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Products Archive

Products

New BillShrink service recommends best FIs to consumers

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REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (10/1/09)--BillShrink, a free online service that gives personalized money-saving recommendations to consumers to help them shrink their expenses, now includes a search service that recommends financial institutions, including credit unions, so consumers can reach their savings goals. BillShrink aims to help consumers collectively find $1 billion in savings by the end of the year by “simplifying the complex pricing structures to show what the true cost of ownership means for their wallets,” the company said. Consumers can search for savings opportunities on credit cards and find financial institutions by entering their addresses or zip codes in search fields on the website, www.billshrink.com. They can select the types of financial institutions they want to be matched with--from credit unions to large banks. They also can search, based on the products they’re seeking--such as share certificates or savings accounts. BillShrink tracks interest rates on accounts and share certificates. It also maps out ATMs that are close to consumer’s home or work to help them avoid surcharges, the company said in a release. Several credit unions and organizations offer search tools to match consumers with local credit unions and ATMs. The Credit Union National Association offers a credit union locator (use the link), and CO-OP Financial Services offers an ATM locator so credit union members can find surcharge-free ATMs. The CO-OP network provides access to more than 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide.

Economy an opportunity to grow card portfolio

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/30/09)--Consumers have cut their spending given a slower economy, but credit unions have grown their card balances and acquired new cardholders, according to the Texas Credit Union League. Recent card promotions developed and initiated by TNB Card Services brought in more than $11 million for credit unions and generated hundreds of new cardholders (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 29). TNB Card Services, a division of Town North Bank, partners with credit unions to provide credit card portfolio services, debit programs and electronic payment solutions. One of TNB’s promotions, Tax Time Convenience Checks, generated $574,000 in new card balances for participating credit unions. The average check amount was $1,019. One participating credit union, Fort Worth (Texas) Community CU, generated more than $170,000 in new balances. “There was so much noise in the media about credit cards this spring that it made our members pay attention to our offer,” said Rochelle Drake, vice president of marketing. “We brought in $50,000 more than a similar promotion the year before.” Credit unions also generated more than $10 million in new card balances, with an average transfer of $3,490. The promotions indicate that credit unions can grow their card programs, even if the economy is not growing and consumer spending is down, said Mark Fenner, TNB senior vice president. TNB provides credit unions with promotional materials. TNB also manages the implementation of the promotion and reports the results back to the credit union so it can focus on serving members, Fenner added.

PolicyWorks and TMG offer due diligence white paper

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DES MOINES, Iowa (9/29/09)--PolicyWorks and The Members Group (TMG) have partnered to offer a white paper on due diligence practices. “Do Your Homework; Pass the Exam--Satisfying the National Credit Union Administration with Vendor Selection Due Diligence” outlines a seven-step due diligence process that credit unions can use when selecting a card processor. The relationship a credit union has with its vendor for card processing is the most critical vendor relationship a credit union can have, said Andrea Stritzke, PolicyWorks regulatory counsel. Card processors drive a vital revenue-generating activity for credit unions and house secure member data, Stritzke added. PolicyWorks, based in Iowa, offers regulatory compliance resources for credit unions. TMG is owned by the Iowa Credit Union League and offers customized solutions for credit unions nationwide including credit, debit, ATM and prepaid cards.

PSCU Financial papers focus marketing to small biz

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (9/29/09)--PSCU Financial Services has issued a third white paper on small businesses. The paper, “SMBs: A Unique Marketing Environment,” focuses on marketing to small business owners by discussing the development of sales relationships and the difference between small businesses and the rest of the corporate world. Selling financial services to small businesses has a two-fold set of challenges. First, small business owners are a hybrid audience. Their product and service needs are similar to their corporate counterparts, yet the centralized nature of their decision-making differs greatly. Second, small business owners don’t necessarily want to be “sold”--they seek long-term relationships, which offer key benefits for credit unions, the paper said. Two previous papers discussed the financial needs of small business owners, and how to create a customized small business program that manages risk and includes measurement tools. The next white paper will be, “Prospecting for Small Business Customers,” which will focus on creating a common profile using the right data to reach small businesses. The data “can be used to guide your offers and programs and create clearly targeted, industry or sector-based messaging, which works to build strong, ‘sticky’ relationships,” PSCU Financial Services said.

Mortgagebot allies with PCLender.com

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MEQUON, Wis. (9/29/09)--Mortgagebot announced a new alliance with PCLender.com to recommend the Mortgagebot PowerSite point-of-sale (POS) platform to PCLender’s clients and prospects as a preferred solution. PowerSite is a hosted software solution. It handles mortgage application, pricing and approval processes for more than 900 lenders nationwide, including credit unions. PCLender.com is a provider of web-based mortgage lending solutions. The alliance will allow PCLender.com clients to access mortgage POS tools to help them serve borrowers, manage greater application volume and maintain regulatory compliance, Mortgagebot said. “Mortgage lenders are increasingly turning to advanced POS automation as a means of reducing costs, increasing efficiency and providing better service,” said Dan Welbaum, Mortgagebot chief marketing officer. The PowerSite platform has three parts: PowerSite Consumer, a self-serve mortgage website; PowerSite Advisor, which allows non-mortgage associates to take mortgage applications after a brief training session; and PowerSite Pro, an add-on product for loan officers.

