Heather Carey is the consumer loan supervisor for 4Front Credit Union, and she shares insight from her experience last year of finding the right loan origination system (LOS) to fit 4Front’s operations and provide industry-leading online and mobile capabilities. Headquartered in Traverse City, MI, 4Front operates a direct consumer portfolio of $107 million and an indirect consumer portfolio of $70 million. Through its current online and mobile capabilities, the credit union receives approximately 100 applications each month.
Why is having an online and mobile presence so important for credit unions today?
Heather Carey: Online applications are critical to be relevant in today’s market. Borrowers do not visit branches or call. They expect to use their smart devices to transact all of their financial business at a time and location that is convenient to them.
What do you think is the biggest mistake a lot of credit unions make in selecting a loan origination system for online and mobile capabilities?
HC: There are two issues that can arise when selecting an LOS. One mistake is when you look for an LOS to process loans the same way they are currently being processed. As the market changes, the lending focus changes. You need to select a system that will allow you to grow and improve your current system as opposed to staying stagnant.
The second mistake is when you select a strong LOS and do not take advantage of all of its capabilities. I have heard of many credit unions that launch their systems only to not use the online application or utilize auto approvals. If you have selected the correct LOS, then you should be able to eventually use all of the features it has to offer.
In terms of online and mobile functionality, what stood out the most about your current LOS compared to other options available?
HC: I appreciate the simplicity of the online program and its ability to easily integrate with the rest of the LOS. We have found the biggest use for it with our front line. It is so easy for them to get a member’s information from our Symitar core system, submit it to our lending team, and have a loan ready to go in minutes. Before, if a member was in a branch without a lender, we would request that member to fill out an application to be faxed in, and then we’d send that member away until our process took its course. Now, the front line submits the application, a lender can instantly grab it and prepare the loan, and the member leaves with the funds. It is a seamless process for the membership.
What advice do you have for credit unions in a similar situation looking for an LOS solution for online and mobile needs?
HC: Finding the right LOS is one thing, but they need to make sure they find one from a provider that offers real-time support for issues that pop up along the way both during and after implementation. While end-to-end guides can be helpful, you really need a responsive support staff to make up for what the document lacks. Our provider’s support staff made a clear difference. It’s also very helpful to reach out to other credit unions using the same solution so we can share experiences and hopefully learn from each other along the way.
4Front partnered with CRIF Lending Solutions for the ACTion LOS to centralize its operations and provide full online and mobile capabilities. CRIF ACTion is an advanced suite of products for all of your consumer and business lending and deposit account opening needs with industry leading online and mobile connectivity. ACTion Consumer, ACTion Business, and ACTion Deposit Account Opening are designed to work separately or together to help any credit union streamline processes and grow volumes with leading-edge automation, efficient underwriting, and configurable end-to-end functionality while maximizing accuracy, productivity, and compliance efforts.
For more information on important things to remember when selecting an LOS to fill your online and mobile needs, please click the button below to request our The Right Loan Origination System for You Top 10 Checklist: Mobile/Online.