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<p>OKLAHOMA CITY – The jury is still out on whether credit unions will be impacted by the recent signing of the Central Oklahoma Clearing House Association (COCHA). What is known so far is that COCHA was signed earlier this month by Endpointe, the National Check Image Exchange, and it makes it possible for the association to electronically clear every eligible item in the 10th Federal District which includes the Central Region of the U.S. According to a release, any image-enable COCHA clearing member will be able to participate in the Endpoint National Check Image Exchange. Endpoint said its mission is to help all U.S. financials clear and settle their check-based transactions by exchanging electronic images between member institutions and check processing organizations. Sharon Lewis, executive director of COCHA said the Check Image Exchange will “significantly” reduce check-handling costs for COCHA members. Dave Douglas, senior vice president of credit union services for the Oklahoma Credit Union League said he doesn’t anticipate that COCHA will initially have any significant effect on credit unions, but it probably will “eventually.” “It will give credit unions another option to exchange items through,” said Douglas. Southwest Corporate FCU, which clears items for many credit unions located throughout the Federal Reserve’s 10th District is less convinced that COCHA will impact CUs. While Terry Young of Southwest Corporate FCU said the credit union is “always interested in new item processing options that could produce efficiency and lower cost for credit unions,” he added that, “This clearing service may be helpful in providing quicker presentment. But this is also a new development, and it will require cautious evaluation. It is not part of the credit union system, and so it remains to be seen how credit unions will fare in the process.”</p>

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