Blog

IS IT TIME TO GO DIGITAL?

Some 78% of financial executives think their work is going to change over the next five years because of new digital business trends, says the Deloite Center for Financial Services Banking Outlook Report. Members now expect to interact with a credit union the same way they order groceries or pizza. These consumers want to head into a branch or hit digital channels that can provide instant gratification. One of the trends that is shaping the digital landscape for credit unions into 2020 is moving to the cloud.

While the digital forces drastically changed industries around them, the financial sector seemed protected from the chaos. Vertically integrated business models seemed to insulate them from external forces, and banking regulations made it nearly impossible for competitors to get into the game.

But the digital tide financial executives thought they’d outpaced is now rolling in. It is coming in the form of rising customer expectations, unexpected competition, and the evolution of the platform economy. All driven by digital technology. According to a study from NNT Data, nine in 10 financial services executives think this is the year for a full-scale digital transformation. Financial institution leaders are done investing in just bits and pieces here and there. Instead, they’re favoring a fundamental change in technology and process.

Members are demanding service excellence through a host of digital channels. Your core and member services platforms need to be agile enough to deliver and then scale. Sharetec can help! Contact us today!

ALLIED MAKES PAYMENTS SIMPLE!

Allied’s best-of-breed payment solutions provide everything users need, all within their financial institution’s trusted digital environment. They’re designed to provide the ease of use and intuitive functionality that make competing platforms unnecessary. Some of their offerings include:

Picture Pay – Allows users to pay bills by simply taking a photo of their bill and entering an amount.

eBills – eBills, is a one-stop bill management tool that provides full PDF bill images from thousands of billers (not just bill summaries) and automated linking.

P2P – Person-to person transactions with little or no user friction. Recipients can accept payments in real-time to their debit cards or through standard ACH.

A2A – Provides instant account-to-account validation to thousands of financial institutions and allows for frictionless ACH transactions.

BizPay – Even small businesses can send payroll and/or direct ACH payments without cumbersome financial reviews.

Vault – A keyword-searchable filing cabinet for bills, receipts, insurance documents and more!

Allied believes that community banks and credit unions make life better. Since 2010, they’ve embodied the same values of service, dependability, and access that make these institutions so special. To learn more about Allied’s payment solutions, contact us today!

ARE YOU STAYING CONNECTED TO YOUR MEMBERS?

Credit union members have a very different financial journey from that of customers of a standard bank. They want to feel a part of the business that they trust with their money. They want a different level of engagement and sense of ownership.

Adoption of mobile banking by consumers has been on a slow but steady increase for more than a decade. The rise of COVID-19 forced people of every age and social demographic to shelter-in-place, which in turn has caused mobile banking usage to soar. The need to manage and move money easily, while doing so remotely, has significantly changed consumer behavior.  What does this mean for credit unions?

For years, digital and mobile banking technologies have been considered a “nice to have” for credit unions. But now, these technologies have changed from being a “nice to have” to a “must have.”

This gives credit unions an opportunity to revisit their approach to member service. The most effective solutions to these challenges will be ones that put consumers first, in a way that enables credit unions to remain distinct and retain their core values. Sharetec has a myriad of products from Home and Mobile Banking to Remote Signatures that enable credit unions to remotely provide the connection and funds management that they have come to expect. To learn more, contact us at .

REPORTING FEATURES THAT CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS THRIVE!

While most credit unions are paying close attention to their net worth ratios during the coronavirus pandemic, are you paying close attention to other metrics, as well? Measurable metrics and your ability to pull data quickly and efficiently is an essential piece of the success.

Janet Powell, manager of credit union programs at the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, is quoted as saying, “What is important here is that credit unions do projections… What each credit union is able to do will be different. But they need to calculate what will be the impact on their balance sheet. Know how much money they normally take in, how much they make in fees and what happens if they don’t have any of that the income. What does our cash flow normally look like and what happens if loan payments are not coming in for three months.”

Sharetec’s reporting features can help you have a better understanding of the overall health of your business.• Government Reporting: Sharetec can handle your government reporting, regardless of the number on the form – 1099-div, 5498, 1099-c or 1098. We send all the necessary forms directly to your members, then electronically file them with the government.

• Quick Query: Quick Query provides a search of all your major files, displaying data on your screen, sending it to a report, or exporting it directly into an Excel spreadsheet.

