CU Mag: What are some conversion don’ts?
Valentino: We’ve had situations where the entire process was given to a third party. It sounds like great idea—you hire someone to help you.
But there’s no credit union ownership. It’s like having someone decorate your house without telling them what your style is. So don’t give away control of the conversion.
The core is more than just the system that tracks transactions. It touches all of your delivery channels: ATMs, online banking, mobile banking, debit and credit cards—everything that touches your members. You need to have the ability to make sure these touch points are taken care of in the conversion.
Sometimes, institutions will go through the conversion process and forget about a whole delivery channel.
The growing importance of the core has really changed how we approach conversions. It’s not just about the core anymore. It’s more than the core. That’s my mantra.
Look at what touches the member and how to ensure the least possible disruption to the member.
CU Mag: What other advice would you offer?
Valentino: Pick the right partner. It’s a very stressful time. It’s change. Even if it’s good, change isn’t easy so you need a partner that’s level, confidence-building, and trustworthy.
Otherwise, who will hold it together for you?
• Check out Credit Union Magazine's 2011 Information Systems Guide, which highlights the credit union movement's top core processors and their systems' features and functions.
Bill Merrick is deputy editor of Credit Union Magazine. Follow him on Twitter via @CUMagazine.