Corporate Banking

How to Select a Core Banking System

Migrating to a core banking system (CBS) is a choice, letting the network eliminate ineffective and outdated solutions while pursuing new performance standards. The quality of such a system is extremely influential, determining the institution’s adaptability to ever-changing market conditions and technologies, customer satisfaction, and the overall bank’s productivity.

In this guide, let’s consider crucial decision-making factors to favor one core banking system over another and benefit from a personalized selection. Onwards!

Understanding Your Banking Needs

You can significantly narrow down the palette of options once you clarify your expectations and objectives. The range and complexity of banking operations to handle, including currency exchange, loans, and other services, will help you define how functional the target financial software has to be.

Assessing Current Infrastructure

While a core banking system is the basis of any bank’s IT infrastructure, it is essential to understand it doesn’t work independently from other performance elements. It is crucial to analyze the available range of servers and storage opportunities and the amount of data the target institution handles. Given that core banking systems work to streamline risk management, transactions, customer accounts, etc., considering the functionality and distribution of ATMs, physical branches, and data centers, for instance, will also come in handy.

Identifying Functional Requirements

The task is to ensure the target system is capable of addressing banking functions and workflows without difficulty and service delivery delays:

  • Its suite has to offer management tools to control a vast number of banking solutions, including transferring funds, processing loans, and so on. It would be great to obtain a tool stack with robust and customizable capabilities out of the box.
  • The system’s database environment predetermines its compatibility with other financial technologies at the site. DB2 and Oracle are common samples of database vendors in this case. It is better to opt for solutions with high-end integrations for custom configurations.

Future-Proofing Your Investment

The right choice of a core banking system will simplify addressing modern market challenges — from intensifying regulatory pressures to ascending customer expectations and growing competition. This decision is a highway to delivering next-gen innovations and introduces a scalable, versatile, and multifaceted network with room for further adaptation and modernization.

Since audiences define the future of fintech by their ever-increasing demand for convenience, speed, and efficiency, the best core banking system personalized to your needs guarantees you will survive the competition and keep up with achieving your goals in the industry.

Evaluating Core Banking Solutions

As fintech businesses expand and challenge the financial industry overall, the need for dependable and multifunctional systems to regulate and maintain top-notch banking practices becomes even more apparent. Aside from an in-depth understanding of how your institution’s infrastructure works and what it requires for proper operations, it is a must to get insights into the divergence and efficiency of core banking software.

On-premise vs Cloud-Based vs Hybrid

Control measures, cost, and security differ in all these setups, which is why an in-depth look at these solutions is what makes you closer to an effective model for your organization. The main distinguishing feature between the highlighted data centers is their location:

  • Cloud-based solutions are web-accessible, so the company cooperates with a vendor for the service.
  • On-premise software becomes a genuine part of the business’s financial IT infrastructure and is installed directly within the network.
  • Hybrid models are a fusion of the two, where their operations are kept on both local self-hosted and remote third-party servers.

Let’s dig into the reasons to choose one of the options:

  • Cloud in banking will be effective thanks to its premium-class and on-demand scalability, faster implementation, and cost efficiency. On the other hand, data migration, integration in the current network, and management may be a hassle.
  • Although on-premises infrastructure may be limited compared to cloud in banking in terms of functionality richness and implementation speed, it is more secure and provides full control over the system’s management.
  • If you opt for an ideal balance between modern technologies and legacy systems, hybrid systems can work excellently. They stand out with the cost efficiency of cloud-based solutions and the reliability of on-premises hardware.

Vendor Evaluation Criteria

Despite your budget at hand, it is essential for the prospective core banking providers to comply with these five performance principles:

  • Solvency — its technology stack has to satisfy your operational needs and solve routine and emergency challenges for your banking brand.
  • Trust — consider companies with proven expertise in the market. Competitor analysis can help you define standing-out solutions.
  • Liquidity — the software’s out-of-the-box performance and simple integration with existing banking tools are what you have to seek among numerous offers from prospective vendors.
  • Profitability — calculate the ROI rate based on how the target system is going to streamline your workflow and what budget you require for its accurate and timely maintenance.
  • Intermediation — scalable and flexible systems with reliable support from the vendor are a must to ensure you gain a CBS with a prolonged life cycle in the market that keeps modernizing non-stop.

