Chelsea Groton Bank's Feel Good About Your Bank slogan extends beyond words to their people. Identifi recently met with several members of the dedicated Chelsea Groton team. We came away with an appreciation for their dedication to making their customer's banking experience a better one.
William Lidestri, SVP, Director of Operations & Technology is driving innovation at Chelsea Groton. Using Identifi Work business process automation software for Accounts Payable vendor invoice approval, Mr. Lidestri has successfully increased productivity by thirty percent (30%).
Additional innovations initiatives to the create the bank of the future. Margaret Blundon, VP/Business Intelligence Manager and Matt Benoit, Business Process Analyst/Business Intelligence proudly display Intuiface. Intuiface will be installed in their branch of the future opening in October.
Intuiface will allow the customer to be self-service, utilizing the touch interface to learn about the various products and services offered by Chelsea Groton Bank. The Chelsea branch of the future will also provide financial training classes to the public.
Max Spelman, AVP Operations Manager working with Amy Prince, Sr. Deposit Operations Representative use Identifi Document to file Power of Attorney (POA) documents. This has proven to be a huge time saver, obtaining documents when needed using Identifi's KWYK KeyWhatYouKnow patent pending search engine.
Chelsea Groton plans on using the Identifi OLE Online eSign to process new POA’s. Identifi is also used for business banking applications, operations and cash management.
On January 1, 2017, the world changed for credit unions. At least for credit unions serious about Business Banking. In place of a fixed percentage of assets, a cap based on net worth (in other words, tied to the credit union’s ability to absorb lending risk) was implemented. Prior to January 1, NCUA waiver delays resulted in the loss of many good loan deals (and sometimes business clients). In place of the waivers, credit unions now must have sound lending policies, and are judged on how well they follow their policies.
The new NCUA rules create tremendous growth opportunities for credit unions. The best small business clients can contribute 5-10 times the profitability of an individual consumer, and business clients expect to pay extra for time savings and banking advice. However, their decision criteria for selecting a banking partner is different, and requires a radical change in how credit unions think about their service and pricing models. As regulations started to loosen in the late 1990s, credit unions with excess lending capacity saw business loans as a vehicle to produce better returns than they were getting with traditional investments. However, because of the lengthy delays in approvals, and lack of competitive deposit products and merchant services, some credit unions became the “lender of last resort” and many sizeable portfolios were written down or written off altogether when these less desirable, single product borrowers defaulted.
Traditionally, credit union business banking programs have focused primarily on the lending side, but deposits and merchant services account for nearly 80% of small business banking profits, vs only 22% for loans (see chart, Oliver Wyman, 2011). Rates and fee pricing are lower priorities for businesses than having tools to accept payments, access to working capital, ease of making ACH and wire payments, and sound banking advice.
To build a solid, profitable, and sustainable business banking offering, credit unions need to employ people, process, and technology along with competitive products.
Experienced Business Bankers- Forbes describes a small business as “one that does not have a CFO”. This role often belongs to the business owner. A key part of the value of the banking relationship is the ability to get solid financial advice. That takes experienced business bankers. Not just lenders, but staff with experience in deposits, payments, and operations.
Commercial Deposits- Business customers have used community banks or larger banks in the past, and expect a broad variety of deposit offerings. Along with traditional checking, savings, and IRA accounts, they expect their banking partner to offer limits and controls on who can transact business with the CU on behalf of the business client, based on their role with the firm. Banks have offered automated sweeping of excess balances from operating accounts to high-yield accounts for over 20 years. Positive pay (a feature that allows the business to view and approve their checks before they are paid) can help them avoid check fraud losses. And analysis accounts that reward the business client for the overall relationship help attract and retain the most profitable business clients.
Business Services- The most important banking function for many businesses is enabling them to take payments for their products and services. Roughly 30% of small business banking profits are from payments-merchant card payment processing and remote capture and transmission of check images.
Business Online Banking/Mobile/Cash Management- The most valuable commodity for a business owner is time. The right set of capabilities can save your business clients valuable time transacting their banking business, and neutralize the huge brick and mortar advantages of the big banks. Most banks now put the ability to send wires and ACH originations and payments, pay bills and control card limits in their business client’s home office or even in the palm of their hand.
