Do you remember paper airline tickets? If you were on a plane before the mid-‘90s you would. You coveted that ticket, protected as if it was your pass to a magical chocolate factory. Because if you lost it, the result was most certainly impending doom. The airline industry eventually recognized the need and advantages of modernizing the system and moved to entirely e-ticketing, improving the customer experience (no more frantic last-minute searches for that vacation you’d been planning for years) and drastically reducing processing costs to a savings of over $3 billion USD each year.
This is a real-world example of what prairie credit unions are trying to achieve: process efficiencies and savings for consumers and businesses alike. They are doing this through a joint venture involving Alberta Central, SaskCentral and Credit Union Central of Manitoba called the Prairie Payments Joint Venture (PPJV), which collectively represents more than 75 credit unions across three prairie provinces. PPJV has teamed up with IBM and just announced the largest payments modernization agreement of its kind in Canada for the credit union system.
So what does this mean for credit union members? According to IBM, 73% of transactions are now electronic, and modernization makes them easier, faster and more secure. You may not notice the changes in your day-to-day banking, but the system will have the highest levels of fraud prevention, cyber security and data privacy. As a credit union member, you will have access to the most efficient, cost-effective modernized payments processing infrastructure. Just like those digital airline tickets, your digital payments will be quick and convenient.
“Credit unions have always been innovators,” says PPJV CEO Michael Devlin. “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.”