Negotiate for Cheaper/Faster Core Integrations

The efficiencies and speed to market are realized when credit unions, core providers and vendors agree to a standard for integrations. Most credit unions have their focus on expense control and organizational efficiencies. Also vendors and core providers know any operating efficiencies credit unions realize will result in more sales and faster implementations of products and services. Faster implementations remove many of bandwidth constraints for both the vendor and the credit union.

But, creating a standard for integrations requires a unique negotiation between the credit union, the vendor and maybe the core provider. It also requires that all of the interfaces with the many core systems the vendor has already built be taken into consideration.

Recently a credit union was able to negotiate this kind of implementation with a vendor. In this case it was vendor that provides a “best of breed” loan origination system. Keep in mind that the steps in these agreed upon contact additions can be applied to any kind of system integration.

Here are the points of the engagement contract that the credit union and the vendor agreed to:

[Credit Union] and [Vendor] have contractually agreed included the following in the engagement contract:

  1. [Vendor], at reduced-rate billable hours, will work with [Credit Union] to define gaps between the existing CUFX Consumer LOS Standard and [Vendor] LOS.  [Vendor] will take into consideration their entire existing core interfaces to ensure a complete CUFX LOS Standard.  
  2. [Credit Union], with [Vendor] guidance, will write a CUFX compliant interface using the [Vendor’s] SDK. 
  3. [Credit Union] will then give to [Vendor] the completed interface with acknowledgement and guarantees that [Vendor] will productize and support the CUFX interface within 12 months

Many credit unions might not have the internal development capabilities to complete (2) above. In those cases, it is possible to find out another credit the vendor is working with that has this same core and these two (or more) credit unions take on this project via a cooperative cost sharing effort building the CUFX compliant integration once instead of each building it independently.

The reason credit unions need to work with CUFX to build a standard for integrations is simply because today’s credit union is faced with the need to do more and more integration to stay competitive with their product and services offering. More access and easier tools are being driven by consumer expectations, competitive pressure, the need to stay relevant to consumers with the explosion of FinTech innovation. This extra effort of working with CUFX is important and worthy work that will help credit unions, large and small, stay as a viable option in a consumer driven banking world.


Rich Jones is the Founder/Principal of Leading2Leadership LLC. Before starting his strategic planning agency, he spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services sector. Before becoming an executive in the financial services sector, Rich was an entrepreneur, building and selling two businesses and working for early-stage start-up companies in executive roles in marketing, business development, and seeking investment partners. With more than three decades of experience, he brings innovative thought to companies and executives. Rich published “Leading2Leadership, a Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence.” The book is available on and was designed to be used as a book study for leadership development programs; it breaks leadership skills into manageable situations for discussion and reflection. Rich works with credit unions, CUSOs, and vendors, designing digital, data, culture, marketing, and branding transformation strategies. In 2014, Chosen as a Credit Union Rock Star by CU Magazine, and in 2018, Rich received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. A Marine and graduate of Colorado State University, Jones shares his expertise at

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