Commercial Lending- Along with more traditional forms of business credit such as term loans, business credit cards and vehicle loans, many businesses need more sophisticated lending products. SBA loans create great value for both clients and the lender, allowing businesses the capital they need to grow and expand, with government guarantees protecting the lender if they default. Loans with variable payment schedules tied to seasonal cash flows, flexible collateral arrangements and commercial construction loans allow the credit union to serve as a “one stop shop” for most of their business clients.
Security- Small businesses are frequently the target of fraud, sometime from their own employees. They expect a banking partner that has the expertise and technology to protect them from cyberattacks, check and payments fraud, and embezzlement.
And finally, speed. Efficient processes and tools for application processing, credit review and funding will help you offer business clients the same amazing service experience credit unions are known for with their consumer members.
Even after credit unions hire experienced business bankers and set up policies and processes, technology often becomes the primary barrier to success. Most credit unions run on core processing systems designed in the 1980s, long before credit unions were allowed to offer business banking. Many offer online banking platforms that serve the needs of consumers well, but lack essential cash management and business functionality.
Credit union IT teams and traditional credit union technology vendors often lack familiarity with business banking, banking regulations and the third-party systems that help serve business banking operations, and their business clients. Choosing the right solutions that will integrate with your current environment and fit your budget can be difficult and risky. A detailed strategy with clear requirements, budgets and timelines will go a long way toward mitigating the risks involved in complex technology decisions.
Enlisting outside advisors with experience in helping credit unions develop and execute the right technology strategy to enable their business services program can go a long way towards minimizing the risk and disruption of a complex technology selection and deployment.
At Arriba Advisors, our partners have over 25 years combined experience in assessing the business banking technology needs of credit unions, and helping them evaluate, select and contract for the right technologies at the right cost of ownership. Feel free to contact us for a free business banking technology market overview.
George McGourty- Originally from Boston and based in Tampa, George has spent his entire 30-year career helping financial institutions evaluate, select, and implement enterprise technologies. He has held senior sales and executive leadership positions with Fiserv, FIS, CSI, Deluxe and Open Solutions as well as co-founding an IT services firm that was later acquired by a Fortune 1000 technology company.
George co-founded Arriba Advisors to help community financial institutions understand and evaluate their technology options, and gain the most value from their technology investments. He is an accomplished negotiator, having personally negotiated over 1,000 technology and services contracts while sitting on the vendor side of the table.
Tom Russell- A native of Miami, Florida, Tom has spent the past twenty years helping financial institutions navigate complex technology and professional services decisions to create efficiencies and gain competitive advantage. Tom has held senior sales roles at TWS Systems, Open Solutions, and Fiserv, managing complex enterprise sales valued up to $25M.
In his role as co-founder and partner at Arriba Advisors, Tom helps our clients understand the technology options available in the market, and how to match their needs and budget to secure the right solution at the right cost of ownership, while identifying and managing the risks inherent in a complex technology purchase.
Posted under "Thought Leaders" on the cbanc website cbancnetwork.com
According to IDC (International Data Corp) – between now and 2020… there will be 44X the growth in information BUT… only 1.4X growth in IT professionals. For example, according to MBA Online there are 294 billion emails sent every day. To give you an idea of the impact it would take the US Postal Service two (2) years to process that many pieces of mail. Every day 172 million people visit Facebook, 2 million Blog posts are written (guilty as charged), enough posts to fill Time Magazine for 770 million years!
So why are we waiting to manage and store all this information? According to an AIIM, the leading trade association in a Enterprise Content Management (ECM) survey, “the problem is we don’t think we have a problem!” The number one answer to the survey is “management is still dragging their feet;” followed by “people still want to hold onto their paper.” Finally, “people still think they need a wet signature (signature on paper)” …and so on.
Yet AIIM also asked the following question, “How much more productive do you think your organization would be…with ECM?” The median answer is “at least 33% more productive.” So where is Enterprise Content Management (ECM) headed? We see the traditional ECM model moving from document centric to people centric, open and collaborative, community oriented and so on… A focus on the customer, rather than on products, is a critical ingredient for financial institutions to maintain and grow their business with their customers.
ECM is an effective approach to helping financial institutions manage the information, the content necessary to achieve a customer-centric focus. As business and consumer customers become empowered by social media and pervasive communications, they are starting to realize they have choices for their financial services. These trends are reshaping the financial industry and are putting financial institutions into a more competitive atmosphere than before.
