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Cross-Border Program Is Being Piloted

DALLAS-Southwest Corporate FCU has launched a pilot remittance program with StarTrust FCU that will allow members of the Houston credit union to open accounts at correspondent financial institutions in Mexico. The program is a partnership between the Federal Reserve and Banco de Mexico to promote remittances through low-cost ACH transactions. The Federal Reserve developed the program, called Directo a Mexico, to allow financial institutions to make low-cost money transfers through the Fed's own ACH channel with Mexican banks. The cost of an international transaction is just 67 cents. Once the pilot phase is completed it will be made available to other Southwest Corporate member CUs.

CUNA Backs Plan To Boost Data Security

WASHINGTON-CUNA said last week it is working with lawmakers to enact into a law a key data security provision that would require all retailers and other users of credit card transactions to destroy account numbers and other personal information immediately after use. The provision, supported by credit union insurer CUNA Mutual Group, would require retailers to destroy the personal data after they receive confirmation of a transaction, according to CUNA lobbyist Dean Sagar, who is discussing the provision with congressional members in an effort to get it included in pending data security legislation. The requirement is currently part of the Payment Card Industry standard enacted by MasterCard and Visa, the two biggest players in the payments industry. But it has been found to be widely ignored by retailers. CUNA Mutual has focused on the requirement as one of the most effective ways to prevent the theft of credit card data by third parties. "This is one of the few pre-emptive things that anybody is talking about," Sagar told The Credit Union Journal. "There's no reason for any of that information to be retained after the transaction is complete."

Fed Closes 3 More Plants

WASHINGTON-The Federal Reserve, which has been reducing its check processing, announced it is closing down three more of its check processing facilities. Since 2003 the Fed has reduced the number of its check processing offices from 45 to 18. The latest move means the Fed will discontinue check processing in San Francisco, Kansas City and Helena, Mont. Processing operations in San Francisco will be moved to Los Angeles, in Kansas City to St. Louis, and in Helena to Denver. The move will mean 280 people at those three facilities will lose their jobs. Check volumes in the U.S. has declined from 50 billion in 1995 to 37 billion in 2003.

2 Men Convicted Of Robbery

PITTSFIELD, Mass.-Two local men were convicted in Berkshire Superior Court of the Dec. 22, 2004 armed robbery of more than $100,000 from the Credit Union of the Berkshires. The two men, Marcos Sostre and Robinson Figueroa, burst into the credit union that morning wearing ski masks and brandishing handguns, before making off with the cash. The getaway car driver in the hold-up, Angel Lamboy, pleaded guilty earlier and was sentenced to six-to eight years in state prison.

Clarification On RRFCU Story

A story in the May 15 issue on the mortgage lending program at Red Rocks FCU should have correctly stated that the credit union charges no lender fees and offers rates in line with its market.

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