I hope this latest newsletter finds you well and provides you with some great thoughts for improving your current business strategies. We are always striving to provide you with the best solutions and timely information to keep you on the track to constant success. The most important item to come across my desk lately is Security Awareness. Every year Lasco has an in-house Security Awareness Training for our employees. This is the most important staff meeting of the year. Like you, we want to make sure that we are keeping our client data as safe and secure as we possibly can. It only takes one mistake to bring down an entire company - in an instant, your reputation can be completely wiped out, trust... gone. Lasco takes this topic very seriously. Keeping client data safe is our highest priority, and it should be for any company or financial institution. Unfortunately, many businesses and institutions are running on outdated information and are unaware of many of the sophisticated attacks that can take place. It only takes one un-informed employee to accidentally leak customer data.
I say all this to remind you that this is serious, it happens every day, and Lasco can help. If you need assistance in this area please call to discuss the solutions we have to offer. Remember, your customers are expecting you to be taking all necessary steps to protect their information. They expect you to know about every possible threat... Are you truly meeting their expectations when it comes to security?
President & CEO
|Charter Business Partnership|
Fiber Install for Lasco clients a Success!
Lasco, together with Charter Business, recently completed a fiber install for clients across the U.P. This foundation is essential and is now the basis for other lines of business for companies in the U.P. to utilize. In essence, the "tracks" have been built. This is not only a good thing for Lasco and Lasco's clients, but also for the future of the U.P. The planning for this process was extensive and took many months of work for our technicians as well as our management team. The implementation, executed by both Charter and Lasco, went extremely well. Lasco's clients who received this upgrade are now enjoying greater speeds and have the capacity to grow bandwidth as their needs change. Thank you to all of our employees who worked continuously to ensure that this project was a success!
|IT Lifecycle Planning|
Every year Lasco, like many of you, has to evaluate and plan for needed system hardware and software updates. This year is no different, every year Lasco has to re-invest in its internal infrastructure with many hardware and software upgrades. By having a plan in place, you can help reduce the burden or surprise of such costly expenses. By understanding year to year what the age of your hardware is and when software may become unsupported, helps to budget for these types of upgrades/ replacements. In today's ever changing environment hardware and software changes are needed more frequently and disaster recovery needs change as well. Lasco will be looking to spend nearly $60,000 this year on software and hardware upgrades to our daily production environment as well as our Disaster Recovery platforms. We know it's difficult to plan for the unforeseen needs but a good start is to plan for those you are aware of in order to keep the systems that make your business run up to date and supported. If you would like to discuss IT Lifecycle Planning further with us please feel free to give us a call we would be happy to help.
For more information please contact Tim Shandonay, VP of IT Services, at 1-800-800-6197 Ext. 1044 or email@example.com.
|Credit Card Surcharges|
New Surcharges now allowed on credit card purchases, watch out for the surcharge known as "a checkout fee" on your credit cards.
Consumers may be paying an additional fee when they use their credit card at retailers that decide to surcharge. Many Visa & MasterCard Merchants are trying to cut and recover the cost of accepting Credit Cards. Retailers filed a lawsuit complaining about the extra expenses, and the settlement from that action now lets them pass those fees on to customers. As of January 27, 2013, there are new regulations for US Merchants who choose to add fees to the credit card purchases. That means in all but 10 states (Michigan allows the fees) merchants will be allowed to add a card fee to your purchase total. Not all retailers will necessarily add the fees, but many will. You should know your rights as a consumer.
The payment card surcharge, also known as a "checkout fee", is an additional fee that a merchant adds to your bill when you use a Credit Card for payment.
Checkout fees are permitted only on credit and charge cards, NOT on Debit Cards, even if you choose "Credit" as your payment method with your Debit Card.
Checkout fees can vary for different kinds of cards (such as rewards cards or premier cards), so be sure to ask your retailer if different surcharges apply and choose your payment card accordingly.
Retailers must limit fees to what they pay to accept the card. In the U.S., that is typically between 1.5% and 3% of the total purchase. Currently, there is a cap of 4%.
The disclosure on the receipt must list the amount of the checkout fee, the fact that the retailer is imposing the charge and that the fee is not greater than what it costs the retailer to accept credit and charge cards.
Legally, merchants that do surcharge must disclose the surcharge as a merchant fee and clearly alert consumers to the practice. When you're in a store, look for signs or postings that warn you of the merchant's fee. Disclosures must be posted at the point-of-entry to the business, at each point of sale - both in store and online - and on every receipt. Also, even if you don't see any signs, be sure to check your sales receipt.
Article written by: Sandy Etelamaki, Bank Services Customer Support Representative For more information regarding Bank Services or to discuss this topic further, please contact Robert Baer, VP of Bank Services, at 1-800-800-6197 Ext. 1055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Want to save storage space on your server? Read below...|
Internal Email of Attachments
When in a file server environment it is unnecessary to attach files to emails being sent to another internal user. This process creates a copy of the file and sends that copy to the recipient. Unless email is being handled by an in-house Exchange server, this file is leaving the secure confines of your server environment. When the recipient receives the email and attachment it will use up additional space either in the mail storage file or Exchange store. The attachment also eats space in the sender's storage file, as a copy of the email is saved in Outlook's Sent Items folder. Some recipients will also save the attachment to one of their profile folders. If one of those recipients edits the saved file and then sends it back to the original sender, as many as seven copies of the file will be using up space.
