Privacy policy
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Fern Software provides Core banking software, leading edge innovative financial services and banking technology, cloud-based banking, implementation services, ongoing customer and product support, Fern Software news, Recruitment opportunities and other fintech related services. Customers include credit unions, microfinance organisations, development banks, SME credit providers and other lending organisations to an expanding user base around the world. We have held our values of integrity, transparency and independence for more than 40 years. Central to this, customer service is our commitment to upholding the highest standards of data protection for our customers.

This privacy policy applies to all websites and web applications which link to this policy and are published by Fern Software ("Sites").

If you wish to amend any of the information that we hold about you, or update your marketing preferences, you can do so at any time through your account.

If you have any queries about how we use your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer at

Information we collect

This section details the information we may collect about you. We explain why, and how, we use it in later sections.

Account and enquiry information

If you are a Fern Software customer and have an account or enquire about one of our products or services, we'll ask you to provide us with some specific information, for example:

Your opinion of our products and services;
Your preferences, including newsletters, blogs or occasional white papers;
Your career details and CV if you use our recruitment pages;
Information such as your dietary preferences and accessibility requirements when attending a Fern event, such as a User Group event, which may be considered special categories of personal data.

Information we obtain from partners and public sources

In some circumstances, we collect information about you from our partners or from publicly available websites to help us better understand our audience and enhance the relevance of our content. For example, in some cases we obtain the contact details of potential speakers for FernUser Group events from public websites.

Information we obtain through cookies and similar tools

We use cookies (and similar technologies) and analytics tools across our Sites to collect information about you. This information can be used to improve the performance of the site, make advertising more relevant and enhance your user experience. We provide detailed information about cookies and similar technologies within our Cookie Policy; examples include:

Your location; we use cookies to display the version of the site that is most relevant to your location. For example, if you log in to Fern Software from Canada, you will be shown a Canadian version of the site.
Your usage; we use cookies to understand how our customers use our Sites and interact with our communications and journalism. For example, we use technology on our Sites, which records user movements, including page scrolling, clicks and text entered. (It does not record payment details.) This helps us to identify usability issues and improve the assistance we can provide to users and is also used for aggregated and statistical reporting purposes.
Your device; we use cookies to understand what type of device you are using to show you the best version of the site.
Your engagement with advertisements; we use cookies to understand what advertisements you have been shown, or clicked on, to bill our advertising partners, and to present you with advertisements that are more relevant to you.
If you wish to manage your cookies, please follow the instructions in the "How to manage cookies" section with our Cookie Policy below.

Lawful basis for processing

We only process personal information where we have a lawful basis for doing so, such as the following:

User consent; This is where you have given us explicit permission to process personal information for a given purpose. For example, if you complete one of our general enquiry forms, we would ask for your consent if we wanted to use your personal information for any other purpose. You have the right to withdraw this consent at any time. You can manage your preferences within your account or by contacting our Marketing Coordinator (
Legitimate business purposes; This is where we have a legitimate interest, as a business, to process personal information. For example, where we are aware of copyright infringements on our Site, it is in our legitimate interests as a business to identify those responsible. We take due care to balance our interests against your right to privacy.
Contractual necessity; This is where we have to process personal information to meet our contractual obligations. For example, if you are an online services subscriber, we would need to process your delivery address to fulfill your subscription.
Legal obligation; This is where we have to process personal information in order to comply with the law. For example, we process and retain customer invoice information to comply with financial regulations.

How we use your personal information

We collect personal information for the following reasons:

To provide our service; We require some of your basic personal information so our services work as you would expect, for example, delivering written correspondence to your correct address, providing access to our digital content, notifying you of changes to our services and dealing with customer services queries. We may record customer calls for monitoring and training purposes.
To improve and maintain performance; In order to provide you with the best possible user experience, we need to make sure that our products and services work as they should. Using personal information helps us understand how our customers use our Sites so we can make improvements. This includes testing proposed developments on our Sites, reaching out to our customers with market research surveys and hosting subscriber focus groups.
To bill our customers; We, along with our authorised payments processors, securely process your payment information to take payments, give refunds and to detect and prevent fraudulent activity. We will also update your payment information in the event that a payment is unsuccessful. You can manage your payment information at any time by contacting customer services.
To monitor compliance with our policies and terms; We monitor for breaches of our terms and conditions and copyright policies. For example, we reserve the right to inform the subscription holder if, through use of a group subscription, you are using our content in breach of the terms and conditions or copyright policies of our Sites. We also monitor activity on our Sites to detect and prevent invalid or fraudulent traffic.
To personalise our products and services; We improve your experience of our products and services by personalising parts of our Sites and apps with the information you give us and what we learn about you. This includes showing you articles you may be interested in and recommending emails you may wish to sign up to. Where our Sites have such functionality, you can manage elements of personalisation in your customer support account.
To communicate product changes and offers; We want you to get the most out of our products and services, including showcasing our latest content and newsletters. We will contact you with carefully-curated Fern Software offers and promotions, exclusive event invitations and feature announcements. For example, if there are no updates on topics you follow on our website, we will send you articles on other topics that we think you might be interested in. You are able to change your preferences at any time through your account or by contacting customer services. We also personalise our communications for strategic purposes.
Recruitment; If you apply for a role via one of our Sites, we will process your information in order to facilitate the application process.

