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2013 Innovative Solutions Award Winners


With more than 40 entries and more than 1,500 votes cast, this year’s Innovative Solutions Awards contest was one of the most successful ever. The Innovative Solutions Awards recognize companies helping community banks improve their operations, be more competitive, enhance their technical capabilities and increase their profitability. Congratulations to this year’s winners!


Equipment-Hardware Solution

Winner: CoNetrix Aspire CloudRecovery

Losing access to critical applications and data, even for a few hours, can have a huge impact on customer service and profitability, especially in the banking industry. And acquiring backup hardware and software to be ready in the event of a disaster can come at a high price. But this solution offers a secure system for disaster recovery.  For a fixed monthly cost, CoNetrix hosts backup copies of the bank’s servers and data. Through this “recovery as a service,” customers have the ability to access restored versions of their servers and data if they experience a local server or site disaster. Aspire CloudRecovery hosting features:

1. Fast recovery time: CoNetrix ensures a maximum 24-hour recovery time objective for all servers.

2. Secure operations: CoNetrix maintains an annual SSAE 16 certification, internal employee security awareness and restricted access to the Aspire Cloud.

3. Efficient integration: With Aspire CloudRecovery, customers don’t need to buy expensive equipment; backup is scalable and reliable for full recovery or individual file recovery.

4. Predictable expenses: Aspire CloudRecovery offers fixed monthly payments for a more manageable IT budget.

Honorable Mentions:
Recovery Solutions Secure Dedicated Satellite Connectivity to Service Bureau
EFT Source Card(at)Once


Consulting/Outsourcing/Training Solution

Winner: Safe Systems SafeSysMail

Ask any executive what they consider the most critical tools to doing business today and most of them will put email at the top of the list. This hosted email solution includes security features such as antivirus; multi-level SPAM protection; advanced heuristics for detecting phishing/social engineering attacks; email encryption, including reporting and a bank-branded encryption portal; email archiving and retention with integration into Outlook; anytime/anywhere access through Microsoft Outlook Web Access; and smartphone integration. It also:

1. Features high data privacy, security, confidentiality, integrity and availability standards that banks require.

2. Adheres to the most recent FFIEC statement on managing cloud vendors.

3. Includes a vendor management packet addressing regulatory requirements including an independent SSAE 16/SOC 2 report, audited financials, disaster recovery testing details and data center information.

4. Stores and protects data physically in fully redundant data centers in the United States. It also retains and destroys information consistent with bank’s internal and FFIEC data retention policies.

Honorable Mentions:
CoNetrix Audit Toolbox
Fiserv Small Business Banking Growth Strategy


Management/Operations/Processing Solution

Winner: Computer Services Inc. WatchDOG Social Compliance

This compliance solution supports financial institutions in successfully managing their risk-assessment strategy surrounding mandatory regulations governing the use of social media. Institutions implementing the solution can more easily comply with regulatory requirements, enabling them to actively participate in social media without the risk of incurring compliance violations that could result in costly fines or sanctions. Key features include:

1. Providing banks with an array of comprehensive tools to ensure compliance with proposed FFIEC guidance related to social media, including archives of all Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn posts for required timeframes; user-designed approval processes to ensure posts meet regulatory guidelines; targeted search capabilities; reputation and sentiment analysis; and evaluation of the institution’s competitive landscape.

2. Offering guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau surrounding unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices, the solution provides users with a comprehensive method for managing customer complaints as part of its key offerings.

3. Enabling customers to more efficiently manage regulations associated with the Truth-in-Lending Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and other regulatory guidelines, which fully supports the institution’s efforts toward leveraging social media in the safest way possible.

4. Ensuring institutions are in compliance with regulatory guidelines, the solution also provides federal regulators with the level of information necessary to complete their annual assessments.

Honorable Mentions:
Banc Intranets DirectorsLink iPad App
CoNetrix tandem Security and Compliance Software


eBanking Solution

Winner: ProfitStars iPay Solutions Hybrid Risk Model

This new payment processing model for iPay Solutions’ Consumer Online Bill Pay was created to provide a more consistent and reliable payment experience for banks’ online bill payment subscribers across all payment types. It offers banks control over the flow of funds, risk tolerance and limit settings for online bill pay. This is relevant to community banks because:

1. Banks are responsible for collection on any payment exception and able to maintain the revenue associated with NSF and uncollected fees. This funding model does not verify the subscriber’s funds availability before initiating payment to the payee, therefore putting the risk, and essentially control over NSF and uncollected item decisions, on the bank.

2. Banks set their own risk limits and manage them globally and at the customer level, enabling them to leverage existing bill-pay subscriber relationships.

3. It offers consistency by posting electronic payment debits to subscriber’s account on delivery date and drawing and clearing checks that clear when presented to the institution by the payee. The bank’s subscriber retains the float management rather than the payment processor.

4. Transactions through iPay process the same way based on the financial institution’s custom settings, allowing it to control the user’s experience — not a third party.

Honorable Mentions:
Fiserv SpotPay
MoneyDesktop MoneyMobile

Copyright (c) November 2013 by BankNews Media