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MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union Selects FMSI’s Omnix Lobby Tracker® to Complete Branch Staff Scheduling Data Needs

November 29, 2016

FMSI, a leading branch software provider for banks and credit unions, announced today that MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union has adopted its Omnix Lobby Tracker®.  The Minnesota-based financial institution with 11 locations can now better schedule its branch employees with improved data.

“We’ve been utilizing FMSI’s teller scheduling software to optimize our branch staff for quite some time, but have had a gap regarding our lobby employee activity,” says Missy Borg, Vice President of Branch Operations, MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union. “FMSI’s Lobby Tracker software fills this gap by providing us with the number of members helped, time spent with staff and wait time information.”

The FMSI Omnix Lobby Tracker® helps banks and credit unions capture their branch pulse by tracking and measuring both the member experience and employee performance (with iPad and kiosk integration).  With over 25 unique service and sales reports including: employee productivity, account holder volume and cross-sell reports, FMSI’s sophisticated application is transforming how financial institutions are managing their lobbies.

“When we decided to pursue a lobby tracking system, it was an easy decision for us to select FMSI’s solution,” says Borg. “Our familiarity with the company, and specifically their outstanding service is something we get a lot of value from.”

“Without the right business intelligence, most financial institutions are not equipped to make a thorough evaluation of lobby performance levels,” says Meredith Deen, President of FMSI.  “FMSI has more than 25 years of experience helping banks and credit unions improve the productivity of their staffs through meaningful business intelligence.  Our unique solutions for measuring lobby performance regularly reveal areas for better service, sales and productivity.”

About MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union

What sets Mid-Minnesota apart from other financial institutions is that their members/owners, have a vested interest in their success. Any profits are returned to their membership in the form of higher dividend rates, lower interest rates on loans, additional technology, and growth in services. To learn more about joining MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union, visit http://www.mmfcu.org.

About FMSI 

Located in Atlanta, GA and established in 1990, FMSI provides easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, software-as-a-service solutions including: Omnix Staff Scheduler™, Omnix Interactive Dashboard™, Omnix Performance Analytics™, Omnix Appointment Concierge™ and Omnix Lobby Tracker®. FMSI’s smart scheduling application gives banks and credit unions the ability to optimally schedule their team throughout the branch network and to manage staff through easy to read color graphics, online interactive dashboards, and succinct management reports. FMSI provides performance management information exclusively to financial institutions of all sizes, including a workforce optimization comparative data benchmarking report that allows clients to see where they rank amongst their industry peers. Visit the company’s website at http://www.fmsi.com or call 877.887.3022 to schedule a complimentary online demonstration of any of our products. You can also quickly estimate your savings with FMSI’s Efficiency Calculator at http://www.fmsi.com/calculator/.

Prevent Fraud in the Branch Through Simple Tactics

November 15, 2016

By Meredith Deen, President, FMSI

Major cyber-criminal news stories have been shining the spotlight on what is already a 24×7 omni-channel initiative for the financial services industry. The perfect combination of constant vigilance and relying on the right technologies is required at all levels of banking to fully ensure that the account holder and the institutions’ confidential information and assets are as secure as possible.

With sophisticated behavioral authentication tools, such as cognitive biometrics, advanced technologies can now potentially even identify online fraudsters by their typing cadences and mouse patterns. But while this science-fiction-like technology will surely grab the headlines this year, preventing fraud at the branch level can still go a long way at stopping criminals.

Most financial institutions can gain serious ground in their anti-fraud efforts by rolling out much simpler technologies and tactics, such as better capturing of account-holder activities through dedicated applications and then leveraging this business intelligence to help identify criminals in the branch.

Lobby sign-in

Most branch lobbies rely on some sort of paper-based lobby sign-in process to capture account-holder activity. For fraud detection, lobby sign-in information provides a record of anyone who has visited the branch, including criminals trying to open bogus accounts at multiple locations.

The problem with a paper-based system, however, is that it does not connect account holder activity in real-time with every employee in the branch network. Banks that abandon paper sign-in sheets and instead embrace business intelligence solutions to collect and analyze this data on a bank-wide basis can better identify individuals that may have tried to perpetrate fraud at other locations.

