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  • Writer's pictureW.B. King

Canvas CU of Denver Prospers With Co-op Solutions Enhanced Developer Portal

By W.B. King

With the goal of credit union technologists having better access to services that improve the employee and member digital experience, Co-op Solutions has enhanced its Developer Portal.

“Our credit unions are looking to integrate the Co-op services with the standard way in which that credit union delivers their digital experience to their members,” Co-op Solutions Chief Product Officer Bruce Dragt told Finopotamus.

“They want there to be one place that a member goes to for many different financial services,” he continued. “The Co-op Developer Portal gives them the mechanism by which they can incorporate our services into that combined service experience for their members.”

Dragt further explained that the portal’s extensive library of application programming interfaces (APIs) will be complimented with a software development kit (SDK) and drop-in user interface (UI). These updates, he noted, will allow credit union tech teams to add more services to their digital experiences “faster and more seamlessly” than before.

The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based Co-op Solutions has more than 3,000 credit union clients. And while the specific number of Co-op Developer Portal clients is proprietary, the $3.9 billion Lone Tree, Colo.-based Canvas Credit Union, which supports 290,000 members, was willing to share insights.

“We wanted to work with Co-op on the new SDK and drop-in UI options as a proof of concept to help educate us for the future, and to help Co-op with these enhancements, as they have been a trusted technology partner,” said the credit union’s Enterprise Solutions Architect Tyler Burd. “Canvas Credit Union is closely integrated with the Co-op payments ecosystem.”

The Rollout

From a back-office stance, Dragt said a credit union’s development team needs to be familiar with Co-op’s APIs as well as be able to create the integration that would be required of an API.

“We just announced we are also providing SDK and drop-in UI options, which will sit on top of some of our APIs and enable an even more simplified approach to service integration,” he said.

Bruce Dragt

The Co-op Developer Portal, along with the services it enables, can be added to an existing master service agreement (MSA) that Co-op has with its credit union clients. Rolling out the service, Dragt said, is an undertaking but not one that is necessarily too taxing on staff.

“As it relates to the development activity for some APIs that support simple workflows, it’s a very quick development turnaround. And, for some of the APIs that involve multiple workflows, it will be more extensive,” he continued. “So, the length of time varies by the service being contemplated – it can be very quick or a more significant undertaking.”

The Return

When determining ROI, Dragt said the portal is an “enabling solution” designed for integrating services.

“The ROI relates to the service being integrated and there could be several of those. The new drop-in UI options that we are offering, we estimate, will probably take out 60% to 80% of the work that is needed to complete an integration,” he said. “That’s a pretty significant savings.”

The addition of SDKs and drop-in UIs provides credit unions with access to modern designs and user-experience best practices, Dragt added, noting each offering is “baked into” pre-tested and pre-built integrations.

“Credit unions will be able to complete their projects faster. SDKs and drop-in UIs can save about 1,500 hours of development time as compared to APIs,” he said. “Importantly, the options support Co-op’s standards for data protection and security.”

For a credit union interested in this solution, Dragt said a suggested first step is getting familiar to the Developer Portal itself. “In other words, the common ways in which we ensure security. The APIs have a common security infrastructure that the developer will need to become accustomed with.”

The next step, he said, is understanding the portal’s “general framework,” which includes working through the online documentation and the credit union’s tech team being able to code the application and test it.

“Co-op offers a team that is available to provide assistance in the event they have questions that are more technical in nature or if it’s not something they can solve on their own,” he said.

Canvas Credit Union’s Burd noted that the enhanced Co-op Developer Portal has already provided “great starting points and reference guides for developers,” which in turn has enabled integration of services with minimum complexity.

“The documentation is in plain English and easy to work with, as was the entire Co-op team,” Burd said.

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