Virtual Receipts Help This Credit Union Be ‘Better Than a Bank’

The more your processes depend on paper, the more costly and inefficient they tend to be. With the help of e-Signatures and optical technology, one credit union has found a way to cut the high costs of issuing and storing member receipts.

 

By USERS INCORPORATED - A FISERV CONNECTION

 

When members conduct business with a teller, they expect a receipt of the transaction. But any paper-based process generates a host of costs – including the materials and labor to print, scan, store, and possibly search for that paper in the future. With nine locations issuing receipts, ABNB Federal Credit Union (Virginia Beach, VA, $286 million, 41,000 members) was feeling the effects – financially and operationally – of its paper-laden processes. Fortunately, the combination of electronic signature and optical technology has helped the credit union cut costs and free up staff for other tasks.

The Paper Chase
ABNB’s Chief Operations Officer Mary Fehrs says one of her goals for the past few years has been to become as paperless as possible. “It seems that every expense report I see is for extra staffing for filing or some other process involving paper,” she says. “Rather than handle a piece of paper 12 times, I wanted to find a way to work smarter.”

Member receipts seemed an obvious place to start. ABNB was issuing member receipts by printing out a two-part receipt at the teller line. At day’s end, the staff scanned the credit union’s copy into an optical system, and then bundled the paper to be held in rented storage units. “We had three off-site units filled with paper,” she says, while a good portion of the records staff was devoted to scanning receipts.

ABNB’s dependence on paper was resulting in high costs and poor allocation of its resources. Since the credit union had already invested in an optical system, it decided to explore whether the technology could be used on a broader basis. What ABNB discovered was an opportunity to eliminate much of the paper and labor associated with receipts.

ABNB’s solution involved a combination of technologies – including small-footprint signature pads coupled with e-Signatures and Receipts to Optical software solutions from its core processor, USERS Incorporated (Valley Forge, PA). The signature pads resemble those used in retail settings – fitting easily at teller workstations and generating a comfort level among members. During a transaction, members sign on the signature pad with a plastic stylus. A single-copy paper receipt is printed for the member, while an electronic copy with an embedded signature is automatically stored to the optical system.

Cutting Waste
One of the greatest advantages of the process is its ability to cut unnecessary costs. ABNB is saving by eliminating the two-part receipt paper and phasing out some of the rental storage units, used for storing paper receipts Better still, ABNB will be able to redeploy some of its records room staff to more productive work.

“We don’t want to cut staff, but we certainly want to use them more effectively,” Fehrs says. Beyond the obvious labor savings that result from not scanning paper, the credit union can now work smarter when researching the answers to questions about transactions. “Instead of sorting through boxes of paper at our storage units, we can do the research in just a few minutes by pulling up the electronic receipt on our PCs right at our desks,” Fehrs says. More labor savings result from eliminating the need to sort and bundle receipts on a daily basis.

So far ABNB has deployed the e-Signature and Receipts to Optical solutions across four locations, with a total of 40 signature pads. Next, the credit union will apply the same technology to its lending operation.

“About half our work in the records room is filing loan documents and membership cards,” Fehrs explains. “By rolling out the electronic signature technology in the lending area, we can free up as many as three people to work on more important projects.” The credit union will print a single copy of loan documents or membership cards for the member, then automatically store an electronic copy with an embedded signature in the optical system – eliminating extra printing and time-consuming scanning. Fehrs estimates the savings on the lending side could be substantial, allowing the credit union to recoup its investment in the first year. As a wireless version of the signature pads is rolled out to the drive-up lanes, ABNB’s receipt expenses will drop further.

“One of our strategies is to be ‘better than a bank,’” Fehrs says. “Technologies like the electronic signatures and receipts help us do that, by keeping costs down and allowing us to offer members better rates.”

For more information about USERS’ e-Signatures, Receipts to Optical, or other technology solutions for credit unions, visit www.users.com or call 1-800-523-7282.

 

June 28, 2004


Comments

 
 
 
  • Cost to implement is sometimes off-set by the savings down the road. Great article.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Well done !
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very Informative article
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very Informative Article !
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very Informative Article !
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very Informative Article !
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very Informative Article !
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very Informative Article !
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very Informative Article !
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very Informative Article !
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