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​Credit Union Tech Partner or Vendor? Here’s How You Know

Some credit unions just want to buy ‘the thing’ and be left alone to manage it on their own. And that’s ok. Others might need a little help along the way, and that’s fine, too. Both have their value, but if you’re in the latter group, how do you know if you’re buying a product or service or if you’re investing in a partnership?

Here’s how you can tell:

Keeps on top of trends and technologies to implement. First and foremost, when you’re seeking a company to help with your credit union technology, be sure it’s one that can help you serve your members now and into the future.
Did you know that of about 50 core processors on the market, fewer than five run on technology that’s newer than 30 years old?! That means a patchwork of Band-Aids and barb wire that can fall apart at any minute. Remember the FAA and Southwest tech breakdowns from earlier this year? That’s exactly what happened to them. Pick tech companies that are built on modern code, play well with others and won’t leave your members grounded.

Read last month’s blog below, A Lesson From the Friendly Skies.

Wields a good reputation and references. Talk with a network of credit unions that are similarly situated to yours. Who are they using? What are the pros and cons? Look beyond those who use the big names and see what companies are out there that have great tech without the flashy marketing budgets. Ask your prospective credit union technology partners for references, too. You might just find a hidden gem.

Listens to your objectives to ensure the company can help to solve them. When you’re looking for a partner, pay attention to how they treat your credit union through the initial process. Are they pushing software on you, or are they listening to your needs and actually working with your credit union to solve them?

Makes key team members accessible. If you select this tech firm, will you be filing tickets into the ether, or will your credit union have a responsive team behind you? Have them walk you through their service methods. First, getting that response is crucial, but hearing from the people who can actually provide a solution to your issue is just as critical. Getting an automated email or someone who’s following the basics from a ‘tech for dummies’ manual won’t cut it when services to your members is down.

Builds tech that’s reliable. The availability of your technology is paramount for today’s member service, so ask about the frequency and length of downtimes. Discover the business continuity and disaster recovery plans for any tech company you might use. One expert shared that most credit unions don’t even have access to their tech partners’ disaster recovery plans. Red Flag!

Shares their actual pricing. Some companies will wave big signing bonuses in front of credit union executives, which they can then apply to updates and services as needed. The thing about these deals is 1) it demonstrates they’re expecting added expenses, and 2) it clouds the actual value credit unions are getting for using these companies. The big guys are typically the ones making these offers, and they are not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts – it’s figured into your credit union’s pricing from the start.

Prodigy is a Core and Cloud CUSO, providing unprecedented freedom and flexibility for progressive, mission-focused credit unions that want to own their technological destiny. Several credit unions just like yours banded together with a vision of collaboration and shared common values to ensure accessible, affordable technology for credit unions, regardless of their size. Our clients value the support and service we provide, from educational webinars to tweaking some code to give them a little something special. Prodigy is a native browser based, cloud centered core platform that is beautifully designed and simple to use. Our network is an open architecture ecosystem where credit unions can own their future and the systems they choose to operate. And we’re happy to help guide you through that process as well. Our business model is just like yours; we’re not out to make a buck, but to make a difference. Our credit unions receive access to highly skilled experts managing and maintaining your credit union’s tech a security at a fraction of the cost – and with easy-to-understand pricing. Let’s talk tech.

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