Articles and Press Releases
CU*Answers Collaborates at eSignature Conference
The Electronic Document Strategies team from CU*Answers Management Services recently collaborated with other industry experts at the Electronic Signature and Records Association (ERSA) conference in New York City. The two day event was held on November 14th and 15th in Times Square. Key note speakers included federal judges addressing the admissibility of eSignatures into evidence and industry experts from large corporations speaking on best practices for implementing eSignatures.
Additionally, several attorneys and government regulators spoke on current trends and legislation. This event afforded many great opportunities for CU*Answers Management Services team to network with industry peers and experts. “It was a great opportunity to hear others share their experiences, advice and insight as they pertain to eSignatures. Further, it was great to network with colleagues in attendance. I’m looking forward to attending in the future and the information provided will be helpful as I work with credit unions of all sizes in their quest to go paperless”, commented John Beauchamp, Electronic Document Strategies Manager for CU*Answers Management Services.
CU*Answers Network Services Launches Upgraded GUAPPLE
CU*Answers Network Services, a West Michigan-based technology solutions provider, today announced it has launched a new version of the GOLD Update Appliance (GUAPPLE) used to automatically update CU*Answers’ flagship software program, CU*BASE® GOLD. The new version features a web based delivery method and can automatically upgrade companion third party software. A revamped deployment process is more network-friendly as well by using a fraction of the bandwidth of the previous generation.
“The neat thing about this upgrade is that it’s software-based,” explains Andrea LaForge, manager of Client Support and Operations. “We can upgrade the majority of appliances in the field without touching hardware. It also facilitates implementation of session encryption through branch-specific XML configurations, so we’re improving security as well.”
CU*Answers Network Services has already begun the upgrade process for appliances in the field and is expected to complete the work by February, 2014. There is no charge to credit unions for the upgrade.
CU*Answers Network Services Announces Availability of SSAE 16 Report
CU*Answers Network Services, a West Michigan-based technology solutions provider, today announced the availability of its 2013 SSAE 16 SOC1 Type 2 report. This report is an independent third party review of controls used in the delivery of managed network services provided by CU*Answers Network Services.
“This report forms the cornerstone of a credit union’s third party due diligence review of our services,” explains David Wordhouse, VP Network Technologies. “It is an independent analysis of our operations, how we deliver services, and the controls in place to ensure their delivery and quality. Every credit union should be requiring a similar report from their provider. We’re very excited to release this latest report.”
Controls reviewed included organization and administration, physical security, managed hosting services, firewall management services, Complete Care management, and e-business policies and procedures.
Current or prospective clients of CU*Answers Network Services may request a free copy of this report by sending an email to email@example.com.
FraudNet Catches $212,399
The West-Michigan based cooperative CUSO, CU*Answers, offers a free fraud detection service through one of thier bill pay vendors. FraudNet is fraud prevention software that detects potential fraudulent activity over the bill pay scheduled transactions. The great advantage of this system is that FraudNet is detecting suspicious activity prior to it happening and stopping the transaction before it is scheduled to post.
“In October and November alone, FraudNet detected $212,399 in confirmed fraud for our clients’ members,” stated Angel McConer SettleMINT EFT Representative. Angel is one of the SettleMINT Team members responsible for monitoring FraudNet, and alerting clients of suspicious activity on their member’s accounts.
CU*Answers SettleMINT Team is the one stop location for all EFT related products including ATM/Debit & Credit Cards, Instant Issue Cards, Bill Pay, Compromised Card Support and Shared Branching. SettleMINT also offers consulting to help their credit union clients maximize their investment in EFT products and features.
Web Services launches new website for West Michigan Credit Union
CU*Answers Web Services is excited to announce the launch of a new website for West Michigan Credit Union. The new site is based on our WordPress with SiteControl platform and utilizes many of our latest greatest features such as site search, SSL, Online Banking Secure Login, easy access to rates and a responsive design for mobile support.
Please visit West Michigan Credit Union’s new website at https://wmicu.org.
