Last week we published the article Top Features Credit Unions Look for in Core Providers, where we discussed what credit union executives found to be the most important features they are looking at when evaluating new core technology. As a follow up to that post, the same respondents in the survey by Callahan & Associates chose the top 3 reasons they selected a particular core vendor. While on the surface it would seem the two lists would be identical... that the features they want most would be the reason for selecting a core. But as you know, in life there are numerous other factors that go into our decision-making process, and when choosing the most important software to operate a credit union, executives factor in other reasons beyond just features when selecting their partner in a core conversion.
1. Seamless Core Integration. The only identified choice both lists had in common between top features credit unions look for in cores and the resulting reasons for selecting a core was the ease of integration of multiple systems and products. However, it goes beyond the mere ability to integrate with third parties but includes integrating within the ecosystem of the credit union and to mesh well with those using the credit union software. Is the integrated technology easy to use? Will the training required to come on board with the new software be a hindrance to implementation? the adoption of the software and all its features, including those integrated with third-party applications, is crucial to selecting a core provider.
2. Company Reputation. Credit union executives are not just looking for a data processor to select... they are looking to build a partnership with a trusted company... the value of not just the core, but the values of the core's company is important. What's the reputation of the provider? What is the perceived reputation of the provider in the marketplace? Do people like working there? Do they keep not only their employees but also their clients? What is the future of the company and growth prospects? A core conversion is a significant investment and executives want to be sure the parent company of the software is committed to their own product for the long haul. The relationship you establish with your core provider should last beyond contract dates and their technology should propel your growth by creating operational efficiencies.
3. Programming and data retrieval. Keeping it simple. Simple programming. Simple coding. Simple API's for easy integration. Credit union executives see that a good core with lots of features, if built intelligently, does not have to be complicated.
Credit union data processing is one of the largest expenses for CU's, and it is therefore important to understand the process of choosing a partner you can trust. Download our Core Technology Survival Guide for more insight into the process of a core conversion, from credit union core system review to implementation.