HARRISBURG, Pa. – About two and a half years ago Pennsylvania State Employees CU sent potential fraud shockwaves through the industry when it announced that it was going to allow members to enter in deposits online via home banking before the credit union even had the check. The concept was it would give members immediate access to their money. PSECU President/CEO Greg Smith likens it to deposit-taking ATMs except instead of the checks being delivered by armored cars, they come in the mail. The concern among many in the industry was that the CU would be hit with fraud. The potential is there for members to enter deposits and get access to the money, but never send a check. So far that has not been the case. Almost 500,000 transactions later worth nearly $200 million, the CU has has less than $10,000 in losses. The concept is now picking up steam with other CUs. PSECU’s eCU Technologies sells the [email protected] module and recently added two CU clients – Deere and Company CU, Moline, Ill. and Southland Credit Union, Downey, Calif. In addition Pentagon FCU spent a lot of time with PSECU learning about [email protected] and launched its own product that allows members to enter deposits online. Fraud is stymied in a few ways. First there is some underwriting. The member has to have been a member for at least six months, the account must be in good standing and they must carry a PSECU debit or credit card. Also the default limit is $1,500, though higher limits are granted on a case-by-case basis. The third prong is – if a member did defraud the CU, obviously they no longer would be able to use the service. PSECU does provide members with self-addressed envelopes where members must record the “session” number on the face of it that identifies their online deposit session. There is also a special bar code that ensures proper delivery. The CU does not provide members with postage. PSECU has calculated that a transaction through [email protected] costs about $1.20, much cheaper than a teller transaction. The average deposit through [email protected] is $484. [email protected]

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