6 Questions to Ensure Your Digital Banking RFP is as Unique as your Financial Institution
Banks and credit unions often evaluate the digital banking landscape to understand the multiple solutions in the space, the unique features they offer, and how a prospective new digital banking provider can differentiate their institution from the competition. Typically, these analyses are presented through RFPs, or request for proposals, where the bank or credit union looks at solutions and capabilities through the lens of their goals and objectives. While every institution and RFP is unique for this reason, there are often fundamental questions and considerations that should be included to ensure the optimal platform is selected.
Start with the questions.
The questions you ask are critical and should tell your story. Many RFPs focus on features, functionality, and price, and although these are important points, consider asking more focused questions that align with your long-term strategy, such as:
- Is your digital banking platform built to be mobile-first or mobile-only?
Based on the response, you’ll ensure a single platform approach for consistent experiences and workflows. Does the solution enable your customers or members to conduct 100% of their banking without the need to use a computer or visit the branch?
- Does your digital banking platform allow for consumer and/or business banking?
A true, unified, single platform allows both. This question is important even if business banking is not a feature you currently support. You want to future-proof your investment in digital banking and ensure your new platform meets your goals today and those to come.
- Is your administrative portal built to support all aspects of digital banking user support in one place?
This will ensure operational efficiency on the back-end and more streamlined efforts for your employees.
- How is pricing structured - per user, or a different methodology?
This is very important to understand from the start of your evaluation. A digital banking provider that uses a per-user fee methodology will often require an annual growth commitment. These figures will then be reflected in your contract and fees charged regardless of whether your actual growth matches your projections. For example, if you grow less than your targeted figures, you will pay for users that you don’t have, and if you grow more than your estimates, you will pay your contracted fees, plus a surcharge for more users. In addition, you will pay for each service that your users consume monthly. Pricing is important, but how it’s structured is equally, if not more important. Talk to your digital banking providers about an alternative to per-user pricing.
- Is your digital banking platform built with modern architecture standards that reduce system downtime and enable you to consume third-party APIs easily?
Ease of integration and tight configurations are important, but so is the ability to select your third-party vendors of choice. Not every institution has the same need or goal, and not all third-party vendors will satisfy every diverse need. You want choice and flexibility.
- Does your platform offer an SDK that allows you to customize your solution by creating your own applications, making changes to workflows, and changing the UI of the platform?
This might not be an important factor to you today, but to ensure scalability and growth potential with a maximum return on investment, it’s important to have the flexibility to compete with the fintechs of tomorrow. Confirm the full capabilities of your prospective digital partner and their ability to accommodate your growing and changing needs. The market moves fast, and it’s important to partner with a forward-thinking provider.
Tell Your Own Story
If you can share as much information about your financial institution as possible, you’ll save time with discovery calls and many back-and-forth exchanges. Consider a section of your RFP that paints the complete picture of your bank or credit union, including its unique online, mobile and digital banking composition. Consider including the following information:
- Your current technology partners: Who do you partner with for your core banking solution, bill pay, and any other third-party relationships current and potential that would need to interface with your new digital banking solution.
- Your metrics: It’s important to share your full profile such as your total membership or customer-base, how many active digital banking users you have (90-days is typical), transaction levels for bill pay (electronic check vs. paper), volumes for remote deposit capture (RDC), and others. If business banking is also within your scope, figures linked to the number of companies you work with, their average size, and your average ACH and wire transaction totals will be valuable.
- Your personal journey in digital banking: Last but certainly not least, share details on why you are looking for a new digital banking provider. What are your current pain points? What does your ideal digital banking platform need to deliver for you to be successful?
There’s certainly no one-size-fits-all approach to digital banking, nor to the RFPs banks and credit unions issue. The platform and questions that meet one institution’s goals may not deliver the same success for you. Asking the right questions, however, will help you find the right solution and provider who can ensure long-term, sustainable success.
Contact Team Alogent’s digital banking team to learn more about crafting your digital banking RFP, or to learn about the unique features of our unified online, mobile and digital banking platform, NXT.
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