Web Services launches new website for NACUSO
CU*Answers Web Services is excited to announce the launch of a new website for National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO). The redesign builds on their previous site design on our platform and incorporates some of our latest technology, including responsive design for mobile optimization, precompiled LESS CSS, as well as new techniques for using image background behind text to maximize flexibility while maintaining optimal text quality for multiple displays. This redesign is a new foundation for some exciting new programs coming out of NACUSO.
Please visit NACUSO’s new website at https://nacuso.org.
Web Services launches new website for Lake State Credit Union
CU*Answers Web Services is excited to announce the launch of a new website for Lake State Credit Union in Minnesota. The new site is based on our WordPress with SiteControl platform. The site utilizes a tabbed content area powered by a “mega nav” menu to provide easy navigation between similarly categorized content. Custom development for optional column layouts was also provided to allow easy editing of content in a multi-column layout.
Please visit Lake State Credit Union’s new website at http://lakestatecu.com.
Collections Tops Last Year’s Record at CU*Answers
Last year the Collections team at CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned cooperative CUSO that specializes in data processing, reached a milestone by working over 100,000 collections accounts. That record came toppling down already this year just 10.5 months into 2013.
“I knew the team was on track to break the record I just didn’t expect it to happen this soon,” stated Jerry Collins the Team Leader. “The team has been working really hard at efficiencies this year and this process shows how well they have achieved that goal.”
By reaching out to more members, the CUSO gives the Credit Union a better return on their investment and the members are more aware just how the Credit Union is there and willing to help them through difficult times or situations.
CU*Answers CEO Strategies Week a Rousing Success
CU*Answers, data processor to more than 200 credit unions nationwide, hosted its annual CEO Strategies Week in early November. During this week-long conference, CU*Answers welcomed CEOs from around the country to its corporate office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and on Wednesday, they met at one of Grand Rapids’ coolest attractions, Frederik Meijer Gardens.
The conference was a great opportunity for CU*Answers to share with its CEO clients its vision of the decade ahead and how the data processor can facilitate the agendas of their clients. The conference also gave CEOs the opportunity to hear from their CEO peers in the cuasterisk.com network and find out what will drive their business plans in 2014.
CU*Answers Continues to Provide Just In Time Learning
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned cooperative CUSO, schedules hundreds of training sessions throughout the year for their client credit unions. Many of them are announced in their annual Education Catalog, many by client request, and specifically a hot program they call Education Express.
Studies have proven that incentive to learn is at peak when a topic is current, critical, and commands attention. In response to the need for education at the right time, CU*Answers Client Services and Education Team identifies topics for the Education Express. Each month a 30-minute segment will be offered free of charge via Web Conference with topics relevant in the industry at the time. A broad range of significant topics will include regulatory and compliance alerts, sharing best practices for problem solving, software upgrades, and security awareness to list a few.
Education is the hallmark of all partners in the CU*Answers’ network. Education Express is one avenue of assuring clients have the tools to operate effectively in their growth as a credit union and financial services provider to their members.
CU*Answers Client Services and Education Team Expands
The West-Michigan based cooperative CUSO, CU*Answers, is pleased to announce that due to their expanding client base, the Client Services and Education Team are adding two new representatives in December. “As the Client Services and Education Team is the front line of software support for our clients, we are very sensitive to ensuring we have the necessary resources to service our client base” states Laura Welch-Vilker, VP of the Clients Services and Education Team.
Do to the nature of the calls, being on the Client Services and Education Team requires a very in-depth understanding of the software. “Because of this, the Client Services and Education Team is proud of the internal training programs that we have. We work with our team so they gain expertise in many areas in an effort to propel their careers. Our Team is not only the front line of support for the software, they also host training sessions throughout the year, are responsible for training our new clients prior to converting to CU*BASE, as well as post conversion support,” states Laura Welch-Vilker, VP of the Client Services and Education Team.