How can you save storage space while still allowing your internal recipient access to the file? Use a hyperlink and ensure that your recipient has security access to the file. First, let's cover security access. If your file is stored in a mapped drive with limited user access check with the user or your IT department to see if he/she has permissions to that folder. If the file is stored on your desktop or user directory, move the file to a location where you and the recipient have mutual security access. Check with your IT department if you require a new limited access folder that allows you, the recipient or department access. Once the file is accessible to both you and the intended recipient, create a new email message. Right click an open area in the body section of the message and select Hyperlink. The Insert Hyperlink window will open. Browse to your file using the drop down menu. Select your file and click OK. The result will look something like the following link.
The recipient will simply need to click the link and he/she will have access to the file.
Article written by: Ryan Wellman, Infrastructure Technician
For more information regarding this topic, please contact Lasco's technical support department at 1-800-800-6197 Ext. 1045 or email@example.com.
|Lasco Compliance Solutions|
Compliance: Tools & Services
One of the biggest challenges of financial institutions today is the daunting task of trying to navigate today's volatile regulatory landscape. Lasco has spent a lot of time researching countless compliance services and solutions over the years. Recently, Lasco held a seminar for many U.P. Financial Institutions reviewing upcoming regulations (and the impact they bring), and showcased some products and services we have available to any Financial Institution to help fill these compliance needs. We understand that a good solution must be very flexible and that is why we have teamed up with FIS' Enterprise Governance Risk and Compliance Practice (FIS EGRC) to offer these tools and services. Some of these services include the following:
- Regulatory Service Premium Membership
- Unlimited telephone or e-mail questions for subject matter experts
- Over 30 webinars on laws, regulations & emerging risk issues
- Big Orange Book (BOB)
- Access to web site with resources
- Quick Reference Guides
- Regulatory University
- Best-in-Class eLearning
- Always first in the nation to update content reflecting regulatory compliance changes
- More comprehensive than all other solutions, with over 250 compliance courses
- Contains the industry's most advanced risk-based reporting, tracking and analytics
- Provides the industry's only best practices-based curriculum guide to assist in developing and deploying a customized compliance training plan
- Used by: 7 of the top 10 banks as well as all bank and state regulators
- OCC, Federal Reserve, FDIC, CSBS and the new CFPB
- Early Risk Manager (ERM)
- Safety and Soundness solution
- Enables optimal risk management performance by predicting risk
- Obtain critical, empirically derived, statistically valid risk management intelligence
- Utilizes quarterly Call Reports & series of regression models to produce:
- Predicted CAMELS Rating
- Probability of Undercapitalization. ERM precisely calculates economic capital to account for all risks
- Similar to what the banking regulators use for safety & soundness supervision but goes beyond regulator models by indentifying emerging risks using:
- Red flags for emerging risks
- Risk dashboard of 25 reports containing key risk-management intelligence
- ERM also enables a financial institution to perform "What If" analysis for proactive risk management decisions
- Risk and Compliance Consulting Service
- The Compliance professionals within FIS EGRC have many years' experience in implementing compliance programs for many financial institutions.
- Help to reduce riskby keeping pace with rapid changes in regulatory requirements and leveraging the experience of our industry professionals.
- Help to increase efficiencies by redirecting energy and personnel back to their core bank functions and reducing management burden while retaining control of strategic decision making.
- Help to reduce costs by leveraging our proven expertise we've used to solve problems for a variety of clients with similar challenges.
If any of these services are of interest to you please give us a call and we can discuss further how we may be able to help you navigate through these ever changing and challenging compliance times.
For more information please contact Robert Baer, VP of Bank Services, at 1-800-800-6197 Ext. 1055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use of prepaid debit cards is on the rise. Many consumers prefer using prepaid cards to protect against theft. *
Mobile banking is continuing to rise, which is leading many banks to increase the amount of consumer education on mobile banking safety concerns. **
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is increasingly becoming the norm for businesses. The increasing availability of high-speed internet as well as wireless internet has advanced the amount of users recently and is expected to continue.***
A recent survey shows that companies are not prepared for data breaches.****
American Banker recently posted an article on "How to Tell Customers You're Under (Cyber) Attack". Great information as many are being faced with the realities of how to share without causing panic. Link to the article can be found in "Sources" below. *****
The Kiplinger Letter
*Vol. 90, No. 16
**Vol. 90, No. 14
***Vol. 90, No. 12
**** Data Breach Article
***** Under Attack Article
Lasco employees chose to donate to The Salvation Army. Every Friday, Lasco employees choose to pay one dollar to wear casual clothing, the funds are compiled at the end of each quarter, matched by Lasco, and donated to a local charity. Shown in the photo are from Left: Mindy Daavettila (Lasco, Bank Services Customer Support), Captain Joel Arthur (The Salvation Army, Corps Officer), and Mark Niemi (Lasco, Senior Support Technician).
- Lasco Compliance Seminar (Co-Hosted by FIS' EGRC department) was a huge success with many of our financial clients in attendance. The information provided was valuable and timely. Thank you to all who attended!
- Employee Anniversaries!
Congratulations to Tim Shandonay who is celebrating 15 years of employment at Lasco, and Mark Niemi who is celebrating 4 years!
|Quote of the Quarter...|
"If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep... you are richer than 75% of the world's population." *
*Source: "1: How Many People Does It Take To Make a Difference?"
by Dan Zadra and Kobi Yamada
Join Our List