McLEAN, Va. – With $155 million in assets and 33,000 members,Pinnacle Federal Credit Union might be small in size, but it's thefirst credit union in the industry to deploy what may be the nextbig thing in financial services. The Edison, N.J.-CU is one of twofinancial institutions – the other a Los Angeles-area regional bank– that are piloting Money HQ from Online Resources. The new servicecombines aggregation and enhanced functionality, from billpresentment and payment to online verification tools toperson-to-person payments, aiming to provide end-users with theservices that will keep them in one place for all their financialneeds. “This is the marriage of information gathering and theability to transact against that information,” says Randy Nixon,managing director of business and e-finance products forMcLean-based ORCC. ORCC intends to roll out Money HQ to its500-plus clients in the fall as an integrated part of its Quotienplatform of e-finance solutions, Nixon says. Money HQ, along withYodlee's new Bill-Direct service, aim to secure for their clientFI's the business that biller-direct sites currently claim in theelectronic bill payment-presentation (EBPP) space. And it goesbeyond that, integrating person-to-person, credit card andinter-bank account views and transactions with additional featuressuch as e-alerts, and on all in one screen view customized to thehome financial institution's look and feel. For the credit union,Money HQ provides cross-selling opportunities, increased retentionas users centralize all their account information and transactions,and additional incremental income, Nixon says. “We're not going tocharge our clients for it, and we will pay back to them some of the$4.95 a month users' fee,” Nixon says. Clients also can customizethat payment plan to fit their own needs, ORCC says. In addition tobill presentment and payment, end users get up to fiveaccount-to-account and person-to-person payments betweeninstitutions per month, and pay $1.20 for each such transactionafter that. ORCC has partnered with CashEdge, a leading accountaggregator and fund-transfer service, to offer Money HQ. CashEdgeaggregates invoices and payments on a daily basis from biller sitesand sends that to Online Resources via XML feeds. The bills arepresented to the consumer in a summarized fashion and can be viewedin detail by linking to the biller site. While it's leading-edgetechnology, the personal touch is what appealed to Pinnacle, saysJeanne Chichelo, the senior vice president of a credit union thatshe says even makes house calls. “As a CU we have to compete withwhat a bank calls convenience, which is a branch at every corner.We can't afford to do that while providing the best service, bestrates and most knowledgeable employees . every day,” Chichelo says.“To us, convenience is what the member calls convenience, which canmean brick-and-mortar branches, PC banking, bill pay . You see, weeven make house calls. We go to members' houses and pick updeposits or bring a mortgage application and help them fill itout,” she says. “We know at times the CU is the second choice tothe member. We want to give our members a way to see we aredifferent. Money HQ is different. It allows the member to see theirother accounts but allows them to use this information from oursite,” Chichelo says. Chichelo says the integration of the Money HQsystem into its core processing system from XP Systems “hadchallenges in the beginning but ORCC has handled the mergerperfectly.” Now, it's up to the members. Chichelo says the CU wouldlike to see 5% of its members using Money HQ but that it has noother goals, such as a set expectation for ROI. The focus is on themembers. “We are looking to build their relationship with us . forPinnacle to be their first choice to turn to when dealing withtheir financial needs. That's our goal,” Chichelo says. Meanwhile,for the financial services industry as a whole, Money HQ andYodlee's Bill-Direct may represent the big step toward winningconsumers with technology – as functionality – that captures theadoption rates that aggregation and screen-scraping failed toamidst their initial hype. “As aggregated bill volume continues togrow, account-aggregation vendors have begun to sit up and takenotice,” says Elizabeth Robertson, senior analyst, global payments,at the TowerGroup research and advisory firm. “The result is thedevelopment of new products that move beyond biller-direct, beyondtraditional screen-scraping technology, to introduce a new dynamicthat has the potential to re-shape the electronic bill-presentmentbusiness and bring new vigor to account aggregation,” Robertsonsays. “While many consumer service providers have struggled toenhance their front ends and retain consumer users, the notablerecent introductions by Online Resources and Yodlee achieve newheights in value-add for consumers,” the TowerGroup analyst says.Money HQ and Yodlee's BillDirect raise the bar in onlinefunctionality and may pave the way for future growth infunctionality and adoption, Robertson says. “The last few yearshave shown that the maxim, `Build it and they will come,' does nothold true in Internet financial servicing,” the TowerGroup analystsays. “But lessons from these practitioners show that a focus onconsumer value can accentuate the potential of Internettechnologies while heightening the potential for change,” she says.-


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