The credit unions in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will leverage IBM’s platform to bring innovation and new product offerings

IBM Canada Ltd--IBM Canada and prairie credit unions team up for

IBM to modernise credit unions in Canada. (Credit: CNW Group/IBM Canada Ltd.)

IBM had signed an eight-year agreement with Prairie Payments Joint Venture (PPJV) to digitally transform and modernise credit union payment services in Canada.

PPJV is a newly-formed joint venture by Alberta Central, SaskCentral and Credit Union Central of Manitoba.

It represents over 75 credit unions across the three prairie provinces in the country.

As part of the agreement, a new Payments-as-a-Service platform will be developed and managed by IBM Services for the credit unions.

The modernised platform is deployed in a private cloud that is hosted on IBM public cloud.

The credit unions in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will leverage IBM’s platform to bring innovation and new product offerings.

The platform is expected to enable them to stay competitive within the industry and offer their members with access to the modernised payments processing infrastructure.

Furthermore, the platform can also help to maintain the readiness of credit unions to comply with evolving regulatory requirements with less investment.

IBM Services will deliver the platform through IBM Payments Centre Canada.

IBM Canada global business services managing partner Dave McCann said: “The dramatic movement we are seeing with payment modernization is in response to the demand from Canadians for frictionless interactions, but also better privacy, security and speed.

“By hosting its payments platform in the cloud, we will ultimately enable onboarded credit unions the flexibility to rapidly innovate new digital member experiences for businesses and members across all payment types in a more efficient, safe and resilient manner.”

The onboarding of the credit unions will begin this fall

The tech giant’s Payments-as-a-Service platform is said to be designed to meet strict regulatory requirements for financial data transmission, security and privacy, including a cognitive, real time fraud detection capability,

It will also allow the integration of key third party fintech partners to help bring rapid innovation to the members of the credit unions.

The platform for the prairie credit unions could start onboarding the credit unions by this fall.

It will start with a Single-Zone Region (SZR) deployment model and will expand it to support Multi-Zone Region (MZR) in the future.

PPJV CEO Michael Devlin said: “Credit unions have always been innovators. From being the first to offer debit card services, ATM banking, to mobile pay and mobile banking, we know how critical it is to move faster with our payments products and digital experience offerings.

“Changes are happening across the payments industry, such as open banking, and companies outside the financial sector entering the market with new credit cards and cryptocurrencies. All these changes promise a new era of transparency, but also increased privacy and security challenges.

“To keep pace, the need for payments modernization for credit unions has never been greater. We are happy to be working with IBM Canada on this initiative.”