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Founded in 1949 as The LCBO Employees' Credit Union, the Canadian credit union is now known as Member Savings Credit Union Limited. The Toronto-based credit union maintains a laser-like focus on member service and prides itself on providing their 5000+ members with best of breed products and services. In order to achieve this goal, the credit union knew that they had to invest in technology and get the best core data processing system possible. Their choice was Smart Solution’s universa™ integrated enterprise banking system which was developed from the ground up to be flexible, open, affordable and scalable.
Member Savings Credit Union Limited is led by CEO Sharon Kent who is one person that is uniquely qualified to discuss credit union operations due to the fact that she has over 30 years of credit union experience! Sharon has hands-on knowledge of all aspects of credit union operations and was responsible for Member Savings being the first credit union in Canada to offer true Internet banking back in the 1990s. Sharon recalls that “we have had a long term partnership with the senior management team at Smart Solution. It has been a great relationship for us over the years.” Even though their professional connection goes back a long way, Sharon and her team performed quite a bit of due diligence when they were looking to replace their in-house core system with a SaaS (software as a service) platform. She notes that “we looked closely at a few vendors from both Canada and the US, but we really loved what we saw with Smart Solution - they truly had a complete package.”
While the universa system was built on completely modern technology and had a great user interface, Member Savings knew that they wanted a partner like Smart Solution that could deliver great ongoing support. Sharon points out that “we could not afford to go with a huge vendor that might disappear after the sale.” This decision has paid off handsomely for the $100M asset credit union when the much dreaded core conversion took place - all without a hitch. According to Sharon, “Smart Solution was there with us every step of the way and the process was extremely smooth. We experienced zero downtime and the cutover was completely seamless to our members.” Her staff was equally pleased – Sharon explains that “because universa is so intuitive, the learning curve is almost nonexistent.” She adds “on the rare occasions that we need to contact Smart Solution, their technical support is very responsive and knowledgeable. We even have access to chat with their development team which is a great resource for us and almost unheard of from most software companies.”
As a long time operations manager, Sharon really appreciates the universa system’s powerful analytics and robust reporting capabilities, and likes the fact that the software is “constantly evolving.” In fact she is able to sit down with the Smart Solution senior managers and programmers on a regular basis and discuss strategies, product roadmaps, and wish list items. “It is great to have this kind of partnership and we have all of the confidence in the world in working with Smart Solution,” enthuses Sharon. She concludes that “we could not be more pleased with their products and services and as huge proponent of Smart Solution, I would recommend them highly to any credit union looking for a state-of-the-art core system.”