendees with an unbeatable week of training."
 
Chermack is an assistant professor at Colorado State University and founder and managing partner at Chermack Scenarios. He has authored more than 50 research reports on scenario planning.
 
Maddalena is a certified executive coach and leadership development consultant with Envision Excellence LLC. She provides leadership development programs, executive and leadership coaching, and leadership assessments.
 
Kenny brings over 30 years of experience in consulting, facilitation and organizational development to help companies affect behavioral change in their leadership, customer service and team building. Using anecdotes and a humorous style, she challenges and inspires listeners to improve their approaches to leadership, both personally and organizationally.