Tips for Selecting a Bank Technology Vendor

Is your institution in the market for a new bank technology system? It may seem overwhelming, but when approached from an objective and systematic way, the decision can seem more achievable. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips and tools to help out.

Standardize Your Criteria

The team you assemble to make a choice on a new enterprise content management (ECM) system should comprise staff from several different areas of your institution. This is advantageous, as these stakeholders bring their own unique concerns and perspectives. However, this strength can also be a weakness, as representatives from various divisions may tend to focus on “what’s in it for them” with a potential system.

The key is to normalize evaluations by asking all team members to take a look at the same categories and rate them numerically. There are five essential areas to consider here:

  • Functionality – Decide ahead of time what issues you are trying to solve and which software features will be most beneficial in doing so.
  • Pricing – Each vendor will quote differently, so take the time to calculate apples-to-apples comparisons based on the figures they give.
  • Vendor strength – Find out the track record of potential solution providers, especially when it comes to clients comparable in size to your institution.
  • Risk – Research vendors’ track records with software conversions for banks similar to yours and explore technical support offerings.
  • Architecture – These are the technical considerations, such as the platform for which the solution has been developed.

Matching Your Requirements to a Vendor Solution

While the above areas are general ones to consider, there’s still a little more to think about. In a nutshell, your team will need to examine what impact the software features it has identified as high priority will have on the core areas of your bank’s operation. In other words, how likely is it that the new software functionality will improve these key dimensions? They should include categories such as the internal user experience, external customer experience, compliance and auditing, streamlining processes, and eliminating costs, among others. You’ll want to evaluate each software feature against these potential impact categories. (The best way to do this is to create a matrix to assign numerical values. Click here for a free vendor comparison matrix.)

After taking a look at the relationship between feature requirements and the potential overall improvement of how your bank runs, now you can analyze the vendor side of the equation. Your team can compare how well-equipped prospective systems are to meet specific features. Evaluators can simply indicate whether the function comes standard, if it would be an option for customization, or whether it is not offered by the vendor’s software.

Now your team has put all the pieces together. You can see how desired features may affect day-to-day affairs, and you have a side-by-side comparison of what potential vendors have to offer. Armed with this information, you’ll feel confident that the solution you choose is the best for providing required functionality while supporting big-picture outcomes.

To make this process a bit easier, we’ve created a free vendor comparison matrix