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Latest NCUA Warning: Be Sure Your Cyber Defenses are Ready

While news coverage has tapered off, the NCUA wants to make sure federally insured Credit Unions are doing everything possible to prevent and prepare for malware attacks like the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected more than 300,000 victims in 150+ countries.

“The reality is, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ your Credit Union is being targeted with this kind of attack,” said Brian Hoppe, Chief Technology Officer at Data Systems-Sharetec. “Several studies have shown that an average business is being targeted up to 60 times a day with phishing, malware, or ransomware attacks.”

Read the NCUA bulletin HERE.

To safeguard against cyber-attacks, Data Systems-Sharetec suggests the following steps:

  • The first line of defense against such attacks must be employee education. It’s important for network users to know the warning signs of cyber-attacks and how best to respond.
  • Install a Managed Firewall and a Managed Intrusion Prevention System. These IT security tools monitor and report – in real time – on all your network activity.
  • Carry out annual Network Penetration Testing to identify and resolve vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
  • Set up redundant off-site data backup and disaster recovery tools.

For questions on IT Security tools or best practices for Credit Unions, call Data Systems-Sharetec today.

Check 21 Teller & Branch Capture from Sharetec

Increase Teller efficiency and reduce back office clerical time with Check 21 Teller & Branch Capture from Sharetec

Check 21 from Sharetec has decreased our proofing and processing time by 75%. We should have done this a long time ago.

“Moving to electronic presentment to the Fed has decreased our proofing and processing time by 75%. We should have done this a long time ago.”

Electronic Check Capture
With the financial industry moving to electronic clearing of check items, your credit union needs a cost-effective option to scan, store and transmit your daily deposits. Sharetec’s Check 21 solution increases check entry accuracy, reduces data entry time, and integrates fully with Sharetec.

Check 21 Teller Capture
Checks deposited into member accounts are scanned in seconds. Simply place checks in the hopper, click the scan button, and the Check 21 system automatically:

  • Creates an electronic image of each check (front and back)
  • Records the amount of each check
  • Provides a deposit total
  • Adds scanned checks to your end of day electronic file

Any checks not properly scanned are displayed for the teller to review and correct. Once corrections are complete, the teller simply selects the account for deposit to complete the transaction.

Check 21 Branch Capture
For credit unions that prefer single end of day batch processing, Sharetec provides Branch Capture. With this tool, tellers scan all checks received throughout the day in a single batch, then transmit the file directly to the Fed.
Simply place all the deposit checks in the scanner hopper and click the scan button, and the Check 21 system automatically:

  • Creates an electronic image of each check (front and back)
  • Adds the check amount to processing totals
  • Sends deposit total to the teller

Download the Check 21 info sheet here.

Credit Unions Seek Convenience – Simplicity

Credit Unions – and Members – Seek Convenience and Simplicity

Fierce competition, changing technology, increasing customer service expectations, and aging member demographics are just a few of the many challenges credit unions face. When addressing these challenges, it’s vital to lay a solid foundation by choosing the right core service provider.

Besides understanding the system’s features and functions, it’s important to ask the following kinds of questions when researching a core service provider:

* What is their background?
* Are they up on the latest technology?
* How long have they been around?
* Will they be around another 20 years from now?
* Do they know credit unions?
* Do they have tenured staff?
* Will your credit union be just another number to them or will they do what it takes to get to know you on a personal         level?

Technology That’s Easy To Use

Successful credit unions demand products and services that are at once powerful and easy to use. Your members are no different. They want to be able to do business and conduct financial transactions anytime, anyplace, with the shortest learning curve possible.

As a credit union, you rely on your core for the tools needed to handle day-to-day operations. You expect a simple interface that equips employees with the tools they need to engage and serve members.

A strong core helps you, the credit union, to meet member demands, retain members, and increase membership by providing the latest technology offerings like Home Banking, Mobile Banking, and, Picture Pay, and other e-Services. A strong core will help you anticipating and meet the needs of an increasingly demanding member base.

Is your current core helping you compete, thrive and grow?

 

Lori Tuyo
Marketing Specialist
800-245-7504

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Customer Support Makes A Difference

Customer Support Makes A Difference

How many times has a member stared you down while you listened helplessly to your core provider’s customer support line ring?  Tired of making excuses for something you can’t control?

