Winter 2021 Connections Newsletter

December 20, 2021

In this issue, Wescom Resources Group clients will enjoy:

  • President Dave Cerwinski’s message 
  • Wescom Resources Group is Growing!
  • A Tellergy Case Study with TTCU.
  • An Employee Spotlight on Senior Project Lead, Jennifer Foyer, and more!

Sincerely,
Wescom Resources Group

Fall 2021 Connections Newsletter

October 13, 2021

In this issue, Wescom Resources Group clients will enjoy:

  • President Dave Cerwinski’s message 
  • Intel on branch technology
  • Welcome additions to our growing client list
  • An Employee Spotlight on Software Implementation Analyst II Martin Pham, and more!

Sincerely,
Wescom Resources Group

7 Credit Union Branch Upgrades for Your Retail Strategy and Budget

August 24, 2021

Phrases like ‘the new normal’ and ‘Zoom fatigue’ are some of the hottest of 2020 and 2021, since COVID-19 hit the U.S.  

Another: The branch is dead. Long live the branch!

Branches have changed and will continue to evolve, but members – regardless of age – will always need them for more consultative financial services. Creating a better return on investment, means smaller real estate footprints with high-tech and high-touch services. Or your credit union may have the greatest location for a branch, but you no longer require so much space.

Here are some best practices for your credit union branching strategy – and wallet – as you prepare your credit union and your budget for 2022 and beyond.

  1. Outsource to experts. Credit union leaders cannot be expected to know everything. Find a solid branch consulting firm and rely on them for advice on locations, size, technology and design or re-design.
Streamlining the Credit Union Branch
  1. Eliminate friction. Leverage technology that can make your branches and team members more efficient, while offering a high-tech and high-touch experience for members. Wescom Resources Group’s Tellergy is a platform that ensures transaction accuracy and security, while also providing your frontline team with more time to focus on members’ well-being rather than entering data. Learn more about Tellergy here!
  2. Decentralize and empower experienced lenders and frontline staff. Consider whether all decisions need to run up the same chain of command, or whether a flatter organization would provide better leadership development, decision making and member service.
  3. Staff appropriately, cross train and think about the universal banker model. Hire your frontline team for character and personality over existing skills. That former Starbuck barista might become your members’ new favorite teller. Members go into the branch for a human experience, so give them what they want. Also, discuss whether the universal banker model is right for your credit union; as an alternative, cross train your frontline staff, so members feel cared for and an emotional connection to that person.
  4. Respect the senses.

Sight: People look left when they enter a building and then turn right. Angled passageways and spaces are more inviting. Design or redesign your branch for humans.

Sound: Low-volume music invites people to stay longer while slightly louder music can hurry them along. Think about which works better for your credit union and membership.

Smell: One study fund that citrus scents decrease impulse buying but increase purchases for more “contemplative shoppers,” which is important when you’re talking about high-dollar purchases like a car or home.

Taste (yes, taste!): Hungry people make less wise decisions, so offer snacks to help curb buyer’s remorse for that loan.

Touch: The sturdiness of your branch fixtures, technology and furniture makes an impression, so make them ones of quality, stability and strength.

  1. Location, location, location. If your credit union has a branch in an ideal spot but finds it has too much space for the technology driven, COVID world, offering up part of your space as a community center for area events or other companies to use provides yet another reason for members and potential members to come into the branch and can help network the credit union for more and deeper partnerships in the community.
  1. Consistency. Branding, messaging and service should be consistent across all your credit union’s platforms. McDonalds didn’t become wildly popular for its great food or customer service – it’s consistent (right down to the broken ice cream machines).

Credit union branches are far from dead but give them the rebirth they and your members deserve to maintain relationships and relevance in your community.

Credit Unions’ Best Disaster Defense Is a Good Offense

July 16, 2021

Credit union business continuity and disaster recovery planning takes time, effort and money – resources credit unions are short on these days. 

But it’s not just credit unions. A recent article from Security Magazine reported that just 54% –barely half – of companies have plans in place. That’s a dangerous proposition for any company, but especially financial institutions and particularly credit unions, which have worked for a century to earn members’ long-term trust.

During our recent webinar, Trends in Credit Union Data ManagementWescom Resources Group President David Cerwinski explained that the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks continue to climb. He pointed to an example of a New Jersey bank that was hacked by a group calling itself Avaddon, which held the bank’s systems for ransom. Midway through the ransomware attack, the hackers backed off for reasons unknown. This attack could have been much worse, but the fact that it happened proves that all business, including credit unions, need to address the problem before it becomes a major issue.

To protect your credit union from cyberthreats, Alex Munro, CIO at Wescom Credit Union, advised those responsible for credit union business continuity and disaster recovery keep in mind:

Prevention: Ensure all your credit union’s cybersecurity software and firewalls are up to date. Additional employee training may also be necessary to avoid potential threats due to human error.

