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Vicki Gerson
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No Traffic Jams Ahead

American Eagle Federal Credit Union boosts Web banking capacity with Certegy solution.

American Eagle Federal Credit Union (East Hartford, Conn.; $800 million in assets), which serves more than 111,000 members, experienced high demand for Web banking, but the online platform that the credit union was utilizing could handle only a limited number of concurrent users. Growing log-on failures and connection problems resulted in negative member feedback.

"The HTI Edify product we were using was not scheduled to undergo any further development or enhancements after [Edify's] acquisition by S1 [in 1999]," says Dean Marchessault, SVP, retail services, American Eagle. "In essence, we were in a holding pattern with the old grandfathered product, which kept us from promoting or utilizing the [online] channel."

In addition, American Eagle needed a Web-banking solution that could interface with other vendors' products. To support the outdated Edify platform, the credit union had deployed several vendor solutions; to wring the most out of those investments, the new platform had to integrate the solutions.

In 2003, a project team created scoring criteria to evaluate vendors. In the first quarter of 2004, American Eagle selected Alpharetta, Ga.-based Certegy's Premier Internet Banking 6.5.1 product and signed a three-year contract with the vendor for its Internet banking processing services.

"Our goal was to achieve a seamless transition to the new platform, move to an outsourced application and add some basic functionality to an otherwise chunky application and Web site interface," Marchessault says. He explains that the Certegy solution was selected because its administrative tools were advanced, the technology included disaster recovery, the credit union could have a dedicated T1 line rather than fractional T1 connectivity, and the platform leveraged Microsoft SQL database technology. Furthermore, Marchessault continues, Certegy offered the flexibility to integrate all of the credit union's online services - without equipment upgrades.

The Power of One

A seamless experience for users was critical, Marchessault notes. One of the credit union's requirements was to enable members to utilize the credit union's online banking services - which are supported by eight different third-party providers - with a single PIN. Phase 1 of the conversion, which was completed in August, replaced the root application for home banking and introduced the single sign-on capability. Phase 2, which was completed in October, added access to additional third-party services behind the single sign-on capability. Phase 3, scheduled for completion at the end of 2004, will provide single sign-on abilities for two additional third-party services.

Marchessault points out key benefits to Certegy's Premier Internet Banking solution. "More users can be on the system at the same time, as well as get on quicker," he says. "We can now keep track and can service our users better than in the past. This product allows us to update our Web site and do branding."

Currently, members can pay bills, review accounts and balances, and conduct transactions online. In the future, they will be able to personalize their home banking experience. According to Marchessault, the member reaction to the new platform has been enthusiastic. "Many users like the consistency between our online banking environment and our Web site," he says. "And the single sign-on features are easy to use."

Snapshot

Institution: American Eagle Federal Credit Union (East Hartford, Conn.).

Assets: $800 million.

Business Challenge: Provide members with secure, reliable online banking.

Solution: Certegy's (Alpharetta, Ga.) Premier Internet Banking 6.5.1 platform.

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