A Core Understanding

Five can't-miss data points this week on CreditUnions.com.

This week, CreditUnions.com answers the core question. Where should credit unions start when looking for a new core provider? How do they write a better RFP? How do they find happiness in the whole process?

Here are five can’t-miss data points:


Little is more fraught with peril and full of possibility for today’s credit union than choosing a core processing platform. After all, the software is the beating heart at the center of everything from simple general ledger transactions to advances in global payments technology. A core data processing system must be adaptable and accommodating of a dizzying array of third-party offerings, including the analytics engines credit unions are increasingly using to understand their members and take on their competitors. But an ideal core isn’t just about technology. People matter, too, and credit unions want a provider that listens to and respects its clients in addition to supporting and sustaining its product. With so much on the line, finding a perfect partner is crucial. And that partnership begins with the request for proposal, a process that lays the ground rules for the credit union and the vendor. Here, seven credit union leaders offer their thoughts on three important questions.

Read: How To Write A Better RFP


When Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union decided to convert its core processor and six other systems in mid-2016, it set a go-live date that was more than two years out. Its reason for choosing Oct. 1, 2018, were twofold. First, the management team needed the organizational bandwidth to complete all its systems changes. Second, the core conversion required a degree of training and change management that affected the entire organization. To instill confidence among employees during a period of significant change, the credit union established a robust, monthslong training program branded Journey Beyond that more than prepared its 500+ employees for go-live.

Read: Build Competence. Inspire Confidence. Go Live.


Robust technology is no longer a luxury for a credit union that intends to survive, much less thrive. Managing that part of the enterprise can be daunting to a chief executive, but that doesn’t have to be the case. In the credit union space, collaboration is second nature and networking opportunities abound. Collaboration takes place informally and in formal settings year-round the latter in the form of industry and trade group conferences, roundtables, and vendor user groups and meetings. Three participants from a CEO panel discussion during Symitar’s annual user conference this year sat down recently with CreditUnions.com to talk more in depth about how they manage their relationship with their chief technologists and with technology in general. Here are highlights from the hour-long conversation with Michigan State University FCU, Premier America Credit Union, and BCU.

Read: 3 CEOs Dish On Managing The Managers Of Technology


More than 600 credit unions have converted core processors in the past five years. The changing space of financial services makes selecting a technology partner more important than ever, and Callahan & Associates can help in that decision-making. Callahan’s Supplier Market Share Guide: Credit Union Core Processors is the industry’s go-to resource for leaders starting the core conversion journey. Leaders who simply want a deeper understanding of the marketplace and trends find the guide helpful, too. Although the major players continue to dominate the credit union core processing market Fiserv and Symitar combined claim 43% of the credit union market there are many ways to slice that market pie.

Read: How To Answer The Core Question


Knowing when and how to convert core processing platforms is a challenge that hundreds of credit unions fear and embrace each year. Andigo Credit Union converted to a new core platform in October 2017 after 16 years on its former solution. Sean Bowers, the suburban Chicago credit union’s executive president and chief lending officer, shares how Andigo decided when and how to convert as well as how it’s leveraged lessons learned to improve products, processes, and collaboration.

Read: How Andigo Captured Core Conversion Happiness

Happy Reading!

December 2, 2019

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