For example, FMSI recently worked with an institution whose lobby-tracking solution enabled it to identify attempts by fraudsters to open accounts with false IDs, where they intended to empty out the provided credit of the new accounts, and then disappear.

Although the system was designed to help improve customer service and cross-sell ratios, the institution was able to use sign-in and CSR-session data—which the solution aggregated and analyzed for all branches—to run an additional check of individuals trying to open bank accounts.

To achieve this goal, CSRs were instructed to check each new account requestor against the database to see if they had attempted to perform questionable activities at other branches. The system thwarted some fraudulent attempts to open bogus accounts, and the institution continues to check all new account requests against historical records in the same way.

Good anti-fraud training

In addition, while technology can certainly help identify criminal activity in the branch, one also must not underestimate the power of face-to-face observation. Train your associates to identify any signs of suspicion, such as nervous behavior by the potential account holder.

A great exercise is to hold a group role-playing session where employees take turns trying to pick-out the randomly selected “criminals” in the group. Such an activity, if designed properly, can also incorporate cross-selling training for the “non-criminals.”

The next step would be to have a clearly defined process for handling suspicious behavior, such as having another associate come over to confirm the situation, and to double check identification through third-party means.

It is prudent to remain polite and professional in any and all situations that may occur. Remind your associates that other account holders will likely be in the branch, and in some cases the perceived suspicious activity may be harmless.

Harnessing the power of business-intel

A number of technologies exist that can capture data (tagged by processor and time stamp) from the financial activities that transpire in the branch, including transaction processing, teller balancing, and more. This information is especially valuable for pinpointing occupational fraud such as skimming (short time-frames between deposit and withdrawal are often evidence of this type of fraud).

The value of business intelligence often lies not in the individual databases at institutions, but in how banks can use such data collectively to detect anomalies, develop behavior profiles to identify when activities do not match, and perform other investigations. In doing so, institutions can gather telling data, provided through reports, alerts and other mechanisms, that identifies the red flags of fraud.

While criminals have been around since the beginning of commerce, their tactics have changed through the years, and they will continue to evolve in this omni-channel world. Thus, institutions that properly curb these risks at all the different avenues of attack by utilizing the right available technologies can potentially scare away fraudsters and impress their investors and customers. The word spreads fast in the criminal underworld about which institutions are more vulnerable.

So it’s essential to help establish the right kind of reputation for security at your institution by comprehensively establishing the right security protocol.

 

This article was originally published in Financial Manager’s Society

Interra Credit Union Selects FMSI’s Omnix Lobby Tracker® to Better Take Care of Its Members

November 11, 2016

FMSI, a leading branch software provider for banks and credit unions, announced today that Interra Credit Union has adopted its Omnix Lobby Tracker®.  The Indiana-based financial institution with 16 locations can now better take care of its members through technology-enabled service efficiency and better employee scheduling.

“The number one thing at Interra is to take care of our members,” says Brandon Yoder, VP of Retail Operations, Interra Credit Union. “FMSI’s Lobby Tracker software allows us to do that better.”

The FMSI Omnix Lobby Tracker® helps banks and credit unions capture their branch pulse by tracking and measuring both the member experience and employee performance (with iPad and kiosk integration).  With over 25 unique service and sales reports including: employee productivity, account holder volume and cross-sell reports, FMSI’s sophisticated application is transforming how financial institutions are managing their lobbies.

“Lobby tracker helps us improve member service by better predicting our busy times and schedule our staff accordingly,” says Candace Gleason, Main Office Manager, Interra Credit Union. “It also helps us clear the lines and lobby quicker, which makes the member experience that much smoother. We love Lobby Tracker and how it changes the way we serve our members.”

Chris Roelandts, a manager at one of Interra’s 16 branch locations appreciates how Lobby Tracker’s systematic approach helps employees share more helpful information with members. He is also a fan of the new reporting capabilities from FMSI’s solution, highlighted by their average assist-times and wait-times in the lobby.

