Securities-Processing Software Enhanced to Give Data over Phone
Stockholder Systems Inc., a leading provider of wholesale banking systems, has added voice-processing capability to its securities-processing software.
The enhancement, known as the Voice Response System, lets customers get share and bond balances and other information 24 hours a day by entering computer commands on tone-telephone keys. A computerized voice prompts and responds to the caller.
$35,000 per Bank
Stockholder Systems vice president Brian Hajost said that because the voice-response product runs on personal computers, it costs less than other interactive systems. He estimated that a bank could install the product for about $35,000.
The company, based in Norcross, Ga., offers voice response as part of CSS-II, its Comprehensive Securities System. Customers can get a wide range of account information, including year-to-date reportable earnings and taxes, and they can enter transfer instructions.
In addition, callers can request materials such as dividend rein vestment forms and company financial statements. The system also offers a facsimile option should callers request that information be faxed to them.
"We determined that 80% of incoming calls concern a small number of questions that can actually be better handled by the automated system than by a live answer," Mr. Hajost said. "That gives security holders quicker service while freeing corporate trust personnel for other tasks."
At the same time, Mr. Hajost emphasized, the new system is not meant to replace people, and callers can reach a person when dialing anytime during the workday.
Banks can program the system to route calls to specific departments or people. The system can also be tied in to a bank's existing voice-mail system so that security holders can leave messages for particular representatives.
"Our research showed that not being able to talk to a person is a frustration that most people have with traditional voice-response and phone-mail systems," Mr. Hajost said. "We wanted to make it very easy for callers to get in and out of the system."
Plans are also in the works at Stockholder Systems to introduce a voice-response system for brokers that will offer 24-hour trading information including rates, capacities, and maturation dates of stocks, bonds, and other securities.
Stockholder Systems is a subsidiary of Nynex Corp., the regional telephone company based in New York.
Ms. Sullivan is a freelance writer based in New York.