• Report Writer: The Sharetec Results Report Writer is designed to help even the most inexperienced users create custom reports, queries and labels while allowing for data exporting to ODBC compliant software.

• 5300 Call Report Assistant: Helps you streamline data gathering and organization for your quarterly report. By automatically uploading data each quarter from several different sources—including Sharetec shares, loans and general ledger.

Sharetec removes the hassles of reporting with tools that simplify everything from filing government forms to creating custom reports. An advanced searchable database speeds and enhances queries, while a secure, integrated archiving system provides easy access to reports without the need for a third-party product.

Loans, Delinquency and Collections

Americans have skipped payments on more than 100 million student loans, auto loans and other forms of debt since the coronavirus hit the U.S., the latest sign of the toll the pandemic is taking on people’s finances. The surge in missed payments suggests that the flood of layoffs related to the coronavirus has left many Americans without the means to keep up with their debts. Many are expecting delinquencies to soar later this year as the recession drags on.

Topics like delinquency and collections are particularly tough to talk about now but are a necessary reality of the banking industry. We understand and want to share about some of our products that could help your staff have difficult conversations and assist your members navigate financial insecurity.

As the pandemic drags on, more members may be interested in pursuing loans to tide them over. Sharetec’s Online Member Services application allows members and non-members to apply for loans through your credit union website. Current members can simply sign into their home banking site and apply for a variety of products, including loans. Non-members can apply for their credit union membership at the same time they apply for their loan, saving time and work for potential members and Credit Union staff.

Sharetec’s Charge Offs electronic tracking can help better serve your members if they are looking to pay on delinquent accounts. Sharetec maintains all charge off information related to a particular member, including the loan number, balance, doubtful percent, doubtful amount, officer, loan type, reason and any notes. If a recovery payment is received, it can be applied to the loan using the transaction screen, just like any other loan payment. In the event a member chooses to make amends and wishes to make payments with interest, Sharetec accumulates that interest automatically on the loan record, so providing a payoff quote becomes a straightforward process.

Sharetec’s Collection System is optimized for member-level collections. Delinquent loans, delinquent credit cards and negative share accounts are listed so a collector is able to view all collection activity in a collection queue. Members are displayed in date order based on their delinquency or previous commitments, and all collection notes are stored in one place, sorted by date, and ready when they’re needed.

Sharetec is here to provide support and tools to help you serve your members during this uncertain time.

Value Added Experiences for New Members

While it’s paramount to take care of urgent member needs today, it’s becoming increasingly important to begin setting your sights on creating memorable, value-added experiences for new members. Doing so will remain key to the long-term growth of your credit union. 

A simple and accommodating enrollment process means members are more apt to open an account with your credit union. Sharetec’s Online Member Services facilitates new member enrollment and provides a channel for new shares and loans to be opened by existing members – at any time, from anywhere.

During the on-boarding process provide your new and prospective members with tips that can help them save and build credit. You can highlight your commitment to their financial goals by offering features such as Sharetec’s Personal Financial Management (PFM). Sharetec’s PMF partners with Geezeo and MoneyDesktop to allow members to create budgets, set financial goals and manage cash flow while viewing all financial data on a single screen. The more invested a prospective member feels that you are in their financial success, the more likely they are to choose you over your competitors. Let Sharetec help you today!

Home & Mobile Banking

In these uncertain times, it may feel like the entire world has shrunk to the size of a computer or smartphone. After all, credit union members are interacting with credit unions primarily through mobile apps due to social isolation guidelines. Mobile platforms have gained more power as make-or-break channels for attracting and retaining members, and computers and smartphones continue to command more of everyone’s daily lives.

Sharetec’s Home and Mobile Banking allows your members to:

View Account Transaction History
Manage and Pay 3rd CC Accounts
Stop Payments
Lock/Unlock Debit Cards
Transfer Funds Between Accounts

Sharetec Home & Mobile Banking also allows your members access to additional products:

ProPay
Picture Pay
Flex Pay
Portal Pay
P2P Payment Tool
Loan Applications
Remote Deposit Capture

Empowering your members to complete their banking tasks from the safety of their own homes is great way to support your community and your members.

Grants and Resources Available from the NCUA to Help Credit Unions Affected by COVID-19

We hope that you and your employees and members are doing as well as possible in these uncertain times. We want you to know that Data Systems of Texas— Sharetec is here for you and fully operating with our remote teams and capabilities in place. We wanted to pass along the below information that may be useful at this time.

