MADISON, Wis. — CUNA Mutual Group, the insurer of the vastmajority of CU plastic card programs and the target of somecriticism for often raising the premium and deductible on thatinsurance, is emphasizing the message that such programs are worthhaving despite the costs.

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Two speakers at the insurers' recent Discovery Conference, LisaBrandt from CUNA Mutual and Kent Ailes from the $1.7 billionArizona Federal Credit Union, sought to reassure CU executives thatcards should remain part of their CU's portfolio of products andservices and that the losses need to be kept in perspective.

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“Many card issuers are fretting over the rapid rise in fraudlosses, yet missing the bigger picture. Despite the dramaticincreases, these losses are sustainable and not extraordinarycompared to the rest of the card-issuing industry,” Brandt toldDiscovery conference attendees.

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Treat a plastic card program and the associated risks in asimilar way to those of any other product offering, she said.“Understand where plastic cards fit into your credit union'sfinancial plan and its mission to serve the membership. By usingbasis points as a key metric rather than fraud dollar amounts, youcan more fully understand the success of your card program.”

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