Posted February 18th, 2015 No Comments
Registration Opens for Fall 2015 Development Education (DE) Training

CUA Foundation

Foundation’s Unique CU Philosophy Training held Sep. 9-16 in Madison

Madison, Wis. – Registration is now open for the Fall 2015 Credit Union Development Education (DE) training set for September 9-16, 2015 in Madison, Wis. Attendees of the National Credit Union Foundation’s (the Foundation) six-day total immersion experience will learn about credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive education and professional networking.

CUA Register for DE Training

The next DE Training is set for April 28-May 6, 2015 in Madison, Wis. and is already sold out. Registration for each training is limited to just 42 attendees.

After attending the Winter DE training last month, Ken Olson, President/CEO of Old West Federal Credit Union in John Day, Ore., said, “The DE program is the future of the credit union movement. It was a very meaningful and humbling experience for me and DE should be required training for every leader within our organizations. I would challenge my fellow CEOs and others to sign up for the next available training to take a deep dive back into the principles and beliefs that have made this movement the success that it is.” (Watch & read more testimonials here)


Fall DE Location & Registration

The Fall DE training will take place September 9-16, 2015 at The Lowell Center, which is part of the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis.Registration can be found at

The registration fee includes seven nights of single-room lodging, as well as all training materials and meals. Scholarship information is included on the registration page as many state credit union foundations and leagues offer scholarships to DE Training, in addition to the national DE scholarship offered.


Who Should Attend – And Why

DE training is open to everyone from new employees who need a credit union orientation to seasoned executives who need to recharge.  Participants cite many benefits of attending DE training:

• Graduates acquire skills in credit union outreach initiatives, problem solving, technical assistance, team building, and public presentations.
• Graduates earn certification as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs).  They join a networking group including over 1,200 graduates across America and over 34 other countries.
• CUDEs realize that local issues are indeed global – and that global issues are local.
• CUDEs understand that credit unions grow stronger by working cooperatively.
• CUDEs return to their jobs with new understanding of how to promote cooperative principles and credit union values as distinct advantages in today’s competitive financial services marketplace.
• CUDEs become passionate advocates of the credit union philosophy, which boosts employee motivation, creativity and a deeper commitment to their credit union organization and the movement.

The Foundation also released a new video recently about DE Training highlighting the value of the program for attendees. The video is available on the Foundation’s YouTube channel at The direct video link is

CUA Youtube



More about the DE Program:

The mission of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) program is to promote credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive adult education and professional networking. By linking credit unions’ past and present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to credit unions’ seven cooperative principles and the philosophy of “People Helping People.”

 CUA CUDE logo

Since 1982, more than 1,200 credit union advocates from over 34 countries have graduated from DE Training to become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs).  Once they earn their CUDE designation, people return to their jobs with a sense of personal enrichment and renewed energy to share what they have learned.  This growing corps of credit union advocates devotes professional and volunteer time to spreading the credit union message to audiences throughout the country.


For more information on the DE program, visit under “How We Help”.


About the National Credit Union Foundation (

The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is the charitable arm of the U.S. credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through Foundation grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.  Donations to the Foundation enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom. 

The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. The Foundation continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.


Posted February 18th, 2015 No Comments
NE League Hosts State Gov’t Affairs Conference

The League hosted its annual state government affairs conference, “Jam the Unicam”, on February 17th in Lincoln.  The day’s event began with lunch at the Nebraska Club with special guest Lt. Governor Mike Foley.  Lt. Governor Foley spoke to attendees about Governor Ricketts vision for the State and many changes made already within key Departments of state government.  He said that Governor Ricketts is meeting with each State Senator individually to foster a good working relationship so that they can work together to move the state forward.  Lt. Governor Foley previously served as Nebraska’s State Auditor and served in the Nebraska Legislature.

Lt. Governor Mike Foley speaks to credit union advocates.

Lt. Governor Mike Foley speaks to credit union advocates.

The conference itself was held at the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA) just west of the State Capitol building.  CUNA’s President/CEO Jim Nussle presented his vision for CUNA and three key focus areas for credit union advocacy including preserving the credit union tax status, action on merchant data breaches, and the ever-growing regulatory burden placed on credit unions.

NDB&F Director Quandahl addresses "Jam the Unicam."

NDB&F Director Quandahl addresses “Jam the Unicam.”

League lobbyists Brandon Luetkenhaus and Julia Plucker provided insight into the 104th Legislature and summarized multiple legislative proposals being considered by the Legislature.  Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee Chairman Jim Scheer provided attendees with an insight into what issues the Banking Committee and Legislature would be addressing during the session and spoke on several key bills that will be considered by the Banking Committee.

Economist Dr. Ernie Goss provides insight into state, regional, and national economy.

