Credit Union Times Magazine April-13, 2005

In Other News

  • MILESTONES

    Spokane Federal Credit Union, Wash., employees Dick Blain and Liz Mashtare have recently hit major service milestones. Blain has served the credit union for 25 years and Mashtare is celebrating her fifth anniversary with Spokane FCU. SAFE Federal Credit Union, Sumter, S.C., has cut the cake on its 50th anniversary....

  • DONATIONS

    Municipal Employees Credit Union, Baltimore, Md., staffers have once again donated their time to help Maryland Public Television(MPT). Some 29 MECU staffers volunteered to answer phones during MPT's spring pledge drive. This year, over $25,000 was raised during the period that MECU answered the phones. MECU has been a long...

News

  • First Step: Uncover Existing Data

    As is the case with many credit unions, USA FCU didn't really have an adequate grip on the flood of information about its card transactions that regularly flowed from its third-party card processing firm, whom Cunningham would not identify. One of the first things Asset Exchange did was to analyze...

  • PSCU Financial Gives Out Millions of Points

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - PSCU Financial Services, the card processing cooperative that serves over 500 credit unions which process their card transactions with First Data Corp., has released millions of rewards points to winners of its second annual sweepstakes. CURewards Sweepstakes is designed to boost activity for credit unions' credit...

  • Card Delinquencies Down ABA Report Says

    WASHINGTON - A report from the American Bankers Association has found that consumers' credit card delinquencies, in terms of percentage of total balances outstanding and the number of accounts more than 30 days delinquent fell to its lowest point in ten years for a fourth quarter. Based on the number...

  • Citi, mtvU Set Sights on Young Adult Market

    NEW YORK - Credit unions beware -apparently the Citi never sleeps when it comes to targeting young adults. Citi cards has teamed up with mtvU to co-launch the Citi mtvU Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students. The partnership is a joint program where cardholders can save points for exclusive...

  • CU Groups Fight Back on Conversions

    Credit union-to-bank conversions have credit union leaders scrambling to find ways to prevent them, while advocates say CUs deserve charter choices. Read all about it on page 10.

  • Wescom CU Found Strong Success in 2004 Rewarding Card Accounts

    PASADENA, Calif. - The $3 billion Wescom Credit Union had a problem in the middle of 2004. Its credit card program, 38,000 cards and $84 million strong in March of the year, had begun to slow sharply. "We had been in the habit of offering card promotions at the end...

  • Boston ATM Users Miss Stamps

    BOSTON - Despite the axiom that most ATM users only want money from their ATMs, Bank of America is reporting taking phone calls from ATM users in the Boston area who had been used to Fleet bank ATMs which offer stamps. The same machines, now run by Bank of America,...

  • Special Report: Credit/Debit/ATMs

    USA FCU found out its credit card portfolio is more valuable than it knew. Read about that and other credit/debit/ATM news in the special report on pages 22-26.

  • Despite Competition, CO-OP Network Keeps On Growing

    ARLINGTON, Va. - Despite the wide variety of local and national ATM network options available CO-OP Network, the credit union owned ATM and EFT network, remains the single largest and most recognized credit union ATM brand. After the purchase of the PULSE EFT Association by Discover, CO-OP Network became the...

  • MasterCard Applies For Greater Role in Corporate Taxes

    PURCHASE, N.Y. - MasterCard has taken a step to make itself more attractive to corporate customers by making it easier for them to meet their tax related obligations. The number two card brand has applied with the Internal Revenue Service to become a qualified payment card agent (QPCA), a status...

  • MasterCard Wins on Chargeback Case

    PURCHASE, N.Y. - In a possibly precedent setting decision, MasterCard International has convinced a Federal Court to dismiss allegations that its policy of assessing additional charges on merchants who have an excessive number of chargebacks on their MasterCard accounts is illegal. MasterCard lawyers say the win may influence two other...

