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WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the first few years of electronic document transfers, the silver bullet for the would-be killer app was the electronic signature – how to affix the official “John Hancock” that would close the deal on long-distance loans and other transactions. That’s now a reality at credit unions like FDIC FCU, a $65 million institution that serves the public servants responsible for examining banks across the country. The 8,700-member credit union is the first user of a solution called TotaleAtlasWeb from Integrated Media Management. It’s an Internet-based remote digital signature capture and encrypted delivery system now being offered to the 250 or so financial institutions using New Jersey-based IMM’s TotaleAtlas document management platform. “We don’t see half our members in the local branch, so we’ve always tried to serve our members through electronic means,” says Wil Morgan, chief technology officer for FDIC FCU (www.fdicfcu.org). “We wondered if there would be a time when we could just send the document electronically and get a digital signature,” Morgan says. “That’s what brought us to TotaleAtlasWeb. Not only is it a paperless solution. It’s a remote servicing solution.” While it’s a simple process for the member and the credit union – go to a secured Web site hosted by IMM, answer a few “out of wallet” questions to ensure identity and then use an assigned digital-signature PIN, a lot more is going on in the background, according to John Levy, executive vice president at IMM (www.immonline.com). “The system is automatically checking through about 300 databases to make sure before we even send out the link that that member exists, that telephone numbers check out, that names match, that everything’s OK as far as the OFAC lists are concerned, along with utilities, credit bureaus and the other reporting companies,” he says. Levy says TotaleAtlasWeb is a natural outgrowth of the document-management streamlining process that began in the mid 1990s when credit unions and core processors asked IMM to create integrated mapping and document-populating software that would capture information from the core system and automatically fill in the blanks on the front end. “Since then we’ve added a lot of functionality, including archiving and now signature capture,” Levy says. “TotaleAtlas encompasses all this in a browser-based environment. It uses XML data to merge documents and present them to the user, and they can be printed and faxed, too, if you want, but faxes really aren’t that secure.” Or efficient, says Morgan, the CTO at FDIC FCU. “TotaleAtlasWeb offers better security for our members’ data than faxing or overnight delivery and greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to service a loan,” he says. Archiving also is more efficient with the paperless solution that draws data from the credit union’s XP Systems core system and new information from members that is then stored on the server, Morgan says, eliminating the need to “go to the file cabinet and do research” in stored paper documents. He says printer support costs also have been reduced by 70%. The TotaleAtlasWeb system also is intended to put embedded digital signature technology in the hands of smaller institutions, Levy says. “All it takes is an Internet connection, Web browser and Adobe Acrobat Reader, and we’re rolling this out on a per-transaction basis, because we feel very strongly that having a credit union pay for every member to have a digital certificate would be cost prohibitive,” the IMM EVP says. “So you only get billed for what you use and members can sign documents from anywhere at any time. It really works well in a credit union environment.” -

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