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From the October-01, 2008 issue of Credit Union Times Magazine • Subscribe!
Debt Rises, Delinquencies Fall
CHICAGO -- Cardholders continued to add to their overall card balances in the second quarter, but card delinquencies continued to drop according to one of the nation's big three credit bureaus.<p>TransUnion reported that average credit card debt nationally rose 2.63% to $1,717, up from $1,673 and 8.6% from the second quarter of 2007. The highest states for average credit card balances were Alaska ($2,494), Tennessee ($2,109) and Alabama ($2,015). The lowest card balances were in Iowa ($1,281), North Dakota ($1,318) and South Dakota ($1,388).</p><p>Credit card balances rose the fastest in the second quarter in Washington, D.C., Alaska and Tennessee, TransUnion said.</p><p>But as debt rose, the the number of delinquencies continued to drop.</p><p>Nationally, the ratio of credit card borrowers delinquent on one or more of their credit cards declined to 1.04% in the second quarter of 2008, down 12.6% over the previous quarter, TransUnion reported.</p><p>But TransUnion reported that on a year-over-year basis, the national delinquency rate has risen 14.3% from 0.91% in the second quarter of 2007. Delinquencies were highest in Nevada (1.72%), followed by Florida (1.34%) and Mississippi (1.30%).</p><p> </p><p><strong>Calif. CU Adopts No Envelope ATMs</strong></p><p>WOODLAND, Calif. -- The $171 million Yolo Federal Credit Union has announced that it will complete conversion of its seven ATMs to be envelope-free by Sept. 30.</p><p>"Yolo Federal Credit Union continues to implement technology that not only improves service levels and convenience for our members, but is environmentally friendly. These new machines have the potential to save 1,000 trees per year as well as reduce unnecessary waste," said Jenee Rawlings, vice president lending and support services.</p><p>The CU, which is a member of CO-OP Network, did not disclose the ATM manufacturer but said the envelope-free ATMs are equipped with image-capture technology that allows bulk processing of both checks and cash.</p><p>The machines will accept and magnetically read checks and provide high-quality secure images of the item on the receipt. Cash is inserted into a designated slot. The ATM scans the deposit, asks for verification, and provides a receipt with a summary of the transaction. Not only do these new machines result in greater efficiency and higher security, members will benefit from reduced hold times on deposits made at the ATM, the CU said.</p><p> </p><p><strong>CO-OP to Make Investment in ATMs Signs</strong></p><p>RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.-- CO-OP Financial Services will invest millions of dollars over the next three years to help credit unions participating in its surcharge-free CO-OP Network brand their ATMs with a prominent CO-OP logo.</p><p>The CUSO has announced that it will pick up to $400 of the cost of adding the backlit signs on plastic displays for walk-up machines and banner signs for some drive-up machines.</p><p>"Given that over 70% of network ATM volume occurs at credit union-owned ATM locations, helping members find the thousands of CO-OP Network surcharge-free ATMs nationwide boldly illustrates that credit unions have more ATMs than any bank," said CO-OP Financial Services CEO Stan Hollen. "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. Their credit union is not only better, but more convenient."</p><p>CO-OP is recommending that credit unions that accept the help on the signs put the CO-OP logo on the upper right corner of the sign, opposite a significantly larger credit union logo on the upper left.</p><p>Jim Hanisch, executive vice president network operations and corporate development, acknowledged that it was the cost of the backlit plastic platform that hikes the cost to around $400 and said that the CUSO was committed to spending the millions of dollars it might take to make the change.</p><p>"If we had our way, all machines affiliated with us would accept the offer and carry the logo," Hanisch said. "That's unlikely to happen of course, but we expect this offer will be particularly popular with credit unions that are changing names and there is a lot of that these days."</p><p> </p><p><strong>Carolina Trust FCU Moves Back to PSCU</strong></p><p>ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The $143 million Carolina Trust Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Myrtle Beach, S.C. will move its signature debit and credit card programs back to PSCU after having been away for a number of years.</p><p>PSCU is the payment processing CUSO for more than 500 credit unions that process their card programs with Denver-based First Data Corp.</p><p>"After trying another provider for debit and credit, we returned to PSCU Financial Services because of its exceptional member service and competitive pricing," said Jerry Miller, CEO of Carolina Trust. "As a member-owned cooperative ourselves, we understand the value of doing business with other member-focused organizations." </p><p>He added that the credit union plans to implement business bill payment from the cooperative in the future.</p><p>The move brings 6,000 credit accounts and 16,000 signature debit accounts to PSCU. Carolina Trust FCU had used Fidelity National Information Services until recently..</p><p>"About six years ago, before Certegy became FIS, we went with them because we more or less got a lot of promises that never quite panned out," Miller explained. "So after our contract was up with them we decided to look at our old partner and see if changing back would make sense."</p><p> </p><p><strong>CO-OP Improves ATM Content Service</strong></p><p>RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- The latest version of CO-OP Network's popular ATM content manager includes the ability to work with older generations of ATMs, CO-OP's parent CUSO has announced.</p><p>"Many ATMs in the marketplace are not yet Windows-based and are running older OS/2 code," says Kathy Herziger, vice president of product development for CO-OP Financial Services.</p><p>"Our newest version of ATM content manager is compatible not only with the newer Windows-based machines but also with these older machines. This type of extended functionality positions our credit unions to customize the member experience on all devices regardless of the base operating system."</p><p>"Changing screens on any new or legacy ATM can be a lengthy, costly process, but ATM content manager allows credit unions to easily control and create their own marketing campaigns via graphics and now text for older ATMs."</p><p>ATM content manager is a Web-based tool for credit unions seeking to remotely create, manage and deliver ATM screen messages on demand. It's designed to reduce costs and daily operational hassles while integrating the credit union brand and targeted messages into ATM delivery channels.</p><p>"Our ATM content manager tool has received rave reviews during the past year-and-a-half," says Herziger. "Now everybody can use their ATM screens to cross sell products and services and complement their overall marketing strategies."</p><p>Tony Rasmussen, senior vice president of electronic services at Mountain America Credit Union in Utah, which has been using ATM Content Manager on their 80 ATMs since January 2007, said the product gives their credit union "the best of both worlds" in terms of convenience and efficiency.</p><p>"There's a perception among some credit unions that if you outsource a service, you end up losing some of the control of the end product, but that is not the case at all with ATM content manager," said Rasmussen. "ATM content manager is one of the easiest products to use, by allowing us to download and customize the marketing materials with a few simple clicks.</p><p>"Our members look to us as a leader in new technology. With ATM content manager, even with our older ATMs, our members can look at attractive content, not just the plain color screens. Things like that really make a difference for our members." </p><p> </p><p><strong>CSCU Wins Award From CUES</strong></p><p>ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Card Services for Credit Unions has been recognized by the Credit Union Executives Society as its supplier of the year.</p><p>The CUES Web site, www.cues.org, said nominees for the award are judged on their contributions to the credit union industry, the benefits of their product or service to the movement, their role in the community and their achievements in the industry.</p><p>In letters of recommendation for the award, CEOs from the $503 million Purdue Credit Union and the $528 million Directions Credit Union praised CSCU for its efforts on behalf of its member credit unions.</p><p>"CSCU continues to set themselves apart, even from similar organizations providing what on the surface seem to be similar services," wrote Directions CEO Barry Shaner. "I don't believe any organization has done more over the past several years to help all credit unions see the value of their credit card portfolio to their members, and to their bottom line."</p><p> </p><p> </p>
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