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MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Network Services’ quest for cash was given a boost recently with Travelex taking an equity investment of $300,000 to be invested over the next 12 months. Travelex, a firm dealing in international currency exchange, will become an equity holder and business partner of CNS. They join EDS and smart card firm SchlumbergerSema as CNS equity investors that are also business partners. Travelex will offer CNS a host of products including Visa Travel Money, a cross-border remittance or stored value application; Visa Cash Passport, a pre-paid stored value card; foreign Travelers Cheques; foreign banknotes; and others. CNS President John Hobko said Travelex will also reciprocate with CNS on the product side by offering CNS’ SafeID (a smart card program) to Travelex clients. That could be a boon for CNS as Travelex may be able to get CNS’ SafeID product in the doors of Triple AAA. “Travelex displaced American Express for traveler’s cheques at Triple AAA. They’re going to be presenting our SafeID product to them. Travelex can brand it under their own name,” said Hobko. Travelex’s $300,000 investment helps CNS, which is a company, admittedly, said Hobko, aggressively looking for capital. In its latest round, it is seeking $3.5 million. Hobko said there are a number of other investment deals in the works, and CNS is even looking into getting an SBA loan through NewTek Small Business Financial Services, a firm CUNA is partnering with for a new small business lending pilot program. “In the last year, trying to raise money in this market has been difficult to almost impossible,” said Hobko, who said he is very confident CNS will get the necessary funding it needs to achieve its goals. He said just staying around is half the battle in this business. Hobko admitted that as a leader, he is stronger on the product side than the financing side, but he’s had to get up to speed quickly on what it takes to raise money to keep CNS on its growth path. “Most of my time is spent trying to raise capital, not my best feature,” he said. “I think the business is clearly on track. The revenue goal for this year is $6 million. We’ve already done $4 million. We’re running on a very strict expense line so we can meet expectations,” said Hobko. He said he’s aware of some of CUNA’s for-profit failures in the past, but pointed out that this company wasn’t homegrown by CUNA. “This was a privately-held company that started out serving credit unions. We partnered with CUNA to get that CUNA Good House Keeping seal of approval. Sixty percent of the company is still funded by private investors. It’s run a lot different than some CUNA businesses in the past where they actually started the company,” said Hobko. CUNA leaders have said that one of the differences about CNS is that firms behind the company’s offerings, like EDS, are also stakeholders in the company. Two leagues are also investors: California ($250,000) and Colorado ($50,000). [email protected]

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