Called autoENROLL, the software module smoothes out the rough spots encountered by users of most automated account opening solutions, according to Mike Winter, fiVISION president and a long-time vendor in the credit union technology space.
"HSAs are a fabulous deposit-based product opportunity for credit unions," Winter said. "But one of the challenges for all products is to make them as easy as possible to put these accounts into place."
Winter said autoENROLL can be used in the branch, online or over the phone and walks the applicant-current members and nonmembers alike-through the specific process of setting up an HSA account, funding it and ordering checks and debit cards for accessing the funds. fiVISION, a provider of customer relationship management and workflow automation solutions, also included automated cross-sell functions in the HSA platform, a feature cited by a first user of autoENROLL, the $241 million E Federal Credit Union in Baton Rouge, La. Stephen Mathews, the credit union's executive vice president of operations, said uniformity in account opening procedures also played into the decision to deploy autoENROLL, as did convenience on the user end, critical to making sure applications actually get completed. "Convenience is extremely important in this day and age," Mathews said. "We believe that members who can actually open and fund an account online versus having to mail paperwork or visit a physical location are much more likely to complete the account opening. The closure rate on online account opening increases."
The credit union's own staff was among the first users of the autoENROLL module after its mid-June launch, Mathews said, and E Federal would like to add more business users to its member rolls of about 25,000.
"We would like to shave five to 10 small employers signed up for our HSA product when open enrollment for most employers comes around later this year," he said. "We believe it's extremely attractive to be able to offer an employer's staff the ability to go online and open and fund their HSA accounts at their leisure rather than doing the same thing at some type of annual benefits meeting."
Mathews said E Federal currently has about 100 accounts and would like to grow that to several hundred by the end of the year. "We also see HSA accounts as a tool that will help us when we begin to offer member business services," he said.
In addition to end-user channel choices, the software can be used in real time or in a less expensive batch processing environment, the company said, an option for credit unions handling lower volumes of HSA account transactions aimed at making the service more affordable for smaller institutions.
Winter at fiVISION said the new module also "opens up additional markets on a couple of fronts" for his company.
"First, it's obviously aimed at credit unions that specifically want to offer health savings accounts to their members," he said.
"Second, the ability to provide a batch solution gives credit unions with smaller budgets the ability to offer online member enrollment and account opening solutions and to streamline their internal processes," Winter said.