Legence Bank is an independently owned and community focused bank headquartered in Eldorado, Illinois. Legence Bank provides individuals, families, businesses and farmers a premier financial institution and state of the art convenient financial products, services and customized solutions.

Branches: 13
Assets: $645 Million

The Challenge

Legence Bank’s Customer Base Doubled In Size and Dispute Volume Was Growing Faster Than The Team Could Handle

Legence Bank, a community bank with 13 branches, was using a dispute management tool from a core provider. The process was very manual, involving multiple steps and data entry. Customers needed to visit a branch to submit their dispute using a paper form which was then handed over to the operations team for processing.

The process and customer experience was not ideal. The front line staff was trained on the process, but the complicated nature of dispute intake resulted in missing information. The operations staff would often be missing important intake documentation from the branches. This resulted in the staff going back to the customer to ask for the missing information, a process that was inefficient and frustrating for everyone involved. 

At the time, the bank could still handle the manual process. In August of 2017, the bank doubled in size, acquiring eight more branches in just one week. The increase in disputes combined with the inherent challenges of a largely manual process created a challenge for the team. The solution they had been using from their core provider could no longer support their growing needs. They needed a better option, and fast.

“The challenge was like a snowball rolling down a hill, getting bigger and bigger.”

Wayne Garrett, Executive Vice President of Operations at Legence Bank

Even the simpler disputes would take an hour to an hour and a half of work by the operations team. Dispute volume was climbing and occasionally spiking to hundreds of disputes per month.

Why Legence Bank Chose FINBOA

The team started looking for a way to manage the climbing dispute volume. FINBOA was recommended by an industry colleague. They evaluated FINBOA against another dispute management provider. The solution checked all the boxes for automation, ease of use, compliance and improving the customer experience. In addition, the Legence Bank staff appreciated the responsiveness of the FINBOA team.

“FINBOA seemed very nimble and quick. Even their setup process was very fast, whereas the other option was six to nine months out to start the implementation,” said Garrett. “Everybody was really friendly, and willing to work with us. The sales and support team was very, very helpful and stayed connected with us throughout the process,” noted Chantel Sullivan, Operations Team Leader at Legence Bank.​​

The Solution

FINBOA’s Dispute Management platform is ready to go with Reg E workflows for Debit Cards, ACH, ATM, Zelle, Bill Pay and other EFT processes. Financial Institutions looking to centralize all dispute management on a single platform can add Check Fraud, Stop Payment and other workflows on the platform as well. The Reg E solution includes Reg E consumer liability calculators, alerts, e-Signature for customers to sign on any device, GL integration for same day customer credits, centralized document repository for easy audits and customer notice templates to maintain consistency and compliance across all disputes.

The Results

The FINBOA team worked closely with Legence Bank and implemented the streamlined automations in collaboration with the Legence Bank operations and compliance team. Legence Bank achieved adoption enterprise wide and went live in just over 3 months. The implementation team ensured the Legence Bank operations staff was comfortable using the software, walking the team through live disputes.

With FINBOA, Legence Bank reduced the number of letter templates required using FINBOA’s proprietary dynamic template structure, reduced errors, saved time spent on re-keying, automated the customer account adjustments, and made it easy for customers to sign documents on the device of their choice.

Legence Bank is seeing increased accuracy with centralized document management, standardized notices, digital forms, automatic customer adjustments and e-signatures. With FINBOA’s ability to integrate to multiple core providers (FIS, JHA, FISERV, CSI), the Dispute Management platform can streamline the complex Reg E process across the bank’s entire enterprise. Front line staff can quickly find customers and transactions and complete the intake process in under 2 minutes. The back office leverages FINBOA’s process automation to eliminate manual processing of claims and non-compliance, ultimately improving the customer experience.

The FINBOA solution transformed the dispute operations at Legence Bank. What used to feel like an insurmountable task is now easily completed using the built-in automations, allowing more time to be spent on investigating fraud, helping customers, and reducing write-offs. “We have better reporting and we have cut our time tremendously handling disputes,” said Sullivan. “We’re down to one person that can get everything completed in a morning.”

Disputes are now taken over the phone or in person. “This helps us better assist our customers in the way they find the most convenient, and they appreciate that,” said Sullivan. The frontline staff appreciates the new software as well. What used to be a back-and-forth process is now smooth, with smart forms that ensure that only the needed information is collected.

Legence Bank can now process disputes from intake to issuing provisional credit in less than thirty minutes.

Compliance deadlines are now easy to stay on top of. The new software has had additional unexpected benefits, saving time and effort in the internal audit process. Previously the internal auditors would provide a list of disputes to review in a certain timeframe. Pulling that information was manual and time-consuming. Now the internal auditors are given a login to access audit information as needed, further reducing the former workload on the operations team.

A Partnership Approach

The spirit of partnership that initially led Legence to choose FINBOA’s solution for dispute management is still felt by the Legence team. The operations team was asked to report on the number of disputes coming in by channel (branch visits, calls to the call center, or calls to the branch). The FINBOA team jumped on a call to brainstorm options. “By the time the call ended, in just 15-20 minutes, a solution was found and implemented,” said Garrett. “You don’t see that a lot nowadays,” added Sullivan.

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