Long-familiar names in credit union land-such as XP Systems, CUSA and USERS-are being retired and the corporate name and its new logo instead will be displayed on buildings in such locations as Moorpark, Calif., Salt Lake City and Valley Forge, Pa.-as the Brookfield, Wis., company enters what one executive calls "really, the second epoch of Fiserv as we know it."
"We're moving from a house of brands to a branded house," Don MacDonald, the company's chief marketing officer, told Credit Union Times. "We're making the final move from a portfolio-holding company to an operating company."
The new market approach "streamlines the customer experience by bringing all of the former business units and the company's leadership under a single brand," the company said in its formal announcement. "This unified approach will accelerate product innovation and make it easier for clients to access a full breadth of Fiserv solutions."
That includes the host of credit unions that use Fiserv for core processing and a wide range of other solutions, and MacDonald said it was no coincidence that the "new Fiserv" was unveiled at the credit union industry's largest gathering.
"Obviously the thousands of credit union clients we have are very important to us," MacDonald said on the eve of the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. "That's why we chose the largest credit union show for our coming-out party."
Now marking its 25th year, Fiserv grew by leaps and bounds through acquisitions that largely operated as independent companies, and then began its new direction when Jeffery Yabuki became president/CEO in 2005.
Fiserv 2.0 was the name given to the initial effort to integrate the company's offerings across its product lines. CU7 was the name given to the business strategy that combined the seven credit union core processing companies. And then came the buyout of payments leader CheckFree in 2007.
The company said that integrating CheckFree's e-commerce offerings "has been a catalyst to drive true integration" across the product line, which now includes core processing, payments, customer and channel management, business intelligence and risk and compliance solutions.
"We are preparing for a new digital frontier in banking and electronic commerce that will require unprecedented levels of data analytics and information exchange across the entire spectrum of banking solutions," said Pete Kight, CheckFree founder and Fiserv vice chairman.
"Fiserv processes more relational financial services data than any other third party in the world," Kight said. "We intend to provide this advantage to our clients in ways that will replace last year's technology costs with tomorrow's primary source of profitable revenue growth,"
The company's 77 business units and 12 group presidents will be basically divided into two groups that serve more than 16,000 customers with about 20,000 employees, including about 2,400 in the credit union division.
Instead of former company names such as IntegraSys and USERS, the division will market and support products by their individual names, such as the Premier and DataSafe core processing platforms and solutions that cross those lines, such as Corillian Online, the MyMoney solution for Facebook and BancIntelligence offerings.
"I think of it as the ultimate expression of all the work we've been doing for the past two years," said Sara Brooks, senior vice president of strategy and offerings development for the credit union division.
She said the CU7 strategy now being mothballed was "used as a transition to help the market understand that we were coming together, focused on a single goal."
Brooks said that "for years, we operated as distinct business units and we did a lot of great things with clients. But now we've spent the last two years integrating teams and developing projects, and even though the names have gone away, the people and the products remain intact."
"Credit unions will still depend on the same relationships with experienced professionals who develop and deliver their systems. And the names of the systems themselves will continue to be used," she said. For instance, the IntegraSys Premier platform will now be Fiserv Premier.
MacDonald and Brooks and their bosses all stressed that the new strategy was a response to future technology needs and not driven by current market conditions.
"Although the economy is a very, very big deal at the moment, right now for the credit union space in particular, and really for all our clients, the catalysts for change are changes in data usage analytics and technology and end-user behavior," MacDonald said.
"All of this would have happened anyway. The economy just sharpens the focus on it," the chief marketing officer said.
Brooks said, "When we came together as a single entity focused on serving credit unions, we multiplied the depth and breadth of talent, experience and product offerings. Now we have the opportunity to do the same across the entire Fiserv organization."
Yabuki, the company CEO, said, "We believe our industry is entering a new era in financial services, and our dynamic new brand identity and enhanced market approach reflect that change."
As for the logo itself, MacDonald said the lowercase look was intended to portray a "straight-forward approachable company," the orange color was chosen to signify progress and improvement and the period, or proof mark, at the end punctuates the company's commitment to leadership for clients' benefit.
"This new mark is instantly recognizable and sets us apart," the Fiserv marketing chief said. "Fiserv is enabling the transformation of the financial
services experience for our clients and their customers, period."