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 Your source for the latest technology information of interest to credit unions across America.

Subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter and/or our monthly newsletter and stay on top of the latest technology trends in Hardware, Software, ATMs, Biometrics, Wireless, Online Banking, Marketing, Security, Internet Access and Call Centers.

December 15, 2014

~ This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~


General News  

* First Community CU Deploys Better Branches Mobile Booking Tool
* Service Plus CU Switching to Sharetec System
* Two CUs Select Synergent Technology Services for Core Processing
* CU*NorthWest Adds Two Montana Based Clients

Better Branches Technology, a provider of branch visitor queuing, appointment handling and workforce management software for credit unions, announced that First Community Credit Union, headquartered in Houston, is deploying Better Lobby Mobile Appointment Booking Tool. This Better Lobby module is the first appointment booking tool designed specifically for credit unions that allows easy access to branch staff for busy credit union members.

Sharetec System, one of the fastest growing core systems, announced that Service Plus Credit Union located in Moline, IL, has selected Sharetec as their new core system. Sharetec, a provider of both in-house and service bureau core solutions, has nearly 300 core credit unions and has grown 67% since the year 2000.

Synergent Technology Services announced that Sebasticook Valley Federal Credit Union and Southbridge Credit Union have selected the Episys Core Processing Solution with Synergent Technology Services. Sebasticook Valley FCU has 10,646 members, $80M in assets, and branches in Pittsfield and Newport, ME, while Southbridge CU has 11,072 members, $167M in assets, and branch locations in Auburn, Fiskdale, Southbridge, and Sturbridge, MA.

CU*NorthWest, the 100% credit union-owned CUSO, announced that $3.6 million Homestead Federal Credit Union in Billings, MT has signed with CU*NorthWest and is scheduled for conversion in January 2015. In addition, $18.7 million Heritage Federal Credit Union in Butte, MT has also signed with CU*NorthWest and is scheduled to convert in April 2015. Heritage is the sixth Montana-based client to sign with CU*NorthWest in 2014.




Hardware News

An ongoing test of solid state drives (SSD) from Tech Report reveals that the drives are remarkably reliable. After a year of testing the durability of six SSDs, four of them failed after reaching between 728 terabytes and 1.2 petabytes of data writes, all of which is far beyond the specified life span for the drives. Meanwhile the Samsung 840 Pro and a Kingston HyperX 3K still have not failed after crossing the 2 petabyte data write benchmark. Because flash memory degrades over time, all SSDs have an expiration date. Yet these tests seem to show that in general SSDs are quite reliable.

Axis Communications has added the Axis F44 Main Unit to its modular Axis F Series. These are "divided network cameras" where the camera is split into a sensor unit made up of a lens and image sensor with a pre-mounted cable up to 39 feet long, and a main unit, which is the body of the camera. Axis F44 unit offers:

  • simultaneous streaming of four separate high-resolution 1080p videos at 15 frames per second or four HDTV 720p videos at full frame rate;
  • quad view, a stream made up of four separate views from the connected sensor units;
  • two-way audio;
  • input/output ports for external devices to enhance alarm management
  • power over Ethernet; and
  • intelligent video capabilities such as video motion detection, active tampering alarm and downloadable applications



Hardware Section Sponsored by
Millennial Vision, Inc. (MVi)


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Software Updates

Microsoft is starting to integrate Bing search into Office, starting with Word Online. Microsoft is calling the new embedded search capability "Insights for Office." Users don't need to do anything to get the new capability; it will just be added to Word Online automatically. This integration allows users to avoid having to leave a document, use a search engine to find information they want to include/update, and then return and add that information to the document.

Clarity Services has released Clear Bank Behavior which they say provides a comprehensive evaluation of your applicant's financial history by reporting all known accounts and enhancing them with financial activity, risk scores, check cashing, and retail check writing indicators. The software delivers a suite of more than 500 distinct variables that include granular details at the account and consumer levels along with two risk scores.



Software Updates Sponsored by
Raddon Financial Group (RFG)

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Diebold has introduced two new series of cash recycling ATMs, the 3500 and 3700. Both ATM series feature ActivRecycle modules, which automatically detect counterfeit notes, sort and reuse deposited cash. The cash recycling capabilities reduce monitoring and refilling needs. They also feature the ActivGuard intelligent alarm system, and ActivEdge which is an anti-skimming card reader.

Scotia Security Group announced that they will enter the US market with its ATM Cassette Guard which is a device for protecting staff during cash replenishment. ATM Cassette Guard restricts access to the ATM`s cash cassettes during cash replenishment; and provides programmable access codes and a full audit trail to help ensure access traceability. Plus, integrated security features help defend against physical attacks.

Securityplus Federal Credit Union is rolling out a new biometric ATM that features facial recognition. The touch screen kiosk which was developed in conjunction with Real Time Kiosks will be installed at one of the credit union's seven branches. The Baltimore-based credit union has been using fingerprint biometrics internally with their employees for over a decade.


ATMs/Kiosks Sponsored by
Heritage Industries

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CU Success Stories  


Here is a chance to learn about real life credit union success stories from various technology vendors through the words of their clients. This week's vendor is:




and their client is:

Texas Workforce Credit Union

Credit Unions - if you have a vendor that you are happy with then please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Vendors - if you have a credit union that is happy with your solutions then please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will give you a $100 discount on your Case Study!


