Callahan & Associates is known in the credit union industry for their in-depth research and analytics. With 30 years of experience in credit unions, they have provided sound advice for credit union leadership. Every year they survey the industry to gain a deeper understanding of credit union core processing trends and best practices. In 2017 they asked CU executives what top features they were looking for in new credit union core providers. Here were the top 3 responses:
1. Seamless Core Integration. Looking back just 5 years ago in 2012, credit unions identified IT Systems to be a limiting factor to their success. Now, the integration of multiple systems and products is identified as the key to their growth. The ability to seamlessly integrate with third-party vendors was identified in the survey as the most desired feature in a new core provider. Not only was it named the most important feature they are looking for, it was identified as the number one deciding factor for credit unions who did, in fact, make a conversion in the past year to a new provider. From mobile loans to in-house credit cards, integration is key. For example, credit card solutions should integrate card ordering and card loan servicing seamlessly into the core, providing both members and staff with real-time transactional access to card account information through mobile banking, eStatements, eAlerts and various other service channels. This is the type of seamless integration CEO's are looking for to provide real and substantial cost savings and efficiency in serving their members.
2. User-Friendly. Technology can provide amazing efficiencies in our everyday life. However, if it takes a rocket scientist to operate, then only rocket scientists will use it. Time and time again we see technologies fail because they are not easy to use. Most of us do not carry the same skill levels as Sheldon Cooper (we hopefully carry a better social skill level than him though). Choosing a core system that is easy to work with for both basic and complex functions, as well as one that has outstanding customer support is crucial. Executives are looking for core processing platforms that won't require extensive amounts of training time for employees, while simultaneously offering training programs and user training conferences for CU IT and leadership so they can take advantage of all the features of the core system. To achieve this balance, many core data processors offer regional training conferences as well as extensive account management support to ensure their clients on the are using the product to cut operating expenses by streamlining processes.
3. Adaptability. Credit unions are looking for a partner to grow with them. The industry is changing, and CU leadership has recognized they need to change with it in order to sustain growth. Therefore, when evaluating potential core providers, they want one that supports growth and is rapidly changing and evolving with them. Recognizing industry trends, such as the adoption of e-signatures and electronic document flow, and then partnering with vendors who are leaders in those fields, demonstrates how a core provider is positioning their credit unions for growth. Download our eGuide about the FLEX integration with DocuSign: