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Originally known as Kern County School Employees Federal Credit Union, Kern Schools FCU was granted a federal charter in 1940. By the end of its first year, Kern Schools FCU had 141 members and approximately $1,300 in assets – today Kern Schools Federal Credit Union has more than 150,000 members and $1.7 billion in assets. The Bakersfield, CA-based credit union has made major technology changes in recent years, e.g., they changed core data system provider, installed a new online banking system, and completely revamped their document services. For this last project, the credit union chose San Diego-based Xpress Data, Inc. (XDI) as their preferred vendor, partially due to the fact that XDI serves over 172 progressive credit unions - collectively serving more than 15 million members and representing $200 billion in assets - from redundant production facilities in San Diego, CA and Charlotte, NC.
Chris Hanson, Vice President of Applications and Development at Kern Schools FCU, was directly involved in all of these large technology transformations and remarks that “XDI is one of the very best solutions that we have implemented across our organization.” He recalls that “after a few months of due diligence, it was clear that XDI was the best choice to handle both our print and electronic document needs. They were genuinely interested in helping us be 100% successful with this project, and their President/CEO Mike Cooper even took time to come visit us and listen to our concerns.” XDI is also very open about their roadmap which is based upon direct feedback from their credit union clients. This was an important factor in Kern Schools FCU’s choice of XDI as their preferred long-term partner to efficiently handle their notices, statements, and other event-driven member correspondence.
XDI has been processing normal member correspondence such as CD maturity notices, loan payment notices, past due payment notices, courtesy pay notices, transfer notices, ATM and credit card letters, year-end tax forms, and member surveys for decades, plus they are able to assist credit unions with any type of specialty mailings. Kern Schools FCU is taking advantage of almost all of XDI’s services to save money, both from a labor and a materials standpoint. How much savings are to be enjoyed by partnering with XDI? According to Hanson, “I would estimate that we are saving at least 50% over our old system.”
One area of particular importance to the credit union is XDI’s robust eXpressMessaging service that can be used to send out Marketing messages, Account Updates/Changes messages and General Information messages. This advanced, self-service bulk digital communication tool allows credit unions to send unlimited emails and MMS text messages to their members – it can be used to communicate more easily and effectively with any members, including those who are not “opted in” to receive their Notices, Tax Forms, or Statements electronically. Members who have chosen the increasingly popular electronic delivery alternative can even view a document that the credit union associates with a specific email campaign via their eXpressServices portal. Additionally, the eXpressMessaging service can be used to inform members that they have met minimum transaction requirements that reward members for various types of accounts that they maintain at the credit union. Hanson confirms that “we really love the ability to easily send so many types of messages to our members, and we are always looking for ways to add more e-messaging. XDI has also provided us with a very efficient way to handle email bounces so that we can continue to send emails to our members as they change email addresses.”
In terms of technical support, Hanson is happy to report that “XDI is always ready to help us – both their technical support and customer service are exceptional.” He adds that “we appreciate that they are a very agile and flexible company that is always available to quickly handle our requests.” With tools like eXpressMessaging that allow for greater flexibility, tracking, and communication with members, Kern Schools FCU is going to be able to continue to improve all of their member correspondence efforts. Hanson concludes that “we look forward to the new features and functionality that XDI is coming out with and we are very pleased to have them as our long-term partner.”