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Texas-Sized Overlaps In Dallas

AUSTIN, Texas-A Texas-sized brawl is breaking out among Dallas-area credit unions over the local credit union market, as state regulators approved two more credit unions to serve the 2.4-million residents in Dallas County last week.

The approval of Dallas County CU, Dallas, and Texans CU, Richardson, to serve the state's most populous county makes a total of nine credit unions now authorized to serve the entire county. And a tenth, EDS CU, Dallas, was denied permission to serve Dallas County, but approved to serve the 600,000 residents in nearby Collin County, for the time being.

SELCO OK'd To Serve One-Million

EUGENE, Ore.-SELCO CU said it has received permission from state regulators to convert to a community charter serving more than one-million residents of six counties: Lane, Deschutes, Linn, Benton, Polk and Marion-one of the broadest community charters ever granted here.

But the $510-million credit union, which was chartered in 1937 as Eugene-Lane Teachers CU, has no plans to change names. SELCO, which is currently focused on educational groups and other select groups, is the eight state -chartered credit union to convert to a community charter in the past three years.

MasterCard Plans Contactless Cards

PURCHASE, N.Y.-MasterCard International said it expects to roll-out a contactless version of its credit card, based on radio frequency technology called PayPass, later this year, joining American Express and other card companies offering the new card technology. A consumer only has to wave the card past a special reader for the sale to go through, making transactions faster and safer because the card never leaves the user's hand.

Visa USA is also prepared to offer a contactless card but is waiting to see the level of consumer acceptance before offering it to issuers.

MasterCard's PayPass comes in a regular size card that also has a magnetic stripe for swiping at those merchants that don't have the required readers for contactless cards.

Final 3 Corps. Invest In CUSO

COLUMBUS, Ohio-Three more corporate credit unions have invested in Primary Financial Co., a CUSO that operates the SimpliCD program, meaning that all of the corporates have now invested. PFC was purchased last year from Corporate One FCU by a consortium of corporate credit unions.

Corporate One had owned and operated the CUSO since 1996.

The new investors include Corporate America CU, Irondale, Ala.; Midwest Corporate FCU, Bismarck, N.D. and Eastern Corporate FCU, Woburn, Mass. The SimpliCD program invests credit union funds in federally insured CDs from nationwide issuers, monitoring all transactions and paying one monthly interest distribution for the entire portfolio. SimpliCD outstandings currently stand at approximately $3.2 billion.

Ruffin Succeeds Levins At RFCU

ROBINS, Ga.-Robins FCU has named Executive Vice President John Ruffin to succeed Buck Levins as its new president and CEO. Levins, who served as the high-profile CUNA chairman during the campaign for HR 1151, was fired last month after serving 16 years as CEO and a total of 42 years with the credit union.

Ruffin has been executive vice president since 1997 after serving as regional director for NCUA for 12 years.

Robber's Dog No Best Friend

WEST BRANCH, Mich.-A man who robbed Northland Area FCU last week was given away by his dog, as he tried to make his getaway. Tellers at the credit union told police they saw the suspect drive away in a white car with the pooch in the back seat. When police spotted a car of the same description a few minutes later at a nearby gas station, they noticed the same dog in back, and arrested the driver, identified as Harold Baker, 43, of Saginaw. The loot from the credit union and a gun believed used in the robbery were found inside the car.

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