DETROIT – Interactive Voice Response (IVR) banking isn’t what it used to be. Over 20 years ago IVR stormed the credit union market as a way to help credit unions, which typically have fewer branches than banks, serve members remotely. It has evolved over the years and now the new era of IVR does much more than just let members check their account balances over the phone. Maxxar, a giant in the credit union space with some 2,000 credit union clients, has launched a new suite of solutions with some cutting-edge innovations. The new suite, dubbed Total Natural Transaction (TNT), features Natural Language Speech Recognition, nothing new for the firm, but it is now integrated into lending and other functions. For example, a member can actually call the intuitive system and apply for an auto loan only by using their voice. “The system is intelligent enough and the technology is good enough that members can just use their voice to create a loan application that goes directly into the credit union’s computer system,” said Maxxar VP of Marketing Max Bishop. Bishop said since Maxxar integrates with most core processors in the industry, the application can populate into the CU’s lending system, eliminating the need for an employee to retype the loan information. The IVR app then becomes like an app that came in over the Web. It can be approved in a matter of minutes if the CU has an instant online approval system set up. Bishop said believe it or not people don’t mind talking to a computer. “People feel comfortable. The system will say `hello, what would you like to do’. The member can say `transfer $500 from checking to savings’ and that’s it,” said Bishop. As far as understanding language, Bishop said the system has a 95 to 97% accuracy rate, similar to a real person’s accuracy level. Maxxar provides a lot of new flexibilities with TNT. Credit unions can set their IVR system to instantly approve any loan for say $100,000 from members the credit union has designated as their top-rated, or most profitable members. Another new element in TNT is a Speaker Verification feature that can be used as a way to positively identify the member. “A member who enrolls in speech verification has to speak a pass phrase, anything they want. That phrase is completely unique to them, unique in their voice. If they’re not the ones saying it they will be rejected from the system,” said Bishop. Bishop said TNT encompasses a superset of the transactions used by most credit union members, so members typically find what they want early on. The TNT Financial Services Application also has the ability to look at a member’s profile and account structure and determine the types of accounts the user has. If, for example, the system finds that the caller only has a savings account, it will automatically disable other options during the session. This intelligence allows the user quicker and more convenient navigation throughout the system, said Bishop. [email protected]

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