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Jump to:
Section 1: Context, Payments in Canada + the Prairie System Response
Section 2: PaaS + New Joint Venture
Section 3: Preparing My Organization
Section 4: Implementation/Resourcing/Costs
Section 5: Questions From Credit Unions
Section 6: Question Form Q+A
Section 7: Technical Questions
Section 8: Interac
Section 9: DIP


What are payments?

Payments are the suite of products and services access channels and supporting infrastructure that enable the transfer of value between two parties.

They represent one of the prime interaction points members have with credit unions.

What’s happening to the payments landscape?

The payments landscape is rapidly changing and there are a wide range of participants and available payment methods.

Occupants like banks, financial technology organizations (fintechs) and non-traditional players like Google and Apple have fragmented the industry and pushed participants to a new competitive level.

Regulatory requirement for payments are also evolving. Payments Canada is modernizing national payments infrastructure, processes and policies. Additionally, the Canadian government is contemplating open banking – all transforming financial services around the world.

What impact does this have on credit unions, why can’t we keep the status quo?

In response to the evolving payments landscape the three prairie centrals of Alberta Central, Credit Union Central of Manitoba, and SaskCentral in step with the seven largest credit unions in the prairie provinces completed a comprehensive analysis and identified without significant investment in modernizing payment capabilities that prairie credit unions risk:

  • Not aligning to new regulatory requirements for ISO20022 industry standards for back-end system integrations with Payments Canada
  • Reduced payments capabilities by not being able to access all payment types available or leading modern payments products and services available to other Canadian financial institutions
  • Increased costs of maintaining separate payment platforms and supporting multiple processes – which increases our total cost of ownership above our competitors
  • Lower revenue growth by separately accessing payment services and financial technologies means they may be out of reach to offer to members
  • Slow response to market conditions by not being a part of a broader Canadian payment ecosystem which risks us waiting too long to provide payment products and services that our members desire.

How are the prairie centrals responding?

Prairie credit unions asked the prairie centrals to examine developments in the payments environment, both nationally and globally, and to provide a strategic path forward.

A steering committee – comprised of the CEOs of the three prairie centrals and the seven largest prairie credit unions – was created. They considered several factors to conduct an in-depth assessment that included:

  • A review of Payments Canada’s modernization program.
  • An analysis of the current payments solutions used by prairie credit unions.
  • A review of member-facing payments user interfaces – current and future.
  • The continued participation and investment in the Group Clearing Joint Venture with Central 1.

What is the Prairie Payments Initiative (PPI)?

PPI is the initiative the Prairie Payments Joint Venture Initiative (PPJV) was developed to manage.

PPI works to ensure prairies credit unions are competitive in payments by providing access to the most efficient, cost-effective, modernized payments processing infrastructure, all within the context of meeting Payments Canada modernization requirements.

For more information on PPI, please review the PPI backgrounder here.

What options came out of the steering committee’s analysis?

Several available options came out of the analysis:

  • The practicality of rebuilding existing technology platforms to meet modernize standards.
  • The availability and practicality of sourcing and organizing “best of breed” payments solutions to replace aging technology.
  • The practicality of leveraging PaaS providers that can offer integrated, turn-key, and modernized payments services.

What option was recommended and was it approved?

The steering committee endorsed looking at PaaS from an experienced global provider. IBM was chosen to move forward. The option to move to PaaS, using IBM, was approved in late December 2019.

Why was IBM selected to modernize payments?

The boards of directors of the three prairie centrals conducted an RFI process to execute their vision of prairie credit unions being competitive in payments by providing access to the most efficient, cost-effective and modernized payments processing infrastructure.

After evaluating solutions IBM Payment Centre Canada (IPCC) was selected In December 2019 to implement a cognitive payments platform built on the IBM Cloud that combines the infrastructure, software, application and business operations support under one multi-tenanted, cost-effective and efficient platform for payments.

For more information please review the IPCC background here.

What is the IBM Payments Centre Canada (IPCC)?

IBM Payments Centre Canada (IPCC) is a cognitive payments platform built on the IBM Cloud, used by many major Canadian and US banks, combining the infrastructure, software, application and business operations support under one multi-tenanted cost- effective and efficient platform.

It is important to note that IPCC has multiple solutions within its platform such as Payments-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Safer Payments.

For more information, please review the IPCC background here.

What are the benefits of implementing the IBM Payments Centre Canada?

