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Connexus : Issue 41
Showcase Show time Do you have a new product or service of interest to mutuals? We’d love to hear about it. Please email your submission to: connexus@abacus. org.au Cheaper, easier international payments Wester n Union Business Solutions is providing a new service that allows mutuals to receive inter national pay ments on behalf of their members. Over seas senders make a payment to a local Wester n Union Business Solutions bank account; the payment is conver ted into Australian dollars and forwarded to the relevant mutual account. Funds are converted at an exchange rate agreed and shared upfront and in advance with the mutual. No send or beneficiar y deduct fees are applied and the whole process can take as little as a day. Western Union Business Solutions’ global clear ing network provides local clearing in 35 cur rencies, says Joe Higginson from Wester n Union Business Solutions. The first mutual to use the ser vice was the NSW Police Credit Union, whose member s receive a mix of regular pension, and one-off pay ments. Over seas deposits and over seas transfers have doubled since the ser v ice was introduced, says Nor m Clancy, general manager, operations at Police Credit Union. “Police are often temporarily assigned to overseas positions so the need to conveniently send and receive funds to and from their accounts is extremely impor tant. The process is simple and is a member value-add that is becoming extremely popular.” Likewise, Defence Bank uses Western Union Business Solutions’ services to facilitate the salary payments of US Marines stationed in the Northern Territory. Most of Defence Bank’s 44 branches are on military bases, says Garr y Prout, executive manager – retail. “As such, they are ideally positioned to help meet the financial needs of the troops of Australia’s allies.” business.westernunion.com.au 44 Connexus Showcase expanding your services Wealth management ser v ices are an area of growing interest to financial institutions. The market sector has become so important, says Wayne Wilson from Rubik Financial, because of the large number of customers nearing retirement that the big four have been acquiring established wealth management businesses to increase their customer bases and exper tise. It’s not just about increasing your business, it’s also a strategy to protect your existing membership, he says. If your members are forced to turn to other providers for their wealth management needs, you run the risk of losing other ser v ices, such as deposits and mortgages, to larger prov iders that offer the whole package. “Rubik has recognised the growing importance of the wealth management sector with our recent acquisition of wealth management software Coin,” he says. “We asked ourselves the same question all our banking clients should be asking. How can we increase the depth of our offering and ser ve our customers better? The answer for mutuals is wealth management.” www.rubik.com.au or phone 02 9488 4000.