Name: Knoxville Teachers Federal Credit Union

Assets: $206 million

HQ location: Knoxville, Tenn.

Category: Remote Lending

Nominated by: IMM, Rahway, N.J.

In order to compete better in an area with a limited membership pool (local educators), the $206 million Knoxville Teachers Federal Credit Union of Knoxville, Tenn., created an end-to-end loan application that can be accessed, completed and signed by members from any location, at any time of day -- that is, remotely.

In July of this year, KTFCU expanded its current "eSign" platform from IMM of Rahway, N.J., by adding a remote e-signature module. Through this module, credit union members can sign important loan documents – such as ACH stop payment, promissory notes, truth-in-lending disclosures and wire authorization forms – in real-time, from any location at any time of day.

Knoxville Teachers FCU now offers e-signature capabilities on loans, meaning members visit the branch significantly less often.
Knoxville Teachers FCU now offers e-signature capabilities on loans, meaning members visit the branch significantly less often.

According to KTFCU, the credit union members’ response has been "very positive ,” with 100 percent acceptance from members to whom the tool has been offered. Members especially like that much of the manual process involved in a traditional loan application has been eliminated.

Also, the IMM eSign platform integrates directly with KTFCU’s existing business applications, including its core business system, Fiserv's XP2, as well as its online loan application and loan origination systems. This integration has enabled the credit union to reduce traditional transaction completion and lag times by automating many of its unwieldly paper-based business processes.

Once signed, the documents are fully indexed into the credit unions’ imaging or ECM platform for permanent archiving. KTFCU has also been able to streamline its back-office operations, eliminating the need to print paper documents and/or securely store them, helping the institution process transactions faster, and more securely.

Within the first 30 days of launching remote e-signatures, the credit union was reportedly able to close more than 25 percent of its loans online, in real-time.

"By providing a digital loan experience for our members, transactions can be completed faster, and in a more secure manner from anywhere, anytime," said David Underwood, Treasurer, of KTFCU. "For our members, who happen to be teachers, this is a crucial time-saving service. Teachers were able to electronically sign loan documents during their breaks at school, which are typically 20 minutes or less."

Underwood added that this is only the beginning. "We are just scratching the surface of what we can do with this functionality and only expect it to grow with every month, which will give us richer and deeper engagement with our members,” he elaborated.

IMM offers the remote e-signature capability as an add-on module to all of its baseline eSignature platform clients, said Michael Ball, Vice President of Markets and Strategy for IMM. “Currently, more than 350 institutions have implemented our remote eSignature module. The module is being used with a wide-variety of business applications including deposit, lending, mortgage and human resources to support each credit union’s unique strategic and member service goals," he added,

Underwood of KTFCU said that the credit union has already declared this remote signature program a "success."

David Underwood, KTFCU
David Underwood, Treasurer, KTFCU

“We’re probably less data-driven than some credit unions, so we did not set a minimum number or dollar amount of remotely signed loans as a goalpost," he said. "The reaction to the new technology from our members has been universally positive -- even when they choose to come to an office to complete loan documents due to some other factor outside of our control. When a product creates delight and/or loyalty in our membership, it’s successful."

With all that said, Underwood added that they have been completing approximately 15 percent of its loans remotely since the program’s introduction.

Underwood continued: “My advice to credit unions that are looking to implement remote signature capabilities is simple: do it. Members want it, even if they don’t know it yet. Of course, there’s more to it than that. They should vet the potential vendors carefully to verify that they meet all privacy and security requirements, and that they can provide not just a secure, easy to use method of delivery and signing for the member, but also a verifiable audit trail that includes IP addresses of any devices used in the transaction."