The Challenge

As electronic payments and attacks from fraudsters continued to grow, it was important for Arkansas-based Centennial Bank to find a dispute tracking solution that would reduce the potential of compliance failures and ease training and use across a staff of approximately 800 employees trained to submit claims from cardholders. This included staff members across branches and customer care centers, as customers submit Reg E disputes via call center or branch.

Additionally, the bank’s prior, manual processes were creating the potential for critical business issues. Paper forms opening the door for human error, such as keying the wrong amount, incorrect postings to an account, unsubmitted forms and conflicting final information. These process inefficiencies resulted in the wasting of valuable time to correct mistakes.

With Centennial’s previous manual environment, audit preparation required a devoted resource to pull documentation, which could take up to several days. In order to prevent high risk failures and significant needs to improve findings, staff would physically have to sort through paper reports or forms to resolve issues like incorrect amounts and proof of final notification. Much like other banks, the looming threat of increased fraud and unauthorized transaction volumes, which would weigh heavily on the staff’s workload, was an additional concern of Centennial Bank.

The Solution

“We chose FINBOA because it is scalable and sustainable, and our staff could be easily trained to use it effectively,” said Kimberly Mantuano, e-Banking Card Manager at Centennial Bank. “Because 100% of people can’t be accurate 100% of the time, we have to plan for them not to always be correct. With FINBOA’s automated solution, it not only enhances our previous system, but also is customized to meet our exact needs. The solution surpassed our expectations, and we are excited to automate more workflows with FINBOA in the future.”

Centennial Bank selected FINBOA for Regulation E Dispute Tracking to drive efficiency and reduce bank losses, improving customer experience and empowering employees through automation. This decision was made after FINBOA’s solution and available alternatives were put through an evaluation process, which was reviewed by various lines of business involved in disputes, such as retail and the e-banking card department. In the evaluation process, these factors were the most crucial: trainability, scalability, ability to enhance the bank’s existing system and financial viability.

Enlisting the use of Reg E calculators to reduce errors and save time, FINBOA’s Regulation E Dispute Tracking reduces paper waste and improves efficiency with centralized document management, letter generation, automatic timeline notifications, digital forms and e-signatures. “Overall, FINBOA’s process automation improves strategic decision making, eliminates manual processing, ensures consistency of process across 800 resources involved with disputes, helps reduce losses and provides better visibility across the process,” said Mantuano.

The Results

Now, Centennial Bank has been able to research dispute decisions thoughtfully and holistically. FINBOA empowers employees to take a closer look into each dispute, while also allowing pre-established process automations to help streamline the necessary actions. FINBOA makes it easier to locate missed notices and make appropriate adjustments before it is non-compliant.

FINBOA provides important visibility into data, which allows Centennial Bank to locate which fraud trends may be impacting their customers. “Because FINBOA allows us to extract data, we can look at a trend of merchants that for fraud claims,” said Mantuano. “We are able to identify fraud trends because of this access to data, allowing our card and fraud teams to be proactive about solving it with preventative network rules. Since we can see the data, we can make better decisions to keep customers safe and accountable. This past year was a big year to recognize fraud against good customers as well as exposing intentional fraud. Thanks to FINBOA, we could see the data to greatly reduce bank loss.”

Despite initial concerns from staff that FINBOA may impact their job, employees feel enabled to make more intelligent decisions in their day-to-day tasks. “We did not lose any staff because of FINBOA. We gave people empowered thinking about what they actually do, and how they do it, and accountability to customers and other staff members,” said Mantuano. Mantuano continued, “We have everyone from 17-year-olds to 71-year-olds – that whole age range of people that are using FINBOA can do it without too much friction. That was a huge factor for us that it would be trainable.”

FINBOA’s quick implementation was crucial throughout the increase in fraud volume during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Even with all the fraud that happened for COVID, the increase in volume, we did not have to add to staff for that,” said Mantuano. “Our existing resources were able to manage three times the number of disputes, so it was sustainable from that perspective too.”

Before implementation of FINBOA, account holders had to visit the branch to sign an affidavit. Often, customers and staff grew frustrated with the strenuous, manual steps in the process. However, with FINBOA, the bank saw a positive impact on overall customer experience by digitizing processes, especially FINBOA’s electronic signature capabilities, to alleviate customer frustration.

“Customer experience with FINBOA’s electronic signature is powerful,” said Mantuano. “Being able to sign your written statement from anywhere on any device allows Centennial customers to more easily complete these forms at a time that is convenient for them.”

As FINBOA has a preset queue, bank employees can consistently and effectively provide great customer service as they are able to take the next step to bring a customer closer to their goal with speed and accountability. Employees can easily view what a customer has submitted as fraud as well as view a dispute the same day that it is submitted. Because of this, employees do not have to waste time re-keying data or physically delivering paper forms, allowing them to provide customers with an answer much faster.

“The customer service value of FINBOA is all about empowering staff,” said Mantuano. “Because our staff is better equipped to efficiently and effectively serve our customers, we have been able to provide better customer service during a time that is distinctly frustrating to account holders.”

About Centennial Bank

Centennial Bank, a Home Bancshares (NASDAQ: HOMB) company, is a full-service financial institution with branches in Florida, Arkansas, Alabama and New York and $15 Billion in total assets. For more information, please visit www.my100bank.com. Centennial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

About FINBOA

FINBOA is a leading innovator in back-office automation for community and regional banks and credit unions. Leveraging more than 30 years of experience, FINBOA has created solutions to reduce compliance cost and reputational risk by bringing together digital transformation, regulatory compliance, process automation and customer experience. Headquartered in Houston, FINBOA engages in partnership with financial institutions across the U. S. to achieve targeted business outcomes and peace of mind.