Going paperless pays off for Blackhawk Community Credit Union

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Blackhawk Community Credit Union in Janesville, Wis. saved money and time by going paperless, a move which earned the $587 million-asset CU a Best Practices Award in the category of efficiencies.

In November 2017, Blackhawk Community transferred all of its documents to the IMM eSign plus platform, which directly integrates with their Symitar core processor. Within the new system, the CU adopted a workflow that offered three functions: delete, submit or save, allowing users to quickly submit documents which subsequently expedites the lending process.

The credit union bid farewell to the days of processing documents in different departments spread across multiple branches. In turn, the transition reduced the time it took to complete, sign and process documents needed for loans.

One of the main catalysts for the transition was the bureaucracy behind utilizing different vendors, which lengthened the process, explained COO Caroline Redmann.

“It made much more sense to bring them together into one system in workflow, [which] got paperwork to the right person at the right time and it got rid of all our paper documents,” she said.

The new system also made life easier for members, who now have instant access to documents and no longer have to visit a branch in-person or wait for paperwork to arrive in the mail.

And going paperless paid off. Since implementing new system, Blackhawk Community has seen a 10 percent increase in loan volume. The transition shaved $2,070 from the credit union’s annual printing expenses, though those savings were somewhat cancelled out by the $5,000 annual cost of going digital. Redmann said the new features of form consolidation, eReceipts, eSign and automated audit tracking – along with the boost in loan volume – more than make up for the increased expense.

While the CU was previously using e-sign capabilities in its IMM Platform, those weren’t as integrated as the new system, said Redmann. “We moved away from the electronic signature capture that we were using and toward the IMMS because it allows the documents to route to the next person in that line.”

Blackhawk is also pursuing SMS messaging options for its membership and is looking to implement new mobile banking features.

The goal, Redmann said, is to integrate all technology into one place. The CU’s mobile banking provider offers a secure messaging system which contacts members directly and also allows members to contact the credit union through a secure message portal.

“[The transition] also prepares us for a future enhancement – IMM’s eSign works with Banno, our mobile app, so we will be able to add eDocs to our mobile app features next year when we implement an adaptive app,” Redmann said.

Blackhawk Community CU's Caroline Redmann was featured in a Credit Union Journal "Women in Tech" profile earlier this year. To read more, click here.

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Document management E-signature Lending Mobile banking Wisconsin Best Practices Awards