Products and Services briefs (09/25/2009)

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* COLUMBUS, Ohio (9/28/09)--Bob Ezell, vice president of product marketing for Computer Service Inc. in Paducah, Ky., was elected president of the Association for Financial Technology (AFT) during its annual meeting Sept. 13-15 in Tucson, Ariz. Other officers elected include: Vice President David Foss, president of ProfitStars, and Treasurer Kevin Tweddle, chief operating officer of bank intelligence solutions at Fiserv. New board members are: Brian Otte, senior vice president of corporate development at Perimeter eSecurity; Kelli Schultz, senior vice president of business development at iPay Technologies; and Tom Shen, board member at CBG Holdings. AFT is a technology-focused association that serves more than 80% of the credit union, banking and thrift market ... * MERIDEN, Conn. (9/28/09)--The Credit Union League of Connecticut announced its Compliance School for 2010, a six-month program that provides full-day workshops to credit union professionals in the Northeastern U.S. Credit union professionals with credit unions under $20 million in assets can attend at no cost. Others including affiliated credit unions with the Credit Union National Association can pay a fee to attend, or a discounted full-program rate. The school aims to help credit unions with changing compliance obligations in “today’s volatile environment,” the league said ... * NORTH CANTON, Ohio (9/28/09)--Delta Community CU, Atlanta, recently incorporated a Diebold Integrated Services outsourcing solution. Diebold is an ATM manufacturer based in North Canton, Ohio. The Diebold solution will allow the credit union to adjust personnel access permissions and create access reports when investigating security incidents and for auditing purposes. Delta has 19 branches in Atlanta and more than 30 ATMs. The solution will allow the credit union to focus on growing the branch and managing staff, Delta said. Outsourcing can help financial institutions focus on core capabilities and avoid expenses associated with acquiring and maintaining security systems, Diebold added ... * ALBANY, N.Y. (9/28/09)--CUC Mortgage Corp. recently introduced an enhancement to “Application Status,” an online resource for borrowers. The update allows loan applicants to check the status of their mortgage applications at credit unions, view outstanding conditions, and access information about the processor, underwriter and those assigned to their applications. Loan applicants also can view and print materials. CUC Mortgage is headquartered in Albany, N.Y., and works with credit unions and their members on mortgages in six Northeastern states ...

Northwest FCU revises collection strategy

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HERNDON, Va. (9/28/09)--Northwest FCU has revised its late loan collection payment strategy, with marked success. The credit union, using Digital Mailer’s Automatic Relationship builder, sent out 673 e-mails the week of Aug. 20 to members delinquent on loan payments. About 63% responded and provided payments. “I think that’s pretty good,” said Cindy Cherry, Northwest FCU collections manager. “It’s definitely improved the success of our collection efforts.” DigitalMailer’s e-mail program targets delinquent members with customized e-mail messages. Traditionally, credit unions send notices after 15 days, but Northwest is sending the messages after five days. Automatic Relationship Builder synchronizes the reports with DigitalMailer’s e-mail engine, filling in variable fields. It also collects delivery and open-rate data and input the data into the credit union’s collection software. Credit unions, by using the resources they already have--such as members’ e-mail addresses--can find cost-efficient methods to improve their collections, said Ron Daly, DigitalMailer president/CEO. “There’s no doubt today’s economy is challenging credit unions as they collect loan payments,” he added. A Federal Reserve statistical release from second quarter 2009 indicates that charge-off and delinquency rates at commercial institutions have increased. The statistics indicate:
* Residential real estate loans grew to 8.84%; * Credit cards grew to 6.70%; and * Other consumer loans grew to 3.73%.
“As more credit unions face growing member delinquencies, more are looking for new strategies in the collections area,” Daly added. Based in Herndon, Va., Northwest FCU has $1.7 billion in assets.

Member Advantage Mortgage triples origination abilities

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ADA, Mich. (9/25/09)--Member Advantage Mortgage announced that it has tripled its mortgage origination capabilities to about 200 per month from 60 per month. Member Advantage Mortgage is majority owned and operated by seven credit unions in New Hampshire, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Nevada. The company has three loan processors. Member Advantage said it increased mortgage origination because it is working with XetusOne, which offers a paperless operation and allows employees to take loan applications at home. “Before, we could e-mail closing documents, but you couldn’t do your application documents,” said Jennifer Durham, Member Advantage Mortgage national sales and production manager. “You had to mail them or have a face-to-face with the member. Now we can do things instantly rather than having to wait days or use fax machines if there are changes.” XetusOne can be used through a standard Web browser, which helps originators and third-party servicers collaborate online through the loan process. Managers in charge of multiple branches can view details of any loan folder, look at profitability by branch, and make changes to data fields, said Scott Stein, Xetus vice president of sales and marketing. Xetus, Palo Alto, Calif., offers “software as a service” to the mortgage industry, including credit unions.