Economist Dr. Ernie Goss provides insight into state, regional, and national economy.

Newly appointed Director of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance Mark Quandahl spoke to attendees and encouraged them to give him ideas on how we can move the State forward.  He said that Governor Ricketts asked him to think every day about how he as Director can better serve the people of Nebraska.  Director Quandahl said he has several key staff members retiring soon and that filling those positions will be a top priority.

The final speaker was Creighton University Economist Dr. Ernie Goss.  Dr. Goss discussed the current state of the economy in Nebraska, the region, and the nation.  He provided insight to attendees with results from his multi-state survey of banking executives and supply managers which gauges regional economic conditions.  He discussed the Federal Reserve’s policy and the implications of the policy on current and future economic conditions.

The day concluded with a reception at Billy’s Restaurant honoring State Senators.  Over half of the State Senators attended the event including Speaker of the Legislature Galen Hadley and Chairman of the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee Jim Scheer.

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
CSCU and FIS Offer FastTrack

FastTrack could assist your credit union increase revenue and rebuild relationships.  If you have credit cards that have been inactive far too long, then this program will help.  The numbers speak for themselves.  FastTrack has an average activation rate of 50% with 40% of those cards still active one year later.

By improving your credit union’s ability to activate non-activated and dormant credit and debit cards, FastTrack helps you increase revenue and rebuild relationships. It’s a compelling, incentive-based activation and retention program that pays for itself through interchange and fee revenue generated from transactions initiated by the program. Most important, FastTrack costs far less than the cost of replacing a lost relationship and account.



• Market-leading, cost-effective program targets cardholders who have not activated their cards within a certain number of days since issuance and cardholders with no signature retail transaction activity within a specified time.
• Attractive rewards and professional, compelling mailings combine to motivate consumer behavior.
• Selected cardholders can qualify for one of three reward levels based on signature transaction activity during the program.
• You pay only for the cards we activate; there is no cost for the mailing if the cardholder does not activate and use the card during the program.



• Unmatched track record for activation, with an average activation rate of 50%
• Increased retention and broadened account relationships through motivating and rewarding card usage.
• Become the first payment method of choice for your non-activated and dormant cardholders
• Cost-effective and worry-free; we do all the work at our fully automated operations center.
• Increased outstanding balances (credit) and revenue.
• Continued revenue generation for your credit union; 40% of activated cards are still active one year later.


The Fast Track to Proven Results

FIS will provide every element of the FastTrack program to ensure a successful launch and administration.  Each detail has been carefully designed, including professional mailings and marketing materials, a cardholder-scoring platform, monthly reports and cardholder support.

Enhance the appeal of your TOTAL card portfolio with a solution that works for both credit and debit programs. For more information contact Dan Collins.

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
Generate More Loans, Not Additional Risk, with MemberClose Loan Guarantee Program

With nearly 200 participating credit unions…including a growing number in Nebraska, MemberClose is the largest provider of a bundled home equity settlement solution for credit unions. MemberClose saves credit unions on the time it takes and the money it costs to process all types of home equity loans. Now, with the MemberClose Loan Guarantee Program (LGP), a credit union can make more loans to qualified members with no additional risk.

The MemberClose LGP allows the credit union to lend up to 100 percent LTV on home equity loans and lines without incurring any additional risk. Simply put, the program allows the credit union to say “Yes” to members when home value is the only reason the loan is being turned down. Participating credit unions have nearly $40 million in insured loans in this program.  These are all loans that would not have been made without the LGP.

There are currently 30 credit unions using the MemberClose LGP to make more loans.  While none of these credit unions are from Nebraska…they have one thing in common…they want to help their members whenever possible.  Here is what a few of them have to say:

“With the decline in property values, many creditworthy members lacked sufficient equity in their properties to qualify for our equity loan products, so we were unable to assist them,” said Nancy Zeppa, executive VP & COO of Rhode Island Credit Union. “We then learned about the MemberClose Loan Guarantee Program and knew right away it would be a great fit. We are now able to meet our members’ needs when their LTVs exceed 80 percent. Our members are happy because they still get affordable credit by securing their home.”

Zeppa went on to explain, “We have been offering the program since 2012 and our loan volume continues to grow each month. We are very pleased with the results and support we receive from the MemberClose staff.”

Pam Ford, vice president of Lending for Triangle Credit Union in Nashua, New Hampshire said, “We are a long time satisfied customer of MemberClose and had immediate interest when we learned about the Loan Guarantee Program. It was the right time for us as we had been struggling in growing our home equity loans balances. We had a great rate, but that just wasn’t enough as we were running into a wall with our 80 percent LTV lending limit.”

