Some of the most aggressive upgrading of core and other underlying bank systems is happening at credit unions and community banks.
These smaller institutions are doing extensive information technology restructuring in an attempt to take advantage of new mobility and other emerging technology.
“It’s going to help us rapidly respond. Our marketing department can come up with new products, and we can have development done by a third party,” says Kevin Dougherty, senior vice president of information services at CFE Federal Credit Union in Lake Mary, Fla.
CFE plans to replace a substantial portion of its IT infrastructure over the next couple of years.
The $1.4 billion-asset credit union serves 121,000 members in Orange, Osceola, Lake and Seminole counties in Florida. It will internally host a suite of Fiserv products, including Acumen for account processing, WireXchange for wire funds processing, Prologue for accounting, Nautilus for document imaging and Next Multi-Channel Marketing to manage targeted product offers. It union did not divulge much detail about the systems it is replacing.
A Fiserv spokesperson said CFE previously used Fiserv’s DataSafe core processing platform. Fiserv offers clients the opportunity to migrate to a different Fiserv platform based on their business needs.
Dougherty says that by migrating, the credit union hopes to stay current with new technology in venues such as mobile, social media and targeted marketing. It will be able to leverage open standards and multiple programming languages to create a more agile environment.
“We’ve been on mobile banking, but we need to be looking toward the next generation of mobile, new person-to-person payments options, new ways to use social media as part of mobile banking, all of the stuff that members are asking about that we are going to have to consider,” Dougherty says.
He says CFE is changing from a single programming language system accessible to a finite group of developers to an open architecture, or a system that allows components to be shared among a larger set of developers and is less proprietary than a legacy system.
“We’ll be able to use C#, .net, Java and other languages to take new Web products and integrate them to our system faster so we can deploy to our members fast,” Dougherty says.
The credit union already offers mobile services, but the speed of new mobile technology is a concern.
The shorter development cycles necessary to keep abreast is another concern.
“With mobile remote deposit capture growing, for example, it’s important to say ahead of the curve if we want to offer a great product line that people will utilize,” says Joe Melbourne, the credit union’s president and chief executive.
Open development has proven to be a successful way for smaller banks and credit unions to stay competitive with larger banks, with initiatives such as Open Solutions’ App Store allowing institutions to develop and share applications at lower cost.
In addition to looking for speedy deployment for customer-facing products, banks are trying to scale quickly to accommodate heightened data management needs for compliance with new risk management rules.
Anthony Jabbour, an executive vice president at a rival of Fiserv’s, FIS, says advancements in data accrual and analysis have created demand among his company’s clients for techniques to improve fraud prevention that can easily be integrated with other systems driven by the bank’s core platform.
FIS just signed two community banks as clients.
“We’ve invested heavily in business intelligence because there’s an appetite for not just data, but for ways to enable clients to take that data and come up with benefits, such as, during the account opening process, deciding if someone or something is fraudulent without producing an excessive number of false positives,” Jabbour says.