Articles and Press Releases
CU*Answers Announces OFAC Feature Update
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned, cooperative CUSO announced today that it is upgrading its OFAC scanning feature as a standard part of its CU*BASE® core data processing platform. Starting on July 22nd, when the database is scanned as part of regularly scheduled OFAC reporting, the database will also be scanned and compared to the Foreign Sanctions Evaders (FSE) list. This will create a separate report to help identify which list any potential matches may appear on.
“This is just another example of the power of credit unions owning their data processing partner—we are implementing this regulatory feature at no cost to our credit unions,” said Scott Page, EVP of CU*Answers. “In a future update, we will also implement this feature to allow for FSE scanning during single-name searches, such as during account opening.”
Notre Dame FCU Converts to CU*Answers
100% credit union-owned CUSO, CU*Answers, recently announced the successful conversion of Notre Dame FCU located in South Bend, Indiana to its CU*BASE® processing system. The credit union represents over 58,000 members, and $479 million in assets.
CU*Answers said the credit union converted to its CU*BASE SaaS processing solution and has deployed a wide variety of self-service tools for serving their members, including the It’s Me 247 Online Banking suite of services. CU*Answers added that the client had also implemented a comprehensive in-house CU*Answers imaging solution for internally managing its electronic document management strategy.
Thomas Gryp, President and CEO of Notre Dame FCU said, “We found the entire conversion process with CU*Answers extremely well planned and executed. By the time conversion date arrived, our employees were fully trained and ready to go. The result was a painless conversion. From beginning to end, CU*Answers under-promised and over-delivered. Their commitment to the collaborative nature of our credit union movement is not just a sales pitch; it is hard-wired into their culture and all credit unions associated with them benefit as a result!”
CU*Answers added this conversion represented its seventh new client conversion of 2014, and is projecting to convert over 150 thousand new members to the CU*BASE platform during the year.
CU*Answers Announces New Grand Opening Kit
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned, cooperative CUSO announced it will soon be releasing a new marketing “Grand Opening” kit in September. The CUSO stated the theme of the marketing kit follows the theme of the company’s Annual Leadership Conference, “Walking in the Members’ Shoes.” CU*Answers’ Annual Conference was held earlier this summer.
The Grand Opening Kit has a focus on the member, reminding them that their credit union is with them no matter where they are. Whether they’re using a computer, tablet, phone, ATM, credit, or debit card members can use their devices and services anywhere they go.
CU*Answers went on to say the Grand Opening Kit includes lobby posters, statement inserts, web banners for the CU’s website, statement onserts, and a Facebook cover photo. All materials are created by CU*Answers and each client of the data processor receives one Grand Opening Kit at no cost. More information can be found at http://marketing.cuanswers.com.
CU*Answers Announces Compliance Contest
CU*Answers, a 100% credit union-owned, cooperative CUSO has created two new contests to help measure the “Cost of Compliance”. The data processing CUSO is looking for volunteers to start analyzing both the overt and covert costs of day-to-day compliance at their credit unions. The CUSO went on to say the following about the compliance contests:
“Over the course of the next two years, AuditLink will hold two contests to develop a template to account for the cost of compliance and then to put it into practice. The first contest begins now and will revolve around getting CEOs, CFOs, and compliance professionals to develop an outline and process to actually account for compliance related costs. We’ll then announce the winners at the November CEO Strategies event.”
CU*Answers has put up a total of $10,000 for the two contests. Each contest will have three winners with first place receiving $2,500, second place receiving $1,500, and third receiving $1,000.
CU*Answers Announces July Tricks of the Trade
West Michigan-based data processing CUSO, CU*Answers, announced its upcoming July Tricks of the Trade. The CU*Answers Tricks of the Trade publication is one of the various education and documentation tools that CU*Answers provides for free to its credit union partners. Scott Page, EVP at CU*Answers said, “This quick read document helps keep the credit union staff informed as to some of the key resources available with the CU*BASE data processing system and helps credit unions encourage a culture of continued learning at their organization.”
July’s publication will include Walking in the Members’ Shoes. This initiative reminds us to be consumers, owners and architects of the programs and services we provide to members. The next item in this document is the Release Control Options for In-House Imaging Solutions—the ability of credit unions for managing their in-house archival system (hands off to managed services). It also includes Creating a Cost of Compliance, a contest CU*Answers has created for credit unions to track the cost of their compliance initiatives. Membership Opening is the next item in this document and it is a CU*Answers programming initiative for creating an online membership opening tool. Finding Ways to Pay Members for Ideas is two contests that CU*Answers is offering to its credit unions and is the last item in this educational document.
CU*Answers Announces It’s My Biz 247 Webinar
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned, data processing CUSO is excited to announce the first webinar for its new business online banking product “It’s My Biz 247.” It’s My Biz is a secondary platform for only banking, but just for business members. It is currently in beta with three credit unions on the CU*Answers platform. CU*Answers is helping credit unions answer the question, “Do you know the difference between serving members who happen to be businesses, and building a credit union for business?”