She added, “The Loan Guarantee Program has been a huge success and the program has brought in some very good borrowers with great income and solid credit. After doing some direct marketing of our new high LTV lending capabilities, we’ve even made some new members . . . which is a very good thing.”

“One of the things we like about MemberClose is that it is so easy to use. The same is true for the Loan Guarantee Program,” said Jay Caldwell, AVP Lending for Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union in North Andover, Mass. “The program was appealing to us because we were turning down qualified members for loans simply because of LTV issues. Our motto is . . . get to ‘Yes’ . . . and this product allows us to get there when previously we would have been forced to say ‘no’ to these members.

“It’s great to find a partner and a program that help us deliver on our motto and on our commitment to our members,” said Caldwell.

For more information on about LGP or any of the other MemberClose products, contact Dan Collins.

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
CUNA Mutual Group announces 2015 webinar lineup

CUNA Mutual 2

CUNA Mutual Group will host several webinars in the months ahead, with topics ranging from vendor due diligence to emerging payments to mortgage lending. Each session features experienced facilitators and cutting-edge information that can help credit unions achieve financial success, reduce risks and increase member service. New webinars are continuously added to the lineup throughout the year.

For a complete list of upcoming webinars, visit the CUNA Mutual Group website.

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
CUs encouraged to comment on NCUA’s annual reg review

Each year, NCUA reviews one-third of its regulations in an effort to modify, streamline, refine or repeal rules that are not required by statute without jeopardizing the safety and soundness of the industry.

This year, the agency will review rules governing field of membership modifications, services to nonmembers, credit union ownership of fixed assets, access to the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and more. The complete list of rules is available on NCUA’s website.

Comments on the rules are due by Aug. 3 and can be emailed to or mailed to: Regulatory Review 2015, Office of General Counsel, NCUA, 1775 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314-3428.

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
Davidson Named GAC Crasher

CUA Crasher

The Nebraska Credit Union League announced that the Cooperative Trust and Credit Union National Association selected Steele Davidson, a loan officer and young professional at Kearney FCU, to be Nebraska’s 2015 GAC Crasher.

The Crasher program is composed of young credit union professionals that seek to be more involved with credit union legislative and political advocacy.  The GAC or Governmental Affairs Conference is the premier legislative event during the year for credit unions across the United States.  GAC Crashers’ will attend the General Session of the GAC, exclusive speaker sessions and explore opportunities for young professionals to help promote credit unions both locally and nationally.  In addition to the many events that the fifty state Crashers will attend together, Davidson will also be able to attend events hosted by the Nebraska League including the Welcome Reception, the Hill Staff Reception, and the Capitol Hill Visits with our Congressional delegation.  The Nebraska League’s sponsorship of Davidson includes covering his hotel costs, roundtrip flight, and entry into all Nebraska sponsored events during the GAC.  CUNA is covering registration costs for all fifty Crashers.  Davidson will be the second Crasher from Nebraska since the program began.  Nebraska’s 2014 Crasher was Matt Hill of Creighton FCU.

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
Get Wild About Savings!

CUA Wild

Encourage your members to get “Wild About Saving™” this April during National Credit Union Youth Month™. This year’s extended celebration gives your credit union additional time to attract new members and make an even bigger impact in young financial lives. Guide your members through the jungle of savings by starting them down the right path towards savings goals and financial education.

Your credit union is even invited to get a little wild with this year’s theme to show your young members they can have an adventure visiting – and saving at your credit union. By attracting potential younger members, you can lower the age demographic of your credit union, while increasing the loyalty of their parents.

Visit CUNA’s Youth Month page for more information.

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
NCUL Forms Credit Union Foundation of Nebraska


The Nebraska Credit Union League has partnered with the National Credit Union Foundation, the U.S. credit union community’s 501c (3) charitable organization, to create the Credit Union Foundation of Nebraska (CUFN). The Credit Union Foundation of Nebraska is operated by the Nebraska Credit Union League and the National Credit Union Foundation, funded by the generous support of organizations and individuals.

To achieve its mission of “promoting the shared values of people helping people” the Foundation will provide the Nebraska credit union community with grants and other financial assistance. These grants are to be used by credit unions to deliver adult and youth financial education, enhance member service, train staff/volunteers and assist those impacted by natural disasters.

“Investing in the Credit Union Foundation of Nebraska is investing in the future of Nebraska credit unions.  It helps increase the ability of Nebraska credit unions to serve their members and their communities,” said Scott Sullivan, NCUL President/CEO.

Credit unions across Nebraska are improving their communities and empowering people of all ages to become financially independent. And, the Credit Union Foundation of Nebraska is with them every step of the way supporting them.

