Numbers, costs and product comparisons alone do not make for the wisest choice. It's the warm and fuzzy stuff that sets a provider apart from the herd, but prospects don't like to admit that.
Here are the warm and fuzzies:
1. Hard evidence of banking knowledge and expertise that is deliverable in the form of recommended business practices accompanied by the provider's tech solutions.
2. Ability of the provider to apply the right product fit for each bank. Contrary to some beliefs, bank solutions are not commodities.
3. Best products don't make make the cut without a best provider. Case in point: the rescue of DNA by Fiserv.
4. Care-giver quality. Like a good nurse, not just delivering the treatment, but making sure the receiver implements and uses it correctly.
5. Staying ahead of the curve even when the third-party-change influencers (governments) get hung up on political consequences.
6. Never letting a client meet a provider employee until the employee wears off the newbie factor and has earned several stripes.
7. Management that has tenure based on time-in-grade plus performance.
8. Employees who buy into the company culture because they love it and feel part of it, every day.
9. Steady navigation of management even when storms hit. AKA never managing the company for the next quarter's earnings call.
10. Swoon Factor - Little did I know that bankers were emotional enough to swoon. But swoon they did when each of the invited core vendors presented the workings of their systems for two-day demos. My audiences had different reasons to swoon, but that's
why we do demos. And it's no secret that I let my clients choose from the chosen three that I deliver. I just take note of the number of swoons and their relevance before I pick the winner.
I have recommended the top U.S. core providers (FIS, Fiserv, Jack Henry, Harland Financial Solutions, and Computer Services, Inc.) while engaged in searches with 321 clients. I knew the providers, but it was my new clients that I got to know, whose characteristics
and style moved me to the one right recommendation. And that marriage continues even after 40 years.