With an average tenure of 13+ years, and several former credit union employees and executives, Sharetec understands the pressure you’re under to serve your members. 

Click on this link to read more about our management team.

Watch this short video to learn how Sharetec’s customer support team truly sets us apart!

Lori Tuyo
Marketing Specialist
800-245-7504

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Turning Challenges into Opportunites

2017 is full of Challenges – and Opportunities – for Credit Unions

If you’re feeling a little apprehensive about 2017, you’re not alone. The last year has been tumultuous, to say the least. Many credit union professionals, from the teller line to the CEO’s office, are waiting to see what challenges this year will hold.

What’s certain is that challenges will come. What’s left to be seen is how you will meet them. This article, and those to follow in the coming months, are meant to equip you with the knowledge and perspective to view some specific challenges – unique to the credit union industry – as possibilities to better serve your members and grow as an organization.

“Whether we want them or not, the New Year will bring new challenges; whether we seize them or not, the New Year will bring new opportunities.” – Michael Josephson

Challenge: Stagnant or declining membership among small- to mid-sized credit unions. While nation-wide CU membership increased modestly in 2016, many saw little to no growth for the same period.

Opportunity: Multiple customer groups are ripe for membership. One popular example to consider is millennials – but maybe not for the reason you think.

Though many millennials encountered a challenging job market after graduating from college, most are now doing well, ready to save, invest, and start families. However, warns Joel Windels at Social Media Week, “targeting Millennials is not an effective strategy if generating revenue is the only goal.”

Millennials just happen to prefer several things that, if implemented properly, are both beneficial to CUs and attractive to a broad swath of potential members.

* Relationship & Trustworthiness
Counter to what many believe, millennials desire close, face-to-face relationships with financial professionals, much like the banking relationships experienced by generations before them. Unlike the nation-wide mega-banks that now dominate our culture, the local Credit Union is seen as trustworthy and uniquely positioned to offer the personal, one-on-one experiences most potential members are now in search of. Focusing on marketing and customer service activities that foster relationships with your members can help you build and maintain a strong membership base.

What are you doing to insure that your members have a positive and convenient in-branch experience? How are you creating world class customer service?

* Communication & Responsiveness
While it’s easy to dismiss the myriad of apps, devices and social platforms used by millennials as mere entertainment, don’t miss out on the real need being expressed by their use: the need to communicate clearly and easily with others from anywhere, any time. Again, this is not a need unique to millennials.

While a strong social media presence is a big part of this, it is vital to have the tools in place your members want to manage their finances and communicate with credit union employees.

The technology necessary to provide this experience – mobile apps, remote deposit capture, home banking, etc. – is affordable and secure. Working with a core service provider who understands this and offers these products is more important than ever before.

Challenge: Growing cyber security threats to Credit Unions and members. Adding more and more online and networked services via APIs, along with the increased use of email and social media to communicate with members, means greater rick of cyber attacks to Credit Unions.

* According to a recent article in CU Times, four out of ten businesses don’t have the tools or knowledge to fight off cyber attacks.

* As reported in Small Business Trends in April 2016, Symantec study showed that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses.

* The FBI believes this threat is so great that they released this special bulletin in September 2016.

Opportunity: Affordable, effective tools and methods are now available for CUs to provide a safe, secure cyber environment for members and employees.

An August 2016 article on NCUA.gov suggested Credit Unions implement some basic defenses against ransomware. While useful, we’ve gone one step further and put together some specific, concrete steps your Credit Union can take to protect you and your members:

* Hold monthly cyber security updates for all employees. Teach them how to recognize threats in email, on social networks and web sites.
“Even with the strongest cyber security defenses available, if someone downloads a document containing a virus or clicks on a malicious link, all bets are off,” said Brian Hoppe, Chief Technology Officer of Data Systems of Texas – Sharetec. “A credit union’s first line of defense must be continual education of the people who use the network.”

* Employ a comprehensive suite of preventative security tools:
– Managed firewall – like the locks on the doors at your Credit Union, your firewall is the most basic level of network security, and determines what ports on your network are open to internet traffic. A managed firewall is continually updated to prevent known security threats.
– Intrusion Protection Service – your network’s ‘security cameras’, an IPS actively scans your network for anyone attempting to exploit known vulnerabilities.
– OpenDNS – The strongest level of cyber security available, protects your users’ network activity, wherever and whenever they access your network.
– Penetration Testing – the practice of testing a computer system or network (via a secure, highly structured, professional hacking attempt) to identify and address security vulnerabilities before malicious parties exploit them.