By providing grants and other financial assistance, the Foundation helps credit unions:

• Teach critical financial skills to adults, youth and children
• Enhance member service with new technologies and initiatives
• Provide staff and volunteers with training opportunities
• Distribute relief funds to those impacted by natural disasters
• Each grant the Foundation provides helps strengthen the entire Nebraska credit union community.


Credit unions and partnering organizations can donate or apply for funds by visiting the CUFN page on the League website,, under League Initiatives.

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
CCCS of Nebraska Merges with GreenPath Debt Solutions

Nebraska non-profit credit counseling group teams up with Michigan-based GreenPath, Inc.

(OMAHA, NE – January 14, 2015)GreenPath, Inc., a nationwide, non-profit consumer credit counseling agency, doing business as GreenPath Debt Solutions, recently announced that it is providing in-person credit counseling, financial education and debt management services in the Nebraska cities of Omaha, Lincoln and Norfolk, through its recent acquisition of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Nebraska, Inc.

GreenPath, which was founded in 1961, confirmed the merger with CCCS of Nebraska on January 2.  The Nebraska agency has served local residents since 1976.

“We are very pleased that CCCS of Nebraska is joining GreenPath,” said Jane McNamara, GreenPath president and CEO. “We look forward to providing residents with the same great customer service and resources that they have been accustomed to with CCCS of Nebraska.”

Donald Leu, president and CEO of the former CCCS of Nebraska, said the merger with GreenPath is a logical choice. “Our local offices will continue to serve residents with free face-to-face appointments and financial education presentations,” said Leu. “We also look forward to providing even more services and community outreach in the Omaha, Lincoln and Norfolk areas.” Leu will serve as community engagement liaison for GreenPath’s operations in the region.

GreenPath offers customized services, including free debt and credit counseling, financial education, budgeting, housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling, student loan counseling and debt management programs. GreenPath’s debt management services can stop collection calls and assist consumers in reducing credit card debt through lower interest rates and elimination of late fees and over limit fees.

GreenPath now offers face-to-face services at more than 60offices in 13 states.  The company also offers licensed services by phone and Internet throughout the United States.  For more information about GreenPath Debt Solutions, visit or call (866) 648-8122.

Keep up with GreenPath Debt Solutions online: and


About GreenPath Debt Solutions

GreenPath Debt Solutions is a nationwide, non-profit financial organization that assists consumers with credit card debt, housing debt, student loan debt, and bankruptcy concerns. Our customized services and attainable solutions have been helping people achieve their financial goals since 1961. GreenPath operates more than 60 offices in 13 states. They also deliver licensed services throughout the United States over the Internet and telephone. GreenPath is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). The company also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

For more information:
Andrew Johnson
GreenPath Communications Manager

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
Nebraska League Unveils Shared Management Services

CUA Shared Management

In Nebraska, nearly 40% of credit union President/Managers indicated that they had attained age 60 or greater, with a high number of leaders considering retiring within in the next few years, according to a recent membership survey conducted by the League.

In an effort to respond to this impending leadership challenge, the League has created a company aimed at addressing the needs of credit unions seeking alternative ways of being more effective. Shared Management Solutions (SMS) offers a wide range of management options for those credit unions wishing to remain independent, autonomous and viable by increasing bottom-line efficiency and promoting top-line innovation.

“Succession planning for credit unions has been a major topic of discussion and concern for quite some time, the League decided to turn that talk into action by offering credit unions the opportunity to leverage their resources by spreading the cost of managerial needs across multiple credit unions, making the services much more affordable,” said J. Scott Sullivan, President/CEO of the Nebraska Credit Union League.

“Shared Management Services turned out to be a great fit for our particular situation. Upon the announced retirement of our manager, the Board of Directors explored several options and determined that sharing management services was the best way for our credit union to remain relevant, reduce costs and continue to be independent,” stated Stacy Sall, Board Chair, Lincoln USDA FCU.

In addition to permanent, temporary and emergency management services, SMS is looking to offer emerging leadership training and Human Resource solutions for credit unions.

Posted February 13th, 2015 No Comments
SAVE THE DATE – 2015 Annual Convention

NCUL and KCUA have teamed up to make a Splash this June in Kansas City for Annual Convention.  The joint event will take place at the Westin Crown Center on June 4-6.  More details will be coming in the next few months.  We hope to see you there!

CUA Splash

Posted January 16th, 2015 No Comments
NCUA Releases RBC2

The NCUA Board voted 2-1 on January 15th to release a revised Risk Based Capital (RBC) plan for credit unions which is being referred to as RBC2.  The Board is providing a 90 day comment period on the revised rule and will begin when it is published in the Federal Register.