Detection: Being able to quickly detect an attack is paramount. Consider getting some software that detects rate of change, so if anything unusual happens you’ll know right away.

Mitigation: If a hacker is still able to get past your defenses, the next step is to mitigate damage. One option Munro discussed was immutable copy software, which is a static and pristine copy of your credit union’s data that can never be changed or removed. 

Recovery: Once the attack has passed, your credit union can begin steps to recovery. It’s a good idea to have cybersecurity insurance, and don’t be afraid to have professionals review your IT systems and get them back online.

Return To BAU: Business As Usual serving members.

Andy Tripp, TTCU CIO, is “shifting our keeping-the-lights-on mentality to partnering with the business to drive our strategic initiatives.” WRG has been a valuable partner in that, providing the managed core services TTCU requires without the internal resources. “We were hampered by what the core can’t do,” he explained, “and we converted to a modern core.”

As part of its conversion to Corelation, TTCU selected WRG for its credit union-specific knowledge in addition to the day-to-day tech expertise. “Our time up has increase. Our back and failover capabilities have increased. Our security around the core has increased and morale increased.” Ultimately, TTCU is saving 15 hours each week to focus on improving member service and moving TTCU’s business forward with credit union business continuity planning and protection off the team’s plate.

Want to learn more? Contact Kerry at kschiappa@wescomresources.com today!

Technology Is the Future of Credit Union Branches

July 6, 2021

Credit union branches were among the many business outlets forced to close their doors to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now branches are opening back up again! After a year of primarily digital banking, how can credit unions keep their branches relevant?

Credit union branches are alive and well. According to an article from CU Management, one key function of credit union branches is social interaction. No app or digital banking service can replace talking with someone face-to-face for many credit union members. However, your credit union’s frontline can run more efficiently by leveraging technology in the branch. Give your frontline team more time for face time with Tellergy!

Many believe younger members aren’t interested in visiting your branches, but that simply is not the case. When they do, they expect it to be as seamless and stress-free as your digital platforms, so implementing technologies, like Tellergy, that can make transactions more secure in the branch, faster and provide your credit union another marketing opportunity. Millennials and Gen Z coming up behind them may not come to the branch as often, but they do like to work with someone in-person for more complex issues. It’s important to invest in a retail operations strategy to meet your credit union’s needs, as well as the needs of your members.

Technological innovations and automation within the branch enhance your employees’ ability to serve members, supplementing the member experience. Branch automation creates efficiencies for your team, so they have more time to attend to what’s important: your members and their needs, financial, social and otherwise. 

Credit union branches remain critical in today’s digital world; ensure your members’ in-branch experience is secure, savvy and efficient as your digital member experience. After living in lockdown for the last 15 months, human interaction is more important than ever. Spend the time to upgrade your credit union’s branch technology to ensure your credit union’s relevancy for many years to come.

Tellergy from Wescom Resources Group increases security for your members and efficiency for your staff. Learn more here!

5 Credit Unions Find Efficiencies, Security in Technology CUSO

June 30, 2021

Wescom Resources Group Announces Clients to Branch Automation and Managed Services


Wescom Resources Group recently announced two credit unions went live with its Unitri managed core services. In addition, the $2.1 billion Bayport Credit Union is now live on Tellergy, and WRG welcomed new Tellergy clients $1.9 billion Meriwest Credit Union and $231 million Taunton Federal Credit Union.

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The $752 million Direct Federal Credit Union and $641 million La Capitol Federal Credit Union have gone live with Wescom Resources Group’s managed core services to leverage the cost savings, security, and process efficiency achieved through WRG’s platform to keep their teams focused on business strategy and member service. Unitri offers various elements in its suite, combining the efficiency of a pay-as-you-go model with the flexibility credit unions need.

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“We’re proud to support Direct FCU and La Capitol FCU with WRG’s managed service solution,” Wescom Resources Group President Dave Cerwinski said. “Our commitment to them is to deliver on the promise of lower costs, higher security and better process efficiency via an outsourced model.”

Wescom Resources Group Director of Sales & Marketing Kerry Schiappa added, “I’m also excited to see credit unions’ shift toward digitizing their branch strategies. It’s critical for credit unions to elevate their in-branch experience to members’ needs as the country begins to reopen and the COVID-19 pandemic is stabilizing. We’re very excited that Bayport has gone live, and Meriwest and Taunton are signed up to follow.”

Tellergy is a branch automation platform that offers additional safety, efficiency and marketing opportunities in the branch. The pin pad device is directly connected into the core banking system, so members can be authenticated, perform transactions and receive promotional messages. Tellergy facilitates secure, speedy transactions, while your team can better attend to members’ needs.

