June 18, 2010 ● Volume 33, Issue 12 Archived Issues
CUs make final interchange push
As the Congress conference committee prepares to discuss the U.S. Senate’s interchange amendment to the Financial Regulatory Reform Bill, credit unions have launched into the final – and arguably the most important – stage of the grassroots opposition to this provision. Nationwide approximately 550,000 contacts have been with Congress, and Minnesota credit unions are urged to continue their efforts to oppose the interchange amendment.
Merchants are also meeting with federal elected officials this week to persuade Congress to pass the interchange provision. For this reason, credit union employees and members should once again contact Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation on this issue. Engage in the interchange grassroots efforts by participating in the National Call on Congress and sending an e-mail to elected officials through the GREAT web site.
Additional information about the interchange grassroots effort is available in the Call to Action page of the Network web site. With questions, contact MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey or MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Monica Weber.
Registration now open for 2010 Fall Conference
Join the Minnesota Credit Union Network for its annual Fall Conference, set for Sept. 10-12 at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd. This weekend of education and recreation provides credit union professionals and volunteers the opportunity to network and attend educational sessions at one of Minnesota’s finest resorts.
This year’s conference will feature experts presenting on timely credit union topics geared toward both credit union professionals and volunteers. Investigate the Bank Secrecy Act, learn volunteers’ legal responsibilities, and discover ways to better serve delinquent members. These topics and more will be the focus of the educational sessions held on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
In addition, credit unions with less than $25 million in assets are eligible to attend Fall Conference at a discounted rate. With the Small Credit Union Discount, credit unions receive one half-priced registrant for every full-priced registrant.
Lodging for Fall Conference is not included in the MnCUN registration fee, and reservations must be made through Madden’s by Tuesday, Aug. 10. Attendees must stay at Madden’s to participate in the conference. Make accommodation requests early as rooms are granted on a "first come” basis.
For more detailed information and to register online, visit the MnCUN Fall Conference section of the Network web site. To take advantage of the early bird discount, registration and payment must be received by Tuesday, Aug. 3. The deadline for regular-priced registrations is Tuesday, Aug. 17. With questions about Fall Conference, contact MnCUN Director of Education Sue Groskreutz at the Network office.
Minnesota CU advocates hit Capitol Hill to denounce interchange legislation
More than a dozen credit union professionals and volunteers representing Minnesota’s eight congressional districts flew to Washington, D.C., June 8-9 to meet with lawmakers regarding interchange legislation. They joined nearly 1,000 credit union supporters from across the country to advocate for the removal of a portion of the U.S. Senate’s Financial Regulatory Reform Bill that addresses interchange fees.
In mid-May the Senate added a last-minute provision to the Financial Regulatory Reform Bill that would mandate price controls on the interchange fees paid by merchants that accept debit cards. This provision would reduce or eliminate the interchange fees that financial institutions – including credit unions – receive to cover the cost of administering debit cards to consumers. Currently, institutions that issue debit cards absorb the operational expenses and risks of electronic payments, and in turn, merchants pay a fee for the benefits they receive from this convenience.
"Credit unions do not believe the government should control interchange fees. Period,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "Although Congress is attempting to protect consumers with its financial reform, this interchange provision would actually hurt consumers in the long run, likely increasing the fees that they pay in order to continue using the convenience of debit cards.
The U.S. House of Representatives previously passed its own version of the Financial Regulatory Reform Bill in December 2009, which did not include the interchange provision. To move forward, Congress must meet to hash out the differences between the House and Senate versions, a process that began this week. Last week’s credit union meetings on Capitol Hill occurred as conferees were gearing up to meet to devise the compromise version of the bill.
"Our message to Congress was simple: ‘Remove the Senate interchange amendment,’” Cummins said.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) said that between themselves, credit union professionals and volunteers, and state leagues, every member of Congress was reached during this Hike the Hill visit.
To bolster the visits to Washington, D.C., credit union supporters across the country have been flexing their grassroots muscles on this issue, making more than 550,000 Congressional contacts in recent weeks, urging lawmakers to remove the Senate interchange amendment.
"Our intent was to ensure that our members of Congress are aware that this interchange legislation would ultimately force Minnesotans to pay more to use debit cards in the future,” said MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey, who led the group of Minnesota hikers. "Overall, the meetings went well and we hope that our elected officials will realize the need for further examination on this issue before enacting legislation.”
FIC to offer workshop on infusing energy into CU clubs
The Minnesota Family Involvement Council (FIC) will host a Start to Go Workshop on Thursday, Aug. 19. This one-day workshop will focus on financial literacy and guide credit unions on how to develop and sustain a strategically-focused kids, teens or senior citizens club.
Focusing on the strategic purpose of lifestage clubs, this workshop will provide more than just the tactics of creating a club and keeping it alive. Attendees will delve into their own existing or potential clubs and investigate how to root them into the credit union’s overall strategic plan. Specifically the workshop will help credit unions:
- Create a compelling business case for multi-generational engagement in the credit union;
- Develop a deeper understanding of how to help youth and adults link money decisions to their values;
- Learn how to speak to members of all ages about money and the important issues that surround it; and
- Find tools, resources and actionable ideas to create something new or revive the old.
The workshop is facilitated by members of FIC and Nathan Dungan who is the founder and president of nationally-recognized financial education provider Share Save Spend. Dungan has been an industry thought-leader helping families link money decisions to their values for more than 20 years. As an author and leading expert in family finance, he’ll deliver a highly-interactive and powerful workshop that will equip and inspire attendees to improve upon programs at their own credit unions.
