Articles and Press Releases
CU*Answers Live It! Series Promotes Cooperative Message
CU*Answers, the West Michigan-based core data processor, announced its development of the Live It! series as a way for credit unions to differentiate themselves from other financial institutions. This series promotes the 7 Cooperative Principles that expound on the value of membership, as well as the rewards and liberties of ownership. Credit unions have long been looking for a convincing message to shout from the rooftops. What better way than to employ the very principles that are at the foundation of credit unions and other cooperative businesses?
CU*Answers added the overriding theme to this series is: “We are your Cooperative… We are your Credit Union!” This message communicates the same common thread that cooperatives around the world operate according to the same core principles and values.
CU*Answers said that for any credit union having further questions or seeking additional information on the Live It! Series, the seven cooperative principals, or ways to convey their message of cooperative spirit to its membership, to simply contact Melinda Haehnel at email@example.com or 1-800-327-3478.
CU*Answers Attends Minnesota Annual Credit Union Convention
CU*Answers, the West Michigan-based cooperative CUSO, was an exhibitor at the Minnesota Annual Credit Union Convention held on May 17th and 18th in Minneapolis, MN. Many interested individuals in the industry stopped by the booth to learn more about CU*BASE®, the CUSO’s data processing system.
Mike Gruber, sales associate at CU*Answers commented, “The growth of America’s credit unions in the state of Minnesota is encouraging.” CU*Answers provides data processing to five credit unions in the state of Minnesota including Building Trades FCU, Lake State FCU, Catholic United Financial FCU, Wakota FCU and Toro Employees FCU. Mike added, “I am proud to be surrounded by this group of individuals passionate about the credit union industry.”
CU*Answers looks forward to upcoming trade events including the June Credit Union Association of the Dakotas Annual Meeting, and the CU*Answers Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan with events beginning June 18, 2013.
CU*Answers Announces Rollout of ProDOC version 7
CU*Answers, the 100% Credit Union-owned, cooperative CUSO head-quartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, announced that the ProDOC Version 7 release is arriving on May 20, 2013 for clients utilizing its online CU*Spy imaging solution, powered by eDOC Innovations. The upgrade will add an extra layer of security, improving protection of data with better management and efficiency tools in regards to encryption and data storage.
“The release of ProDOC Version 7 to our online clients is just another way that we walk the talk in regards to ongoing upgrades for our credit unions at no additional cost,” said Scott Page, EVP of CU*Answers. “This update will allow for faster backup and recovery operations, positively impacting the credit union’s revenue opportunities, while mitigating risk factors.”
ProDOC Packages™ is an enterprise workflow management module that streamlines transaction documents by packing them together for easy electronic management, delivery, storage and retrieval. ProDOC Packages™ enables credit unions to close loans faster, process new accounts more efficiently and verify that all documents within a workflow ‘package’ are fully compliant. Visit our website ProDoc Packages™ Enterprise workflow management for more information and to learn more about valuable services offered by CU*Answers.
CU*Answers Attends Wisconsin Annual Credit Union Convention
CU*Answers, the West Michigan-based cooperative CUSO, was an exhibitor at the Wisconsin Annual Credit Union Convention held on May 9th and 10th in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Many interested individuals in the industry stopped by the booth to learn more about CU*BASE®, the CUSO’s data processing system.
Mike Gruber, sales associate at CU*Answers commented, “Credit Unions in the Wisconsin marketplace share a vital collaborative spirit that is refreshing.” Mike added that many credit union professionals who stopped to review CU*Answers were referred by peers. Currently CU*Answers provides core data processing solutions to eighteen credit unions in Wisconsin accounting for over $2.5 billion in assets.
Upcoming events for CU*Answers includes the June Credit Union Association of the Dakotas Annual Meeting, and the CU*Answers Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan with events beginning June 18, 2013. To learn more about CU*Answers, its network partners, and to view a full show schedule, visit http://cuasterisk.com/about/tradeshow-schedule/.