Once you hit the target with a core banking solution tailored to modern banking needs, you will access real-time data processing, improved risk management strategies, and much more. Consider vendors distributing tools to handle large transaction volumes via customer-centric interfaces. You can choose from a wide range of private, universal, corporate, and retail banking systems, to mention a few.

A typical CBS functions thanks to the following elements:

  • security modules;
  • financial analysis and reporting;
  • compliance and risk management;
  • account, deposit, and loan regulation;
  • CRM;
  • transaction and payment processing.

Technology Stack

Azure, Ruby, Java, AWS, and ReactJS are a few examples of frameworks tailored to multiple CBS requests. Cutting-edge CRM systems and databases like IBM Dd2 will also make a huge part of what an exquisite tech stack for a banking performance network has to be.

From several options to select from, focus on those with the best ratio of the following:

  • Workflow management and automation — as in the case with cloud-based CBS, you won’t necessarily need to dive deeper into the realm of coding. Instead, your challenge is to consider the best system to operate multiple workflows simultaneously without downtime and with reduced manual efforts.
  • Integrated data management — take your time to check whether the target offer guarantees a reliable and smooth data flow from multiple sources and across several performance departments.
  • Scalability — the chosen tool stach has to comply with market standards and effectively adapt to the target evolution strategy at the site.

Compliance and Security Features

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) are just two of the relevant regulations for the target CBS to adhere to. At the same time, built-in security features shouldn’t be underestimated either:

  • up-market support from the vendor, allowing for regular and in-depth vulnerability assessments, code reviews, and other tactics leading to CBS’s robust operations;
  • user-oriented courses and training opportunities to simplify the system’s deployment and future scaling;
  • real-time monitoring;
  • a well-structured and responsive alert and notification system;
  • tools to prevent unauthorized access to the system for both employees and customers of the company, including biometric identification and MFA;
  • tools to detect and prevent fraudulent and money-laundering schemes;
  • data encryption;
  • multi-layered defense mechanisms such as firewalls and anti-virus apps.

Cost Structure

Pricing policies backing up modern CBS are as varied as the service itself. Each method comes with unique fees and ongoing maintenance challenges:

  • Customized pricing — this strategy is best for tailored projects, including hybrid models for banks, and may be more affordable for organizations that are between typical business categories.
  • Transaction-based — as the name implies, the cost structure focuses on every fund transfer made through the system. If your transaction volumes are fluctuating and on the lower side, it may be the right option.
  • On-premises packages — in this case, the service’s budgeting is predetermined by upfront and ongoing fees for installation, maintenance, and support of software and hardware.
  • SaaS — while it is great for scaling purposes, it may offer services per package you don’t require at the moment. Usually, its cost is calculated based on the users with access to the CBS admin bar.

Support and Maintenance

Ongoing backup and upgrades of the target system are a must to ensure its long-term efficiency for your regular business operations. Scalable and optimizable solutions win the battle since they allow for easier adherence to stringent compliance regulations. To elevate customer-centric banking projects, it is important to evolve traditional legacy systems with contemporary means of automation, protection, and customization:

  • blockchain;
  • cloud computing;
  • artificial intelligence in the fintech industry, etc.

To make the right choice, consider the range of maintenance services provided and their cost. Don’t forget to analyze the prospective vendor’s portfolio and testimonials from customers to see the real client satisfaction rate, troubleshooting speed, issue resolution quality, system uptime, and much more. Offers including training and helpdesk assistance will definitely streamline the system’s deployment and integration.