The webinars are free to attend and will be held at 2 PM ET on three separate dates: August 7, 14, and 21. Per a representative at CU*Answers, “We took a moment to walk in the business member’s shoes and we learned something: business owners need business banking! So what we came up with “It’s My Biz 247” is nothing less than huge.”
eDOC Innovations’ 2014 Annual Leadership Meeting
Credit union clients and industry partners joined eDOC Innovations for the 2014 eDOC Innovations’ Annual Leadership Meeting and Strategy Session, held May 14 – 15, 2014 in Boston, MA. Highlights at this year’s meeting included how to build a digital credit union culture and attract mobile members.
Patty Sarne, SVP/COO of San Antonio Citizens Credit Union comments, “Being a new owner of eDOC Innovations, we felt it was important to attend this conference. Hearing from eDOC Innovations’ executives, learning about their software solutions and strategic goals helped our credit union better understand the value of our cooperative ownership. Additionally, we found the live education session to be helpful in our software training process.”
By switching to an e-document strategy, credit unions can go digital, increase membership and reduce overhead and paper cost. For more information about eDOC Innovations visit: http://edoclogic.com.
CU*NorthWest Announces 2014 Video Contest Winners
At its annual 2014 Leadership Conference, June 25-27, CU*NorthWest announced the winner of the Best Completed Video contest. The winning contributors, all employees of credit unions on the CU*BASE core processing platform, won $1,500 for their credit union. The theme for this year’s contest was “Walking in the Members’ Shoes.” The attendees at the Leadership Conference were able to watch the submitted videos on the big screen at the Northern Quest Resort in Airway Heights, Washington and vote for their favorite entry.
The winner of this year’s contest was Inland Valley Federal Credit Union, Fontana, California. The credit union staff created a fun and inspiring video that was voted to best represent the theme. Runner up went to PrimeSource Credit Union, Spokane, Washington.
The 2014 Leadership Conference “Walking in the Members” Shoes” was an Amazing Success
CU*Northwest held their fifth annual Leadership conference June 25-26 at Northern Quest Resort in Airway Heights, WA. The event began with an open CU*NorthWest board meeting and welcome cocktail reception, then moved to additional days of interactive discussions and executive briefings for CEOs and senior managers of CU*NorthWest client credit unions. The event also incorporated a stockholder annual meeting for the cooperative.
The theme of “Walking in the Members’ Shoes” was the catalyst for member-centric discussions with guest participants Randy Karnes, CEO of CU*Answers, Linda Bodie, Chief Innovator at Element FCU, and Evie Rasmussen, CEO, United Financial Northwest FCU. New software, business initiatives and strategic planning were discussed in a conversation platform that encouraged participation by attendees. The annual executive briefing is designed to give a strategic update on product and network initiatives for the coming year and allow credit unions to interact directly with other credit union management teams and CU*NorthWest leaders.
CU*Northwest CEO Greg Smith briefed participants on CU*NorthWest directives for the coming year including the beginning pricing reductions, new CU*NorthWest services, and host of new products coming within the CU*BASE GOLD core product suite. CU*Northwest Vice President, Ann Joyce led a roundtable discussion on credit union success stories to end the conference.
Greg Smith said, “As a cooperative CUSO, we take our responsibility to provide complete transparency for our client/owners seriously. The conference is designed as an executive briefing for the coming year as well as an opportunity for our staff and board of directors to interact directly with client/owners. We must continually work to uphold the core principles of cooperatives – listening may be even more important than talking for us during this event”.
Washington Community Joins eDOC Innovations CUSO
eDOC Innovations, a leading provider of core image processing solutions, is excited to announce that Washington Community Credit Union, based in Washington, PA, has joined eDOC Innovations as a new CUSO owner.
Bret Weekes, President and CEO of eDOC Innovations comments, “We believe in the Buy CUSO business model, need it, build it, use it and own it. Investing in our CUSO empowers credit unions to defend their capital investments in technology and participate in the future of their software solution.”
Washington Community Credit Union is eDOC Innovations’ 23rd CUSO owner. eDOC Innovations, partnered with the cuasterisk.com network, advocates cooperative principles and the value of the CUSO business model to credit unions nationwide. For more information on how you can Buy CUSO visit http://cuasterisk.com/buy-cuso/.
CU*SOUTH Converts Newark Firemen FCU to CU*BASE® Core
Newark Firemen FCU (NFFCU) has completed their conversion to the CU*BASE GOLD core platform with CU*SOUTH.
With the lights of Manhattan shining across the Passaic River, Newark Firemen FCU serves over 2,100 members with $18M in assets. Organized in 1940, NFFCU was chartered to serve the firefighters of the City of Newark, as well as their families. In 2006, a SEG expansion extended service to the firefighters of Irvington Township.
Outstanding member service is of the utmost importance to NFFCU, especially as the men and women firefighters of both Newark and Irvington risk their lives on a daily basis.
