EasyPay GO Kits Coming in June!
Use our newest Grand Opening Kit to market EasyPay in July!
Our EasyPay GO Kit will help you convince your members to simplify their lives by signing up for EasyPay Online Bill Pay! In June, you’ll receive one free EasyPay GO Kit to display in July. The kit will include a banner, posters, balloons, brochures, buck slips, stickers, window clings, and much more! Preview kit materials.
If you need additional kits for other branches, order them by Thursday, May 1 for $100/kit plus shipping.
Bill Pay Usage is in Full Bloom with the iPay Awareness Email Campaign
The following offer is available to current EasyPay by iPay client credit unions only:
iPay is continuing its offering of FREE email campaigns to boost online bill pay enrollment and usage among your members throughout 2014!
Your online banking members may not know that you offer bill pay. iPay’s Awareness Email Campaign reaches those members to educate them about your service, and makes it easy for them to enroll and start using bill pay.
The Awareness Email Campaign includes three emails, deployed every two weeks to encourage your members to sign up for bill pay. Each email focuses on a different top-level benefit:
- Saving Time
- Staying Organized
- Securely Paying Your Bills
The first email will be sent on May 13th. If you would like to participate in the campaign, email Gividends by Tuesday, April 29. Gividends staff will then forward your member email addresses to iPay for a fee of $100, billed on your next monthly CU*Answers invoice.
Customized with your credit union’s logo and contact info, iPay email campaigns are proven to work. Financial institutions opted into email campaigns have 20% more active subscribers monthly and see 15% more payments per subscriber compared to institutions not opted in.
For more information about the Awareness Email Campaign or other bill pay marketing materials, contact iPay Marketing Support: email@example.com.
May 1 Deadline for Video Contest
Don’t forget, you have until May 1 to submit your entry for the Best Complete Video that illustrates the theme of “Walking in the Member’s Shoes.” The winning entry will receive $1,500 and will be shown to credit union leaders at the 2014 CU*Answers Leadership Conference.
Put your creativity to work and don’t miss out on your chance to win!
iShield Security – Enhancements for File Upload/Download Authority
Protecting your member data is critical to your operations, and we’re adding an additional layer to that protection with iShield Security.
The iShield Security application is the next generation of the tool we use to enforce the rules that secure your data against unauthorized downloads or uploads. iShield Security works seamlessly behind the scenes to secure and safeguard your entire CU*BASE member database with some of the most sophisticated intrusion prevention tools available on the market today. Like the existing tool, iShield will provide checks and balances on your employees to protect both them and your business.
Click here to learn more about these new security features.
Remember to Test HA Connectivity
When disaster strikes, be sure you’re prepared!
Stay connected to CU*BASE and keep members moving quickly through those teller lines, even in the event of a disaster!
Put it on your calendar to regularly test connectivity to the CU*Answers high-availability (HA) server using these instructions to ensure you’ll remain connected to CU*BASE no matter what happens!
Be sure to also test connectivity after making any changes to your network. Even the most minor changes can affect your ability to connect to CU*BASE in the event of a rollover.
Responding to the “Heartbleed” Bug
You are likely to encounter news reports on the “Heartbleed” bug (or “exploit”). This is a very serious security risk on the Internet that may allow an attacker to break encryption and steal sensitive information. Almost certainly your state and federal IT Examiners will be asking you about whether or not your Online Banking products are secure.
Is “It’s Me 247” Affected?
No – and we have tested to ensure that It’s Me 247 is safe from this attack. If they ask, tell your examiners that your data processor has tested and confirmed that Online Banking information cannot be exposed to hackers using “Heartbleed.”
In addition, we have tested your other hosted connections. CU*BASE, Lender*VP, CU*Spy, and websites hosted by CU*Answers are also not affected.
Were Any Services Affected?
Yes – after performing research we found that our Sonicwall SSL Secure Remote Access equipment was affected by this vulnerability. Our teams responded quickly by disabling SSL VPN access as well as work email access from phones and tablets. Our Network Services team is working with the vendor to patch this vulnerability and restore remote access. This also impacts credit unions for which our CNS team manages their Sonicwall Secure Remote Access appliances—we will be sending a separate announcement to those affected clients.
Even if you do not use our Network Services team for these services, we do strongly recommend that you investigate your own remote connection devices on your network, such as firewalls and VPN appliances, to see if they are affected by this vulnerability.
Most of you will not need to have any more information than our confirmation about Online Banking security. For those of you who need or want more detailed information, read on.
- “Heatbleed” is not a virus; what happened was a coding error in Open SSL encryption technology allows an attacker to potentially steal the keys used to protect confidential information.
- Your software providers are not responsible for this error. Only software using Open SSL versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f – and no others – are affected.
