Online Resources & Communications Corporation, the leader in real-time interactive financial services, today introduced a major upgrade to its service that allows consumers access to the entire account relationship they have with their financial institution — in real-time – through the institution’s Web site, dial-up PC service, ScreenPhones and telephones.
For consumers, expanded account access means they can conduct transactions from any account accessible through their ATM networks and view not only checking and savings accounts online but also installment loans, mortgage loans, credit card accounts, lines of credit, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts and any other account they have with their financial institution.
Consumers will enjoy a higher level of customer service because customer service representatives, whether they are located in the institutions’ or Online Resources’ call center, can view all accounts, including the bill pay accounts, simultaneously with end-users. Together, they can see actions as they are conducted and work with real-time balances. Depending on the institution’s CSR procedures, modifications can be made online and in real-time. For example, end-users can change passwords and account nicknames and use them immediately. Moreover, each CSR session can be immediately logged, so for any subsequent session the CSR knows what has already happened.
Ray Crosier, executive vice president, client services, said no other provider of interactive financial services can offer such total access and state-of-the-art customer support experience. “The new features reflect our belief that the most effective service is one that makes the home banking experience comprehensive, easy-to-use, and centered directly around the financial institution,” Crosier said. “The more information we can provide the end-user, the more valuable the online service becomes — and the more loyal he or she becomes to the institution.”
Platform Upgrade Supports New Functionality and Scalability
The expanded access was made possible by Online Resources’ recent upgrade in its technology platform that now includes Tandem’s Himalaya server and ServerWare, a clustering software for the industry-standard NT platform. In addition, the platform upgrade also improved the reliability of the service and allows Online Resources to easily scale up operations as more end-users use home banking services.
Alex Seltzer, executive vice president, systems and technology, said the new platform provides for an unlimited growth path for the company. “In addition to the greater functionality, we can now easily handle the geometric increase in the number of transactions and end-users we are experiencing with our phenomenal growth,” Seltzer said. “Approaching 200 institutions signed and the rate at which we are launching them, we are experiencing a 10-20 percent per month growth rate in the number of end-users. And with improved account access, we expect even greater penetration of the customer base of our clients who have already launched.”
Financial Institutions Can Customize Service
A financial institution can set a profile for each type of account, determining the activity level that it wants to allow. Transactions are authorized through the ATM switch, leveraging Online Resources’ patented payment capabilities; other accounts will be “view only.” For ATM-accessed accounts, the institution can enable bill payments and transfers into or out of the account. For example, consumers will be able to pay, while online, mortgages and other loans it has through the institution, thereby decreasing costs for all parties concerned.
A key end-user benefit is that institutions can enable a line of credit or credit card account to fund bill payments or accept transfers. Thus, end-users can effectively get cash advances through their credit cards online to pay bills. They can pay off credit balances online.
Online Resources’ service has also been upgraded to provide institutions an unprecedented degree of control and flexibility in managing its CSRs. The institution can set a profile for each CSR, determining who can add, delete, edit or only view customer information, thereby providing for a high degree of internal security. “Our goal is to provide financial institutions with the greatest degree of flexibility to define the types of transactions they’ll support, the information they will provide and how it will be displayed,” said Carol Pirsch, director of product management. “This way each institution can customize its service to meet the needs of its customers.”
As with Online Resources’ current service, all data can be easily exported to personal finance management software such as Microsoft Money or Intuit’s Quicken. The company is planning to be OFX-compliant, further integrating its services with such front-end software.
The service is undergoing final testing and will be generally available after the first of the year. McLean, Va.-based Online Resources & Communications Corporation () provides electronic financial services to institutions for branding and resale to consumers. In addition to online banking, bill paying, securities trading, loan approval and electronic commerce solutions, Online Resources offers institutions support services such as consumer marketing, customer service, training, Web site design and hosting, network management, fulfillment, billing and technical support. Consumers access services through telephones, ScreenPhones or personal computers linked to the institution through private networks or the Internet. Online Resources, a privately held company founded in 1989, serves more than 165 financial institutions nationwide.Details