“Without the right business intelligence, most financial institutions are not equipped to make a thorough evaluation of lobby performance levels,” says Meredith Deen, President of FMSI.  “FMSI has more than 25 years of experience helping banks and credit unions improve the productivity of their staffs through meaningful business intelligence.  Our unique solutions for measuring lobby performance regularly reveal areas for better service, sales and productivity.”

About Interra Credit Union

Based in Goshen, Indiana, Interra Credit Union’s mission statement is “to be our members’ most trusted and valued financial resource.” Founded in 1932, the credit union primarily offers memberships to people who live and work in several nearby counties. To learn more about joining Interra Credit Union, visit http://www.interracu.com.

About FMSI

Located in Atlanta, GA and established in 1990, FMSI provides easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, software-as-a-service solutions including: Omnix Staff Scheduler™, Omnix Interactive Dashboard™, Omnix Performance Analytics™, Omnix Appointment Concierge™ and Omnix Lobby Tracker®. FMSI’s smart scheduling application gives banks and credit unions the ability to optimally schedule their team throughout the branch network and to manage staff through easy to read color graphics, online interactive dashboards, and succinct management reports. FMSI provides performance management information exclusively to financial institutions of all sizes, including a workforce optimization comparative data benchmarking report that allows clients to see where they rank amongst their industry peers. Visit the company’s website at http://www.fmsi.com or call 877.887.3022 to schedule a complimentary online demonstration of any of our products. You can also quickly estimate your savings with FMSI’s Efficiency Calculator at www.fmsi.com/calculator.

Common Pitfalls that Hold Back the Power of the Branch

November 7, 2016
This article originally was published in Credit Union Business

By Meredith Deen, President of FMSI

The branch isn’t just for collecting deposits anymore.

But for those who think branches have gone the way of the typewriter or rotary-dial phone, think again. Banks and credit unions must use their branch infrastructure as a competitive advantage as they fight high-tech startups that threaten to eat into their business.

With mobile banking’s surge in popularity, the branch is no longer a place for consumers to stand in line, hand an endorsed check over the teller counter and walk away, while stuffing a paper receipt into their purse or wallet.

As banks and credit unions have moved into the mobile space, it’s put them in direct competition with the likes of Apple and Google. It’s not just Apple Pay, either. Venture capitalists have invested $23.5 billion in Silicon Valley fintech startups in just the past two years, according to an Oliver Wyman study.

For many traditional financial institutions, the challenge is how to compete with fintech companies that don’t have bricks-and-mortar, when your own company has plenty of real estate and must pay the employees who work there.

Sales Centers, Not Transaction Hubs

Tellers are a prime example. Sure, tellers can provide advice on how to balance a checkbook, or offer a friendly introduction to a loan officer. But if your financial institution still thinks of its tellers as the primary facilitator of basic banking transactions, it’s time for your management team to reserve a conference room for some serious discussions. FMSI’s Teller Line Study once again shows how the role of tellers is changing drastically.

Start by rethinking how your branches are staffed. Instead of recruiting workers whose experience is limited to bank or credit union branches, branch out (no pun intended) to find staff with pure sales experience.

Now your branches are a potent weapon against the nameless, faceless offerings of fintech companies, whose products and services are limited to screen-based or phone-based conversations.

Branches are sales hubs, places to meet a financial professional in person, where a consumer can have an actual conversation. It’s the place where your loan officers or investment advisers can get a read on what the customer really wants or needs.

Ask any sales person and they’ll tell you: If you can talk to a customer in person, you can adjust what you’re selling on the fly, pinpointing the customer’s needs and directing him or her to the perfect product or service.

The branch offers something a smartphone can never provide: real human interaction.

Rethinking Branch Staff Models

When the branch is recast as a sales center, it also means the employees who work there must be assessed in the light of revenue-generation. That’s how banks’ and credit unions’ new competitors assess their own employees.

The average revenue generated per employee at Apple in 2014 was a staggering $1.96 million. At Google, it was only slightly less impressive, at $1.23 million per employee. Compare that to Bank of America, where the average revenue-per-employee in 2014 was $597,484. Fifth Third Bank’s staffing model was even less efficient, at $361,111 per employee. And Navy Federal Credit Union was lower still, at $333,333 per employee.

