DURHAM, N.C. – The days of CUs offering portals and online shopping to drum up e-com revenue are just about over as they have come to realize they need to stay focused on their core offerings. But more CUs are indirectly making money online by cutting down their print bills. United Nations FCU, New York, recently announced that it will begin offering electronic statement presentment using Bell & Howell’s eMessaging express services. Electronic statements come in a lot of varieties and are delivered to members in a number of ways. UNFCU has decided to send e-mail notices alerting members that their statements are available. To ensure security, United Nations members will then log into their home banking system and click on a link for a separate log-in to see their online statement. The technology at work doesn’t require much on the CU’s part. Bell & Howell is taking the print stream and transforming it into XML. Bell & Howell has a Java-based system that tracks member delivery preferences; provides remote access of the documents for members as well as CU employees; incorporates the XML data with custom templates; and creates a NACHA-compliant payment file. “Traditional (statement) formats are good for printers, but not good for the Web. We’re just adhering to industry standards. We’re not tying to put a square peg in a round hole,” said Mike Maselli, director of e-messaging solutions for Bell & Howell. Maselli said paper reduction savings are obvious (typical paper statements range from 50 cents to $3, while electronic is 10 to 20 cents), but lucrative opportunities also lie in cross-selling. “You can do banner ads linking them to other services personalized for them. You can personalize it based on profiling,” he said.The Java technology can also be used for data mining of the docs, said Maselli, which can give CUs a better picture of their members. Maselli said it’s interesting to see CUs’ e-statement delivery preferences. While many like the secure site concept, another way of doing it, yet not often utilized, is converting statements into PDF files that can be e-mailed to members. PDF is a widely used standard that both Mac and Windows users can utilize. Bell & Howell is trying to overcome an established reputation as a successful print/imaging shop, and position itself as a electronic vendor. Not the easiest of tasks, said Maselli. “People think of us as the big old print vendor. We started this about three years ago and now have a sales force pushing these services,” said Maselli. Bell & Howell is also targeting utility firms, brokerage houses and other financial services organizations with this technology. [email protected]

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