Harland Financial Solutions launches software platform

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LAKE MARY, Fla. (9/25/09)--Harland Financial Solutions has launched Phoenix Extended Financial Enterprise (EFE), an integrated enterprise software platform for financial institutions, including credit unions. PhoenixEFE is designed for credit unions with a focus on business services, including commercial lending and loan participation. The solution integrates Phoenix System, a real-time core processor, with solutions for risk management, lending and compliance, business intelligence and marketing, branch automation, self-service, enterprise content management, payments and financial accounting. Consumers CU, Kalamazoo, Mich., is one of two financial institutions that went live on PhoenixEFE in August. The credit union said the solution helped it expand its reach in the commercial market. PhoenixEFE Core runs on Microsoft Windows and is integrated by a Web services transaction gateway that uses XML and Web services. The Phoenix System brand will no longer be used in the U.S. All its functionality will be included with PhoenixEFE, Harland added.

First Data developing card security at POS

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ATLANTA and BEDFORD, Mass. (9/24/09)--First Data, a provider of electronic commerce and payment processing services, and RSA, the Security Division of EMC have partnered to provide a new service--First Data Secure Transaction Management (SM). With SM, merchants can secure payment card data and remove the data from their environment while allowing access when needed. SM is designed to reduce the cost and complexity of complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the companies said in a release. Payment card data is encrypted when it is captured by the merchant's existing point-of-sale application and remains encrypted until it is delivered to First Data. The card number is replaced by a “token” value that cannot be linked back to the original card data, but otherwise behaves like a card number. “The increasing need for data protection and the growing complexity of PCI DSS compliance are driving merchants to evolve their business strategies for securing customers’ sensitive information,” said Robert Vamosi, security/risk and fraud analyst for Javelin Strategy & Research. “Organizations that can employ a layered approach to data security, one that capitalizes on the inherent advantages of encryption, tokenization and other technologies, will be well-positioned to protect card data and reduce the scope of PCI compliance.” “To comply with the PCI DSS and reduce risk, organizations need security controls built into their infrastructure, and not bolted on,” said Art Coviello, executive vice president, EMC Corp. and president, RSA. “Rather than addressing security risks by deploying disparate point controls throughout their infrastructure, First Data Secure Transaction Management provides organizations with a simplified and scalable solution that helps radically reduce management complexity and costs.”

Mobile banking sparks shared-branch CUs interest

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., and SAN DIMAS, Calif. (9/24/09)--More than half of credit unions that have signed up for mobile banking with Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) and PSCU Financial Services have chosen to integrate the solution through FSCC’s Shared Branching Network. Another 20% of FSCC credit unions are showing interest in the mobile solution, they said. The interest is growing because of the integrated technologies at both FSCC and PSCU Financial Services. The platform appeals to consumers of all ages--especially young adults, said David J. Serlo, PSCU Financial Services president. The mobile banking solution can be downloaded in multiple formats, including Wireless Application Protocol and a downloadable application--Applet. The tool features real-time, on-demand access to checking, savings, credit card and other account information. FSCC is a credit union Shared Branching Network that provides more than 6,000 full-service deposit-taking locations in the U.S. and overseas. PSCU Financial Services is a credit union service organization that serves more than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide.

OPSS Council offers branch strategies white paper

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MADISON, Wis. (9/23/09)--Branch building will continue soon, but it will be tempered by economic realities and lack the aggressive posture of the past, according to “Branch Strategies,” a new white paper just released by the CUNA Operations, Sales & Service (OpSS) Council. The paper discusses different branch strategies that credit unions should consider when expanding. It includes case studies from credit unions such as Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C., which uses a remote teller system, and REALTORS FCU, an online-only credit union. The paper also notes credit union grocery store branches and their advantages: guaranteed foot traffic, lower costs and extended hours. However, grocery store branches don’t have drive-up windows, and credit unions will not have much control over their lease or building. Grocery store branches also may not generate high loan volumes, the paper said. Employees at grocery store and traditional branches are evolving. Aside from being cross-trained in opening accounts, taking loan applications and other orders, employees must be relationship builders, the paper added. “In a fast-moving and sometimes unforgiving culture, the credit union setting can be a comfortable oasis where the member can expect an environment of warmth and trust,” the paper said. “Credit union employees need to go the extra mile to develop this setting. For some members who live alone, this may be their only human contact or conversation for the day.” For more information, use the links.

TruHome Solutions cuts mortgage origination fees

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LENEXA, Kan. (9/23/09)--TruHome Solutions announced a 20 basis-point or 20% savings off its mortgage origination fee dollar amount, effective for all loans funded in September and October for client credit unions. A $150,000 mortgage origination will save a credit union $300. For one client credit union with multiple loans, the savings could equal as much as $80,000 for a two-month period, the company said. TruHome decided to offer the price reduction after experiencing an increase in 2009 volume. “Purchasing volume has been steadily improving as the economy begins to rebound, and TruHome considers itself well-positioned to capture that additional business opportunity,” said Keith Varney, TruHome chief operations officer. TruHome, based in Lenexa, Kan., is a credit union service organization specializing in mortgage origination, servicing and underwriting.

