Two CUs With Two Demands: Instant Online Decisions, Reliable Security Upgrade

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Two credit unions that recently ordered Internet-based credit-accessing tools had two demands: Instant decisions with extra security, and hold the down-time.

"I wanted a credit product that was fast and secure, with no website down-time," said Sally Whitehead, loan originator at 70,000-member FEDEX Employees Credit Association FCU.

Whitehead now delivers same-day mortgage decisions for the $200-million CU, to the tune of $2.8 million in closed loans in January. "Not too bad for a brand new department," Whitehead added.

Whitehead's staff of five used to have to wait five to 10 days to deliver loan decisions. FEDEX Employees CAFCU started using Creditscreener from Hauppauge, NY-based TeleData Communications, Inc. (TCI) early last year, soon after the CU formed its mortgage department.

Creditscreener provides automated access to consumer and commercial credit repositories through TCI's site.

Exceptional security led both FEDEX Employees and Bethpage FCU, Bethpage, N.Y., to go with TCI's Internet-based credit accessing and decisioning product, according to Whitehead and Rob Kelly, who is not just secretary of the board of directors at the $1.7-billion Bethpage FCU; he is also TCI's chief technology officer.

Bill Nass, TCI president, believes that most credit unions aren't benefiting from a maximally secure hosting environment.

"We've built incredible security into our systems," Nass said. "We co-host our servers at DigEx Managed Hosting Services, which provides biometric authentication and 24/7 monitoring," Nass said.

In addition, TCI's service level agreement-a promise of 98% website uptime-is reassuring, said Whitehead. "I tried other products where there were always problems with the website, which means the credit union was left behind.

I've only had to call TCI's technical support one time in the past year.

"And training on the software takes about five minutes," Whitehead added.

Kelly touts the customization that TCI provides. "We take various modules from our series of products and stitch them together along with small custom pieces from each credit union."

Credit decisioning rules are up to each CU, said Kelly. "We're able to offer any decisioning that a credit union wants. And we allow rules to change over time."

Whitehead appreciates that Creditscreener suggests alternate decisioning parameters when an application is declined.

Credit unions can also customize requests for credit bureau data. "We forward credit unions' requests to the credit bureaus and decisioning platforms, place limits on the data and control volumes, and then provide analysis tools and reporting capabilities," said Kelly.

TCI's products are "dynamic" from both the user and administrator perspectives, said Nass. For example, the software automatically presents a different set of questions for a first mortgage and a refinance loan.

"Managers can set up different security roles for different users of the system," Nass continued. "For example, a loan officer may be permitted to input an application but not review it."

TCI operates as a "central lending system" at 122,000-member Bethpage FCU, allowing all branches permission-based access to data and tools, Kelly said.

TCI provides credit accessing, instant decisioning and employment verification software for consumer and commercial loans in both application service provider and licensed software environments.

With about 2000 clients nationwide, TCI serves about 50 credit unions on Internet-based products.

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