Your institution has created a rolling digital roadmap, resources with the needed skills are in place and the policies to manage a fintech partnership have been developed. You’ve taken aim at product solutions that resolve the gaps and hold the greatest profit potential. Congratulations! Now what?
Because the fintech landscape can have a dozen or more solution providers for one product, it’s vital to explicitly define what will be required from the vendor the FI eventually selects. This framework is best laid out in the Request for Proposal process.
“An explicitly defined Request for Proposal is the starting point for whittling the number of vendors eligible for your partnership,” said Henry Watkins, Profit Resources Director of Processing Solutions. “The thoughtful requirements developed in the RFP process provide a guide to measure the prospective vendor’s operational performance and form the basis for developing comparative pricing models.”
Picking the right fintech partner with a high probability of becoming a long-term solution provider can be challenging. The detailed RFP will help narrow the respondents to only those that have a chance to both compete technically for your business and to be competitively priced. Understanding the marketplace and evaluating the vendor’s longevity are two primary outcomes of evaluating responses to a well-developed RFP.
“After the digital roadmap, the next most critical facet is the decision model used for evaluating responses to the RFP,” Watkins said. “Including the criteria that are valuable to your institution, weighting the value of the product strengths to your goals and establishing vendor comparison checklists are essential to making quality decisions.”
Watkins suggests that the decision model be developed alongside the RFP so that the evaluation can begin immediately after receiving responses. Once the selection process narrows the number of qualified solution providers, it will be much easier to identify the differences between vendors. The decision will often become self-evident.
Implementing the solution is the obvious next important step. This is the first glimpse your customer has of the fintech solution. Everything else can be done correctly, but if the customer is impacted negatively, all the FI’s hard work will have limited value.
According to Watkins, implementation, at a minimum, must focus on the same fundamentals of any product introduction.
“All integration of technical and banking products must be seamless to the customer,” he said. “A detailed test environment must be installed, and rigorous testing is done before going live.”
Finally, developing and measuring performance goals is the only way to determine the success of your fintech implementation. Definitive statements of desired outcomes (for example, a 30 percent reduction of time to loan approval) are the basis for performance goals of the pieces that make up the whole. Thoughtful, diligent development and measurement of performance will be fundamental to making your fintech solution successful.
Profit Resources specializes in identifying profitability improvement areas for financial institutions through revenue growth, cost control, streamlining processes and effective use of technology. Contact us to learn more about our personalized approach to propel growth and improve profitability.