OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – U.S. Central’s Corporate Network eCom unit is now offering natural person CUs a middleware product for the Summit Systems and Symitar Systems core processing systems. Corporate Network eCom will be utilizing corporate CUs to market the product to credit unions. The solution, called MemberBridge, was originally developed by Open Financial Solutions, a CUSO owned by Corporate Network eCom and eight credit unions – First Tech CU, Bellco FCU, GTE FCU, Boeing Employees CU, Suncoast Schools FCU, Patelco CU, Orange County Teachers FCU and Wescom CU. The ownership goes both ways as OFS has a minority ownership interest in Corporate Network eCom. OFS was formed by six credit unions about three years ago to come up with a solution for high-cost integrations of third-party apps onto a core processing solution. With the advent of the Internet, credit unions’ use of third-party apps became even heavier, with many adding Net banking and bill pay pieces from vendors other than their core processor. What is now MemberBridge started out as Portal, which OFS sold to Corporate Network eCom. MemberBridge is basically the third generation of Portal, and its focus has changed over the years. It is Web-based, allowing rapid integration of IP-based connection channels. “When the product was first created, it was created using what most experts believed was the established platform, that was an object based platform. Since then it’s become more clear that the platform was best built for sequel server technology,” said Rae Miles, CEO of OFS. Miles operates out of her home in Madison, Wisconsin. She joined OFS as CEO in February after working for CUNA for 19 years. Miles said MemberBridge is already playing an important tech role at some of the OFS credit unions. “They’re using it for a variety of things, probably one of the most interesting is the online lending capabilities Patelco introduced. It’s key when you’re trying to interface some of your other service providers into your core processing system,” said Miles. Online lending, e-statements, online membership applications are all the types of “add on” solutions that MemberBridge can bridge to the core processing solution, said Miles. Corporate Network eCom thinks it has a pretty powerful solution to ease CU’s integration costs. “In a nutshell it will allow a credit union to fully integrate its internal as well as Web-based applications with their host processor,” said Ross Sougey, senior vice president/chief information officer for Corporate Network eCom. “It’s for those credit unions interested in taking control of their destiny if you will. A couple are using it for real-time loan applications and decisioning.” John Best, vice president of e-business for GTE FCU, Tampa, Fla., said the advent of middleware is a recognition that in today’s multi-channel CU, the core processing system can not stand alone. “The mentality of your legacy system of being `the system’ at a credit union is changing. Yeah it’s an important system, but it’s one of may,” said Best. “We use it (MemberBridge) for a lot of things. To deliver e-statements internally without imaging, and basically to enhance our legacy host system wherever we can.” One area it’s been particularly useful for GTE is with its lending/origination systems. The CU has a very successful online indirect lending program going with Triple AAA where MemberBridge joins systems. First Tech CU recently launched MemberBridge with OFX functionality. It’s using it to bring Money and Quicken users data from the CU’s home banking system. Wescom CU has been using the middleware for two years, and is working on adding the OFX functionality. [email protected]

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