  • For KeyCorp, ATM Growth Within the Niche Unlocks the Door

    ALBANY, N.Y. - When the $387 million Sunmark FCU signed with KeyCorp to give its members surcharge-free access to 290 ATMs in New York State in early April, the credit union validated both KeyCorp's ongoing surcharge-free ATM strategy as well as a change in focus in how the bank markets...

  • Members Win Out in Card Sweepstakes

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - William and Sherry Pousson, members of the $75 million LA DOTD Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were the two grand prize winners in Certegy Card Services "A Million and More ScorecCard Bonus Point Giveaway," the card processing firm and credit union announced. The...

  • One Credit Union Discovers that Portfolio Evaluation Doesn't Always Mean Sale

    ARLINGTON, Va. - The current market for credit union credit card portfolios is so competitive and premiums for those portfolios rumored to be so high that many institutions presume that if they have their portfolio evaluated for marketability they will almost surely sell it. Well, not necessarily. Sometimes an evaluation...

  • Discover Spin-off Will Not Affect Pulse

    HOUSTON - There could be more new bosses at Discover, the parent company that merged with the formerly member owned Pulse Debit network. A press release from the financial firm of Morgan Stanley says the company plans to spin Discover off to its shareholders The Pulse ATM and EFT Association...

  • PULSE Attacked By Phishing Scam

    HOUSTON - The PULSE Debit network, now a subsidiary of Discover, has been attacked by a phishing scam. On March 21, the EFT and ATM network became aware of an e-mail circulating to consumers that told consumers to visit a site that resembled a PULSE site and, once there, to...

  • Elan Takes Another

    BOSTON - Elan Financial Services has purchased the credit card portfolio of the $55 million Bellco FCU, headquartered in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, announced Kessler Financial, the firm which brokered the sale. The purchase brings Elan a $1.5 million portfolio with just over 1,000 accounts, according to NCUA records as of September...

  • Credit Unions Present $413K Check to CMN

    WASHINGTON-Credit union officials from around the country came to the nation's capital to attend the ceremonial presentation of the giant check from the proceeds of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run to the Children's Miracle Network. The $413,000 check presented at Children's National Medical Center March 31 was an...

  • On-Site Coverage: 33rd Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run

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  • Tower Report Urges Card Issuers to Seek Out Small Business

    NEEDHAM, Mass. - Credit union credit card issuers can benefit by offering small business cards to their members who have small or even micro businesses, according to a report from the Tower Group, a consulting firm on card practices. Small Business Credit Cards in the US: High-Growth Segment or Limited...

News Briefs

  • Educational Community CU Revamps Name

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - At 70, Educational Community Credit Union has changed its name to Community First Credit Union of Florida. "Our new name expresses who we are, our values and our priorities. It reflects our current field of membership and reinforces that everyone in the Northeast Florida area can benefit...

  • Hanley Elected to CFA Board

    SANTA ANA, Calif. - Rudy Hanley, president/CEO, Orange County Teachers FCU, has been elected to the board of directors of the Consumer Federation of America by the organization's membership. Hanley was elected to a three-year term on the 40-member CFA board at the annual meeting March 12. He joins five...

  • NAFCU Names Chanow Director of Political Affairs

    ARLINGTON, Va.-NAFCU recently divided up its legislative and political affairs departments and has called on veteran lobbyist Murray Chanow to head up the political division. Brad Thaler, who was previously director of both offices, will remain the director of legislative affairs. Chanow previously headed up the legislative and political affairs...

  • OSI Acquires SOSystems for $11 Million

    GLASTONBURY, Conn. - Data processor Open Solutions Inc. continues its string of acquisitions in the credit union industry. The company announced last week that it will acquire credit union data processor SOSystems based in Orem, Utah for $11 million in cash. SOSystems has 120 credit union clients across the United...

  • Bank Fund Staff FCU Cited by OFAC

    WASHINGTON- Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control recently cited Bank Fund Staff Federal Credit Union in Washington, D.C. under its Iran sanctions program. The violation, involving the "operation of Iranian accounts" from 1998-2000, resulted in a $14,000 settlement with OFAC for the $1.9 billion credit union. According to Bank Fund...

