Mansel Guerry has a big task. His new employer, FIS, a global leader in financial services technology, is committed to growing its business with credit unions. Guerry, who came to FIS following the company’s acquisition of the CULIANCE network – has been put in charge of the company’s recently created Credit Union Division.
The move comes as credit unions struggle to create comprehensives digital strategies, face ever-increasing competition from banks and demands from consumers, and as they try to navigate the marketing noise created by some 400 fintech startups.
“We’re living in a time right now that’s probably the most challenging time ever faced by any conventional financial services provider,” said Guerry. “There are unconventional providers disrupting the norms and upsetting the status quo, and it’s hard enough for large financial institutions with vastly larger resources to compete, let alone credit unions that are a fraction of the size.”
The move also comes on the heels of two recent FIS acquisitions of major credit union technology providers: CSCU’s card processing services in December 2017, and previously mentioned CULIANCE, the nation’s largest credit union-owned ATM and point-of-sale network, which it acquired in January 2019.
While one or more of FIS’ some 400 products in the money moving space are already found in 70% of credit unions, FIS plans to deepen the relationship and cross sell a full suite of technology solutions that could include becoming a credit union’s outsourced IT department, said Guerry, formerly CEO of CULIANCE.
In addition to its payment processing systems, FIS provides core processing and digital solutions including internet, mobile and e-banking, fraud, risk management, compliance, assets, and wealth management products and services. FIS has provided its payment processing solutions and fintech products to credit unions via third parties for decades and will continue to do so, said Guerry. FIS already sells direct to more than 20,000 financial institutions worldwide.
“We want to build upon (CULIANCE’s direct) relationships and be able to bring the competitive payments services that credit unions need to remain viable, be competitive and deliver the level of user satisfaction” customers desire, said Guerry.
FIS has created a 16-person team of former CULIANCE employees who will offer account management, sales and client relations. The group is led by Guerry.
FIS has also created a seven-member advisory board consisting of four credit union CEOs, two credit union league presidents and a CUSO within the technology space to learn what keeps credit union executives up at 3 a.m., what challenges institutions of various sizes face, and to help FIS navigate the credit union market.
“For 2019, we’re building off the pillars of debit and credit, networked services and offshoots of those core services,” Guerry said, adding “a big part is the relationship-based aspect of service delivery.”
FIS plans to position itself as a a trusted advisor. Its initial focus includes helping credit unions adopt contactless payments, and helping them continue implementing wallet-based and bill-pay applications.