ALEXENDRIA, Va. -- Today, Sarah Vega will start in her position as chief of staff and senior policy adviser to the NCUA Chairman Michael E. Fryzel.
Fryzel announced Vega's appoint on Sept. 3. Vega will advise Fryzel on the full range of issues before the NCUA and oversee the day-to-day management of his office.
"Sarah Vega will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role. I am very pleased that she has chosen to continue her public service in this capacity, and I am confident that she will be a tremendous asset to me and my efforts as NCUA chairman," Fryzel said.
Vega has 15 years of public service experience in Illinois and experience in the private practice of law. She served four years as director of the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions and 10 years as administrator of the department's credit union division. She also worked as a regulatory attorney for the department.
Prior to her work at the department, she was as an enforcement attorney in the Securities Department of the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State. Vega also previously served as chairman of NASCUS, as a member of the board of directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and is a member of the Illinois Bar.
Allpoint Coming to 7-Eleven Stores
BETHESDA, Md. -- Many credit union members will soon have not one but two surcharge-free options in many of the nation's convenience stores.
Allpoint Network, the nationwide ATM network that provides ATM access surcharge free to the cardholder in exchange for a fee from the card issuer, will move into more than 5,500 ATMs in 7-Eleven stores around the country.
"The addition of 7-Eleven demonstrates Allpoint's commitment to enhancing value for the member institution and convenience for the cardholder," said Ben Psillas, founder/president of Allpoint. "The integration of ATMs at these outlets brings another premium set of locations that we own through our parent company, Cardtronics."
The move brings Allpoint into the same space that is already served by CO-OP Network and leaves some credit unions participating in both with two surcharge-free options for their members in that space.
"Credit unions in those situations are going to have to decide how they want to route those transactions," said Psillas. "I expect there will be advantages for some to route them using Allpoint and for others to use the CO-OP."
CO-OP Network, itself a subsidiary of CO-OP Financial Services, offers both surcharge-free withdrawals and deposit services through the 7-Eleven ATMs owned by Cardtronics.
Psillas attributed the relatively slow pace of Allpoint's arrival in 7-Eleven stores to the slow pace of working with the convenience store chain.
"Cardtronics owns the machines but not the space they're in," Psillas said. "All of that needs to be negotiated and arranged and that just takes time."
But Jim Hanisch, executive vice president for CO-OP estimated that some of the problem might have had to do with Allpoint's pricing formula, which locks in a relatively fixed income stream no matter how many ATM transactions might be made.
"Allpoint's pricing model is that the credit union, somehow, makes the surcharge for the cardholder," Hanisch pointed out. "We expect that adding that number of new machines has likely increased the number of transactions that are covered by these already negotiated agreements" thus increasing the transaction cost the network faces without the possibility of increasing income until sometime later
He also stressed that CO-OP stood by the deposit taking that its member credit unions can do through the 7-Eleven machines as well as CO-OP's roots as a CUSO formed to help credit union's compete with banks.
Credit unions have a choice between strengthening the credit union brand and contributing to Allpoint's, he email@example.com