Track the sales performance of your branches’ workforce with queue management applications, like FMSI’s Omnix Lobby Tracker™, which offers ways to assess how long it takes an employee to help a customer, the rate of cross-selling products, the total amount of sales per employee and more. Performance management information systems, like FMSI’s Omnix Performance Analytics™, can show how sales-based staff members, compared to traditional branch employees, generate much higher levels of cross-selling.

Remember this important point: There will be a transition period before financial institutions can fully transform branches into sales hubs. Many branches still handle significant traffic for routine transactions. To manage the transition, software solutions like FMSI’s Omnix Staff Scheduler™ can help with administering staffing schedules, putting workers in place at peak times during the day.

When crunching the work schedule, there’s a bonus when you hire employees with sales experience. Many sales professionals will come from the world of retail, where they are used to working weekends. With many banks and credit unions expanding weekend hours, if the staff is already comfortable with Saturday or Sunday shifts, that makes it much easier to create a schedule.

The Newly Empowered Consumer

Thinking of a branch as a sales hub also raises the question, who are you selling to? If your institution still thinks a branch’s target audience is the holder of a traditional checking or savings account, then it’s time to once again reassess.

Many customers walk into a bank branch armed with information. That’s because they’ve done research on their own ahead of time, typically online. Your branch-based sales staff must be ready to handle these newly empowered consumers.

Also, your credit union or bank also should upgrade its website or mobile app to satisfy consumers’ desires to learn as much as they can, before walking into a branch to meet with someone. If a potential customer can’t find the information they’re looking for on your site or app, they may decide you’re trying to hide something, or at least make it difficult for them to get the knowledge they need.

After your staffing models and technology have both been upgraded, you don’t want potential customers to walk into a stale environment. Branches should be upgraded with new designs, with focus placed on pod-systems, rather than traditional teller windows; self-service kiosks; smart ATMs; and other tech-based features.

Upgrading branches with technology can also help in the fight against fraud. Some new branches include security cameras to prevent fraud. Cash recyclers also help root out fraud.

Thinking Outside the Box

Banks and credit unions aren’t the only places that generate new ideas for branch models.

Borrow an idea from the world of cell phones: Set up an online appointment system for your branch. While potential customers are researching your offerings online, they’ll probably also be looking at their calendars. They want to come in and have a follow-up discussion with your universal bankers about the loans or investments they’re considering. FMSI’s Omnix Appointment Concierge™ makes it easy to add this important piece of the puzzle to your website or mobile app.

There are exciting innovations for customer interactions in the retail world, too. Restaurants like Chili’s offer tabletop ordering systems, as well as the ability to pay the check at the table.

Rewards don’t have to be limited to credit cards, either. Take airlines as an example. Many airline carriers have expanded far beyond the standard miles-for-tickets approach, and let customers apply their points to hotels, luxury merchandise and more. Banks and credit unions can devise their own rewards programs for their most-valued customers.

Highland Bank Selects FMSI’s Branch Appointment Software

November 2, 2016

FMSI, a leading branch software provider for banks and credit unions, announced today that Highland Bank has adopted its Omnix Appointment Concierge™.  The Minnesota-based financial institution can now improve their service experience by offering a new sophisticated branch appointment capability at their five locations.

FMSI’s Omnix Appointment Concierge™ addresses the concerns of today’s financial institutions: improving service and sales levels in the branch, while managing and minimizing labor expenses.  Through sophisticated software as a service technology, FMSI’s branch appointment scheduling solution enables account holders to easily schedule appointments for their branch visits, allowing them to avoid long lobby wait times and ensures the employee with the right skill set will be assisting them.

“With rising competition over the past few years, and challenging profit expectations, many financial institutions are turning to innovative and more effective approaches, like utilizing appointment setting technology to maximize the branch investment,” says Meredith Deen, President of FMSI.  “Our software as a service solution improves three critical performance areas in the branch—sales, service and employee productivity.”