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Wireless World

Payfone is launching its new Identity Certainty platform for mobile authentication which assigns each individual a tokenized ID - the Payfone signature - based on that individual`s phone number, SIM card number, and account number with the mobile network operator. The company has established relationships with all four major American telecommunications companies. The company claims that a signature can persist through more than 400 different events - if a user upgrades or loses their phone, the signature stays unique to that individual. In action, rather than present challenge questions after a login, credit unions would query Payfone to verify that the member account that is logging in is tied to the Payfone signature for that individual. Payfone is partnering with Early Warning on the platform, and it does not store any personally identifiable information (PII).

A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts reveals that 11 percent of consumers used mobile RDC to deposit a check. Meanwhile, a study of FIs by research firm Celent shows an increase in losses tied to mobile RDC. However, Celent senior banking analyst Bob Meara says banks consider these losses "manageable."


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Security Section

Iowa's Department of Transportation is testing driver's licenses on phones. When you need to show the license, you open the app and tap in a PIN. For privacy concerns, police officers may simply scan the image and not take the phone away, or another option will be to implement technology that locks the rest of your phone and only leaves the driver's license app open. However, the department does not expect to have a working app before 2016.

Without a doubt, network segmentation is an effective component in any defense in depth strategy. Unfortunately, network segmentation is a significant, long-term project, but some security experts recommend starting with network administrators and Windows servers. If that were the case, you could set up VLANs called network-admins (for their workstations) and network devices such as routers and switches. You would log all traffic between segments to determine what is normal and needed for effective functioning. Once that is completed, you could start blocking access to the VLANs from everywhere else, with the ultimate goal of default deny.



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Leaders Roundtable

Core Systems:

Using Core Systems to Enable Superior Financial Performance


Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network -
Read Dave Murray's comments:

Celent -
Read Stephen Greer's comments:

Read Michael Nicastro's comments:

Corelation -
Read Theresa Benavidez's comments:

CU Answers

D+H -
Read Tom Berdan's comments:

Enhanced Software Products -
Read Matt Lefler's comments:

Share One -
Read Teri Van Frank's comments:

VSoft Corporation -  
Read Jon Barnard's comments:


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Technology and Marketing

ViewSonic has introduced two new LED-based, full-HD large-format commercial displays with six-point simultaneous touch interactivity. The company says that their CDP5560-TL and CDP4260-TL displays are fully integrated, large-screen touch solutions that are ideal for interactive advertising in branches. The panels can be used as interactive video walls, supporting up to a five-by-five daisy-chain installation. The displays also come with a content scheduling feature management solution. Additionally the company announced the EP5012-L 50-inch all-in-one free-standing ePoster digital kiosk and the EP5012-TL 50-inch interactive four-point touch all-in-one free-standing ePoster digital kiosk.


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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design

NACHA has set out its plan to introduce same-day ACH clearing and settlement which would be a phased approach that would eventually, by March 2018, introduce two new same-day settlement windows for a total of three ACH network settlements for credits and debits every 24 hours. Transactions over $25,000 would not be eligible. The proposal includes a flat fee of 8.2 cents per transaction paid by originating institutions to receiving institutions to help cover the cost of required technological upgrades. The proposal also features an automatic inter-institution fee adjustment method based on payment volume, in which the fee would decline as the number of same-day transactions rises.

MasterCard has invested in the card technology company Dynamics in a move designed to imbed greater function into payment cards. These interactive cards perform tasks when users press an embedded button and could improve security. A Dynamics card can allow users to switch from credit to debit or change the way rewards are calculated by pressing a button.

Bluepoint Solution's Latest Report, "Disruption in Financial Services: Threats and Opportunities," covers technology innovation, new business models, and changing demographics, particularly Millennials. In the report, they note that Millennials, which make up about one third of the US population, are extremely committed to online banking with 94% calling themselves active users. Meanwhile, 72% are active mobile bankers, and 39% would consider using a branchless digital bank.


Online Banking Sponsored by


PSCU - The Nation's Leading CUSO

We offer leading edge eCommerce Solutions:

* Electronic Banking

* Mobile Banking

* Online Bill Pay

* Remote Deposit Capture

Contact us today:

(800) 443-7728


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Internet Access

Unified Communications systems are a complex combination of communication services that come as set of products on top of the UC architecture. Even the definition of UC is somewhat of a moving target, but many analysts would argue that UC comprises not only voice and data, but also:

1. Instant messaging 2. Presence 3. Videoconferencing 4. Call control 5. Speech recognition 6. Voicemail 7. Email 8. SMS 9. Fax

Other UC experts may even add mobility and work-from-home as other components.

Many IT decision-makers regard the growing number of flaws in web browsers as the biggest endpoint security headache. According to research from Malwarebytes, 72% of surveyed IT decision-makers said web browser flaws made security difficult in their organization, more so than any other issue. An overwhelming majority of respondents, 84%, agreed that traditional anti-virus has become less effective.


Internet Access Sponsored by
Ongoing Operations


Ongoing Operations - The Credit Union Movement's Top BCP & Technology (Cloud) Provider

Always-On Production Connectivity typically includes:

* Internet Connectivity

* Core System Connectivity

* Credit Union Connectivity

* Credit Card Processor

* Debit Card Processor

* ATM Processor

* Online Banking Provider

* Fedline / Federal Reserve Connectivity

* Enterprise Grade Firewall

* Intrusion Detection System


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Call Centers

Sprint recently announced it is teaming with ComputerTalk to integrate contact center capabilities into the Sprint Complete Collaboration with Microsoft Lync, Sprint`s unified communications portfolio. ComputerTalk`s solution, called ice, is a software only, cloud-based contact center. The new contact center features include contact distribution with monitoring and skills-based routing, IVR design tools, the ability to route calls to any end point that Lync knows, and other standard services.