Wescom CU Biz Unit Acquires Two Credit Card Portfolios

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PASADENA, Calif. - CU Card Association, a division of Wescom Central Credit Union, in December purchased the credit card portfolios of two credit unions.

Brad Wylie, vice president of CU Card Association, told the Credit Union Journal Wescom's goal is to give credit unions an option to selling their credit card portfolios to a bank. He said the acquisition of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Coastline FCU's portfolio was completed Dec. 1, and the agreement with Bethpage FCU in Bethpage, N.Y., was finalized in the end of December.

"We're really excited about it, obviously," said Wylie, who was brought to Wescom in May 2006 to launch what became CU Card Association. "We have long-term agent agreements with these credit unions and will continue to offer credit cards to their members."

Wescom will be responsible for management of the credit card portfolios CU Card Association acquires, Wylie explained. "The assets, in essence, belong to us and reside on Wescom's balance sheet. We are responsible for income and losses, but the cards will be marketed under the various credit unions' names."

Members see "nothing different," he said. They call the same telephone numbers and send payments to the same lock box. "Conversion of ownership has gone very smoothly. It feels like the credit union is offering the credit card."

CU Card Association is working in partnership with PSCU Financial Services, which will provide processing services for each portfolio purchased, the company said.

PSCU is a cooperative CUSO owned by more than 500 credit unions.

In time, Wylie said, CU Card Association will work with the credit unions it has purchased portfolios from to jointly offer new credit card products that are "appealing and competitive in the marketplace."

Wescom is one of the largest credit unions in the United States, with more than $3.7 billion in assets.

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