ALEXANDRIA, Va.-A recent NCUA Letter to Credit Unions (02-CU-17) was aimed at helping balance the benefits and risks of doing business online. “Credit unions can use this information as a guide to aid in the planning, contracting, delivery, and support of e-Commerce activities,” the letter encouraged. “Offering e-Commerce services may provide benefits to credit unions and their members. However, the use of the Internet can also increase the amount of risk to the credit union.” NCUA’s guidance also suggested credit unions go through a laundry list of steps to ensure security, maintenance, proper training, and other relevant precautions. In addition, NCUA urged credit unions to determine if e-commerce is appropriate for their membership before getting involved. While online banking can serve as a convenience for members, NCUA warned, “Members trust their credit union to take reasonable precautions to protect financial and personal information. This trust has been earned over many years, but it could be significantly damaged in a short period of time should member information systems be compromised. A credit union must ensure its members’ trust is well founded when it comes to the world of e-Commerce.”

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