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Paladin Blog

How Much are You Actually Overpaying Your Core IT and Fintech Suppliers?

Posted by Aaron Silva on Nov 16, 2021 3:39:15 PM

How much am I overpaying for core, IT, and fintech services? 

It’s the most frequent question we’ve received since we started helping community banks and credit unions fight back against unfair vendor agreements over fourteen years ago. 

Naturally, it’s a fair question to ask, but it’s impossible to provide a simple answer to such a complex financial question. Core banking agreements and fintech vendor contracts have so many nuances that it’s impossible to pinpoint the “right” price to pay for these services without hiring an expert armed with market intelligence to analyze your contract — there are just too many factors at play.

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Topics: Contract Negotiations, Paladin Research, Fintech

5 Ways The Paladin Bluebook™ Can Help Save You Millions

Posted by Aaron Silva on Nov 2, 2021 11:45:00 PM

Many banks and credit unions face a growing dilemma: their core banking systems are outdated, complex, and inefficient. 

When your core banking system predates the commercialization of the internet (circa 1992) — that’s a problem, don’t you think?

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Topics: Paladin Research, Fintech

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Doing Business with New Fintechs

Posted by Aaron Silva on Oct 27, 2021 11:45:00 PM

If you’re a community financial institution, there’s a good chance that you’ve overpaid for banking system services at one point or another. For decades, the core legacy providers — Jack Henry, FIS, and Fiserv — gamed the system, strongarming community banks and credit unions into unfavorable deals with lofty prices, predatory terms, and limitations on technological access. In turn, smaller financial institutions have trouble competing with the bigger players. 

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Topics: Paladin Research, Fintech

The Importance of Timing in a Successful Negotiation Strategy

Posted by Aaron Silva on Oct 12, 2021 11:45:00 PM

Legacy core providers and fintech vendors know what they’re doing. They know how to manipulate contract negotiations and renewals to their advantage. Historically, smaller institutions haven’t had the resources to combat their tactics. That’s changing. 

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Topics: Paladin Research, Fintech

CFO Exchange Peer Session Report 2021

Posted by Aaron Silva on Oct 6, 2021 1:00:38 PM

Paladin fs recently moderated a peer discussion session with American Bankers Association’s CFO Peer Exchange virtual event. We moderated 2 breakout rooms and discussed questions around the topics of innovation and the impact COVID19 had on bank technology with 50 community bankers from around the country.

Read below to find out the key takeaways from these bankers on these topics.

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Topics: Paladin Research, Fintech

How To Be Smarter Than Your Core IT Vendor

Posted by Aaron Silva on Sep 28, 2021 11:45:00 PM

Your Core IT vendor knows their stuff — and they should, it’s what you pay them for. However, when core banking providers exploit that knowledge during contract negotiations, it’s a problem.

Historically, Core IT vendors have nickeled and dimed community banks and credit unions with an arsenal of hidden fees and unfair terms. Unlike the major banks, these institutions don’t have the staffing or resources to counter vendors’ legal teams and IT expertise. The result: costly, one-sided contracts that heavily favor the vendors. 

To combat unbalanced contracts and predatory terms, you have to outsmart your Core IT vendor, which isn’t as challenging as it may sound. How can you keep the experts honest? It starts with understanding your vendor and negotiation counter party.

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Topics: Paladin Research, Fintech

How to Make a Merger Successful

Posted by Bob Moreau on Mar 31, 2021 2:48:00 PM

Mergers are a common occurrence in the current community banking environment. In our discussions with bankers about strategic growth and possible acquisitions, we find that most are either active in the pursuit or at least open to possible merger opportunities. All bankers should be prepared and have core contract language in place to address being acquired as well as acquiring another institution before an acquisition opportunity is presented.

Below is an actual case study showing many of the critical factors that need to be considered in a core contract for a successful merger.

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Topics: Paladin Research, Fintech

Why Switching Sides Was The Best Career Move I Ever Made

Posted by Bill Finney on Mar 8, 2021 6:18:59 PM

My name is Bill and I spent the last 10 years employed for one of the “big three” providers of core software for community financial institutions in the United States.  A re-read of that previous line aloud almost sounds like I’m part of a 12-step program.  Six months now after leaving and switching sides to a consulting firm that professionally negotiates for banks against my previous employer - has been sobering for sure.

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Topics: Paladin Research, Fintech

Evercore 2021 Technology Outlook

Posted by Todd Morgan on Feb 18, 2021 1:31:34 PM

We are not looking for opportunities to insult FIS, Fiserv, and Jack Henry. They are fine institutions that offer an array of products and services. When community banks and credit union executives share their candid remarks about the Big Three we bring that information, and more, to your attention. That is why the 2021 Evercore ISI Bank Tech Outlook report we participated in is so insightful.

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Topics: Paladin Research, Fintech

Will the Cloud Based Core Fintech Messiah Ever Arrive?

Posted by Aaron Silva on Feb 3, 2021 9:13:49 AM

The pent up demand for an alternative, modern, competitive core to the out-dated legacy stack saddling the community financial industry today led by Fiserv, FIS, Jack Henry and their cousins at Finastra and CSI is incredible.  Bankers are not only thirsty for a platform that is easy to use and easy to train their staff, they need platforms that are flexible and can be integrated easily with any number of other systems.  This isn't much to ask for in the 21st century, but unfortunately the options are slim pickings and will remain that way for some time.  I predict that it will be another 3-5 years (circa 2024 - 2025) before any of the new fintech cores are mature enough and exhibit the appropriate risk profile palatable for bankers to jump in.  What I mean is that a rank-and-file banker is going to need to see and understand many reference-able accounts that have operated for many years successfully before they will risk their franchise.  Community bank CEOs (many older and nearing retirement) are going to be risk averse even though they know a technology transformation is the key to long-term success.  Regardless of their tenure,  very few bankers are interested in being the 5th, 15th or 25th bank on a new, unproven core platform.  

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Topics: Paladin Research, Fintech