Nearly a year ago, the NCUA Board released its initial RBC proposed rule and received more than 2,000 comment letters from credit unions, Leagues, and others concerned with the impact of the rule on the credit union industry.  NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz and NCUA staff members hosted listening sessions during last summer in various cities throughout the U.S. to facilitate discussion on areas of concern to credit unions.  The more than 2,000 commentors and attendees of the NCUA’s listening sessions expressed concern over the need for such a plan as well as many of the components of the plan including the risk weights of products offered by credit unions.

The NCUA released a summary of what they consider the top 10 revisions found in RBC2.

-Raises the asset size at which credit unions would be covered by the rule, reducing the number of covered credit unions. The new threshold is $100 million in assets–double the originally proposed $50 million-in-assets cut off. The agency said this change exempts 78% of credit unions from being covered and “provides a clear line of demarcation” for credit unions that are or are not engaging in complex activities;

-Reduces the minimum risk-based capital ratio for well-capitalized credit unions to 10%, down from the originally proposed 10.5%;

-Revises risk weights to remove the weighted average life interest rate risk component, and, the agency said,  makes investment risk weights more comparable with bank risk weights;

-Raises a concentration threshold at which a higher risk weight is applied to commercial and residential real-estate loans;

-Sets a lower risk weight for fully share-secured loans;

-Assigns a lower risk weight for real estate loans secured by non-owner occupied one-to-four family residential;

-Reduces the risk weight assigned to equity investments in credit union service organizations;

-Eliminates the cap on the amount of Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses accounts that can be included in the numerator of the risk-based capital ratio;

-Changes the definition of “past-due loan” to 90 days delinquent, up from 60 days;

-Allows for goodwill and other intangible assets specifically related to a supervisory merger occurring before the rule is finalized to be included in the RBC ratio calculation for an extended phase-out period to 2025;

-Removes the individual minimum capital requirement provision.

CUNA’s legal, economic and regulatory departments are poring over the revised plan to determine what changes have been made to the original proposal and the potential impact of the changes will be on the nation’s credit unions and their members.

CUNA will be hosting a risk-based capital (RBC) Webinar scheduled for Jan. 26.  Titled “Update on the NCUA’s Risk-Based Capital Proposal,” the Webinar will feature CUNA staff analysis of the proposal.

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, Chief Policy Officer Bill Hampel, and Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn will outline and discuss the proposal from the credit union perspective. Larry Fazio, director of NCUA’s Office of Examination and Insurance, has been invited to speak and respond to questions, as time permits.

The free Webinar is scheduled to run from Noon to 1 p.m. More information is available on the registration page. Space is limited. The Webinar will be archived for later viewing.

NCUA will also host a Webinar featuring Office of Examination and Insurance staff discussing the proposal. The public Webinar will take place Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. and will cover the changes from the original proposal to the revised version, and the justification for the changes.

Posted January 16th, 2015 No Comments
Call for Nominations for the League Board of Directors Opened January 7th

Pursuant to the Election Procedures for the NCUL Board of Directors, a call for nominations was issued on January 7th. All directors elected during this balloting will serve beginning June 5, 2015. Information has been sent to each eligible member credit union CEO; anyone interested in running for the Board should review the election materials carefully and submit their nomination by 5:00 p.m. on March 13th.

The League Board of Directors consists of nine members. For this election cycle there are three seats up for election. Each of the three seats will carry a three-year term. The regular seats include:

• Asset Category C: Credit unions with $40 million or less in assets

• Geographic District 1

• Geographic District 3

In order to qualify to run for the position of Director a nominee must be a either the CEO or senior management employee (as defined by NCUA); or a voting member of the board of directors of a credit union in Good Standing in NCUL. More qualification information is available in the nomination materials that were mailed to the credit union.

In order to participate, candidates must complete the following:

• Board of Directors Candidate Nomination & Consent Form

• Board of Directors Candidate Profile Form

• Board of Directors Nomination Seconding Form

Copies of these documents have been sent to each eligible member credit union and can also be downloaded online here. The Board of Directors Candidate Nomination & Consent Form, Board of Directors Candidate Profile Form and the Board of Directors Nomination Seconding Form must be filled out and submitted by 5:00 PM on Friday, March 13, 2015 using one of the following methods:

• By mail or other delivery method to the following address:

J. Scott Sullivan

Board Secretary
Nebraska Credit Union League
4885 South 118th Street, Suite 150
Omaha, NE 68137

•By e-mail to

•By Fax to 402-333-9431

The Nomination & Election Committee of the Nebraska Credit Union League Board of Directors shall review and determine candidate eligibility according to the NCUL Bylaws and Nomination/Election procedures. Candidates submitting inaccurate or incomplete information and not meeting the requirements of these rules and the NCUL Bylaws will be disqualified from running for a seat on the board

NCUL will distribute ballot information to all eligible credit unions on April 7, 2015. Casting of mail ballots will begin on April 7, 2015 and will close on April 30, 2015. NCUL will announce the names of the successful candidates no later than May 15, 2015.

