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WASHINGTON – Credit union data processor EPL was formed back in 1977, but in many ways it’s a new company, says newly named EPL President/CEO Wayne Benson. In fact Benson believes CUNA’s GAC will be the unveiling of the new EPL to the rest of the industry. “I view GAC as the launch of EPL. We have a lot of new products going on. Staff is working extremely hard. We still have a little ways to go getting where we need to be. We don’t want to over promise and under deliver,” said Benson. For starters its core system has been redesigned. “We’re the only data processor that’s out there operating on Sun with an Oracle database. That’s embedded in everything we do,” said Benson. EPL moved off a UNISYS system with its new i-POWER core. The new system also moved EPL into a browser-based environment. EPL’s system metamorphosis is not completely finished. “We are on the last mile of the conversion.” EPL is very small compared to the Fiserv’s of the world, but Benson truly believes that EPL’s CU ownership is an advantage over other larger processors. “We’re going to be the only credit union owned data processor that owns its own code. We’re the last of the dying breed,” said Benson. He speculated that many credit union DP conversions happen because processors are not listening to credit unions, so offering CUs ownership gives them ultimate influence in the direction of the system. EPL is owned by nine credit unions and the Alabama Credit Union League. Kern Schools and Georgia Telco are the majority owners. Its newest owner is the $300 million Family Security CU, which is moving off of a Symitar system. Benson believes CU ownership is conducive to collaboration among the CUs that will drive EPL to deliver new products. “I envision this company being similar to what Members Development Company was when I was at CUNA Mutual where I spent a lot of time talking to very large credit unions about how we can collaborate to invest technology dollars better,” said Benson, a former executive with CUNA Mutual. EPL’s i-POWER core is exactly the same whether it’s being run in-house or in service bureau mode. Benson said their philosophy is they want the system to be excellent on the front end and back end, and let credit unions add on whatever best-of-breed products they like. EPL, however, does want to add to its in-house stable of products. It partnered with Salem Associates to become the exclusive distributor of LAPS, an automated business lending program. It also partnered with Meridian Link for Loans PQ, an online consumer loan application and approval solution. On the marketing front it partnered with Birmingham-based Marketing Solutions Inc. for cross-selling marketing software. It’s had some success already with its CUE Passport, a teller platform for shared branching. About 100 CUs that aren’t EPL core customers, use the product. EPL recently struck a deal with CUNA as its endorsed DP vendor for its CUNA Strategic Services Inc. arm of the trade association. Benson said because EPL is a CU-owned operation, the CUNA partnership was a natural, and EPL plans on staffing up its sales force to get its name out there. EPL is quite a change for Benson who described his former company CUNA Mutual as one of the big “battleship” companies of the industry. “We’re a small company. Absolutely we will be much more nimble,” said Benson. -

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