SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Army and Air Force Exchange Service partnership with JPMorgan Chase to offer a co-branded MasterCard was driven by military budget shortfalls, said Michael A. Bilbrey, senior accounting officer in the Pentagon's financial management office. Bilbrey addressed an audience of about 50 Defense Credit Union Summit attendees this morning, presented as part of NAFCU's 41st Annual Conference and Exhibition.

"Reduced funding is a driving factor in the military's willingness to enter into these agreements," Bilbrey said. "A portion of the fees go back to the military, and it will pay for recreation and other services. To the military, this solves some bottom line concerns and enhances life for our enlisted men and women."

Defense Credit Union Council President/CEO Roland "Arty" Arteaga added that lenders like JPMorgan Chase pitch leaders in the military's readiness divisions, rather than those in charge of financial management, where credit unions have built relationships.

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