Posted January 15th, 2015 No Comments
Review card vendor contracts before EMV deadline

By Kelly Flynn, National Sales Director, JMFA Contract Optimizer

AS FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS and consumers continue to deal with onerous security breaches, the push for integrating EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) cards into the marketplace has gained momentum. However, according to payment industry estimates, only a fraction of credit and debit cards in the United States are enabled with more secure computer chip technology that provides superior card fraud protection than magnetic-strip cards used by most consumers.

That is likely to change beginning October 15, 2015, when new credit and debit card standards go into effect and change fraud liability expectations for card issuers and retail businesses. The new compliance standards won’t be mandatory. However, liability for fraudulent transactions will be borne by the card issuer or retail business that have not upgraded to “chip and pin” technology.

According to Payments Security TaskForce, the transition to EMV technology is expected to accelerate. More than 575 million chip-enabled cards will be in the hands of U.S.consumers by the end of 2015.

Card brand contract agreement review can lead to savings and better terms

For credit unions considering the cost involved to migrate from their current magnetic strip cards to the new EMV technology, savings and increased revenue opportunities can be achieved from a review of their debit card brand agreement.

Typically, most credit unions remain with their original debit/credit card provider due to the costs involved in re-issuing new cards from a different vendor. However, with the upcoming integration to EMV technology, are view of the card brand contract agreement can give you the opportunity to get better contract terms, including:

-Lower fees
-Higher interchange revenue
-Quicker turn around time for new member cards
-Better service
-Increased net revenue over the term of the contract

Based on how many cards your credit union issues, card sales volume, and the number of transactions per card, a professional contract review can present a scenario on what improvements you can expect from either re-negotiating with your current card brand vendor or submitting a RFP to a competing credit or debit card brand.

A delay in addressing the issue can result in lost savings and revenue

Some industry estimates don’t expect a majority of institutions to have EMV-equipped credit and debit cards in place by the October 2015 deadline. Failure to do so can result in increased liability and inconvenience for members should unexpected security breaches occur. A card brand contract review can help to ensure your credit union provides members with the best possible services, security, and peace of mind.

From a bottom line perspective, credit unions that don’t take advantage of this opportunity to review and re-negotiate credit and debit card brand contract relationships will leave potential savings and increased revenue on the table at a time when earnings are extremely important to overall stability.


Posted January 15th, 2015 No Comments
Electronic signatures and member consent

AUTOMATION CAN BE a wonderful thing, but it can also present challenges.

Case in point, it is not unusual for a member to use a method other than the credit union’s website to open an account and request electronic disclosures. Many members still open accounts in the branch even though they expect to use electronic services and won’t accept paper disclosures. When the member opens the account online, the member consents electronically and things usually go quite smoothly. If however, the member wants to complete the process while physically in the branch, compliance with E-Sign may require some extra steps. A signature may not be denied legal effect solely because it is in electronic form and a contract can not be denied legal effect solely because an electronic signature was used. BothE-Sign and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) provide that an electronic signature is the legal equivalent of a signature on a piece of paper. For example, an electronic signature could consist of a name typed at the end of an email by the sender, or a mouse click, such as a button on a webpage— ”I accept.” However, despite what seems like a straightforward process, E-Sign can present some complications that can arise from common situations.

Generally, there are two steps in the E-Sign member confirmation process. First, E-Sign requires the member to affirmatively consent to receiving disclosures electronically and must not have with drawn their consent. Before being asked to consent to electronic delivery of disclosures, you must also provide the member with a clear and conspicuous statement of his/her responsibilities and a statement explaining the hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of electronic records. After receiving this statement, the member must then consent electronically. The next step requires consent in a manner that reasonably demonstrates the member can access information in the electronic form that will be used to provide information. The member must demonstrate, not just affirm, they have access to equipment and programs necessary to receive, open, and read relevant electronic documents.

An issue could arise if the member is in the branch and signing in through the credit union’s website to consent to receive disclosures. This may run afoul of the requirement that members have reasonable access to a computer and the internet. The preferable method is to use an electronic delivery process where the member signs up to receive electronic documents from their own computer.

It may be tempting to take care of this all at once while the member is in the branch. But using proprietary in-branch computers to complete this step defeats the purpose of making sure the member can actually receive, open, and read disclosures. A better procedure would be to initiate an e-delivery process by sending a message to the member. The member would then respond from his or her own computer to establish their ability to access information.

Finally, keep in mind the member consent provision under E-Sign establishes an “opt-in” regime.This means that no records required to be in writing can be considered to be provided to a member if they were provided electronically unless the member properly consented.