* Backup all data using a secure, off-site service.
While many Credit Unions back up data – both financial and operational – to offsite locations, most of these solutions remain susceptible cyber attacks because they remain connected to the home network.

When asked to recommend a secure offsite backup tool, Hoppe replied: “We work closely with Datto. Unlike other offsite or cloud-based backup solutions, Datto protects against threats like viruses and ransomware that can be easily spread through file syncing. They’re a central part of any business continuity or disaster recovery plan.”

For more information on how Sharetec can help your Credit Union serve customers better, increase profitability, and turn challenges into opportunities, call 800-245-7504.

 

Lori Tuyo
Marketing Specialist
800-245-7504

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Making Payments Simple

bill-pay

Innovative Solutions – Making Payments Simple

POINT, CLICK, & PAY: Bill Pay their way with Allied Picture Pay
More and more consumers are making the move to mobile payments.  Sharetec helps you stay ahead in the mobile market by helping you provide what your members expect from their Credit Union.  Members simply “Point – Shoot – Pay”; Allied Picture Pay requires NO data entry and 99% of all images received are processed.

Mobile Bill Pay is projected to grow significantly and is emerging as one of the top two payment types.  Visa’s recent survey of Millennials aged 24 – 34 showed that in addition to using their mobile phones for passwords, work, pictures, money transfers, email, follow-up reminders, and scheduling appointments, 82% used their phones to make online payments.

Sharetec and Allied have teamed up so Credit Unions can offer their members more bill payment options.  Mobile Bill Pay allows members to pay any bill, anytime, anywhere, in seconds – all without having to write a check.

Benefits of Picture Pay

  • Picture Pay is easy on the user
  • Picture Pay is easy on you
  • It positions you well
  • Leads to increased customer satisfaction

About Allied Payment
Allied Payment was formed in 2010, and follows the simple philosophy:  Provide a better payment experience for people. 

About Sharetec
An industry leader in the development of credit union software, Sharetec was founded in 1994 by four regional partners: Bradford-Scott Data Corporation, Data Systems of Texas, GBS and Northern Data Systems. Research and development, sales, marketing and client support are provided by these partners’ dedicated Sharetec specialists within regional territories. In addition, Sharetec maintains a national software development center outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, where our highly trained software developers, quality assurance and documentation specialists support the partners and develop the Sharetec product. Sharetec is a leader in new system installations over the last ten years and one of the top selling credit union software packages in the United States; nearly 300 member credit unions from Maine to California use our products every day.

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Lori Tuyo
Marketing Specialist
800-245-7504

 

Sharetec’s Quick Query & Quick Reports!

Sharetec Quick Query & Quick Reports

Supercharge your marketing using Quick Query & Quick Reports from Sharetec!

Sharetec’s Quick Query/Reports allows your credit union to access any field within the database quickly and efficiently. Need to know how many people in a specific Zip Code have New Auto loans? In just a few seconds and a few clicks of the mouse and it’s in your hands!

 

Quick Query Allows you to query all tables within the Sharetec database including:

  • Member Record
  • Deposit Record
  • Loan Record
  • Joint Relations Record
  • Loan Application Record
  • General Ledger Record
  • And many more!!!

 

With quick Query, you see the results immediately on your screen.

Data that takes several minutes or longer is now retrieved in seconds from the Sharetec database. If you want to change the columns for additional information, just select the field from the table browse and the information appears on the screen. If you want to sort, the data, simply click the column heading and the entire table is resorted for you.

“The speed of Quick Query enables us to ask ‘what if’ questions without having to redo the Query. We use it for marketing all of the time!”

Export, Save, Schedule, Repeat!

All queries and reports can be saved and added to the Sharetec Job Scheduler. Sharetec also gives you several export options, including Excel, Word Pad, or save to desktop. Extracting data from Sharetec is now quick and easy.

 

Benefits:

  • Quick retrieval of data
  • Exporting in several formats for future use
  • Creating a query and including in the Job Scheduler
  • Merge data into documents
  • Fully integrated into Sharetec Campaign Marketing

Stay Connected with Sharetec’s Offline Processing

Sharetec Offline Processing
Have you ever been disconnected from your core system

How many times has a storm hit and knocked out the connectivity of your office?  When this happens to your credit union it not only affects you, but also your members.  Sharetec has your solution!  Using Sharetec’s Offline Processing, your credit union can continue to serve your members when conditions are not ideal.

