MeridianLink - Company Overview

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MeridianLink - Market Size

The overall U.S. market size of the Custom Computer Programming industry segment, to which MeridianLink belongs, is $137.62 billion. As of 2017, there were 867,100 people employed in this industry in the United States.

Methodology

To determine the market size for MeridianLink's industry segment, I first had to find the segment to which this company belongs. According to the SICCode website, MeridianLink is classified under the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code of 7371, which is the Computer Programming industry. The company is further classified under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code of 541511, which is the Custom Computer Programming industry. I discovered that SIC codes were generally replaced by NAICS codes in 1997 because the newer system allows for narrower categorization. For this reason, I chose to find the overall U.S. market size of the Custom Computer Programming industry rather than just the Computer Programming industry, since it pinpoints more precisely the segment under which MeridianLink operates.

Results

According to Plunkett Research, the U.S. market size for the Custom Computer Programming industry as of August 1, 2017 is $137.62 billion. Moreover, it is expected to grow to $208.92 billion by 2024, a compound annual growth rate of 6.15% (based on seven full years of growth to 2024). The report also mentions there are currently 867,100 people employed by companies in the Custom Computer Programming industry. The complete report for this industry segment can be purchased through Plunkett Research for $1,995.00 for a single user or $4,995.00 for organization-wide use.

Conclusion

MeridianLink belongs to the Custom Computer Programming industry segment, which, as of mid-2017, has a U.S. market size of $137.62 billion. This is expected to rise to $208.92 billion by 2024.
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MeridianLink - Trends

MeridianLink, as noted in the first request, is classified under the custom computer programming (or custom software) industry. The $137.62 billion industry is projected to grow at a CAGR rate of 6.15% which means it may be a $208.92 billion industry in 2024. This portion of the report will focus on the trends in the industry, covering how and why Custom Computer Programming is growing.

Trend: A Growing Field

Custom software is one of the largest and most lucrative subsets of I.T. despite not receiving as much attention and press as prepackaged software. Prepackaged software, like Microsoft Office, are programs sold “as is” with the company who purchased it using as they wish. The software is often general purpose. Custom software, as the name implies, is software that is more specifically curated for tasks or the needs of a business. Custom software may be modified versions of general software.

Custom software evolved as an economically friendly solution to developing specialized software needed by businesses. Developing, maintaining, and deploying software can be costly and require a high level of expertise. Hiring programmers to work on custom software is another recurring expense. Likewise, paying for office space and hardware to use in software development is another set of expenses. Custom software companies found a niche where they develop programs that can be tuned and tailored to specific needs.

As mentioned in the previous report, the field is growing. A survey by Appian found that 97% of respondents felt “confidence in using custom software” with 94% recommending its use. Along with cost reductions, development speed is another cited benefit as to why the field is growing. Traditionally developed prepackaged programs are too slow to innovate and implement features required for specialized applications. Customer service is also quicker due to the product being tailored for a specific clientele. The United States government, for example, is a heavy consumer of custom software.

Trend: Software as a Service (SAAS) and Cloud Computing

Software as a Service is related to the idea of cloud computing. With software as a service, programs are developed as remote or web applications. Rather than have software residing on physical machines, the software exists on the servers of a remote company that handles everything from developing the program to ensuring it works and is delivered to the client properly. This means that the client does not have to actually install the software nor do they have to update it; all of that is handled by the remote company that develops the programs. SAAS is a nascent trend in custom software as originally everyone received the same piece of software from the company. However, it’s becoming easier to customize SAAS software, and companies such as Spud Software and Surge are providing customizable SAAS. Additionally, MeridianLink, the company and software suites the client directly referenced, provides SAAS products as they directly state on their website. According to an Appian study, seven in ten companies intend to invest in cloud and SAAS development as well as custom software.

Another additional but related trend is PAAS, or Platform as a Service. PAAS is similar to SAAS except hardware is also provided.