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About Wescom Resources Group

Wescom Resources Group, home of Unitri managed services and the Tellergy branch automation platform, delivers solutions to credit unions across the country. In the ultra-competitive retail banking space, we are the processing partner credit unions need to deliver scale and process efficiency yet maintain a fanatical focus on member service. Wescom Resources Group, founded in 2002, is a wholly owned CUSO of Wescom Credit Union.

Summer 2021 Newsletter

June 17, 2021

We are excited to share news and updates in our current Connections Newsletter.  In this issue we share:

    • President’s Message
    • Welcome Tellergy & UNITRI Clients
    • In the News:  Strata Credit Union
    • Employee Spotlight – Sonia Safri
    • Upgrade Branches to a Digital Member Experience
    • 5+ Benefits to Managed Services

CLICK HERE to read the newsletter. Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn for the latest news and information.

Strata Credit Union Outsources Core Hosting to WRG

May 11, 2021

When Strata Credit Union determined it was time to switch core processors, it looked to Wescom Resources Group for its core hosting and managed services.

“We’re excited to be moving to Corelation and WRG,” Strata CU CEO Brandon Ivie said. “We’re excited to move to a modern core and have WRG providing flexible hosting to help Strata make more efficient use of our time.”

Above and beyond core hosting, WRG will be managing processing and business continuity services for Strata CU. Strata CU Vice President of IT Brenda O’Doherty added, “By outsourcing our core hosting with WRG, we have the best of both worlds because of its flexibility. And we’re able to reallocate our team’s time to more strategic matters. I also like having specialists devoted to our cybersecurity 24/7 to protect our members’ data.”

Core hosting and managed services is about deciding how to better manage your credit union’s resources, so your credit union’s team can focus on improving and expanding service to your members. For WRG, a wholly owned CUSO of Wescom Credit Union, it’s also about delivering excellence through products, processes and people. WRG is all about helping your staff serve your credit union’s members.

Strata Credit Union is making great strides to serve consumers, and we’re proud the team selected WRG to assist along its journey,” WRG Director of Sales and Marketing Kerry Schiappa said. “Our core hosting possesses an incredibly experienced team to alleviate credit unions’ operational burdens and streamline their success. We can’t wait to get started!”

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About Wescom Resources Group

Since 2002, WRG’s mission has been to build ever-stronger relationships, systems and processes that enable our credit unions to innovate and prosper, redefining what it means to be a credit union technology partner. Our unique combination of platforms, including Unitri and Tellergy, services and knowledgeable people make for a powerful credit union-based infrastructure. The WRG team operates around 5 core values: Client Focus, Teamwork & Collaboration, Excellence, Integrity and Innovation. Learn more today at www.WescomResources.com.

Media Contact

Sarah Snell Cooke

443.472.6276

sarah@cookeconsultingsolutions.com

5 Member-Centric Benefits to Upgrading Your Branch Signature Pads

April 23, 2021

Member expectations have been evolving, but the COVID-19 pandemic shifted them into overdrive. As their expectations have changed, your delivery of products and services must change as well. In a time when social distancing and masks will likely remain the norm in public, have you considered the impact to member experience as they begin returning to your branches?

Branch strategies must evolve as consumers become more accustomed to digital services, but they will always need their branch. Aligning your credit union’s branch experience to the digital member experience is a must. Wedding the human interaction branch members crave with the efficiency and security of digital is a powerful one-two punch!

Learn more about WRG’s Tellergy solution here!

Benefits of updating your in-branch signature pads:

1. Member verification – When your signatures pads are capable of syncing to your core system, members can verify their identity and access information more securely.

2. Member security – Rather than verbalizing a members’ balance or PIN across the counter with other people in the branch, your signature pad should provide this type of security to build member trust. No one else should know how much is in their money market account.

3. Member pride – Sometimes members might overdraw their accounts, and your credit union can save members the embarrassment of announcing that across the teller counter where others might overhear.

4. Member marketing – Deliver customized campaigns and empower your tellers to target offers based upon a member’s qualifications.

5. Member (and frontline!) efficiency – It’s way faster, and your members can carry on that conversation about their grandchildren or recent vacation with the teller while they transact, helping to further build on the human experience of the branch.

And why are all those benefits to automating your credit union’s branch experience significant? They build trust. They allow for deeper relationships. They demonstrate understanding of your members’ needs.

Some members may not know they can refinance their mortgage through your credit union and save every month. They may not know that your credit card offerings will save them interest and fees, or that their dream car is within their financial reach because your rates are the best in town. With WRG’s Tellergy software, you can display all of that information so your teller can continue to focus on the member.

As we move forward, look to see how you can protect your members’ personal financial data and privacy – not only on the web, but also in your branches. Provide the service your member deserves and exceed their expectations to win their business for years to come. Leverage a solution that improves their experience and that of your team. Leverage Tellergy.

Contact Kerry Schiappa today for a complete demo of Tellergy!