Core Processing Workshop Covers the Ins and Outs as Well as the ‘Ifs’, ‘Ands’, and ‘Buts’ of Converting

EAST WINDSOR, N.J. – When is it time to change? What are the first steps? Which core is the right fit…and how do I know? What should be considered in the due diligence process? What should I look for in my current contract? 

The diverse speaker lineup at the New Jersey Credit Union League’s Core Processing Workshop held on Tuesday reviewed the answers to these questions and more related to the process of converting your credit union’s core.

Attendees had the opportunity during breakfast, lunch and various breaks throughout the day to visit with the event’s eight sponsors, all core processor providers, who also had a 10 minute spotlight in front of the group to highlight why their company was the best solution.

Greater Alliance FCU CEO Glenn Guinto kicking off the event with his credit union’s conversion story.

As Greater Alliance FCU is in the final stages of converting to Corelation, its CEO Glenn Guinto set the stage for the workshop as the first speaker, sharing his credit union’s first thoughts about a conversion back in 2012, the realities of the process, and the pain points the credit union had to overcome. Guinto stressed the need for credit unions to review their contract with their current core and, even if they’re not quite sure about converting, begin the planning process years ahead of the contract renewal date.

Bill McFarland stresses the need for a thorough business needs assessment. 

Bill McFarland, who specializes in conversions, mergers, operations, and processing performance at Cornerstone Advisors, delved into the business needs assessment every credit union should commit to before even considering a conversion. McFarland had this dose of reality for credit unions: IT cannot do this for you; you have to have your business people driving the process. 

As CTIO at Aspire FCU, Joe Riccardo knows a thing or two about converting, and shared with attendees best practices he’s identified in his 25+ years in the financial industry. He stressed that management involvement and commitment and building the appropriate project leadership team are key, as well as conducting a thorough system search and RFP. 

Attorney Guy Messick offered up a legal perspective on researching and working with core providers. He gave an overview of the current marketplace, various fees and costs to consider, and more. “Cores are no longer just data processors. Cores are also the IT platforms to support a host of critical digital delivery channels,” he explained as he delved into the realities of big data and cyber security responsibilities. 

Attendees mix and mingle with the event’s eight sponsoring core processor providers.

The event closed with a panel discussion of credit union professionals who have completed, or are in the process of completing a conversion, and closing remarks from Riccardo on post-project lessons learned.

Thank you to the event’s generous sponsors: AMI Information Systems; CompuSource Systems; CU Prodigy; CUtopia; FedComp, Inc.; Fiserv; Flex; and Sharetec Systems.