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CooPACA invests $1.5M in new tech platform to benefit members

CooPACA President William Méndez-Pagán

The Arecibo Credit Union has invested some $1.5 million in a new technology platform that will add new services, improve customer experience, streamline banking transactions and provide new protections to customer data to make it safer, company President William Méndez-Pagán said.

The migration of operations to the new platform will be completed by July 3, so credit union branches will be closed June 30 and July 2.

“We are making a significant leap to a new, more advanced, more robust, safer technology that has an open architecture able to interact with other applications, giving us greater flexibility to meet the needs of our members,” said Méndez.

As for the temporary shutdown of operations, Méndez urged customers to prepare and carry out their transactions before the long weekend.

The new technology platform will impact the entire the credit union’s entire operations and will allow offering CooPACA members broader access to financial products and services both online and via mobile devices.

Through the new platform, members can access their account from their computer or phone to browse images of checks from their checking account statements and credit card statements. They will also be able to incorporate alerts that allow them to better control the use of their finances, scheduling payments and access statistics on how income is spent and distributed. Co-op members now have the benefit of accessing ATH Móvil and banking using mobile application for smartphones.

“This is only the beginning,” said Méndez. “When we open the doors to our members on July 3, 80 percent of solutions that this new technology brings will be ready.”

“However, the second phase of the project, which will run until the first quarter of 2019, will allow us to offer our members additional solutions that will complement our services as a financial alternative,” he explained.

As proof, he revealed that the second phase of the implementation of the new platform will bring the launch of a MasterCard Debit card, as well as improved online loan application solution and the opening of new accounts for faster service.

CooPACA expects a substantial increase in the volume of transactions because of the ease of use and accessibility of the new platform.

“Expanding the range of services we offer allows us to better serve our members and further expand our membership,” said Méndez.

Along with the opening of a new technology platform and new services, CooPACA has reached the 100,000-member milestone this year.

The diversity of needs such a broad base of members has, has imposed additional management challenges, particularly as technology is concerned, he said, adding the company has also invested in online security mechanisms to protect data and member information, Méndez said.

Hurricane Maria delayed by  the implementation of the new platform by eight months — a project that initially was conceptualized to be ready in 18 months.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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