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Fintech Whiteboard Episode 3: Stuff You Should Know Before Agreeing to a Conversion Part 2

Welcome to the 3rd episode of Fintech Whiteboard with John Best! This week, join John in part 2 of a 3 part series on what you should know before agreeing to a conversion at your financial institution.

Fintech Whiteboard Episode 3: Stuff You Should Know Before Agreeing to a Conversion Part 2

(This is part 2 of a 3-part series.  For Part 1, please click here.)


The next issue that I find is scope. The last time you converted, let’s say that you converted home banking in 2012, and you’ve been on the system you have for seven plus years, right? People have short memories, so what people think is, when they converted in 2012 that the platform scope is one thing, but they forget that in the last seven years the scope has grown. It’s no longer this, it’s actually going to be much larger because of the seven plus years of effort that have been put into the platform you’re on. 

For example, let’s say that at some point in your life span you did a merger and during that merger you had to merge from a different home banking platform or a different core into your system and there was some custom work done to support that merger. The problem is no one’s really thinking about that when they get into this mode of understanding the scope. So, I find that we all have short memories when it comes to the scope and the scope is much larger than whatever you think it is. I would almost say that whatever you’re thinking in your head needs to be multiplied by 3 because of all the little things. 

Hosting: In or Out?

The next issue that I run into during the conversion process is when people are considering moving over, they have looked into different platforms and they’re thinking really hard about whether or not they should host it in-house.  What’s funny is that I people on both sides of the fence when it comes to hosting. There are people who say, “We’re moving because we no longer want to host our platform.” Whether it be core, whether it be credit cards, whether it be any of these systems, they no longer want to run this in-house. I’m not going to say that’s a bad reason to move but it’s interesting because I find that many people do not talk to their current vendor to find out whether they could move to a hosted platform. 

Then I find people who are going the other way. They want to bring it in-house.  They’re tired of not being in control and they want it in their own four walls. This is just fascinating to me and we see this a lot. 

So, what to do? How do we deal with this conversion issue? If you’ve been through this whole process, you think, “Okay we’re doing fine in vendor management,” or “We’ve got one of these issues here,” the bad service, the going out of business, etc. and feel that they have to convert.  


So, let me give you some things that might help for your conversion. First, before you convert, make sure that the product can import your data. As you convert off the old system, you’re going to find that your bill-pay payees may or may not be part of your configuration as to your data and the biggest issue is passwords. I find as many people convert off a core, a digital system or off credit cards they will force their membership to renew all their passwords. Some people will use this as an opportunity to opt-out. 

You’re going to find out that if you don’t get your passwords or you don’t have a way to access your passwords that adding third party systems is very difficult because you don’t want to have to make people use a new way of logging in or have to go through two factor data. So, suddenly, all of these systems that used to know who we were, and let us in all the time, are asking us 20 questions to get logged in. Hopefully you had a way to avoid this built into your old system and will be able to have the same with your new system.  

Footprint Data

Finally, with any digital platform that you are looking at, be sure to consider the footprint data–the digital DNA that gets left behind when a transaction is done. In the home banking platform this could be the browser signature, or it could be the data that you get from the mobile app. It could also be in credit cards, such as the location that it was used. Just make sure that you get your data. 

All right, on to the next issue….

To be continued next week in part 3 of 3 of Stuff You Should Know Before Agreeing to a Conversion. You can find me on LinkedIn if you just look up John Best. If you want to talk to me on Twitter, it’s @jbfintech. If you want to find me on email, it’s And if you’re an Instagram person, it’s johnbestofficial. I would love to hear from you.

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