WASHINGTON-One year after unveiling a consolidation of its seven credit union brands and a new corporate image, Fiserv is reporting strong results across a number of platforms and business lines.

The company announced it has signed 30 new CU account processing clients during 2009; that it signed 116 CU clients for card services during last year, and that its ACCEL/Exchange Network had a record setting year for total transactions with nearly 960 million. Credit unions that signed on for account processing ranged in assets from $3.2 million to more than $3-billion, and also opted for a variety of add-on solutions, including Virtual Branch Internet banking, bill pay, e-statements and more.

The 116 new card services client CUs bring the number of CUs using card services from Fiserv to more than 1,500. Of those 116, 87 chose debit card solutions and 29 selected credit card processing solutions. Those products include card production, management, processing, authorization and more, along with the UChoose Rewards program. The volume on the ACCEL/Exchange Network was up in 2009 nearly 40% over one year earlier. POS transactions were up 37%, and ATM transactions up 19%. Last year Fiserv rolled out Internet PIN debit, a software only service, and Convenience Payments, a program that allows consumers to initiate PIN-less transactions for eligible, low-risk, small-dollar transactions.

Growth Driven By Unified Message

All of that growth has come in the same year Fiserv introduced its unified message and the consolidation of a host of providers, although those core systems remain in place at numerous credit unions that were previously clients of Aftech, USERS, Integrasys, Galaxy, CUSA, Summit, and XP Systems. In all, Fiserv consolidated 77 different brands.

Sara Brooks, chief strategy officer with Fiserv said the firm has seen growing interest in ASP. "There is more of a trend to ASP from in-house; you can be more efficient with staff, but there is also a lot more concern over having the right security in place and over regulatory compliance, such as PCI compliance," said Brooks. "The fact is credit unions just don't want to have to personally manage all of this." Fiserv client CUs, not surprisingly, are also inquiring about the ability to support greater business lending. "There is definitely an opportunity in small business lending," agreed Brooks. "Banks are not interested in meeting that need. You don't need to take undue risk."

In plastic cards Brooks said credit unions have been aggressive among financial services providers in looking to add debit loyalty programs, such as Fiserv's UChoose, which can offer either bank-funded or merchant-funded rewards. The company has also quietly built significant share in another area. "A year ago a lot of Fiserv clients didn't even know we did credit processing," observed Brooks. "Now, one out of every 10 checks in the U.S. is processed by Fiserv."

Brooks suggested mobile banking is set to really blossom, and while that starts to take off, Fiserv is also preparing to launch later this year a P2P application that will let members send funds to friends or family without a PayPal account. "It will help position credit unions more effectively in the payments channel. It means they will not be disintermediating themselves."

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