The environmentally conscious lifestyles of a financial institution’s customer base often matches the level of green in that institution’s processing, IT and building strategy.
In the case of a credit union network nestled in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, removing paper from check and statement processing was both a figuratively and literally natural move. “Many credit unions in the area are starting to get green. And some of them have a very strong direction toward environmental programs with full time resources for sustainable development,” says Wilson Griffiths, division manger, banking and payments services, Credit Union Central of Manitoba in Winnipeg, which is in the midst of a check and statement imaging pilot program that should eventually result in the removal of reams of paper. Credit Union Central of Manitoba is the trade association and primary service provider for Manitoba’s 48 credit unions, which have 181 branches, $14 billion in assets and 560,000 members in the Canadian province.
The credit unions are full-service financial institutions, offering all manner of deposit, loan and mortgage products. Credit Union Central is using a suite of products from Metavante called CSF Designer and VisionContent:Reports. The functions include the ability to digitally store monthly statements and quickly retrieve check image statements. The credit unions will also be able to offer members online storage and access to past statements. Additionally, the credit unions will have access to postal pre-sort processing to reduce postage costs.
In addition to removing paper from processing, the moves will also slice labor from the credit unions’ overhead. In most cases, this work was being done manually and was often decentralized, Wilson says. “Anytime you’re doing something that includes a lot of manual work, you’re increasing expense and opening up the opportunity for errors,” says Brian Paulson, a Milwaukee-based vp for Metavante.