Posted January 15th, 2015 No Comments
CUNA Mutual Group introduces Risk Insight Dashboard for fidelity bond policyholders

Executive-level risk management tool offers benchmarks, peer comparison on key risk areas


CREDIT UNIONS FACE myriad daily risks that threaten their financial well-being, reputation, and membership. To further protect credit union fidelity bond policy holders and reduce loss exposures, CUNA Mutual Group has introduced an intuitive online tool that provides executive-level risk insights unique to a particular credit union.

The Risk Insight Dashboard elevates a credit union’s risk awareness in five key areas, helping guide risk prevention decisions by management and boards.

Credit unions complete an initial online assessment by answering a short series of yes/no or multiple choice questions to establish their benchmark. Responses feed a customized dashboard for each credit union to provide executive insight into five key risk areas, which include:

  • Internal controls(cash handling & general ledger)
  • Lending oversight
  • Employment practice
  • Data/network security
  • Member authentication

The Risk Insight Dashboard is a value-added benefit for fidelity bond policy holders and is housed online in CUNA Mutual Group’s Protection Resource Center. It provides credit unions a custom risk rating of low, moderate, or high in each area with a numerical scale of 0-100 based on the credit union’s completed assessment. Risk awareness in key areas helps the credit union prioritize action steps to prevent, mitigate, and manage risks. The Dashboard also shows how the credit union compares to peers.

“The Dashboard uses submitted data to analyze and compare a credit union’s unique risk characteristics and risk management practices. The results help the credit union identify, prioritize and act to manage the most pressing risks,” said Jay Isaacson, CUNA Mutual Group vice president, Credit Union Protection. “It’s not just a check list of best practices; it arms executives with tangible data to share with management teams and boards as they set policies and procedures,” Isaacson said.

CUNA Mutual Group benefits from Dashboard results as well. “The Risk Insight Dashboard enables us to capture credit union risk management practices relative to peers, provide customized, consultative advice, and deliver solutions they need to mitigate those exposures,” Isaacson added.

Policy holders can access the Dashboard via a link on the main navigation of theProtectionResource Center, or it can be accessed directly at

Users can reassess their risks anytime, but Isaacson suggests credit unions update their dashboard at least annually, or when they make a significant change to their policies and procedures in one of the key risk areas.(e.g.NCUA5300CallReports).

CUNA Mutual Group is the credit union marketplace leader in offering fidelity bond protection, insuring more than 85 percent of all credit unions (CUNA Mutual Group internal data, 2014). “We’ve used our nearly 55 years of working with and understanding thousands of credit unions’ loss exposures in building theRisk Insight Dashboard. It’s a differentiator for CUNA Mutual Group and a critical addition to our portfolio of value-added risk management tools we already provide  to customers to help them understand and mitigate risk exposures,” Isaacson said. “We continue to invest in our risk management offering to ensure that we are positioned to add value to our credit union policy holders as they contemplate how to manage the most critical areas of risk in their operations,”Isaacson added.

CUA Mutual Group

Posted January 15th, 2015 No Comments
Newly Remodeled Rainbow House Opens Doors

CUA Remodel 1

On December 17th, the newly remodeled Carolyn Scott Rainbow House held an Open House.  The new Rainbow House is a three-story, 43,500- square-foot building with 56 guest rooms. Every room is the size and configuration that is most commonly needed by our families. There are 48 rooms that have one queen bed and eight rooms that have two queen beds. A pull-out sofa with a full-size mattress and an ADA-compliant bathroom also is standard in every room. An open lobby between the first and second floors provides architectural interest and natural light as guests enter. Two elevators are available inside as well, to serve the needs of families.

Credit Unions for Kids has chosen to sponsor the Main Floor Lobby as well as the Playroom.  In recognition of the sponsorship, the Credit Unions for Kids logo is proudly displayed in the designated areas.  Doors opened to families on January 7th.

CUA Remodel 2CUA Remodel 3
CUA Remodel 4CUA Remodel 5


Posted January 14th, 2015 No Comments
Legislature Convenes with Eighteen New Members

The 104th Legislature convened on January 7th for its ninety-day session.  Eighteen new State Senators were sworn in which is the second largest freshmen class since voters passed term limits in 2000.  Senators elected Chairman and Vice Chairman for the 14 Standing Committees including the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee.  Senators also elected Senator Galen Hadley of Kearney as their Speaker.  On day two, all Constitutional Officers were sworn into office including newly elected State Auditor Charlie Janssen, Attorney General Doug Peterson, Lt. Governor Mike Foley, and Governor Pete Ricketts.  After being sworn in, Governor Ricketts gave his inaugural address to the full Legislature citing his Administration’s priorities of tax relief, improved education with a focus on the trades, and reform of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Corrections.

