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ATLANTA – For BAI Retail Delivery first-timer and CUNA Technology Council Chairman Jim Morrell the conference is well worth the while of credit union folks, though he was surprised by the amount of focus on ATMs. “It was my first BAI show experience. I did not know there was so much about ATMs and payment mechanisms, such as taking checks at point of presence, scanning them and clearing the funds immediately. The whole twists of CRM were also everywhere,” said Morrell. Morell said he’ll be back and credit unions should add this meeting to their annual list if they want to learn about the latest and greatest in technology. Morrell, who is VP of Information Security at Clark County School Employees CU in Vancouver, Wash., said as far as CUNA Technology Council knows, there were 352 CU attendees. For the Council the biggest deal was its second annual Best-in-Show award. A committee of 12 Council members canvas the exhibit hall and each selects one vendor from defined sections to consider for Best-in-Show. Last year Sharebuilder, Bellevue, Wash., won for its online investing solution that was aimed at those who like to dollar-cost average and who want to invest in small increments. The following criteria need to be met to win Best-in-Show: * The product must be one that would benefit credit unions and/or their members generally. (i.e. significant and immediate general interest). * The product and the company should demonstrate (if possible) commitment to open standards and maybe open source. * The company must be interested in the credit union market. Knowledge of our industry and particular problems we face would be a plus. * The price point for the product must be at a level that credit unions of $50M and above could tolerate. Willingness to establish special pricing for credit unions would be a plus. * The product is currently in use and not just “vaporware”. * There should be some indication that the company will be around for at least a year. The 2002 winner was Experion Systems, Bilerica, Mass. Even before this award Experion was attracting a lot of attention from big credit unions for its “trusted advisor” program. Essentially Experion provides software to CUs that helps them match members to CU products by providing the CU member service representative a series of questions to members to determine their needs. It’s all Web-based and can be delivered across different platforms. “It’s knowledge-based matching of a members’ needs with products and services a credit union offers,” said Morrell. “It’s something credit unions are trying to do on their own.”

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