- CU*Answers does not use any of these at-risk Open SSL versions for online banking.
- Open SSL is working hard to patch this vulnerability, and new versions of the code should be available in the next 24 hours. We strongly recommend that if your other software providers issue you any critical patches in the coming days, you patch immediately.
- “Heartbleed” is called a “zero day” exploit. “Zero day” simply means the exploit attacks a previously unknown vulnerability. As a result, the developers have not had a chance to patch the vulnerability. Therefore, there are zero days between the time the vulnerability is discovered and the attack.
- This exploit is called “Heartbleed” because it attacks the “heartbeat” function of SSL encryption. You need the heartbeat function to keep a network connection alive even when no data is being transmitted. Unfortunately, an error by the Open SSL programming team would allow a sophisticated attacker to break the encryption protection.
Help Us By Filling Out a 2014 Holiday Hours Survey
Xtend is at it again! We want to be staffed appropriately for your credit union this season. To ensure this, please take a moment to fill out our survey with your hours of operation for the dates given. Your response is requested by Tuesday, April 15.
Even if you will be open during your regular business hours, please include the specific open and close times.
Click here to complete the survey.
Developing a Cost of Compliance Standard
What does compliance truly cost your credit union? During last November’s CEO Strategies meeting it was stated by a number of CEOs that the cost of compliance is killing their credit union. AuditLink took this as a challenge.
Following the June Leadership Conference, CU*Answers and AuditLink will be running successive contests meant not only to see who can develop a way to account for the cost of compliance, but who can implement the best template into their credit union’s operations—with a total prize of $5,000 per contest!
Read the announcement.
Register for the Northern Michigan Regional Training Event
CU*Answers University invites you to the: Northern Michigan Regional Training Event. This is a live training event, hosted by CU*Answers subject matter experts, to be held at Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union in Alpena, MI.
Open the invitation for the event itinerary
- Date: Thursday, April 24
- Time: 9 AM – 3 PM
- Cost: Free
- Target Audience: Compliance, ALM, and social media will be covered, but all credit union staff are welcome to attend!
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. Take a closer look at the agenda below and plan now to come and absorb the knowledge shared by our experts. Special guest speakers include Charlie McQueen, the CEO of MFA and one of the nation’s leading advisors related to balance sheet management, and Bryce Roth, co-founder of ChatterYak, a social media consulting and product offering business, with a vast amount of knowledge on how social media should be used in the credit union marketplace.
Click here to register
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, April 16
Training Invitation: Education Express
CU*Answers University invites you to: Education Express – Culture of Continuity
Learn how a Culture of Continuity can prepare your team to respond to a crisis.
Click here to register for the webinar.
- Hosted by: Jim Lawrence, CBCP, CU*Answers Manager of Disaster Recovery and Business Resumption Services
- Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
- Time: 2-2:30 PM ET
- Cost: Free (normal charge of $20/half hour waived)
- Content: Our complimentary, 30-minute, informative spotlight for this month will be tips to help you build a “Culture of Continuity” at your credit union to enhance preparedness and response to potential critical business disruptions. This 30-minute presentation is a must for credit union professionals responsible for the development and maintenance of their organization’s disaster recovery plans.
CU*Answers Stockholders: Getting Ready for the 2014 CU*Answers Board Election
***This message is being directed to CEOs of CU*Answers Owner Credit Unions***
Per our Board Member Handbook, the period for receiving nominations to fill seats on the CU*Answers Board of Directors has closed as of March 31, 2014. At its April meeting the CU*Answers Board of Directors will meet to set the final ballot for this year’s election.
Once again we will be offering an electronic voting option for the 2014 CU*Answers Board of Directors election on June 18, 2014.
- If You Signed the Consent Form Last Year
- For owners who returned the “Stockholder Consent to Receive Communications Electronically” last year, you don’t need to do anything. You will receive an email with the ballot and can choose at that time to cast your vote electronically, or wait to cast your vote at the meeting if you prefer.
(If you wish to revoke your consent for electronic communication, please contact Stephanie Hufford at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Credit unions who do not return the consent form will receive the ballot and other election-related materials via paper mailing.
- If You Haven’t Signed the Consent Form Yet
- If you haven’t yet signed the “Stockholder Consent to Receive Communications Electronically” consent form, watch for an email coming later this week, sent to the same address as this one, from DocuSign System <email@example.com>. Simply follow the instructions on that email to respond with your consent. (Note: Watch your spam filters so these emails don’t get sent to your junk folder!)
Deadline for responses is May 1, 2014, if you wish to be included in the e-voting process this June. (You are not promising to vote electronically, simply consenting to receive your ballot that way. You can still wait and cast your vote at the meeting itself if you wish.)
Once we receive your signed consent form, you will be added to the list of authorized e-voters, who will receive the ballot via an email from the DocuSign System address.
