ATLANTA - S1, traditionally a banking technology vendor, has its sights on the credit union market. The company has created a new credit union team to increase its penetration in the industry. The team attended CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference and a recent Symitar users' conference to try and get the lay of the land. "We've reorganized our business a great deal to be much more focused on markets. S1 has always been opportunistic in signing up credit unions, but has never focused on them," said Baron Unbehagen, vice president of product development for S1. Its community banking products are primarily aimed at institutions of $1 billion and below, with a sweet spot between $150 to $300 million, said Unbehagen. Internet banking is the product that S1 sees the most potential with in the credit union sector, especially with credit unions getting more involved in serving businesses. "Our single platform offers retail banking as well as cash management for small business. When any of our customers, who at first only want to enter the retail side of the business, decide to get into cash management, they don't have to install another solution. It's running through the same node or adaptor that integrates the back end core processing system. It's always a single install," said Unbehagen. S1 isn't completely new to credit unions. It currently works with about 30 CUs that utilize it for Internet banking, branch application, and lending applications. It is working on updating its interfaces for Symitar, Summit and XP Systems to deliver enhanced functionality for credit unions. It includes credit union clients in its total of 700 community banking clients. It recently renewed $50 million Texas Tech FCU for a five-year contract for Internet banking, interactive voice response, and a few Web site solutions. "What is this entire industry about? Is it simply about online banking, or is it really about self-service banking. It's about delivering more value through tighter integration that creates more complete self-services features," said Unbehagen. He cited funds transfer, bill pay and account access as three areas that really have to work together for self-service banking to take off. S1 believes it can compete very favorably against Digital Insight on Internet banking. In fact, it believes it has a pricing advantage. Brian Miller, a sales executive working on S1's new credit union team said DI clients are tired of paying "Cadillac prices" for Internet banking, which in many ways has become a commodity. He said S1 prices by number of end users, regardless of transaction volume, whereas DI also tacks on transaction fees. S1 has been getting approximately a dozen calls a month for the past year from credit unions looking to move to another Internet banking vendor, said Miller. He claims credit unions will see a typical savings of 30-40% by switching to S1's Internet banking product. S1 also offers Web site development/hosting, ATM solutions, interactive voice response, Internet-based lending, and others. While its community banking products are geared to credit unions, it also serves the largest of banks. At press time, it signed two multi-billion dollar banks for its teller platform solution. -firstname.lastname@example.org
S1 Targets Credit Union Industry, Says it Can Save Credit Unions Money on Internet Banking Costs
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