Insights from Catalyst

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Making the Digital Transformation to ITMs – Was it Worth It?

February 19, 2021

Three years ago, Catalyst Corporate partnered with InTouch Credit Union in their digital transformation efforts to implement an ATM/ITM Capture solution across their entire enterprise. As an active solution today, has it delivered the benefits the credit union was seeking? Catalyst Corporate caught up with InTouch Executive Vice President Diane Gerstner, who gave her insights for this case study:
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Overview/situation:

Plano, Texas-based InTouch Credit Union currently has $917 million in assets and 90,000 members. Its “tech-savvy” field of membership spans 50 states and 24 countries. It includes several counties, as well as Fortune 500 companies, such as Hewlett-Packard and IHG Hotels & Resorts and Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

Growth in recent years had expanded the credit union’s footprint to 16 branches in six states. Managing 80 “fluid” frontline staff members across three time zones required a significant investment of the credit union’s time and resources. Of chief concern was ensuring tellers were properly trained to recognize fraud and providing adequate hours of coverage for quality, coast-to-coast member service.

Solution:

Reduce expenses. Increase income. Extend business hours. Lower risk. These were the goals that led InTouch to choose Catalyst Corporate’s ATM/ITM Capture service to help them serve members more efficiently. As part of Catalyst Corporate’s TranzCapture remote deposit service suite, which also includes Branch, Teller, Mobile and Business Capture, the ATM/ITM/Intelligent Kiosk Capture service offers the following benefits:

  • Automated secure image files transmitted for processing in real-time
  • Real-time duplicate item detection across all TranzCapture channels for 60 days
  • Check data and dollar amounts automatically imported from the MICR line
  • Remote implementation and ongoing assistance from an expert support team

Coastal FCU and Neighbors FCU served as helpful resources for InTouch’s due diligence efforts, allowing InTouch to observe their ATM/ITM drive-up and lobby operations and to ask questions about their experiences.

Once the business decision was made, implementation was rapid. InTouch launched the ATM/ITM technology at two branches per week. To date, it has installed 44 ATM/ITM combination machines and 14 ATM-only machines in drive-thrus and lobbies (with plans to install six more in 2021). Each branch started with two machines, and the credit union has now added a third at each location. Adding the third “immediately made the members feel like they had more options,” Gerstner said.

Challenges/opportunities:

The business strategy sounded like it would work, but how would it be received by members who were used to “high-touch” service?

Member receptivity would prove to be the most prominent challenge. Surveys conducted shortly after launching the ITMs indicated 78 percent satisfaction, but some members voiced preference for “face-to-face interactions,” and “not wanting to wait ‘five minutes’ for a teller.” InTouch’s answer was to increase communication and onsite guidance. Employees coached members that they were, in fact, having face-to-face interactions with the video tellers and that wait times – while they might feel longer standing in front of a blank screen – were really only 30-60 seconds.

Another unexpected challenge was tension that developed among members and shared branching users as they interacted at the facilities during peak times. Making members their top priority, InTouch responded by revising their shared branching schedule, limiting Saturday and Monday hours to members only. This adjustment led to a much higher satisfaction level.

Results/outcome:

COVID-19-friendly technology: Self-service technology has taken center stage during the pandemic environment. Whereas member receptivity to a machine posed some initial concerns, now members don’t mind self-service transactions or getting assistance from tellers on camera instead of in person. And if they need to meet with staff, they can schedule an in-branch appointment online.

Smaller footprint: Today, the credit union has reduced its number of branches from 16 to 10 and the number of states it is located in from six to three.

Extended hours and solid member satisfaction: The credit union now has staff split between Texas and Nevada. This arrangement enables them to provide 12 hours of member service Monday-Friday, plus Saturday morning hours, in each time zone across the U.S. and supports redundancy for business continuity purposes. After adjusting to the new technology, members have embraced the self-service option; the credit union maintains a satisfaction rating in the 90th percentile.

Reduced salaries: InTouch reduced its number of tellers by 75 percent, gave them additional training and new titles (Personal Financial Assistants), increased their pay, and redeployed the remaining tellers to other positions within the credit union. This enabled the credit union to reduce salaries by $2.1 million. A significant complement to the ATM/ITM service is constant monitoring and response to member comments – both of which InTouch supports through an incentive program that recognizes employees who perform exceptional service.

Why Catalyst Corporate?

Catalyst Corporate worked with InTouch throughout its planning and implementation of the ATM/ITM program. Gerstner described Catalyst Corporate as “visionary, supportive, inventive,” and altogether, “just an extremely great partner.”

Read more about how Catalyst stepped in to solve a problem that arose with another vendor three weeks before the InTouch launch date. “When one of our vendors, said, ‘It won’t work,’ Catalyst said ‘we will figure it out.’ It wasn’t Catalyst’s task, but they accepted and resolved it at no additional cost on behalf of InTouch.”

For more information on Catalyst Corporate’s ATM/ITM/Intelligent Kiosk deposit services, contact us today.