by Michael Scholl
DTCC is taking steps to enhance the customer experience in terms of inquiries made via the Web Inquiry Notification System (WINS), the web-based service for submitting Asset Services queries to The Depository Trust Company (DTC).
Based on feedback from customers, DTC is introducing new features that will make the system more user-friendly, resulting in faster responses and greater overall efficiency. The latest enhancements are scheduled to go live in August.
Leveraging the database
One new WINS feature is based on the realization that customers often ask the same questions about the same securities at around the same time.
“It’s not in anyone’s interest to reinvent the wheel,” said Cheryl Lambert, DTCC managing director, Asset Services, “so we are building an automated knowledge base that will give customers inquiring about a particular CUSIP number the answers to questions recently asked by other customers who had inquiries about the same CUSIP number.” DTC will cull the information to avoid redundancy in the responses it sends to firms.
By making archived responses available based on the CUSIP number, the goal is to resolve many customer questions immediately. “This innovation leverages existing research to accelerate our customer response time while freeing up our staff to track down the answers to new inquiries,” said Lambert.
She stressed that the automated responses would be scrubbed of any confidential material and would only include information in the public domain, such as interest rates or payout dates.
Uploading PDF attachments
Another WINS enhancement will be the capability to upload PDF files along with an inquiry. This will give customers a more efficient method of submitting the supporting documents sometimes needed to supplement an inquiry.
Right now, such materials cannot be submitted through WINS and must be separately faxed or emailed to DTC. The uploading feature will create a “one-stop shop” that allows customers to submit inquiries and their related documents together without having to leave the WINS system, according to Timothy Pamlanye, DTCC manager, Customer Help Center. “This feature will streamline the existing process and reduce the margin for error by eliminating faxes and emails,” Pamlanye said.
This new capability will also allow DTC to attach PDF files to the responses it sends to customers through WINS.
Highlighting customer alerts
A third feature will improve overall communications by making customer alerts and links to Important Notices available through WINS.
“We’re going to make these alerts and notices readily accessible in one place, which is easier for the customers and will help ensure important news is distributed more quickly to those who need it,” said Pamlanye. This feature will get information to individuals who may not be on the email distribution list for a particular type of customer alert or notice.
In the pipeline
Going forward, DTC anticipates expanding WINS to accommodate inquiries other than those concerning Asset Services.
Current plans call for WINS to handle DTCC Deriv/SERV inquiries by the end of this year, according to Pamlanye, while further additions are possible down the road. “We are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of WINS capabilities,” he said. @