Who we share your personal information with

We disclose personal information to facilitate the running of our business or to provide specific services you have requested. Commonly, we will disclose information to:

Service providers; We engage service providers who help to support our business and improve our products. These service providers include, for example, fulfilment providers for delivery of our digital content and marketing; customer service agencies; hosts, organisers and sponsors of our events; organisations that host our Sites or databases; and providers of online surveys.
Recruiters; Job application service When you apply for jobs through our web site, your job application is forwarded directly to the manager of the job that you are applying for. Applications that are made through Recruiters' sites, or other external websites, will be subject to their privacy policies.
Social media providers; Information will be shared with social media platforms where you log in to our Sites via a social media account or use components on our Sites provided by social media platforms (e.g. the "Facebook Recommend" function).
Fern Software group of companies; We share your information within the Fern Software group of companies to provide our services and to better understand the relationship between our products. More information about Fern Software group is on our "About us" website. For example, Fern Software, Singapore may send exclusive invitations to their customers if an event may be of particular interest to that individual.
Legal processes and successors in title; We may also disclose your information to comply with applicable laws, court orders or other valid legal processes, and to enforce or apply our terms of use, any subscription agreement, or any of our other rights. We may transfer or disclose your personal information to any entity which takes over or acquires the relevant Fern Software business. We also share aggregated, non-identifiable information with third parties. Before sharing this information, we ensure that it cannot identify you as an individual. For example, we regularly release information about the size and growth of our audiences.

How long we retain your personal information

We retain the majority of your personal information for as long as your account is active and therefore open; this allows you to continue accessing our content, products and services.

If you become inactive and are not a customer, we may delete elements of the information associated with your account. We will normally warn you if your access is going to be withdrawn and give you the opportunity to retain your account.

Where we don't need to keep all of your information in full, we will obfuscate or aggregate it, for example, web activity logs and survey responses. This is to ensure that we do not retain your information for any longer than is necessary.

Category of data Example Retention Justification to retention

Billing Information

Masked details of most recently used payment method 7 years For regulatory reasons we are required to retain accounting records for 7 years.

Business Intelligence

Web activities on 36 months (then aggregated + non-personally identifiable) To improve and maintain performance, personalise our services and to provide our product.


Comment on a Fern Software article Life of the article To enable our readers to assist us to answer your queries.

Customer Service Queries

Complaint about software or service issues 7 years To provide a case history to assist us to answer your queries.

Communication History

Email stating that your account subscription is up to renewal 7 years So that we have a record of what communications we have sent to you, to better assist your queries

User Group Event Registration

Sign up information 13-36 months For event administration and, with your permission, to invite you to future events.

Market Research

Responses to a survey about Fern Software services 13 months (then aggregated + non-personally identifiable) To administer market research incentives, avoid duplicating research requests and to understand research responses against usage of our Sites.

Subscription Information

Account information relating to an online service subscription 7 years post-subscription To enable us to fulfill your contracts with us.

It is sometimes necessary for us to keep your personal information for longer periods of time, for example:

If there is a statutory requirement to retain it;
If we require the information for legal reasons or there is a legitimate business need for us to retain it;
To ensure we do not contact you if you have asked us not to.

How we keep your personal information secure

We have appropriate technical and administrative security measures in place to help ensure that our customers' information is protected against unauthorised or accidental access, use, alteration, or loss.

We operate a global business, so your personal information may be processed and stored outside the European Economic Area (EEA). For example, our global customer services team needs to access information about you in order to respond to your queries. We put in place safeguards, such as EU standard contractual clauses, to protect information that is transferred in this way.

Your rights

Under data protection laws, you have rights as an individual in relation to the personal data we hold about you. These rights include:

The right to object to direct marketing; your preferences, including in relation to direct marketing, can be found in your account;
The right to access the personal data that we process about you;
The right to request the deletion of your personal data;
The right to request the rectification of your personal data; you can manage some of this information in your customer support account.
You can exercise these rights through your account or by contacting customer services.
You also have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. In the UK, this is the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). In the Republic of Ireland it is the Data Protection Commissioner.

Where this privacy policy applies

Personal information is collected by Fern Computer Services Ltd on behalf of the Fern Software group of companies and its trading entities.

Our Sites are not intended for children under 16 years of age. We do not intentionally collect or use any information from children.

Our Sites contain links to third party websites which are not subject to this privacy policy. We are not responsible for their content, use of personal information, or security practices.

If you have a query in regards to the processing of your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer directly at

Fern Computer Services Ltd (T/A Fern Software)

Registered Office: Hawthorn Office Park, Stockmans Way, Belfast BT9 7ET

Registered Number: NI014020

Changes to this privacy policy

This policy is effective from May 24 2018.

Any changes we may make to this privacy policy will be posted on this page. If changes are significant, we may choose to notify you by email or to clearly indicate on our home page that the policy has been updated.