What does this mean for your credit union and your members?

  • Serve Members:  Perform members transactions when the connection to the system is ever down.
  • Reduce Possible Losses:  Even in an offline environment, tellers will see the member’s balances,so not to give out too much cash.
  • No Double Entry Later:  Once a connection back to the Sharetec server has been established, tellers will be able to post all of their offline transactions back to the Sharetec server in batch format, based on each user.
  • Effective: If Service Bureau is lost for any reason.
  • Automatically: Writes the transaction to the database.
  • No Network connection required.

Let Sharetec make life easier for you and your members.

THE TECHNOLOGY OF SIMPLICITY

There was a time when good service and a smile went a long way. It’s no longer enough to just serve your members when they’re in front of you: now you must anticipate needs before they get to your office to stay competitive. Successful credit unions know that a core system providing only basic functionality won’t cut it.

That’s why Sharetec developed a robust, far-reaching core data processing solution with integrated functionality that other systems attempt to accomplish through static interfaces to third party products. Our approach has been to deliver advanced, simple-to-use products that flow seamlessly for the user, eliminating the frustration produced by less cohesive systems.

Your members have come to expect excellent service – why not surpass expectations? Our integrated design will enhance the performance of your staff, leading to better service, lower costs and greater growth.

Contact Lori today at ltuyo@datasystemstx.com to find out more about Sharetec’s Offline Processing Module.

Lori Tuyo
Marketing Specialist
800-245-7504

Increase Revenue with Indirect Lending

Indirect Lending

Indirect Lending is a Sharetec add-on that allows Credit Unions to manage loan referrals from local auto dealers (or other third parties) and pay commissions on these referrals.

When loans are referred from the dealership, they are added to the dealer during the application process. Commissions and charge backs are calculated for all loans during monthly reporting.

When the Credit Union is ready to pay commissions – typically at the end of the month – multiple reports are available to help calculate the amounts due. For example, the Monthly Commission Update and Monthly Dealer Statements reports accurately determine the commission and chargeback amounts due. Credit Unions can also provide detailed dealer statements by running the Request Dealer Statements report.

The bullet points below illustrate this process:

  • Sharetec staff verifies the initial setup for the Indirect Lending.
  • Dealer Information and Commission rate are added to the Admin Workspace – typically by the Credit Union.
  • Once setup is complete, Credit Union staff can begin processing third-party loan applications.
  • When loan applications are entered into Sharetec, the Dealer # is added to each application in order to identify which dealer receives credit.
  • Credit Union runs Daily Dealer report – manually or automatically – to update the dealer records.
  • At month end, the Credit Union runs the Monthly Commission Update report to update all dealer records. This report calculates total commission and chargeback amounts for each dealership.
  • To complete the monthly process, the Credit Union generates dealer commission checks and updates appropriate GL’s by running the Request Dealer Statements report.
  • Finally, the Credit Union must amortize pre-paids to expense out any commissions paid that month.

For more information on adding the Indirect Lending module in Sharetec, contact Sharetec Sales Robert McEachern at rmceahern@datasystemstx.com.

Lori Tuyo
Marketing Specialist
800-245-7504

Expensive Filing Systems are History with Sharetec’s Document Manager

Document Manager 2016 Filing Systems

 Expensive Filing Systems are History

Expensive Filing Systems are history with Sharetec Document Manager. Sharetec takes forms handling and storage to a new level inside the core.  The days of huge filing cabinets and storage areas with hundreds of boxes of documents are gone forever.
 

Store all forms related to your members electronically in the core such as:
  • Loan Applications
  • Credit Reports
  • Membership Cards
  • Share Draft Agreements
  • And Much More!!

 

Access documents in Sharetec
  
Your employees have access to all necessary documentation without leaving the core!  Simply select the member number and all the documents for that member are accessed from one location in the system.  No more searching for loan folders or membership cards.  Everything is at your fingertips.
Contact Lori Tuyo today at to learn how you can reduce the amount of time required for research to minutes instead of hours.
Lori Tuyo
Marketing Specialist
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