NEW YORK – U.S. Central’s Corporate Network eCom – in one deal – has gone through a major transformation. Corporate Network eCom is a majority owned tech-focused CUSO of U.S. Central. There is also an ownership interest from R&D CUSO Open Financial Solutions, which is led by Rae Miles and has a number of large CU owners, including Bellco CU, GTE FCU, Patelco CU, Suncoast Schools FCU, Wescom CU, Orange County Teachers FCU, First Tech CU and U.S. Central. U.S. Central has decided to sell off the majority of eCom’s MemberBridge product line to New York-based qbt, a tech firm known best in the credit union industry for its MultiPoint systems integration platform. qbt will acquire the assets of the following MemberBridge products: MemberBridge Internet Banking, MemberACH, MemberBridge Bill Pay, MemberBridge Alerts, MemberBridge Secure Messaging, MemberBridge Consumer Lending System and MemberBridge Server. Terms of the deal were not released. qbt is a privately-held company. qbt says it will be able to incorporate all of these products into MultiPoint. There is some duplication here. MemberBridge is similar to MultiPoint in that it serves as an integration piece, however it is not designed to talk to all the different core processing, call center, card systems and others like MultiPoint can. “We will continue to support MemberBridge as long as the credit unions want, but we will give them the opportunity to use MultiPoint which can integrate with any beckon system,” said Steve Anderson, vp of product development for qbt. The OFS CU owners are the primary users of MemberBridge. qbt will also pick up 13 Internet banking clients through this deal, adding them to the existing 70 CUs on its Internet banking product. qbt currently has 275 financial clients, with about 70% of them CUs. Many CUs have signed on to its MultiPoint product through core processors that qbt has re-seller agreements with. Anderson said the company will now start to focus more on direct sales with CUs, instead of relying mostly on reseller agreements. qbt will open an office in Kansas City to house four employees picked up from eCom. So what does this mean for eCom which started back in the days of the dot-com rage? According to Denny Brown, president and COO of Corporate Network eCom, this transaction puts eCom more in line with its strengths, which is payment processing. “It didn’t really fit well for us to be developing Internet software for natural person credit unions, so we thought it would be appropriate if we could partner with someone who had that focus,” said Brown. “We are staying in the payments business. eCom will continue to process bill payment transactions through corporates and natural person credit unions,” said Brown. eCom’s two bill pay products are MemerPay, which is essentially a turnkey bill pay solution that can be delivered in service bureau mode, and MemberGateway, which handles the back-end processing of the payments. Brown said eCom has 170 CUs combined on these products. eCom process roughly 12 million items a year, and Brown said payment processing is up 45% this year over last. “We’re not only getting internal growth, but new sales are strong,” said Brown. This deal was qbt’s first acquisition, and Anderson said the company feels like it has “arrived” so to speak.”All of a sudden you feel like a bigger company,” he said. Many are surprised to learn qbt’s roots are in credit unions, said Anderson. “We were founded in 1996. One of our very first customers was CUSC, the shared branching network. We’ve worked with them ever since, continuing to integrate their platforms into their shared branch switches. We’ve been growing a lot through the core processors. We’re fortunate that the credit union industry is so open,” said Branch. -email@example.com
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