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Take a Vacation from Contract Negotiations

by Kelly Flynn, National Director



Hollywood actors and professional athletes don’t waste their time negotiating their own contracts, and neither should your company. With the JMFA Contract Optimizer progra­m by your side, you’ll have an experienced contract negotiator working on your behalf to secure the best deals and most beneficial terms available. That means you can take a vacation from contract negotiations and get back to what you do best, while marking this important but tedious task off your to-do list.

Vendors…What a Drag

While the contract negotiations process for a bank or credit union typically takes JMFA three to four months to complete, it could end up taking your institution much longer. That’s because, on top of your staff needing to perform their regular job responsibilities, it can be a grueling process to get ahold of vendors. And once you do finally initiate contact, the vendors may intentionally drag their feet in returning calls or emails. This tactic is used to frustrate and wear you down, compelling you to give up the chase and continue on at your current (or even increased) rates for another term.

At JMFA, our contract negotiators focus on keeping the process moving along, getting results as efficiently as possible.

Our Negotiators–Your Secret Weapon
We negotiate contracts day in and day out with a variety of vendors. This experience makes for a comprehensive familiarity of what the best rates are in the industry. We also know what concessions vendors have been willing to make in the past, giving us the upper hand in assessing your current rates while confidently pushing the boundaries in your favor.

Our skilled negotiators focus on several types of contracts, with remarkable results. Some recent savings we obtained for clients include:

•  Debit/credit card processing savings of $70,000 per year over a seven-year term
•  Card branding agreements totaling close to $1 million in savings over a seven-year term
•  Core processing savings of $72,000 per year over a seven-year term
•  Internet banking savings of $100,000 per year for the length of the contract

These savings are the combination of leaving no stone unturned when it comes to reviewing your contracts, as well as persistence and skilled negotiation with vendors.

Negotiate for the Present and the Future
We aim to get the best deals on fees and lengths of contracts, of course, but another important item we fight for is your de-conversion costs. That’s the price your company pays to leave a vendor. Typically, a vendor will leave this amount “to be determined” in the contract. This should be a huge red flag, but institutions can often overlook this. Then, when your company reevaluates their contracts and decides to leave a vendor, the de-conversion costs can be so high that you realize you simply can’t afford to leave a vendor.

At JMFA, we always try to get a specific de-conversion dollar amount negotiated into each contract. This allows our clients to plan ahead, knowing exactly how much it would cost to switch vendors in the future.


It's the perfect time to give yourself a vacation from contract negotiations—let our experts take the lead. Contact me at kelly.flynn@jmfa.com or visit www.JMFA.com/bestdeal to learn more.


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