NCUA to Update FOM Process, Replace FOMIA with new CAPRIS Software
Starting this month, the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) will begin implementing a new, modernized system focusing specifically on the online application process for Field of Membership expansion.
The news was announced via a letter to credit unions issued by the NCUA on August 12th with the title of “Implementation of Modernized Systems.”
The transition will feature the utilization of new software incorporating “emerging and secure technology” to enhance the Administration’s ability to collect, examine and report on data, along with furthering its efforts on field of membership. The overall goal is a simplified, straightforward application process, which should ultimately provide several benefits to both credit unions and their members.
What Will the New Applications Change?
Five specific applications and their purpose were outlined in the letter, beginning with NCUA Connect, described as “a central user interface,” which will serve as a highly secure area of interaction between credit unions and the Administration, as well as an access point to all subsequent applications. Directly connected to this is the Admin Portal, simply a way for credit unions to manage user access to NCUA Connect and other applications.
A Simpler Way to Expand FOM?
Perhaps the biggest change is the introduction of the Consumer Access Process and Reporting Information System (CAPRIS), which will replace the current Field of Membership Internet Application (FOMIA), which had been in use for the past 21 years. Through the new software, Multiple Common Bond credit unions will now be able to submit field of membership expansion requests entirely electronically. The hope of course is this will help make more efficient what has often been the long and arduous process of adding new members.
New Ways to Assess and Report
The final two applications both deal with data analysis. The Modern Examination & Risk Identification Tool (MERIT) provides a host of new analytics for examiners wishing to evaluate trends and potential risks in credit unions. The new system replaces the 25-year-old AIRES and also aims to increase and enhance communication between credit unions and examining bodies such as the NCUA or State Supervisory Authorities (SSAs).
Lastly, the Data Exchange Application (DEXA) is also related to the examination and supervision process as it allows credit unions to securely upload any member loan and share data that might be requested.
How to Learn the New Systems
Not oblivious as to how these new applications may impact the current credit union landscape, the NCUA will provide easily accessible user training for the software, the specifics of which are detailed in the letter. Finally, the Administration was keen to point out the information security measures being taken to accompany the technological transition, noting how the “overall system design, configuration, and management processes implemented during the modernization process align with industry standards and best practices, with great care being taken to protect sensitive information such as personally identifiable information.”
Just how these changes will affect things on the ground of course remains to be seen, but the intention to move towards a more streamlined, simplified approach, especially when it comes to FOM expansion, is certainly a move in the right direction.