Bingo, bango, bongo. I don't really know where this funny phrase came from, just something from a distant memory somewhere along the line. What does it mean? Well, kind of like "lickity-split" or "right-o, boss man." But I equate "bingo, bango, bongo" with "right here, right now, real easy."
This saying really ought to be the universal tagline for what technology can provide organizations these days-in our case, credit unions. After all, why else would you ever invest in the development or endure the pain of implementing some kind of new technological wizardry? The world is full of countless stories where technology simply flops or is, at best, unfulfilling with an underwhelming ROI. So why then do we pursue technology like the Holy Grail?
Because it's absolutely fantastic when it works. For some of us, life is a series of problems just waiting to be solved and multiple processes to be made painless. Technology either mitigates these issues or eliminates them altogether. Ultimately, it helps us, in the credit union industry, provide better service to our members to make our financial institution more valuable-and hopefully achieve the goal of becoming a primary financial institution.
Today's credit union operations require more work than they used to. Just think, 15 years ago we didn't have to worry about OFAC, fraud, credit scores, etc. Bingo, bango, bongo is all about streamlining today's increasingly complex processes with checks and more checks to ensure everything is OK. Technology is a fabulous tool for conquering these complexities.
Let's paint a picture for you how technology fights a common, yet increasingly complex process: managing wire transfer requests. There are myriad processes we could've chosen. I just thought this one was fairly middle of the road because most everybody does them. Plus, they're great examples of the tedious and sometimes cumbersome process that needs to be managed because of all the hoops one has to jump through to get approval.
So what's a technology company to do when they see a situation like this? Research and develop a whiz-bang piece of software that streamlines the whole wire request process covering all the complex checks and balances along the way. Bingo, bango, bongo.
First, however, there are thousands of wire transfers requested by consumers and businesses every day. Second, checking to make sure a request is legit involves more and more really tedious investigation by credit union staff to verify the request. Because when a wire hits the Fed line and the money moves, there is not a lot of wiggle room for errors.
Seriously, the investigation requirements for what used to be a simple task...a wire transfer request...are now unbelievable. First, you have to start out with how you verified the identity of the requester. Next you have to check the OFAC list for just about every party that will touch the wire-including other financial institutions along the way. Then you need to check to see if there is enough money in the account to process the wire and the fee. Then you need to think about fraud items, such as, "How long has this money been in the account?" and "Have there been any recent address changes on this account?"
Once all this checks out, then you are ready to process the wire. But is this a high-value member so we waive some of their fees? Or do we apply a fee to this? Then we have to move the money from the member's account to the credit union's settlement and fee accounts. This list of items seems to go on and on and on.
The magic of technology can negate this seemingly endless checklist of items. A sound piece of software for efficiently processing an operation like a wire transfer request can make all the difference in a tedious task like this-fielding requests from your call center, from branches and directly from the consumer online. Technology can make it all so easy and efficient. As a result, many requests get automatically approved, leaving staff to worry about the ones that really need to be investigated rather than investigating every one.
Could you imagine doing all this manually? No thanks. But with technology, it almost makes this painstaking process a nonevent, saving a ton of time in the long run. Even better, technology can change the job from one of running mindless checks to actually tracking down questionable items. That's a lot more valuable for your credit union, especially in this day and age when credit unions can seize the day and capture more market share. An efficient piece of technology to level the playing field can make all the difference in achieving this goal.
So as we slowly emerge from the recession wreckage of 2009, it might be a good time to scout around and see what technology is out there that can make your credit union more valuable. Overall, it's a win-win all the way around: Bingo, bango, bongo.
Mike Winter is president of fiVISION.
He can be reached at 317-612-3350 or firstname.lastname@example.org