Core conversions are some of the biggest projects a bank or credit union can undertake. For those unfamiliar with the term, a “core conversion” is when a financial institution switches (or does a major update) to the software platform that runs all of its major banking functions.

Why do a core conversion?

For many financial institutions, core conversions are just an inevitable part of business development. An existing system might become obsolete over time. Or a current platform simply might not be positioned to meet the future needs of a growing business.

Typically, new and updated systems allow for banks and credit unions to be more efficient or to provide more services. A new core system may also help them perform more secure transactions, handle data better, or support a specific type of business they want to run. Ultimately, there could be dozens of reasons a financial institution would want to switch their core platform.


Conversion steps

The process of doing a core conversion is challenging. The key to success is mostly about being careful and thorough at every step of the process. To customers and members, a core conversion is a disruption that is over in a couple of days. But for an organization, the process can (and should) take several months. Heck, this can sometimes take over a year.

Each organization is unique, so no two core conversions are ever exactly the same. However, all institutions typically need to follow a similar order of steps.

  1. Exploration

    • Before making such a huge investment, it’s important to have a team carefully explore the idea of conversion. Take time to determine why it is needed and name objectives it must meet for the future success of the business. This will help guide other decisions through the process.

  1. Choose a vendor

    • Next, after it’s clear what a conversion needs to accomplish, an institution can begin researching and selecting a platform vendor. The business should talk to several vendors and take the time to carefully determine which would be best. Vendors may be large, national companies, or they may be a smaller, local business. Either can work as long as it will meet the needs of the financial institution.

  2. Engage all staff members

    • After that, once work with a new vendor/system begins, financial institutions must be willing to commit staff hours to learning and implementing the new system. The team working on the conversion should expand significantly to ensure all aspects of the conversion are covered. Team members need to become almost obsessed with the conversion to know exactly how it will impact business. Staff must be trained on the new software. A fantastic new platform will be worthless if it cannot be securely and efficiently used.

      Please note, since delays are likely to happen at some point, the conversion team must be in regular contact with senior leaders about how the conversion is progressing.

  3. Communicate with customers/members

    • Finally, one of the most important parts of a conversion is communicating with the customers/members that will be seeing a change. Staff will have prepared for months, but customers will see the conversion happen in just a few days. It is essential to have a communication plan that prepares them for changes or temporary outages. Also, you should plan to promote all of the benefits they will enjoy after the conversion is complete.

If you want to read a different breakdown of the process, you can check out Fiserv’s article on doing a core conversion.


Core Conversions and Equips

Core conversions are difficult and time-consuming. Here at Equips, we know the challenges of a core conversion makes things like equipment management seem like a low priority. Nobody wants to be thinking about equipment when they are in the final stages of going live with a new software system.

But that’s actually where Equips can help. You really don’t want to be worried about dealing with equipment issues during a core conversion—so let us worry about it. Contact Equips today!

If you are starting to think about a conversion, Equips management is a great tool to ensure your staff and facilities are losing the least amount of time to equipment problems. Conversions can take many months and require a lot of dedicated focus. Equips is here to make sure you and your staff have the freedom to move your big projects forward.

Ultimately, whatever platform your institution uses, converts to, or updates, Equips will continue to be there as a steady partner, helping you to manage your equipment and facility needs. Get a free demo below!

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