Diebold security dealers get new monitoring program

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (9/23/09)--ATM manufacturer Diebold announced that it is offering the Diebold Advanced Dealer Program, which will allow approved dealers to use advanced monitoring services without adding infrastructure or staff. Authorized dealers can use Diebold’s Site Sentry Remote Video Monitoring, Remote Video Storage, managed access control and energy management. They also can access Diebold’s DVR health check, weather detection notification, police permit management and alarm monitoring. Dealers will not have to sell their accounts to Diebold to participate. Monitoring solutions will be delivered through Diebold’s monitoring centers in Uniontown, Ohio, and Honolulu. Dealers can apply through Diebold’s Online Dealer Center.

Council paper addresses rewards recognition programs

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MADISON, Wis. (9/22/09)--A new white paper from the CUNA HR/TD Council addresses how relevant recognition and rewards programs can keep valued credit union employees. The paper, “Recognition Programs that Work,” covers the importance of rewards and recognitions that engage employees, keep costs down and boost morale. The types of recognition and principles that work and case studies from various credit union human resource managers also are presented. “When times are tough, the credit union may need to curtail employee salary increases, bonuses, and incentives,” the paper said. “Recognition can then become even more important in helping to keep staff engaged in their work.” The paper, written by Neil Bartlett, cites a study of employee experiences during the current economic downturn. The study reveals that employee engagement has declined--with the strongest drop occurring among younger employees. It also noted the importance of immediate recognition for Generations X and Y, who are used to “instant everything,” like the Internet and social networking. The CUNA HR/TD Council serves credit union human resources and training development professionals. For more information, use the link.

CO-OP Online Resources join on online banking services

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CHANTILLY, Va. and RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/22/09)--Online Resources Corp. and CO-OP Financial Services are partnering to offer Internet banking, online bill pay and other services to CO-OP’s credit unions nationwide. Online Resources’ Unite Financial Services Suite will be available to credit unions on CO-OP’s Next Generation Network technology platform. More than 1,200 of CO-OP’s shared-branch clients will have access to the service. Online banking and bill pay are critical services for credit unions to offer so they can remain competitive with other financial institutions, according to Carroll Beach, president and chief operating officer of CO-OP Shared Branching. CO-OP Financial Services offers payment products and services to credit unions. Online Resources powers financial interactions between consumers and the company’s financial institution and biller clients.

FSCC partners with childrens savings program

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AMHERST, N.H., and SAN DIMAS, Calif. (9/21/09)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) and PiggyBanc Inc. announced a partnership to credit unions on the FSCC Shared Branching Network with a children’s savings program. The PiggyBanc program provides young children and their families an opportunity to open a savings account. Family and friends can deposit money into the child’s account anywhere, any time. The program delivers the contributions into the account at the credit union and allows for personalized messages to accompany every contribution. “Attracting multi-generations, this program offers benefits for young members as well as older members who encourage financial literacy through this program,” said Sarah Canepa Bang, FSCC president/CEO. FSCC credit unions can implement the free program as part of FSCC’s service package. FSCC offers a credit union Shared Branching Network with more than 6,000 full service deposit-taking locations in the U.S. and overseas.

Council paper answers What is enough capital

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MADISON, Wis. (9/18/09)--The CUNA CFO Council has published a white paper, “Strategic Planning for Ideal Capital in the New Economy” by Dr. Harold Sollenberger, which seeks to answer the question “What is Enough Capital?” The paper is an updated version of “A Strategic Approach to Ideal Capital: Building a Consensus,” which was published in 2007. The papers consider the significant changes that have taken place in the nation’s economy and financial industry, according to the council. The new economic realities since 2007 include:
* Regulatory changes; * Mortgage defaults, decreasing home values and a halt in home construction; * Extreme marketing conditions, illiquidity, and a lack of confidence and trust; * Changes in acceptable credit standards; * Dramatic interest-rate yield-curve changes; * Credit unions’ inability to borrow, and lenders’ ability to lend; * Potential loss of value of assets previously considered safe; and * Problems with generally accepted accounting principles and other-than-temporary impairments.
The paper also includes National Credit Union Administration data going back to 1998 and a spreadsheet template to assist chief financial officers with gathering risk-based equity assessments for their credit union. “The events of the past several years have magnified the need for capital planning, but the fundamentals of the process are basically the same,” Sollenberger said. “Amazingly, no new risks have appeared.Yet we now see that some risks that we thought were rather benign have become major players and need to be upgraded. Liquidity, once only an afterthought, is now a major concern throughout our entire credit union and banking systems.” Sollenberger is a professor of accounting and information systems at Michigan State University’s Broad Graduate School of Management. For more information, use the link.

