Born out of the merger of five smaller societies, Progressive Building Society has become an integral part of the life of Northern Ireland since opening its doors in 1914.
Progressive Building Society is one of the UK’s top 10 building societies, offering savings and mortgages to its members and customers in Northern Ireland.
As part of their normal service, many of Progressive’s members transact business using cheques – something which has caused Progressive technical problems in terms of storage and recovery. These particular problems were solved through the implementation of Solchar’s Transaction Journal system.
Neal Finlay, IT Support Analyst at Progressive, was charged with investigating a new system to allow the building society to streamline its cheque processing, and improve its ability to recall crucial information in a timely manner:
Neal and the team initially looked into a back office cheque scanner system which would allow them to scan all cheques received at the end of the day as one complete batch.
Neal was invited to Solchar HQ to view the Transaction Journal application and was given an in-depth demonstration of how it worked. Crucially, the latest version of Transaction Journal records the cheque details together with a double-sided image of the cheque.
After a pilot scheme using Transaction Journal in one branch for approximately a month, feedback led to a slight adjustment in the system requirements with batch scanning being replaced by a scan process at the front counter – all integrated within Progressive’s frontline system. This meant that cheques did not have to be double handled.
“Solchar were able to quickly reconfigure Transaction Journal to meet our exact needs. Peter Axelson from Solchar travelled to Belfast and worked with me to set up the main transaction server, providing me with instructions on how to configure the rest of our branch network,” said Neal.
Transaction Journal now provides Progressive with the power to pass batches of cheques through an MICR image cheque scanner, followed by the cashier manually entering the cheque amount – a process which takes only a couple of seconds to carry out.
Solchar were able to quickly configure Transaction Journal to meet our exact needs.
With Transaction Journal in place cheques are now scanned, indexed and stored in a matter of seconds, and all taking place while the customer is being served. The new system has added no additional time to Progressive’s cheque handling process, but Transaction Journal has resulted in a significant saving if cheque details are required.
“Following the successful trial roll-out in the pilot branch, our IT department rolled the system out to the rest of our branch network. In total, the whole project was completed in around four months and we’re delighted with the results,” said Neal.
“We no longer have the requirement to request copies of cheques from the bank as we hold our own image of the cheque for retrieving at a later date – available to view the day after processing in the branch.