CU*Answers Announces the Client Interaction Management Team
CU*Answers, a core processing CUSO, is pleased to re-present a concept that started in early 2012. This concept was designed to align the teams that directly interact with their clients. “This is the team that will guarantee that every client interaction in the CU*Answers network leads to success,” states Laura Welch-Vilker, VP of Client Services and Education. “We work together to provide the best client experience and are the group that drives to get things done,” Welch-Vilker adds. The Client Interaction Management Team (CIMT) is led by Geoff Johnson, EVP of Client Interactions. The rest of the team consists of the VPs and Managers of each team.
- CU*Answers Management Services – Geoff Johnson, EVP Client Interactions
- AuditLink – Jim Vilker, VP
- Client Services & Education – Laura Welch-Vilker, VP
- Client Services – Pauline VanZalen, Manager
- Gividends – Keegan Daniel, Manager
- SettleMINT Daily Management & Client Interaction – Laura Welch-Vilker, VP
- SettleMINT Vendor Relationships – Keegan Daniel, Manager
- Delivery Services/Conversions – Martha Anderson, VP
- eDOC Strategies – John Beauchamp, Manager
- Web Services – David Damstra, VP
Newsletters from the Client Services and Education Team
CU*Answers Client Services and Education Team deliver newsletters to their clients on a monthly basis. The team provides these newsletters as just one way to keep clients abreast of upcoming events. “Whether it is a training event, an upcoming software release, or a new product offering, we strive to keep our clients informed. This gives them the opportunity to attend events and take advantage of new offerings,” states Pauline VanZalen, Manager of the Client Services and Education Team. The two newsletters are The Education Report and the Did You Know. “Both of which our clients can register for, free of charge on our website at www.cuanswers.com,” says VanZalen.
CU*Answers’ Targeted Tiered Scoring Analysis a Difference Maker
West Michigan-based core data processor, CU*Answers, recently announced that with the 13.2 release of its CU*BASE® core processing platform, the CUSO has added a Targeted Tiered Services Analysis. This exciting addition to the system creates innumerable ways in which a credit union can not only dig into the data of their members, but use that information immediately for targeted marketing opportunities.
The dashboard allows credit union staff to compare a segment of their membership with the entire member database. Staff can drill down on its members by branch, gender, age range, credit score range, or other descriptors such as aggregate savings and loan balances, whether they participate in e-statements or bill pay, and much more. Once a segment has been selected, that group is compared with the entire membership, providing comparisons for over forty key stats. The credit union can then drill down on any one goal (for example, members of that segment using online banking) and export that data for a variety of contact options: mailing labels, statement inserts, telemarketing trackers, and online banking and/or email messages.
“Seeing interesting stats is one thing, but being able to so quickly act on them puts this tool on another level. To go from creating a segment of your membership, to drilling down on a smaller portion, and then using that information to send out a marketing message within minutes is a real difference maker to credit unions today,” said a CU*Answers representative. The CUSO was also proud to announce that the tool and all other enhancements with the release were provided to client credit unions for free.
CUSO Engages IBM at Strategic Planning Level
CU*Answers, Inc., a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based cooperative CUSO recently sent a team of executives and technical leaders to the IBM Executive Briefing Center in Rochester, Minnesota for a strategic planning session with members of IBM’s POWER® systems development lab. The day-long agenda, which was developed collaboratively by both teams, focused on leveraging both existing and emerging IBM technologies within the CUSO’s CU*BASE® core data processing suite utilized by more than 200 credit unions across the US.
CU*Answers Chief Information Officer Jody Karnes noted, “IBM has been a great partner of our CUSO for more than two decades. Although this was not our first collaborative planning meeting with the IBM Rochester team, I believe it was the best one. Both sides shared their vision on how technology would evolve in the financial services sector in the coming decade, which not only validated our tactical project execution, but also helped frame the roadmap for an ongoing investment in IBM technology as the strategic backbone of our solutions. We left the session very energized.”
“We embrace the fact that IBM’s POWER® technology, in particular its IBM i operating system, is the most widely deployed platform in the banking world,” says Karnes. “We know we are in the right place, with the right partner and the best architecture. It’s exciting that the foundation we continue to build each day will serve hundreds of our owning credit unions and millions of their members for decades.”