choosing between core providersChoosing to switch your credit union core software provider is a huge decision. After all, credit union core technology is one of the most critical components to any successful credit union and making the wrong decision could hurt your business for years to come. Another big decision comes when you’ve narrowed down your list to just two core providers, and you must choose which vendor to partner with.

The good news is that if you’ve managed to narrow down your search for a new credit union core provider to two or three choices, then you’re already well on your way. By now you’ve done your research, received responses to your wish list, consulted with similar sized credit unions, and reviewed each vendor’s company culture. This means you should have a clear understanding of what you need and want from a core processor. All that’s left is a final decision. But before you go ahead and forge a partnership with a credit union core solution that could - and should - last many years, you want to be absolutely sure that you are choosing the right technology.

Four Key Tips

Here are four key tips to help you make the final decision between two credit union core providers:

  1. Consult your team (again). Credit unions are collaborations, so it’s important you seek input from your team. At the beginning of your search, you consulted members of your team to identify flaws in your core processing system and ways to improve. Near the end of the process, talk with your team about their opinions on the final two core processors. What do they like and dislike about the remaining choices? What questions and concerns do they have?

  2. Consider other factors. When you’re down to two core processors out of a field of choices, it’s clear that you like various aspects of the two different systems. Now’s the time to review your notes and original wish list, and to consider which factors and features are the most important to you. If the two systems offer all the same features, the final decision may come down to other factors, such as the company culture, price, or user-friendliness and adaptability.

  3. Calculate and compare the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of each core. Request pricing from vendors and then calculate the total cost of using that core system. Consider all expenses, like hardware and relicensing costs, travel expenses for the installation team, and any costs you may have to pay a third-party for a service the core provider can’t provide. Calculating the TCO of each vendor can be time-consuming and complicated. But ultimately, it will help you decide if the price is worth it, and you will know what expenses to expect in the future if you choose that core provider for your credit union.

  4. Host 4-hour, on-site demonstrations. On-site demonstrations are your best chance to let the vendors impress you and your team. Before choosing between two core providers, it’s vital to schedule an on-site demonstration with the remaining vendors. Make sure you invite all staff members who are key to making the decision and provide them with relevant details, the original wish list, and a pen and paper for taking their own notes during the session. After the demonstrations, meet with staff to discuss the demonstrations and share takeaways from the meetings.

Make the Final Decision about Your Core Processing System

Finding a credit union core processing system can be a long process, where each step is important. But no stage is as important as making your final decision. If you can follow the four steps above, you should have no problem differentiating between your final two selections and choosing a partner you can be happy with that will support your growth for many years to come.

Learn how a North Dakota-based credit union navigated their way through a core system review to find the right technology partner.

Core System Review Case Study 

Topics: Core Technology, Core Processing System Review, Core Integration

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