The Delivery Channel Trifecta: Member Convenience, Operational Efficiency and Member Retention
Star One Credit Union has a number of high-tech and wide-traveling SEGs, including Lockheed Martin, Yahoo! and Lam Research. The credit union wants to deliver member convenience, improve operational efficiency and increase member retention no matter where their members live, work or play.
While living around the globe, members found it difficult to deposit a check. As a temporary measure, the credit union had implemented UPost through eCU Technologies (now Wescom Resources Group), and members used the service for over a year. While that provided member convenience and retention, operational efficiency decreased as the checks were still processed and reconciled manually. With Check 21’s implementation into credit union processing networks, check images can now be transmitted across the system. Credit unions gain increased operating efficiency by eliminating courier costs and decreasing back-office operations work. Perhaps more importantly, members can access this network through branches, ATMs, kiosks and at home.
The Role of Kiosks
Star One currently has two image-enabled kiosks located in branches. They were originally brought in to act as a conduit for shared branching transactions. The kiosks deliver multiple services in a single platform with an attractive price point. Kiosk transaction mix has been varied. The number of transactions was almost evenly split between credit union members (51%) and guest users (49%), though the dollar amount of the transactions was much larger with guest users (61%). Because the kiosks are located within branches, members were hesitant to use the machines and would rather work with a teller. To overcome this, Star One encouraged kiosk use by having a dedicated staff person available to assist with the enrollment process. Fraud is always a concern with imaging, and the kiosks automatically flag deposits if the item is too light or dark, skewed or out of focus. With the kiosks there is a high degree of item negotiability analysis, including comparing the signature of the payer to the name on the check, validating the MICR line and RTN digits. Finally, the kiosks allow the credit union to set individual holds based on the check’s RTN, whether the payee or payer is a member. For example, local payroll checks may have no hold placed on them, whereas out of area checks from non-members may have a two week hold. With months of use, only 4 exceptions have had to be approved (or denied) by credit union management. The credit union has ordered more kiosks to be deployed for member convenience in branches and at a SEG location.
With the success of the kiosks, Star One is upgrading their entire ATM fleet to be image-enabled for a larger, more comprehensive network. To further extend deposit capabilities beyond the branch, the credit union staff is currently testing a remote deposit capture product for consumers. This low cost channel for capturing and processing deposits offers further convenience for both the credit union and member. The product from Ensenta and CO-OP integrates seamlessly with the data processor and corporate credit union (Wescorp) and offers flexibility with the length of holds and maximum dollar amounts for deposits. Members have a single sign-on, real-time posting and the deposit is immediately viewable in the online banking system. With the success of the kiosks and pending implementation of remote deposit capture, Star One has reduced deposit processing costs and now has consistent member deposit treatment regardless of which delivery channel members are using. It allows them to better serve members while reducing the float time for deposits.