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HONOLULU – The $24 billion WesCorp and the $672 million HawaiiUSA FCU have formed a new check processing CUSO that will be focused on helping Hawaii CUs benefit from image exchange brought on by Check 21. Pacific Processing Partners, LLC will provide image-enabled check processing services for 54 credit unions in Hawaii. The CUSO expects to process more than a million items a month from this facility. WesCorp of course is a big player in Hawaii having acquired PacCorp last year. A dedication ceremony was held recently at HawaiiUSA FCU’s main branch in downtown Honolulu where the operation center of Pacific Processing Partners will be located. This deal helps fill a void left by EDS. The former PacCorp had a 10-year item processing contract with EDS scheduled to expire this year. Some changes at EDS meant it was not as interested in this business going forward. “When we merged last year, we were looking for a solution that would be beneficial to the credit unions on the Island and help us with cost controls. An available option was to look at a credit union on the Island already doing item processing,” said Tony Kitt, WesCorp’s Senior Vice President of Correspondent Services. HawaiiUSA was a good fit because its volume alone represented somewhere between 20 to 25% of CU share drafts on the Island. “It’s about 250,000 items a month. That’s pretty substantial. When we combined our volume, plus what we see as potential new business, it made sense for us to try and come together,” said Kitt. HawaiiUSA has also been using WesCorp services for years, so it was very familiar with how the nation’s largest corporate does business. Interestingly, there does seem to be some growth opportunity for this new CUSO that is starting out with about half of Hawaii’s 100 credit unions as clients. HawaiiUSA FCU SVP of Marketing Scott Kaulukukui said some of the bigger CUs that don’t do their own item processing use banks like Bank of Hawaii or First Hawaiian Bank, so there is a chance for the CUSO to bring on new CU clients. Kitt noted that some of that bank usage probably came about because when credit unions first got into checking they used banks for payable through. As a result, banks controlled the back office. Kaulukukui said also that some of Hawaii’s smaller CUs may not offer share drafts. WesCorp will be taking on a lot of the imaging responsibility. The CUSO will do the day one work and the immediate processing that takes place, while WesCorp’s office in Hawaii will do all research and adjustments. WesCorp’s offices on the mainland will handle image retrieval and transmission. All items that are written on the mainland drawn on credit unions in Hawaii, won’t go back to the Island to be processed. They will be processed at WesCorp’s San Leandro facility. With the additional one million items, WesCorp in total processes some 41 million items a month. Kitt said WesCorp plans on bringing all of its Check 21 readiness it has on the mainland to Hawaii CUs. He said the day is soon coming where more credit unions will install branch capture devices to transmit images directly to processors such as WesCorp. “That’s where the industry is headed,” he said. [email protected]

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