Volume 16, Issue 2

Volume 16, Issue 2 (5)

MSD's brand promise of "Committed to Customer Satisfaction, Software Excellence & Integrity' resonates through our dedicated employees.

On July 10th 2020, Mrs Yvette Bobb, MSD's Manager of the Customer Advocacy Department, celebrated her 20th year of dedicated service to the organisation.

This significant milestone symbolises Mrs Bobb's contribution to assist the organisation in pursuing our brand promise.

In commemoration of this achievement, MSD presented Mrs. Bobb with tokens of appreciation and applauded her efforts of being a dedicated, hard working and loyal team member.

Customers are invited to contact Mrs Bobb This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on all non routine correspondence warranting her attention. It is Mrs Bobb desire to better harness our relationship and further enhance our customer service delivery.

MSD is proud to boast that 40% of our staff have worked for MSD for more than ten (10) years. This level of staff loyalty can be directly linked to MSD's philosophy of integrating People, Processes and Technology in order to provide innovative solutions.

Dear Value Customers,

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively affect our World economies, and continues to impact the way businesses operate. At Micro Software Designs Ltd (MSD), we have implemented several safety measures and procedures to protect our environment against the risk of the virus entering into MSD’s workplace. These specific COVID-19 measures and procedures have enabled our MSD Team to return to a safe and comfortable environment. Thus, ensuring we continue delivering great customer service.

During our physical period away from the office, one key lesson that was highlighted to the MSD Team is the importance of always delivering excellent service to our customers even in challenging situations. Here is a message we recently received from one of our customers, Mrs Lucy-Ann Henry-Coutou, Accountant from The Trinidad Building and Loans Association, "I just want to commend you guys on your continued support in this time of uncertainty. There has not been one instance where we needed support during this period that we did not get it. It is comforting to know that in the midst of uncertainty we can be certain of your support." In keeping with our brand promise of “Committed to Customer Satisfaction, Software Excellence & Integrity”, we will continue to deliver quality services to you.

The “new normal” with respect to the way how businesses operate requires that persons maintain at least six (6) feet physical distance from each other, that we wear face masks and that we limit the number of persons congregating. MSD acknowledges this new norm and has worked assiduously to develop a suite of Online Services solutions to limit your members’ physical visits at your institutions in order to conduct financial transactions. These Online Solutions include Online Banking and Mobile App access. Additionally, we have modified the Moratorium and Deferral features in Emortelle to meet our customers’ needs. We have also modified our Loan Relief product to satisfy those customers wishing to offer assistance to SMEs based on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s guarantee loan facility. When we said we will be there for you, we mean it.

In keeping with our Corporate Social Responsibility practices and our ongoing collaboration with the Department of Computing & Information Technology (DCIT) of the University of the West Indies (UWI), we have once again undertaken to provide vacation employment opportunities to four (4) interns under the Internship Programme at the DCIT. These interns will be at MSD for the period, June to August 2020 and will be engaged in development work in line with their academic goals. We trust that the practical experiences and work environment settings that have been offered to them, will undoubtedly serve to strengthen their academic knowledge, as well as prepare these young professions to join the workforce.

We wish to announce our newest customer, the Bethel Thrift Society Ltd (BTC) of Kingston, Jamaica. After an in-depth evaluation by BTC, our flagship product, Emortelle was selected as the Application of choice. We are currently in the Training and Implementation stage for Go Live in July 2020. We wish Bethel Thrift Society Ltd and its members, warmest welcome and pledge to diligently serve them through the coming years.

In closing, we continue to pray for the successful end of this pandemic crisis and for the well being and safety of your staff, your members and your families. We all have a part to play in the eradication of the COVID-19 virus, once we continue to follow our Health Officials' guidelines.

MSD continuously embark on yearly training onsite at our Training Center to local and regional customers to ensure your staff understand and appreciate the intricacies involved in effectively utilising Emortelle and Add On Modules. This year however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety guidelines MSD adapted, we will be adjusting the format a bit to offer limited capacity for onsite training in September.

We will be offering online training via webinars as well. Additionally, we are involving you in the topic selection process. This approach will allow you, our cherished customers to select from the list of areas that are most needed by you. Please look out for our bulletin in the coming weeks which will provide the link to the online survey from which you will choose. The training areas will then be derived from the most selected.

MSD understands the importance of these annual training sessions to you as they solidify the knowledge base within your organisation for new employees as well as existing employees, who may have moved to different functional areas. We know that the workshops contribute to the development of users by showcasing more efficient methods of using Emortelle in their focus area. The interactive sessions with our Facilitator and other participants only serve to broaden their knowledge and provide great insight and perspective.

Strategic insights into the key functions of the Emortelle software would also be available to the Management and Leadership Teams, as well as onsite sessions, once requested. These sessions would be geared towards the Board of Directors, Managers, Credit Committee and Supervisory Committee for Operational Efficiency & Organizational Effectiveness.It’s our belief that effective training will positively impact the quality of service your financial institution delivers to its members, thus, resulting in improving members’ satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.

