The key is to participate, to be involved, to get the information that’s going to help you with your business and help you make sure that you’re giving the best customer service you possibly can.
For Karen Platt, a treasury specialist at Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company, no two days are the same. “I think that’s the biggest reason why I like my job. I love the customer service aspect. I’m researching a payment to help the customer.”
This enthusiasm for helping others sets the tone for Karen’s workday, but her time away from the office is about family. From her favorite movies – those that are appropriate for the kids – to weekends found on the soccer and baseball fields, Karen tries to be present with her son and daughter when office hours end. “I try not to bring it home.”
This focus on family extends to her favorite vacation: This past summer’s trip to Lake George, NY. “It was the first family vacation I’ve had with the kids. It was amazing, and the kids were just happy to be away. My daughter actually was upset when I first told her we were going, because she was going to miss soccer. Once we got there, she was like, ‘Soccer, what?’”
Enjoying time together appears to, well, run in the family, taking precedence to individual activities like soccer, baseball, and work.
NEACH recently sat down with Karen to hear more about what she does in her day job, and what drives her love for it and the changing payments industry.
NEACH: What excites you most about the industry and your role in it?
KAREN: I guess just the fact that the ACH world is constantly growing and changing. I definitely hope for the future that we can utilize all of the technology and opportunities that are out there for us.
NEACH: What is one unique thing your organization is doing in payments?
KAREN: We use a system that incorporates the process of creating the payment, going through the internal authorization process and the accounting piece. So it’s all wrapped up in one system that then feeds to our ledger system, making things much more efficient. This system can do things in batches that move over to the ledger system, which is a one-for-one; otherwise, you’d have to enter each payment individually if processing directly in ledger system.
NEACH: What do you see as the biggest opportunity in payments for businesses?
KAREN: I can definitely say it’s about time for Same Day ACH, in my opinion. Our company is not doing it right now. I’m sure we’re going to get there, and it’s going to be wonderful.
I think that when we’re in a position to be able to use Same Day ACH, I would like to see larger dollar amounts allowed. When you’re trying to wire funds, in some cases when you’re wiring from one of your accounts to another, it seems silly to wire the funds when you can just ACH them.
NEACH: How do you participate with NEACH?
KAREN: I leverage the webinars when I can, and obviously I attend their conferences and member meetings. I also have reached out on occasion with specific situations and questions; it’s awesome to have them just a phone call away.
In getting the AAP accreditation, having the NEACH membership is a benefit for continuing education. I think it’s an important part of having the AAP, to have that resource, and my company is more than happy to accommodate that for my continuing education.
NEACH: In working with NEACH, what do you think others don’t know about the organization?
KAREN: I don’t believe that enough corporations take advantage of what NEACH has to offer. I just don’t think other corporations utilize NEACH to its potential. The key is to participate, to be involved, to get the information that’s going to help you with your business and help you make sure that you’re giving the best customer service you possibly can.
NEACH: What book are you currently reading?
KAREN: You’re going to laugh at this; it’s the Rules book! A lot of areas in our company are looking at ways to improve processes, and I get questions on any changes departments want to make to ensure we’re staying in compliance. With that influx of questions, I need to read up!