The $1 billion credit union said in 2007 it became the 10th largest SBA lender in the commonwealth, the top SBA credit union lender in Massachusetts and the 10th most active credit union in the country for the fiscal year ending September 2007.
The SBA has renewed Greylock's preferred lending status, which means the credit union can continue its practice of approving SBA loans with no additional reviews by government underwriters and enabling it to give faster loan approvals to small companies in Berkshire County, Greylock said.
In 2007,Greylock approved 37 SBA-supported loans. So far this year, the credit union has approved 23 loans.
Merchants Still Beating
Drum in Interchange Fight
WASHINGTON -- Retailers pushing for a legislative cap on card interchange continue to point to higher gas prices as reasons the federal government should lower interchange rates.
In a recent flier, the Merchant Payments Coalition suggested that cutting card interchange is the only way to quickly and effectively cut the per gallon price of gasoline.
"With one shining exception, every idea for slashing gas prices either takes too long or is very controversial," the merchants wrote. "For example, Americans will save three and a half cents per gallon from drilling in ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge]--but only by 2027. And a federal gas tax 'holiday' would only temporarily, if noticeably, reduce gas prices," the MPC wrote.
"Interchange fees are set in secret by the credit card industry; the card industry can charge $2 to $3 per fill up in these fees on every gallon of gas bought with a credit card," the coalition continued.
The MPC did not mention that Visa has capped interchange from gasoline sales or that service station had already begun offering lower priced gas to consumers who wanted to use cash. The organization also added a picture to the flier of a man dressed in business clothing pumping gas with a large screw through his back.
Altier Credit Union Grabs
The Spotlight With Free Gas
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Altier Credit Union has got residents here buzzing about their new promotion.
The credit union is giving its existing and new members a chance to win "gas for a year".
The promotion runs from July 15 through Sept. 15 and will culminate in a drawing, awarding one member $3,000 and two second chance winners $300 and $200.
Everyone who opens an Altier CU checking account during the two-month period will qualify to enter in the drawing.
"We look forward to helping three of our members beat the high price of gas," said Altier CU Senior Vice President Rico Bautista. "Not only will they benefit at the pump, but they'll join the rest of our members who benefit from our free checking and extensive personal service."
The grand prize is based on 15,000 annual mileage, 21 mpg and $4 per gallon cost of gasoline.
Card Consultant Program
Posts Strong Results
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- CSCU member credit unions that make use of an association card performance program show much stronger results than those who do not, according to statistics the card association has released.
Card Services for Credit Unions is the association of 3,300 credit unions that process their card transactions with Fidelity National Information Systems. CSCU members have a collective portfolio of 13 million Visa and MasterCard accounts.
CSCU reported that after renovating and re-launching its Virtual Card Consultant in May 2007, member credit unions that started using the program reported a 4.42% increase in the their overall number of cards and an 2.71% increase in their number of active card accounts.
By contrast, CSCU member credit unions which did not use the program saw their number of accounts overall drop by 2.51% and their number of active accounts drop by 1.32%.
The metrics tracking volume, revenue and total outstanding accounts were impressive as well.
The credit unions that used the VCC increased their total volume of card transactions by 5.55%, their card revenue by 7.01% and their total outstanding accounts by 9.87%. Those that did not use the VCC saw their total card transaction volume only increase by 0.54%, total card revenue by 0.77% and total outstanding balances by only 3.95%
"Each month, the VCC gathers and interprets card transaction data and turns it into easy-to-understand information," CSCU wrote when making the announcement. "The VCC even recommends proven penetration, activation, usage and retention strategies. For example, if increasing outstanding balances would generate the most additional revenue, it might suggest a balance transfer promotion as a quick way to close the gap."
Lending Solutions to Offer
Free Webinars on Service
ELGIN, Ill. -- Lending Solutions Inc. will host two free Webinars on offering around the clock service to members.
The sessions will take place at 10:30 a.m. CDT on Aug. 27 and Sept. 10. A real-time demonstration of LSI's 24/7 solution will also be featured.
"Providing quality 24/7 service is more important than ever," said Jeff Frantz, senior vice president at LSI. "All of the industry research points to convenience and hours as leading factors for Gen Y members in choosing their financial institution."
To sign up for the free Webinars, visit www. lendingsolutions.webex.com or contact Bill Hultstrand at email@example.com.
Charter Oak FCU Debuts
Nonprofit Tailored Account
GROTON, Conn. -- Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has launched an interest-bearing checking account targeted at nonprofit organizations.
The account features free bill pay, home banking options, unlimited transactions and no monthly service fees, according to the $601 million credit union. The new product aims to provide nonprofits such as religious and educational organizations, service groups, labor unions and employee associations with another way to handle their finances.
Charter Oak FCU serves nearly 88,000 members.
Langley FCU President/CEO
Celebrates His 55th Year
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- On Aug. 31, Langley Federal Credit Union President/CEO Jean M. Yokum will celebrate her 55th year at the CU.
"The Langley FCU board of directors is delighted that Jean has achieved this milestone," said Langley Board Chairman Rich Biege. "She is a consummate leader and Langley's growth and reputation is a clear example."
Yokum started at Langley in 1953 as a teller and became president/CEO in 1979.
Prepaid Gift Card
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Xtend Inc. has chosen Member Access Pacific as its prepaid gift card and reloadable card solution partner.
Through the partnership, Xtend will market Member Access Pacific prepaid and reloadable cards to its 165 credit union clients. The cards will be available in September.
Xtend is a financial services CUSO. Seattle-based Member Access Pacific provides card processing and ATM services to credit unions.