Paper explores fixed vs. variable rate strategies

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DALLAS (9/18/09)--A new white paper from TNB Card Services explores fixed versus variable rate credit cards in light of the recent passage of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act. The “Fixed vs. Variable Rate Pricing Strategies in the Era of Card Reform” white paper details the effects of new regulations on credit unions and their cost of funds, which affects the interest rates they must charge to maintain a sufficient margin. It explains the cost of funds issue in the current economic situation, and helps guide credit unions in the future as they determine those costs and their interest rates. “The issue today is how credit unions can best maintain ongoing interest yields in an environment where there are or may be significant changes in the cost of funds,” said Mitch Raymond, senior vice president of product development at TNB Card Services. “While two-thirds of cards today are variable rate cards, this may not be the best approach for all credit unions. “This white paper highlights the pros and cons of the two pricing strategies to help credit unions make the right decision,” he added. The paper also discusses how variable rates and fixed rates are affected differently by the cost of funds, and what advantages each approach offers to credit unions and their member cardholders. The free paper is available electronically on the TNB Card Services website.

CO-OP Network ATM upgrades in the works

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/17/09)--CO-OP Financial Services is offering support for ATM upgrades that benefit credit unions on its surcharge-free ATM network, the CO-OP Network. The ATM enhancements will help credit unions improve the member-user experience and increase “point of purchase” marketing and sales opportunities at ATMs, CO-OP said. The enhancements include Diebold Superload, NCR Aptra Edge 3.0 Phase I and new ATM device and software support. Superload gives credit unions the ability to place custom marketing messages and graphics on Diebold Opteva ATMs. The graphical screens replace the “green screen” seen on most ATM screens. NCR Aptra Edge will benefit NCR PersonaS and SelfServ ATMs, including mini-statement continuation, ATM locator, multi-dispense; bulk check deposits; multi-check deposits; and check and cash payment. CO-OP enhancements also will support the Triton Systems RL1600 ATM; WRG Services Apollo Series ATMs and Genesis Series ATMs; Wincor-Nixdorf Procash ATM CCDM; and Wincor-Nixdorf Procash ATM Check and Cash Deposit Module; and Wincor-Nixdorf Procash FLEX 2.0 software. CO-OP Financial Services is a credit union service organization based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

NACUSO teams with Pepperdine to build leaders network

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (9/16/09)--The National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO) is partnering next month with Pepperdine University to offer a certification program to build a leadership community for credit unions. Registration is now open. The program, Designing and Implementing Collaboration and Business Networks, is scheduled to include classroom sessions, distant learning sessions and group projects. NACUSO will host two classes a year in October and April. Potential projects include opportunities to work with existing credit union service organizations, develop new leadership community contacts and contribute to developing new credit union business templates. “This program is more than a seminar or a feel-good flyby on the old ideas about collaboration within our industry,” said NACUSO CEO Tom Davis. “This is a program designed to keep the participants engaged with the ideas, their peers, and working businesses that can inspire credit union and CUSO business leaders to find the action in all of this talk about the promise of collaborations and networked marketplaces.” The Class of October 2009 will set the foundation for the program, NACUSO said. The class will aim to develop:
* A plan to market the community and raise the credit union industry’s awareness of leaders who have completed the program; * A plan to aid NACUSO in attracting more participants to the program and raise the industry’s awareness of NACUSO’s role in encouraging new credit union business models; and * A process to constantly improve the program and add new resources to support the growing community of graduates.
NACUSO said it expects more than 100 individuals to graduate from the program within a few years.

Rochdale Group launches revalidation technology

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (9/16/09)--The Rochdale Group announced the availability of e-Revalidation, which is designed to test 100% of a credit union’s risk-based loan portfolio. e-Revalidation delivers comprehensive reviews of credit unions’ risk-based lending and pricing models. It also eliminates internal disruptions related to onsite reviews, which frees credit union staff time, and saves money by eliminating customary travel expenses incurred by in-person revalidation engagements. Credit unions’ risk-based-lending and pricing scorecards should be revalidated regularly, according to The Rochdale Group. After a review at the end of the first year of risk-based lending, a revalidation typically is performed every two years. Philadelphia (Pa.) FCU, which receives more than 10,000 consumer loan applications per year, implemented e-Revalidation. It reviewed 13,953 consumer transactions conducted during a 12-month period. Previously, the credit union had tested a random selection of total loan transactions. The Rochdale Group, based in Overland Park, Kan., provides services to more than 500 credit union entities nationwide.

Speaker update for CUNA Supervisory Comm.Audit Conference

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MADISON, Wis. (9/15/09)--The CUNA Supervisory Committee and Internal Audit Conference, Dec. 7-9 in Las Vegas, will focus on ways to help attendees perform their responsibilities as “watchdogs” of the credit union. They also will hear Denny Graham, a long-time credit union employee, present “I Can’t Believe I’ve Been At This Over 40 Years (And What I’ve Learned in the Process).” Graham worked as a teller, service representative, loan officer, branch manager, vice president and senior vice president at his credit union. Tim Harrington, certified public accountant, also will present a pre-conference workshop, “Supervisory Committee Fundamentals,” Dec. 5-6. Sessions include:
* Today’s Economy and the Risks for Your Credit Union; * Critical Importance of Your Role on the Supervisory Committee; * Current Compliance Issues: A Rundown of the Highest Priority Compliance Issues of the Year; * Is Data Leaking Out of Your Organization? * An Overview of Credit Risk; * How Does Your Auditor Become Your Best Friend? * Red Flags Workshop; * Credit Union Performance Metrics; * What to Pay Attention To in Information Technology Audits; * Mortgage Market Fraud and Its New Face in Light of the Current Economic Conditions; and * Understanding and Mitigating Risk: An Overview.

