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Posted: Dec 1, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published on “Anthem”, the online News & Info site of the Northwest Credit Union Association, and has been modified.]

When members think about services provided by their credit union, they might first think about their share draft account, a debit card, bill pay, loans, and credit cards - basic services offered by almost all financial institutions. But, something new is happening when it comes to these services. No, not new services, but rather something called “banking on the fringes.”

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Posted: Nov 10, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

Apple joins a growing list of ways friends and family can send money to each other. Will Apple find success with their version?

Apple launched its person-to-person (P2P) payments service, Apple Pay Cash, riding on top of Apple’s iMessage, thereby joining a long list of other tech companies who also offer P2P, including PayPal, Square, Venmo, Facebook, Google, SnapChat, Zelle, PopMoney, and several others. With this service, Apple is hoping to generate new P2P users in a demographic that typically shied away from P2P apps more popular with younger users, and possibly spur increased use of Apple Pay, the tap-to-pay capability of iPhones and Apple Watches.
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Posted: Nov 3, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

Another way Credit Unions can keep members happy, reduce declines, and keep cards top-of-wallet.

The ability for an issuer to approve a “Partial Authorization” has been available since 2005, yet most issuers and merchants still don’t take advantage of it. As a result, transactions on debit, prepaid, and gift cards frequently get declined, resulting in frustrated cardholders, and lost sales. 

Simply put, a Partial Authorization occurs when an authorization request for a card presented to a merchant is attempted for the full amount of the transaction and, if there are not enough funds in the debit or prepaid or gift account available to cover the full amount, the authorization is approved for the amount available. This allows the cardholder to use the available amount in the account, and for the merchant to obtain an additional form of payment for the difference. For non-reloadable gift Cards, the issuers will also return a card balance which will be printed on the receipt. Partial Authorization keeps transactions alive without the merchant telling a customer it has been declined and allows the cardholder to pay the remaining amount with another form of payment.

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Posted: Oct 11, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

Should Credit Unions Renew?

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published on CU Insight and has been modified.]

It’s hard to believe that three years has passed since Apple surprised the mobile payments world by stating that iPhone 6 users can make payments with the touch of a finger, beginning on October 20, 2014. About 500 credit unions and banks were among the initial issuers who agreed to a three-year term to participate, meaning their contracts are coming up for renewal. Many financial institutions signed on shortly thereafter. According to PYMNTS.com, the terms of the contract required the issuers to give up to Apple a half penny for every debit transaction or 0.15 percent of every credit transaction conducted through Apple Pay. These fees were over and above charges already assessed by the card networks and the processors. But those financial institutions, mostly larger or forward thinking credit unions and banks, wanted to be on the forefront of what was highly touted to be the evolution to the long-awaited “year of the mobile payments.”

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Posted: Sep 6, 2017
Comments: 1
Author: Lou Grilli

An update on where we are with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin was once viewed as a promising alternative to the US dollar and other fiat currencies that are controlled by federal governments or national banks. Bitcoin was appealing and newsworthy because it offers near real-time transfer of value (compared to 1-3 days for a bank settlement), anonymity, and virtually free transactions versus credit card merchant charges of 1-3%.

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