Online Banking Software Upgrade Adds Chat, Messaging Features

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Digital Insight, a provider of Web-based financial transaction software, is preparing to launch the latest version of its Internet banking product.

The new Internet Banking 4.0-which replaces version 3.8-includes "Secure Chat" and "Secure Support" features that will allow members to contact a service representative at a credit union and get quick answers to their questions.

Digital Insight will be demonstrating its newly upgraded software at its conference in San Diego March this week. It will be available in April.

Jeff Kupietzky, vice president of Internet banking for Digital Insight, said there is a demand for products that offer support online; and go beyond simply allowing users to check their balances or transfer funds.

"For credit unions, this is a cost-effective way of improving service to their members, because they can use the same people that are in their call centers," he said.

The chat feature allows the credit union to put a "button" on any page of the Internet banking user interface.

When the member clicks the button, it opens an instant chat with a member service representative.

Secure Support

Secure Support is a messaging technology that allows the member to send a secure e-mail to the credit union directly from the online banking interface; not from his or her own e-mail server. Because the system uses 128-bit encryption, the member can safely send personal information such as his or her account number.

Kupietzky said Secure Support analyzes keywords in the member's e-mail and automatically responds.

"For example, if the member asks about loan rates, it prompts certain responses, including a list of the latest rates," he said.

At the end of the automatic responses, Secure Support prompts: "If this does not answer your question, please give us more information." Kupietzky said the member will have the choice of adding more text, or simply sending the e- mail he or she already composed to the credit union.

"Once the member's e-mail is received at the credit union, a service representative will review it, see how long ago it was sent, what the subject is, and then route the message to the appropriate person," he explained.

Whenever a member submits a query, he or she will get a confirming e-mail acknowledging receipt.

"Many questions members have of their credit union can be answered by these two functions," said Kupietzky. "And, it gives the credit union an opportunity to offer the members upgraded services, such as adding a checking account or credit card."

'Flex GUI'

Other new features of the software upgrade include a "flex GUI" (graphical user interface), which allows CUs to design their own "look" for Internet banking. This includes the colors, where the buttons go, and the navigation structure.

"Credit unions are looking for ways to increase their penetration online. Digital Insight gives them marketing materials to give to their members to increase the use and understanding of online banking," said Kupietzky.

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