DES MOINES, Iowa (6/5/12)--Financial institutions undergoing a card-processing contract renewal must determine whether their processor relationship is a true partnership or simply a vendor-client arrangement. To help make that assessment, The Members Group (TMG) has issued a white paper with questions card managers can ask of their teams.
Authored by Lesley Hastings, TMG director of new client partnerships, "When the Grass Really is Greener: Evaluating Your Processing Partner at Renewal Time" underscores several qualities TMG deems important to the financial institution-processor partnership.
"What motivates a financial institution's curiosity about alternative providers often isn't some catastrophic experience with their current partner," writes Hastings. "Rather, it's a nagging sense that something about the partnership just isn't right."
Among the 11 questions Hastings recommends card teams discuss at least one year before renewing a processor contract are:
- Are unique cardholders being taken into consideration or does the processor apply a one-size-fits-all philosophy to our business?
- How much control of card programs does the credit union desire, and can the processor meet those specific requirements?
- Does the credit union have the expertise to manage regulatory changes, and if not, can it rely on the processor for assistance?
Payments have the potential to be a true differentiator for credit unions, Hasting concludes. Yet that potential can easily become bottlenecked by the wrong processing partnership. The questions the white paper provides are designed to clarify expectations and set a course for the future, said TMG.