Selection Process

Given that the core banking software market is projected to grow annually at a CAGR of over 9%, its growth from the worth of around $11 billion as of 2022 will be substantial. This signifies a solid demand for consistent modernization of legacy systems with next-gen technologies. The challenge is to consider the ideal software with up-market scalability and optimization potential to ensure you won’t fall out of the competition in the long run.

Keep on reading this guide to find out about a step-by-step approach to finding the ideal CBS and vendor behind its functionality. Mind the gap!

Request for Proposal (RFP) Strategy

Simply put, this term denotes a detailed agreement that specifies the company’s needs. Instead of relying on the offer of the target vendor, it lets you invite multiple core banking providers to check your requests and bid to ensure you are on their customer list. That’s how you can choose from businesses like Dashdevs and benefit from implementing all-in-one solutions with your goals in mind. For instance, this company’s services are designed for non-fintech businesses, traditional banks, and licensed organizations in the market and are available at SaaS, custom, and white-label pricing policies.

With the help of RFPs, you can boost the process’s efficiency, and transparency and get competitive prices from multiple suppliers. This kind of document describes your goals and expectations from a CBS. You can simplify the challenge by using ready-made templates or creating one from scratch. Please double-check its clear structure and must-have informational elements:

  • Your company’s needs — outline specific requirements for the best CBS in detail, including your infrastructure’s parameters and operations.
  • Timeline — define crucial deadline-related milestones to see whether the vendor can cater to your request. It is especially crucial for on-premises projects.
  • Budget — consider the desired range of investment into this project and see how willing suppliers are to implement your vision in practice.

RFP differs from a Request for Quotation and lets interested parties conduct market research and see what pricing policies vendors have originally to adhere to their performance requests. It may work if you require additional details from suppliers to define what CBS model will assist in your business development strategy.

Demo and Pilot Testing

You don’t have to implement the first service you come across. Feel free to request their demo versions and arrange pilot testing sessions to check how true-to-life the vendor’s advertisement is and whether its tool stack is what you are looking for:

  • This method is a highway to getting a genuine insight into the project and its potential — analyze its features and tools without financial risks.
  • That’s how you can test the validity of the target offer. Not only will you be able to practice and see how intuitive the interface is, but you will also grasp its post-deployment efficiency. For example, it is a nice method to define how ready the target CBS is for your fintech establishment’s scope of work or you require an upgraded and scaled version.
  • This hands-on experience helps compare solutions and define the best level of performance for your goals. You can spot price-to-quality ratios and understand whether a cheaper yet less functional option will be sufficient.

Making the Decision

Once you have the data gained through RFPs, demos, and pilot testing, it is simpler to consider what choice guarantees a quick, effective, and cost-efficient migration to a multifunctional core banking system. Given how essential this kind of software is for fintech businesses, take your time to make your approach as well-thought-out and data-driven as possible. The key is to implement the system allowing for user-friendly, secure, and advantageous banking experiences for all the engaged members.

Implementing the Best Practices

Thanks to open-source technologies and automation workflows, integrating convenient banking systems has become way simpler than decades ago. It is now possible to locate the right solution for a fintech business of any caliber — from startups to large corporations. Take your time to get the most out of this innovative offer.

Project Management Approaches

If you want to future-proof the results of this technological transformation, you will certainly have to stick to a well-thought-out plan:

  • prepare a clear roadmap, including goals and strategies for future evolutionary processes within your brand;
  • prefer a digital-first approach to streamline your operational practices and boost their efficiency;
  • advance data analytics capabilities to secure the ROI of your marketing efforts;
  • work on a step-by-step migration plan, considering the impact of the vendor on the process;
  • verify the system’s compliance with regulations like DORA, AML, etc. to safeguard its interface and tools from cybersecurity challenges;
  • analyze the existing banking architecture of your business and define what modules, APIs, and services will improve its operational value.

