FRISCO, Texas – Count IntegraSys in as the latest credit union vendor to offer a credit monitoring tool designed to help in part with the growing problem of identity theft. “We’ve been working on it since late last summer. We wanted to build a product that was affordable. Some of these things are really expensive. I think if you make it affordable more people will do it,” said Dave Selina, IntegraSys’ SVP and general manager for Virtual Branch, XRoads and industry services. Affordable it is. It will cost members just $4.25. “Our plan is to pay the credit union $1 a month for help selling it,” said Selina, so conceivably a CU could eat a dollar in cost and offer it to members for $3.25. The product, AlertMe, monitors subscribers’ credit from all three major credit bureaus on a daily basis. It looks for activity such as new accounts, address changes, reported delinquencies and notifies the subscriber via e-mail when they occur. It also includes reminders to subscribers to order their free annual credit reports, monthly reassurance e-mails if no alerts have been activated and in most states insurance protection to help offsets losses from identity theft. In the identity theft vendor world, this aspect is known as restoration. Credit monitoring is one thing, but if there is no restoration, some say it’s only doing half the job for helping consumers with identity theft. Under AlertMe, subscribers are covered by an AIG master policy taken out by Fiserv. The aggregate limit of insurance per policy period is $25,000. There is also $500 coverage of lost wages per week up to four weeks maximum. Incidents must be reported to AIG within six months to be covered. Coverage will pay for things such as costs for refilling for loans, grants or other credit products; notarization affidavit costs; long distance phone calls and postage; and others. Selina said this product is not just for IntegraSys clients. It can be used by any CU no matter their host system. There’s also no contract. “There’s no commitment or contract. If the member pays that month we continue doing it,” he said. Selina believes tools such as AlertMe should be a natural offering for credit unions to show members they are there to protect their interests and are truly a trusted financial institution. “It’s their role to provide counsel and tools to help members. Our role has been providing the infrastructure and leveraging our size and reach to get the cost down,” said Selina. IntegraSys will provide credit unions with logos and some other marketing collateral to help them get the word out to members, whether it be online or in the monthly newsletter. Enrollment can be done completely online. Members will be linked to a private label site for the credit union. That site s hosted by IntegraSys. Selina said so far 15 credit unions have signed up. Still Selina warns that no product will provide full-proof protection from identity theft. “Identity theft prevention is really a process and a mindset. You have to discipline yourself not to throw away an old tax return with yesterday’s fish. You have to monitor your credit report and do all the right things,” he said. -pgentile@cutimes.com