By Roy Urrico
Three Canadian credit unions, each reacting to membership needs, sought to up-to-date its technology platforms to boost flexibility, decrease operational costs and integrate third-party services and solutions quickly. Each ultimately selected Fiserv’s DNA core account processing platform, with implementation led by Canadian fintech provider Celero.
Brookfield, Wis.-based financial services provider Fiserv, Inc. announced that Hamilton, Ontario-based Healthcare & Municipal Employees' Credit Union (HMECU), Prince Rupert, British Columbia-based Northern Savings Credit Union, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based TCU Financial Group all chose to update operations and drive innovation. According to Fiserv, these institutions sought a long-term technology partner with a strong Canadian presence.
“The right technology foundation enables financial institutions to be nimble as they meet the evolving needs of their respective memberships,” said Rob Palin, general manager, Canada at Fiserv. “Fiserv is committed to helping these credit unions innovate and remain competitive in an ever-changing banking landscape.”
Celero, a firm headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, with significant experience enabling Canadian credit unions to implement innovative banking technologies, including Fiserv solutions, leads these credit unions’ transition to the new banking platform.
CUs Identify a Need
Northern Savings Credit Union saw the demand for digital services and self-service capabilities dramatically increased among its 14,000 members due to the pandemic. As a result, the CA$710 million institution anxiously wanted to accelerate the digital adoption rate. “For the last few years, we were meandering down the road of digital transformation,” said Bob Marshall, CEO at Northern Savings Credit Union. “Last year, we had to react quickly to the dramatic shift in member demand for digital services, and with Fiserv we will have a platform that is able to adapt as quickly as our members.”
Javier Lozano, vice president, IT Services at Northern Savings, explained digital capabilities helps employees and members. “There are a lot of other tools, resources, and data documents that (employees) need in order to be fully capable and competent while they work from any location.” Part of the transformation journey comes from implementing a system like DNA, which enables easier integration of cloud-based tools, such as document management systems and data warehouses. “Everything comes together and makes that employee experience much better. They can actually achieve that goal of flexible work, but also support our members in the way they need to be supported.”
Lozano emphasized, “We're experiencing a huge transformation in the way financial services are delivered and deployed in this new digital economy. Partners like Fiserv and DNA really create new opportunities for us and gave us something that we did not have before. That flexibility and agility that is critical in a digital environment. For our communities that is really valuable. And so, we are really excited about this and we look forward actually to going live and see where the future is going to take us.”
HMECU recognized it needed to develop beyond the traditional brick and mortar infrastructure their members had relied upon for so long. To better serve the changing demands of their 10,000 members and best position themselves to attract younger members, the CA$250 million credit union decided to adopt an omnichannel approach.
“Our biggest challenge is to be able to serve members where, when and how they expect,” said Jason Moran, chief operating officer at HMECU. “We chose Fiserv and Celero because we need partners with whom we can scale as we grow and who each had a long-term commitment to the Canadian market.”
TCU Financial Group, which serves more than 14,000 members and has more than CA$772 million in assets, recognized the underserved small and medium sized businesses in its community needed a portfolio of commercial banking services specifically tailored for that segment.
“The world is changing rapidly, and member needs are changing as well,” said Svjetlana Mestrovic, assistant vice president of systems optimization and integration at TCU Financial Group. “With DNA, we are able to customize our platform and quickly connect our members with relevant Fiserv and third-party solutions.”
Checking Fiserv’s DNA
DNA is a modern core account processing platform with an open architecture, which allows credit unions and other financial institutions to integrate third party solutions, implement products and services quickly, and add new capabilities using downloadable DNAapps, more easily. DNAapps are FI-specific DNA functional applications, created by Fiserv or a third party, using a software development kit (SDK) provided by Fiserv.
“Once created and certified for use with DNA, apps are uploaded to the DNA Appstore where they can be downloaded by any financial institution running DNA. For third parties and FIs, this can also become a potential source of revenue, should they choose to participate in a revenue sharing model with Fiserv for apps that they develop,” said Palin.
This in-market concept gives DNA users a lot of customization options, as well as the ability to adopt best practices and technology from other institutions that use the platform, noted Palin. He added, a robust set of application programming interfaces (APIs) available within the system allows the integration of other apps as well. “New integrations are coming online all the time across the DNA user base.”
DNA also provides a complete view of member relationships that enables financial institutions to deliver personalized service and more relevant product offerings. DNA is deployable on premise, in Fiserv or partner data centers, or in the cloud. “An increasing number of institutions are choosing the latter two options to help streamline their operations and provide additional flexibility to their system,” Palin said.
Currently, Canadian credit unions moving to DNA all use a standard conversion process managed by Fiserv’s partner Celero. Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Celero is a strategic partner in Canada that installs, hosts and provide front-line support for DNA for its clients. “We have been mindful of the pandemic in this process and have been moving ahead with installations while also being mindful of everyone’s health,” Palin said.
The Fiserv GM pointed out the Canadian credit union market is vibrant and growing. “We are keeping our eye on enacting digital transformation, enhancing cybersecurity, navigating consolidation, and fostering continued collaboration between credit unions here.”