Articles and Press Releases
CU*Answers Exhibits at OCUL Annual Convention
CU*Answers, the West Michigan-based core data processor, exhibited at the Invest 48 Ohio Credit Union League Annual Convention held April 7-9, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. Many interested credit unions stopped by the CUSO’s booth to learn more about CU*BASE®, the robust, credit union-developed data processing software to see it in action.
The event concluded with a door prize drawing in which Steve Wagner, CEO at University of Toledo Federal Credit Union won an Apple iPad Mini. The CU*Answers trade show team will be exhibiting at upcoming events including the West Virginia Credit Union League Annual Convention, Michigan Credit Union League Annual Convention, Wisconsin Credit Union League Annual Convention and Indiana Credit Union League Annual Convention this year.
CU*Answers Offers Free Training Event in Northern Michigan
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned, cooperative CUSO is offering Northern Michigan regional training on Thursday, April 24, 2014. Experts in attendance include Charlie McQueen, CEO of McQueen Financial Advisors and one of the nation’s leading advisors related to balance sheet management, Jim Vilker, NCCO, VP of Professional Services at CU*Answers and expert in audit and compliance, and Bryce Roth, co-founder of ChatterYak, a social media consulting and product offering business with expertise on how social media should be used in the credit union marketplace.
“This year’s unique learning event promises a full day of education brought to you by a team from CU*Answers recognized for their expertise in the credit union industry,” said Scott Page, EVP of CU*Answers. “I think credit unions will absorb a lot of knowledge from our experts, as they are covering regulatory updates including IRR, discussing ALM, regulators and potential rising interest rates, reviewing FFIEC guidelines for social media compliance and using CU*BASE® tools for managing compliance related tasks. There will be a significant amount of information for credit unions to take back to their workplace; and shows the level of partnership between CU*Answers and our credit unions in keeping them up to date with changes in the industry.”
Interested credit unions can contact CU*Answers at 800.327.3478 x179 or x589 to register.
CU*Answers Offers University Week Training
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned, cooperative CUSO recently offered a week of “university” training during which clients attended seven revised courses, eleven classroom training sessions and six webinar training sessions. The sessions were spread over a period of three days, from Tuesday, April 15 through Thursday, April 17. Classes were free to attend for registered attendees.
“With such a range of classes from maximizing member statements with “onserts” and statements styles to improving relationship management through marketing clubs and tiered service programs, there is content for all staff members at a credit union,” said Scott Page, EVP of CU*Answers. Our commitment to helping credit unions become power users of the software does not stop at conversion; our University Week events are a commitment to ongoing training, at no cost to the credit unions.”
CU*Answers Helping Clients Track Abnormal Activity
CU*Answers announced that in response to growing trends of fraud, and regulatory agencies urging credit unions to keep a close eye on member activity, CU*Answers is providing a popular tool allowing for credit unions to better monitor high risk activity within their membership.
The 100% credit union-owned CUSO added that its Abnormal Activity Monitoring dashboard, which is provided free to any credit union utilizing its CU*BASE® processing system, is uniquely designed to help staff more easily perform their due diligence as it pertains to fraud and monitoring special situations. The feature does so by electronically sifting through member transactions to find those that are either abnormal or high risk according to parameters set by each credit union and trends in member activity.
One way in which the system allows a credit union to set parameters is to review transactions based on the transaction type. Representatives mentioned several common origin types include teller, ACH, debit/ATM, credit card, audio response and share drafts. Each credit union is then able to define ranges (number of transactions and dollar amounts) for a month’s worth of transaction activity that the credit union would consider as normal, abnormal, and high risk for the group. They concluded by stating that credit unions utilizing this tool were able to more easily and carefully track member activity via nearly every delivery channel, trend this activity over time, and focus upon specific situations requiring greater attention in a faster, more efficient manner.
CU*Answers Converts Notre Dame Federal Credit Union
CU*Answers, West Michigan-based core processing CUSO, announced that Notre Dame Federal Credit Union is now online with their core product, CU*BASE®. The Delivery Services team converted the credit union’s data on March 28, 2014 for its 58,000 members. CU*Answers rolled out its Custom Training Program to train NDFCU’s corporate trainers who then facilitated classroom training for their 176 partners in preparation for their conversion to CU*BASE. The program was a huge success as reflected in each partner’s confidence in navigating their new software.
