Knowing how important technology is to staying competitive in today’s world, Austin Telco Federal Credit Union (Off-site) recently underwent a major initiative to automate its services with the Federal Reserve. We spoke to Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Information Technology Christopher Mraz about the key role the FedLine Command® Solution played in Austin Telco’s automation efforts.
Chartered in 1941, with only a few locations, Austin Telco has since grown to 24 branches over the five-county metro area of Austin, Texas. The credit union proudly provides the personal assistance that its 89,000 customers have come to expect.
Initially, Austin Telco went live with the FedLine Advantage® Solution in an effort to mitigate fraud and risk in wire transfers. FedLine Advantage allows Austin Telco to process wires directly with the Federal Reserve with a level of security in place, including a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) and controls to the level of access for individuals in the organization. A few years later, the credit union made the shift to reconcile its check services directly with the Federal Reserve. But with Same Day Automated Clearing House (ACH) requirements, Austin Telco knew it needed more.
Happier staff leads to happier customers
While Austin Telco has grown since its beginning days, it keeps a small yet mighty team. “We like to have a smaller, dedicated staff who make us work smarter,” Mraz said. The automation with FedLine Command eases some staff responsibilities, which allows time for new projects. “Our operations director used to come in at 6:30 a.m. to process files,” Mraz said, “but now he is able to use that time to focus on new things such as online and mobile banking, which are important to our customers.”
Depending on your current connection, setting up FedLine Command typically takes anywhere from two to four months. “There was some complexity to the implementation process on both sides, between managing credentials and testing,” Mraz said. “That being said, everything went smoothly. There was zero downtime or interruptions to our service thanks to the robust setup process.” Austin Telco has seen several benefits since its transition to FedLine Command in 2018. Mraz highlighted staff member relief, the inherent security benefits of tokens and reduced human error as a few of the main benefits.
Importance of middleware
When asked what advice he had for organizations considering the switch to FedLine Command, Mraz stressed the importance of middleware. “If you are going to take advantage of FedLine Command, you should make sure you have an in-house automation utility depending on your core system,” Mraz said. ”We have middleware that picks up where FedLine Command leaves off. FedLine Command will push the necessary files and put them in our secure holding middleware, and then our core system completes the process, which helps with time saving and automation.”
FedLine Command helps automate FedACH®, Accounting and Billing Services. FedLine Command is an unattended solution, which means no individual user is involved in day-to-day ACH transaction processing. For more information about how your organization can start using FedLine Command, attend our FedLine Command Overview and Benefits webinar (Off-site), visit the FedLine Direct® and FedLine Command Setup page or contact your account executive.
The Federal Reserve Banks do not sponsor or endorse any of the non-Federal Reserve Bank-related products, parties or entities discussed in this publication.