Choice.jpgThe secret to offering the best technology to your members lies at the core. The ability to stay relevant and competitive within the financial industry is on the mind of most credit union executives. Technology, especially when looking to attract new and young members, often plays a huge role in staying competitive. Millennials currently have a great influence in the financial world, representing close to 75% of the workforce by the last count, impacting both financial and consumer trends alike. Keeping up with this segment of the population’s demands in particular, and being able to offer the latest in technology developments, is imperative to keeping your credit union relevant and on a path of growth. If your core system is built on open architecture, you will have the freedom to choose what products you integrate and ensure you are setting yourself up for future success.
Awareness of current trends in credit union core technology is important but in a world of specialization, it's key to have the ability to integrate best of breed services into your existing technology. Core processors with open architecture grant the choice and freedom to offer the products that best fit your members' needs, despite who provides them. Being able to work efficiently with third-party applications and products positions your credit union uniquely to better serve the ever-changing demands of the marketplace. In short, you have choices and become empowered by the flexibility your credit union open architecture provides.
The alternative is likened to being closed minded. If your core software limits integrations, it's limiting your growth potential. Perhaps an application that works well for some credit unions does not meet the needs of your field of membership, yet, you might find you are forced to use it because it's the only option with your vendor. Often times, your members and credit union would benefit from being an early adopter of a new technology. Releasing this within the confines of a closed system can either be impossible or may put you at risk of introducing a product or feature that isn't well integrating with the rest of your technology. Open architecture allows for seamless integration... meaning your members don't feel like it's a product that has been super glued on but views it as being an integrated part of your member services.

One of the advantages credit unions have is being agile. They can pool their resources and create partnerships in order to bring new technology to members and differentiate themselves through unique digital services. A few member services in demand right now include bill pay, P2P, mobile banking apps that help simplify personal finance management. There is also demand for increased IoT interaction between devices and apps, and of course the ability to provide the best in cyber security. The key to success, again, is to be able to be flexible and have a core system in place with open architecture that can work with all third-party vendors, giving you the ability to choose best of breed products that are right for your members.

When your member services can quickly meet the changing demands members, with minimal friction, it leaves resources available for other areas. Core data processing vendors who open up to you are demonstrating their commitment to the partnership. If you are willing to invest in flexible technology, you grant yourself the freedom to choose what services you offer without worrying who offers them. Creating a better member experience is an investment for the future and it will position your credit union success and growth. 

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