The partnership between the Fairfax, Va.-based FedComp Inc. and the Boise, Idaho-based Database Management Services Inc. is a demonstration of how two technology vendors can marry their strengths to best serve their clients.
DMS recently announced that the 130 credit unions on FedComp’s VirtualCU Internet banking product will move onto its HomeCU online and mobile banking platform, which will result in the dissolution of the now outdated VirtualCU.
But the credit unions’ switch from VirtualCU to HomeCU doesn’t mean FedComp will lose 130 clients—those credit unions also run on FedComp’s core data processing solutions and will continue to do so after they move onto HomeCU. FedComp said it views the change as a much-needed technology improvement for those clients.
“Many of our credit unions had been growing, and they needed a more robust product that offered more flexibility,” said Karen Rys, director of operations for FedComp. “Early this year, we talked with DMS about our concerns for the clients using VirtualCU, which is a product that was written 50 years ago, and decided to move all of them onto HomeCU.”
FedComp, which currently serves around 900 credit unions with $100 million or less in assets, first introduced VirtualCU with help from a third-party vendor in the late 1990s to fulfill the earliest home banking needs of their small credit union clients. The product consisted of a website that held a link to a home banking interface, where members could view and print their transactional history. The interface did not include the ability to initiate transactions online.
“Our niche market has always been small credit unions, and they were looking for a website that would allow their members to access an Internet banking teller product from their home computers so they wouldn’t have to call in to get their account information,” Rys said.
FedComp’s leaders met Joe Pearson, co-founder for DMS, in the early 2000s and later learned how the HomeCU product could better suit their VirtualCU clients’ needs. HomeCU can be integrated to credit unions’ core processing systems, and unlike VirtualCU, provides a wide range of online banking features. DMS already has more than 350 credit unions on HomeCU, including approximately 50 FedComp clients that migrated from VirtualCU on their own after 2004, the companies said.
Credit unions can choose from two versions of HomeCU: the batch version, which allows users to transfer data from their core systems to HomeCU as often as they’d like to in batches, and the live version, which provides clients with real-time access to their core systems from HomeCU. Additional HomeCU features include e-statements, member surveys, secure forms, electronic bill payments, marketing email distribution, website design services, and most recently, mobile and text banking.
DMS develops mobile sites for credit unions in-house, which members can access from any mobile web browser and eliminate the need to launch a mobile app, explained Jan Brinkerhoff, co-founder for DMS. HomeCU is uniquely offered at a flat rate and is “versionless,” meaning the company intermittently updates the software for clients free of charge, he added.
Brinkerhoff said now that DMS is handling Internet banking services for FedComp’s clients, FedComp can put more effort into helping credit unions with their core data processing needs.
“We work with FedComp to make HomeCU a better product for them, and their credit unions see it as a better product for their members,” Brinkerhoff said. “Now, FedComp can concentrate its efforts on what it does best.”