By adopting the IBM Payment Centre Canada, Prairie credit unions benefited by moving from the status quo by:

  • Enabling Prairie credit unions to be competitive in payments by providing access to the most efficient, cost-effective modernized payments processing infrastructure. Reducing costs. Cost-effective, hosting multiple financial institutions on one platform (IBM Cloud) drives down the payment processing costs of hosting multiple platforms and supporting multiple processes, and reduces total cost of ownership.
  • Negotiating an advantageous agreement with IBM that de-risks modernization and establishes opportunities for growth Gaining agility. Collaborate with other financial institutions and financial technologies within the ecosystem to quickly provide new leading payment products and services to your members.
  • Enhancing the scope of payments processing within the Prairies, without increasing costs to credit unions, including a substantially enhancement of fraud detection and management capabilities.
  • Contemplating and solidifying an opportunity to aggregate payments on a national scale, for the benefit of the entire system, while
  • Maintaining independence and autonomy for Prairie credit unions.
  • Establishing a strong foundation on which Prairie credit unions can build excellent member experiences and unleash digital innovation to give members greater flexibility in how they spend, track, and manage their money.

For more information, please review the IPCC background here.


What is Payments-as-a-Service (PaaS) and how does it work?

PaaS delivers an end-to-end payments management and infrastructure experience delivered through the IPCC cognitive payment platform.

The PaaS operating model incorporates all payment types, including low-and high-value payments and real-time payments, with the ability to support real-time gross settlement, multiple same-day settlements and traditional settlement models.

A prairie credit union simply connects its core and digital banking systems directly to the platform using three methods:

  1. Your own interface
  2. White-label graphical user interface – provided by IPCC
  3. Partner organization – such as Celero or Forge

Critically, there are no restrictions to the types or versions of core and digital banking systems (if they are compatible with API connectivity).

The Platform is ISO 20022-compliant with API-enabled integration, as well as all the standard integration mechanisms with channel, back-end systems, and external parties for origination, process and exchange. The technical environment also enables integration with fin tech and other payments ecosystem partners.

Does that mean that payments services functions in each prairie central will no longer exist? What payment types are in scope for PPI?

There are some services anticipated to remain within the centrals and some to migrate over to IBM.

Payments processing outsourced to IBM will include:

  • Automated fund transfer (AFT) – NAFT and CAFT will be replaced by new IBM solutions
  • Bill Payments – will move from CUPS and Central 1
  • Interac Payments (e.g. e-Transfers) – will move from Central 1
  • Wires – wires system will be replaced by a new IBM solution
  • Cheques (paper and electronic) – will move to Intria (IBM’s partner)
  • Centralized Fraud detection and mitigation – new solution from IPCC called Safer Payments
  • Real Time Rail – future Payments Canada initiative – provided by IBM

The Group Clearing Joint Venture structure will remain, and thus each of Alberta Central, SaskCentral, CUCM and Central 1 will continue to operate as a Group Clearer (Direct) with Payments Canada. Each central must also manage their own responsibilities as it relates to Group Clearing and Treasury.

What does outsourcing to IBM mean? Is IBM buying CUPS?

Outsourcing is a business practice where an organization hires an external company to perform tasks or provide services that were previously been done by internal departments.

In this case, what it means is that over the next 24 months, the payments processing activities listed above will transition from being conducted by CUPS employees to being provided through IBM’s PaaS platform.

Transitioning to PaaS does not mean that IBM is buying CUPS. We are in contract with IBM to outsource the current in-house services to them. This contract will be managed by the joint venture.

Will other payments services functions not mentioned above continue to be provided by the centrals?

Statement services, settlement services, drafts and money orders, cash parcels, armoured car contracts, mail room and CIO services to Credit Union Central Manitoba are not part of the outsourced arrangement at this time. However, while they are not currently areas of focus, ongoing assessments of how best to optimize these services will continue as the joint venture gains momentum. If there is an impact to these areas in the future, we will communicate these.

Will IBM ensure credit unions meet payments modernization requirements?

IBM will be obligated to ensure prairie credit unions meet Payments Canada modernization requirements (and comply with all other regulatory changes, as they happen).

What are the benefits of PaaS to credit unions?

PaaS establishes a strong foundation on which prairie credit unions can build excellent member experiences and unleash digital innovation to give members greater flexibility in how they spend, track, and manage their money.

Benefits of PaaS to credit unions include:

  • Creating Certainty & Reducing Risks. Clarity and certainty around modernization costs and payments capabilities (“future-proofed”); shifts obligation to meet modernization onto a third-party service provider.
  • Focusing On What Matters. Enables Prairie credit unions to focus on strategic investments rather than maintaining infrastructure; enables “re-imagining” of Central capabilities and competencies
  • Enabling choice. Support all banking systems and platforms, with no customized/proprietary development – everything is based on standardized, open source principles to make future innovation more agile and accessible to credit unions.
  • Empowering Credit Unions & Members. Increases self-serve options for both credit unions and members, which enables credit unions to be more responsive to evolving member needs and expectations.
  • Unlocking Value. Leverages volumes to reduce in per-transaction pricing between payment types (details to come) and enables cost- efficiencies through rationalization within Centrals (and potentially within credit unions).
  • Enhanced Fraud Management. The IBM Safer Payments solution is a complete step-change for fraud management, monitoring and prevention capabilities.

