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CSSTravelex offer new foreign currency options

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MADISON, Wis. (9/19/08)--Credit unions can offer their members more foreign currency options through two new products that are now included in the CUNA Strategic Services/Travelex alliance agreement. Travelex Cash Passport prepaid currency cards, with no purchase fees for credit unions, and CashPax were added to the suite of travel money solutions. The new Cash Passport cards are the only prepaid foreign currency cards available in the U.S. that can be used to lock in an exchange rate for euros of British pounds. The cards allow travelers to purchase goods and services at any retailer that accepts MasterCard or to withdraw money from ATMs abroad. Cash Passport comes with global emergency assistance, which offers members assistance 24 hours a day for lost wallets or passports, medical assistance, legal problems and translation assistance. If the card is lost or stolen, the balance is protected and can be replaced in 20 minutes in most locations worldwide. Travelex CashPax is a bill-sized pack of foreign currency that provides traveling members with enough foreign currency to pay for incidentals--such as taxis upon arrival--and is a great combination with Cash Passport cards. The packs include small denominations of paper money and coins in bundles of $100 or $250. They are available in Canadian dollars, euros, Australian dollars, British pounds, Japanese yen, U.S. dollars and Mexican pesos. “Cash Passport is currently the only foreign currency card on the market, and we believe these cards will be the wave of the future because they are safe, fast and economical,” said Wes Millar, senior vice president of CUNA Strategic Services. “The Cash Passport card will allow credit unions to offer their members an excellent way to plan their spending while traveling overseas,” said Christopher Russell, Travelex’s executive vice president of outsourcing, Americas. “In addition, credit unions can continue to offer the unique products and services their members have come to expect.” A study, conducted by YouGov plc on behalf of Travelex, indicates that demand for this new product is already established with 43% of recent travelers likely to use a Cash Passport in the future. For respondents, the security of PIN and signature protection (37%) and convenience of ATM withdrawals (32%) were the most important features. When considering foreign exchange purchases, most U.S. respondents (37%) looked for a competitive exchange rate that the new euro and British pound cards provide, plus the ability to lock in those rates.

Products and Services briefs (09/18/2008)

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* BROOKFIELD, Wis. (9/19/08)--CUNA Mutual Group selected Pinstripe Inc. to deliver a talent acquisition program for its headquarters in Madison, Wis., and its Fort Worth, Texas, call center location. Pinstripe is a recruitment process outsourcing company and will deliver exempt and non-exempt corporate and field hires for positions in finance, information technology, product, customer service, sales, human resources and others ... * NEW YORK (9/19/08)--SVPCO, the paper and electronic check exchange business of The Clearing House Payments Company, announced that Southwest Corporate FCU, Plano, Texas, is connected to the SVPCO Image Payments Network. The corporate connection is through the SVPCO Gateway DTA, which allows institutions to send and receive bulk files of images on a peer-to-peer basis through the network. Southwest also uses SVPCO’s File Transfer Protocol Internet-based connection so institutions can link to the SVPCO network and exchange check images ... * GLASTONBURY, Conn. (9/19/08)--Open Solutions, a provider of integrated enabling technologies for financial services providers, has been invited by the Massachusetts Bankers Association to participate in a disaster recovery simulation Sept. 25. Rich Kelso, vice president of shared services at Open Solutions, will speak at the event. “These types of disasters can happen in the blink of an eye without much warning or preparation time,” he said. “That is why it is vitally important for institutions to have a plan in place, well before a disaster strikes. This event will help participants make their plan come to life and see how this situation could truly unfold” ...

New CO-OP signage IDs surcharge-free ATMs

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/19/08)--CO-OP Financial Services is offering its first subsidized ATM Signage Program so credit union members can identify surcharge-free ATMs. “With CO-OP’s ATM Signage Program, credit unions display their logo side-by-side with CO-OP Network, reinforcing to members that they truly don’t need a bank,” said CO-OP President/CEO Stan Hollen. The network has more ATMs than any bank network, and more than 70S of network ATM volume occurs at credit union-owned ATM locations, the company said. The signage is offered as a backlit display or banner with stand for drive-up terminals. CO-OP will subsidize the logo up to $400 per terminal. Free “CO-OP Network ATM Inside” decals also are available.