SAFE invests $3.7 million in new banking technology



A $3.7 million total contract investment in new banking technology is complete at SAFE Federal Credit Union, following the replacement of the organization's core banking software.

Provided by the Symitar division of Jack Henry & Associates Inc., the new software manages SAFE's banking operations, account openings and transaction processing at the $1.1 billion credit union.

"This is an investment in our members and in the future," said President and CEO Michael Baker. "With our advanced core banking system, we can bring members more service improvements and product innovation - not just now, but for years to come."

Because of the large scope of the project, planning began more than two years ago, and the conversion date was set well before the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the pandemic created additional challenges for an already major initiative.

"Our executive team and board had the confidence and our employees had the energy to keep this project powering forward for our members regardless of what was happening around us," Baker said.

To accomplish the transition in the midst of the pandemic, Symitar made the project the first virtual core conversion in the company's history. The move allowed teams from SAFE and Symitar to collaborate, test and install the new core system on schedule without introducing COVID-19 health risks. Shanon McLachlan, president of Symitar, said, "This was an encouraging display of teamwork and discipline, as well as a motivator for us."

The core banking system is the latest in a series of technology upgrades at SAFE. In January, the credit union launched a new $1.1 million online and mobile banking platform for a total technology investment of $4.8 million.

Based in Sumter, SAFE Federal Credit Union serves more than 126,000 members and is one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in South Carolina.