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Mastercard teams up with Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ to spotlight small business superheroes

Support gives fans Priceless experiential screenings, shines a light on Black women small business owners and encourages consumers to shop their businesses


Mastercard announced today its collaboration with  Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, in theaters November 11, to spotlight Black excellence and the irrepressible strength of Black women – both on and off the screen. With Priceless experiences, digital engagements and shoppable content that supports and celebrates the superpowers of Black business leaders, Mastercard is honoring the film’s inspiring message that the spirit of Wakanda is all around us.  

“Through representation and access to tools and resources, Mastercard is proud to honor the Black women-owned businesses that strive for success despite the systemic inequalities they face every day,” said Rustom Dastoor, EVP of Marketing and Communications, Mastercard North America. “When we see role models that look like us, which the film so impactfully demonstrates, it expands our sense of what’s possible, including a more diverse, inclusive economic future.”

In a Wakanda-inspired commercial spot and supporting campaign, Egypt Otis, the owner of Comma Bookstore & Social Hub – a Flint, Michigan small business that specializes in Black and Brown literature, art and music – stars as a real-life superhero by being a role model to a young shopper. The girl realizes through her imagination and interaction with Egypt that superheroes are all around us, igniting excitement for the film, her ambition for the future, and the belief that she herself has that same potential.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/WsTuQA8VXmk

“To serve as the face of possibility for aspiring Black women and young girls makes me feel like a superhero of sorts – just for living my truth,” said Otis. “Mastercard’s Strivers Initiative has provided me the resources and platform to help my business thrive and further empower our community, which to me is truly priceless.”

Mastercard’s support of the film is an extension of the company’s $500 million commitment to helping close the racial wealth and economic gap in the U.S. by supporting Black women-owned businesses through its Strivers Initiative, and partnerships with HBCUs and youth groups around the country, as well as Mastercard’s sustained efforts to build a more inclusive digital economy by providing the digital tools to help small businesses get online and thrive

In celebration of the film, select small business owners and youth groups will enjoy exclusive screenings in New York City and Atlanta ahead of the film’s release. Designed to create a multisensory experience, the screenings will feature film-inspired décor, photo opportunities, celebratory food and drink options, a Hall of Heroes video installation honoring attendees and other entrepreneurs, free branded swag and more.

Separately, Mastercard is launching various Priceless engagements and shoppable activations, including:

  • Mastercard Small Biz Marketplace (Instagram): Consumers can discover a reimagined shoppable social experience of exclusively Black women-owned small businesses and products from across the country with opportunities to shop, share & support them directly on Instagram.
  • Social Content Community Series: Unlocking even more consumer power, Mastercard will feature Talia R. Boone, founder of Los Angeles based immersive floral wellness service Postal Petals®Jean Brownhill, founder of online contractor network for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises Sweeten Enterprise, and Mandy Bowman, founder of the Black-owned business marketplace Official Black Wall Street – in a content series across social platforms, that illustrates their journey to success and impact they make through their business.
  • The Mastercard Small Business Metaverse: in November 2022, Mastercard will launch an immersive virtual reality experience in Meta Horizon Worlds to connect consumers to a world where they can discover a variety of Black-owned small businesses and participate in activities designed to bring to life their unique stories and entrepreneurial journeys. This will be both a space for consumers to engage and learn about new products, and for Mastercard to host custom content bringing together leading entrepreneurs with the next generation.

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases in theaters November 11. For more information, please visit: www.marvel.com/movies/black-panther-wakanda-forever.

Through mastercard.com/smallbiz visitors can learn the financial tools, benefits and education that helps small businesses thrive and Start Something Priceless. 

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PSCU Appoints New Associate Director to Board

October 26, 2022 – PSCU, the nation’s premier payments credit union service organization (CUSO), today announced the appointment of Christine Blake, president and CEO of Cardinal Credit Union (Cardinal), as an associate director to its board. 

“We are pleased to welcome Christine to the PSCU Board of Directors,” said Chuck Fagan, president and CEO of PSCU. “Her proven leadership abilities and drive for uncompromised excellence make her a great fit for our cooperative. We are confident her skills and experience will help support our ability to continue delivering the industry-leading tools, technologies, services and support to which our Owner credit unions are accustomed.” 

Blake has more than 25 years of banking and financial experience. Since 2010, she has served as president and CEO of Cardinal (Mentor, Ohio), which has grown to over $250 million in assets under her leadership. Before joining Cardinal, Blake was a senior manager and CPA at KPMG and an adjunct professor at Lakeland Community College. Appointed by the governor of Ohio, Blake has also served as the Ohio Credit Union League chair, where she supported more than 300 credit unions as an advocate for regulatory change and a steward for educational and professional development. She holds a bachelor’s in accounting from Bowling Green University and earned her MBA from Baldwin Wallace University. 

