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Definition Critical
Monday, March 09, 2015 (1676 reads)


In 2015, vendor management may be the new black. Or, if we’re going to use an industry-specific example, the new QM rule. That is to say, it’s an issue to watch this year.
Of course, vendor management is nothing new for the banking industry. What is new is the increased regulatory scrutiny in this area, which has been ramping up since a joint regulatory review and ensuing enforcement actions in 2011 of several large mortgage servicers.
The most recent turning point, according to many, is OCC Bulletin 2013 – 29, issued in October 2013, which laid out agency guidance on managing risks associated with third-party relationships.



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Long Live the Lockbox
Sunday, March 01, 2015 (1603 reads)


Digital online, remote deposit capture and mobile payment systems are growing rapidly, but they haven’t eclipsed the growth of the analog lockbox yet. For some banks – and their customers – the lockbox remains a payment system staple, and not just because of a fondness on the part of banks for retro technologies.



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Hidden Traps of Payment Processing
Sunday, March 01, 2015 (956 reads)


Financial institutions are expected to be responsible and accountable for the operation of their payment processing systems, regardless of whether that function is handled by a third-party vendor. Most third-party vendors limit their accountability to failures within their own systems. Errors that originate within a bank or retailer’s system – not their job.
Even verifiable third-party vendor errors can result in a big headache. Bank customers don’t know the difference. They’ll leave a bank over a botched bill pay, no matter the origin.



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The Westchester Bank Delivers Big Service on Community Scale
Sunday, March 01, 2015 (968 reads)


When The Westchester Bank set up shop in a pair of double-wide trailers in Yonkers in 2008, Collins Brothers, a moving and storage company, was one of its first customers.
“We had always been with large banks,” said Frank Webers, CEO of Collins. “We felt that Westchester offered a more personal relationship. When you’re an entrepreneur and put every single thing you have in your business, you take it very personally. Westchester takes a lot of time to understand your business, what makes it tick, and be there with suggestions and solutions. I always felt that no matter what our challenges or needs, they were always there to support us. It’s the best banking relationship we’ve ever had.”



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Fed Paper Lays Out Grand Payments Vision, Strategy
Sunday, March 01, 2015 (748 reads)


Positioning itself as a “catalyst for collaboration,” the Federal Reserve System recently laid out its vision for a payments utopia and outlined several strategies for getting there, including the creation of two industry task forces sometime early this year.
The payments system of the future would be fast, safe and efficient. U.S. consumers would have better options for sending payments across borders, and players in the payments system would collaborate to make sure consumers could send payments seamlessly across a myriad of providers, the Fed wrote in its recent paper, “Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System.”



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Postponing Death and Taxes
Sunday, March 01, 2015 (956 reads)


Last July, the U.S. Treasury issued regulations allowing qualified longevity annuity contracts as tax-deferred annuity products. The new rules allow deferment distribution of payments, within qualified retirement plans, until up to age 85, far beyond the required minimum distribution (RMD) age of 70 ½.
Now, holders of 401(k) or IRAs can use up to 25 percent of their account balance across all their retirement accounts, or $125,000, whichever is less, to buy a QLAC.



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Mobile Payments Finally Gain Traction
Sunday, March 01, 2015 (1592 reads)


Apple Pay had barely reached consumers’ digital wallets last fall when overeager critics pounced, declaring the new mobile payments product a “fizzle.”
To Empire State banks and credit unions, rushing to jump on the latest development in mobile payments technology to stay relevant with tech-savvy customers, it was bewildering news indeed. But three months out, the critics are the ones now looking foolish, with Apple making clear it is here to stay with its potentially revolutionary new product.



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New Year Brings Renewed Efforts
Sunday, March 01, 2015 (720 reads)


The 2014 elections are history and the 2015 congressional and state legislative sessions are underway, launched by President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and Gov. Andrew  Cuomo’s combined State of the State message and 2015-16 state budget presentation, entitled the “2015 Opportunity Agenda.”



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