Data Analytics

Custom software has a ripe market in data analytical tools as well. With the proliferation of social media, blogs, news sites, video services like YouTube, etc., humans produce an immense amount of data with little actual analysis being performed on them. Custom software can be designed to analyze and make use of these data sets and make the information usable to clients. MeridianLink’s products directly fall into this category as well. CreditAPI provides loan data in an easy to use XML file, for example.

Open source software

Open source is another rising trend. Open source software means that the “recipe” to assemble the program is provided which allows clients to modify the recipe to further customize the program. Open source would provide the best of both worlds by providing the custom software clients desire but still allowing the ability to edit and modify the program if clients have in-house developers.

Conclusion

MeridianLink is a company that is following some of the big, nascent trends in custom software. They provide base products that are also SAAS. Their products fall into data analytics which is another growing trend in custom software.
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MeridianLink - Customer Segments & Industry Expositions.

The three main customer segments MeridianLink serves are credit unions, credit vendors and retail banks. MeridianLink has presented or exhibited at a number of industry events including API World and the MAXX Trade Show. The company has only posted two videos through their official YouTube channel since their account was established in July 2016. Below we provide further information about each of MeridianLink's customer segments, industry events and YouTube activity.

Customer Segments

MeridianLink prides themselves on providing innovative, web-based tools to three customer segments, credit unions, credit vendors and retail banks. The company specializes in XML-based solutions that aim to help businesses operate more efficiently, become more competitive and assist with making smarter decisions to benefit individual businesses.

Credit Unions
MeridianLink service more than 50% of the top 100 US credit unions and provide robust technology solutions that aim to make credit unions more competitive with big banks through seamless digital experiences for customers and automatic lending and account management tools. Furthermore, their products address the needs of credit unions such as ways to attract new members, customizing a single platform to manage all data channels, ensuring competitive pricing for all MeridianLink customers and providing expert customer service.

Credit Vendors
With regard to servicing credit vendors, MeridianLink provide a number of web-based tools that process accurate credit reports in a matter of seconds. These reports can be integrated with credit decision-making software to create a powerful system for vendors. Additionally, MeridianLink assist credit vendors with merging reports from all three credit bureaus, provide robust protection from litigation, competitive espionage and fraud, and provide attentive and highly-responsive customer service to support their clients.

Retail Banks
MeridianLink service retail banks by providing end-to-end solutions that focus on improving customer satisfaction and convenience. Retail bank customers can set up and manage accounts online from wherever they are, while back-end solutions help banks make smarter decisions by providing fast and reliable data. Furthermore, MeridianLink merges information from various channels into one platform, which can then be integrated into a core system, they ensure the smooth deployment of technology with minimal staff training required, and ensure a dedicated team of customer support staff to assist with retail banks' implementation and ongoing use of MeridianLink's solutions.

INDUSTRY EXPOSITIONS & EVENTS

MeridianLink have been involved, both as presenters and exhibitors, with a number of industry events in the past 24 months. Below we provide a list of each event in chronological order beginning with the most recently held/to be held.

April 30 – May 3, 2018.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Huntington Beach, CA.
The event aims to bring together clients from financial institutions to network and collaborate, in addition to providing further information on MeridianLink products and services.

October 23 to October 25, 2017.
The Davenport Grand, Spokane, WA.
This event brings together credit union decision makers in the Oregon, Idaho and Washington regions. Businesses can showcase their products and services to current and prospective clients and MeridianLink are listed as exhibiting at this event.

May 1 to May 4, 2017.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Huntington Beach, CA.
This forum provided peer networking and round table discussion opportunities for financial industry professionals. Key insights were also provided into workflow efficiencies, member facing options and best new practices.
4. 2017 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference February 26 to March 2, 2017.
Washington D.C.
MeridianLink are listed as an exhibitor at this event which brings together credit union professionals for the industry's largest annual national conference of its kind. More than 200 companies attended the event, along with 1000 representative employees and 5000 attendees.

September 10 to September 16, 2016.
San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, CA.
MeridianLink exhibited at this event and were named as a leading provider of enterprise business solutions. API World aims to facilitate connections, trust and knowledge between businesses and individuals in the technology world relating to their use of APIs.

