'It's More Than the Core'

Keep member disruptions to a minimum during core conversions.

February 01, 2011
KEYWORDS conversion , core
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CU Mag: What are some conversion don’ts?

Valentino: We’ve had situations where the entire process was given to a third party. It sounds like great idea—you hire someone to help you.

But there’s no credit union ownership. It’s like having someone decorate your house without telling them what your style is. So don’t give away control of the conversion.

The core is more than just the system that tracks transactions. It touches all of your delivery channels: ATMs, online banking, mobile banking, debit and credit cards—everything that touches your members. You need to have the ability to make sure these touch points are taken care of in the conversion.

Sometimes, institutions will go through the conversion process and forget about a whole delivery channel.

The growing importance of the core has really changed how we approach conversions. It’s not just about the core anymore. It’s more than the core. That’s my mantra.

Look at what touches the member and how to ensure the least possible disruption to the member.

CU Mag: What other advice would you offer?

Valentino: Pick the right partner. It’s a very stressful time. It’s change. Even if it’s good, change isn’t easy so you need a partner that’s level, confidence-building, and trustworthy.

Otherwise, who will hold it together for you?

Check out Credit Union Magazine's 2011 Information Systems Guide, which highlights the credit union movement's top core processors and their systems' features and functions.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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