In 2002, APPRO Systems and CUNA Mutual reached an agreement to create a new credit union call center, The LoanLink Center. The agreement brought together APPRO's LoanLink call center and iCU Now, a call center originally established by the Alabama, Pennsylvania and Texas credit union leagues in 2000 that was expanded in 2001 to include CUNA Mutual and two other leagues in its ownership group. The new company, The LoanLink Center, opened its ownership to other credit union leagues and there are now 21 invested in the organization. Digital Insight continues to be a significant provider to credit unions, accounting for over 11% of the market, while CGI, Eagle's Nest and Paragon Services, a CUSO owned by Paragon FCU in New Jersey, comprise the other primary providers. The market share is calculated from 1,154 credit unions over $25 million who report having a call center. The total number of credit unions over $25 million at year end 2002 is 2,974. To learn more about market share trends in other areas of technology turn to Callahan's 2003 Technology Survey.
Managing the lending channel is becoming more challenging as the number of access points for members increases. Coordinating in-person, phone and Internet channels to provide member service across a broader range of loan products is an increasingly complex task. In addition to the growth of channels and products, member expectations for round-the-clock availability require continuous and consistent service capabilities.