Lenco CU Adopts CU*Answers Electronic Document System
Lenco Credit Union in Adrian MI, has chosen to partner with CU*Answers and implement CU*Spy® as their core image processing solution. Lenco Credit Union has been serving members since 1969 and will now serve them with additional electronic document conveniences.
CU*Spy offers a solution for credit unions to get started with core image processing including e-Receipts, Photo ID’s, Loan and membership forms. CU*Spy is an inexpensive, easy to implement online eDocument solution available to all members of the CU*Answers CUSO. Through leveraging the CUSO Lenco Credit Union is now able to provide to their members, eDocument conveniences, efficiencies and security usually reserved for much more expensive solutions.
CU*Answers Encourages Staff Innovation at Be an Innovator Meeting
Over 30 employees met Wednesday to participate in the CU*Answers “Be an Innovator” Idea and Networking lunch. These meetings encourage collaboration and provide employees the opportunity to present their own innovative ideas or ways to improve processes at CU*Answers. This meeting was the second company-wide event.
Randy Karnes, CEO of CU*Answers opened the meeting with a keynote on the importance of innovation at CU*Answers and in the credit union industry. After his address, seven employees presented their own original ideas to the group. These ideas ranged from growing an employee mentoring program to developing an additional service for clients to enhancing the onboarding process of new programmers. Attendees selected the idea they wanted to vet and worked for the rest of the meeting in groups with the goal of implementing the ideas.
Alycia Meyers, coordinator of the group, reported that people who participated in the event came from all areas of the company and held both management and non-management positions. “The feedback of the group was overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “One person in management reported that he felt there was ‘good interaction between people working together.’ Other people liked the ‘support from management’ and the ‘open dialogue and small group vetting’.”
Randy Karnes, CEO at CU*Answers said about the group, “The innovators group at CU*Answers is designed to challenge to our corporate designs for innovations. We value it as a volunteer-employee-challenge to the ways we drive change into our network. A group to innovate on the processes of making things happen everywhere we can. It takes practices to put ideas out there, to challenge entrenched, and to lead in bringing things to market both internally and externally – the innovators group project is to build that experience and for generations of CU*A participants to take ownership of the responsibility to champion our future.”
Be an Innovator lunches are scheduled every two months. The next event is scheduled for July.
CU*Answers Adds 7th and 8th New Owners for 2013
CU*Answers, the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based cooperative CUSO, announced that it has added two credit unions to its ownership ranks. The newest owners include Thornapple Valley Community Credit Union located in Hastings, MI ($14M and 4,500 members), and Firefighters Credit Union located in LaCrosse, WI ($62M and 4,300 members).
Scott Page, CU*Answers EVP said “A key differentiator to our on-going Cooperative CUSO growth is that nearly every CU*BASE® client is provided a unique opportunity to become a CU*Answers owner, at an affordable investment price. Not only has CU*Answers stock ownership provided a solid historical return on investment, but each owner is provided an equal voting privilege, including the option for being nominated to and voting for the CU*Answers Board of Directors on an annual basis. This equitable ownership opportunity is something that CU*Answers has adhered to since it initially offered its credit union ownership option over 25 years ago. Without a doubt, it is part of the reason clients utilizing our CU*BASE processing system feel a vested partnership with CU*Answers versus that of a traditional vendor/customer relationship. As a CU*Answers owner, they receive a guaranteed dividend check back each year as based upon their on-going CUSO patronage.”
CU*Answers stated that with these two newest investors it was now at 111 credit union owners nationally, with 8 new owners already added during its 2013 fiscal year.
CU*Answers Releases White Paper Assessing the Risk of DDoS Attacks
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned, cooperative CUSO headquartered In Grand Rapids, MI has published a white paper focusing on assessing the risk of Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks (DDoS). The white paper was developed in conjunction with AuditLink, an auditing and compliance division of CU*Answers Managed Services. The document fully describes a DDoS attack and what credit unions can do to protect themselves and prepare for examinations from regulators.
