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Credit Union Adopts CUFX Standards For Corporate Exchanges

An Illinois credit union has adopted Credit Union Financial Exchange standards created by CUNA to help its business customers to facilitate more electronic payments initiated with corporate debit and credit cards. The credit union is hoping the service will help its corporate clients reduce their use of cash-based payments.

Baxter Credit Union, a full service, not-for-profit financial institution with $2 billion in assets, is enabling its corporate customers the opportunity to make cashless payments through a financial-exchange service that complies with Credit Union Financial Exchange (CUFX) standards.

The Vernon Hills, Ill.-based credit union is offering the service through FreedomPay, a cloud-based commerce provider that has implemented the standards on its commerce platform.

The standards, developed by the Credit Union National Association’s Technology Council, are designed to address integration issues for all credit unions and to make product and service integration across the credit union industry faster, easier and more cost-effective.

The council launched the standards project in May 2012 to streamline how technology companies and credit unions connect applications such as online banking and account opening, and to reduce integration time and costs for application providers and core processors. It launched its first working specification for the standard with Baxter in May 2013.

“Technology companies’ ability to innovate and quickly deliver leading-edge services is hampered by the lack of a single integration standard,” Jeff Johnson, the council’s vice chair, said in a statement at the time of the project launch. “Technology providers spend valuable resources independently customizing the same interfaces or adapters for each of their credit union clients, primarily at the expense of further refining their solutions. The standards proposed through CUFX free up more of their resources for innovation.”

For Baxter, the CUFX standards will expedite implementations, reduce core costs, speed revenue recognition through faster implementations, and ease ongoing support efforts, according to FreedomPay, which says it worked closely with the credit union to implement the standards.

Baxter is using the FreedomPay commerce platform in sites where it acts as the onsite credit union for corporate customers. Its goal is to use the  platform to encourage corporate employees to use their BCU credit or debit cards and checking accounts to fund their prepaid accounts.

In a statement, Tim Tibbals, Baxter’s director of enterprise architecture, said the CUFX standards were written to be flexible and were applied to the FreedomPay project to accommodate “single sign on” using industry standards for credential management and authorization.

They also help to set up accounts on the FreedomPay platform, allow the FreedomPay platform to pull accounts lists and member info immediately and securely from Baxter’s systems through double encryption of transmitted data, and communicate information back to the credit union’s systems to keep information in sync between Baxter and FreedomPay, he said.

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