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DALLAS – The trend of less check writing isn’t showing up at Southwest Corporate. The corporate’s item processing volume increased 2.5% last year to a record 360 million items, up from 349 million checks in 2002. This bucks the national trend of checks in the system declining at a rate of 4.8%. December was also an individual record month for Southwest with 34 million checks processed. Southwest has processing centers in Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville and Albuquerque. Although the corporate’s numbers were up, it too is noticing a decline in checks per CU. It reported volume decreases of as much as 8% among a group of select credit unions that it tracks. “Southwest Corporate recognizes that the volume of checks we process will eventually flatten and then decline as consumers embrace various methods of electronic payments,” said Jody Beck, Senior Vice President of Operations. “To meet that growing interest, Southwest Corporate has developed a full array of electronic payment products to help credit unions keep up with the changing marketplace with services.” For example, more than 150 credit unions offer Southwest Corporate’s debit card program. Members at those credit unions made 5.1 million debit card transactions during 2003-a 38% increase over the 2002 debit card volume.

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