Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dayton Firefighters FCU Taps New CEO

By Peter Strozniak CU Times

Thomas Newton was appointed the new president/CEO of the $50 million Dayton Firefighters Federal Credit Union.

Newton will replace Charles Passenthal who will retire in mid-October, according to a Sept. 18 prepared statement from the board of directors of the Dayton, Ohio-based cooperative.

“We are very excited that Thomas is joining our team here at Dayton Firefighters Federal Credit Union,” Thomas Scott, board chair, said. “His dedication and proven track record will make him a strong leader for our credit union. We are looking forward to what he can bring to the credit union as president/CEO.”

Newton worked as SVP for member services at the $379 million Universal 1 Credit Union in Dayton. He also served as EVP of operations of the $87 million FirstDay Financial Federal Credit Union in Dayton, which merged with the $313 million River Valley Credit Union in Miamisburg, Ohio, April 1.

Newton has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Phoenix and a Master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Since 2009, he also served as the secretary and treasurer of the Miami Valley chapter of credit unions.

Chartered in 1935, Dayton Firefighters FCU serves more than 3,800 members.

Monday, September 22, 2014

“Apple Pay” and Credit Unions

Just when you think you are caught up and what could be next? Here it is “Apple Pay”!

For the banks and credit card networks, Apple Pay could threaten some revenue streams, since Apple is getting a financial piece of every transaction. In return, the banking industry is hoping for improved POS security and privacy benefits as well as inroads into an expanded online and mobile purchasing universe.

Navy and AppleReports indicate that the financial services industry began working on the Apple Pay project in January 2013, when Apple had the first concrete conversations with the credit card networks. In the summer of 2013, Apple approached the top six banks involved in the project (American Express, Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo), without revealing what other banks were involved.

Willing participation of the top six banks as well as Barclaycard, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, USAA and U.S. Bank suggests both Apple’s power in the mobile space and the recognition that there are other payment solutions being promoted that are not as willing to work with the banking industry. For instance, the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) would prefer to replace the card networks altogether. This is highlighted by the fact that the two most prominent members of MCX, Walmart and Best Buy, announced that they would not accept Apple Pay

To read more and see who the players are and how it will Impact Non-Participating Banks and Credit Unions visit -

Understanding EMC for Credit Unions CU24

In order to understand the significance of implementing the new EMV credit cards as discussed in the previous posting , CU24 has provided the following whitepaper to better assist you in understanding the change;

Credit Unions Lag as EMV Chip Deadline Slowly Approaches

By David Morrison CU Times

As the October 2015 implementation deadline approaches, some leaders who helped credit unions launch EMV chip-equipped payment cards estimated that fewer than 50% of card-issuing cooperatives would have both EMV-equipped credit and debit cards ready in time.

Oct. 15 next year marks the point when the cards’ brands have said liability for fraud losses will shift to the party that has not put EMV cards in place. This means that the party, either the issuer or merchant, that does not support EMV assumes liability for counterfeit card transactions, possibly costing or saving credit unions significant amounts of money.

“Credit unions are definitely gearing up and picking up the pace,” said Barney Moore, manager of card consulting services for Card Services for Credit Unions, the association of credit unions that use the services of payment processor FIS. “But it seems unlikely that they will have gotten it done by next October.”

Moore cited concerns about the costs of issuing the chip-enabled cards among credit unions, as well as delays in ironing out technical details with EMV-equipped debit cards. Another hurdle includes bottlenecks among plastic card suppliers, he added.

“We are urging credit unions that might not be ready to pull the trigger to at least get the project started and get into a queue for a chance to get EMV cards,” Moore advised.

READ MORE >>>>>Credit Unions Lag as EMV Chip Deadline Slowly Approaches

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Products and Services That Work

We are only a few weeks away form San Diego
Don’t miss these sessions with real takeaway ideas!

6 of our credit union CEO’s will discuss products and services that worked for them!


Friday, September 12, 2014

A special thank You from Mark C. Meyer CEO Filene Research Institute

This was forwarded to me from one of our firefighter credit unions and I thought I would share it with everyone.

Credit Union Colleague, 

As one of the Nations 161 credit unions specifically organized by the police or fire departments of your communities please accept this email as heartfelt thank you to your credit union members who work tirelessly to protect communities across the USA.

We at the Filene Research Institute are inspired by the efforts of your credit unions to serve these brave individuals and enable them to achieve their financial dreams.

On the 13th Anniversary of 9/11 we do not forget the 343 firefighters, 23 NYPD officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers who put themselves in harms way, and lost their lives to rescuing the victims of our Nation's worst terrorist attack.

