Latest News

CU*NorthWest launches MACO to credit union mobile apps

CU*NorthWest launched MACO (Multiple Authentication Convenience Options) to credit union mobile apps on February 1st. Using DAON biometric authentication, members can access their membership from their credit union mobile app by using face recognition, voice recognition, fingerprint, or pin, adding to the traditional username and password.

“MACO adds additional convenience for members when they are logging into the network native mobile apps and we believe this is just the beginning phases of where this software can be used,” said Kinsey Hiett, AVP of Operations.


CU*NorthWest sets 2018 stock price

CU*NorthWest, a 100% credit union owned cooperative CUSO, has set the new price for an ownership share at $88,500.00. Each year the CU*NorthWest board of directors establishes the new stock price based on the audited financials from the prior fiscal year.

Chuck Papenfus, CEO of Inland Valley Federal Credit Union and chairman of the board stated: “We had a 6% increase in stock price from last year while maintaining returns to owners and reducing costs for all clients. In accordance with the firm’s business plans, there has been healthy and steady growth in the last 13 years.”

Although ownership is not required, CU*NorthWest maintains nearly 60% ownership penetration among its clients. “The fact that credit unions are seeking ownership in our CUSO is a good indication of cooperative health,” said CEO Greg Smith.

CU*NorthWest currently has owners in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, California, Montana, Alaska and Michigan.


Chula Vista City Employees Credit Union converts to core processor CU*NorthWest

Liberty Lake-based core data processor, CU*NorthWest, announced that Chula Vista City Employees Credit Union of Chula Vista, CA, successfully converted to the CU*BASE® data processing system in February. The credit union represents 575 members and $2.83 million in assets.

Chula Vista City Employees Credit Union is looking forward to be able to offer its members new and improved services through CU*NorthWest including It’s Me 247 online banking, mobile banking, and electronic document storage. Credit union staff will have access to a wide variety of tracking and reporting dashboards as part of the comprehensive data processing system, allowing them to better serve existing members.

Chula Vista City Employees Credit Union represents the 13th California-based credit union currently utilizing CU*NorthWest for core processing services, with two more California credit unions pending conversion.


Core processing coop CU*NorthWest returns to owners

Each year following the completion of a third party financial audit, the CU*NorthWest board of directors evaluates the net bottom line and makes decisions on how to best extend returns to owner/customers. CU*NorthWest had a record year in fiscal 2017 (ending 9/30/2017) and not only paid the budgeted return, but was able to add an additional “bonus return.” Additionally, stock price rose by 6% and as announced in 2017, all customers had multiple fees reduced on their September invoices.

The CU*NorthWest board is made up of CEOs from credit unions who own stock in CU*NorthWest. The CUSO is structured as a pure cooperative and mirrors the governance model of credit unions in nearly every way. “I am so proud of our board and the cooperative spirit they displayed in this process,” said Greg Smith, CU*NorthWest CEO. “They not only took care of stockholders but also recognized the non-stockholder customers, as we have always believed that paying a monthly invoice is also a function of investment in our firm.”

Board Chair Chuck Papenfus added: “The board and management of CU*NorthWest have a driving philosophy when managing the cooperative’s income. We seek to balance returns in four areas: maintaining a healthy balance sheet (retained earnings), stock value growth (book value), direct cash returns to owners (dividends), and price reductions or extra services for all customers regardless of ownership.” Mr. Papenfus is the CEO of Inland Valley FCU in Fontana, CA, and past chairman of the California Credit Union League.

Jennifer Oliver (CEO of South Bay Credit Union in Redondo Beach, CA and also a board member at CU*NorthWest) added: “Our goal in the board room is to generate value for both our customers and owners. It is simply what a cooperative does. Just as we work to serve our members with everything focused on them, so CU*NorthWest is focused on driving value and returns to its members (credit union clients of CU*NorthWest). CUNW has been able to generate returns while still lowering prices for the last three years and providing product enhancements and new capabilities of the core software suite, with no additional cost for modules.”

“This is exactly why credit unions should do business with a cooperative,” said Steve Kelly, CEO of Metrum Community CU. “The power of the cooperative business model quickly became obvious – as credit unions, we all run cooperatives and see every day the difference it can make in our members’ lives. CU*NorthWest has certainly made a difference for our organization and our members.”

CU*BASE® GOLD is the only core processing solution available from a cooperative CUSO. CU*NorthWest and founding partner CU*Answers—both 100% credit union-owned cooperatives—are nearly identical in structure and approach. They continue to work together as a part of the larger national network of credit unions and CUSOs.


