Posts By: Denise Wymore

AuditLink publishes white paper on the basics of internal controls

AuditLink, the audit and compliance division of CU*Answers, recently published a white paper and opinion piece on the basics of internal controls. Jim Vilker, VP of Professional services and head of the AuditLink division of CU*Answers stated the recent rash of large embezzlements and review of the indictments points to something that is pervasive: the lack of very basic internal controls. Vilker, whose background as a regulator and experience in the audit and compliance field went on to “it would appear that what we as seasoned practitioners believe should be well known has not been passed on to credit union staff, auditors, and regulators.”

Vilker continued: “Take for instance the facts pointed out in the case of CBS Employees Credit Union. The CEO was caught because an employee uncovered a large check made out to him that was cut out of the credit union’s membership account. No one was reviewing the credit union’s member account statement?… Read more

America’s First FCU Partners with Trellance To Harness Data for Better Business Decisions

Trellance (, the leading provider of analytics solutions for credit unions, is excited to announce that America’s First FCU (Birmingham, AL) has joined the innovative OnApproach M360 Enterprise industry platform. The credit union looks forward to using their data optimally and benefiting from the platform’s enhanced enterprise reporting and collaborative capabilities in guiding business decisions.

“Like many organizations, our data lives in several disparate systems, which leads to manual processes for reporting, branch/channel analysis, loan portfolio management and so on. With OnApproach M360, we can streamline and automate these processes, which gives our team more time for making informed data-driven decisions rather than spending time gathering information,” stated David O’Dell, Business Intelligence Manager at America’s First FCU. “After surveying the marketplace and considering all the options, we found that OnApproach M360 offers a superior value proposition when considering functionality and cost.  Additionally, we are excited about the CU App Store and its collaborative nature, which is central to the CU movement,” he added.… Read more

Case Study: River Valley CU gives card portfolio a boost with Trellance CPGS

Giving members more

In 2018 when Vermont based River Valley Credit Union was looking for solutions to boost its card program, the team reached out to Trellance to implement the Card Portfolio Growth Solutions (CPGS). “We marketed our credit card in house for many years and consistently added approximately 10-20 new accounts per month, but we were interested in finding a way to market our cards to new membership and boosting usage to existing cardholders,” explained Laura Paice, AVP, Consumer Lending at River Valley CU. She confessed that existing cardholders’ spending power was very tight because although they increased approval amounts for unsecured loans, they had not looked at credit lines within their card portfolio for a long time.

Trellance’s data-driven, implementation-ready CPGS was just the strategy River Valley needed to boost its card portfolio. Ann Farrell, Director of Portfolio Growth at Trellance, noted that “The program has been averaging 19% year over year in revenue for participating credit unions since we started the solution in 2016.… Read more

Constellation Announces Winners of the Gravity Awards From Its Annual Conference

Constellation Digital Partners, LLC , winner of the 2019 NACUSO New CUSO of the Year Award and the 2017 Next Big Idea Competition hosted Launch, its second annual conference, June 3-5 in Phoenix. Since last year’s inaugural event, attendance has nearly tripled. At Launch, registered fintech partners, credit union developers and business teams came together to learn how to create and utilize groundbreaking services using Constellation’s open digital platform.

Today, Constellation is pleased to share the winners of this year’s Gravity Awards. The Galatic Impact Award was awarded to Brandon Kunz with Xtensifi for playing a significant role in the success of Constellation by contributing to its design, invention, development and capital raise, among other things. Next, Coastal Credit Union was awarded the Trailblazer Award for ardently adopting the platform and plan to be the first credit union to go live with to their members.

The Constellation “Hack-a-thon” also returned this year where developer teams created innovative services for the platform in just one day.… Read more

HELP! I Need More Net Income!

As someone who has worked with CUSOs for the past thirty years, I am often asked by credit union CEO’s what are the “hot” services for CUSOs?   “I need more revenue streams and I need to contain my operating costs.   What works?”

Fee Income

Revenue streams come in two flavors, fee revenue and interest revenue.  Looking first at fee income, investment services can provide significant returns. After paying the financial advisors and costs, credit unions can earn between 30%- 45% of the commissions shared with the credit union which can be 80% to 92% of the total commissions. There are many credit unions that have affiliated broker/dealer relationships that generate over a million dollars per year in commission income (note that this model is direct with the credit union and not through a CUSO).  The amount of capital needed to start up and support an affiliated investment services program is a pittance comparted to the capital needed to source, underwrite, fund, service and reserve for loans.… Read more