Increased Competition Fuels Core Market Share Gains And Losses

Credit unions let their wallets do the talking in 2015. Here’s how their core preferences played out.


The credit union core systems marketplace has always been an ever-changing landscape, with both newer and more established providers competing to stand out.

In fact, Callahan & Associates designed the Supplier Market Share Guide: Credit Union Core Processors partly to help financial cooperatives survey their options and find new systems that better meet their evolving needs.

One way to begin that process is to examine which companies industry peers are turning to and to what degree.

As of Sept. 30, 2015, 38 different core companies served the 3,482 credit unions with more than $20 million in assets. Only 22 of these companies provide services to credit unions greater than $250 million in assets, and options drop to just 11 providers for credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets.

Many core providers increased their market share by single or even double-digits annually as of September 2015. However, the number of financial cooperatives in operation also decreased by 234 over the same timeframe. A full 228 of these credit unions merged with another institution; however, liquidations and purchase and assumptions also played a role in the decline.

Financial Data as of 06.30.15 | Core provider data as of 09.30.15
© Callahan & Associates |


Source: Peer-to-Peer Analytics by Callahan & Associates

Consistent with recent years, this reduction in the number of credit unions might have shifted market share figures, creating some impression of negative growth. In fact, during the past year, the total assets of credit unions grew 5.9% to $1.2 trillion. As such, the aggregate asset size of many core providers’ credit union customers also increased during this period.

Despite much media attention directed toward the ongoing competition between Fiserv and Symitar — the two largest providers in terms of aggregate credit union customer assets — there has been a marked push by several newer and in some cases, long-time smaller providers to gain market share.

Financial Data as of 06.30.15 | Core provider data as of 09.30.15
© Callahan & Associates |

Core Provider Change # CUs % Change # CUs Change in Assets % Change in Assets
Share One, Inc. 12 12.4% $1,019,687,519 11.7%
CU*South 6 19.4% $399,656,856 49.9%
Corelation 6 35.3% $1,714,770,666 45.8%
Synergent Corp. 5 8.5% $1,298,371,318 20.3%
CUProdigy 5 45.5% $919,280,015 106.8%
CU*Answers 4 2.4% $1,917,308,180 12.7%
Symitar 3 0.5% $57,208,330,110 19.0%
CU-Centric 3 10.0% $136,087,711 17.7%
CMC 2 0.8% $625,157,052 5.2%
AMI, Inc. 2 1.6% $1,714,596 0.1%
CU*NorthWest 2 6.7% $147,535,871 16.8%
CU Interface 1 12.5% $221,841,689 45.0%

Source: Peer-to-Peer Analytics by Callahan & Associates

Share One and its New Solutions platform claimed the largest number of new credit union clients versus last year at 12, double that of any other provider. Following Share One, the top two providers in completed conversions included CU*South (running the CU*Base platform) and Corelation (KeyStone). Each increased their customer base by six credit unions over the past year.

However, not all customer bases for core providers increased in 2015. For example, UltraData lost 28 credit unions and FedComp lost 56.

In terms of increasing aggregate customer assets via client additions, CU*Answers made the largest strides of any core processor provider, increasing its aggregate customer asset size by $1.9 billion from September 2014 to September 2015. Corelation also posted a significant uptick in this metric, growing from $3.7 billion in aggregate customer asset size to $5.5 billion during that period.

Although many processors posted increases in aggregate customer asset size, several others experienced year-over-year declines. These include R.C. Olmstead, which posted a $375 million annual decline, and EPL, which posted a $204 million decline.

In terms of total core processing clients, Fiserv had the most, totaling 2,048 as of September 2015.

What about the most on any single platform? That would be small credit union specialist FedComp at 703. Symitar also ranked in the top three in this respect, with 637 clients across its CruiseNet and Episys platforms.

These rankings might provide a starting point, but there are other factors — many of which are highlighted within the pages of the annual core guide — that credit unions must consider when choosing a core provider and system.

Whether a large player with cutting-edge capabilities and a sophisticated network of resources or a small provider that focuses on accessibility and support, all suppliers present the opportunity to push a credit union’s technology future forward and influence the direction of the core processing space.





Dec. 7, 2015


  • This is a really good article. It is interesting to see all of the changes happening in the data processing space. It would be interesting to see this data on a platform basis and not just on a provider basis.
    Sam Brownell
  • Thanks Sam, it's been an exciting year in the space. Be sure to keep an eye out for the release of this year's guide where we break out market share changes by platform.
    Sam Taft
  • You have a great name Sam
    Sam Brownell