Tag Archives: Marketing

Growth Guaranteed

We recently announced some numbers we are very proud of. As announced on Credit Union tech-talk:

“Enhanced Software Products (ESP), the Spokane, WA-based Credit Union Core Data Processor, recently announced the positive growth results of a survey of their entire credit union client base. Their overall average financial and member growth numbers over the life of a credit union on their FORZA3™ core system are: 35% growth in number of accounts; 98% growth in assets; and 82% growth in loan portfolio.”

We are running at 100% renewals and our Clients are growing. This study/research was performed across our entire client base, no matter how long we have been partners.

New Website? We can help.

One thing has been consistent throughout the year with our Client visits; Everyone is realizing the importance of updating their website. Let’s face it, your website may very well be the first thing that a potential member sees and we know they are visiting your website more than your branch.

So why are you not potentially putting your best foot forward? Could it be…

  • Feeling overwhelmed by where to start
  • And the cost

We have been searching high and low to find a vendor that represents our core beliefs when working with people and understands how important it is to have a solution for all credit unions. We wanted the flexibility to offer a stellar site at a price point virtually everyone can get into, while allowing others to build to their hearts content. We found that partnership in FDG Web (www.fdgweb.com).

 

“FDG Web has been very helpful and knowledgeable with the creation of our new website. They’ve taken our brand and translated it into an aesthetically pleasing site.”

Michelle Santos, CONE Credit Union

 

Now, you can work directly with FDG Web to build a site to fit your needs. Once complete, you can have either FDG Web or ESP host your site. The ongoing support and maintenance can be handled by you, or you can enlist in the assistance of ESP. All pricing, invoicing, requests, questions, etc. will go through ESP; keeping your 1-point of contact the same!

We are very excited about this offering.

If you would like more information, please fill in the fields below and submit. We will send you a PDF outlining the offering. If we feel that a call is in order, we will give you a ring first!

Looking for a smooth Conversion?

White Paper completed by Credit Union Tech-Talk and Connections CU and is available HERE.

Why did a now, 11 location CU choose ESP?

Connections Credit Union came to fruition after Idaho Advantage Credit Union joined with Potelco United Credit Union. The result was a credit union that has a history of proudly serving Eastern and Western Idaho for over 75 years – today they have over 22,000 members. The credit union is known for their excellence in member service, local attitude, and old fashioned Credit Union honesty and integrity, which is why they have chosen to partner with a core systems vendor that shares those exact same ideals: Enhanced Software Products, Inc. (ESP).

Brian Osberg, President and CEO of Connections Credit Union, and his team made the decision to move to ESP’s Windows-based FORZA³™ system in 2011. Osberg is a true credit union renaissance man – he started in the credit union movement almost 30 years ago as a computer operator and has worked his way up the ladder at various positions all the way to the corner office. He recalls “before we outsourced to ESP, we had an in-house core system that a couple of us maintained without any IT support. Hardware and software maintenance were expensive and security was always a concern, so it was a no-brainer to switch to a service bureau model.”

The question was: which outsourced vendor would be the best for the growing credit union? Osberg had met ESP representatives at a credit union league meeting back in 2009 and was impressed with them and their system. But of course he and his team looked at other options and performed due diligence on all of their potential providers. “We talked to other credit unions using ESP and they were great references,” says Osberg, “plus their system is super user friendly so we felt very comfortable choosing them.”

Every credit union employee is nervous about their core system conversion, but the team at ESP has decades of successful conversion experience under their belts. According to Osberg, “the conversion went smoothly – it was great overall!” While ESP’s trainers got Connections’ staff up to speed quickly on the new software, their conversion team was able to convert the existing database and provide years of past member financial history in the new platform. Not only did this conversion go smoothly, but so did others: 1) when Idaho Advantage, which was a client of ESP, merged with Potelco to form Connections and 2) when two other credit unions join Connections shortly after the Idaho Advantage merger. Osberg notes that “working with ESP is almost like having our own personalized IT Department that gets things done quickly and efficiently.”

Once the system was up and running and Connections was live at all of their 11 branches, the credit union was pleased to find out that the top notch service levels continued. “We have direct access to their top executives,” states Osberg, and “it is really refreshing to work with a company that believes in zero bureaucracy.” Special reports and minor changes only incur small charges at ESP, and the company prides itself on listening to their customers. Osberg explains that “while the system has great functionality and does everything that we need it do, ESP is still very open to new ideas and updates. They are always adding new features and keeping up with regulatory changes for us.”

With $143M in assets, Connections is not a small credit union, but at the same time they do not have a huge technology budget like larger institutions. Osberg appreciates the fact that ESP bundles many digital feature into their modules so that it is affordable for his members to use online and mobile banking, and that the credit union can offer instant issue debit cards. He concludes that “ESP is always there for us in every situation and we truly consider them our business partner for the long term.”

SMS/Text Messaging from FORZA

That is right, SMS/Text Messaging from FORZA3™ (the Core) directly to your member’s mobile Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 3.36.09 PM
device. You can build this one-way communication to accommodate a variety of needs, adding another great tool for our Clients!

Potential Usage:

  • One-way communication to your members, for security.
  • Alert members of office closures.
  • Fraud alerts.

