San Antonio-based FIData Inc. has developed a process that makes it possible for credit union members to apply for loans on the Internet or at kiosks called Touch Information Machines (TIMs), and receive approval in about two minutes.

"We believe we are the first company offering automated loan approvals for credit unions via the Internet," says William Hammock, senior vice president for Sales and Marketing at FIData. This capability represents a real breakthrough in the loan servicing industry and, at present, FIData is unique in making loan processing this quick and easy for credit unions and their members."

Here's how the process works. FIData is linked to the credit union's Web page and TIMs. When members wish to apply for a loan, they simply click or press the appropriate button -- whether it is a loan for a new car, used car, motorcycle or boat; a personal loan or line of credit; or a credit card. Members are asked for their name and account number; the credit union automatically fills in the loan application information from the member's credit union file; then the member can edit the loan application before it is submitted for processing. It takes about five minutes to prepare the loan application and the member receives an answer in about two minutes.

Although FIData provides the loan application processing service, the company's involvement is transparent to the user. To the member, it appears that the whole transaction is being handled by the credit union itself.

When the process is complete, FIData sends the credit union a fax with the loan application data, the result of the underwriting process, and the credit bureau report. If approval has been granted, the loan is processed according to the credit union's usual system. For an unsecured loan, members can even receive funds immediately by electronic transfer. If the loan is not approved, the applicant receives a referral to a loan officer. n

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