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Mich. CUs Choose New Ad Firm

PLYMOUTH, Mich.-The Michigan CU Marketing Alliance has signed with BERLINE Advertising Agency, of Bloomfield Hills, to run its cooperative advertising program.

The company is scheduled to meet with credit union representatives to discuss ways of developing the marketing and advertising strategy for a statewide campaign.

The campaign is expected to be unveiled this fall. BERLINE is a 22-year-old firm with statewide experience that has represented such clients as Wendy's, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, DTE Energy, and Greektown Casino.

Texas CUs Unveil Marketing Bid

WACO, Texas-Eleven area credit unions have developed a cooperative advertising and education campaign to explain the credit union difference to consumers.

The initiative, called the Credit Union Difference, will soon launch a multi-media campaign to market CU services, which will include television commercials, billboards and a new website, at credituniondifference.org.

The participants are: 1st University CU, Educators CU, GENCO FCU, First Central CU, Texas Farm Bureau FCU, Heart O' Texas FCU, Rocket FCU, Members Choice of Central Texas FCU, McLennan County Employees FCU, Waco Postal CU and Waco FCU.

CUNA Mutual, Union 'Cool Off'

MADISON, Wis.-The union representing more than 1,400 CUNA Mutual Group employees has stopped picketing outside the company's headquarters during a 30-day "cooling off period" brokered by CMG CEO Mike Kitchen and Michael Goodwin, international president of Office & Professional Employees International Union at a recent meeting.

The union, OPEIU's Local 39, has also ceased its corporate campaign, which included criticisms of CUNA Mutual sent to credit union customers.

The company has revised its latest offer and asked the union to take the proposal to its membership for a vote.

"We delivered the details of the revised offer to the union, and the response that we received back is that they are encouraged," said CMG spokesperson Syd Lindner.

More CUs Turn to ATM Sharing

AUSTIN, Texas-A group of seven Capital area credit unions has joined together to share their 168 ATMs in order to provide their members with greater access to surcharge-free machines.

The ATM cooperative is the second formed by Texas credit unions, following a similar effort in Houston, called the Credit Union Friendly ATM Network, which includes 75 ATMs.

The participants in the Austin ATM Alliance includes University FCU, Austin Telco FCU and IBM Texas Employees FCU, and four unnamed credit unions poised to join the effort.

IBM Southeast FCU Joins Allpoint

BOCA RATON, Fla.-IBM Southeast Employees FCU said it has joined Allpoint's surcharge-free ATM network.

The $630-million CU is the 40th credit union and 65th financial institution to join the year-old network. Allpoint, owned by ATM National, in Bethesda, Md., provides access to 25,000 ATMs nationwide in retail outlets.

Saks' CU Offers PayCard Program

NEW YORK-Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises FCU has signed with GenPass, Inc., to offer the company's PayCard program to its members.

The PayCards are stored value debit cards that can be issued in place of paychecks for employees that provide safe, low-cost money transfers.

The 28-year-old CU also sees it as a bridge product that will allow it to serve some potential members the credit union was previously forced to turn away. Genpass is a unit of Irving, Texas-based GenPass Technologies LLC.

CU Adds Biometrics For Laptops

SAN ANTONIO, Texas-San Antonio City Employees FCU said it has added biometric security to its employees' laptop computers.

BioNet Systems' BioPassword system allows users access to the system only after they are authenticated by the traditional password and the recognition of the unique typing keystrokes of the individual entering the password.

The system binds a legitimate user's typing patterns with his or her password, creating a "hardened" password that secures against external and internal attacks.

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