ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – ePSCU, the e-commerce unit of PSCU, a credit/debit/EFT CUSO owned by 510 CUs, held its first-ever Internet Forum recently. Just a year old, ePSCU, which offers e-com products such as electronic bill payment, has 150 CU clients. "ePSCU is very much for real and here to stay," said PSCU President/CEO Dave Serlo. After Serlo's kick-off, Katy Slater, vice president of consumer information services with research firm NFO World Group Financial Services, challenged attendees to find out who their new competitors are. She said online firms like E*TRADE are now a legitimate competitor for CUs. The firm recently made a deal with Oracle to offer its 6,000 employees in Redwood, Calif., financial services. Oracle's HR department now includes E*TRADE material in its employee packets. "Doesn't that sound like a credit union to you?" said Slater. E*TRADE is also partnering with retailer Target to open financial service centers in Target stores. This gets the mostly virtual E*TRADE a physical presence. Sears, Wal-Mart and other retailers are now offering "generic" co-branded MasterCard products, where in years past these cards were only for purchases at the retailer's store. Competition can come from just about anywhere. Slater said DePaul University has opened That university happens to be served by a CU.

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