By Pete Major. Vice President, FinTech Services
With thousands of FinTechs in the industry, it can be difficult to determine who to partner with. Just like you, MDT receives its fair share of sales calls from FinTechs. As mentioned by some of our existing vendors, we’re pretty thorough in our vetting. Here are a few helpful hints to consider when evaluating technology providers:
- Be clear on the problem you are trying to solve. It’s easy to see a new, innovative technology and want to deploy it, sort of akin to seeing new toys in the toy store as kids. With limited time and resources, it’s more important now than ever to ensure any new technology you deploy is solving a significant problem at your credit union and that it aligns with your strategic plans.
- Research the technology online. You can easily research vendors by doing a quick Google search and checking out their website, news articles, and other industry sites. Reviewing the company’s competitors is also recommended. Occasionally, you may even see the vendor category in a four-quadrant diagram from a leading research firm (this can be invaluable in evaluating that vendor category).
- Use extra caution with new vendors in the industry. We review a lot of early-stage companies. While we love supporting the innovation of new companies, we balance that with the risk that comes with startups. Ask the vendor how many credit unions use their product today. If the product must integrate with an existing technology at the credit union (such as Symitar), ask them how many of their credit unions have the same integration and ask them to describe the integration.
- Reach out to existing customers. Our industry is very candid when it comes to technology solution reviews. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers and solicit feedback. Usually, vendors will provide their best references to you, so it’s important to chat with credit unions that the vendor didn’t mention. Talk with credit unions who recently adopted the product and credit unions who have been on the product for a while.
- Reach out to us. Chat with your CRM about the technology you’re looking at. We’d be happy to let you know of any existing integrations. We can also put you in touch with a MDT client who’s offered to be a reference for that product.
- Reach out to your team. When selecting new technologies, it’s important to involve not only decision makers at the credit union but the staff members who will be using the technology as well. Include them in your evaluation and solicit their feedback.
- Complete your due diligence. At MDT, once we select a vendor to partner with, we evaluate the solution’s technical architecture, security, and the company’s financial position. We invest significant resources in this effort because it greatly reduces the reputational and financial risk of partnering with a company that doesn’t employ proper controls or isn’t meeting technology or security standards. This can be a lengthy process, but the investment is more than worth it.
We know that evaluating new technologies can take a lot of time and effort. We hope you find these technology evaluation tips helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can assist you or your credit union in any way.