“Visit any firehouse in this area, and you’ll see memorials to the heroes of 9/11,” says CU*SOUTH CEO Leo Vaulin. “CU*SOUTH is proud to serve the members of two firefighter credit unions in northern New Jersey – Newark Firemen FCU and Elizabeth (NJ) Firemen’s FCU.”
With its mission to be the “go-to” financial institution for the fire departments, one of the new system’s greatest feature updates was It’s Me 247 online banking, including mobile, text, online membership applications, and loan applications with auto-decisioning options.
“One of the key selling points for serving our members with the CU*BASE platform was the amount of online capability,” says NFFCU CEO Gene Benick. “These functions make it easy for firefighters to post transactions, even from the firehouse.”
Keeping up with the changing needs of the CU’s members was a priority in Mr. Benick’s decision to upgrade core systems to CU*SOUTH: “We fed our old system data, data, data… but got very little in return. With CU*BASE, we feed it data that then helps us better serve our members.”
Mr. Benick is no stranger to core conversions: “I was very impressed by the amount of preparation by the CU*SOUTH staff. In past experiences, conversions were more like, ‘Here’s this number, and does it agree with that number?’ There’s a lot more to it, and CU*SOUTH’s attention to detail made me very confident.”
Partnering with a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) made for an easier training experience.
“Our training was conducted by CU*SOUTH staff who actually work in a credit union. They’ve been in the trenches, and they know what it’s like. That made it very easy for our staff to relate.”
Dividend to CU*NorthWest Stockholders
CU*NorthWest and its board of directors approved and distributed a dividend to its stockholders during the stockholder Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with the 2014 Leadership Conference at Northern Quest Resort on June 25th. This is the third consecutive year that the CU*NorthWest’s board of directors has declared a dividend and also maintained steady stock value growth. The CUSO, founded in 2005 is now selling stock for twice the original offering.
Todd Powell, CU*Northwest board member says, “CU*Northwest has successfully transitioned from the start up phase to the growth phase. We’ve met or exceeded all of our projections to this point and have positioned the company to successfully continue expansion in the Western United States. The credit unions we serve are realizing the benefits of using a true cooperative for their data processing services.”
Family First FCU Buys Stock at CU*NorthWest
CU*NorthWest, the Liberty Lake, Washington-based cooperative CUSO announced that it has added a new credit union owner. The latest investor is Family First Federal Credit Union, a 2,200 member CU located in Great Falls, Montana.
Curtis Heyamoto, Business Development said, “Family First FCU marks the 20th owner at CU*NorthWest. Every credit union processing with CU*NorthWest has the ability to acquire an equitable ownership share and voting right regardless of member- or asset-size.”
CU*Answers Announces Cost of Compliance Contest
In an major effort to push credit unions, vendors, and third parties to develop some classic models for analyzing and designing a new future for compliance execution, CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned cooperative is sponsoring two contests that offer to pay a total of $10,000 to make it happen. “The time to complain about the ‘ghost’ cost of compliance is over,” says CEO Randy Karnes, “It’s time to act! Every income statement should call these costs out in black and white. What would your examiner say the next time he sees the mounting cost of examinations is documented and discussed in board minutes? Advertising that you track to attack in every P&L statement is priceless!”
AuditLink, the CUSO’s audit and compliance arm, announced that they will hold two contests to develop a template to account for the cost of compliance and then to put it into practice. The first contest begins on July 8th and revolves around getting CEOs, CFOs, and compliance professionals to develop an outline and process to actually account for compliance related costs. Deadline for entry is September 30th.
Beginning January 1, 2015, the second contest will revolve around the application of the templates in a real world environment in which compliance expenses are actually accounted for and recognized on the expense statement. Each contest will have three winners with first place receiving $2,500, second place receiving $1,500, and third receiving $1,000.
“We want to call out the teams that try, not just whine. If we have to pay people to get started then it’s money well spent. Innovation does not come from complaining about our circumstances—it comes from taking the first step to change them,” Karnes concludes.
CU*Answers and Accenture Mortgage Cadence Growth
West Michigan-based core processor, CU*Answers, announced a 23% growth in the number of mortgage application and processing sites through Accenture/Mortgage Cadence’ Loan Fulfilment Center.
Since 2006, CU*Answers has been a value added reseller of the first cloud-based, inclusive mortgage lending solution to the credit union industry offered by Accenture/Mortgage Cadence, formerly Prime Alliance Solutions, Inc.
Over the fiscal year 2014 to date, the number of individual sites built and supported by CU*Answers’ Lender*RE team increased from 53 to 65, representing a 23% increase. These sites generated 6369 mortgage applications and 2890 mortgage closings, with a combined volume of $375 million for both individual clients and CUSO’s. CU*Answers is dedicated to assisting client CU’s with their lending strategies by enhancing their portfolio lending efforts and providing access to Secondary Market Lending via a custom LOS at a competitive price point.