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Posted: Mar 21, 2018
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Old Habits are Hard to Break.

Spring Break 2018 is here, and travelling is the number one way to spend the week off. Travelling to international destinations is a popular spring break activity. And according to a recent Visa travel study, so is spending cash while on vacation. Why do most travelers prefer using cash when travelling internationally? What can credit unions do to change their members’ habits to get them to use cards instead?

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Posted: Mar 19, 2018
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Faster payments mean a vendor getting paid by its customer quicker, or getting a P2P transfer into the recipient’s bank account the same day. Automated Clearinghouse (ACH), the network that connects every financial institution, and makes payroll deposits, bill pay and business settlements possible, has been undergoing changes in phases. The phases represent incremental steps in the process to shorten the length of time it takes to make payments, from days to hours. The third phase of this transition went into effect March 16, 2018, and credit unions and their members, especially business owners, need to be aware of the impact. 

 

 

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Posted: Mar 6, 2018
Categories: Regulations, Consulting
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ThePaymentsReview continues a new feature that occasionally highlights regulatory topics important to credit unions.

Accounting for loan losses is at the heart of credit union accounting. Setting aside reserves for loan losses is an important accounting component, but an increase in allowances reduces a credit union’s capital. Under current accounting standards, a credit union recognizes losses when they reach a probable threshold of loss. This is called an incurred loss accounting model. In practical terms, incurred loss accounting is a backwards-looking model, measuring a pool of loans against historic annualized write-offs. This method can drastically underrepresent potential future losses when a loan portfolio is exposed to a financial crisis, especially after a run of several years with lower losses. And this is exactly what happened following the financial crisis of 2008 in which some credit unions found themselves under reserved and unprepared for losses in their loan and mortgage portfolios while losses to their investments, and in many cases, shares declined. In the rising economy of the early 2000’s, losses were not being accounted for as “probable”.

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Posted: Feb 27, 2018
Categories: Debit Cards
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

If decoupled debit continues to gain acceptance among merchants, it will have an impact on issuers' card revenues.

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

A few merchants have found that decoupled debit cards have helped to reduce the cost of payments acceptance without inconveniencing shoppers. This solution offers a significantly cheaper alternative for the merchant since payment bypasses the traditional payment rails, and instead uses ACH (Automated Clearing House) for payment from any of the shopper’s bank accounts. Whereas a merchant would typically pay its processor a 3% fee for the cost of processing a bank’s card, the fee to a third-party provider to handle the ACH is 0.8% and is capped at $5, and larger merchants can get even lower rates.

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Posted: Feb 21, 2018
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

Use of debit continues to grow as consumers shift their cash and check spend to the convenience of plastic. According to the Fed, the number of debit payments increased from 56.5 billion in 2012 to 69.5 billion in 2015, the largest increase in the number of payments among the payment types. More recently, and more relevantly, Trellance credit unions saw their Visa Signature Debit transactions grow year over year in January 2018 by 8.83%. Yet at the same time, credit unions are seeing a decline in average debit interchange. So, what is going on?

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