Small Fish Core Providers Seek to Make a Big Splash: Print Preview
Fiserv and Symitar dominate the discussions around credit union core systems, but the fact is that many suppliers toil in the core system trenches. And at least some of them are gaining notice, winning fans and even attempting to chart new directions for what cores might look like in a world of escalating security threats and rising member demands for new services such as mobile banking.
Among the many thousands of credit unions with under $250 million in assets, there is a crazy quilt of core providers. Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv holds the lead with some 1,675 core installations, according to numbers provided to Credit Union Times by Callahan Associates. Symitar has 434 customers. But that means about 4,000 credit unions are not on those platforms.
The market leaders definitely are losing credit union customers. Maybe not a lot. But there is steady erosion. “We get 10 to 12 conversions every year,” said Randy Karnes, CEO of CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based CUSO. “We have lost only one client in the 18 years I have been here.” He noted that CU*Answers has lost customers that were involved in mergers. He did not quantify how many. “Conversion keeps getting easier to do. The process is well documented.”
Market leaders, said multiple sources, like to sell what they called a myth of how difficult and problematic conversions are. That is one way to keep customers. But, apparently, Karnes is right. A well-planned conversion generally is seamless and that means credit unions have one less reason not to look at alternatives.