Email Best Practices, Procedures, and Handling of Wrong Email Addresses

There are two kinds of email addresses tracked by CU*BASE:

• “TO” email addresses – The majority of these are member email addresses that receive emails from the credit union. There are also a handful of places in CU*BASE that generate emails from the system about various activity as it occurs.

• “FROM” email addresses – These would be credit union addresses that are used by the system as the “from” address on the outgoing email, indicating to the recipient where the email came from.

The CU*BASE system, via its mail server infrastructure, handles millions of emails every year across the entire network, so it’s critical that all of these addresses are properly maintained and regularly monitored. Every credit union needs to do its part to prevent outside Internet Service Providers and spam-monitoring services from viewing these communications as spam, which could potential preventing us from sending emails for any of our clients.

Reference Terms

DNS | Domain Name System: A DNS turns domain names, such as, into IP addresses. This system is often referred to as the “phonebook of the internet” and allows users to access web pages in their browsers.

SPF | Sender Policy Framework: A DNS record that lists what hosts and IP addresses are allowed to send messages on your behalf (such as CU*Answers).

DKIM | DomainKeys Identified Mail: A digital watermark or signature that validates the email came from you and has not been tampered with. Emails can be signed multiple times in transit.; each signature is validated against a different DNS record presented in the client DNS entries.

DMARC | Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance: A DNS record that tells email providers:

  • Where to deliver reports of who is sending on your behalf

  • Based on settings, classify all emails without a DKIM signature as spam

  • Classify all emails without a valid SPF source as spam

Email and CU*BASE Configurations (for Credit Union Outgoing Emails from CU*BASE)

FROM Email Addresses in CU*BASE

Credit union FROM email addresses are closely regulated and monitored within CU*BASE. As a mass email sender, and as an entity that sends on behalf of the network of credit unions, CU*Answers must meet standards of compliance set forth by email service providers, such as Google and Yahoo. Many of these standards rely on our email being delivered to appropriate and accurate member emails, from correctly configured credit union emails. If we fall out of compliance with these standards, we run the risk of being blocked as spam, and lose our ability (across the network) to deliver mail to members.

As of December 2023, we are currently evaluating our email standards. You can follow our progress and any changes in the Kitchen. As of this time, you as the credit union have three options for your email domain;

1) You subscribe to Member Reach services through Xtend, and have a verified email domain.

2) You use a custom domain, such as, and have validated that it is a verified email domain. See below for requirements for using your custom domain.

3) You are not a Member Reach client and do not have a valid custom domain, so you will be assigned domain, with the sender as your credit union name.

If you wish to use your custom domain, our teams must first validate that the email meets the DNS requirements set forth by current regulatory and email provider standards. Your domain must include,

  • DKIM Records: If you do not have a DKIM Key record for “cubasemail” in your DNS table, you can purchase a key on the CU*Answers store. We will work with you to implement your DKIM key.

You can request a change to any of your credit union FROM addresses by using the link in the CU*Answers store (there is no charge for this service).

Once your “From:” email address has been validated, Network Services will approve your request and a Client Services Representative will be in contact to confirm the change in email address. If your “From:” email address does not meet the required standards, a member of our Network Services team will be in contact to discuss options to bring your email up to standard before your request can proceed. Additional charges may apply.

FAQ and Helpful Resources


Wrong Email Address Handling by CU*BASE and It’s Me 247(for Member Emails in CU*BASE)


This section covers how member wrong email addresses are handled by CU*BASE and It’s Me 247.

Recording that an Email Address is a Wrong Email Address

An email address can either be marked as “wrong” manually, or deleted altogether via an automated process that is triggered by emails bounce-backs.

Manual Process (by the Employee)

Employees can mark an email address as a wrong email address without deleting it entirely using the “Email Address Maintenance” screen. This screen is automatically shown (when the email address is marked as wrong) when employees enter several CU*BASE screens. Another entry point is via Member Personal Banker, then “Email Address Maintenance.” Once the email is marked as invalid, a Tracker conversation is recorded. This Audit Tracker has a Memo Code of EI-Invalid email. (Additional communications are mentioned later in this document.)

Example of Tracker:

Contact - Date: 08/01/2012   Time: 14:38:53   By Emp: +O                     

          Name: MEMBER T MEMBER                Memo Type: EI Invalid email

Invalid email address flag changed to Yes

Automated Process (Twice Monthly)

Starting in May 2023, when email is returned as undeliverable, the system will automatically delete the address from the member’s account, placing the old address in a Tracker record. For details of what triggers this to happen, as well as sample of the Tracker, refer to the following AnswerBook item:

Xtend offers a service to its clients to call the members to update their email addresses in CU*BASE.  Otherwise, this is the credit union’s responsibility.  

Handling of Email Addresses Marked Wrong

Member Updates

Members can enter or change an email address only via the Personal Information section of online banking. Assuming your configuration allows direct update, when a change is made a Tracker is created in CU*BASE with both the old and new email address, and the member receives a “Red Flag” confirmation email sent to both addresses. If this sort of change is not allowed (by PIB or by the credit union itself), the member can request that it be updated through a contact request.

Employee Notification and Update

Employees get warnings of wrong or missing email addresses in several areas of CU*BASE such as Member Personal Banker, Phone Operator, and Inquiry.  Employees can update the email address in CU*BASE with the “Email Address Maintenance” screen accessed via several locations (mentioned earlier in this topic).   An employee update also results in the creation of a Audit Tracker record, including the old and new email addresses.

Confirmation of Changed Email Address

Once a valid email address is entered (by the member or by an employee) the member receives an email notification that the email address has been updated.  Employees can research the change using the Tracker record that is created.  If the credit union chooses to use Red Flag Controls, employees are alerted of the change in several areas of CU*BASE, for the time period selected in this configuration.

How Email Addresses Missing or Marked Wrong Affect Member Communications

Member communication is affected if the member has their email address marked as invalid in the following ways:


Members with wrong or missing email addresses will cease to receive the short and long email alerts.  They will instead receive online banking messages in the Secure Message Center.   Members will be able to enroll in e-Alerts, but will not be able to sign up for short and long email alerts as long as their email address remains invalid.  


Members with wrong or missing email addresses will cease receiving e-Notice alerts.


If a credit union requires a valid email to receive e-Statements (the default in the e-Statement Configuration), members with wrong or missing email addresses will cease to receive e-Statement notices, and will instead receive a paper statement.  They will remain enrolled in e-Statements, however, and will resume receiving e-Statements once the address is updated.  

Member Connect

Emails sent via Member Connect will not be sent to members with wrong or missing email addresses.  Whenever a message is sent by the automated Member Reach program or via a credit union (through Member Connect) as well as when credit unions send custom messages, the PCMMSG report is generated to the DAILYXX out queue.

The next day this report is available in CU*Spy under the category Miscellaneous; simply search for PCM in CU*Spy to view the PCMMSG reports.

The PCMMSG report is great to look at to get an idea of how many members the message reached.  It lists all the members in the file, their account numbers, the method in which they received the message, if/why they were an Exception, and gives grand totals at the very bottom.  Exceptions include members with email addresses marked as wrong, indicated by "Bad email address."