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WSECU's IT department delivered "Innovation of the Year"; recognized by Washington Technology Industry Association

March 16, 2010, (Olympia, WA) - It's not every day the top leaders in an industry get beaten out by the "little guy." But at the Washington Technology Industry Association Industry Achievement Awards, held in March, WSECU's Information Technology Department won in the category of "Information Technology Department Innovation of the Year:" for its online Q-Cash product.

Q-Cash is WSECU's short-term loan offering that provides members an alternative to traditional payday loans. With lower rates, a longer term and the ability to repay the loan in two installments, Q-Cash loans give credit union members a more consumer-friendly resource for their short-term loan needs.

In 2009, WSECU's information technology department worked with the Q-Cash line of business to create an easy-to-use online channel for return borrowers to apply for Q-Cash loans. The online Q-Cash product was completely developed in-house and has allowed for WSECU to grow its Q-Cash business while not having to grow the staffing or other resources that would typically be needed to support the additional volume. Now, 50 percent of return borrowers use the online channel which frees up the credit union's call center representatives to work with other members.

"We're really thrilled that we've been able to come up with a simple, quick and convenient way for our members to apply for a Q-Cash loan," said Ben Morales, Senior Vice President for IT & Facilities. "It saves members time and saves employees time so it's a win-win for everyone. Helping our members is always WSECU's first priority and that's why we developed the online channel for Q-Cash, but the industry recognition has been the icing on the cake."

The Washington Technology Industry Association, which provided the award, is one of the largest statewide associations of technology companies, IT departments and individual technology professionals in North America. The group's Annual Industry Achievement Awards recognizes local companies, individuals and students who best demonstrate innovation and excellence in creating new technologies, applications and services. Winners were determined by a panel of area industry experts.

WSECU's IT Department beat out heavy hitters like the White Pages and the Experience Music Project & Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

Representatives from IT and Q-Cash attended the showcase awards event held in Seattle earlier this month and had a demonstration booth on site to show off their work to fellow attendees.

WSECU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative serving 160,000 members with $1.5 billion in assets and 19 branches across Washington. Serving public employees and their families, WSECU is dedicated to the mission of making members' lives easier. For more information on membership and the credit union's products and services, visit wsecu.org.

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