Case Study: Federal Credit Union Adopts New Tech For Fraud Prevention

epson desert

According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States, affecting nine million Americans each year. During the holidays, identity theft is especially rampant; thus, banks and credit unions must remain vigilant in their fight against fraudulent transactions. 

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union sought a solid solution in its continued effort to prevent fraudulent transactions. The seventy-six year old organization accommodates more than 300,000 members at 47 locations, and remains the state’s largest credit union with $3.8 billion in assets. About six years ago, Desert Schools FCU transitioned to branch capture to increase member service and identity fraud prevention. Their goal was to make it as fast and easy as possible to collect vital member information in one step so that branch personnel could spend more face-to-face time fostering stronger relationships—knowing their members is key to preventing fraud. Desert Schools wanted a way to simplify the capture and validation process for the teller at the point of customer interaction by reducing the number of devices necessary at the teller windows. epson check scan

The credit union opted for a core conversion and completed deployment of Corelation’s KeyStone in September 2015. They also deployed Epson’s TM-S9000 multifunction teller device at all 47 branch locations. The Epson TM-S90000 contains a built-in two-sided ID scanner as well as a fully integrated TM-T88V receipt printer. Other features include check scanning and MICR accuracy along with the ability to print cashier checks and perform endorsement printing.

They deployed the Epson technology at their teller windows to print receipts, scan checks, and scan photo IDs into Corelation’s Keystone core platform. They were able to consolidate three devices into one, minimizing the footprint and clutter at their teller windows.

Since implementing the new systems, the credit union noted several instances of attempted fraud: others have tried to use stolen member checks or ventured to open new accounts with the intention to commit fraud.  With Keystone and Epson’s ID scanner’s quick ID verification, the teller was able to send a fraud alert to branch staff within seconds.  Previously, a teller would have needed to locate the suspect through video surveillance coverage and issue the fraud alert minutes later.

Following the conversion, the credit union reports that their tellers experience faster balancing time at the end of each day. Since outages are identified in real-time, tellers subsequently less time researching outages.  The new technology provides a higher level of detail that allows for pinpointing outages down to a specific teller versus an entire branch. Desert Schools FCU expects to see additional timesavings within their back office support areas.desert schools exterior

“Because we launched this new equipment as part of a core conversion, the receipt printing and ID scanning was an overnight change for our employees,” said Theresa Fadel, AVP, Retail Operations at Desert Schools FCU. “We chose a very aggressive roll out phased over three weeks for the teller capture functionality and even had branches begging to start using it early. Epson’s multifunction teller device has been a great success and empowered us to better identify and help protect our members.”


About Desert Schools:  Serving the Phoenix market for 76 years, Desert Schools is Arizona’s largest credit union with $3.8 billion in assets, more than 300,000 members and 47 locations across the state. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Schools prides itself on providing stellar service and innovative products to its members, and remaining active in community outreach and education in the Valley and beyond. Learn more at


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