Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Apple is expanding its presence in payments.

CUPERTINO, Calif.–As many had been predicting/fearing, Apple is expanding its presence in payments with a new credit card called Apple Card that one card analyst said is actually three cards in one.

The company said the card, which can be instantly issued and has Goldman Sachs as the issuing partner and Mastercard as the network, will launch this summer in the U.S. Apple’s CEO called it the biggest change to credit cards in five decades, and others agree.

“Apple Card is disruptive–it is to banking what the iPod was to the music industry, what the iPhone was to wireless carriers and iPads were to the laptop industry, or what Uber is to taxis,” said Richard K. Crone of Crone Consulting, which specializes in payments. “This is a seminal moment in the consumer credit history. Every financial institution will be forced to compete and collaborate with Apple.”

Announced during a live event in the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple’s headquarters at which the company also introduced a series of other subscription services, such expanded Apple News and a new Apple Arcade, the Apple Card is part of an expanded Apple Pay ecosystem.

“We want to take the Apple Pay experience even further,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We see a way to transfer another way to pay: the credit card,” Cook said the card is built on the things Apple stands for, such as simplicity and transparency.

Cook said the Apple Card will have a simple application, no fee, a “lower” interest rate, a clear rewards program that pays out daily and will be more secure and private than other payments options.

“We are going to do so much more and change the entire experience,” said Cook.

See you in Clearwater Beach, FL 10/1-4/2019

Monday, March 25, 2019

CUNA Releases Updated Share Insurance Calculator

WASHINGTON—CUNA has released an updated version of its share insurance fund distribution calculator tool, designed to help credit unions estimate the amount of their distribution from the $160 million announced by NCUA earlier this month.

This will be the second distribution from NCUA; as CUTOday.info has reported, the agency paid out $735.7 million in 2018 as a result of the closing of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund, which officially closed in Fall 2017.

The tool can be found at cuna.org/ecnomics, under the "Individual Credit Union Data and Statistics" tab, CUNA explained. 

A financial institution that filed a quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for at least one reporting period in the calendar year 2018 will be eligible for a pro rata distribution. Credit unions using CUNA’s calculator tool can enter their NCUA charter number to get the amount of their estimated equity distribution, the trade association said.

NCUA estimates the distributions will be paid to eligible credit unions starting in the second quarter of 2019.

See you in Clearwater Beach, FL 10/1-4/2019

Friday, March 22, 2019

AFFCU: Recognition Round-Up: Renee Cowan named to Albany Biz Review’s ‘40 Under 40’ list

Renee Cowan, president/CEO of Albany Firemen’s FCU, was named to the Albany Business Review’s 2019 “40 Under 40” list. This marks the 20th year the publication has published the annual list, which recognizes the Capital Region’s best and brightest young professionals.

Cowan began her career in 2005 as teller under the tutelage of her father Mike Tobler – the credit union’s former president/CEO and a member of the New York Credit Union Association’s board of directors. After earning her bachelor’s degree in business from Siena College, Cowan was promoted to chief operations officer. In June 2018, she was named CEO.

During her time in the credit union movement, Cowan has been involved with the Capital Chapter, where she currently serves as Chapter Council secretary and formerly served as chapter vice president. She was also one of the founding members of the Association’s Young Professionals Commission.

Cowan is an active participant in local, state and federal events. She frequently attends the Association’s State Governmental Affairs Conference and the Annual Meeting & Convention, as well as CUNA GAC.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Firefighters and Company Federal Credit Union delivered new carbon monoxide detectors to the Tipp City Fire Department Wednesday, which will then be passed out to residents in need.

MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Local fire departments and a firefighter's credit union have teamed up to work to keep the Miami Valley safe.

Firefighters and Company Federal Credit Union delivered new carbon monoxide detectors to the Tipp City Fire Department Wednesday, which will then be passed out to residents in need.

This is the fourth year that they've made donations to local agencies, and officials said they've given away more than 1,500 detectors since the program began.

Funding for it is made possible through 'Skip a Payment' fees at the credit union, where people chose to defer a monthly payment on eligible loans.

Bellbrook, Brookville, Butler Township, Fairborn, Harrison Township and Trotwood have all also received donations within the past month.

Join us in Clearwater Beach, FL   10/1-4/2019


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.
Join us in Clearwater Beach FL

Thursday, March 7, 2019

NCUA Board Approves Share Insurance Equity Distribution in 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 7, 2019) – The National Credit Union Administration Board today approved a $160.1 million equity distribution from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund that will be paid to eligible credit unions in the second quarter of 2019.

“While continuing to advance the objectives of protecting member deposits and maintaining a safe and sound credit union system, we have worked prudently to issue the second largest distribution in the history of the Share Insurance Fund,” NCUA Board Chairman, J. Mark McWatters said. “This action, along with others taken by the NCUA Board, including closing the Stabilization Fund in 2017, kept $1.3 billion at work in credit unions by negating the need for insurance fund premiums and put nearly $900 million back to work in credit unions and their communities with the last two Share Insurance Fund distributions.”