“DDoS attacks are in the news and on the minds of examiners,” Scott Page, EVP of CU*Answers said. “AuditLink has done a phenomenal job in providing guidelines for a credit union to assess their vulnerabilities and practical tips to address those concerns. A credit union needs to show they have controls in place and a grasp of what the business impact can be – and be able to show examiners they are aware and proactive. This white paper provides credit unions a valuable resource to do just that.”
For more information about DDos Risk Assessments and to read the white paper visit http://auditlink.cuanswers.com/ or contact Patrick Sickles, Internal Auditor at 800-327-3478.
CU*Answers Supports Co-Ops for Change Initiative
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned, collaborative CUSO based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan announced that CEO Randy Karnes is the inaugural guest for the Co-Ops for Change Podcast. Karnes sits down with Callahan & Associates Chairman and Co-Ops for Change founder Chip Filson to discuss imperatives for regulatory leadership at this critical crossroads for credit unions.
“This effort isn’t about making an “industry-friendly” regulator,” Karnes said. “It’s about making sure the regulators recognize the unique design of credit unions over other financial service models. It’s about how a regulatory board influences the tone of an organization, the marketing and branding of the credit union.”
Co-Ops for Change is a grassroots movement to increase awareness both within the credit union community and among elected policymakers that regulatory leadership should understand and support the cooperative principals. The three major objectives are to reestablish cooperative principals as the core of the credit union regulatory system, provide credit union members and leaders the opportunity to demonstrate support for leadership based on these principals, and to advance a vision of a 21st century cooperative regulator that will enhance credit unions’ contributions from their unique capabilities based on their different design. To learn more about Co-Ops for change, to listen to the podcast, and to get involved, visit CU*Answers Supports Co-Ops for Change.
CU*Answers Report Series Provides Simplicity
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned core data processor, announced its “My Favorite Reports” brochure series is receiving high marks from credit union executives reviewing CU*Answers. Credit unions stated that My Favorite Reports allowed them to quickly acclimate themselves to over sixty key reports necessary for successful accountability and compliance measures. A CU*Answers representative stated, “We are proud of the fact we have provided a method of retrieving information with overall ease and simplicity to the user.” Company representatives went on to say they will continue to invest in “dashboard” like programs well-liked by users of the CU*BASE® core processing system.
The “My Favorite Reports” brochure series focuses on nine primary areas of credit union interest: CEO, marketing, lending, collections, auditing, accounting, teller, member service, and daily reports. CU*Answers added that the report series and reference materials are written by industry experts providing purpose and value to all CU*BASE users and professionals.
CUSO Welcomes Two New Owners
Xtend, Inc., the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based CUSO, announced that two more credit unions had purchased an ownership block of shares, becoming the 69th and 70th owners of the multi-owned shared resources company. Company President Scott Collins indicated that the two credit unions were Wyoming, Michigan-based Kenowa Community Federal Credit Union and Grand Haven, Michigan-based Tri-Cities Credit Union.
Xtend Board Chairman Steve Searfoss (AAA Federal CU, South Bend, Indiana) said, “On behalf of the other eight CUSO Board Directors, it is my pleasure to welcome our two newest owners to the CUSO. It will also be my pleasure to acknowledge both Brian (Kenowa Community FCU CEO Brian Moran) and Sara (Tri-Cities CU CEO Sara Redeker) as new owners during our Annual Stockholder Meeting next month.” The Xtend 2013 Stockholder Meeting will take place on June 18th at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
eDOC and DigitalMailer Collaborate on My Virtual StrongBox
eDOC Innovations and DigitalMailer, Inc. have partnered to integrate My Virtual StrongBox© for eDOC’s 2020eDOC Member Document Portal users. My Virtual StrongBox acts as a virtual safety deposit box for vital member documents.
