Posted: Oct 19, 2017
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What credit unions need to be on the look out for

The recent breach of Equifax accounts represented something far worse than breaches of card data (such as name, card number, expiry, and in some cases addresses) as has happened at Home Depot, Target, Chipotle, Arby’s, Michael’s and several other brick and mortar and online locations. In this case, much more than card data was compromised.  The data stored at Equifax includes social security numbers, account history, drivers’ license numbers, phone numbers, email addresses, birthdates, history of previous addresses and employers – all the information that is used to verify new banking customers or to reset lost passwords.

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Posted: Oct 11, 2017
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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, 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: Oct 5, 2017
Categories: Credit Cards, Marketing
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Philadelphia’s American Heritage FCU offers a parachute to members in need

When it comes to the record growth of consumer debt, many questions come to mind. What do we know? What can history teach us? What should a credit union do to keep their members safe? According to Federal Reserve data, total U.S. credit card debt has reached $1 trillion, surpassing a previous mark set in April of 2008 just before the Great Recession. For households that carry credit card debt, the average amount per household is now $9,600, which equals 17 percent of an average U.S. household income. The average interest rate on a credit card is 16 percent, and about 24 percent for those with subpar credit, that debt grows between $1,600 and $2,300 each year. Yet, despite growing household debt at potentially increasing interest rates, most Americans appear to be optimistic about the future due to the stable economy and low unemployment. Unfortunately, all it takes is one major set-back in the way of a job loss or major medical situation to turn the tide and create problems for consumers with high credit card debt.
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Posted: Sep 28, 2017
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Is your credit union prepared to capitalize on increases in member spending?

Back to School is over, Fall and pumpkin spice are in the air, and your members are already thinking about holiday purchases, and it’s only the end of September.  If you have a co-worker who has marked the employee break room calendar with a countdown of the number of paychecks left before the holidays, now is the time for your credit union to create holiday credit and debit usage campaigns to compete for transactions, and capture the projected increase in holiday spending this year.
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Posted: Sep 21, 2017
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As “banking at the fringes” chips away at traditional banking services, credit unions need to shore up their offerings.

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

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (the OSFI is the Canadian equivalent of the US Office of the Comptroller of Currency) has issued a restriction – that any non-banks must remove the terms “bank”, “banker” and “banking” from any references provided by that financial institution. Any financial institutions that continue to use these terms can face criminal charges. “The restriction applies to all non-bank financial service providers, including both federal regulated trust and loan companies and provincially regulated institutions (i.e. credit unions). So processing checks, granting loans, and managing individuals’ wealth is not considered banking in Canada.

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