“This is the second largest distribution to credit unions in the history of the Share Insurance Fund — only last year’s distribution was larger,” NCUA Board Member Rick Metsger said. “I am pleased that NCUA’s successful management of the NGN program and its successful lawsuits against the firms that sold toxic assets to corporate credit unions have made it possible for us to return funds to credit unions two years in a row.”

A financial institution that filed a quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for at least one reporting period in calendar year 2018 will be eligible for a pro rata distribution. The eligibility criteria for credit unions to receive an equity distribution is detailed in a final rule approved by the NCUA Board in February 2018.

Based on the total of insured shares reported in the fourth quarter Call Reports, the equity ratio of the Share Insurance Fund was 1.39 percent at the end of 2018, which is above the Board approved normal operating level of 1.38 percent. To reduce the equity ratio to the approved normal operating level, a $160.1 million distribution is required.

The NCUA Board will continue to monitor the health and risk exposure of the Share Insurance Fund, and will evaluate the normal operating level each year to determine its appropriate level, based on an analysis of data and trends as they evolve overtime.

Additional information on the Share Insurance Fund’s equity ratio and normal operating level is available on the NCUA’s website.

J. Mark McWatters Richard T. Metsger

CU Solutions Group to acquire majority interest of AffirmX Compliance Solutions Suite

CU Solutions Group and AffirmX announce strategic alliance and joint investment

CUSG to acquire majority interest in the CU sector rights of AffirmX Compliance Solutions Suite

Livonia, Mich., and Frederick, Md. (March 6, 2019 ) — CU Solutions Group (CUSG) and AffirmX announce CUSG's acquisition of the majority ownership of credit union sector rights to AffirmX's patented risk management and compliance solutions. As part of the agreement, CUSG, in conjunction with state credit union leagues, will expand and enhance the delivery of AffirmX's compliance offerings.

AffirmX currently serves more than 120 credit unions nationwide with bundled and unbundled compliance risk assessment tools and services, including:
  • Enterprise Risk Management Assessment
  • Regulatory Compliance Monitoring
  • The AffirmX Four Report Package
  • IT Risk and Vulnerability
  • Loan Review Services
  • Fair Lending Risk Assessments
  • Internal Audit Outsourcing
  • Vendor Management
  • Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
  • ADA Compliance
Several state leagues and associations already distribute and support AffirmX solutions, including the Mountain West, Maryland/D.C., New York, Connecticut, Dakotas, New Jersey and Indiana associations as well as the National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions and the Education CU Council. This new alliance will seek to expand that network of association partners and build on AffirmX's success in the marketplace.

"We are excited about becoming a part of the national framework of relationships and solutions brought to the table by CUSG and our other partner and investor leagues," Ken Wolff, CEO of AffirmX, said. "With the addition of these new relationships, and further leverage of our existing ones, and their vast knowledge base, content and distribution networks, we hope to ease the burden of regulatory change management for the credit union community nationwide and look forward to a powerful and effective partnership for years to come."

CU Solutions Group is a credit union industry leader in providing technology, marketing, HR performance and strategic advisory solutions to more than 3,400 clients nationwide. CUSG will leverage its existing product suite and client base to coordinate enhancements and additions to the AffirmX Governance, Risk and Compliance suite.

"Providing credit unions with regulatory compliance tools and consulting has long been a core business for state leagues and associations," Dave Adams, president/CEO of CU Solutions Group, said. "In cooperation with League InfoSight and CUNA, CUSG has been at the forefront of enabling these leagues to have the investment, sales and support opportunities necessary to provide top-notch technology and service to member credit unions in this area. This transaction will further expand those opportunities." Adams added, "It is CUSG's strong desire to share this investment and distribution opportunity with interested partner leagues, including those who are already committed to doing so."

As part of this transaction, CUSG and co-investor leagues will have exclusive and perpetual license to the patent, code, contracts and intellectual property for all AffirmX solutions in the credit union sector. In turn, CUSG will contract with AffirmX to service current and future contracts and to partner in future product development.

In cooperation with participating state leagues nationwide, CUSG and AffirmX plan to co-invest and co-distribute a robust suite of governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solutions that will be made affordable to credit unions of all sizes.

The transaction is targeted to close by March 31, 2019.

About CU Solutions Group

CU Solutions Group is an award-winning credit union service organization that offers products and services in the areas of technology, marketing, HR performance and strategic advisory, which include web services, mobile app solutions, digital advertising, Save To Win, Love My Credit Union Rewards, Performance Pro and Compease. The company has more than 100 investors comprised of credit unions, credit union leagues and credit union system organizations. Headquartered in Livonia, Mich., the organization serves more than 3,400 clients nationwide and has strategic partnerships with Sprint, Intuit TurboTax®, GSTV and CU Vendor Management. For more information, visit CUSolutionsGroup.com.