“We are excited about collaborating with eDOC Innovations and its network of CUSOs,” says Ron Daly, President/CEO of DigitalMailer. “In adding My Virtual StrongBox as part of its product offerings and combining the strengths of our companies, we can help credit unions deliver not only a valuable service to their members, but also one that is ‘sticky.’ And where better to store your important financial documents and files than with your trusted credit union!”
“The concept of extending delivery of documents found in the portal to a virtual safe deposit box, where a member can also contribute to the content is a natural evolution.” said Bret Weekes, President/CEO of eDOC Innovations. “The collaboration of our CUSO and DigitalMailer will again demonstrate an intense commitment we have to help credit unions drive value to their members and to capture the business opportunities that have sustainable influences for the credit union.”
My Virtual StrongBox within the 2020eDOC Member Document Portal is available now! For more information on how to obtain the 2020eDOC member portal with My Virtual StrongBox email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wakota Federal Credit Union Signs with CU*Answers
CU*Answers, the West Michigan-based CUSO, announced the recent signing of Wakota Federal Credit Union, located in South St. Paul, Minnesota to a new CU*BASE® online processing agreement. Wakota Federal Credit Union is a $20 million dollar credit union serving over 3,600 members.
Asked why Wakota Federal Credit Union chose CU*Answers, Mary Matheson, CEO, of Wakota FCU stated, “After a nine month search Wakota selected CU*Answers based on the company’s organizational structure of being a true forward thinking CUSO, and the positive references from existing CU*Answers credit unions. The collaborative services and pricing ultimately won us over.” Ms. Matheson goes on to say, “The ease and design of the CU*BASE analytics programs surpassed that of any of its competitors. We are very excited to partner with CU*Answers.”
Wakota Federal Credit Union is set for an August 2013 conversion joining three others in the state including, Building Trades CU, Lake State CU, and another recent partner, Toro Employees FCU. CU*Answers added that the number of credit unions nationally utilizing CU*BASE surpassed 200 during 2012, encompassing clients in over 25 states.
Collections Roundtable Features US Secret Service
A Collections Roundtable held quarterly for CU*Answers clients at their Grand Rapids location had a speaker from the US Secret Service in their March session. This was a huge opportunity for the Roundtable, which is CU*Answers most attended open forum, to have such a prestigious speaker. The hope was to get a handle on what the trends are causing losses and collection issues in general and to give the CU*Answers’ client base of over 170 Credit Unions across the nation, a path to follow should something happen.
We were not disappointed. Kim Cheatle the head of the Grand Rapids office delivered a resounding class on fraud in currency, checks, credit cards, and wire transfers. Many people are not aware that the Secret Service is part of the treasury and therefore is capable and trained in financial issues and fraud prevention. “This was even more than we were hoping for considering their busy schedule,” exclaimed Jerry Collins the organizer of the Roundtable. “We were greatly impressed at the value of the presentation and knowledgeable details that were expressed. We would like to see this happen every few years to keep our clients up on their fraud prevention tactics to prevent collection issues. It’s good to know that our clients have another avenue available if they need help that local authorities do not have resources to conduct.”
Toro Employees Federal Credit Union Signs with CU*Answers
CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned core data processor, announced the recent signing of Toro Employees Federal Credit Union, located in Bloomington, Minnesota to a new CU*BASE® online processing agreement. Toro Employees Federal Credit Union is a $28 million dollar credit union serving over 3,500 members.
When asked why Toro Employees Federal Credit Union chose CU*Answers, Grant Johnson, CEO stated, “We selected CU*Answers because of their unique business model, strong history of helping credit unions meet their member’s needs for deposits, lending and self-service technology. In addition CU*Answers offers value-added services for back office, analytics and direct marketing.”
Toro Employees Federal Credit Union is set for a May 2014 conversion joining three others in the state including, Building Trades CU, Lake State CU, and another recent partner, Wakota FCU. CU*Answers added that the number of credit unions nationally utilizing CU*BASE surpassed 200 during 2012, encompassing clients in over 25 states.