Growing Credit Unions

St Thomas FCU Hires CU*SOUTH

The largest credit union in the US Virgin Islands has selected CU*SOUTH as their new business partner to enhance member services and grow the credit union.

“The sky is the limit,” says Steven Mayers, CFO of St Thomas FCU.  “There are no indigenous banks on St. Thomas, and our credit union is chartered to serve everyone on the island.  What held us back was our old core software.  Any time we wanted to add a service, we had to purchase additional software modules and pay higher fees – so our options were limited by having to worry about running a breakeven analysis on any new service we wanted to offer.”

CEO Keisha Prince recognized CU*SOUTH’s innovative core platform and forward thinking CUSO leadership as a key reason for hiring CU*SOUTH: “We chose CU*SOUTH as our core processor to bring us into the 21st century. CU*BASE offers an inviting, seamless banking experience that will help continue to diversify and develop our member base. CU*BASE allows for us to streamline processes to focus more on what matters: our Members!”

“Our CUSO was a perfect fit for St Thomas FCU,” says Leo Vaulin, CEO of CU*SOUTH.  “We took software used by billion-dollar CU’s, and priced it to scale for any size credit union – so a CU with $57M in assets pays the same low per-member price, and has access to the same technology and resources.  We’re delivering the highest tier software to St Thomas – at a fraction of what their old big-bank software vendor was charging.”

CU*SOUTH’s all-in-one approach to software and service was also important in this rapidly growing, service-first oriented credit union’s decision.

“In the fourth quarter of 2015, we started rebranding STFCU by renovating our branch and changing the staff dynamics by refocusing on first class customer service and becoming an active part of our community,” notes Ms. Prince. “The next phase of our rebranding includes offering our members an interactive technology platform that makes it easier to satisfy our member’s needs. STFCU is looking forward to connecting our members with the technological advancements that CU*SOUTH has to offer.”

“CU*SOUTH’s cloud-based software and managed services offers greater security for the members of St Thomas FCU,” adds Ms. Prince.  “We are mindful of the risk that tropical storms and hurricanes pose to our island.  With CU*SOUTH, we know that even if something happens to our credit union, our members will continue to have access to their accounts, electronic transactions will continue to post for ACH, debit and credit cards – and CU*SOUTH’s Member Service team will answer our member phone calls at a time when our members need their credit union the most.”

On October 1, 2016, CU*SOUTH converted a neighboring credit union on the island of St. Croix to the CU*BASE core platform.  “We visited with Patrice Canton, the CEO of Frederiksted FCU as a key part of our due diligence,” notes Ms. Prince.  “We also met with Steven Nazaruk, President of Ocala Community CU, and Thomas Flowers, CEO of Calhoun-Liberty CU.  All three were very pleased with their experience in converting to CU*SOUTH.”

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CU*SOUTH Creates More CU-Experts with Extensive Education Week

Known for creating “Expert” users out of credit union client staffers, CU*SOUTH hosted a week of advanced training in the CU*BASE® platform, from February 13th to the 17th.

“We had a full house,” noted CEO Leo Vaulin. “We’re proud that our clients are so enthusiastic about expanding their knowledge of the system.”

CU*SOUTH’s innovative core platform and user-based development “Constantly creates new opportunities for our credit unions to expand,” states Starla Honea, Director of CUSO Development. “It’s not a static system, which makes it exciting to use and learn.”

“Over 20 CU employees attended throughout the week,” Honea continued. “Not only were they training, they were sharing ideas and learning from their peers. The classes were filled with collaborative conversation and real world application to the tools and efficient workflows available with some of the latest built-in features CU*BASE has to offer.”

So popular is the ongoing training offered by CU*SOUTH that the original plan to work with one credit union quickly expanded to several, when the schedule was published.

Thomas Flowers, CEO of Calhoun Liberty Employees Credit Union attended, along with staffers. “My staff learned a lot about the system and enjoyed meeting staffers of other credit unions. I want to stress the importance of this face-to-face type training, and how important it is for the success of the core and our credit unions.”

“As my employees learn more about the system, it makes for a smoother process for our membership.”

More face-to-face training is planned throughout the year, said CU*SOUTH CEO Leo Vaulin “CU*SOUTH’s mission is to provide the support these credit unions need – not only the software, but also the expertise and support to put that software to the best possible use. Together with our client-owners, our CUSO helps credit unions grow!”

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MUNA FCU Extends Core Contract with CU*SOUTH

CU*SOUTH announced that MUNA FCU in Meridian, Mississippi, had extended its core data processing services agreement for a second term. MUNA FCU is an owner of the CU*SOUTH CUSO, and MUNA’s CEO, Bo Pittman, serves on the CUSO’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Pittman said, “For a small credit union like MUNA FCU, having the array of products available, at an affordable price, allows us to provide services on par with the larger institutions.  We are the only financial institution in Meridian, Mississippi that offers text banking which is an excellent tool for college students and newlyweds.  CU*BASE is such a robust software, enabling us both time and cost savings as we don’t have search for and purchase add-ons to perform at the level of competitor financial institutions.  With integrated products, such as mobile banking, we are empowered to keep pace in the market at minimal expense to our membership.”

“Bo Pittman and MUNA FCU have been a great success story for CU*SOUTH,” said CU*SOUTH Director of CUSO Development Starla Honea. “The credit union implemented the tiered member rewards program built into our CU*BASE® core platform; this has helped increase member wallet share and encourage PFI behavior.”

Another element in MUNA’s success is the addition of holiday loans. “We see a huge spike in loan applications between Oct 11 and Nov 10—on some days, the CU processes 15 times the average number of loan applications,” said Ms. Honea. “The staff relies on the loan origination software in CU*BASE to get these applications approved and disbursed quickly. Members are happy, and the CU books more new loans that month than they do the rest of the year.”

“MUNA has done an outstanding job of providing financial services in an economically-challenged region,” said CU*SOUTH CEO Leo Vaulin. “Their holiday loans offer a member-friendly alternative to the predatory lenders, and their focus on developing a sense of ownership in their members helps them build a truly cooperative financial institution.”

Pictured above is Leo Vaulin, CEO of CU*SOUTH and Bo Pittman, CEO of MUNA FCU. 

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CU*SOUTH Delivers Happiness with Client Satisfaction Survey

CU*South announced the results of its fourth quarter client satisfaction survey. “Over our 10-week survey period from October 20 through December 31, we received 277 survey responses,” reported Derrick Smith, CU*South Chief Operating Officer. “Each survey tracked the quality of an individual interaction between a credit union client and our client service team. Our survey […]

CU*SOUTH Announces 2017 CUSO Board of Directors

CU*South announced that the CUSO’s board of directors recently held its organizational meeting for the 2017 fiscal year. Joining the board for the first time were newly-elected board members: • Stephanie Sievers, CEO of ANECA FCU (Shreveport, LA) • Thomas Flowers, CEO of Calhoun-Liberty Employees CU (Blountstown, FL) • James Phetteplace, CEO of My Pensacola […]