Kerrville, TX – October 1, 2013 It was the best of times for the members and employees of two credit unions located within two miles of each other in the heart of Texas Hill Country, as Hilco FCU and Texhillco School Employees FCU converted their core data processing to CU*SOUTH.
Hilco FCU serves 1200 members with assets of $10M. Hilco’s SEG includes the employees of Kerrville State Hospital, as well as Kerr County, the City of Kerrville, the local USDA, and the Upper Guadeloupe River Authority.
Texhillco School Employees FCU serves over 2000 school employees in Hill Country, with over $19M in assets.
Responding to increasing demand from members to expand their products and services – particularly self-service options like mobile and text banking, online loan and membership applications, and automated loan decisioning – with a limited staff, both credit unions needed a single, unified software system to eliminate the headache of interfacing between their old core software, their home banking software and other third-party software providers.
“CU*SOUTH offered the fully-integrated platform we’ve been looking for,” says Hilco FCU CEO Ed Baskin. “In my previous job at the hospital, I’ve managed the IT department, and served on software advisory boards. I took a thorough look at the CU*BASE software – and it had exactly what we were looking for.”
CU*SOUTH’s ownership model was important in both decisions. “We loved the idea of investing in the CUSO,” said Ed Baskin. “With all the mergers and acquisitions in the CU software market, we wanted to make sure that our core software wouldn’t get sold to a banking software vendor. Our core is a critical element in our growth – and we’re looking forward to adding our voice to the governance of CU*SOUTH.”
Speaking on first day of their conversion to CU*BASE, Texhillco School Employees CEO Mark Bigott agreed with Ed Baskin. “Both Ed and I had that ‘Duh!’ moment… that’s exactly how we described it in our Board reports. We had found a CUSO that thinks the way we do, and understands our needs. For years, our money has been adding to the bottom line of the banking software companies. With CU*SOUTH, we have an opportunity to participate in the ongoing development of the software – and we become partners in a large network community of like-minded peers.”
Both CU’s converted from the ShareTec core software. “By scheduling both conversions on the same weekend, and converting from the same core, we were able to save both credit unions over $30,000 in conversion expenses,” said Starla Honea, Director of CU*SOUTH’s Client Center. “We lowered the project management and programming costs, and created a two-week training schedule that increased the number of educational opportunities for both teams. On Live Week, we deployed eight support representatives for a total of 11 employees – to make sure both CU’s had extensive support across all areas – teller/MSR, lending, back office, PC’s and imaging, and management support.”
Any Conversion Day stress was relieved by CU*SOUTH’s CUSO network partners – Xtend and CU By Design. Grand Rapids-based CUSO Xtend provided Call Center services, taking hundreds of incoming member calls, and taking care of member questions about home banking, BillPay, and debit cards. CU By Design, a Portland, OR- based CUSO, provided lending and back office support, including making sure both CU’s were balanced during Conversion Week, and keeping the loan pipelines flowing.
“I’m thrilled to have Texhillco School Employees FCU and Hilco FCU as clients and owners of CU*SOUTH,” added CU*SOUTH’s CEO Leo Vaulin, speaking at the dual conversion in Kerrville. “CU*SOUTH’s mission is to grow credit unions – and keep smaller CU’s healthy by providing both software and managed services to help them address changes in their financial and regulatory landscape. Thanks to folks like Ed Baskin and Mark Bigott, our CUSO will continue to improve our delivery of services to CU’s under $25M.”