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Kristi Nelson
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Heritage Bank Chooses Metavante

Heritage Bank decides it is time for a change in core processing systems.

After nine years with the same core processing system, Illinois-based Heritage Bank of Schaumburg decided it was time for a change. The bank's short list of requirements included financial account processing, electronic funds transfer, card solutions, and customer relationship management.

In April, Heritage tapped Metavante, culminating a process that began earlier in the year when it put out an RFP.

Initially, the bank was only looking for a better deal. "It was not with any decision to make any changes, it was just to keep the current core processor's pricing honest," said Janice Gabrys, assistant vice president and director of operations at $92.8 million Heritage Bank of Schaumburg.

Heritage will use Metavante's branch automation, teller systems, reporting capabilities, customer profitability system, ATM and card services. It is considering adding electronic banking.

Metavante's CRM capabilities proved decisive for Heritage, according to Dick Phalen, sales executive at Milwaukee-based Metavante.

"It was a well-run community bank. They had a good handle on their costs, but they were really trying to grow and needed some tools and processes to do a better job of identifying profitable customers," he said.

He added, "This was one of the things that made a difference in their decision to go through a conversion, which is a significant event for a small, community bank."

In the past, the bank had difficulty determining customer value. The core loan system and deposit systems provided only an incomplete view of individual customers. And high-balance customers aren't necessarily the most profitable.

"We've been trying different options to do it different ways, and we're very much looking forward to being able to identify those customers," said Gabrys.

"Being a community bank, we want to make sure we offer the right products to our area, and this should all help to identify that," she added.

The bank was sold on Metavante early on. "The next thing we know, we were saying this is a wonderful product, and we really should consider converting," she said.

Heritage was reassured by the fact that Metavante could easily link to its payroll and accounting systems from various third-parties.

"Because of our open architecture, we can tie those other products into our services relatively easily," said Jamie Geschke, senior vice president and general manager at Metavante. "One of our differentiators is that we are willing to bring these third-party products to the client, even if they compete with products we sell."

The bank spent about five months mapping data, training, and preparing for the conversion. An added incentive was a move from DOS-based systems to Windows.

"It's nice not to have to teach someone to remember numbers or acronyms. It's right in front of you, and it's point and click," said Gabrys, adding that the faster, more user-friendly system will allow staff to access information faster and will provide greater opportunities for cross-training.

In addition, branch personnel will be able to open accounts electronically. In the past, they had to gather information on paper, which then had to be manually keyed in to the system.

"Our personal bankers will be able to open up the account right while the customer is sitting with them," said Gabrys. "That's something we haven't had the luxury of doing before."

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