More detailed information about the Start 2 Go Workshop and online registration are available on the Family Involvement Council web site. Registrations received by Friday, July 16 will receive a 20 percent early bird discount. All registrations must be received by Friday, Aug. 6.
Dora, Louise & Desjardins entries due July 16
Has your credit union done something great in the past year? The deadline to participate in the 2010 social responsibility awards is fast approaching. Submit your entries for the Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins Awards and be recognized for the programs that make your credit union unique.
- The Dora Maxwell Award is given to a credit union or chapter for external social responsibility projects. Eligible activities include raising funds for charity, hosting educational events, or coordinating community involvement projects.
- The Louise Herring Award recognizes a credit union that practices the "people helping people” philosophy in its day-to-day operations. Examples of eligible activities include offering provisions for the small saver or borrower, coordinating programs that encourage thrift, and proving programs for youth or seniors.
- The Desjardins Award distinguishes a credit union or chapter that is a leader in youth financial education. Past winning entries have included activities such as face-to-face teaching, teacher and volunteer training, and promotion of educational programs such as the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP).
Award entries must be submitted to the Network office by Friday, July 16. For in-depth award and application information, visit the National Credit Union Awards Programs section of the Network web site.
Twin Cities golf outing set for July 12
Archer Doig & River Cities Chapters of Credit Unions will host the 22nd Annual Twin Cities Golf Tournament on Monday, July 12. The tournament will take place at Forest Hills Golf Course in Forest Lake.
Golf will begin at 1 p.m., and the event will conclude with a dinner buffet at 6:30 p.m. Credit unions are invited to attend this event for an afternoon of networking and fun. Additionally, vendors can participate in the tournament through a variety of sponsorship opportunities. Registrations for the tournament must be received by Wednesday, June 30.
For more information about the tournament and a printable registration form, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
Mid-Minnesota FCU employee receives CCUE designation
Melissa Borg, Director of Branch Operations of Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, received the Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) designation in April for her completion of CUNA’s Certified Executive Program. Borg has been working toward this designation since 2007, completing eleven self-study, college-level business courses that focus on topics related to credit union operations.
CCUE, instituted in 1975, is the hallmark of professional credit union achievement. Designed for managers and those aspiring to credit union leadership, the program teaches advanced credit union management and operations techniques.
Products & Services Corner
MnIPC offers credit unions a suite of check processing services
Are you currently serving all of your members’ check processing needs? As an independent check processor, MnIPC provides share draft and deposit processing services at competitive rates. As a result, your credit union can meet members’ needs without breaking the budget.
MnIPC strives to be the leading check processing provider for credit unions. It uses advanced processing technology to offer check document imaging for research, retrievals, automated return item processing, stop payment processing, CD image output, and image statement printing. MnIPCs services include:
- Member draft processing;
- Branch capture;
- Business/home deposits;
- ATM deposits
- Check deposit services;
- Home banking interface;
- eStatement interface; and
- On-us processing.
Additionally, MnIPC maintains a dedicated staff, ensuring unsurpassed customer service to credit unions. For more information about MnIPC and its check processing services, contact MnIPC Vice President Michelle Carlson by e-mail or at (651) 288-5551.
Serve members and reduce expenses with Intuit Financial Services
Credit unions seeking cost-effective ways to meet members’ online account access needs should turn to Intuit Financial Services. This company, which was formerly Digital Insight, is a leading provider of online services to credit unions in the United States.
Intuit Financial Services can help your credit union save money by offering members fast access to their financial information. Consider these facts:
- Credit unions save up to $3.83 per transaction when members access their accounts online.
- Mobile banking customers are nearly twice as active as those who don’t use mobile services. Plus, they stay more engaged with the credit union, have higher balances, and use more solutions than non-mobile users.
- Active online users are more likely to accept estatements, eliminating paper and postage with an average savings of $1 per user per month.
Why wait? Nine out of 10 consumers prefer to get online financial management tools through their financial institution rather than from third-party sites. For more information about Intuit Financial Services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Is your credit union saving money with OfficeMax?
Through the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s partnership with OfficeMax, your credit union can save money on everyday office purchases like paper, pens, printer ink and more. Discounts on these regular purchases quickly add up to significant savings for your credit union.
OfficeMax offers credit unions a complete line of office products from national brands and comparable quality, lower-cost options. On top of this quality, credit unions also receive several discounts, some of which include:
- Substantial savings from 31 percent to 88 percent off of manufacturers’ list price on core products most frequently purchased by credit unions
- "Credit union-only" pricing on more than 12,000 additional products;
- "Credit union-only" pricing on OfficeMax ImPress print and document services;
- "Credit union-only" discounted pricing on furniture, technology, and managed print services;
- "Credit union-only" discounted pricing at more than 1,000 OfficeMax retail stores; and
- Free next-day delivery to most locations, and no minimum order required
Check out OfficeMax today and discover how much your credit union can save on office supplies each year. For more information about OfficeMax, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Calendar of Events
- June 22 (9 a.m.): Teaching Financial Education Today
- June 22 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Professionalism in the Workplace
- June 23: MnCU4Kids Golf Outing
- June 23 (TBD): CUNA Mutual WebCast - Minimizing Mortgage Fraud
- June 23 (9 a.m.): Teaching Financial Education Today
- June 23 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Frontline & Call Center Loss Prevention
- June 24 (9 a.m.): Teaching Financial Education Today
- June 29 (9 a.m.): Teaching Financial Education Today
- June 29 (12 p.m.): CUNA Mutual WebCast -- Health Care Reform
- June 30 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Key Financial Ratios
- June 30 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Handling Right of Set Off
- July 7 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Loan Applications & Reg Z
- July 8 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - The Hispanic Opportunity