Redstone Federal Credit Union

The Challenge

Redstone Federal Credit Union is a large, growing credit union with the goal of transforming lives and strengthening communities. Over the past few years, the number of debit card transactions has increased significantly and disputes have almost doubled.

The process the credit union used to resolve the disputes was highly manual. Redstone’s security and investigations (S&I) team was “extremely overwhelmed” and struggled to meet deadlines to issue provisional credit to members.

The previous process relied on a member of the S&I team to complete each step, which resulted in the credit union needing several business days to issue a credit. The process “wasn’t very scalable, other than just adding staff,” Technology Integration Manager Chris Appleton said.

“In addition to that, it was a poor member experience because it was taking us quite a bit of time to get members their money,” Redstone Assistant Vice President of Security and Investigations Brian Smith said.

The credit union, due to its rapid growth, the high volume of disputes and the manual nature of the process, found it challenging to communicate effectively with members. The organization ran the risk of not recovering funds within the required time frame for chargebacks.

The Solution

Redstone started with OnBase in 2003 for document management and storage. Hyland’s enterprise information platform has since become a mainstay for Redstone’s process and content modernization efforts.

To address the influx of debit card disputes, the credit union started by digitizing its in-branch dispute process with OnBase Unity Forms and Workflow. Members no longer had to physically sign forms, employees didn’t have to make multiple trips to the printer and duplicate steps were eliminated. The move saved almost 2,000 hours per year.

Next, Redstone created an online debit card dispute tool. The self-service tool saved time and improved the member experience by allowing members to dispute a charge in a new, fully digital process. This also unified the experience for the fraud team. Cases are created in OnBase, whether they’re submitted by staff or by a member via online banking.

But Redstone wasn’t satisfied. Team members were still doing quite a bit of manual work, which was producing “a lot of the same bottlenecks,” Appleton said.

Appleton’s team worked with S&I to create a multiphase plan to automate the processing of provisional credits with OnBase. This generated tremendous benefits for the organization and its members.

Automated provisional credits: The first step used OnBase’s workflow capabilities to automatically post journal vouchers (JVs), which are used to document provisional credits. That saved almost 1,100 hours per year and enabled reimbursing members much sooner.

Voucher prefills: Redstone took data from fraud cases and automatically populated the JVs. Now, when team members open JVs, the forms are prefilled and only need to be reviewed for accuracy. By eliminating duplicate entry, the credit union saved 757 hours per year.

Small balance write-off: Redstone utilized OnBase to automatically create a JV with no additional user input for eligible disputes under a set dollar amount. These disputes are handled in minutes, improving service and saving another 668 hours annually.

The Difference

Time and cost savings: Redstone now generates a journal voucher for qualified disputes. The JV is automatically credited, and an email is sent to members that informs them of the credit. All of this happens within 30 minutes of a dispute being submitted. This saves the credit union more than 5,100 hours — the equivalent of more than three full-time employees — per year.

“It’s really kind of shocking how far the benefit has gone,” Appleton said.

Elevated member experiences: Going from five or more business days to a provisional credit being issued within minutes equates to a cumulative annual wait-time reduction of 33,557 business days for Redstone’s members. Another key stat for the credit union: Funds recovered went up an astounding 329% over a three-year period.

Improvements in fraud protection and compliance: Redstone can now automate the detection of repeat dispute requestors. Another significant gain is the process automation has supported the credit union’s efforts to comply with regulatory requirements to issue provisional credits within set time frames.

“It helped make the department more efficient and reduced losses. Now we can have our fraud analysts doing fraud analyst work instead of having to jump in on card disputes. This has greatly improved our recovery rate,” Smith said.

A revitalized operation: Using OnBase to automate the dispute process “has totally changed how we operate, and there would be no way to do it without this because of the volume,” Redstone Manager of Security and Investigations Alethea Lawson said.

What’s next: Redstone is implementing the last phase of its plan. The credit union plans to automate the closure of cards impacted by fraud, and a card replacement strategy will be set into motion.

Redstone is also evaluating how to best use Hyland RPA to assist with its high-volume, manual tasks. Early options include updating collections notes of outside repo activity and multiple maintenance tasks in OnBase.

“Hyland enables me to be able to almost always say yes, and that’s extremely important when we’re trying to automate, streamline and improve processes,” Appleton said.

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