When a Financial Institution acquires another Financial Institution, it can take several months to convert the accounts onto the current system. There are six conversion phases to take into consideration when planning for an account conversion.
Phase 1 of the conversion is mapping. This is where the information from the acquired bank is reviewed and mapped over to the fields on the current software. For example, the balance on a checking account is a very important field to bring across correctly! Having representatives from the acquired bank and the current bank is critical in the mapping process because field names can be very different between different software packages. Also, pre-mapping sessions can be helpful for product strategy to determine if any new products will need to be created on the current system or if all accounts can be moved into the existing products.
Phase 2 is the data conversion process. The mapping information is used to program the accounts to be converted over properly.
Phase 3 is the data validation process. This is where the converted accounts are loaded into a test environment to validate the accounts are accurate. Any new parameters are set in this phase (i.e. new products). Also, any unique account scenarios are identified that will need to be handled manually after the conversion.
Phase 4 is the mock conversion process where the accounts are merged in with the current accounts in a test environment and end of day processing is run. Re-validation of fields that were converted incorrectly in the data validation is important during this phase. Specific test scenarios can be created to verify day to day processes such as exception processing, billing amounts, past due account notices, and automatic transfer of funds.
Phase 5 is the live conversion. After Friday’s end of day processing, the accounts are converted and then loaded into the current system and merged into the current institution (in most cases). Balancing from the acquired bank’s totals to the conversion reports occurs to verify the number of accounts and total balances were converted across correctly.
Several additional items need to be addressed during the live conversion weekend. Some examples are below:
- ATM and Debit Cards
- ATM Machines – consider preference setup not being too many steps to avoid long lines at ATM’s
- Bill Pay conversion
- Acquired Bank website redirect to current bank’s website
- Acquired Bank phone number switch over and additional customer support staff available for questions from new customers
- Internet Banking switch over and customer access
Phase 6 is the Post Conversion. Any conversion items on the manual list from the validation phase will need to be handled. Foxtrot is an efficient way to handle a lot of the account maintenance on the manual list.
Please contact Peak Consulting LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our conversion services. We can provide subject matter expertise and work alongside you to help your conversion go as smooth as possible. We can help you take more ownership throughout the conversion phases, lower stress on staff and allow you to focus more on serving your customers.