CUSTOMERS WHO ONCE felt imprisoned by the length of time it took to credit deposits to demand deposit accounts have been set free by Glenview State Bank.
In the past, the Illinois bank would accept deposited checks up until closing, but those that were deposited late in the day were not posted until the following business day. Since installing a completely integrated retail banking system in 1991, the bank has changed its procedures.
Customers are very pleased with the change, allowing the bank to boost its market share in the highly competitive Chicago suburbs. Assets have increased from $430 in 1990 to $505 million in 1993.
"Through the use of technology, we have been able to raise the cutoff time to when we close the doors for the night," said Paul A. Jones, president of Glenview State Bank. "It comes down to offering better service: you bring in the deposit today, you should have it posted with today's date."
Glenview is using the Dimension 3000 banking system from Kirchman Corp., Orlando. Dimension is core banking software that operates on an International Business Machines Corp. mainframe. Employees can access the information through their personal computers.
The bank converted to the system after management realized it would be better able to handle all of its needs through one integrated system, rather than using different systems to handle different applications.
The Kirchman system offers all the modules the bank needs to operate, including a branch teller system, a customer information file, and financial management system.
The system was developed to feature a single point of entry for customer information. Thus, once customer data like name, address, or social security number is entered, it can be moved around for different applications without re-keying.
That's a very advantageous structure for banks that use it, said Bill Bradway, a consultant with The Tower Group, Wellesley, Mass.
"It is a real benefit to have the ability to allow a single point because it allows the bank to be more effective in providing service to customers," he said.
Mr. Bradway also cited the ability to do away with expensive programmers as a benefit of the Kirchman system.
"Kirchman provides support and all of the changes we need in the system whereas before when changes were needed we did it in-house," said Mr. Jones. "Whatever we need we can get without having to write the code."
Indeed, with Dimension 3000, the bank was able to decrease the number of programmers it employed. Before the conversion, five programmers were working on various systems. Now there are two.
Another feature that the bank found attractive and has been able to implement successfully is the system's loan servicing ability.
Glenview sells its mortgage paper to the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. But it noticed that customers often requested that the bank continue to service the loans, even after the sale.
"Our answer to the customers is yes we can service the loans once they are sold because the system provides us with the features to handle the operation," said Mr. Jones. "We are able maintain the continuity with the customer and relationship without keeping the loans on the books."
The bank, which provides its mortgage customers with coupons instead of statements, is able to use the system to provide customers with loan information on their demand deposit account statements.
"If a customer uses a direct debit from their checking account to pay their mortgage, they are able to see the whole transaction flow through on their statement," said Mr. Jones. "We can combine every single deposit a customer has on one statement."
Glenview is also able to originate and receive Automated Clearing House deposits and payments through the system.
"We are able to originate a direct debit to someone else's account at another bank for loan payment, so that the customer does not need to have an account here at the bank to pay loans," said Mr. Jones. "There are a lot of people who don't like to write checks anymore and this gives us the ability to offer the service to the customers as well as traditional payroll and payment transactions."
ACH transactions are also memo posted on the system. Tellers and other branch employees see these memos on their screens.
Although the actual posting occurs during the evening processing, Mr. Jones said the benefit of having the information memo posted is that the tellers can see that the money is in fact in the bank and can get at the funds before it actually posts.
Previously, the bank could not memo post the information and customers were forced to wait since the bank didn't have the information -- even if the transaction went through.
"Now we know that we have the money, it does not affect the balance but I know I can advance against it because all ACH transactions are collected funds," said Mr. Jones.
The bank has also started interfacing information from its document processing system on personal computers directly into the Kirchman system.
The data system travels through networks to the mainframe without the hassle of re-keying the information.
Glenview has started integrating its automobile loan information from dealers into the Kirchman system.
"Before we had the interface, on busy day it would take us all day to key in the information from the loans, but since the interface has been developed we are able to complete the task within 45 minutes," said Mr. Jones.
Kirchman is also helping to make the bank's automated teller machine network operate more efficiently. "We are never shut down because the system is always active," he said. "It is able to keep us working with customers on-line all the time."
In order to keep on making the bank's operation more efficient, Mr. Jones said that he plans to further expand the use of system.
"As we continue to expand our use, the operation will become more and more efficient as will as our level of customer service," said Mr. Jones. "For now, this is what we are doing but who knows what will happen down the road as technology continues to change."