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Nick Chasse, Vice President of Business Development, shares what to expect for add-on solutions and technology trends as we enter the new year based on what he has seen in the field and at national conferences:
1. Based on what you saw at the Jwaala and Access Softek Conferences, what are the top updates that credit unions should be aware of? What was the buzz?
The buzz this year for electronic services has been centered on mobile enhancements and cybersecurity, which has been a hot topic for the past year and even was the theme of Synergent’s Annual Technology Workshop back in October.
We’re pleased to see our key eProduct vendors, Jwaala and Access Softek, focused on security. We are seeing more out-of-band authentication options for high-risk transactions, more delivery channels for the out-of-band pins such as text and phone, and a continued focus on biometric options to shift away from challenge questions. Fingerprint login, eye verification scanning, and even facial recognition, are all features we’re seeing on the mobile side as new and much more secure ways to authenticate identity.
2. Synergent is different because of its partnerships, all of which benefit credit unions and their members. Can you share a story of partnership that continues to evolve with time and technology?
Seeing Symitar’s Episys Core Processing Platform evolve over the past 12 years has been a lot of fun. There is a continued focus by Symitar on user experience, and they do a great job listening to the user community and delivering those enhancements that credit unions are looking for.
Episys continues to evolve and consistently is recognized as the most open core platform in the credit union marketspace today. This enables companies like Synergent to scour the market and find what we feel are the “best of breed” solutions. Our expertise with Episys, combined with our intimate knowledge of how credit unions operate, allows us to deliver incredibly efficient solutions that members are demanding. We leverage tools such as automation software to ensure credit unions are not spending their time on tedious tasks and instead are focusing on their members.
Just this year, Synergent surpassed 100 million automated jobs, which is incredible. This allows us to increase credit union efficiencies by maximizing the capabilities of a third-party product that is already tightly integrated with Episys. Processes such as moving files between vendors, archiving documents, and much more, all can be hands-off tasks for credit union staff.
3. We are increasingly becoming a mobile-centric society. What mobile banking trends will we see advancing in 2017?
By far the two biggest trends are mobile lending and mobile card control. Mobile lending feels a lot like mobile capture did six years ago, when credit unions were all in a race to implement the technology. We’ve already seen over $1.5 million in new loans booked this year, from just a small handful of credit unions offering mobile lending.
Card controls are another great tool to help members safeguard their finances. Card fraud still continues to evolve, even with the latest fraud prevention tools in place. Now, we can provide the member with tools on their mobile phone to control how and when their card should operate. Tasks such as enabling/disabling a card, setting limits, and even dictating the types of transactions allowed, are all features that members can now control in the palm of their hand. This technology greatly reduces the risk of members experiencing card-based fraud.
4. Are there any new add-on solutions or existing solutions that are being enhanced that you are particularly enthusiastic about for 2017?
A couple of things come to mind. First, MeridianLink, our third-party partner for account opening and lending, is enhancing their platform with a focus of becoming device-agnostic. This means the account opening and lending applications can be delivered to members through any device and the solution will conform to the member’s screen. Combine this with their industry leading integration to Episys, and you have the optimal solution to service member needs on any device, from anywhere.
I’m also really excited for Synergent’s Direct Marketing Services division, and in particular, our data mining services. Credit unions have an enormous strategic advantage in that they have the transactional data for where members are conducting their business. We’ve already seen countless case studies where our DMS team can help a credit union mine their transactional data and recapture millions of dollars in lending. This speaks directly to Synergent’s Mission Statement, in that we commit to focus on delivering products and services that will help our credit unions grow and be successful.