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PASADENA, Calif. – WesCom Resources Group is proving you can be successful offering someone else’s core processing solution. WesCom Resources Group is a CUSO of the tech-savvy Wescom Credit Union. Last year it started offering credit unions Symitar’s Episys product in a service bureau environment. Symitar also offers a service bureau solution, but has no problem with WRG offering it. Symitar of course makes money in that any CU that contracts with WRG first needs a license from Symitar, as well as any add on modules CUs may buy from Symitar. Kevin Sarber, Wescom Credit Union’s VP of Remote Automated Services for and President of WRG, said what WRG is doing isn’t exactly an ASP model in that there isn’t as much time and maintenance needed at the client’s site. That was one of the selling points for Marlisa Bateman, CEO of Olympia CU, which recently converted to WRG. “We looked at going with Symitar directly, and realized we could not afford it. Plus we needed someone knowledgeable enough on staff to do the enhancements that Symitar allows,” said Bateman. Now any enhancements can be implemented by WRG. Bateman said as a $21 million credit union she sometimes can’t believe that the CU is able to use a system that many big credit unions believe is the “Cadillac of credit union systems.” Bateman estimates that her credit union is saving anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 a month by using WRG as opposed to hooking in directly to Symitar. WRG’s foray into offering Symitar really came from Wescom CU’s own conversion to Symitar, which came back in October of 2001. Wescom’s other tech CUSO, Wescom Integrated Data Systems, had already developed an ACH transfer product, an automated loan application, and an automated member application that would run on the Symitar system. Now WRG can offer these add-ons to its service bureau clients. WRG has a staff of four, which is small considering Wescom IDS has about 30, but WRG is benefiting from the $4 million investment Wescom put into its data center about five years ago. It includes five IBM RS 6000 platforms, where Episys runs, and over 120 Microsoft servers. In just a few months of operation, WRG already has four clients for service bureau processing. It has six more using either ATM processing, item processing or disaster recovery services. “One big advantage of us over some of the other service bureaus is we’re a credit union. We can tap operational resources through the credit union if there’s a question on how to book a loan or something to do with the business of running a credit union,” said Sarber. Playing that card could open Pandora’s Box, but Sarber said WRG is ready with this level of support, and Bateman said her credit union sometimes talks to Wescom CU employees directly about operational issues WRG can’t answer. Recently WRG completed three weekend conversions to its system – the $9 million Washington Contract Loggers Association CU, the $25 million Transportation NW CU, and the $21 million Olympia CU. Sarber said though these CUs are small they can run the same software solutions that the $2 billion Wescom does, including not only Symitar’s Episys, but home banking, e-statements, online membership applications, ACH transfer and online loan apps, some of which was developed by Wescom IDS. [email protected]

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