blog

Blog

Automated Leanding Tool Image

A common challenge often faced by Credit Unions involves the loan decision process, which can be difficult to navigate for even the most seasoned lenders. To assist in this challenge, Sharetec offers Automated Lending to help financial institutions sail smoothly through rough waters and simplify their most critical loan decisions.

Sharetec’s Automated Lending tool—used in conjunction with Sharetec’s loan application—has been dubbed by many to be the perfect tool for instituting and streamlining lending parameters and guidelines. It auto-generates loan approval or denial based on up to 11 pre-established and weighted criteria. As data relating to debt and income is recorded, factors including debt ratios and disposable income are auto-calculated for the loan applicant and co-applicant.

Sharetec’s Risk Based Pricing module can be incorporated into the Automated Lending tool to make the decision process even easier. Credit Unions using this automated pricing module can adjust a borrower’s interest rate based on risk level, using their own custom-created risk pricing adjustments, which are auto-applied based on loan type. The customized pricing adjustments can be based on a singular factor such as credit score, to several factors including debt ratios, employment history and delinquency.

With such automation and customization, Sharetec’s Automated Lending tool can very well mean smooth sailing ahead for your Credit Union’s loan department.

 

TCP
Sharetec’s Tiered Courtesy Pay
feature gives credit unions more flexibility in helping their members when it comes to over-drafts while allowing them to setup granular risk-based fee structures. Members who frequently overdraw their accounts pose a higher risk to the credit union, and thus should pay a higher fee then those members who occasionally overdraw their accounts.

Members "First" Community Credit Union used a flat rate courtesy pay fee structure for their members for many years with success, however, Teri McEwen, CEO of Members "First" Community Credit Union wanted to do more for the credit union and it’s members.

Teri comments, "We have offered traditional courtesy pay for awhile, but when we switched to Sharetec’s Tiered Courtesy Pay, our income increased by 11% and members love the flexibility of the program."

To read more, click here.

Fraud alert imageOne of the biggest challenges Credit Unions face today is protecting members from fraud. That’s why Sharetec offers real-time fraud monitoring through its Fraud Alert system. This vital feature is designed to work proactively, helping Credit Unions stay one step ahead of fraud while safeguarding their members.

Sharetec’s Fraud Alert system is always on the look-out for questionable activity. And once a fraudulent situation is detected―whether during a member transaction, search, batch posting, new member enrollment or application process―your Credit Union staff and your members will receive prompt notification. In the event of a change of address, suspicious activity is immediately reported, and a change of address notice is auto-generated and sent to the original mailing address to ensure that the change was initiated by the member.

Key features of Sharetec’s Fraud Alert:

  • Fraud Alerts are based on a set of fraud conditions set up in the Fraud Alert control

  • Alerts are Credit Union-defined and tailored to meet each institution’s level of need

  • Fraud Alert Reports are available on a daily basis to report all fraudulent conditions

  • Credit bureau integration provides extra security for members on active duty or those who have been identified as fraud suspects

  • Fraud Alerts are linked to FinCen, OFAC and EFunds files to flag qualifying member records as needed

With Sharetec’s Fraud Alert system, you can rest assured that prompt notification will translate to security and peace of mind for your members.

For a list of alert types, including Duplicate Data Alerts, Activity Alerts and Invalid Data Alerts, visit http://sharetec.com/back-office/fraud-alerts.

 

ColeGuest Blogger: Cole McCollum, Louisville Metro Police Officers Credit Union

Platitudes and Particulars

"One of my counseling professors in college had a saying for which he will be immortalized. The saying was this, "Push past platitudes to practical particulars." When considered in the context of "people helping people" it is both pithy and wise. How often do we sentimentalize our goals as credit unions? We are "member focused." "We exist for the financial benefit of our members." Etc. To be sure, these are wonderful statements. But in and of themselves, they are mere platitudes. What does it actually look like to be "member focused" or "to exist for the financial benefit of our members"? When the board meeting adjourns or we return from the exhilarating conference to sit across the desk from a member desperate for financial guidance, what do we actually do to help? How do we "push past platitudes to practical particulars?" Often, such "pushing past" involves programs, policies, and personalities. Consider the following as a small, seemingly insignificant example of how we might use ShareTec to assist our member's in meeting their financial goals.

Suppose Mr. John Smith walks into your branch and requests to speak with you. Perhaps you are a loan officer, or a financial counselor. Perhaps you are simply the teller who greets him at front counter. Regardless, Mr. Smith faces you and begins to explain his dilemma.

John is a middle class industrial worker earning approximately $3500 each month. He maintains direct deposit to his credit union checking account, and has a debit card which he uses to make most of his purchases. Although he has a savings account and tries to save a little each month, he has seen little success. Usually, he ends up spending the money he would otherwise have saved. He knows this is a problem, and wants to have more structure in his financial life. He doesn't know how to begin, and is asking for some direction. How can you help?

Of course, there are numerous ways we can help John. We could send him off with a budget work sheet, or look at his spending habits. We might wax eloquent about the benefits of saving and encourage him to set up a monthly distribution from his direct deposit to his savings account. All of these would be great steps to take, and should be taken. However, what's something we can do right here, right now -while John is facing us - to begin adding more structure to his finances? Consider this: While John is with you, list several things he would like to save for (i.e. vacation, car repairs, holidays, etc). Once you have several categories in mind, enter ShareTec and open a new account for each subject - naming each account according to John's savings goals. The ability to open multiple share accounts in ShareTec is a simple feature many members are unaware of and many financial counselors don't make use of. Putting a name to every dollar you save changes the way you visualize, manage, and achieve your financial goals. It is a proven savings strategy, and has seen great success - especially among the millennial generation (Todd Romer, Young Money Media).

Before John leaves, set up distributions from his direct deposit to each and every account you set up for him. You might even consider placing a hold (with John's permission) on moneys deposited into each account to assist John in his discipline.

By opening a new account for each savings goal and setting a distribution for each account, you are helping John take an immediate, practical step toward financial stability.You are helping him make a tangible change in his savings habit while simultaneously manifesting your credit union vision - to be "member focused" and to "exist for the financial benefit of your member," specifically, John.

 


databreach
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 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, 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, Sharetec today.