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.
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
“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
“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
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.