We look forward to providing this service once again this coming September.

Recently MSD implemented the OpenVPN platform which was introduced as an alternative VPN solution for connecting our customers to the various online services we provide.

OpenVPN is an open-source, robust and proven VPN technology solution that enables encrypted, secure connections over the internet between two parties. In our implementation it allows for our cloud servers to access our customer’s Emortelle data in a secure and efficient manner. The OpenVPN service is managed by MSD and hosted on 3rd party managed infrastructure located in North America.

How secure is it?

Simply put, it is very secure. The VPN data is encrypted with 256bit AES and it uses TLS based client authentication with individual client certificates for each customer.

How can it help?

Because it is software based the setup is achieved much quicker compared to the hardware based VPN alternative we offer. Our customers also are not required to obtain a static IP address from their ISP nor will they require the expertise of their network technician to be involved. It allows for the speedy launch of the Emortelle online services to our customer’s membership.

Online Services within Emortelle

As the world continues to battle COVID-19 and we hear from the various global health organisations that a vaccine to combat this pandemic may take some time before it becomes widely available to the population. We must therefore look at ways in which we may adapt to the new normal. No longer can Financial Institutions (FI) greet their members with a handshake or a warm smile. FIs must persevere to reach members in comfort and safety and must provide the assurance that despite this pandemic you are still close by.

MSD understands this need and worked assiduously during lockdown to devise our GIA Express and Mobile App Express offerings which allows Financial Institutions to implement Online and Mobile Banking in the shortest possible timeframe. We are pleased that several institutions took up the offer and implemented Online Banking and Mobile App in the past few months for which their members are truly grateful.

We continue to urge our customers to take advantage of the digital banking features in Emortelle; and it is to this end that we are pleased to advise that the ability to transfer funds between Institutions via Online Banking (GIA) using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) feature has been implemented. Our customers are asked to contact their Advocate to discuss how this can be implemented.

Customers are also reminded of some of the cost savings, safety and enhanced benefits derived from Online Services:

  • Increase Membership- Have prospective members apply online and upload documents, hassle free and safely. Maintain the opportunity to confirm that the requirements for AML/CFT and institution policy are met before activating account.
  • Increase Service Comfort levels- Members can transact business online thus reducing the lines and waiting period for in-office service especially during the COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Reduce HR Costs - Members can obtain balances, execute transfers, make cheque requests, pay bills whilst on the go therefore reducing the need to have personnel available to perform these services, which is a cost savings to the Financial Institutions.
  • Increase Services- Services like additional letter request types or quick cash loans can be offered.
  • Increase Income - Earn commission when members purchase phone top ups or from fees for dispatching members online bills payment requests.
  • Reduce Expenses- members can generate Statements online so no need to spend on paper, printer, envelopes and postage. Additionally, electronic statements are safer than printed paper statement and delivery is immediate.

We do look forward to working with our customers to embrace the digital technologies resident in your Emortelle System.

Transaction Monitoring

Financial Institutions (FI) must forever be vigilant when accepting and dispatching monetary instruments. As custodians of the members' equity; each Financial Institution must ensure that the proceeds of crime do not reach their coffers. To achieve this, stringent Transaction Monitoring is required.

The Emortelle Due Diligence (EDD) feature is seamlessly integrated with our Partner Dow Jones Risk and Compliance which enhances the Transaction Monitoring aspects in Emortelle. This feature facilitates the automated search on the Risk and Compliance database of prospective members at on-boarding and deposit taking, as well as, it allows for the search of payees (both members and non-members) in response to AML/CFT compliance. The Risk and Compliance Watchlist content includes the following (just to name a few):

  • PEP- Politically Exposed Persons
  • RCA- Relative or Close Associate
  • SAN- Sanctions Lists
  • OFAC- Office of Foreign Asset Control
  • OOL- Other Official list
  • SIP- Special Interest Persons
  • SDN- Specially Designated Nationals
  • AME- Adverse Media Entity

This enables FIs to obtain a consolidated profile when the search is completed, inclusive of photo and Risk Type, once the name is listed. An automatic email is dispatched by Emortelle to the Compliance Officer at the point of on-boarding or deposit taking, once the name being searched is listed on the Risk and Compliance database.

As a Dow Jones Partner and Reseller; MSD is able to provide access to this database at an extremely low rate with the added benefit for institutions to search the same name multiple times during the year for no additional cost.

In addition to the EDD, other features that contribute to Transaction Monitoring are:

  • Configuration of a threshold limit for deposits; the violation of which will result in the automatic generation of the Declaration of Source of funds.
  • Client Activity Report for unusual activity
  • Transaction Alert via SMS or email for details on account activity
  • System disable of ATM card if cardholders is listed

We remind customers of their Transaction Monitoring responsibility and urge you to take advantage of the integrated offering within Emortelle that facilitates this. Let us all continue to be diligent and do our part in ensuring that there is greater transparency in our financial dealings throughout the region.