May 1 to May 5, 2016.
Hilton Clearwater Beach, Florida, CA.
MeridianLink are listed as an exhibitor at the MUG 2016 event which presents services and products that make use of the MISER system. The aim of the event is to promote the exchange of experiences and information between members of the MISER community, as well as allowing businesses to exhibit their company's relevant products and services to key decision-makers within the industry.

VIDEO UPLOADS

As previously mentioned, MeridianLink have posted just two videos through their official YouTube channel since the account was first opened on July 7, 2016.

Published: July 8, 2016.
Views: 33
The video depicts a Nerf gun battle in what appears to be the MeridianLink offices.

Published: June 22, 2017.
Views: 194
This video recaps on the MeridianLink hosted User Forum of 2017.

CONCLUSION

We have identified credit unions, credit vendors and retail banks as the three customer segments within MeridianLink's operations. The company has presented or exhibited at six industry events within the past 24 months including their own User Forums, Northwest Credit Union Association's MAXX Trade Show 2017 and API World 2016. The have been two videos posted through MeridianLink's official YouTube channel since the account's opening in July 2016.
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MeridianLink - Competitors

We identified 5 competitors offering solutions and services similar to MeridianLink: nCino, Cassiopae, SAS, NYMBUS, and Ebanq. Of these, nCino's product appears to be marketed to a client base most similar to MerdianLink's.

METHODOLOGY

To determine MeridianLink's competitors, I identified MeridianLink's key products and found comparable products offered by a US-based competitor. For each product, I compared the features of MeridianLink's product against its competitor's.

Overview of MeridianLink's Products

MeridianLink offers a variety of software solutions for banks, lenders, and credit unions. To compare these against a competitor's product, it is important to understand each of MeridianLink's product offerings. I identified key products offerings from MeridianLink and their respective competitors.

XpressAccounts allows users to open accounts online and allow bank employees to use a portal to achieve similar tasks. After accounts are created, they can also be managed from this web-based solution.

It features web-based and automated account creation, integrated credit reporting, identity verification, check history, funds, and document processing.

The key benefit is that this solution increases staff efficiency and convenience to customers.

2. LoansPQ

Another dimension of MeridianLink solution suite is LoansPQ, which implements web-based loan decisions and allows for the integration of origination, core processing, and internal software.

3. CreditAPI

CreditAPI is MeridianLink solution for automated credit report generation. It obtains real-time data from all credit bureaus and uses an algorithm to merge them into a single report.

Features include access to VantageScore and FICO scores, 128-bit SSL security, and the ability to generate reports in less than 10 seconds.


Mortgage Credit Link is a web-based software hub with API's for integration with existing systems, thereby merging multiple operations into a single app.

It features the ability to integrate Loan Origination Systems and Automated Underwriting Systems

Competitors to MeridianLink


1. nCino

nCino a banking software solutions provider offering a wide range of software features. Whereas MerdianLink features four distinct solutions that can operate together, nCino has one comprehensive solution that has several features that parallel MerdianLink's products.
nCino's equivalent to XpressAccounts is their Account Opening feature. nCino allows for a combination of CRM (customer relationship management), workflow automation, and document management services. The service promises to empower bank employees and lower costs, but when compared to the web-based solution of MeridianLink's XpressAccounts, there is no mention of nCino allowing customers to open their own accounts on a web-based platform.

Although nCino's Online Applications feature enables the creation of online applications, it does not specify whether or not this is an end-to-end function with instant decision-making or the ability for customers to create their own accounts like MeridianLinks XpressAccounts and LoansPQ.

The Loan Auto Decision feature is comparable to MeridianLink's LoanPQ. nCino's software solution allows for real-time loan decisioning using combined customer, third party, and business data, and that it is fully configurable. It is not stated here whether this allows for web-based loan decisions like LoansPQ.
nCino's Encryption feature advertises "sophisticated encryption" but does not further specify whether it's 128-bit SSL like MeridianLink's.

Finally, there is no mention of the ability to merge credit reports in real-time like MeridianLink's CreditAPI.

