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SECU Adds Stock Plan

RALEIGH, N.C.-The $7.9-billion State Employees Credit Union (SECU) has added ShareBuilder, the internet- based investment program, to its service menu. Members can choose from more than 4,000 stocks and 60 index securities and purchase stock online for $4 per recurring purchase of individual stocks or for $12 per month for unlimited purchases of stocks. Funds can withdrawn directly from an SECU checking account. In conjunction with the launch, SECU and ShareBuilder are running a Disney Sweepstakes Introductory offer through Jan. 31 offering members who open a ShareBuilder account the chance to win a seven-day Disney Land/Sea Cruise for a family of four including airfare. For info:

CU Develops Software

INDIANAPOLIS-The $500-million FORUM Credit Union is crediting software that it wrote and developed and which it is offering to sell to other credit unions while quadrupling its users of online bill pay and boosting usage elsewhere, as well. Called Taps 24/7 and developed by FORUM Solutions, Inc., the credit union's CUSO, the credit union has seen its number of online bill pay users rise to 5,100 from 1,500 prior to installing Taps 24/7 in July. More than 1,500 of its members have opted to receive e-statements, rather than paper statements, and almost 15,000 members are actively using its online banking product. FORUM is marketing the software solution to credit unions across the country.

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SACU Selects APPRO Program

BATON ROUGE, La.-APPRO Systems, Inc., a provider of automated credit risk management and financial technologies, has announced that San Antonio Federal Credit Union (SACU) will implement its LoanCenter automated loan processing system through an application service provider (ASP) model. SACU will be the first credit union to implement new APPRO software tools that integrate LoanCenter with the EDS Flagship Premier product. The 250,000-member, $1.4-billion credit union will utilize APPRO's LoanCenter for all loans, from home equity to indirect car loans. The credit union cited automated credit decisions and Internet connectivity for making its decision.

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FedComp, CUNA Mutual Partner

FAIRFAX, Va.-FedComp, Inc., which provides technology solutions to credit unions, announced an agreement with CUNA Mutual Mortgage Corp. to make MEMBERS' CHOICE netMortgage as an anchor tenant to FedComp's VirtualCU e-Business portal. Launched in September 2000, MEMBERS' CHOICE netMortgage is a full-featured Internet mortgage origination tool that provides members loan pre-approval in four minutes or sooner. VirtualCU is a comprehensive solution that includes a variety of components, among them website development & hosting; Internet Teller (home banking); e-mail account, and an e-Business portal offering. The VirtualCU e-Business portal is located at Separately, FedComp reported that more than 90 CUs have ordered and scheduled installations of its The Next Generation product, a data processing solution. The Windows-based application is now available to all of the more than 2,500 credit unions the company serves.

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CGI Underwrites R&D Chair

WATERLOO, Iowa.-The University of Waterloo, partnership with CGI Group Inc., said it will create an R&D Chair to advance research in e-commerce. The Canada-based CGI, which includes the former CU Processing, said that as a "complement to this initiative, CGI will seek a major client in each key sector to participate in the development of a world-class research center of excellence with an emphasis on real business issues. The financial services research center of excellence will be in the insurance field, one of CGI's strong and well-recognized areas of expertise."

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Speech Recognition Added

TOWNSHIP OF WASHINGTON, N.J.-Paragon Federal Credit Union has selected Maxxar Corp.'s natural language speech recognition system for installation this month. "The human voice will continue to play an active role in providing our members with highly accurate response and improved performance," said Richard Rays, president of Paragon FCU.

Maxxar's natural language speech recognition system simplifies phone-based service by enabling members to conduct transactions or ask questions using verbal commands. For info:

First Hosted-Conductor Client

SAN DIEGO-Symitar Systems, a subsidiary of Jack Henry & Associates, Inc., reported it has signed its first Conductor core data processing system client in a hosted, service bureau environment. The $20-million NOED FCU in New Orleans converted to the new system on Jan. 3. The installation will be run from the JHA data center in Allen, Texas. Meanwhile, Symitar Systems has added nine CUs to its client base in the last six months, the company said. All will run the Symitar solution, which runs on the IBM pSeries(tm) server (formerly RS/6000), a member of IBM's eServer(tm) family of products. For info:

New Interactive Training CD

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Deluxe Financial Services has unveiled a new interactive training CD-ROM that it reports can help ease that burden at the new accounts desk. The CD-ROM, entitled "Check Selection Tips," will enable financial institutions to better identify a consumer's check preferences, leading to improved customer satisfaction and new revenue opportunities, the company said. It teaches new accounts representatives and call center employees effective ways to sell the right checking products to their members. Research conducted by Deluxe shows that only 17% of consumers prefer plain conservative check designs, but 77% use them regularly. "Our research tells us that, in many cases, consumers don't know about all of the designs and enhancements available for their checks," said Chuck Feltz, president, Deluxe Financial Services. Deluxe will provide its new CD-ROM training program at no charge to its clients. The Check Selection Tips CD-ROM is designed for individual or group training and takes about 30 minutes. For info:

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