According to Dealogic, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in 2015 reached an all-time high with a volume of $4.9 trillion. Companies merge and are acquired for many reasons, including product/service line expansion, consolidation for lower administrative costs, increased profits and even eliminating competition.
Credit unions value reliable document outsourcing vendors that help them reach and exceed their stated goals such as member engagement and retention. Those goals are jeopardized when an acquisition occurs. Below are some ideas to be aware of in the event your statement outsourcing vendor is in the middle of an acquisition:
Mix of Competencies
The idea of an expanded products and services offering is enticing, however, it can easily backfire. Say, for example, a direct marketing company acquires your statement processing vendor. The acquirer may continue to support and expand your document vendor’s products and services, but they may also extract pieces of the original product and discard key tools that have helped your credit union streamline efficiencies. Also, while marketing through business-critical statements can help drive revenue, the acquiring company’s competencies do not include the industry expertise necessary to identify ways of maximizing customer communications through member documents.
Lack of Investment in the Future
As a result of your vendor’s efforts to expand upon their products and services offering, they may be shifting focus away from investing in future tools to streamline efficiencies and improve upon the member experience. While this may not have an immediate effect on your statements, it can impact your credit union’s bottom line long-term by putting it behind the curve on meeting member expectations.
According to Credit Union Journal, 67% of banks report that they are targets of significant cyber attacks daily or weekly. Therefore, third party vendor management is of utmost importance in preventing data compromise. This is especially crucial for your statement processing vendor, as they not only have access to all member data straight from your core, but are also responsible for composing and delivering this data. If data falls into the wrong hands because of a roadblock in your vendor’s acquisition, it will ultimately fall back on your institution and affect compliance, resulting in fees.
Customer Service Falls
Most vendors tout customer service, and yes, many statement processing vendors do excel in this category. However, if a vendor is in the middle of an acquisition, customer service may suffer due to the focus shifting to operational reductions, removing attention from the existing customers’ immediate needs. As a result, you as the customer experience inadequate communications and lack of transparency. It is important to feel comfortable in knowing your questions and escalations will be resolved in a timely manner before the production and delivery of your customer documents.
Wrapping it Up
When choosing a third-party vendor, it is important to do your research. Ask them what their financials look like and if they have any plans of acquisition. While this isn’t 100% foolproof, it can better prepare you to find the right statement processing partner.
Interested in learning more about third party vendor management and how to choose the right statement processing vendor? Click here.