Easy Management:

  • Managed within FORZA3.
  • Upload mobile numbers from a CSV file, from a marketing email program for example.
  • Have multiple “groups” based on different criteria.
  • Manage multiple campaigns at one time.
  • Build a list for campaigns using existing FORZA3™ data.

“One of our brilliantly talented Developers (Kellie Sullivan) took this “idea” and ran with it. We saw the need for an Alert type notification with all of the weather closures and other sort of impromptu moments that could affect members. Kellie took a form of that and decided that building a tool for Marketing purposes would be even better. We agreed! Now our Clients can build Campaigns and use them for whatever they would like, while being able to manage these Campaigns within FORZA3™ – it’s brilliant and useful”, said Shaun Murray the Chief Elbow Rubber @ ESP, Inc. said. “And even better yet, Kellie built this solution so that we can offer it virtually free”, Shaun continued.

Contact our Sales Team for more information.

“Exploring ESP is a very wise move”

Moving our data processing to ESP was one of the best things we could have done for our credit union and our membership. We were with a large national vendor previously and found their lack of service and ‘ala carte pricing’ was significantly holding our credit union back from implementing the tools our members needed to continue to grow with us. The bottom line is if we’re not growing, we won’t be around.

As a small credit union, the core vendor relationship is by far the most important one for us. We desire more of a partnership with our core vendor and we have most certainly found that with ESP. After being on the system for more than a year, we have reduced our overall costs yet we were able to add many more services that our members were seeking such as a modern online banking system with a tight MX (Moneydesktop), e-statement, FutureAdvisor and mobile banking integration for starters. We were able to leap forward at least 10 years from a technology perspective. This year we also consolidated our credit card processing with ESP (from a big, national vendor) and again have realized some significant cost savings as well as real and tangible credit union and member benefits as well.

Our credit union also valued the ability to be heard and if we needed something changed or tweaked with the system, that someone would actually care and do something about it. If you’re a small credit union with a larger national vendor, you know how that scenario typically plays out. Our experience is that ESP is truly invested in our success and is genuinely interested in continually improving their product and helping us be successful vs. how much we can add to their bottom line.

If your core vendor is holding you back due to costs to implement tools your membership needs or lack of attention to your individual credit union needs, exploring what ESP has to offer would be a very wise move. Plus, they are local and that has some tangible benefits as well.

As an industry, we pride ourselves on differentiating ourselves from the large national banking institutions – we talk about the cost savings, more personal service and ‘buying local’ benefits among many other things. Yet when it comes to working with some of the large national core vendors in our industry, we often times don’t apply these same principles. Why not? Is overpaying for an outdated and inflexible product or vendor with less than responsive service the best use of your member’s money? We didn’t think so and couldn’t be happier with our decision to ‘buy local’.

Scott Prior, CEO
Connection CU in Silverdale, WA

ESP Partners with Augeo Marketing

We did it again!

We have partnered with yet another wonderful company based on a request by OU FCU (www.oufcu.com) in Norman, OK. OU FCU is looking to engage and reward their membership, they found a trusted company in that arena; Augeo Marketing. “Augeo Marketing designs, develops, implements and manages customer, fan, member and employee engagement programs for a broad range of companies”. For an overview of the program that OU FCU has implemented, please go here (https://oufcu.com/reward-yourself/).

Shaun Murray (President at ESP, Inc.) states, “OU FCU called us wanting to see what we could do to ensure that Augeo’s potential could be maximized for the their membership. So we had a call or two as a group and decided that building the bridge using their SSO and API integration was best for our mutual Client. We are excited to see what Augeo and OU FCU can do together”.

Below is a screenshot mockup of what we integrated into our Home Banking solution for OU FCU’s members. Information that is viewable in Home Banking and Mobile Banking alike!!!

Augeo

We should host your email

We are like a broken record on how great our Hosted Email service is, so we asked one of the latest adopters to jot down a few words. We rolled out a Hosted Exchange environment for our Clients as an additional service, so read on; Jerrod is going to share some of his words of wisdom.

Jerrod Wilson, Information Security Officer at Meadville Area FCU (Meadville, PA)

We chose to make the conversion to hosted Exchange with ESP last year.  Since we have made the switch we have had nothing but an excellent experience with the product.

At the time, I was pricing out how much an in-house Exchange environment would cost the Meadville Area Federal Credit Union to deploy.  After final review of everything that was necessary, the Exchange Server, licenses, man hours, deployment and so forth, going with ESP’s hosted environment was a no brainer.  The extremely low cost that ESP offers for the service and the reliability is unbelievable.

The deployment of the product was very simple and took very little time and effort.  Working with the experienced team at ESP we converted all email addresses, including our mobile devices, over to the hosted environment within a week with no problems.

Having the hosted Exchange gives our team the ability to be more mobile and accessible to all members of our staff.  One part of the product that has become an integral part of business is the calendar sharing feature.  Now all members of the staff can view and schedule appointments for our loan officers or other members of the staff.  They can then set up an alert to contact the staff member, via computer and mobile device, notifying them of all the details of their upcoming appointment.

Switching to the hosted Exchange product from ESP has saved us time and money while also giving us added features that have become essential to us doing business.  I would highly recommend this service to all current clients of ESP.

Give us a shout at sales@espsolution.net and we can provide you with a fancy sheet that will outline everything you need to know!