2. Cassiopae

Cassiopae by Sopra offers software for global finance and asset management. While it provides worldwide software solutions, Cassiopae has offices within the US. Cassiopae has an integrated technology platform which is the architecture over which it offers specialized solutions for real estate and for lending/leasing.

Cassiopae's Lending and Leasing solution allows for automated credit approval similar to MerdianLink's LoanPQ. However, it does not state whether this is web-based instant loan decision like LoansPQ by MeridianLink. Cassiopae states that it can accommodate the entire loan origination process, but there is no further information regarding automatic decisioning, API libraries and functionalities, whether it is web-based, or how easy it is to implement.

3. SAS

SAS is an analytics, business intelligence, and data management software and service company with sites worldwide including the US. SAS offers solutions for different industries, including but not limited to banks, lenders, and credit unions.

SAS Credit Scoring is comparable to MeridianLink's CreditAPI. While SAS Credit Scoring does not claim to be able to compile credit history from all the credit bureaus, it does allow for use of third-party data, data mining, and the creation of scorecards using internal data. It appears that SAS Credit Scoring allow credit decision algorithms and data analysis to be created specific to the institution's own products and data, and that it can compile and make sense of large amounts of data, including third-party data.
SAS is a platform being used by large operators like Bank of America. For example, Bank of America's SAS algorithm scans 30 terabytes of source data to determine the probability of default and can render result within four hours, which is slower but utilizes extremely large datasets. That said, SAS is very technically involved and would require hiring teams of specialized technicians to install and set-up a platform. The contrast is that MeridianLink solutions, while not utilizing Big Data or providing such high-level and comprehensive decision-making, can be set up within 3-5 days.

4. NYMBUS

NYMBUS embraces the digitization of financial services by offering a cloud-based banking platform to its clients. Similar to nCino, NYMBUS offers one multi-featured product solution and additional services that complement the product.

Compared to MeridianLink XpressAccounts, NYMBUS allows for online account management and monitoring. While NYMBUS claims that it enables easy account creation, it does not specifically state that the creation process is web-based or that customer can create their own accounts like XpressAcounts.
NYMBUS allows the creation of loan applications and the compilation of documents relative to a loan. However, there is no mention of automated decision-making like LoansPQ by MeridianLink. There is an absence of MeridianLink's CreditAPI functionality where credit scores are pulled and analyzed.

5. Ebanq

Ebanq is an international software provider that has offices in the US. The company website is vague, but a key takeaway is that their focus on ease of use and beauty.
Compared to XpressAccounts, Ebanq online banking software seems feature poor. It claims to be web-based using "bank-grade" security, but there is no mention that users can create their own accounts like XpressAccounts. There is also no mention of the features or integration such as credit reporting, ID verification, and document processing.
There is also no mention of how this software integrates with the bank's core software internally, and it cannot be determined if this is an end-to-end solution, or something that has to be coded to call up data from the bank's internal servers. It seems that Ebanq is strictly an online portal for account management with no loan functions, or account creation functions.

LIMITATIONS

Due to the complexity of the solutions and the specificity and uniqueness of each one, only a limited number of competitor's product offerings could be listed within the time constraints.
In some cases, the source pages were quite vague in the specifics of product function, as each typically had varying degrees of customization involved with implementation. Usually, to get full access to details, etc, you would have to schedule a meeting or apply to obtain more information.

As such, while most of the aforementioned product comparisons list the absence of specific features from one product to another, it is unclear whether similar features are simply described using different vocabulary specific to the company.

SUMMARY

To summarize, I have compiled a list of competitors to MerdianLink and compared the competitor's product the equivalent product in MerdianLink. I found five competitors offering solutions and services similar to MeridianLink: nCino, Cassiopae, SAS, NYMBUS, and Ebanq. Of these, nCino has the most 1-1 product and feature comparisons to MerdianLink and appears to market to a similar customer base. The other competitors have products that cater to different clients. For example, Cassiopae focuses on global finance, SAS focuses on high-end data-intensive solutions, and Ebanq has fewer features. Finally, it appears that the ability for users to create their own accounts is a feature unique to MerdianLink (XpressAccounts) that no other competitor offers.
Sources
Sources