By Anthony W. Montgomery
A core data processing conversion requires a substantial investment of your credit union’s financial (not to mention human) resources. If you’ve ever tried to compare cost proposals from two core vendors, you know it can be like trying to compare apples to a pair of shoes. Yet one thing is consistent across most core price proposals: lots of line items.
There’s a reason for this, of course. Line items make core processors more money because they can charge you for these extras. Or as I like to say, they can nickel and dime you to death with add-ons. It’s like charging $2 for a cheeseburger, and then charging extra for the ketchup, mustard, pickles, tomato and lettuce. Here’s the price for our great system. Oh and here’s the (much higher) price for our great system with all the features you actually need.
At CUProdigy, we have a different philosophy than other cores. First of all, our pricing is very simple and transparent. We charge a flat per-member per-month rate for our core. And we charge every credit union we serve the same rate, so you never have to wonder whether the credit union down the street cut a better deal than you did.
Our pricing is also very affordable. Remember I mentioned that flat per-member per-month rate? It’s only $1. That’s a great deal on a great core platform no matter how you look at it, but here’s what makes it really interesting. That $1 includes all of our software. There are no CUProdigy add-on modules. If we build it, it’s added to our core system for all of our credit unions to use. Our philosophy is to create as much value as possible for the $1.
What to Do With Extra Money
Think of how much extra you had to pay your core provider just to get the features your members expect. I’m talking about things like courtesy pay, rewards checking, business analysis and shared branching. Those are included for credit unions running CUProdigy’s core.
Were you forced to invest extra dollars with your core provider to make your back office more efficient? Did you get charged for escrow processing, address verification, cash machine connectivity and integration of your third-party products. CUProdigy credit unions don’t get charged for these things.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand how things work. I know there’s no way a big for-profit core provider can satisfy its fat cat stockholders charging $1 per member per month. On the other hand, I think they should be able to offer fair, consistent, transparent pricing without playing all those negotiation games. And they should be able to provide you with a system that’s actually functional without a lot of expensive add-ons.
That’s my challenge to all the core providers out there. You’ll never match CUProdigy on value, but you can at least give credit unions a fair, honest deal. That’s really not too much to ask, is it?
Anthony W. Montgomery is president & CEO of CUProdigy.