CU*Answers Delivery Service team has over 35 years collectively of data conversion experience and are ready to assist new and existing clients with their projects and ensure a smooth transition.
CU*Answers is Committed to Work/Life Balance
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned cooperative CUSO, has stated it commitment to the work/life balance of its employees and has empowered its team for success. Understanding that this balance is ever changing at each stage of life, CU*Answers encourages employees to find ways to live their life that give them personal fulfillment.
“Work life balance is an ever evolving goal. It is as much the responsibility of the employee as it is the employer,” says Bob Frizzle, CU*Answers CFO. “Offer the capacity you have, the ability and desire to deliver, and then have the fortitude to be true to it.”
CU*Answers Executive Team supports this Work/Life Balance initiative and their Organizational Resource Development (ORD) Team has provided a resource tool for employees to help analyze what balance is needed for them. “In the end, we want our employees to know that CU*Answers is on their side during this journey,” states Katie Smigiel, CU*Answers Vice President of ORD.
CU*Answers Supports Employee Development
CU*Answers, the West Michigan-based cooperative CUSO, declared that promoting employee education and training are tangible objectives for the professional and personal growth of their staff. As a continued investment in our team members, the Organizational Development Team offers a Trainer Certification course that encourages the development of presentation skills. The response from our team has been incredibly positive; we currently have over 50 employees that have completed and are now certified CU*Answers trainers.
March is a Busy Month at CU*Answers
CU*Answers, the 100% owned cooperative CUSO was busy hosting many events that concluded the month of March. Events included the inaugural session of CFO Strategies lead by the CUSO’s CFO, Bob Frizzle, the Accounting Top Ten, and the Pricing Focus Group. The busy month was then concluded with the CU*Answers Board Meeting.
Throughout the week of March 24-28th over 30 credit unions participated in the week’s meetings hosted by the CUSO. Those that attended were happy with the format and topics of the meetings. Having back to back events allowed for important networking and brainstorming opportunities amongst peers and colleagues for those in attendance.
CU*Answers has multiple board rooms, and meeting rooms with classroom seating available. The CUSO also has up to date technology to aid with presentations and trainings, which includes smart board technology. Contact PJ Haehnel, VP of Administration (616-285-5711 x.104) to schedule your next meeting or training session.
CU*Answers Hosts “Building a Culture of Continuity” Webinar
On April 8, 2014, CU*Answers, a 100% credit union-owned CUSO, presented a complimentary web-based Education Express course for credit unions on building a “Culture of Continuity” to enhance preparedness and response to potential business disruptions.
“The desired culture of continuity”, states Jim Lawrence, CBCP, Manager of Disaster Recovery and Business Resumption Services at CU*Answers, “is one in which all staff inherently work to minimize the likelihood of downtime and improve responsiveness and recoverability as they perform their day-to-day tasks and functions. This is best accomplished when engagement from all levels of the organization is visible and a robust awareness and training program is in place.”
As part of their commitment to their network of 200+ credit union clients, CU*Answers, a cooperative CUSO, provides professional education courses (classroom and web-based) on topics relevant to the needs and current events of the industry. Included in the series of courses offered on the topic of Information Security, interest in Business Continuity and Operational Resilience continues to grow.
Additional information about the CU*Answers Online University and Education Program can be found at www.cuanswers.com/education.
CU*Answers Offers New Tools through Mobile Web
CU*Answers, a credit union owned cooperative CUSO, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, continues to release new mobile web banking features with their upcoming 14.0 release of its core processing platform, CU*BASE® in May. It’s Me 247 Mobile Web Banking is a free offering to credit unions on the CU*BASE platform.
Giving members a way to apply for loans, use remote deposit capture, look up cleared check information, view rate boards and review their device for mobile feature support enhances the mobile delivery channel for our credit union clients. Continuing with enhancing the suite of solutions designed to cater to mobile device users, CU*Answers serves their client base with up-to-date mobile offerings.
