Your source for the latest technology information of interest to credit unions across America.

Subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter and/or our monthly newsletter and stay on top of the latest technology trends in Hardware, Software, ATMs, Biometrics, Wireless, Online Banking, Marketing, Security, Internet Access and Call Centers.

Sharonview Federal Credit Union

Starting with about $11,000 in assets in 1955, Sharonview Federal Credit Union has grown into a nearly $700 million dollar credit union today. The success of the North Carolina-based credit union can be fairly easily traced to their strong focus on personalized member service; in fact, their motto is "With us…it's personal." With over 50,000 members spread around the United States - and even around the globe, Sharonview FCU has done quite a job of staying in touch with their far flung members. That is why they turned the enormous task of handling their notices to one of the credit union movement's top outsourcers: Xpress Data, Inc. (XDI).

Even with an ample staff serving their headquarters and twenty one branches, Sharonview FCU found that notices took far too much of their employees' valuable time. Martha Brendle, Accounting Manager at Sharonview, explains that "to handle our notice workload, two people devoted four hours every Monday and one person devoted four hours every day." Not only was admin staff overburdened, but other departments at the credit union were assisting with the in-house notice process as well. "Supplies were a real challenge and the dot matrix printers used to print notices always seemed to require maintenance," notes Martha.

Between doing research on the Internet and checking credit union trade shows, Sharonview found San Diego-based XDI and their powerful XpressNotice service. Martha says that "our notices reflect on who we are, so we really sought a better way to handle them." As it turns out, she discovered that laser printing notices in one of XDI's enhanced XpressNotice formats on letter-size paper would significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of Sharonview's notices. After downloading some files from their in-house IntegraSys host processing system, Sharonview sent them securely over the Internet to Xpress Data to process. Xpress Data then processed and placed PDF samples on a secure Web server so the senior management team at Sharonview could easily view them. The results: "it worked out great" according to Martha.

The next step was for XDI to process sample notices and actually mail them back to the credit union. Again, Martha was pleased to find out that this "worked out really well for us. The time lag between the west coast and NC allowed time for SFCU to meet XDI's 11AM mailing deadline." After a few weeks of due diligence and thorough testing, Sharonview was ready to go live and added their Certificate Account maturity and renewal notices to the daily notices. The credit union immediately started reaping the benefits of outsourcing their notices: more uniform and professional look to the notices; members receive them in a timelier manner; and the credit union saves time and money.

With the success of the daily notices, Sharonview was quick to expand their relationship with XDI. The Collections department and others decided to outsource a wide variety of notices to XDI's experienced team: loan billing notices, address change notices, loan access advance notices, 15 day late notices, and 30 day late notices. Martha points out that "XDI's staff was wonderful by assisting the different departments with setup of the various notice formats and personalizing the layouts."

By consolidating all notices with XDI, the credit union enjoyed significantly lower postage costs than they could on their own. That's because XDI electronically sorts all of its mail and utilizes bar coding technology that ensures they receive the absolute best mailing rate from the United States Postal Service. Plus, XDI is able to do "combining and merging" which means that if a member needs to receive multiple notices, XDI can stuff several into one envelope and, in some cases, they can actually merge multiple notices into one single document. Again, Martha is thrilled to let XDI's employees handle these tedious chores so that "staff can now work on new projects."

Martha also saves time on technical support issues - she reports that "we have very little contact with XDI's technical support team, but on the rare occasion that we do need to contact them, they provide us with prompt excellent support." She also appreciates their online daily production reports and automated weekly billing process. All in all, Sharonview Federal Credit Union has greatly benefited by outsourcing their hundreds of daily notices to Xpress Data. Martha concludes that "I would recommend that other credit unions assess their notice processes and allow XDI's Xpress Notice Service to lend a hand."