Federally insured, low-income designated credit unions that experience unexpected costs as a result of COVID-19 can request urgent needs grants from the National Credit Union Administration.

“The NCUA recognizes that the COVID-19 outbreak will affect all federally insured credit unions and their members to varying degrees,” NCUA Chairman Rodney E. Hood said. “If you are a low-income credit union that needs assistance during this difficult time, I encourage you to apply for these grants to ensure you can continue to meet the financial needs of your members and communities.” View the entire press release​.

Click Here to review the Urgent Needs Grant Guidelines

Eligible credit unions also may apply for loans supported by the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.

Eligible credit unions may apply for grants or loans through the NCUA’s CyberGrants portal.

Credit unions with questions should contact the Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion by email at .

UPDATE:  Data Systems’ Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. Because the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting us all, we felt it was important to quickly update you on changes we are making at DSOT to continue providing the level of service and support you are accustomed to while also protecting the health of our employees their families, and our community.

 

What we’re doing at Data Systems of Texas

Team Members Working Remotely as Needed

Between school closures and various health concerns, some DSOT employees will be working from home. Fortunately, we already have the tools and resources in place to allow us to continue supporting you during this time. Our Customer Care team is available during regular business hours and after-hours through the normal channels.

Limiting Travel

All non-essential business-related travel has been put on hold at this time.

 

Additional Services Available to Credit Unions

COVID-19 Notifications in Sharetec Home and Mobile Banking

If you would like to add a notification to your members in Sharetec Home and Mobile banking related to your response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we can help. To add one, follow these steps:

    • Draft your notice and post it to your web site. We suggest making this an HTML page for better compatibility with mobile devices.
    • Email Customer Care with a request to add a notification to your Home and Mobile banking platform. Your email should include a link to your notice.

Mass Emails to Members from Sharetec

During this time, it may be useful to have a way to communicate with all your members at once. Fortunately, there is a way to quickly send a mass email from within Sharetec.

Click here for instructions. For assistance logging in to the Knowledge Base, please contact Customer Care.

Providing Remote Access to Sharetec for your Employees

Some of you have already been allowing employees to work remotely and have existing plans in place. There are generally two ways that employees can remotely access your Credit Union’s Sharetec platform:

    • Remote Access Software – Your IT provider or IT department can help you utilize any number of products to remote access to your work desktop station. Some of the more popular solutions are LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, TeamViewer and Bomgar. This allows you to remotely connect to your work PC just like you are sitting at your desk. All User Credentials for your employees to access Sharetec would be the same.
    • VPN connectivity – Service Bureau customers can connect remotely into the Sharetec Terminal Server using a VPN connection. In this scenario our Hardware Engineers would assist you with installing a VPN client on to your Laptop or PC, and help you get logged into Sharetec remotely. You will log in to Sharetec using your normal Sharetec User ID and credentials. We normally charge for this service but during this time we are waiving setup fees. This only includes remote access and does not include peripheral or printer setup. This is unfortunately not available for In House customers unless you have your IT department setup a VPN connection to your inhouse network.

 

I hope that the above is helpful information to you at this time. If you want to avail yourselves of any of the above items, please contact Customer Care Team.

As always, we can be reached by calling 888-778-6301 or by contacting Customer Care.

Data Systems’ Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Data Systems-Sharetec is closely monitoring the circumstances surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have a team reviewing daily postings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and our state and local authorities to ensure we stay on top of developments in the event proactive measures need to be taken.

Some important factors from our business continuity plan you should know during this time of uncertainty:

  • The service and support you depend on daily will continue just as it always has. Our employees are dedicated to providing support and should the need arise, our team is equipped to be able to work from home. We are monitoring employees who travel and will impose self-isolation when applicable.
  • Our fully redundant data centers will continue to provide uninterrupted service that you can rely on. We expect no interruptions.
  • Scheduled migrations, upgrades, and conversions will continue as planned. If changes need to be made in response to something happening at your credit union, please contact your project coordinator or our Customer Care Team.
  • Our Users Conference is set for September 2020 and we will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.

Data Systems-Sharetec is well prepared for this time of uncertainty and want to help insure your peace of mind. Thank you for your continued partnership and we will continue to update you on this ever-changing situation as the need arises.

All questions about this should be directed to Customer Care.