Disruption and opportunity are “in the cards”

first_imgWhat a fascinating time to be in the payments space. It’s difficult to imagine a segment of business with more moving parts and a greater sense of opportunity. While the mechanics are daunting enough, it’s the financial and strategic implications that are taking center stage and commanding attention from leaders who likely never signed up to become payments experts. There’s no avoiding it – payments have become a core competency.In a cruel twist of irony, the already complicated maze of processors, networks and associations has been hit with a healthy dose of additional disruption over the past few years. Forget what you knew (if you knew it in the first place). The economy, federal regulation and competitive pressures from all corners have created a new day with new challenges and opportunities.So where to begin? Card processing has long been a go-to category for expense reduction as contracts expire, but the processing costs are only the beginning. In fact, for many credit unions, the card brand and EFT network relationships have soldiered-on largely un-scrutinized for years. It’s easy to see why – the complexity of analyzing the financial impact is just obnoxious. And, as you look around the credit union’s management ranks, it’s almost certainly nobody’s day job. If this paragraph is giving you some tingling sense of déjà vu, then you already know that you need to go there. There’s just too much expense reduction and additional revenue opportunity at stake to keep it swept under the rug.There’s a lot to take in. Let’s address these one at a time.Card ProcessingOf the categories mentioned above, card processing relationships are likely the most familiar. The expense side consists of a lot of line-item billing elements for things like cards on file, authorization and transaction processing, cardholder services, and the like. I mentioned four items, but your bill probably has fifty to a hundred or more. While there’s always been a need to ensure the best mix of service, product, price and strategic alignment, a few newer events have changed the game.Core Conversions – A decade or more ago, core processing conversions were largely entertained only in the event of something fairly imminent and daunting. Not that they’re taken lightly today, but the pace of change has dictated more frequent evaluation and a higher standard overall for the performance of the core processing platform. As credit unions consider changing core processors, the need for effective interfaces with card processors tends to kick-off secondary evaluations of the card processing relationships (at least for those who are paying attention).EMV – October is right around the corner, and card issuers are faced not only with a significant expense, but also with an event that puts a real stamp on the card program for at least the near- and mid-term. Faced with an impending card reissue, many credit unions are scrutinizing their card programs in terms of processing partners, loyalty programs, card types and designs, and of course, brand. EMV, and the associated expense and disruption, is kicking up a lot of complex decision points. With a deadline.The good news is that there is no shortage of competitors for card processing services, and these vendors are now working harder for your business – as they should. Also, several of these providers offer both full-service and in-house options that can be configured to suit the level of involvement that any credit union may choose. There’s a lot to consider in the analysis, and it can be fraught with slick presentations that obscure the true impact of what may appear to be a great deal. But, a careful selection process can yield significant expense reductions as well as operational efficiencies that will endure for the long haul. Visa or MasterCardCatalyzed by the coming of EMV, the long-raging battle between the major card associations is heating up even further. True to form, this comparison is also complicated. Each brand has its own dizzying mix of costs and interchange revenue to consider, and they’re both highly motivated to secure the brand affiliation for your credit union’s cards.However, VISA and MasterCard are as convincing as they are confusing, presenting their product offerings to credit unions in terms of marketing incentives, association fee discounts, and growth opportunities, all while framing the interchange discussion in a way that’s beneficial to their specific network. It’s all-too-easy for credit unions to walk away without a full understanding of the impact of one brand over another to their bottom line, or the long-term benefits to their members.EFT NetworksFor many credit unions, the merits and competitive advantages of networks like NYCE, STAR, Pulse, CU24, Co-op and others are difficult enough to gauge. To pile on a bit, there’s much more to consider. Here’s the story in a nutshell:The traditional signature (Visa, MasterCard) brands are pitted against the traditional EFT (PIN-based) networks in a fight for transaction routing revenue in a market that is increasingly favoring consumer convenience – in whatever form that takes. No longer are the two factions sticking to their own turf. Visa and MasterCard – as a distraction from their usual practice of competing with one another – have each introduced measures designed to capture purchase volume that would otherwise be PIN-based, and the EFT networks have responded predictably with solutions of their own in a counter attack. Add-in the pros, cons and side-effects of PAVD, Maestro, PIN-less debit, no-surcharge network participation, and you’re stuck in a maze that’s constantly shifting. You Can Turn the TablesEnough of the jargon; there is good news in all of this. With the right partner, your credit union can turn the complex mix of processing, network and brand decisions into significant financial opportunities. It’s no longer a game of shaving a few pennies off of a processing fee – there can be millions at stake. The right partner can guide you through the process; decipher the differences between the various processors, networks and brands; shine a light on the savings opportunities; and negotiate for the best value on your behalf. The right time is now.We will be hosting an educational webinar on ways that credit unions can maximize their opportunities in the areas of Processing, Brand and EFT Networks on May 12th at 1:00pm EST. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to join us! 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Mackenzie Mark Mackenzie is a Partner of CU Engage with over 18 years of experience working with credit unions. Throughout his career, Mark has specialized in helping credit unions optimize their … Web: www.cuengage.com Detailslast_img read more

