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Express Credit Union in Seattle said it will be able to better serve its expanded base of low- to moderate-income membership now that it has upgraded to Open Solutions’ flagship core processing platform.The $9 million institution, working with the $8.7 billion BECU, recently expanded to better be able to provide affordable financial services in King County. The upgrade to the Complete Credit Union Solution-sme from its former enterprise platform, an SOSystems solution acquired by Open Solutions in 2005, was helped along by a donation of a portion of the upgrade and licensing fee from the Connecticut-based e-commerce software and services provider.“Open Solutions has a long-standing relationship with BECU, so when they approached us about ECU’s initiative to provide banking services to an underserved community, we were more than happy to donate our technology,” said Ross Curtis, Open Solutions’ group executive vice president for North America.In addition to expanded products, the new platform will enable ECU to reach out in a mobile environment. For instance, the credit union staffers visit 16 different social service agency locations to help people open accounts, make deposits and apply for small loans.Brenda Kurz, CEO of the 1,500-member ECU, said, “Our goal is to provide access to quality financial services to create lasting financial stability for our community, and to specifically meet the diverse needs of lower to moderate-income families while continuing to deliver value to middle and upper income families. With Open Solutions’ support, we’re able to achieve that and we look forward to our continued relationship with them.”

State Department FCU to DeployVSoft Worldwide Check CaptureState Department Federal Credit Union plans to go global with remote check capture.The $1.1 billion institution said it will be using the Agile Merchant-Web check-capture solution from VSoft Corp. of Atlanta to first serve its organizational accounts at schools, commissaries and recreation associations across the country.That will be followed by implementation at the department’s more than 250 embassies around the world, offering savings in time and money as members can scan checks at their offices and send them electronically to the credit union.The first such deployment already has taken place at the U.S. Embassy in the North African nation of Tunisia.“The demand for merchant capture services arose predominantly from our overseas members,” said Charlie Roberts, chief information officer at State Department FCU in Alexandria, Va. “Using the VSoft system, we can now offer immediate deposit to all of our international members, and by eliminating international courier expenses, we have drastically cut costs.”It also makes the money available faster and allows members to consolidate deposits at a single institution, the company said.“Paper lag means added cost and lost float. This is accentuated for the large number of checks from outside U.S. borders,” said Vijay Balakrishnan, chief operating officer at VSoft, which said it now serves more than 1,700 financial institutions around the world. “This deployment of remote capture on a global scale is an excellent example of the tangible benefits of Straight Through Image Processing by shrinking the distance between capture and clearing.”State Department FCU serves State Department employees worldwide, as well as other SEGs that include NCUA employees.

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Peter Westerman

Credit Union Times

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