About AffirmX

AffirmX was originally established to help financial institutions stay on top of consumer regulatory compliance requirements. Traditional "boots on the ground" models of consulting are costly in terms of both the utilization of company resources and the time and billing rates of senior consultants and their associated expenses. To solve this problem, AffirmX created a hybrid solution: patented technology plus experienced analysts.

Today, AffirmX has become an industry-leading risk management and compliance services provider by presenting clients with the prioritized, relevant and timely information they need to lower the cost of proactive risk management. They provide compliance tools for credit unions and banks that reduce the costs, workloads and anxieties associated with regulatory compliance. With more than 120 credit union clients and scores of association partnerships, AffirmX is a leader in the field of compliance management solutions. For more information, visit AffirmX.com.

Media Contact:
Daniel Curren, Director of Integrated Marketing, CU Solutions Group

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


March Blog

By Tim Harrington & Kevin Smith

Board recruitment should be an ongoing process, a continuing cultivation. Everyone is super-busy, so making this as streamlined as possible for recruit-ers and recruit-ees is imperative. Building business card solutions and one-click information can do this.

As part of our roles for TEAM Resources we get the great privilege to spend time with credit union staff members, executives, CEOs and volunteers on a regular basis. Sometimes that's part of individual consulting with organizations and sometimes while speaking to groups at trade events, conferences, schools, etc. And while we think we have some pretty great ideas about how to do things, we have to admit that we get a lot of great ideas and information from high performers who show up at these programs.

A Credit Union Guide To Strategic Governance is the perfect prelude to your strategic planning session.

Order your board copies today as pre-reading for your planning time and make the most of your efforts. 

Get your copy of 
A Credit Union Guide to Strategic Governance 
for only $35. 
(10% discount for orders of 10 or more)

Now is the time to book Tim or Kevin for your Strategic
Planning session. 

The calendar fills up quickly. 

 Give us a call or send us a message:


Tim Harrington, CPA

CEO, TEAM Resources

Kevin Smith
Consultant/Publisher, TEAM Resources


Monday, March 4, 2019

It is never too early to plan and re-plan for a disaster or active shooter!

A disaster/emergency occurs somewhere in the world almost daily, but these events vary considerably in scope, size, and context.

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, a fire or flood or terrorist attack often depends on emergency planning done today.

While these incidents have led to an increase in general emergency/disaster awareness, the relative infrequency of major catastrophes affecting defined populations leads to a certain degree of complacency and underestimation of the impact of such an event.

A key way to cope with a emergency/disaster or active shooter is to have a plan. Know how to react before, during and after an emergency/disaster. Know the threats that could affect where you live, work and go to school.

To refresh your business emergency/continuity plan. Take a minute and watch the Active Shooter Video and download FEMA’s  “Every Business Should Have a Plan”  

It is never too early to plan and re-plan for a disaster or active shooter!

Friday, March 1, 2019

🚒 AutoLink Serving First Responders

NCOFCU Business Solutions

Solve, Save, Succeed!

Why You Need Auto Link™
Your credit union has the best rates on loans and products, but only 21% of the national auto market share went to credit unions in 2018.
The online shopping paradigm shift is changing the way your members buy vehicles and get auto loans.
Auto Link™ is a complete member marketing package for your credit union that will increase auto loan revenue by engaging your members in the new digital world.
The Changing Auto Market
The Internet has changed the way that people purchase vehicles and has caused credit union members to turn to alternative financing.

In 2016, the average consumer spent 15 hours online researching before buying a new or used vehicle. During this time, the consumer is bombarded with fast, 'low-interest' financing offers from banks, dealerships, and other sources. Financing is often approved before the credit union even knows that their member is in the market!

Auto Link™ was created as a solution to this problem. It's integrated directly into your credit union's website and provides all of the tools your members need to research, find, and buy their next vehicle.
You can contact: 
Ed Bourgeois President 

Get Started

No up-front costs. No monthly minimums. Turnkey setup in days not months. Your credit union will only pay a small monthly fee for the entire solution.
For more information on other NCOFCU Member Business Solutions visit www.ncofcu.org
Join the AutoLink first responder family of credit unions.
  • New Orleans Firemen’s
  • Baton Rouge Fire
  • Newark Fire
  • Akron Fire
  • Dayton Fire (now Firefighters and Co)
  • Chicago Firefighters CU
  • Richmond VA Fire Police CU
  • Houston TX Fire
  • Spokane Fire
  • Spokane Law Enforcement (RESCU)
  • Albany Fire
  • And more in the works!
2019 NCOFCU Annual Conference
October 1-4-2019
Clearwater Beach FL