What IT Execs Want Under The Tree

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ST. PAUL, Minn.-Look for credit unions to supercharge their mobile and online channels next year — and launch alternative payment systems that spark interchange income. Those are some trends identified by the more than 20 CUs participating in Credit Union Journal's ninth annual Technology Wish List.

"We'll likely roll out a payment system in 2011 that takes full advantage of contactless features and pay chips that can be added to smart phones," said Keith Malbrue, COO at $2-billion Affinity Plus FCU here. "I'd like to ensure that the payment system companies can't take our interchange income by moving the payments from existing arrangements to contracts that we aren't directly involved in. We can't get this one wrong because there are significant dollars involved."

Next year, members will be able to make "easy" loan applications from a handheld device at $2.8-billion Mountain America CU in West Jordan, Utah, according to Alex Barker, CIO. "Mobile is quickly replacing the online branch for many people, so we need a way to drive loans through that channel." Mountain America will tie its mobile banking applications into its loan origination system.

This P2P Is Not Pay For Presents

The Family CU in Davenport, Iowa, hopes to offer person-to-person (P2P) payment services to members next year, according to Kris Lundquist, VP-marketing at the $102-million CU. "We're still trying to find that magic key to penetrate the youth demographic," and perhaps the ability to transfer funds to anyone via mobile phone number or e-mail will do the trick, she said.

Members at $350-million First Financial CU of Albuquerque, N.M., may get P2P payments, along with mobile deposit and online account opening, said Terri Mickelsen, VP-internal operations. "P2P will be offered through homebanking and then mobile banking. It's the future of payments."

P2P and funds transfers as well as online account opening and funding will help "strengthen" Mazuma CU's remote channels in 2011, said Gordon Gregory, VP-technology at the $420-million CU in Kansas City, Mo.

Industrial CU will try to increase adoption of Personal Financial Management (PFM) software and make mobile services friendlier, said Matt Vance, marketing manager at the $135-million CU in Bellingham, Wash.

InTouch CU of Plano, Texas, wants to offer an electronic wallet as well as PFM software that's integrated into the CU's core processing system, said Diane Gerstner, EVP at the $850-million CU.

Mobile deposit capture will follow on the heels of remote deposit capture in 2011 at $50-million Natco CU in Richmond, Ind. "It's such cool technology," said Cindy Gribben, CEO. "And I like to be the first in our area to have new products and services."

BECU of Tukwila, Wash., will encourage online enrollment next year, said Butch Leonardson, SVP and CIO at the $10-billion CU. "We want to remove any physical encounter requirements" as part of a "Digital Enterprise" initiative. "Our branches are already tellerless. If we can eliminate paperwork, the staff would be freer for member advocacy and conversations."

A new website-to include the first mobile version-is on its way at $87-million Texoma Community CU, said Kevin Scott, COO at the Wichita Falls, Texas-based CU, Meanwhile, First Entertainment CU members will get their first taste of mobile banking, said Chuck Bruen, CEO at the $820-million CU in Hollywood, Calif.

Mass Uniqueness

In 2011, automation will be used to deliver a personal experience for the masses: "It sounds contradictory, but technology is at a point where real-time decisioning can provide a unique experience for each member," said Christopher Saneda, SVP and CIO at $2-billion Virginia CU in Richmond, Va. Data analysis software will help deliver that experience, he said.

Likewise, North Shore CU in North Vancouver, British Columbia, wants to pull and integrate data from every system that touches the member for "totally integrated business intelligence," said Fred Cook, CIO at the $2.3-billion CU.

Go With The Flow

Efficiency is the name of the game in 2011 at $7.5-billion Alliant CU in Chicago, as well as at the $70-million TruChoice FCU in Portland, Maine.

At Chicago's Alliant CU, "We're implementing automated workflow to help drive our leading efficiency ratio to even greater efficiency," said Rudy Pereira, SVP-operations and technology. "Workflow will reduce errors, improve member satisfaction and reduce costs."

Royal CU wants to improve the efficiency of its imaging technology by automating workflows, said Jim Watts, CIO at $1.2-billion CU in Eau Claire, Wis.

Baxter CU will try to turn its internal workflow inside-out, allowing members to check the pipeline for the status of sales and service requests, said Jeff Johnson, CIO at the $1.4-billion CU in Vernon Hills, Ill. "Sort of like seeing the location of your package with UPS."

A New Infrastructure

To maintain operations, Ohio Valley Community CU wants two new Windows servers to replace domain controllers, two fileservers, desktop workstations, and a Voice-over Internet Protocol phone system, said Mike Liskanich, IT manager at the $102-million CU based in Clarington, Ohio.

Buckeye State CU of Akron, Ohio, wants to "take the next step to a virtual environment by switching out PCs for thin client desktops," said Charles Stanfield, information systems director at the $65-million CU.

Tellers Capturing Checks

"We want to move to teller capture from branch capture to save time and money," said Chris Hyde, VP-IT at $1-billion Numerica CU in Spokane Valley, Wash. "Tellers will scan checks at the time of transaction as opposed to scanning at the end of their shift. That will also allow us to use our fraud and BSA software in real time as opposed to finding something the next day."

Numerica hopes to exchange check images directly with the Federal Reserve, Hyde continued. "We're looking at moving away from the Corporates because we're not sure if they're going to continue to process checks after they come out from the conservatorships. Going directly to the Fed has a cheaper per-item cost, though it will likely increase our workload."

Out With "Ancient ATMs"

Employees CU of Dallas will replace its four ATMs-none of which meets ADA 2010 Standards for Accessible Design-and that's it, said Vonda Burkhart, VP and CIO at the $50-million CU. "With the NCUSIF assessments, we are not in a position to do much except keep the status quo."

Open Wide

ESL FCU of Rochester, N.Y., wants technology providers to be generous with their programming code, said Mike Armbruster, SVP at the $3.8-billion CU. Armbruster noted he wants vendors to "allow us to extend applications so that we can improve our unique processes and further differentiate ourselves. And we need to be able to do that more quickly and less expensively."

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