Change Management and Training

Embracing new technologies doesn’t mean the project is over once the installation is complete. To ensure the best-case scenario is at your fingertips, it is essential to work on your employees’ preparedness to cope with advanced techniques and core banking systems. While it is nice to opt for vendors with ready-made training programs, you will have to think about adopting individual educational mechanisms to support your in-house team.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Nowadays, customers are asking for more autonomy and control without compromising on sensitive data security and privacy. Modern technology developments allow for such requests to become a reality, especially in the digital banking sector. You can create a custom core banking system or rely on the professional services of third parties. Regardless of your choice, implementing customer-friendly solutions is a must.

Successful Implementation

IBM and Oracle are exquisite illustrations of how to achieve prominent results in the field. Considering multifunctional systems will let you elevate your standards for multi-tasking and get the most out of advanced transaction management, CRM, risk management, accounting, and other features. Here are a few illustrations of services to take into account:

  • Backbase — equipped by over eighty banks in the world, including ING, Barclays, and Fidelity, this solution doesn’t take long to market, helps solve the issue of over-reliable on external assistance by developing in-house capabilities, and comes in handy to reduce your tech debt.
  • Dashdevs —  with more than fifty partners around the globe, this CBS is simple to launch and delivers seamless integrations and high-end expertise in the field. Unlock your full potential with such a scalable solution, leading to a two-times increase in average revenue growth.
  • Finastra — for those seeking agile, flexible, and open-source core banking software suitable for banking establishments of different types, this may be the best answer. Build long-term relationships with account holders and partners while boosting your revenue streams.

Lessons Learned

If you want to achieve the desired result from the first trial, it is compulsory to avoid the mistakes emphasized below:

  • failing to launch proper governance over the project, which leads to a lack of troubleshooting, increased operational costs, delays, and more;
  • neglecting budget overruns, caused by the constant addition of new features and performance requirements without considering the target system’s capacity;
  • a lack of attention to detail when it relates to choosing the best CBS vendor in the market, resulting in poor long-term viability of the fintech product;
  • failing to establish training programs for your team or their inadequate reliability;
  • the inability to present proper change management processes, resulting in new technology adoption challenges;
  • overlooking the complexity of integration processes;
  • underestimating the right scalability potential for your business goals;
  • omitting crucial security measures and regulatory compliance during the CBS deployment and maintenance.


At the end of the day, modern core banking systems with advanced technology stacks are what fintech businesses need to expand their network, boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, and keep up with emerging innovations in the industry. Blockchain, security protocols, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other tools can be at your disposal with the right selection of CBS.

Checklist for Selecting a Core Banking System

Your decision-making will be incomplete without the considerations below:

  • in-depth analysis of your company’s infrastructure and development-related objectives;
  • evaluating the vendor’s financial stability, experience, reputation, customer reviews, track record, and more;
  • the target fintech product’s functionality, namely, the type of the service (cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid) and the variety of features (credit management, CRM, reporting, accounting, etc.);
  • the system’s customization potential, flexibility, and scalability, including the presence of APIs, modular architecture, and so on;
  • assessing the target CBS’s compliance and security standards;
  • checking the quality of end-user experiences through demo versions and pilot testing;
  • calculating the service’s profitability and ROI;
  • testing the vendor’s support and maintenance value;
  • considering the core banking providers’ future roadmaps to predict their quality for your business’s long-term marketing, performance, and development strategies.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Banking Technology

Considering scalable systems will contribute to future-proofing operations for banks and other fintech businesses. That’s exactly what the market requires to deliver sought-after services and boost competitiveness. Although legacy systems have proven their efficiency, their current potential is quite lacking and can’t keep up with all the trends end users expect to see from a contemporary online and offline banking solution.

The future of banking is about revolutionizing the present tool stack and enriching it with technologies like big data analytics, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity findings, augmented reality, and much more. The sooner you start this modification process, the easier it will be to cater to ever-changing market demands for quality and technical sufficiency.

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