Technology innovations today and into the future have been turned up-side-down! It used to be business drove innovation, today people do. So how do you manage the information tsunami so your customers don’t end up knowing more about your products and services than you do? That is the imperative for going paperless and more.
We have moved from an era of the PC, to the internet and today the cloud. Each subsequent move has happened more rapidly. You can see how things were processed from the document, to the web page and today it’s an interaction. Consider the best known companies. Look how over time we have moved the cheese from IBM to Microsoft and now to Facebook. Content has moved from microfiche to image, to document, to content to social business systems? We see financial institutions moving from the PC to the web and mobile devices, but not nearly as quickly as their customers and the growth in the devices themselves. What’s next? Go paperless.
What are 2 or 3 greatest misperceptions associated with implementing doc imaging?
Centralized scanning (capture) is NOT the only way to control the document imaging capture and workflow. Scanners become increasingly powerful and inexpensive. Scanners for less than $1,000 include features such as duplex and color document capture. Software as a Service (SaaS) and in-house web-server based ECM applications offer click-once deployment, employ barcode recognition, forms recognition and e-signature technologies which allow for a more automated and accurate method of capture. Centralized capture out! Distributed capture in!
Your ECM implementation happens overnight. False! Technologies such as report archive and a basic backfile scanning application, like signature cards may be in place in weeks, but careful planning and best practices while employing ECM applications for all new account and loan products, HR, accounting, Accounts Payable and so on take time and teamwork.
You're going to go "completely" paperless. False! There are going to be documents you have to keep, such as a mortgage and a deed. Your lawyer must decide.
How long is a ‘typical’ timeline to get a doc imaging system up and running?
If the ECM vendor provides "templates" for the applications the customer wishes to implement and best practices guidelines during the pre-implementation stage and during implementation a "typical" document imaging implementation timeline will be 30-90 days. If the customer is exceptionally well organized in terms of defining their applications and indexes it can be 30-45 days. The customer must provide good feedback and be fully engaged.
Who is best suited to serve as the project owner for implementation: IT, the business line being imaged, or some other area?
The IT department or IT consultant needs to be involved as well as the business line managers of the department or organization being implemented but the ECM project owner should be a person that has project management skills. They might not have all the answers but have the ability to get the answers and keep the project on track internally and be an advocate to promote the system throughout the organization.
Besides loan origination, what are 3 other areas that should be considered for doc imaging?
Deposits, Operations, Legal, HR, AP, Vendor Management, Facilities Management Wire transfer and more...
Are there any business lines or areas that are NOT good candidates for doc imaging? Why?
There are areas that will be more challenging than others. If you are new to ECM, pick an area of the institution where there is a quick ROI like new account signature cards, new account documents, consumer loans, HR then make your way to more challenging are such as commercial mortgages. The primary concern will always be the same best practices and teamwork.
What recommendations can be made to minimize staff keeping ‘ghost files’?
If you cannot access the content, image files, documents and reports easily and quickly from anywhere across the organization, you will most likely have people keeping ghost files. This means stop the flow by capturing documents at their originating point within your organization and conquering the backfile as well. A scanning service is a good way to get that done. It is usually easy though for the bank themselves to go back and scan in all the old signature cards. This is a good way to be successful right off the bat. It has a good impact on the customer and the staff.
I recently did a survey and analysis at a multi-billion financial institution and I expressly advised them they would never catch up with their backfile if they didn’t capture their documents at the source (branch) or in the field and utilize e-signature and auto-indexing methods whenever possible. Centralized capture is out! Distributed capture is in! Managing social business content lags far behind, but we are storing more content from more and more channels of communication.
Can some docs be destroyed immediately after imaging? Any docs that can NOT be destroyed?
This list is extensive and requires the advice from the financial institutions legal counsel. As a general rule, keep everything seven years. Keep the Mortgage, Release of Mortgage and Note permanently.
At Integra, when our A-Team meets to discuss past, present and future challenges for iDentifi.net the “compelling cloud” is the most incendiary, exciting and persistent topic of discussion on our agenda.
What we have learned is to keep our noses to the grindstone and keep our heads in the clouds, I call it “practically innovative.”
