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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Someone has to go first, David Gadd figured, so the Southern Security FCU president and CEO gave the go-ahead for his $83 million CU to be the first to install its core processor’s shared-branching acquirer solution. Besides, Southern Security already had experience going first with Share One’s core platform when it went Windows-based, Gadd says, adding that if he has real problems, he can always drive across town and talk to the president. The Memphis CU is one of the credit union owners of Share One, a Memphis-based CUSO whose president/CEO, Daryl Tanner, is a long-time proponent of shared branching. Using middleware from qbt, a specialist in financial services integration software, Share One is helping Southern Security prepare to go live as a shared-branch acquiring participant in the CUSC Next Generation Network. That means members of the other hundreds of credit unions in the network can soon use participating Southern Security branches to do their banking. Eight of Share One’s 31 core processing clients already use the issuing side of the equation, allowing its members to access services at other credit unions, Tanner says. Memphis is a natural location for shared branching, says Tanner, a former member of the board of the original FSCC shared branching network. “When I first moved here in 1997, I often used a shared branch facility operated by American Savings CU to access my accounts at Meriwest CU in California. Usually I had to wait a good amount of time for service because of the popularity of the branch,” Tanner says. “Memphis is one of the largest shipping and trucking hubs in the world and I often would talk to drivers standing in line with me who were using that branch whenever they were in town and who found the nationwide access to their home accounts provided by FSCC and CUSC a great service for people in their line of work,” he says. Gadd, the Southern Security CEO, also sees the potential benefits. “We’ve got about 8,000 members who don’t live in this area and don’t really have a branch that can serve them, so doing this will enable us to retain members and give them the service they deserve,” he says. “Plus, we can serve other credit unions’ members, something which gives us a certain amount of pleasure to be able to do. And there’s some income involved for us, too.” The technology involves using Microsoft solutions all the way through, including SQL Server 2000 and Windows, along with XML data-transfer standards, qbt says. ShareOne’s teller platform communicates to qbt’s MultiPoint EFT Processor, which translates that XML data into the CUSC network’s ISO 8583 message format. “This design allows Share One to support other shared branch network formats in the future without any additional changes to the teller platform,” says qbt President Brian Bodell. The NewSolutions teller platform also has the same look and feel regardless if the teller is servicing their own member or a member from another credit union, which reduces the cost of training and support. Tanner says the issuer side of shared branching has been available from Share One for about seven years, so that experience and the use of XML and Windows made launching the acquirer side easier. “Most of the issues had already been addressed either within our base system design or subsequent development,” the Share One president adds. Among the issues: * “The telecommunication issue is often a project’s most problematic aspect, but with our existing interface to qbt’s system already in place for the shared branch issuer, this was easily the most straight-forward piece,” Tanner says. * “We can easily add new sub-systems within the main teller program: the shared branch acquirer is just another tabbed-page on the normal teller program.” * Tanner also say that the functionality required for scheduling the weekly download of the updated “CU Issuers” file had been developed independently for other projects. * And, he says, “Because of the modularity of the NewSolutions object code, the receipt and check printing were easily modified for shared branching.” At Southern Security FCU, Gadd also is preparing for new check printing requirements. Part of Southern Security’s preparations for shared branching also include preparations for Check 21, and the CU has bought two endorsers for each branch, at a cost of about $300 per machine. “The investment in that and in the shared branching software has not been tremendous,” he says. “That wasn’t the deciding factor.” -

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