If members here are not excited by loan payment options such as online bill pay or dropping a check in the mail, they can pay be text—and 80% of members who sign up for this virtual service actually use it.

"We have a high concentration in indirect lending, and we were allowing members to call in and make loan payments over the phone," said Laramie Plains Community Federal Credit Union's President and CEO Tyler Valentine.

Valentine explained that his credit union's 5,500 members are spread across a rural area of some 300 miles. With only one branch, processing loan payments was becoming an issue for the 12 employees, four of which manually key in loan payments.

"Our peak branch days are also are peak loan payment days, so we were getting backlogged, which created a bottle neck," said Valentine. "Tellers can't answer the phones and deal with members in the lobby or the drive through at the same time."

On an average month, approximately 500 loan transactions were being keyed in by tellers. The average time to enter a loan was two minutes. "We couldn't keep up," said Valentine.

To make better use of the teller's time and to make payment easier on members, Valentine began vetting bill pay solution providers. One of the credit union's existing service providers, Sharetec Systems, Inc., introduced ProPay, a TSYS Company, and its LenderPay solution.

The ProPay cloud-based solution doesn't require a mobile app to download or an online payment portal, noted ProPay's Director of Sales and Marketing Mike Cottrell. "We have integrated with several core systems, Sharetec being one of them. The credit union determines how it wants to reach out to its members and what functionalities will be used to streamline operations."

With more than 100 credit union clients, the ProPay solution is scaleable—from smaller credit unions with assets below $50 million to the $4.4 billion Mountain America Credit Union. The latter has provided the solution to its 500,000 members for the last three years.

"LenderPay seamlessly integrates with our core system and gives tech-savvy members the payment options they expect," noted another client, El Paso Area Teachers Federal Credit Union's Manager Laura Schaffino. The $587 million credit union supports 57,000 members.

The real-time payment solution allows lenders to accept bank credit or debit card payments for existing accounts with no transaction fees and no cash advance fees, explained Cottrell. To this end, members can make mortgage payments, car payments and fund accounts with Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express cards.

The first time a card holder signs up for the service to make a payment, he or she is taken through a secure landing page that is part of the application process. They are then directed to a secure URL where they enter card data.

"Once the information is there, they never enter the card data again," said Cottrell. He added that 80% of users never return to the URL opting to use text or related smart device payment options.

A member, for example, will receive a text message that his or her auto loan is due. By simply responding to the text with a dollar amount, the funds are instantly directed to the CU's core system, which funnels the secured payment to the loan balance.

ProPay Vice President of New Business Development Scott Sucher added that the solution is Payment Card Industry Data Security compliant and certified. "Most credit unions are strapped for technology resources, so we developed a turnkey solution that is based upon business rules and regulations."

To integrate and roll out the solution to members, which includes a signed contract, securing payment link options and in some cases customized, co-branded interfaces, Sucher said to expect 10 to 20 days. This window of time matched Laramie Plains Community FCU experience. Valentine signed the contract in late August 2015 and was operational by mid-September.

"We always have had monthly goals, but now we can direct staff to focus on cross-sales that have always been important to us, but we got bogged down," said Valentine. "This has resulted in an 80% increase in our goal attainment. We attribute this to tellers taking their focus of off processing loan payments."

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