State Senators will introduce bills in the first ten working days of the legislative session and then Committees will begin to hold public hearings on all bills introduced.  Senators are able to designate one legislative bill as their “priority” bill which helps the selected bill to get heard on the floor should it be advanced out of committee.  The Nebraska Credit Union League will be hosting its Annual “Jam the Unicam” conference on Tuesday, February 17th.  It will begin with lunch at 11:30AM and conclude with a reception for State Senators at Billy’s Restaurant from 5pm-7pm.

Standing Committee Chairmen 

Agriculture: Sen. Jerry Johnson (25-24 over Sen. Lydia Brasch)


Appropriations: Sen. Heath Mello (by acclamation)


Banking, Commerce, Insurance: Sen. Jim Scheer (by acclamation)


Business and Labor:  Sen. Burke Harr (by acclamation)


Education:  Sen. Kate Sullivan (by acclamation)


General Affairs: Sen. Tyson Larson (by acclamation)


Gov’t, Military, Veterans: Sen. John Murante (by acclamation)


Health and Human Services: Sen. Kathy Campbell (by acclamation)


Judiciary: Sen. Les Seiler (by acclamation)


Natural Resources: Sen. Ken Schilz (by acclamation)


Retirement Systems: Sen. J. Nordquist (25-24 over Sen. B. Lindstrom)


Revenue: Sen. Mike Gloor (by acclamation)


Transportation/Telecom: Sen. Jim Smith (by acclamation)


Urban Affairs: Sen. Sue Crawford (by acclamation)

Posted January 14th, 2015 No Comments
Member Spotlight: Meredith Stohler

CUA Meredith

Our Member Spotlight is Meredith Stohler.  Meredith is an employee of Family Focus FCU in Omaha, Nebraska and has dedicated her time and financial resources to the credit union movement including contributing to our Nebraska credit union PAC, NCULPAC, at the highest level of Eagle.  They say you can tell where a person’s true passions lie by how they spend their time and their money.  It’s no secret then that Meredith is passionate about credit unions!  We’re pleased to feature Meredith Stohler in our Member Spotlight!

Meredith is a Member Service Representative with Family Focus FCU and has served in that role for the last 7 months.  Meredith is no stranger to credit unions as her parents started her first savings account at their credit union as well as having worked at her first credit union ten years ago.  It’s safe to say that Meredith has credit union in her blood.

Meredith has not only worked at the credit union but she has volunteered her time to credit union activities including fundraising efforts for Children’s Miracle Network.  She walked with her son in the 2014 Labor Day Parade to promote the milestone of 100 Million Memberships alongside other credit union staff and volunteers from Nebraska credit unions.  She also has volunteered at Children’s Hospital through Credit Unions for Kids.  “They were having a carnival for their patients who have benefited from CMN.  That was an experience I will never forget.  To see so many happy and well-mannered kids you will ever meet put the biggest smile on my face and made my day” said Meredith.  In her spare time she enjoys baking with her son and she uses her love for baking to raise additional funds for CMN through bake sales that the credit union organizes throughout the year.  “The key is homemade treats, no store bought stuff!  Our members love it and look forward to see what goodies we make next” she said.  Meredith says that volunteering for these types of events allows her a way to give back to her credit union and her community.

In addition to her volunteer efforts for credit union causes, Meredith also gives to the Nebraska credit union PAC, NCULPAC.  Her credit union offers her the option to contribute through payroll deduction whereby she can designate a specific amount to be contributed to NCULPAC through each paycheck.  When asked why she contributes at the highest level she explained, “One, I love my career with Family Focus Federal Credit Union and I am very lucky to work for such a great credit union that truly cares about its members.  Two, it’s important to have the PAC to stand up for all credit unions.  We need the PAC to be our voice to speak for the credit unions to keep us going.   Three, I look at it as if I didn’t have the PAC, I may not have my career that I love and I wouldn’t get to see my members every day that keeps Family Focus Federal Credit Union successful.    Therefore, I believe it is important to be educated about the PAC and to donate.”  Meredith encourages credit union employees to consider contributing to the PAC because she said, “Every contribution can make a difference.”  She credits her credit union for providing her payroll deduction as a painless and easy way to contribute to NCULPAC.

When asked what she appreciates most about Family Focus FCU and credit unions in general she responded, “Here at Family Focus Federal Credit Union we care about our members.  Our members are just not another person or number, they keep us going.  The Credit Union goes by its name and we are a family with all our members.  We truly care and want what is best for them.  I believe in all our products.  I am not just trying to sell stuff.  I actually care about my members and want what is best for them financially.    As a whole I pick credit unions over a bank any day.”

If you have a staff member or volunteer that you would like to have spotlighted, please send their name, position with the credit union, and reasons for spotlighting them to Brandon Luetkenhaus at

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