Two arrested after burglary

first_imgNorth Vernon, IN—Tuesday, Jennings County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to County Road 500N in reference to a burglary that had occurred at that residence. Upon arrival, Deputy began an investigation. It was determined that several items had been stolen from the residence, specifically, a 12g shotgun, 9mm handgun, prescription medication, and numerous other items to include ammunition, as well as a vehicle title and stereo equipment.Wednesday,  Jennings County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to Country Squire Lakes in reference a female “living in a tent” that she didn’t appear well. Deputies and troopers from the Indiana State Police arrived and located a female in a tent that was secluded in a wooded area. The female was identified a Heather Tabor, 31. While deputies were on scene, several pieces of property were observed on the ground, partially concealed in the tall grass and weeds. To assist with locating other items, a deputy deployed his K9 partner, Vampir, for an article search of the area. K9 Vampir located a black plastic case which contained a 12g shotgun. Also located at the scene was a bag alleged to contain a large amount of ammunition, credit/debit cards, drug paraphernalia as well as prescription medication were located in several areas around the tent. The name on the credit/debit cards and the prescription medication were that of the burglary victim from the day prior. Heather Tabor was taken into custody. It was also learned that an unidentified male had also been staying at the campsite with Tabor.Officers were advised that a male subject had just run through a neighboring back yard while carrying a handgun. The resident advised this male saw police in the area, took off running, and then “tossed a handgun” down in the resident’s yard. Officers located the handgun, which was later determined to be the handgun reported stolen from the Tuesday burglary. A deputy located the male at a residence on Greenwood Place. The male, identified as Floyd Wayne Johnson, 30, of North Vernon, was placed under arrest.Heather Tabor was arrested for Burglary, Possession of Stolen Property, and Residential Entry. Floyd Wayne Johnson was arrested for Burglary and Possession of a handgun w/o a Permit by a Convicted Felon.last_img read more

Beharry reconfirms commitment for NSBF 2017

first_imgYOUTH Basketball Guyana (YBG) will benefit from its ninth year of corporate sponsorship from Edward B. Beharry and Company Limited in hosting its 12th National Schools Basketball Festival (NSBF) Championships.Set to commence this month-end it is the most sought-after schools basketball title. Several schools from most of the regions of Guyana will participate in various age caategories.Beharry has again signed on, according to Brands Manager Kamini Naresh, who added, “We are the longest running sponsor and we are proud of that.”“This is yet another way that we are happy to give back, she added, saying, “We like to see a better tomorrow. There is no better way than to invest in children; the children of today will be the future of tomorrow.”“It’s one thing to sign a cheque and release that fund and another thing to be down on the floor doing the actual work and we are so proud of the work that you are doing,” she concluded.YBG Director Chris Bowman lauded the continued support from the company.“Beharry has been unwavering in their support for youth development, for this championship and even if we waver at our level, because of them and their commitment, that gives us the impetus to carry on,” he added.The tournament will officially be launched tomorrow at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH)The 2016 edition of the tournament featured games at the Under-14, U-16, U-19 and Girls in six regional zone tournaments.At the Under-14 & U-16 levels Mackenzie are the defending championships while the Under-19 and Girls divisions feature Kwakwani as champions. (Stephan Sookram)last_img read more