Covid-19, Remote working and Resiliency
A Story About VisiFi’s Approach to Solving Customer Issues
With pandemic and stimulus payments on their way, the IRS published new company IDs that would be used to send payments via ACH. Many of our credit unions were concerned and reached out to us asking if we needed the new ID and if the credits would post correctly for their members.
On the VisiFI system, as long as a valid account number is received, the ACH items would post. In cases where the account number is invalid, typically our system would give the credit unions an option to correct the account number before there was a problem.
In this case many of the stimulus payments were received with account numbers that were not able to be processed and some of our credit unions had more than 1,000 ACH credit rejects in just one day. There were also so many stimulus payments received at one time that some of our customers had problems managing the volume.
VisiFI received ACH early so we were aware this situation was looming. We warehoused the items and went to work finding a solution to help our credit unions so they did not have a problem meeting any lockout deadline or cause an increased load on their systems.
Solution: After reviewing, the team worked together to determine what we might be able to do to correct the account numbers on as many items as possible. Our system stores the corrections made by the Credit Unions during normal daily processes in a specific way, but the stimulus payments would not be able to use those corrections. Our host engineer was able to build a program (or utility) in less than a day, that would review all stimulus payments received with an invalid account number and cross reference them to every correction we had in the system for that specific Credit Union. If the exact original account number was found and used previously, the invalid account number on the stimulus payment was updated to that same account number.
We then tested this solution and we released it for use in production.
Once the back-end was fixed, it was time to work with our credit unions. Our Account Management and Support team reached out to the heavily impacted credit unions, letting them know their number of rejects and explaining to them what our plan was, coordinating and submitting Operations tickets as they heard back from each credit union that wanted to use this option. Those tickets were assigned for validation, then sent to Operations for processing and then returned and checked to verify results. The team was able to keep in touch with the Credit Unions as these were completed.
We knew our credit unions would be overwhelmed by the volume of rejects as well as the calls from members checking on their status. VisiFI pulled together as a team, remotely through zoom or conference calls, and planned and implemented a solution for our customer.
In less than 2 full days and in time to prevent many issues for our customers, VisiFI:
- Corrected as many of the rejects as possible,
- Prevented many rejects,
- Allowed Credit Unions and their members to receive as many of their payments as possible without issue,
- Posted almost 3 times the number of credits as a typical heavy day.
Moving forward, we regularly review the ACH rejects to see monitor how many ACH rejects are waiting to be posted and if any of them will again reject. If so, we open tickets to Operations use the same process to correct them so they will not reject. We will continue to follow this procedure for the next several weeks until all ACH stimulus payments have been received. Some of the Credit Unions do not have us do the correction but they still use the report we produce to review their impact and prepare for corrections themselves.
VisiFI has continuously monitored any potential COVID-19 impact on customers and employees. The following steps have been taken to keep everyone informed of any policy or procedure changes:
March 16, 2020 VisiFI communicates its response to COVID-19
March 16, 2020 The company sends out a communications to all employees regarding procedural changes
March 20, 2020 VisiFi informs all the customers about some important updates on operations
March 27, 2020 Employees are informed with updated information on remote working policies
March 31, 2020 The company informs ustomers about COVID-19 fraud schemes
April 27, 2020 VisiFI sends out a communications to customers about Federal Reserve Regulation D Suspension