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NEW YORK – It’s one thing to allow potential members to apply for membership online, it’s quite another thing to give them the power to instantly fund their new credit union account online. That’s what’s going to happen at the $738 million University of Wisconsin Credit Union. As a university credit union, UW CU faces a rush of new member apps every year as new students arrive on campus. “We have a big registration time when all the students show up in August. We are hoping this whole system will alleviate the manual work during that time. Year round we take about 100 applications a month through the Web. Because it’s a manual process a lot drop through the cracks,” said Eric Bangerter, director of Internet services at UW CU. The credit union is hoping to improve its percentage of approved apps by making it easier and faster for potential members to apply, while automating things on the backend at the CU. UW CU’s current online member application requires that the member fill out a form and then e-mail it to the CU. The problem is a UW CU member service rep then has to retrieve that e-mail and input the application into the CU’s core system. The new system being implemented by CashEdge will eliminate the e-mail and the online application will be fully integrated with the core system so that no manual input is needed. CashEdge claims that its OpenNow/FundNow is the only end-to-end, single session online account opening and funding solution in the marketplace. One of its largest clients of the product is Citibank. There is inherent risk in funding a new account online, but CashEdge says all the same checks and balances that happen with a manual application can occur in real-time online. “We’ve built interfaces to Equifax and eFunds, owner of ChexSystems. We’re doing a verification of the identity, doing some additional checks to make sure the applicant is a valid person and not on the known list of terror suspects,” said CashEdge Vice President, Sales and Business Development Neil Platt. Once the person’s ID is confirmed the funding process can begin. Traditionally online funding has been done through the simplistic method of making a very small transaction through another financial account the consumer has. So for example if a potential member chooses to fund their new CU account via their existing Citibank account, CashEdge will initiate a ten cent transaction with that account to ensure it’s valid. But Platt says CashEdge now has other ways to verify accounts. “We still have the trial deposits, but we can also use the data against a database of commercial bank printers to check for accounts. We can also use a person’s online banking credentials,” said Platt. Having originally started out as an account aggregation firm, CashEdge has an automated system in place to quickly access a person’s online account using usernames and passwords. UW CU’s process won’t be completely electronic. Bangerter says while the CU will open and fund the account online, it will not actually activate the account until it receives a signed membership application in the mail. Platt said if UW CU ever moved to e-signatures, the process could be done entirely online, though Bangerter said the CU likes the paper application so it can serve as the signature card. Bangerter says the new application is part of a queue streamlining effort at the CU. “We did a lot of in-house work here building interfaces with all the different systems. Once a member is approved we can order ATM cards, checks, and whatever else, just by a few clicks, there’s no more data entry involved.’ For CashEdge, UW CU is client number 93.It has a number of billion dollar clients including American Airlines FCU, Digital CU and Patelco CU. It picks up CU clients via partnerships it has to distribute with popular CU online banking firms Digital Insight, Corillian and Online Resources. [email protected]

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