You did it. With hard work and determination, you narrowed down your list of potential new credit union core providers to just two, and you made your final decision. But now what? How do you take the final steps necessary to finish the process and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible?
When it boils down to making the final decision, you should have already reviewed core system functionality, company culture, quality of service, price vs. value, quantified the improved member experience and calculated increased staff efficiency. Final considerations and evaluations might be more about creating a plan to take to the board as to why you are choosing the vendor you've selected.
Receiving board approval doesn't have to be a one-person project and the responsibility shouldn't rest on the credit union's shoulders alone. Ask the selected vendor for any documentation or company overviews that will help you make your case to the board. Afterward, it’s time to request the contracts from the selected credit union core provider.
Understanding Your Contracts
Understanding the terms and clarifying every detail before you sign the contracts is crucial. Unfortunately, some vendors try to rope credit unions into long, confusing contracts using tricky language and slippery terms.
Here are some tips on how to proceed once you’ve received contracts from your newly selected credit union core system provider:
- Review contracts. Be certain that the terms and language of the contracts are clear. Look out for automatic renewal clauses, tricky language which automatically opts you in for another term. Have your lawyers look over the contract and bring your attention to anything that needs to be revised or omitted.
- Contract length. Ensure the length of your contracts does not exceed 5 years. Since technology evolves at such a rapid pace, you want to give yourself the chance to reconsider after your first term and choose a different core provider if need be. Beware of staggered contracts that can lock you in longer than you want.
- Final Negotiations. By now you should already have negotiated the price. But here you’ll have the opportunity to request clarification on any uncertain terms in the contracts or ask for specific changes identified by your internal and legal teams.
- Sign Contracts. You and your team put in a ton of hard work and achieved your goals. Once everything has been reviewed and finalized, sign the contract, and start looking towards the future.
- Confirm a Conversion Date. This is the date you wish to change your credit union core processing system. Decide on a date and get ready for pre-conversion planning—the next step in the process.
Finding the right credit union core processor solution is one of the keys to having a more efficient and functional credit union. While the process can be long and arduous, from narrowing down a lengthy list of vendors to deciding on the final one, ultimately, the result should be worth celebrating. If you’ve come this far—congratulations! —you and your team deserve a toast.
If you're in the process of seeking a new core provider, take a moment to learn more about us!