“PSCU’s board of directors is made up of CEOs from credit unions of all asset sizes and varying fields of membership from diverse geographic locations throughout the country, and these different perspectives contribute greatly to the overall strength of the cooperative,” said Sean Rathjen, chair of the PSCU Board of Directors and CEO of Consumers Credit Union (Illinois). “On behalf of the board, we welcome Christine and look forward to working together to continue building upon PSCU’s success to help its Owner credit unions achieve their objectives and grow in today’s evolving payments landscape.”

Additional PSCU board members include:  

·       Sean Rathjen, CEO of Consumers Credit Union, Illinois (Chair) 

·       Frank Weidner, president and CEO of Wings Financial Credit Union, Minnesota (Vice Chair) 

·       Andrew Rosen, president and CEO of Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, Hawaii (Treasurer) 

·       Cathy Pace, president and CEO of Allegacy Federal Credit Union, North Carolina (Secretary) 

·       Cathie Tierney, president and CEO of Community First Credit Union, Wisconsin (Past Chair) 

·       Craig Esrael, president and CEO of First South Financial Credit Union, Tennessee 

·       Todd Lane, president and CEO of California Coast Credit Union, California (Associate Director)

·       Jeff March, president and CEO of Citadel Federal Credit Union, Pennsylvania 

·       Maria J. Martinez, president and CEO of Border Federal Credit Union, Texas (Associate Director)

·       Mark Robnett, president and CEO of Justice Federal Credit Union, Virginia (Associate Director) 

·       Chris Shockley, president and CEO of Virginia Credit Union, Virginia 

·       Amy Sink, CEO of Interra Credit Union, Indiana 

·       Rob Stuart, president and CEO of OnPoint Community Credit Union, Oregon 

·       Nathanael Tarwasokono, president and CEO of Firstmark Credit Union, Texas 

About PSCU 

PSCU, the nation’s premier payments CUSO, supports the success of 1,900 credit unions representing nearly 7 billion transactions annually. Committed to service excellence and focused on innovation, PSCU’s payment processing, risk management, data and analytics, loyalty programs, digital banking, marketing, strategic consulting and mobile platforms help deliver possibilities and seamless member experiences. Comprehensive, 24/7/365 member support is provided by contact centers located throughout the United States. The origin of PSCU’s model is collaboration and scale, and the company has leveraged its influence on behalf of credit unions and their members for more than 40 years. Today, PSCU provides an end-to-end, competitive advantage that enables credit unions to securely grow and meet evolving consumer demands. For more information, visit pscu.com.

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NetGiver Supports 3 Doors Down’s The Better Life Foundation with Sweepstakes

CUSO is pleased to announce collaboration for good – and a guitar

October 26, 2022 – In an exciting partnership with The Better Life Foundation, Treasure Island Resort & Casino (MN), and Today’s Variety radio station KS95 94.5 (MN), NetGiver is supporting a nationwide giving initiative with sweepstakes. NetGiver, the only digital giving platform that supports 100% no-fee, no-catch donations, has joined with partners to raise awareness and engage donors in the shared mission of making a positive change in the lives of children and young adults. Established in 2004 by the popular rock band 3 Doors Down, The Better Life Foundation’s mission is to make a positive change in the lives of children and young adults. To date, the foundation has raised and distributed over $3,000,000 to reputable charities such as Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs and many more to achieve its goals in helping communities and children in need.

Individuals who donate to The Better Life Foundation through NetGiver will be entered to win one of five exclusive prize packages, including a commemorative guitar signed by 3 Doors Down. The sweepstakes will launch on October 25th at 5pm, and continue through the conclusion of the 3 Doors Down concert at Treasure Island Resort & Casino
on November 4th, at 11:59pm. NetGiver and KS95 will be on-site at Treasure Island during the concert to support The
Better Life Foundation and the sweepstakes. In addition to supporting a valuable cause, and the opportunity to win, Treasure Island Resort & Casino will generously be matching the first $250 of every donation, up to a total of $5,000, made through NetGiver to The Better Life Foundation. For further information, visit online at www.ticasino.com/tblf, or
enter by donating on the NetGiver app or at https://my.netgiver.app/tblf.

To learn more about NetGiver, or the Better Life Foundation Sweepstakes: www.netgiverapp.com/.

Miriam Ackerman
NetGiver
Phone: (612) 642-1750
Email: marketing@netgiverapp.com
Website: www.netgiverapp.com
Contact Miriam with questions or additional photo requests

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Credit Union Digital Development Teams Now Have an Easier Path to Co-op Solutions Fintech Integrations

October 25, 2022 – In-house software and app development teams will now have access to a larger set of technologies when using the Co-op Developer Portal for fintech integrations. With the addition of software development kit (SDK) and drop-in user interface (UI) options to the portal’s already extensive library of application programming interfaces (APIs), credit union tech teams will add more services to their digital experiences even faster and more seamlessly than before.

Developers within Canvas Credit Union of Denver, Colorado, beta tested the new integration options for card activation and PIN change in the Developer Portal.

“We wanted to work with Co-op on the new SDK and drop-in UI options as a proof of concept to help educate us for the future, and to help Co-op with these enhancements, as they have been a trusted technology partner and Canvas CU is closely integrated with the Co-op payments ecosystem,” said Tyler Burd, Enterprise Solutions Architect for Canvas CU. “The enhanced Co-op Developer Portal provides great starting points and reference guides for developers, enabling integration of services with minimum complexity. The documentation is in plain English and easy to work with, as was the entire Co-op team.”

Launched in Q4 2019, just before the pandemic-fueled acceleration of digital banking, the Co-op Developer Portal was a timely initiative for the credit unions served by Co-op. Since its inception, the portal has enabled Co-op to speed delivery of its APIs, empowering credit unions to deliver new features and functions more quickly to their members.

“Seamless, omnichannel experiences are crucial to meeting post-pandemic consumer demands,” said Bruce Dragt, Chief Product Officer for Co-op. “Co-op is the only credit union service provider offering a developer platform comprehensive enough to meet those needs. The new options available in Developer Portal makes integration easier and more efficient.”

The addition of SDKs and drop-in UIs means credit unions will have access to modern designs and user-experience best practices, each baked into pre-tested and pre-built integrations. And, they’ll be able to complete their projects faster. SDKs and drop-in UIs can save about 1,500 hours of development time as compared to APIs. Importantly, the options support Co-op’s standards for data protection and security.

Credit unions can learn more about the Co-op Developer Portal here.

About Co-op Solutions
Co-op Solutions is the market-leading financial technology platform whose mission is to connect credit unions to the technology, strategic partnership and scale they need to best serve their members now and into the future. Co-op partners with credit unions to unlock their potential so they can compete; does the hard work of innovation, creating a one-stop opportunity to help credit unions grow; and offers knowledge and expertise in a world where everything must be integrated. For more information, visit www.coop.org.

Contact:
Bill Prichard, APR
Director, Public Relations
Co-op Solutions
(909) 532-9416
Bill.Prichard@coop.org

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Beware of Student Loan Scams

Updated on 10/17/2022

The pause on federal student loan payments and interest has now been extended through December 31, 2022, and additional plans have been announced to cancel a portion of federal student loan debt. Throughout the moratorium (and even before), scammers have preyed on borrowers who have taken a financial hit due to the pandemic or are hoping for student loan forgiveness. How can you be sure you’re getting accurate information? Here are some ways to safeguard your finances and personal information to avoid becoming a victim of student loan scams.

“Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

Whether you are contacted about your student loans by phone or email, always verify the information you receive. Hover (don’t click!) over an email link to see where it is actually taking you. Many times the URL is full of gibberish or takes you to a site with a different name than the sender of the email indicates – a definite red flag for a scam. If you receive a phone call about your loan, inform the caller you will need to call them back and take down their information. Then go directly to your lender’s website or a recent loan statement to verify the phone number/web address – does it match? Do not provide information to a number other than the one listed by your lender!

Federal Student Aid (FSA) has implemented a single phone number where you can access your federal student loan information: 1-800-4-FED-AID.

You also can reference information from these trusted sources:

Note: Any private student loans you hold will be accessed separately through your lender’s website(s).

Student Loan Debt Cancellation and Forgiveness

On August 24, 2022, the Biden Administration announced that federal student loan borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year, or households earning less than $250,000, are eligible for debt cancellation up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients. You can learn more about the announcement in our blog post or at https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/debt-relief-info.

A short online application for this student debt relief initiative is now available – never pay a fee or give information to an outside entity who promises to deliver student loan debt assistance! Make sure you work only with the U.S. Department of Education and its loan servicers, and never reveal your personal information or account password to anyone.

Emails to borrowers should come from noreply@studentaid.govnoreply@debtrelief.studentaid.gov, or ed.gov@public.govdelivery.com. You can report scam attempts to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357 or by visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov.

Prior to this announcement, student loan forgiveness was limited to very specific groups:

  • Borrowers who attended now-defunct schools that took part in deceptive or illegal practices
  • Borrowers with total and permanent disabilities
  • Certain public servants who benefit from changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program

The U.S. Department of Education also offers a few student loan forgiveness and cancellation programs. If you are contacted with a message about qualifying for student loan forgiveness, remember – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You can always verify student loan forgiveness information directly through the Federal Student Aid site or your servicer.

Again, keep in mind that the majority of these situations apply to federal student loans, not private student loans.

Talk to an Expert

If you need 1:1 support, our College Counselor can help point you in the right direction. Submit a question or schedule an appointment for help.

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