PPI 101 Backgrounder

The financial industry is evolving across Canada due to Payments Canada modernization work, the entry of new fintech firms and innovation in technology. This evolution has instigated the need for change in credit union payments services, bringing the three Prairie Centrals (Alberta Central, Credit Union Central of Manitoba (CUCM), SaskCentral) and seven largest prairie credit unions to develop a strategy on the appropriate response to the evolving payments environment. The end result was an approved business case proposing a move to a Payments as a Service (PaaS) model in partnership with IBM.


Members demand new products, services and technology.
Credit union core technologies are becoming increasingly outdated and lack the flexibility to adapt to new technology. Members expect anytime, anywhere banking with access to the same features and security as offered by new market entrants.

Payments Canada is modernizing.
Payments Canada’s ongoing modernization work means credit unions have no choice but to upgrade existing systems, change current processes and align to new ISO 20022 data standards in order to remain compliant.

The costs of doing business are going up.
The costs associated with upgrading systems and replacing outdated infrastructure are very high. By working together, prairie centrals and credit unions can leverage economies of scale and save on the bottom line.

Flexibility and speed are the future.
Change is the new normal. Credit unions need access to leading technology and innovation in order to remain competitive now and in the future. A
prairie-led solution gives your credit union more autonomy.


Reducing risk.
A PaaS model shifts the obligation to meet modernization requirements from credit unions/Centrals onto a third-party service provider.

Shifting focus credit union strategy.
PaaS enables prairie credit unions to focus on strategic investments rather than maintaining infrastructure and enables Centrals to evolve their strategic focus.

Increasing choice.
PaaS means everything is based on standardized, open source principles to make future innovation equally accessible to all credit unions, with more self-service options.

Reducing costs.
PaaS leverages volumes to reduce per-transaction prices and enable other cost-efficiencies within the credit union or centrals.

Enhancing security.
PaaS includes the IBM Safer Payments solution with enhanced fraud management, monitoring and prevention capabilities.


Review the FAQs, presentations and videos on the portal, be on the lookout for the PPI Biweekly Broadcast newsletter and sign-up to attend a quarterly PPI webinar.
Comprehensive tools for credit union employees can be found on the PPI portal. Still have questions? Attend a webinar with the PPI project leads to ask your questions and get information in real-time.