In memory, Mark

Mark C. Meyer, J.D. | CEO | Filene Research Institute | 612 W. Main Street, Suite 105, Madison, WI 53703 | (o) 608.661.3741 | (m) 608.513.1107 |


Saturday, September 6, 2014

7 Secrets For Merger Success | Credit Unions

These best practices will ensure your next merger won’t be your last.
By Aaron Pugh 

With six mergers completed since 2009 and three more on the immediate horizon, Credit Union of Southern California ($781.8M, Whittier, CA) — commonly referred to as CU SoCal — attributes just over half of its branch footprint and about 70% of growth achieved in the past five years to merger activity.

On the opposite side of the country, The Summit Federal Credit Union ($723.7M, Rochester, NY) averaged close to one merger a year between 2003 and 2011, increasing its assets by more than $445 million and adding 12 branches in three regional markets beyond its original Rochester and Seneca Falls footprint.

Despite the prevalence of this activity, neither of these institutions has ever actively sought out any merger partner. Instead, they’ve been responding to increased demand from small-to-mid-sized credit unions for cooperative alliances, both for survival and for the enhanced economies of scale a bigger sandbox can provide.

There’s no doubt that mergers can boost key metrics in a short amount of time, but according to these two cooperatives, those who pursue such opportunities out of a one-sided growth agenda usually falter as a result.

“We weigh every merger request we receive according to a number of factors, but it all boils down to two key questions: Does the merger ensure the financial safety and soundness of our credit union, and does it provide value to the members of both organizations?” says CU SoCal CEO Dave Gunderson.

“We’re not in business to put other credit unions out of business,” says Michael Vadala, CEO of The Summit. “But the industry is changing and in those cases where a merger is the right answer, you need to know how to do it and do it well.”

Below, both credit unions share seven key ways to stand out as an attractive merger partner and ensure those alliances don’t just benefit one party but rather strengthen the entire cooperative system.

Continued>>7 Secrets For Merger Success | Credit Unions

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lets welcome Prescott Ford of First Empire Securities to our line up of 2014 conference speakers!

Prescott Ford is the Managing Director of the Office of Regulatory Affairs at First Empire Securities, Inc., and formerly served as a National Bank Examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in the regulatory/compliance examination sector, Prescott keeps clients in step with a constantly changing regulatory landscape. A valuable resource for banks and credit unions, he frequently authors regulatory updates, participates at industry conferences, and conducts educational webinars and seminars on the subjects of interest rate, liquidity and investment portfolio risk management. In addition to seminars hosted by First Empire, Prescott has addressed industry groups, such as the Southern California Credit Union Association and the Credit Union Executives Society. He also recently authored the Credit Union Times article “Management Manages, Not the Examiner.”

Prescott received a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance from The Ohio State University. He has been a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder since 2004, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cheer Up and Change: The Demographic Mandate


Cheer Up and Change: The Demographic Mandate

At a conference I recently attended Monday morning started off with a great session by demographer and futurist Ken Gronbach, who laid out his predictions on where we’re going and what we can expect as demographics change. I was pleasantly surprised that the future isn’t sounding as bleak as the news might have you believe. 

Gronbach offered lots of predictions for where our society and our world is headed. His predictions were given with a purpose: To help associations build their vision and plan for the future. As Gronbach stressed, "Wait and see is not a plan."

I’ve decided to arrange this recap into a list of my takeaways rather than a narrative recap. I hope you get as much out of this information as I did!

Things to Expect:

Big Changes in Retail: Gronbach explained that Generation Y, who are now ages 10-29, are a generation that shops primarily online. We can expect to see a shift in retail, especially away from the big box stores of today.

3-D Printing: I’ll be the first to say that this technology blows my mind. I don’t get it, but Gronbach said that I should. He also said manufacturing industries especially need to watch out for this trend.

Remote Everything: From robotic surgery to drone aircraft operated from another continent, Gronbach says this is just the beginning in terms of remote operations. This also applies to education, and colleges are already seeing a declining enrollment, supporting this trend.

Elderly on Steroids: With improving healthcare in our country, Gronbach says in the near future it won’t be unheard of to find people living to 120. Is our society ready to support the needs of this growing group of elderly people? (Gronbach says my home state of Florida should especially be watching out.)

Cars that Drive Themselves: Now, call me cynical but I don’t see this. I was promised flying cars back in kindergarten and those haven’t come to fruition, maybe that’s the root of my cynicism. Gronbach says that these cars aren’t far away, and explained that we can expect them to make us safer on the roads.

Homogenization of Culture:  Today 35 percent of the U.S. market is a minority. That statistic paired with the statement by Gronbach that Generation Y seems to be the first that does not see race or color will level the playing field for minorities, leading to a more homogenous culture.

