NEW YORK – It’s just one more online function credit unions are hoping will keep members loyal online, said CashEdge CEO Neil Platt. The CEO of the three-year old CashEdge (yes it formed in the midst of the bomb) says his firm is adding CU clients relatively quickly (30 to date, with more in the pipeline), and online inter-institution transfer ability is the main reason. “It enables them to provide a higher level of service to their members for what they lack in a physical presence by expanding their transaction capability,” said Platt. “Credit unions also want to use it to help become the center of their members’ financial lives.” CashEdge allows members to move money from say their brokerage account at Schwab into their credit union account or vice versa. Platt says there’s a very good reason for credit unions to offer online inter-institution transfers – money. “It attracts more funds through it than money flows out. For every $1.00 out, $1.50 flows in,” said Platt, who said that information is based on CashEdge analysis of its clients. The company so far has moved about $125 million for its clients. He also noted that the product can be a fee generator, though he said that credit unions are less likely to charge for this service than the company’s banking clients. CashEdge has a couple of ways of processing the transfer. One is the aggregation method, wherein the member provides their online user ID and password of one of their financial providers to CashEdge, and it can then go and verify the member is who they say and authorize the transactions. Platt noted that a member has to provide this information just once for each relationship. The other method is CashEdge will make a very small transfer to the institution the member is interested in and then have the member go and verify the amount so CashEdge knows the member has access to that account. This is a method WesCom IDS and U.S. Central’s Corporate Network eCom are using in their products. Platt said he’s excited about credit union interest, but conceded that CashEdge is not interested in doing too much one-to-one marketing with credit unions because of its small sales staff. He prefers to get more bang for the buck by partnering with Internet banking providers popular in the CU space and have them offer it as a service. “The best user experience is when a user has no idea who CashEdge is. They just click and move money,” he said. CashEdge has already forged a relationship with Digital Insight and Platt said it is closing in on more deals with other CU Net banking providers. CashEdge has offices in California and New York and employs about 45 people. It is privately owned, with funding coming from a mix of venture capitalists and investors. Some of its large bank clients are also investors. Its largest investor is CIBC. Online inter-institution transfers aren’t its only product. It conducts P2P transfers and offers account aggregation, somewhat of a maligned product these days. CashEdge provides account aggregation to 12 credit unions, and Platt said despite reports of its death, aggregation is actually on the upswing. Platt said CashEdge’s ace in the hole with aggregation is that its inter-institution functionality can be integrated with aggregation. For years, critics of aggregation have been saying it’s too static, and until people can actually do something, such as move money, it won’t garner widespread adoption. He said more credit unions are getting closer to making the jump to aggregation. [email protected]

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