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SAN DIEGO – Even as the controversy over whether overdraft programs are a service or disservice to members continues, one California-based credit union has begun using a product designed with negative share tracking capability for share draft accounts with overdraft privileges. San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union began testing TriSyn Group’s Intellect System in April for share drafts – the $287-million credit union has been using the product in its collections department for delinquent loans. It’s been formally using it for negative share account tracking since May. Gloria Liberti, vp of operations for San Diego Metro said when the credit union began evaluating other companies’ negative tracking capability products, it realized it could use the Intellect System which it was already familiar with on the share draft side. “With the product’s feature, we can provide timely and consistent communication to members that are in the overdraft status and save them money as well,” said Liberti. “Normally these members would be hit with NSF fees from us plus they’d have to pay fees to whomever they wrote the check to.” The Intellect System tracks San Diego Metropolitan’s privileged checking accounts, queues the negative share accounts based on the number of days they’ve been overdrawn, and automatically generates letters to inform account holders of the status of their accounts and the action required to cure them. Queues are set up to trigger the letters being mailed to members at specific times, starting with five-to-seven day overdraft. Once the overdraft hits 31 days without being cured, the member’s account is sent to San Diego Metro’s collections department. Liberti said the product’s use has resulted in 90-95% of the accounts being cured within 30 days. Liberti said one of the prime advantages of using the Intellect System is it lets the credit union see and monitor the member’s history and determine if the member has a history of overdrafts or if they’ve been a reliable member up until now. “Maybe the member shouldn’t be in the overdraft program, or maybe they’re a good member and they’re taking longer to cure. We can look at that and see what type of member they are,” said Liberti. San Diego Metro has set up its overdraft privileges program so there are different limits for each of its various types of check programs such as basic checking and e-checking. Any member that participates in the bounce protection program has to have direct deposit. Prior to using Intellect System, San Diego Metro staff had to manually review members’ accounts and determine how long they’d been in negative status before the credit union could send out letters. Now, said Liberti, the credit union can do a mass mailing to members in the queues and it doesn’t entail extra productivity requirements. Since San Diego Metro began using Intellect System, Liberti said the credit union has taken less than a $1,200 loss on share draft accounts. Most members are curing the overdraft to their accounts. “The key to the program is sending out letters to members on a weekly basis. It alerts the members of their overdraft and reminds them to cure it,” said Liberti. San Diego Metro CU has 29,000 members, and about 75% of them have a share draft account with the credit union. [email protected]

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