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McLEAN, Va. – With $155 million in assets and 33,000 members, Pinnacle Federal Credit Union might be small in size, but it’s the first credit union in the industry to deploy what may be the next big thing in financial services. The Edison, N.J.-CU is one of two financial institutions – the other a Los Angeles-area regional bank – that are piloting Money HQ from Online Resources. The new service combines aggregation and enhanced functionality, from bill presentment and payment to online verification tools to person-to-person payments, aiming to provide end-users with the services that will keep them in one place for all their financial needs. “This is the marriage of information gathering and the ability to transact against that information,” says Randy Nixon, managing director of business and e-finance products for McLean-based ORCC. ORCC intends to roll out Money HQ to its 500-plus clients in the fall as an integrated part of its Quotien platform of e-finance solutions, Nixon says. Money HQ, along with Yodlee’s new Bill-Direct service, aim to secure for their client FI’s the business that biller-direct sites currently claim in the electronic bill payment-presentation (EBPP) space. And it goes beyond that, integrating person-to-person, credit card and inter-bank account views and transactions with additional features such as e-alerts, and on all in one screen view customized to the home financial institution’s look and feel. For the credit union, Money HQ provides cross-selling opportunities, increased retention as users centralize all their account information and transactions, and additional incremental income, Nixon says. “We’re not going to charge 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 customize that payment plan to fit their own needs, ORCC says. In addition to bill presentment and payment, end users get up to five account-to-account and person-to-person payments between institutions per month, and pay $1.20 for each such transaction after that. ORCC has partnered with CashEdge, a leading account aggregator and fund-transfer service, to offer Money HQ. CashEdge aggregates invoices and payments on a daily basis from biller sites and sends that to Online Resources via XML feeds. The bills are presented to the consumer in a summarized fashion and can be viewed in detail by linking to the biller site. While it’s leading-edge technology, the personal touch is what appealed to Pinnacle, says Jeanne Chichelo, the senior vice president of a credit union that she says even makes house calls. “As a CU we have to compete with what a bank calls convenience, which is a branch at every corner. We can’t afford to do that while providing the best service, best rates and most knowledgeable employees . every day,” Chichelo says. “To us, convenience is what the member calls convenience, which can mean brick-and-mortar branches, PC banking, bill pay . You see, we even make house calls. We go to members’ houses and pick up deposits or bring a mortgage application and help them fill it out,” she says. “We know at times the CU is the second choice to the member. We want to give our members a way to see we are different. Money HQ is different. It allows the member to see their other accounts but allows them to use this information from our site,” Chichelo says. Chichelo says the integration of the Money HQ system into its core processing system from XP Systems “had challenges in the beginning but ORCC has handled the merger perfectly.” Now, it’s up to the members. Chichelo says the CU would like to see 5% of its members using Money HQ but that it has no other goals, such as a set expectation for ROI. The focus is on the members. “We are looking to build their relationship with us . for Pinnacle to be their first choice to turn to when dealing with their financial needs. That’s our goal,” Chichelo says. Meanwhile, for the financial services industry as a whole, Money HQ and Yodlee’s Bill-Direct may represent the big step toward winning consumers with technology – as functionality – that captures the adoption rates that aggregation and screen-scraping failed to amidst their initial hype. “As aggregated bill volume continues to grow, account-aggregation vendors have begun to sit up and take notice,” says Elizabeth Robertson, senior analyst, global payments, at the TowerGroup research and advisory firm. “The result is the development of new products that move beyond biller-direct, beyond traditional screen-scraping technology, to introduce a new dynamic that has the potential to re-shape the electronic bill-presentment business and bring new vigor to account aggregation,” Robertson says. “While many consumer service providers have struggled to enhance their front ends and retain consumer users, the notable recent introductions by Online Resources and Yodlee achieve new heights in value-add for consumers,” the TowerGroup analyst says. Money HQ and Yodlee’s BillDirect raise the bar in online functionality and may pave the way for future growth in functionality and adoption, Robertson says. “The last few years have shown that the maxim, `Build it and they will come,’ does not hold true in Internet financial servicing,” the TowerGroup analyst says. “But lessons from these practitioners show that a focus on consumer value can accentuate the potential of Internet technologies while heightening the potential for change,” she says. -

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