  • Ohio CUs Help Investment Firm Grow

    CINCINNATI - Financial Network Group has grown to become one of Cincinnati's largest investment advisory firms, thanks to Ohio credit unions. Launched in 1991, the firm has grown to $57 million in assets and generates about $4 million in revenue each year, said Nathan Bachrach and Ed Finke, managing partners...

  • Tax on CUs Would Forever Alter Industry Motives, Navy's Dawson Says

    WASHINGTON-Navy Federal Credit Union President and CEO Cutler Dawson told the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform that a tax on credit unions is a tax on those who can least afford it. In fact, his March 16 comment letter stated, "One of the primary goals of the President's...

Marketing

  • Michigan CUL Rallies for Exchange City CU Survival

    NORTHVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Exchange City - it's a kids world and the Michigan Credit Union League wants to make sure credit unions are still a part of it. Not wanting credit unions here to miss a unique opportunity in reaching younger members, the league is asking Michigan credit unions...

  • Langley FCU Launches Member Education Division

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Langley Federal Credit Union is dedicated to financial literacy and has named Richard Hill director of member education. According to Langley FCU President/CEO Jean Yokum, the move to create the education position came from increased consumer demand. Over the past year, Langley has performed hundreds of...

  • Navy Federal Takes Home Marketing Honors

    VIENNA, Va.- Service Industry Advertising (SIA) and Dalton Pen has honored Navy Federal Credit Union for creative excellence in the field of advertising and communications content. Navy Federal was honored by the SIAA with five awards: two Gold Awards for its Television Spot and 2004 Pocket Calendar; silver award for...

  • Members CU New Checking Promo Delivers Cash

    WINSTON SALEM, N.C. - A recent Members Credit Union checking promotion has given one member about 250 reasons why it pays to be member. Connie Baggett has won $250 during the Members CU The Buck$ Start Here promotion. Designed to encourage members to sign up for the credit union's no...

  • Dupaco Community CU Annual Report Big News

    DUBUQUE, Iowa - Dupaco Community Credit Union has turned its annual report into another opportunity to demonstrate the credit union difference. Designed in a unique color newspaper format the 2004 annual report has been inserted into popular local newspaper the Dubuque Telegraph Herald and distributed to more than 37,000 tri-state...

Tech Bytes

  • Fiserv Acquires Del Mar Database

    BROOKFIELD, Wis. - As part of its strategy to provide end-to-end solutions to the mortgage industry, Fiserv has acquired Del Mar Database, San Diego, a provider of automation systems for small-to-mid-sized residential mortgage lenders. While Fiserv is already a significant provider of information technology products and services to the lending...

  • Grossmont Schools FCU Cites Tech Tools for Swift Growth

    EL CAJON, Calif. - Grossmont Schools Federal Credit Union offers its 5,200 or so members such services as e-statements, home banking and even single sign-on bill pay, all with one office and 16 employees. The $70 million, single-sponsor CU has been getting its online service tools in a service bureau...

  • DI Wins Billion Dollar CU New Client, Extension

    SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Star One Credit Union has extended its online banking contract with Digital Insight through 2008. The $2.8 billion CU, the largest in Silicon Valley, deploys the Internet banker's entire consumer suite, including transactions and balances, bill pay and presentment, online statements, check imaging and alerts, as well...

  • Canadian Core Processor, Phone Giant Partner on Service Bureau Offer

    VANCOUVER, B.C. - Fincentric, a provider of core retail banking solutions, has joined with TELUS, the telecommunications giant, to offer Canadian credit unions of any size the core processing solutions in a service bureau setting. "With Bank by Wire, we are combining our partner's proven self-serve banking technology with TELUS'...

  • IntegraSys Named to Dallas-Fort Worth List of 50 Best Places to Work

    FRISCO, Texas - IntegraSys has been named one of the 50 "best places to work in Dallas-Fort Worth" by the Dallas Business Journal. The publication produces the list each year based on such areas of employee satisfaction as leadership confidence, manager support and peer collaboration. This year the list will...

