I recently visited with a credit union who told me they wanted the “Rocket Mortgage” experience with their core data processing vendor. Rocket Mortgage has some very cool and innovative software that appeals to both financial institutions and consumers. The problem is, most core data processing systems don’t offer that Rocket Mortgage experience with their base offerings.
Denny Gillott, our Vice President of Business Development has coined the term Progressive Renovation. He’s referring to keeping the core system that you already own, and supplementing that system with products that sizzle. You don’t need to change your entire core system to get a loan origination system or mobile application that is efficient and exciting. Conversions can be expensive and very disruptive.
I worked with a credit union that wanted to purchase an account opening product. They were only opening a small number of new accounts per week. A new account opening product would make them more efficient, but they really needed was new members. The same money may have been better spent on improved marketing and a sales campaign. I had a similar conversation with a group that wanted to upgrade their GL System, yet they were woefully behind their peers with their member facing products. Make sure you are spending your money wisely as not all of the cool new products and services will benefit every credit union.
Core integration is another issue that credit unions face when purchasing new products. The top tier core systems generally provide an end user tool box or a channel for integration. Make sure you check references and make sure the technology you want has strong integration to your core…before you make the purchase.
Many credit unions make a leap of faith with new products and services. They see what other credit unions are doing, and they want to remain competitive. That’s fine, but you need to do a ROI Analysis on all new software purchases. If you jump in with both feet without making sure the product is right for your credit union and your membership, you may find yourself with an expensive toy that provides little or no true value.
Not all credit unions can afford the cool new software. Often this software comes at a premium and is expensive to own and operate. If you must have the product, look to your credit union leagues or local CUSOs that may help aggregate the cost of these products. CUSOs can not only help bring down costs through collaboration, but they can provide the necessary integration and support.
At United Solutions CUSO, we recommend upgrading the member facing applications. Set your sites on products such as innovative web loan products, mobile applications, home banking solutions, personal finance management systems, and any product designed to be member facing. Your members are judging you based on the technology you provide, and in most cases, they want products that provide that Rocket Mortgage experience too.