Wesabe Addison Avenue FCU deliver springboard app

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SAN FRANCISCO (9/14/09)--Addison Avenue FCU and Wesabe are partnering to offer the credit union’s members access to a customized version of the Wesabe Springboard Community Application, which was launched in March. The customized application for Addison Avenue provides members with a dashboard view of their account data and personal finances, guiding them toward value, savings and goal completion, and away from poor financial decisions. It also includes a community feature that lets members help each other by anonymously sharing advice, support and tips for getting the most value for their money. “In the current economic climate, it’s important to have someone to turn to for advice,” said Marc Hedlund, Wesabe CEO. Credit unions can implement Wesabe Springboard through a Web services architecture or through a fully hosted Web personal financial management solution. Wesabe works with .Net and Java. Addison Avenue FCU, Palo Alto, Calif., has more than $2.3 billion in assets. Wesabe is a money management tool.

CUNA Mutual introduces new liability insurance

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MADISON, Wis. (9/11/09)--CUNA Mutual Group has introduced Management and Professional Liability (MPL) insurance, a new policy designed to protect credit unions and the personal assets of their directors, officers, volunteers and employees from a growing number of litigation exposures related to operating a credit union. “Credit unions and their directors and officers face new risks in today's economic environment that can ultimately lead to increased lawsuits and significant losses,” said Chad Nitschke, CUNA Mutual vice president of Credit Union Protection. “In fact, legal defense costs can often exceed $100,000 before a trial even begins--an expense that could be devastating to an uninsured credit union in today’s economy, not to mention the financial impact to those who could be personally named in the lawsuit.” In 2009, the number of management liability claims reported to CUNA Mutual rose 72% compared with the same time period last year. Some of the key areas of expanding litigation risks for credit unions include:
* Collateral repossessions, loan defaults and foreclosures, all of which often lead to lender liability losses and potential suits against the board; * Credit union mergers, increasing exposure to lawsuits brought against the board; * Unemployment, historically an early indicator of employment practice suits; and * Focus on corporate governance, forcing the bar to be raised and making lawsuits against boards more likely.
The new MPL policy is offered as an alternative for credit unions renewing their Special Insurance Package on or after Jan. 1 in most states. MPL insurance provides protection from lawsuits arising from errors, omissions, misleading statements, breach of fiduciary duty and other management and services-related issues. The MPL coverages include:
* Management Liability--Protects the credit union and the personal assets of directors, officers, volunteers and employees against lawsuits related to management of the credit union; * Fiduciary Liability--Protects against breach of fiduciary duties including ERISA and errors in administering employee benefit plans including 401(k), pension, life insurance and heath insurance plans; * Professional Liability--Coverage for claims related to professional services and specified perils that are unique to credit unions such as shared branching, unfair or deceptive trade practices and deposit errors; * Lender Liability--Covers the credit union and staff against claims brought by borrowers for errors, misstatements, omissions, neglect or breach of duty connected with lending activities; and * Employment Practices Liability--Protects against alleged violations of federal, state, local or common law related to past, present or prospective employment by the credit union, such as allegations of discrimination, wrongful termination or workplace harassment.
MPL is part of CUNA Mutual’s Credit Union Protection insurance and risk management portfolio designed exclusively for credit unions to manage their financial, operational and personal risk exposures. The Credit Union Protection program includes:
* Bond; * Plastic Card; * Management and Professional Liability; * Property and Business Liability; * Business Auto; * Workers Compensation; and * Additional policies.

Connexus CU offers debt management tool

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WAUSAU, Wis. (9/11/09)--Connexus CU is offering its members access to a new, free online “Debt in Focus” tool. Users can enter their financial information into “Debt in Focus” anonymously and receive a summary of their debt totals, ratios, an estimated budget and a personal action plan to improve their credit profile and reduce debt. Connexus also is providing its members with their credit score range, and information about how the score is calculated, what it means and how to improve it. Connexus, Wausau, Wis., has more than $289 million in assets.

Consumers more willing to use PIN debit online

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ATLANTA (9/10/09)--Consumers are more willing to use their debit card and personal identification numbers (PIN) when paying online, according to a payment software solutions provider. About 56% to 60% of consumers that are presented with Acculynk’s Pay Secure solution choose to complete their purchase online with a PIN entry instead of processing the transaction as credit. Of the consumers that choose to process the transaction as credit, only 10% use the PIN pad, Acculynk said. A study by Acculynk also found that 80% of participants said they would use PaySecure when presented as a payment option. Consumers also viewed PaySecure as a more secure payment method, and 48% said they would purchase more often on the Internet if they could use PaySecure. “Usage could actually increase trust in the Internet purchasing process,” Acculynk said in a white paper, “PaySecure: Tracking to Become a Leading Online Payment Method.” About 79% of consumers also feel more secure using their debit card online with PaySecure than without, according to a Javelin Research survey. PaySecure was commercially introduced in March and included several online merchants and electronic funds transfer networks, including Credit Union 24. The solution was designed to mimic the PIN entry process at the retail point-of-sale by giving consumers the option of processing the transactions as debit or credit. Acculynk, based in Atlanta, provides software solutions for online transactions.

CUNA Mutual CO-OP automate fraud claims

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MADISON, Wis., and RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/9/09)--CUNA Mutual Group and CO-OP Financial Services are partnering on CUNA Mutual’s Claims Automation Service, which eliminates the need for credit unions to manually submit card fraud claims. Credit unions who partner with CO-OP and CUNA Mutual can participate. The service will automatically and securely transmit fraud claims data from CO-OP’s data processing system to CUNA Mutual’s claims processing system. It is expected to save an estimated 15-20 minutes of administrative burden per claim, streamline the data flow and eliminate misreporting caused by keying errors or missing data, CUNA Mutual said. Record growth in plastic card use and expanding applications are causing credit unions to experience greater operating costs and tasks related to managing plastic card fraud. Due to the large number of data breaches, the incidence of fraud continues to grow at a rapid rate. According to a 2008 study by CyberSource, $4 billion in online revenues were lost to payment fraud last year. A 2009 survey by the Association of Financial Professionals found that 71% experienced attempted or actual payments fraud in 2008, with the largest percentage reporting check fraud, followed by automated clearinghouse debit and consumer credit/debit cards. CO-OP Financial Services is a credit union service organization based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Products and Services brief (09/07/2009)

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* NORTH CANTON, Ohio (9/8/09)--ATM manufacturer Diebold visited the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary. To honor the occasion, Diebold President/CEO Thomas W. Swidarski rang the opening bell. He was accompanied by top-performing sales and service employees in the New York region. Diebold is headquartered in North Canton, Ohio ...

Open Solutions launches Veri-Fast to verify IDs

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GLASTONBURY, Conn. (9/8/09)--Open Solutions announced that Veri-Fast, a solution designed to quickly and securely identify accountholders at a teller station to avoid fraud, is now available. Open Solutions is a provider of integrated enabling technologies for financial services providers, including credit unions. Veri-Fast uses two-factor authentication to identify an accountholder at the teller line. When a member swipes an ATM/debit card and enters a personal identification number, the software retrieves the relationship profile. The profiles aim to prevent fraud. “Each year, fraud becomes more prevalent and results in significant losses,” said Dave Mitchell, Open Solutions senior vice president and chief marketing officer. About 20% to 35% of the $55 billion in operational losses incurred by financial institutions is due to fraud, according to a TowerGroup report in October 2008. Veri-Fast is available to financial institutions that run Open Solutions’ The Complete Credit Union Solution. Veri-Fast also can be integrated with other core platforms in demand.

SW Corporate has new Member Capture campaigns

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PLANO, Texas (9/4/09)--Southwest Corporate FCU announced the release of three customizable marketing campaigns that support its Member Capture remote deposit solution. The campaigns are: “Say Yes,” “Excuses” and “Whenever Wherever.” They emphasize convenience and time savings. The campaigns were developed by a team of credit union marketers from credit unions of all asset sizes. The corporate’s campaigns offer a poster, brochure, postcard, statement stuffers, web graphic, newsletter article, message script and radio script for each campaign. Credit unions can view and download materials from the Southwest Corporate website. Member Capture allows credit union members to deposit checks from home with a scanner, computer and access to the credit union’s online home banking service. Member Capture is a recent addition to Southwest Corporate’s remote deposit services (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 3).

Products and Services briefs (09/03/2009)

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* ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/4/09)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) announced that Range Inc. has enrolled in MnCUN’s Vendor Involvement Program (VIP). Range is a marketing services company specializing in creative solutions for credit unions. It also provides commercial printing services. The VIP provides organizations with an opportunity to work with MnCUN and increase their visibility among Minnesota credit unions. The program combines advertising, annual meeting packages and the opportunity to participate in MnCUN initiatives ... * WESTBROOK, Maine (9/4/09)--Synergent said it provided more than 30 credit union representatives with connections to their peers through a live hosting site at the 2009 Symitar Educational Conference and Technology Expo, held Aug. 25-26. The virtual format allowed attendees to share ideas and information without traveling. The conference featured breakout sessions for management, information technology and finance staff. Synergent is a subsidiary of the Maine Credit Union League ... * PORTLAND, Ore. (9/4/09)--CU Business Group, a business lending, deposit and consulting service for credit unions, hosted 130 attendees at its third annual national business services conference in Portland, Ore., last month. The theme was, “Navigating the Waters of Business Services.” The conference focused on the commercial real estate market and featured presentations about enhancing business sales efforts and relationships. CU Business Group President/CEO Larry Middleman also highlighted industry member business lending trends and benchmarks. The group’s next conference will be in the fall of 2010 in Portland ... * NORTH CANTON, Ohio (9/4/09)--ATM manufacturer Diebold Inc. said it will sell its election systems business for $5 million in cash--plus future cash payments representing 70% of cash collected on outstanding accounts as of Aug. 31--to Election Systems and Software. Diebold’s election systems business mainly consists of Premier Election Solutions Inc. in Allen, Texas. Diebold entered the U.S. election systems business when it purchased Global Election Systems in January 2002. Since then, the company has identified the business as non-core to its operations and has pursued strategic alternatives to ownership, including divestiture ...