The ballot and candidate information will be sent to all owners during the week of May 5, 2014. At that time you’ll also receive the official invitation to the 2014 CU*Answers Leadership Conference and Golf Outing.
We of course would love to see you at this year’s events, but whether or not you are not able to attend, we hope you will take advantage of the electronic voting option this year!
Automated Monthly Reports
The Automated Reports & Queries feature makes it fast and easy to run monthly reports, but it’s not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing.
While the reports do run automatically, it’s still important to check in CU*Spy under the All Reports tab each month to be sure they were produced as configured and that someone didn’t accidentally change your settings or remove your report entirely from automation.
So if you are missing a report that was supposed to run automatically or if a report is not showing the data you need it to, be sure to check your report-automation settings.
Visit Show Me the Steps for step-by-step instructions on how to create, change, remove, or delete settings:
- Create an additional report-automation setting (For example, if you already have a report set to automatically archive each month, but you would also like that same report to automatically print each month as well, then you would follow these instructions.)
- Change an existing report-automation setting (You would follow these instructions for completing such tasks as changing the printer to which an automated report prints.)
- Remove a report from automation (This simply turns off the automation setting, which can be turned back on at any time by following these same instructions, but instead of clicking Not Automated in Step 3, you would click Monthly.)
- Delete a report from automation (This deletes the report entirely from the automation list. This option is used, for example, in cases where an employee no longer works at your credit union and their report-automation settings are therefore no longer needed.)
Using the Automated Reports & Queries feature, you can also automate Queries each month. If you do, you’ll need to keep a close eye on file changes each time there’s a release in order to update any files used in your automated Queries so they run properly. For future releases, look for the release email, which includes an attached list of file changes for the release.
Learn more about the Automated Reports & Queries feature.
March CU*BASE Monthly Monitor Recap
Check out the March 2014 edition of the CU*BASE Monthly Monitor Recap, which outlines programming changes implemented during the month of March.
Your credit union is part of the CU*Answers collaborative network, your network. Even during the File Expansion Project (FEP), we remain responsive to your needs and continue to implement a significant amount of programming each month. The CU*BASE Monthly Monitor Recap is designed to keep you informed on an ongoing basis of feature improvements, vendor enhancements, and other changes to CU*BASE and accompanying core software products.
To view all current and recent programming changes and the status of all projects requested by your credit union and others in the network, visit the CU*Answers Monitor website.
You can also view a calendar of release dates and projects currently in the pipeline on our Release Planning page.
March Top Ten AnswerBook Questions
It’s easier to find the right answer once you’ve found the right question. And you’re doing a great job of finding the right questions!
Check out the March TOP TEN most-searched questions in AnswerBook, many of which were selected by our auditing experts at Audit Link!
- I have a mobile app and a couple members have complained that when they do transfers there’s no way to enter a decimal point for the transfer amount. So the transfer has to be done as whole dollars only, and can’t be dollars and cents. Can you explain this to me?
- Does CU*BASE automatically generate CTRs for large dollar transactions?
- If someone overrides an OFAC suspected match, is there a report that will tell you this?
- Does CU*BASE comply with FTC “Red Flag” regulations?
- Does the system run all members through an OFAC scan every so often, or is it just when you open new memberships?
- Does CU*BASE support real-time OFAC verification of all names in the database including primary names, secondary names, and co-borrowers?
- How long does Tracker information stay in the system?
- Does CU*BASE support batch OFAC verification of all names in the database including primary names, secondary names, and co-borrowers?
- Does CU*BASE support real-time OFAC verification of any names added to existing accounts (secondary names, name changes, co-borrowers, etc.)?
- Are member passwords/PINs stored in encrypted form?
Get quick answers to your questions anytime, anywhere in AnswerBook, an online database of thousands of questions and answers about CU*BASE.
Each time the CU*Answers Client Services team gets a call from a client, the question and answer is documented in AnswerBook, which allows them to provide clients with quick responses to their questions.
Register for AnswerBook today!
Attention Self-Processing Credit Unions: Final Year-End Deadlines
With Tax Day just around the corner, your year-end tax-related duties are almost done! Just a couple of deadlines remaining for April, May, and June.
Between April 15 and April 18, verify and make last-minute modifications to contribution (5498) data in the IRA and HSA Balance files.
- April 18: deadline for submitting all 5498 data to Sage Direct (if Sage is printing your forms)
- April 18: deadline for submitting all 5498 (contribution) data to Ascensus (per their deadlines)
- April 30: deadline for furnishing 5498-ESA (Coverdell contribution) forms to members
- June 2: deadline for furnishing all remaining 5498 forms to members and submitting data to the IRS
Refer to the Year-End Processing Guide for details.