Like its customers in rural Indiana, Peoples Federal Savings Bank is slow to change. With its small-town heritage and clientele, the 115-year-old bank has tended to adopt new technologies gradually and deliberately.
Yet customers, who the bank serves from its main branch in Aurora, Ind., and two smaller branches in Rising Sun and Vevay, are delighted to have access to telephone banking-and eventually online banking-delivered through the bank's new service provider, Intrieve.
"Our customers seem to be very receptive to e-banking," said Mel Green, president of $120 million Peoples Federal. "I was amazed about how many calls into the telephone banking system that we had in the first month."
Since August, Intrieve has been providing Peoples Federal with core processing for its 10,000 deposit accounts and 3,500 loan accounts, plus a variety of electronic banking services. It also provides the bank with telephone banking and ATM processing, and there are plans to add online banking in January.
Proximity and customer service led the list of requirements for Peoples Federal. "Basically, part of it is that they were located in the Midwest," said Green. "And we were looking for a company that provided personal service."
So far, Intrieve has met expectations. "The support they have provided us has been excellent," said Green.
The conversion from the bank's former processor, Bisys, went smoothly, although it required major changes in the bank's operations, including new account numbers.
To aid in the transition, Intrieve spent several weeks training employees in operating the new system; so far ,employees have found it easy to use. "The screen is user-friendly," said Green. "Most of our people have a working knowledge of computers, so they've been able to learn the new system fairly easily."
The core processing system, called Gem, stores customer transaction and account data at Intrieve's data center in Cincinnati. A second system, Zeus, comprises the teller platform. Intrieve is also facilitating Peoples' ATM and telephone banking.