Cheney FCU finds home at Primesource CU during emergency

It’s hard to contemplate closing your credit union right after the first of the year, but if there is no internet or phones, what can you do? For Cheney Federal Credit Union, located in Cheney, WA, when an uncapped conduit pipe caused flooding in their electrical room, it meant thinking fast and relocating quickly.

On Saturday December 30, the credit union opened to find that they had lost internet and phones systems. Staff and members were expecting to be open, but without necessary services the staff had to think of a quick resolution to continue to serve their community.

Cheney has some unique relationships forged through the philosophy of credit unions helping credit unions help members. Even their data processor, a cooperative credit union service organization, was there to offer a seamless transition of technology.

Staff of Cheney Federal Credit Union were able to relocate to the Spokane Valley location of Primesource Credit Union. Primesource offered a workstation at their facility and since both credit unions use the same core processor, it was simple.

“We both use CU*NorthWest for data processing and the software lends itself to these kinds of collaborative efforts,” said Margaret Burkholtz, CEO at Primesource Credit Union. “There was no moving of computers or re-loading software or anything like that. They just came and logged in through the community network.”

The technology piece of this puzzle was the easy piece Cheney CEO JoAn Sanders agreed. “CU*NorthWest made it look easy. We could access our member’s data, print out receipts, create and fund loans, run reports and cut checks – virtually anything the member needed. The bottom line is our members were served.”


Puget Sound Refinery Federal Credit Union signs with CU*NorthWest

CU*NorthWest, the 100% credit union-owned cooperative CUSO, announced today that Puget Sound Refinery Federal Credit Union in Anacortes, Washington, has signed with CU*NorthWest and is scheduled for conversion in May 2018. The $11.3 million dollar credit union represents approximately 1,130 members.

Puget Sound Refinery FCU CEO Darene Follette said: “When it came time to re-evaluate our core processing solution we were interested in an opportunity to work with a cooperative CUSO. During our discovery phase we spoke with several CEOs regarding CU*NorthWest. Every CEO we spoke with had nothing but positive comments about the service and support they receive as clients and owners of CU*NorthWest. As a smaller credit union, WE needed a partner who could offer us flexibility, and we believe we have found that partner with CU*NorthWest.”

Greg Smith, CEO of CU*Northwest, added: “It is exciting to have another Washington credit union joining us as we continue to grow our client base here. Like credit unions, it’s a cooperative thing – a fundamental piece to our value.”


Take a Look at the CU*Answers University Courses for January!


Each month, CU*Answers University hosts FREE web conferences and in-person events that
highlight the many products and services our CUSO offers.  Take a look at the courses we have
coming up in January!

Thursday, January 4

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM PT, web conference

CU*BASE Employee Security

Monday, January 8

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT

Managing Compliance Using CU*BASE

Register for web conference

Register for classroom session hosted at CU*Answers

Wednesday, January 10

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT

Using CU*BASE Tools for Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Compliance

Register for web conference

Register for classroom session hosted at CU*Answers

Thursday, January 11

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT, web conference

Introduction to the Developer’s Help Desk

Monday, January 15

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT, web conference

Monitoring Abnormal Activity

Wednesday, January 17

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PT, web conference

Internal Controls Best Practices

Friday, January 19

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM PT, web conference

Vendor Management 101

Tuesday, January 23

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT, web conference

Social Engineering: The Human Side of Security

Thursday, January 25

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM PT, web conference

Business Continuity Planning

Tuesday, January 30

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT, web conference

Incident Response and Recovery Testing

Don’t forget: CU*Answers web conferences are always free to attend!

Check Out the Current Results for the Ongoing Imaging Solutions Contests!


For 2018, Imaging Solutions – in partnership with My Virtual Strongbox and eDOC Innovations
– are running three exciting contests!  Winners will be announced in October 2018, but you can
check out the current results by visiting the Imaging Solutions page of their website.
Or, click on the banner images below to check out the results of each contest individually.
The top 5 credit unions in each contest will be updated every month.

Remember: these contests are not a sprint, they are a year-long marathon!

The credit union with the most documented electronic loan closings during the contest period will
win $10,000.

The credit union with the most documents delivered via eSignature during the contest period will
win $1,000.

Don’t have eDOCSignature Remote Signature Capture? Visit our online store to learn
more about this product.

The credit union with the most new member registrations (as a percentage) during the contest period
will win $1,000.

Don’t have My Virtual StrongBox? Visit our online store today to learn how you can turn
it on for FREE!

Video of the Week: Accepting a Person-to-Person Payment


Accepting a Person-to-Person Payment

Need a quick way to show members what happens on the recipient’s end when sending
a person-to-person payment using the Pay Anyone feature in It’s Me 247 Online
Banking?  Refer them to this video, which has been viewed
360 times!

Check out our entire collection of video tutorials in the

Show Me the Steps Video Library!