Immediate Check Card Issuance Is An Immediate Hit

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Mon-Oc FCU is using a recent technological innovation-immediate check card issuance-to exceed its members' expectations at its tellerless, checkless branch.

Not only do members not expect to be able to receive their check cards immediately, they don't expect to be able to select their own PINs right from the start, and that has helped the credit union to "delight" its members right off the bat.

"We had been issuing ATM cards on the spot for years, but with check cards, we could not do it until now," explained Shari Steever, manager of the Freehold Service Center, where the instant check card issuance program was launched. "In the past, when a member opened a checking account, we would have to open an ATM account and give them an ATM card until the check card was sent out to the member, then go back and close the ATM account out once the check card was activated. This allows us to bypass all that. Our members are amazed that they can get their check card on the spot."

And that ability is key at the Freehold Service Center, because without a card, a member doesn't have access to cash at that branch.

"There is no cash at the branch, outside of the ATM. If a member has a cash transaction, they have to use the ATM," Steever observed. "Let's say they want to cash a money order. They have to deposit the money order and then go to the ATM to take the cash out of the account they just deposited into."

Mon-Oc FCU is in the process of expanding the program to all of its locations over the next few months, and is using the MagTek Express Card Genie Instant Card Issuance solution.

More Than Just Plug & Play

But it wasn't simply a matter of purchasing the technology and then implementing it. MOFCU first had to meet MasterCard's security standards.

"We had to secure the branch up to MasterCard's standards, so we hired a security consultant to help us with that," Steever related.

The credit union got a book from MasterCard that delineated how the facility had to be secured in order for MasterCard to approve it for instant check card issuance.

"For example, we had to get the imprint technology, and the machine had to be in a back, secure area, and it had to be bolted down into the floor," she noted.

Using the Card Genie system was also part of that process. The solution is an automated, PC-based, network-ready card activation and PIN selection system that allows for "full personalization" of ATM, debit and credit cards.

The education process that the credit union had to go through before getting the system up and running was a lot of breaking new ground because Mon-Oc Federal Credit Union was one of the first financial institutions in the Monmouth and Ocean counties area to offer instant check card issuance.

"We really didn't have anyone else to learn from, because no one's ever done this," Steever said. But after two months of having the system up and running, MOFCU has determined the learning curve was worth it, as it has allowed the $154-million to exceed its members' expectations.

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