CO-OPs annual THINK Conference set for April

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/3/09)--CO-OP Financial Services’ annual THINK Conference is set for April 18-21 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Reservations for the conference are already being accepted. Registration will be free again this year, CO-OP said. “With the THINK Conference, we look very carefully at the issues facing the credit union industry and look for speakers with remarkable success stories to tell with lessons credit unions can make immediately actionable,” said Stan Hollen, CO-OP president/CEO. Past THINK speakers include Steve Woznick of Apple; Scott Bedbury of Nike; Peter Schutz of Porsche; and Ken Schmidt of Harley Davidson. Speakers for the 2010 conference will be announced this month. CO-OP Financial Services provides products and services to credit unions including ATM access, debit processing, ATM processing, shared branching, check imaging and mobile payments.

CU24 has a growth spurt

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/3/09)--Credit Union 24, a credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale network, announced that six credit unions recently joined the network. The credit unions are:
* Lion’s Share FCU, Salisbury, N.C.; * Ashtabula County School Employee CU (ACSE), Ashtabula, Ohio; * Mint Valley FCU, Longview, Wash.; * Enfield (Conn.) Community FCU; * Radford (Va.) Pipe Shop Employees FCU; and * Family Savings FCU, Gadsden, Ala.
Lion’s Share FCU joined the network because its members are located throughout Southeastern U.S., according to John McGrail, Lion’s Share CEO. “Lion’s Share FCU represents a work force that has significant presence in the Southeast region,” McGrail said. “The credit union is experiencing incredible growth as it embraces the challenge of catering to a geographically dispersed membership.” ACSE CU signed on to the network because of its large tourist population. Visitors who are members of CU 24 participating credit unions can use ACSE CU’s ATMs, said Mike Riesterer, CEO of the credit union. CU 24, Tallahassee, Fla., offers credit union members with access to more than 100,000 ATMs nationwide.

CUs give Verafin high marks for BSA compliance

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MADISON, Wis. (9/2/09)--Roughly 90% of Verafin’s credit union clients would recommend the CUNA Strategic Service provider’s anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud detection solutions to other credit unions, according to a survey. Verafin, which offers credit unions AML, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and fraud detection programs, recently conducted a satisfaction survey of 178 clients. Credit unions said they were “very likely” or “likely” to recommend Verafin. Credit unions cited Verafin’s functionality, interface with core systems, customer service and support as top reasons. Credit unions also said Verafin’s support staff and trainers are easy to understand, and Verafin’s solutions are user-friendly. “BSA account monitoring was not really possible under our old system,” said Judith Murdoch, associate vice president of compliance and security at University of Illinois Employees CU, Champaign, Ill. “We were building reports and spreadsheets to try and see what our members were doing, but we had no way to do so efficiently. Verafin allows us to see the complete picture for each member and allows us to keep our eye on those members who reveal inconsistencies.” University of Illinois Employees CU has $197 million in assets.

Supervisory CommitteeAudit Conference addresses hot topics

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MADISON, Wis. (9/2/09)--The CUNA Supervisory Committee and Internal Audit Conference, scheduled for Dec. 6-9 in Las Vegas, will cover hot topics including mortgage market fraud, compliance issues and identity theft, says the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). At the conference, E. Michael Thomas, executive in charge of Crowe Horwath LLP, will present “Mortgage Market Fraud and Its New Face in Light of the Current Economic Conditions.” He will discuss mortgage loan fraud statistics, loan document misrepresentation and mortgage-loan fraud schemes. Crowe Horwath is an accounting and management consulting firm. Eileen Iles, certified public accountant (CPA) with Crowe Horwath, will host a red flags workshop to explain how credit unions can handle the complications of identity theft prevention programs, red flag rules and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Credit union representatives also can attend sessions focusing on data protection and compliance. Torpey White, CPA, will present “Is Data Leaking Out of Your Organization?” Woody Hodgdon, a credit union compliance expert, will discuss compliance problems in “Current Compliance Issues: A Rundown of the Highest Priority Compliance Issues of the Year.” A pre-conference workshop Dec. 5-6 will focus on the fundamentals of being a supervisory committee team member. For more information, use the link.