About Highland Bank

Founded in 1943, Highland Bank is an independent, family owned, community bank focused on building mutually beneficial relationships with small and mid-size businesses.  The Bank’s resources are directed toward serving metro-wide Twin Cities businesses, the owners and employees of those businesses, and consumers within a convenient radius of each of the bank’s branch locations.  Learn more at http://www.highlandbanks.com.

About FMSI

Located in Atlanta, GA and established in 1990, FMSI provides easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, software-as-a-service solutions, including: Omnix Staff Scheduler™, Omnix Interactive Dashboard™, Omnix Performance Analytics™, Omnix Appointment Concierge™ and Omnix Lobby Tracker®. FMSI’s smart scheduling application gives banks and credit unions the ability to optimally schedule their team throughout the branch network and to manage staff through easy to read color graphics, online interactive dashboards, and succinct management reports. FMSI provides performance management information exclusively to financial institutions of all sizes, including a workforce optimization comparative data benchmarking report that allows clients to see where they rank amongst their industry peers. Visit the company’s website at http://www.fmsi.com or call 877.887.3022 to schedule a complimentary online demonstration of any of our products. You can also quickly estimate your savings with FMSI’s Efficiency Calculator at http://www.fmsi.com/calculator/.

QNB Bank Selects FMSI to Better Align Staffing Levels with Customer Needs

October 19, 2016

FMSI, a leading workforce optimization solution provider for banks and credit unions, announced today QNB Bank has adopted FMSI’s Omnix Staff Scheduler™, Omnix Interactive Dashboard™ and Omnix Performance Analytics™ solutions.  The $1 billion Pennsylvania-based bank will use FMSI’s software to better align staffing levels with their customer needs across its 10 locations.

“Years ago, we knew the exact days we were going to be busy, but with a drop in transaction volumes in the branches, that’s not the case anymore,” says Dale Wentz, EVP/Chief Retail Officer at QNB Bank.  “When preparing optimal employee schedules, on our own, it would take us way too long to figure out our precise hourly staffing needs, and a lot of the time we ended up guessing anyways.  Instead of hiring multiple full-time employees, who’s primary purpose would be to continuously optimize our workforce in all our retail locations, we opted to partner with FMSI.  Their industry leading reputation and impressive software was exactly what we were looking for to help us reduce excess staffing costs, while maintaining high service levels in the branches.”

FMSI’s Omnix Suite of Products™ addresses the concerns of today’s financial institutions: keeping down expenses while improving service levels and sales in the branches.  Through the collection and then preparation of front-line staff interaction data, FMSI’s system quickly empowers management teams with easy-to-read and actionable business intelligence.

“Additionally, we are looking forward to taking advantage of FMSI’s employee idle time management application,” adds Wentz.  “People’s schedules and abilities are all so different, and with FMSI’s sophisticated software we’ll be able to assign the right people, with the right tasks, during slower periods in the branch.  This will ultimately help us achieve our service goals.”

“Maintaining front-line staffing at the ideal level to ensure customer satisfaction can sometimes be a very bank specific decision,” says Meredith Deen, President of FMSI.  “Without accurate information, most financial institutions are not equipped to make a proper evaluation.  With more than 25 years of experience helping banks and credit unions improve the productivity of their staff, our unique solutions for measuring and forecasting transaction volumes regularly reveal areas for better service, and increased productivity.”

About QNB Bank

QNB Bank, also known simply as QNB, is an independent bank headquartered in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. There are currently 10 locations serving Bucks, Montgomery, and Lehigh counties in Pennsylvania.  Learn more at http://www.qnbbank.com.

About FMSI

Located in Atlanta, GA and established in 1990, FMSI provides easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, software-as-a-service solutions, including: Omnix Staff Scheduler™, Omnix Interactive Dashboard™, Omnix Performance Analytics™, Omnix Appointment Concierge™ and Omnix Lobby Tracker®.  FMSI’s smart scheduling application gives banks and credit unions the ability to optimally schedule their team throughout the branch network and to manage staff through easy to read color graphics, online interactive dashboards, and succinct management reports. FMSI provides performance management information exclusively to financial institutions of all sizes, including a workforce optimization comparative data benchmarking report that allows clients to see where they rank amongst their industry peers. Visit the company’s website at http://www.fmsi.com or call 877.887.3022 to schedule a complimentary online demonstration of any of our products.  You can also quickly estimate your savings with FMSI’s Efficiency Calculator at http://www.fmsi.com/calculator/.

