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Wescom's modern solution to an old-fashioned request

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Wescom Credit Union had a problem – members were inundating its call center with requests for their full account numbers, along with the CU’s ABA routing number. The solution earned it a Credit Union Journal Best Practices Award in digital efficiencies.

The $3.9 billion-asset CU, based in Pasadena, Calif., tracks the 50,000 inquiries it receives every month at its Member Service Center, which is staffed by 64 representatives and supervisors. Wescom uses an in-house CRM system to keep track of the reason codes for calls or branch visits. By reviewing those codes to spot trends, Wescom confirmed inquiries regarding routing and account numbers had become one of the single most popular reason code outside traditional inquiries, due to the growing need for account and routing numbers in setting up electronic funds transfers such as payroll direct deposits, tax refunds and recurring monthly payments.

Routing and account numbers are printed at the bottom of every paper check, but many Wescom members do not order checks regularly these days, and most do not carry checkbooks. They therefore usually do not have the account info on hand when they need it – which triggers many to call Wescom’s MSC.

Wescom researched whether it would be possible to use digital channels to automate the process of retrieving these critical numbers for its members. Because the CU’s eBranch averages approximately 2.5 million sessions per month, it is Wescom’s typical first choice for deploying new innovations.

Wescom’s digital channels and MSC operations teams researched ways to enable members to conveniently and securely retrieve their routing and account numbers. The solution turned out to be PowerON from Episys, a function which allows banks and CUs to tailor their core systems to their institution’s specific needs. Wescom’s digital channels team designed a way to tweak PowerOn and present the needed information to members through his or her online banking interface.

A new tab was added for members to click on “Routing and Account Number” within digital banking. By clicking this link and answering a security question, the user then is presented with a simple window with all the information needed – Wescom’s routing number, and the unique 10-digit number of each share account, including savings, checking and special-purpose accounts.

To let members know about this new feature, the credit union used a series of banners on its website, its newsletter and online banking, along with music-on-hold announcements.

Since deployment of this new feature in both Wescom’s online and mobile channels, MSC calls seeking routing and/or account number have been “almost completely eliminated,” the credit union reported.

From Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, the information was accessed 116,593 times via digital channels.

“Each of these has helped a member avoid the need to initiate a visit, call, email or chat to Wescom. This saves their time and helps to create a more seamless experience,” the credit union said.

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