Narrowing the Field when Reviewing Credit Union Core Solution Providers

how to choose a core providerBecause your credit union core system is vital to the functionality of your credit union as a whole, it's important to partner with the right core solution provider who can deliver the technology and services that best suit the needs of your credit union. Of course, finding the perfect credit union core system involves time and effort, but if you follow the right steps, you’ll be on your way towards a better partnership in no time.

Which core provider is right for you?

Here are some tips to help you narrow down the field of core providers for your credit union:

  • Reduce your vendor selection to three or four candidates. Your goal, in the beginning, should be to identify vendors who can provide what you’re looking for in a core processing system. Select three or four vendors that you are most attracted to and who you believe will best meet your needs. There are many ways to go about. You can start by reading Callahan & Associate’s Supplier Market Share Guide and by researching other vendors that serve credit unions your size. You should also make a “wish list” of products and features you are most interested in. Finally, research the vendor’s company culture to see if it adheres to your own. All these steps should help you narrow down your list to three or four candidates.
  • Request responses to your “wish list.” To create your wish list, review items where your current core system falls short along with extremely crucial areas to your credit union's operations while identifying areas you wish to improve. Then decide what features of a credit union core system are essential to your business, and contact vendors to see if they can provide what you need. This will offer you the first opportunity to let vendors impress you. Not only should they be able to demonstrate their ability to provide the features your credit union needs, but the process will also allow you to observe their sales representatives and see how important your business is to them. When a vendor responds to your wish list, record the information in a spreadsheet so that you can compare the different vendors and refer to the information for the remainder of the process.
  • Request and review webinar demonstrations. Viewing high-level webinar demonstrations from vendors is one of the most useful ways to separate top contenders. When you have a list of three or four potential vendors, ask them to provide a 60-90 minute webinar demonstration of their solution. Invite your executive team to participate in the webinars. Webinar demonstrations allow you to dig a little deeper into each product learning more about the specific strengths and potential weaknesses of each credit union core processing system. This will ultimately lead to the next step of narrowing potential core partners.

Meet with your team to make the next selections

Following these steps carefully should give you a clear idea of what each vendor can offer your credit union. Now it’s time to talk with your executive team and narrow down your list to two or three credit union core system providers. Although this can be difficult, it is an essential step that will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.

Once you have your final two contestants, it’s time for a deeper dive where you compare their strengths and weaknesses, determine the best match for you, and make your final selection. The good news is that there’s a credit union core system out there to service every sort of credit union—you just have find it.

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