Smaller Housing and Hotels: Walk around your nearest IKEA store and Gronbach says you’ve just seen the future. He says homes will be smaller, more energy efficient and will feature more sophisticated security systems. He also predicted a rise in new home construction as more Gen Y members leave home, get married and start their own families.

Entertainment at Home: Think Netflix and video game culture. Gronbach says fewer of us are leaving our homes for entertainment like movies and even recreation like riding bikes. This may give us a clue as to where the obesity epidemic he also mentioned is stemming from.

Car or Internet: Which would you choose? Perhaps not surprisingly Gronbach says if given this choice most young people today would choose the Internet. In fact, 25 percent of teens who are eligible to get their drivers licenses, don’t.  (Interestingly, Gronbach took this opportunity to point out that teen pregnancy today is on a decline.)

Succession Planning: "Baby Boomers can’t just walk out," Gronbach said, pointing to the huge amount of knowledge, both experiential and operational, that this generation is holding on to. Sharing that knowledge with the new generation, is key to the survival of our businesses and industries, he said.

Recruitment Strategies: Interestingly, the goals of Generation Y and the perks that attract them are being able to help others, being a good part, and building a successful marriage. Goals like being rich and famous fall lower on the list. Gronbach also stressed that Gen Y, "will not work for mean people." It’s important to know what this generation is looking for if you’re going to attract the best and the brightest. 

Immigration Reform: While many people think Latin America when they think of immigration reform in our country, Gronbach says to look to the east instead. He predicts rising numbers of immigrants from the European Union and Asia. The typical look of these immigrants is different than you might imagine, with many being rich, young entrepreneurs.

I’ve thrown a lot at you here but I thought they were all interesting points. Which one jumped out at you most? I’d love to hear what you think about these future predictions.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Credit Union Kills Auto Loan Campaign After Dealers Cry Foul

I was asked to comment on this by a credit union publication. My feelings were that the credit union was doing what it should, educating the members as to how dealer financing works. An educated member will make a much better decision when considering purchasing a vehicle in the future.

What do you think?

Grant Sheehan

August 4, 2014
They say never bite the hand that feeds you. But that seems to be what Space Coast Credit Union did with an auto lending campaign attacking interest rate markups charged by dealerships. The credit union had to do a big U-turn after the auto industry protested, with some car dealers decrying the marketing initiative as a smear campaign. 
Few consumers are aware of “rate markups.” A rate markup (sometimes referred to as “buy-ups” or “dealer reserves”) occurs when a car buyer arranges for bank or credit union financing at the dealership, and the rate they get is marked up. It is a fairly common practice, encouraged by the indirect lending policies of both banks and credit unions, but some people feel these markups are “kickbacks” to car dealers. The fact remains that most consumers have never heard of rate markups, and don’t know what they are. 
Space Coast Credit Union doesn’t engage in rate markups, instead choosing to compensate its dealer partners using a flat fee. So they decided to create a consumer awareness and advocacy campaign calling attention to the issue. According to the credit union, rate markups average around 2.5% and gouge consumers for hundreds of millions of dollars. Space Coast wanted to get the word out, figuring they could grow their auto loan portfolio. 
The credit union’s strategy made sense, and it sounds reasonable enough: build a marketing campaign that exploits and leverages a relevant competitive advantage. But--   Continue Reading>>Credit Union Kills Auto Loan Campaign After Dealers Cry Foul

Friday, August 1, 2014

70 Percent of U.S. Credit Cards to Include EMV Chips by 2015

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-06-16

NEWS ANALYSIS: A new report shows up to 70 percent of U.S. credit cards will have EMV chips by 2015. But merchants must convert POS terminals and train staff to use them.

The good news for companies that accept credit cards is that most banks will be issuing credit cards with EMV chips well before the coming liability shift in October 2015.

The bad news is that merchants that don't accept EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chips will have to absorb the cost of fraudulent transactions due to counterfeit credit cards.

Previously, banks had absorbed those costs. EMV chips are microprocessors embedded in cards that make counterfeiting the cards virtually impossible.

That means that companies that accept credit cards at point-of-sale (POS) terminals will have to either buy new terminals or they'll have to enable the EMV chip readers on the terminals they already have.

The surprising news is that the majority of card issuers will use chip-and-signature cards rather than chip-and-PIN cards. Chip and signature cards protect against counterfeit credit and debit cards, but not against fraudulent use of lost or stolen cards.   Continue Reading >>>  70 Percent of U.S. Credit Cards to Include EMV Chips by 2015

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