What the Wells Fargo Scandal Can Teach Us About Accountability in the Lobby

October 14, 2016

By Chad J. Davis, SVP of Marketing, FMSI

Outside of creating a vision and keeping the ship heading in the right direction, management’s most crucial function is ensuring that employees are accountable to adhering to the goals and standards of the organization. There are many different management styles, processes, and tools available to evaluate customer service; to set and track progress toward realistic, ambitious sales goals; and to train, coach, and monitor the performance of frontline staff. None of these practices seemed to be in place at Wells Fargo, where thousands of employees were fired for opening bogus accounts.

The scope of this scandal is stunning: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that more than 1.5 million deposit accounts and 560,000 credit cards were opened in customers’ names without their consent, resulting in unauthorized account transfers and fees and black marks on their credit reports. Equally appalling is that these activities went on for years—by some accounts, stretching back to 2011 or even earlier—undetected and uncorrected. Beyond the $185 million fine slapped on the bank, Wells Fargo faces the incalculable loss of reputation and significant monetary costs in legal fees and in making good on its promises to compensate customers for their losses.

This debacle creates a vivid cautionary tale for banks and credit unions and raises the need to ask: How sure can we be that we won’t end up like Wells Fargo? What checks and balances do we have in place to ensure accountability by employees? Unfortunately, many financial institutions continue to rely on loose standards and ineffective and/or outdated systems to monitor branch operations. Is it possible that many platform employees are significantly underperforming, or worse?

If the answers to those questions raise concerns for your organization, sophisticated technology like FMSI’s Lobby Tracker application can establish an accountability loop in the lobby to help identify and correct performance issues and ensure that fraudulent activities are not happening under the radar.

Taming the Wild West of Lobby Management

For decades, it’s been suggested, the lobby has been the last frontier in the retail branch environment, out of the watchful eye of management with few systems in place to identify and quantify what constitutes high-quality customer service and sales. Employees may work as tellers and service representatives for decades, without benchmarks and objective evaluations to identify the low and high performers—those who need more training and coaching and those who deserve recognition and promotion. With potentially valuable product information siloed in disparate systems—DDA systems, time/deposit systems, loan systems, and credit card systems—and in many cases no dedicated systems for tracking lobby service, management has struggled to understand how to measure staff performance in the lobby. And with no mechanism to collect key lobby performance indicators, useful metrics like assist time per product and cross-sell ratios cannot be employed.

FMSI’s comprehensive Omnix Lobby Tracker® software is designed to sharpen the focus on branch oversight with tools to review and report sales and service activity and to equip managers with solid metrics to assess performance and guide coaching. Here are some of the ways Omnix Lobby Tracker® can improve frontline service and sales:

Monitor and improve wait time. Account holders sign in from a tablet or self-service kiosk and select which service they need, which provides all the information you need to monitor wait time and adjust staffing and training to improve this metric over time. FMSI also offers a Lobby Wait Time Widget, so customers can check wait times online before they head to the branch, as well as customizable alerts for management so you can respond quickly when wait times exceed acceptable limits.

Support professional and accurate transactions. The Check List feature of Lobby Tracker guides frontline staff through the wide variety of transactions they may be called on to perform, including opening new accounts, ordering checks and debit cards, and completing loan applications. The step-by-step lists of procedures and forms associated with each transaction ensure a consistent customer experience and head off potentially expensive mistakes.

Prevent fraud. Lobby Tracker records the services requested by account holders and captures assist-time for each product/service interaction, allowing management to quickly identify any suspicious activities in detailed reports.

This system helps to create strong transparency to ensure that branch employees are delivering and managing sales activity in a way that is meaningful to account holders and to your organization—and consistent with account holders’ financial well-being. When management decisions are based on solid data from branches, you can guarantee that each of your locations is optimized to deliver service and sales that are high in quality and integrity.

Interested in learning more about our Lobby Tracker? Watch our recorded demo here.