For more information about mobile banking offerings, visit www.cuanswers.com or contact our client service team at 1-800-327-3478, extension 255.
CU*Answers launches “It’s My Biz” with Notre Dame FCU
CU*Answers, in collaboration with Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, launched in beta It’s My BIZ, the first online banking tool specifically designed for business banking.
Providing many of the personal online banking features, but with multiple log-on security and configurable access permissions is our first step with this exciting product offering. Planned for the future enhancements are mobile web and text banking, business bill pay and smart messaging.
Working with Thomas Gryp, CEO, Notre Dame FCU on the development of online banking for businesses was rewarding and continues with the 7 Cooperative Principles CU*Answers holds true in its corporate strategy. Using the ideas that come from clients provides success for CU*Answers as a CUSO and its credit union client base. Looking for exciting ways to meet the needs of businesses as they look to credit unions for their financial needs will insure that credit unions can be successful in the business marketplace.
Notre Dame FCU is the 13th largest credit union in Indiana, serving over 57,000 members.
CU*Answers Dashboards Give “Grasp” to Management Teams
CU*Answers, a core processing CUSO, allocates six programming team members to solely focus on trending analytics ‘dashboards’, delivered through quick access. These dashboards not only provide the numbers, but supply colorful graphs, and export to PDF documents for board and other presentations.
Using data already archived, this team provides dashboards designed with valuable trending and target marketing tools. This key information is needed to make strategic decisions that move the credit union forward.
The programming team works directly with Randy Karnes, CU*Answers CEO, who states “credit union executives need to show they have grasp on the business of their credit union. These CU*BASE® dashboards not only provide this grasp, but embed functions that communicate to members and act on these trends.”
With over 60 dashboards that take a look at key lending trends, financial ratios, peer rate analysis, EFT network usage, teller and cash analysis and audit tracking in addition to member product and service penetration, management teams can leverage the investment in their own data to ‘get the answers’.
For more detail, visit www.cuanswers.com/pdf/cb_ref/Leadership_Dashboards.pdf
CU*Answers Exhibits at ICUL Annual Convention
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned, cooperative CUSO exhibited at the 84th Illinois Credit Union League Annual Convention held April 3-5, 2014. Many interested credit unions stopped by the CUSO’s booth to learn more about CU*BASE®, the robust, credit union-developed data processing software to see it in action.
The event concluded with a door prize drawing in which Penny Goodrum, VP and Senior Consumer Loan Officer of First Illinois Credit Union won an Apple iPad Mini. The CU*Answers trade show team will be exhibiting at upcoming events including the Ohio Credit Union League Annual Convention, Wisconsin Credit Union League Annual Convention and Indiana Credit Union League Annual Convention this year.
CU*Answers’ “Of Course!” Connects CEOs
CU*Answers, a 100% credit union-owned cooperative CUSO, has announced that over 140 credit union CEOs nationally have already joined the CU*Answers “Of Course!” website to share policies and ideas, ask questions, and brainstorm new ways to run their business.
A CU*Answers spokesperson said “Of Course!” represents a private online community for CEOs utilizing a CU*BASE® connected workstation to share tips and tricks with each other. In essence, it’s a collaboration of peers sharing working practices, did-you-knows and other thought provoking moments. It also allows credit union peers to reach out to each other easily for an assist. Recent conversations include experiences and recommendations for credit union name changes, converting bill pay providers, and e-signature adoption for lending.
They concluded by stating that a CEO may even earn points for their credit union as part of the CU*Answers CollabRebate program, which gives credit unions financial rewards for participation in the cooperative. The site is restricted to CEOs of credit unions on the CU*BASE® platform to keep the audience participation and respect for participation at a certain level.
CU*Answers Adds its Newest Owner
CU*Answers, the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based cooperative CUSO, announced that it had recently added another credit union owner. This newest investor is Lakes Community Credit Union, located in Lake Orion, MI ($80M and 9,000 members).
Scott Page, CU*Answers EVP said, “Lakes Community Credit Union marks the 122nd CU*Answers owner, with four new owners already added in 2014. We are very excited at the level credit unions want to participate, including having an equal voting privilege in helping set the future direction of their cooperative technology CUSO”.