CHEFS FOR THIS RECIPE
With this project Xtend will introduce a new Shared Branch Phone Transfers service that will allow Xtend Shared Branch credit unions to offer a new service to their members, letting members transfer funds between their accounts at two different shared branch credit unions.
Currently, a teller needs to perform these types of transactions as “cash out” of their credit union account and as “cash in” at the shared branch credit union. This means you must be activated as a teller to perform the transaction, although it’s really a transfer and actually has nothing to do with cash in or out. This new feature would bypass the need for cash transactions through a drawer and instead perform true transfers between financial institutions via the existing Shared Branch settlement infrastructure.
In addition to adding a new convenience option for members to manage their money between multiple credit unions, this feature can also be used by CUs to help save on shared branch processing fees and avoid some of the BSA concerns related to unnecessary cash transactions.
Why not A2A?
The feature is primarily intended to be offered as a new call center service. Therefore, we decided to handle these in a way that is native to CU*BASE, rather than making use of the existing A2A channel, to avoid the extra fees CUs must pay for A2A transactions, and to process the transactions much more quickly than if they had to be sent via the ACH system. Obviously a CU can still encourage individual members to set up A2A relationships so they can handle the transfers themselves via online banking, but A2A does require a credit union to become an ODFI, which many do not wish to do.
Settlement & Fees
Because credit unions are simply serving only their own members, these transactions are not subject to shared branch processing fees. In addition, shared branch phone transfers will not be subject to a credit union’s usual phone transfer fees, either. Settlement of the transaction amounts (deposits) themselves WILL be included in the settlement along with all other shared branch transaction activity.
Open the PDF to see mockups of the CU*BASE GOLD screens. This feature will be accessed via a new action button on the main Phone Operator screen.
Q: What is the new feature we are requesting CU*Answers to add to the CU*BASE software for Xtend Shared Branch transactions?
A: The Phone Operator function will be changed by adding a new action code to perform a shared branch transfer to or from an Xtend Shared Branch credit union account. So for example, if John Doe belongs to two different credit unions, both of which are in the Xtend Shared Branch network, he could call either credit union’s call center and transfer funds back and forth between accounts at either credit union.
Q: How do clients perform Xtend Shared Branch transactions today?
A: They use the teller system to withdraw funds from one account as cash out and do a cash-in transaction to deposit the money into the other credit union account.
Q: What will change on the screen display when we use the new button to perform a Shared Branch Phone transfer?
A: First the operator will be asked whether the transfer is incoming (from the other CU to this one) or outgoing (from this CU to another). On the transfer screen the operator will be required to use a drop down box to select the 2-digit CUID for the shared branch CU, then enter the complete account number, suffix, and first 3 characters of the last name of the primary member on the other credit union’s account. Entering the 3 characters of the last name will be an extra verification tool. After pressing Enter the operator will see the name on that account for verification purposes, along with the balance information necessary to complete the transfer.
Q: What about transfers from another credit union into mine?
A: The configuration will allow for a credit union to decide whether phone transfers can be done at all for their members, but once activated this new feature will allow for transfers to be initiated from either credit union to either credit union. Keep in mind that the call center operator must first access your own member’s account in Phone Op to initiate a transfer in either direction.
Q: Will I have to give my tellers access to Phone Op in order to handle these over the counter?
A: Yes. The new action code will appear if Phone Op is accessed directly via the CU*BASE home page, but not when accessed via Proc Code P on the Teller deposits/withdrawals screen. This way a credit union does not need to allow Phone via the SB config in order to offer shared branch phone transfers to their members. In other words, the credit union always has to access Phone Op and pull up their own member’s account first. This allows CUs to more closely control security access to Phone Op, as well. For example, you could give Phone Op access only to a head teller to handle any over-the-counter SB Phone Transfers, and require all other requests to be handled by the Call Center.
Q: Since we will be using the phone transfer process instead of the teller process, what will the member see on their transaction description?
A: The primary description will be “Phone Transfer” but the secondary description will be “Shared Branch Transaction” along with the other credit union’s name. Both of these can be adjusted at the time of the transfer as needed.
Q: We charge our members to perform a phone transfer for them; will this fee be charged for Shared Branch Phone Transfers, too?
A: No. This feature will not be built to assess your usual phone transfer fees.
Q: Will there still be an Xtend Shared Branch transaction fee that interfaces between the credit unions for this new Phone Operator feature?
A: No, since you will be only transferring funds to/from your member accounts at your credit union into/out of a Shared Branch account at another credit union. In other words, you are still only serving your members.
Q: How will these phone transfers affect my BSA reporting?
A: You will see less activity on your BSA reporting for Xtend Shared Branch transactions when you are able to perform true transfers between accounts instead of cash out/cash in transactions.
Q: What new configuration options will we have for this new Phone Operator feature?
A: There will be a new flag in your Shared Branch configuration to allow SB phone transfers to each CU with whom you have a relationship.
Q: On which report will these new shared branch transfers appear?
A: Because they will post to your shared branch GL accounts, they will be included in the Shared Branch Settlement Report (LSBSTLSCCL) totals by CU. There will also be a new daily report Shared Branch Phone Transfers Report, similar to the daily Shared Branch Daily GL Summary Report (PSBGHT) but listing only transfers posted via the new Phone Op tool. This report will show your member account and the transfer amount, as well as the CUID and member account for the shared branch CU, and can be used for research purposes.
Q: Since these transactions are transfers and not cash transactions, what GL number will be used?
A: As an example, for an outgoing transfer, the first transaction is on the teller credit union side which withdraws the money from the member and would offset the S/B settlement GL account and the second transaction is on the member credit union side which deposits the money in the member account and offsets the corresponding S/B settlement GL account.
Q: Will this be a feature that could be turned on/off per user under the employee security features?
A: No, but if you can’t get into the account because of account security, you can’t do this, either. Remember you’re only ever accessing your own members, which means whatever employee account security settings you have in place now, would still apply to this just like any other Phone Op feature.
Q: Will there be a configuration screen to allow credit unions to set transfer amount limits?
A: There are no plans to include any limitations as to dollar amounts. Transfers will be limited by the member’s available funds, of course. Remember the amounts are transferred immediately; there’s no ACH or other delayed process involved.
Q: Will a transfer from this new tool count toward the activity that shows up in the teller pop-up regarding previous activity on that day?
A: These are simply transactions recorded under Origin 02, so if your credit union has that particular origin activated for the SARs/fraud alert in your Teller/Member Service Workflow Controls, these transactions will trigger it just like any other transfer. Remember, you’re only ever doing transactions for your own members.
Status update as of 9/17/2020: Project #51570 is currently in QC testing. We will be implementing the tools behind the scenes with the 20.11 release, with special beta-testing to begin after the release and coordinated by the Xtend Shared Branching team. Contact Xtend if you’re interested in participating in this beta!