Headquartered in Whitley, Kentucky, United Cumberland Bank (Off-site) is the result of a 2014 merger between Bank of McCreary County and First Trust and Savings Bank. The two banks were founded in 1906 and 1923, respectively. Although the bank is proud of its historical roots, United Cumberland recognizes the importance of keeping up with technology. By using the FedLine Command® Solution and scripts written in-house, the organization has been able to fully automate its Automated Clearing House (ACH) processes. United Cumberland’s unique approach to automation has helped it to streamline its internal operations, improve the customer experience for its 20,000 members and enhance its business continuity plan. We spoke with Vice President and Chief Information Officer Michael Laxton about the benefits that United Cumberland has seen thanks to automating ACH processes with FedLine Command.
The need to automate
“We had been working on automating our daily processes, and FedLine Command was the missing piece,” Laxton said. United Cumberland, which previously used the FedLine Advantage® Solution, decided to move to FedLine Command in 2016 to automate the sending and receiving of its ACH files.
A unique approach to implementation
FedLine Command uses off-the-shelf software to automate the transfer of files between an institution and the Federal Reserve. However, United Cumberland took the automation process a step further and wrote a script in-house, which allows it to move its files from the “landing zone” into its core system. This additional automation step typically requires resourcing with an outside vendor; however, United Cumberland’s creative approach to doing the work in-house has allowed it to further enhance its efficiencies.
“Middleware options can be pricey,” Laxton said. “Writing a script required a time investment to figure out the correct workflow, but overall, it was nothing major.” By creating its own script, United Cumberland has been able to automate its processes from end to end.
Business continuity benefits
From a business continuity standpoint, FedLine Command helps to ensure United Cumberland can continue processing, even during inclement weather. “We’ve had issues with snow storms when we either couldn’t open the bank or we had to open late,” Laxton said. “With FedLine Advantage, we had to have a bookkeeper with a token on-site to pull files. With FedLine Command, the files are made available without someone needing to be physically in the office.”
Advice to organizations considering FedLine Command
"I would recommend FedLine Command to any organization that is looking to streamline its processing,” Laxton said. “It can seem daunting at first, but our designated Federal Reserve project manager walked us through each step, and we were able to set up a testing environment before going live.”
FedLine Command provides access to critical payment services, such as 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, 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.