FLEX: Comprehensive Core Software for Credit Unions

Sean Holcomb, SVP & COO, FLEXSean Holcomb, SVP & COO
Regulatory expectations in the core banking sector continue to become more stringent, resulting in a consolidation of banks along with the need to keep pace with customer demands. This pressure has resulted in an industry that no longer develops software solutions from the inside out, rather the outside in. Consequently, core providers have established a standard by which almost every solution offered to financial institutions is provided through layered third party offerings, which is bolted on to the core. “The more third party layers and interfaces that reside above the core—the greater the challenge to the institution,” explains Sean Holcomb, SVP & COO, FLEX. “With over three decades of experience in the banking arena, we view ourselves as a software developer, whose mission is to make every effort in eliminating disruptions by first developing our core from the inside out,” says Holcomb.

With the increasing challenge to meet the changing needs of a highly dynamic market, “we are positioned to serve as a support mechanism—assisting financial institutions in streamlining operational efficiency by developing unique software,” asserts Holcomb. “We maximize opportunities for financial institutions by simplifying processes and maintaining a high degree of continuity.”

Moreover, financial institutions— no matter the size—stand to benefit from the fundamental approach to core software development. FLEX remains one of the few core processing solutions with embedded document management. “All of the documents associated with an individual member are tied within the member account stream,” says Holcomb. This includes receipts, statements, loan applications, loan documents, and credit history that the credit union might wish to incorporate or assign.

We view mobile banking as a unique opportunity to deliver a seamless set of core products and services to credit union members

The company is also focused on mobile banking—a member channel built inside of their core. “We view mobile banking as a unique opportunity to deliver a seamless set of core products and services to credit union members,” he adds.

The Check 21 Clearing Act of 2007 created another opportunity unique to FLEX. “Building upon our electronic document storage solution, we introduced Check 21 products supported at the teller counter,” Holcomb explains. When checks are scanned, they are automatically moved to a member account history, where the check image is made available immediately to tellers. Additionally, the core system automatically builds the cash letter for forward collection. “With the technologies of document storage and Check 21 in place, they became the foundation for a remote deposit capture solution introduced from within our mobile app that can be incorporated into a single cash letter,” says Holcomb. The unification of these technologies facilitates automation of deduplication in banks.

Over the years, the company has helped several clients solve their complex core banking challenges. For instance, when Target suffered a security breach in 2013, it gave rise to the need for greater member controls with their credit and debit cards. By early 2014, FLEX introduced remote control cards—giving users the ability to switch their debit and credit cards on or off on-demand, through internet banking or the FLEX mobile application. “Behind the FLEX engine are the best and the most creative minds of the industry,” says Holcomb.

Representing all credit unions, the road ahead for FLEX is a promising one. “We can easily pivot against the existing technology built in the past, to build seamless and efficient service to users. The crux is to have an open door policy where collaboration and free expression of ideas can be unrestrictedly presented,” concludes Holcomb.