  • $1 Million Iowa CU First to Use New HFS Platform

    FORT DODGE, Iowa - Gas & Electric Employees Credit Union here is the first to use Harland Financial Solutions' new hosted core processing solution. The $1.1 million, 333-member CU is now on the CuServ Evolution-ASP platform delivered through Harland's Enterprise Service Center in Des Moines. "Outsourcing our data processing provides...

  • COCC Reports Record Growth in First Quarter of 2005

    AVON, Conn. - COCC says it had its best quarter ever, signing 38 new service agreements with 26 financial institutions in the first three months of 2005. The agreements cover a range of services, including core processing, financial management, branch image capture and risk management. Six of those agreements were...

  • Wisconsin Credit Union Named in Computerworld Honors Program

    SAN FRANCISCO - Marinette County Employees Credit Union was one of 10 Progress Software Corp. customers named Laureates in the 2005 Computerworld Honors 21st Century Achievement Awards program. The $14 million Wisconsin CU was nominated for reducing its monthly costs by 25% through its use of Progress Software tools deployed...

Opinion

  • Managing in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

    Managing interest rate risk will become a critical strategic objective for most credit unions as the economy continues to grow and interest rates continue to increase. The good news so far in this improving economy is that even as interest rates have been heading up, they are still affordable. However,...

People

  • EAST

    Maine Credit Union League, Westbrook, has named Lee Schatz Synergent account executive for Maine credit unions and Jennifer Grenier Synergent account executive for other New England credit unions. Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, Lowell, Mass., has announced the following new hires: Susan Gruber vice president/chief financial officer; James Reddy assistant vice...

  • SOUTH

    Dow Louisiana Federal Credit Union, Plaquemine, has promoted David Blazier to vice president of marketing and Mary Coghlan to vice president of human resources. Missouri Credit Union Association, St. Louis, has named Larry Deutsch director of communications. Volunteer Corporate Credit Union, Nashville, Tenn., has promoted Karla Donley to vice president...

  • WEST

    Global Credit Union, Spokane, Wash., has named Eric Sprink senior vice president of member business services. Kitsap Credit Union, Bremerton, Wash., has named Arlene Work training manager and Jennifer Wiberg real estate loan officer.

  • MIDWEST

    Toledo Area Community Credit Union, Sylvania, Ohio, has promoted Kim Dubendorfer to director of human resources. Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, St. Paul, Minn., has promoted Kathleen Harrington to director of operations. Bayer Federal Credit Union, Elkhart, Ind., has named Thomas A. Smith vice president of business services.

Letters to the editor

  • Discover, the Credit Union Card Brand?

    Morgan Stanley recently announced that it plans to spin off its Discover Financial Services unit, the parent of Discover Card. The valuation is estimated at about $14 billion, with 50 million cards outstanding. This presents a unique opportunity to the credit union industry to create a consortium, perhaps part CUSO,...

  • Ban the "B" Word?

    Dick Ensweiler's lecture to CU marketers about using the term "BANK" may have been sincere in his desire to depict credit unions as "different", but it was hardly inspiring or practical. When it comes to the products and services we offer credit union members, we are "banks" in the public...

  • Credit Union to Bank Conversions Should Be Easier!

    But wait . before you start sending out any pipe bombs, let me explain! I, like most readers of Credit Union Times, have been reading about the growing (or at least the appearance of a growing) trend of credit union to bank conversion attempts (See publisher Mike Welch's March 30th...

Publisher's Column

  • CUNA Chairman Thinks Bank is a Four-Letter Word

    CUNA Chairman Dick Ensweiler, who in real life is CEO of the Texas CU League, has been popping up as a featured speaker at credit union meetings around the country where he urges his audiences to avoid the word bank at all costs. Only he puts it a bit stronger...

Staking Out the Stats

  • Staking Out the Stats

    As April 15 quickly approaches, a recent survey of American taxpayers finds that while 62% are aware that the Internal Revenue Service accepts credit cards to pay their federal income taxes only 1% plan to do so. According to the study commissioned by market research firm Ipsos-Insight, Americans are extremely...

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