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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Members Group looks different these days and its leaders hope everyone notices. The Members Group is owned 50/50 between the Iowa CU League and Iowa Corporate Central CU. Its leaders describe it as one of the best-kept secrets in the industry, which they’re hoping to change. “We’ve been in business, providing financial services since the mid-`80s. We expanded our market and decided to go national in the mid-`90s but never really created an identity,” said Tom Kuehl, president CEO of Iowa Corporate Central CU as well as The Members Group. The CEO of the Iowa League, Tom Griffiths, serves as EVP of The Members Group. It recently launched a new branding image featuring a new logo with the tagline “Unwavering passion. Endless dedication.” “We’ve had a very plain logo and no consistent marketing approach. We’re trying to create an identity people can recognize. Most people have not heard of us. We’ve seen that as we’ve expanded into new markets,” said Kuehl, who noted it is planning to launch national advertising campaigns in credit union publications. The Members Group has 150 credit union clients spread over 16 states. Together those CU clients represent 1.6 million members. It’s also a money-maker – it brought in $25 million in revenue last year. The Members Group’s primary products are in the card arena. It offers ATM, debit, credit card processing and gift card services. It provides its clients with customized products that utilize First Data Resources. “We’re like a PSCU and TNB. They’re all doing the same things we’re doing,” said Kuehl. “I think our edge is we customize all our products. We take a complex product like FDR’s services and customize them to meet the needs of the credit union. We don’t offer a canned package.” Kuehl said The Members Group has been on the leading edge in the card arena as one of the first credit union groups to offer a complete gift card solution and a true online signature-based debit authorization. It recently rolled out a paperless e-statement as part of its Mycardfinfo.com online credit card information solution. Members Group CIO Jeff Russell said paper statements can cost between $.50 and $.55 per cardholder, while the e-statements cost a fraction of that. “We are seeing other industries offering incentives to their customers to move to an e-statement or even going as far to charge to produce a paper statement, so consumers are getting used to not receiving the monthly statement in the mail,” said Russell. Mycardinfo.com was launched in 2001 to give credit union members real-time credit card information. It features online card activation, e-alerts and single sign-on, allowing users to get to their card information via a single sign-on from Internet banking. [email protected]

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