Kern Schools FCU System Upgrade Results in Member Outcry
A system upgrade at the $1.5 billion, Bakersfield, Calif.-based Kern Schools Federal Credit Union caused frustration among some members who claimed they could not access their accounts, several local Bakersfield media sources reported.
Anticipating its switch to a new core processing platform, Kern Schools FCU warned members of a temporary shutdown and of the need to change passwords, but members complained they had trouble accessing their accounts and could not reach service representatives by phone, Bakersfield TV news station KGET reported.
Meanwhile, CU member comments on The Bakersfield Californian’s newspaper website complained of online account glitches and long wait times on the CU’s customer service line.
Calls by Credit Union Times to Kern School’ main phone line Friday resulted in a busy signal or a wait time from about 30 to 45 minutes to speak to an operator.
Kern Schools FCU CEO Steve Renock told Credit Union Times Friday afternoon that the CU closed for one business day on Saturday, April 30, due to the conversion, during which members had uninterrupted access to their funds.
He said while Kern Schools did not experience any system or data integrity issues, the conversion did result in abnormally long wait times in the CU’s branches and communication center, as well as on its live chat.
“With a conversion of this magnitude, questions and concerns will always arise,” Renock said. “Members have responded positively to our system upgrade, especially the new features on our new online banking system. Our priority remains to provide the best member service we can to each and every member. We believe our members recognize that even with the challenges we’ve faced together this week, our main goal is to address every single one of their individual concerns and get through this conversion successfully.”
NCUA spokesperson Todd Harper said no abnormalities were reported during the conversion, which NCUA monitored from its early stages. He said call volumes returned to normal on Thursday and the majority of calls came from members who failed to reset their passwords, which the CU had instructed them to do.
“Credit unions converting systems typically have heavy member call volume, particularly when there is an action required by the member, such as a password reset,” Harper said. “In this case, the conversion went smoothly, it is just a matter of the members adapting to the new system.”
The CU had informed members about how to use the new interface via brochures, an online preview of the system and password change warnings upon login, according to Harper. Thirty vendor staff along with added CU staffers were assigned to help members with their account settings, Harper said.
The conversion to the XP2 account processing system was as smooth as any the company has experienced, said Naseer Nasim, X2 segment executive for Fiserv Inc.
Nasim said the credit union had initially planned to close Monday after the weekend conversion but changed its mind because the conversion was so smooth.
“I talked to their CEO this morning and asked if there was anything we could do to help,” Nasim said. “He said no, that we had done everything we can. It’s a communications issue with their members. It was one of the best conversions we can remember.”