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February 22, 2021

This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~



General News


Fort Community CU Partners with Corelation

Fort Community Credit Union ($301 million assets; 22,176 members; Fort Atkinson, WI) has selected Corelation as its new long-term, strategic core systems partner. FCCU’s field of membership includes 6 counties in southeastern Wisconsin and they operate from 6 locations in that area.



Northrop Grumman FCU Signs Data Management Deal with Lodestar Technologies

Lodestar Technologies announced that it has signed an agreement with Northrop Grumman FCU ($1.4 billion; 64,600 members; Gardena, CA) to enable the CU’s data strategy initiative. The Lodestar Enterprise Data Store is designed to accurately aggregate all the CU’s strategic data resources, and offer to all levels of staff a comprehensive source of data for reporting and visualization.





Hardware News


HPE Intros SSD Replacements for 10K RPM HDD Server Drives

HPE announced an SSD replacement option for SATA-connected disk drives in its Apollo, ProLiant and Synergy servers called Very Read-Optimized (VRO). These 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SSDs use SATA interfaces and are plug-in replacements for the drives in the servers. It says the SSDs are much faster, and up to three times more energy efficient than the 10K drives.



Best Computers in 2021: Which Desktop PC Alternative Is Right for You?

The author asks instead of reflexively replacing a big old PC with an equally massive new one, why not choose one of these four alternatives: 1) laptop with docking station like the HP Elite Dragonfly; 2) Microsoft Laptop Go; 3) Dell Optiflex SFF; or 4) Intel NUC.



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


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Software Updates


Juniper Targets WAN Automation with New Software Suite

Juniper has unwrapped a suite of automation software it says will help users ensure their wide area network and cloud-connected services are running properly and cost-effectively. The company’s Paragon Automation suite promises to help eliminate manual tasks and workflow processes to make sure WAN operations are working as expected and, if not, quickly fix problems.



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Kiosk Prepaid Introduces Multi-Function Kiosk That Can Serve as ATM

Kiosk Prepaid has introduced a closed-loop, cash-to-card kiosk that enables cashless payments, accepts multiple payment methods including cryptocurrency, and can serve as an ATM. At six feet tall, three square-feet wide and 883 pounds, the kiosk offers the consumer the ability to cash their payroll and government checks, buy and sell gift cards, send money worldwide, purchase airtime cards, purchase and load a debit cards, purchase bitcoin, foreign currency exchange, and, as an option, serves as an ATM.



Harnessing Technology to Ensure the Future of Cash

The author states that central banks have recorded exceptional spikes in demand for cash in the pandemic as consumers boost their precautionary holdings, confirming the role of cash as a crisis safe haven. In the US, the value of cash in circulation grew by almost $300 billion in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 16.5%. He goes on to discuss a still little-known suite of technologies going loosely under the name, CashTech. The consumer who needs physical money simply switches on their smartphone, chooses a CashTech free app and goes to one of a network of partner retail outlets to obtain cash.



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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:  

Sharetec Systems, Inc.


and their client is:

USA One 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


Wi-Fi Advances Mean More Choices

Wi-Fi isn’t sitting idly by as 5G networks come online. Wi-Fi 6 has been introduced, bringing cellular-like capabilities such as traffic steering and determination, among others. Plus, Wi-Fi scored a major win in the U.S. (and other countries) with access to 1,200-megahertz in the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use, opening up new channels that mean more bandwidth alongside less congestion and interference.



Contact-less Fingerprint Cards

Analysts at UBS believe that biometric payment cards could capture a 15% share of the card market within the next five years. Some FIs around the world are trialling a contactless fingerprint option.



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Security Section


Why You Might Need CIEM Now

Among the many changes of 2020, Gartner added a new category: cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM). While CIEM may sound similar to SIEM (security information and event management), the two security solutions are not the same. CIEM is the next generation of solutions for managing entitlements and permissions for all cloud infrastructure identities and resources and enforcing least privilege policies in the cloud. This enables organizations to design and implement zero trust architectures in multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.



How SASE Will Transform How We Do Secure Security Systems in 2021

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has been rapidly gaining recent popularity when it comes to securing computer networks. Despite SASE's high-level view seeming promising, though, there remains an air of confusion surrounding the definition of the "SASE solution" as well as what technologies and implementation cases it uses. This article takes a look at how SASE is accelerating the future of network security and how it addresses many new needs of an increasingly distributed workforce.



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Technology and Marketing


Social Media Marketing Success: Building a Sound Strategy

To achieve social media marketing success, you must build a sound marketing strategy, which is a complex task composed of many different facets. This article is designed to provide a comprehensive summary of elements necessary to plan for social media marketing success.



Most Important Email Marketing Optimizations

Marketers say enhancing personalization, testing designs, and using welcome/thank you automated messages are among the most important important email strategy optimizations, according to recent research from Ascend2. These professionals say personalization (43% cite) and data quality (39%) are the most important characteristics to improve for effective email campaign optimization.



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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design


A Radical Change Is Coming to Credit Card Design

PayPal recently released new debit and credit card vertical designs for its Venmo app, which they said was partly inspired by the vertical orientation of those popular social media apps. More and more FIs are issuing cards with a portrait orientation. Some industry observers note that with the advent of chip readers and tap-to-pay functionality, this is how most people handle their cards already.



Cryptocurrency Begins Its Move up from the Minor Leagues for Mastercard and Visa

The two big card networks have made no bones about their interest in supporting cryptocurrency transactions, and they both recently made big moves in that direction. The bigger move came from Mastercard, which just announced its intention to launch later this year the ability to send and receive crypto transactions natively on the company’s network. Then Visa made a more modest announcement welcoming a blockchain startup called GreenBox POS into its Fintech Fast Track program.



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Internet Access


Verizon Expands Managed SD-WAN Features with Cisco

Verizon Business is adding three new SD-WAN managed service offerings to its portfolio via its ongoing strategic partnership with Cisco. The new solutions include two offerings associated with Viptela, the SD-WAN innovator that Cisco acquired in 2017. The third offering is new managed service tiers for Cisco SD-WAN powered by Meraki, the cloud platform start-up Cisco acquired in 2012.



New VPN Risk Report by Zscaler Uncovers Uncovers Hidden Security Risks

The 2021 Zscaler VPN Risk Report highlights the current VPN usage by organizations and uncovered the list of top challenges faced by IT administrators who manage VPNs. Respondents indicated that social engineering (75%), ransomware (74%), and malware (60%) are the most concerning attack vectors and are often used to exploit users accessing VPNs. Plus, with nearly three out of four businesses concerned with VPN security, 67% of organizations are considering remote access alternatives to the traditional VPN.



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Call Centers


Here Are Tips to Create Effective Contact Center Scripts

The author contends that call scripts present the foundation on which conversations are built. She recommends these 4 strategies: 1) Use a Conversational Language and Tone; 2) Be Direct; 3) Know Their Expectations; and 4) Focus on the Benefits.