This is a real challenge for a software company, a.k.a. also known as "propeller heads," but it's necessary for us to ensure our customers are well served.
As for the “Cloud,” I needn’t remind you? We’re already there. The future is now and we want you there, too. The reasons you may not be there are many and diverse. But I’ll go out on a limb here and say it hasn’t been practical or “compelling” enough for you to consider the “cloud”?
The self-proclaimed “King of Cloud”, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce would like you to believe “software is dead.” Mr. Benioff is a highly successful visionary, but as the CEO of a wildly successful business, I would risk saying he has lost the vision of a practitioner.
Practically speaking, having been there, moving from a legacy contact management software product to Salesforce or any cloud like product is costly, challenging and time-intensive. In any case, I think it is a stretch whether “software,” other than nominally, will ever be dead.
If you want a great read on what defines cloud computing and how it might apply to your organization, I would be happy to point you in the right direction. Just email me at email@example.com.
So there, I’ve said it. If you’re mired in a legacy client-server application or worse, it’s may not be practical at this time for you to move to a web-server based application like iDentifi.net. I’m sure I have mentioned, at least twice, once you are on iDentifi.net you can move to the cloud.
What I do find objectionable is for your organization to take a giant step backward, when you can take a giant step forward with iDentifi.net. If your “core” vendor of choice whether it be Fiserv, who offer several different flavors of Hyland Onbase’s legacy laden client-server based technology, a.k.a. Director, Nautilus, etc… or Jack Henry’s Synergy don’t go there. Before you go there, ask them when they can offer you cloud based computing for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and more importantly what it will cost you, practically speaking.
When I say practically speaking, go back to what I said earlier about being a practitioner. Remember I said earlier and you probably agreed, moving from a legacy software product to a cloud like product is costly, challenging and time-intensive.
So ask your core or ECM provider, what it will cost you to move to the cloud and then be the practitioner and add all the pain associated with the conversion.
To avoid some or all of the above, you can choose iDentifi.net. We know what it’s like to be practical and we can ease the pain moving from Legacy to the Cloud.
To serve our customers best, we have our nose to the grindstone and our head in the clouds.
There’s a great series on the History Channel, called “Life After People”. The series explores what happens to our cities, buildings and bridges without people to maintain them. In just days, our very infrastructure we take for granted, our tunnels and subways will become flooded. Transportation will cease. Power will be cut. Our planet begins to look like this (click on thumbnails).
Here is a trailer to the series. Living After People.
Most of our competitor’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions, a.k.a., document imaging or COLD, are considered ancillary (secondary) products. What happens when your provider’s resources are pulled from ECM product development to concentrate their resources on their core competency?
There's a series is in the works, it’s called “Living without Legacy”. It’s about living with an erosion in talent; living with meager or no updates; living with Band-Aid fixes (patches).
Moore’s Law, named after the founder of Intel is about the trends in technology and innovation. While Moore’s Law (click on thumbnail view) addresses transistors, processors and memory devices face similar growth. These devices impact the software development business in a very big way.
Software development is our business and we know software is never done. You have to update constantly to keep up with the latest technology. Otherwise it will end up like the Golden Gate Bridge. Underwater.
If you are living with legacy, you won’t be able to take advantage of the latest web technology. And just like hair extensions, don’t be fooled by web extensions. Like the world's underground of tunnels and subways, the underlying technology behind web extensions is client-server - (legacy) based. If and when available, what will it cost you to upgrade to the latest web-server technology of your ECM product? It just may be time to find out.
Technology is not slowing down, it’s speeding up. The faster technology changes the faster software applications must change to keep you competitive in your industry.
Integra Business Systems, Inc. develops ECM products for financial institutions and the financial services industry. We own our technology. We develop in ASP.Net and .Net. Our iDentifi.net (follow link) product line is web-based.
To learn more about the products you need and best practices, go to the post, Imaging Horsepower, a post on this Blog which has appeared in both ICBA Magazine and online at Credit Union Magazine.
iDentifi.net customers live without legacy. To us ECM is not our ancillary, it’s our occupation.
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A successful ECM implementation means credit union staff must find the software easy to use. An ECM application using the ubiquitous browser is a good choice for searching for documents. Who isn’t familiar with the Internet browser? This reduces the cost and time to train employees, especially in positions with high turnover.