While this solution is primarily focused on prairie centrals, there will be continued collaboration with other centrals outside of the prairies, recognizing the benefits of a collective approach and synergies and the common need for all centrals to evolve their operating models to allow for payments success of the entire credit union system.

Who will manage the contract with IBM, PaaS contract? Who are the key contacts I should be aware of?

The prairie central CEOs will administer the IBM contract in a new three-way joint venture structure overseen by each prairie central called Prairie Payments Joint Venture Initiative (PPJV).

The PaaS Management Board will oversee the PaaS IBM contract, as well as influence innovation and product development. Immediate priorities for this board will be to define principles and processes, understand system considerations as well as identify the board’s mandate and scope of work.

For more information on PPI key roles, please review meet the team here.

Are the three prairie centrals merging to form this new joint venture?

The three prairie centrals are not merging but have recognized the advantages of streamlining payments functions between the centrals within the context of PaaS.

What is the joint venture implementing PaaS called?

Prairie Payments Initiative (PPI) is the initiative the Prairie Payments Joint Venture Initiative (PPJV) was developed to manage and is implementing Payments as a Service through the IBM Payments Centre Canada.

Will there be a program management team created to help navigate this transition? What are the workstreams that make up the PPI initiative?

Yes, the PaaS Implementation Program Management Office will be created immediately and will report into the PPJV.

The main goal of this team will be to effectively manage and execute the transition to PaaS while maintaining existing relationships with credit unions and other partners.

For more information on the PPI workstream breakdown, please review the workstream summary here.

Does the new joint venture come into effect immediately and who leads it?

The joint venture is now in effect and interim management of PPJV falls under the PPJV Transition Management Board who have appointed Caroline Ziober, Chief Member Experience Officer, Servus Credit Union, to assume the role of Transition Leader.

Do regulators have to approve this joint venture?

Regulatory approval is not required to move to PaaS, however the prairie centrals will continue to adhere to payments related regulatory requirements.


When will we hear about project timelines?

Project timelines are continually evolving to meet the needs of each credit union. As project plans are developed, PPI will be in touch with your credit union to provide regular updates on project timelines.

Please review the most recent timeline here.

The Biweekly Broadcast project updates also contain information and context about impacts to project schedules with the most recent located here.

How long will the transition to PaaS take?

The transition will take approximately two years.

Please review the most recent payments modernization multi-year roadmap located here.

The Biweekly Broadcast project updates also contain information and context about impacts to project schedules with the most recent located here.

Who will be responsible for the build and roll-out of the actual PaaS platform?

IBM will be responsible for the technical roll-out. They have the experts who will work with the JV and credit union leads and subject matter experts to ensure a timely and efficient roll-out of the PaaS platform for credit unions.

Note, credit unions are responsible to ensure their own internal business readiness to ensure your people and processes are aligned to use PaaS.

How will credit unions be supported through the transition?

IBM and the program management office (once developed) will help ensure the technology onboarding, which will likely consist of several phases for credit unions, will be efficient and thorough.

Credit unions are responsible for their own specific transition plans and training.

Will PPI provide change management and training to prepare my organization?

Each prairie credit union is responsible to prepare its people to use new payment processes and systems by understanding impacts to your credit unions internal business process and systems.

PPI recommends that you create a change management plan that outlines how your organization adopts and become proficient with your future payment solutions.

You can find Business Readiness materials, including an Organizational Change Management (OCM) playbook, here.

How many of our staff will be needed on the project, I’ve heard this implementation is a heavy load on each organization?

Payment modernizations such as PPI will require additional effort from impacted staff beyond your typical operational needs that are unique to each credit union’s needs.

As you prepare your project plan, PPI recommends you assess your credit unions capacity for change to ensure there is adequate time for your people to prepare, deploy and sustain your payments solutions.

What are the impacts to my organization from PPI’s in scope payment types?

Payment types in-scope for PPI include automated fund transfers (AFTs), wires, bill payment, Interac and cheque.

Specific impacts to your credit unions business processes and technology will need to be diagnosed as part of your deployment plan.

What will be the impact to the prairie centrals’ employees?

As noted, immediate next steps are to create a transition team, develop the transition plan, the new Prairie Payments Joint Venture, and have discussions with CUPS and CUCM on out-of-scope services. Once this work is completed, we should have a clearer picture on staffing requirements. We are committed to providing employees with transparent and open communication on both the progress of the initiative and the impact on resourcing as information becomes available.

Will severance packages be offered?

Common guiding principles including severance and transition arrangement practices will be created among the centrals. These will guide the development of severance packages to ensure any affected employees regardless of location, are treated fairly and equitably through this process.

Are all the centrals sharing the same information?

The centrals have been working very closely throughout this process to understand each other’s requirements and provide a common approach for communicating to their boards, credit unions, and employees. Employees in each central will also have access to the website which provides up to date information on the initiative.

As a central employee, what should I do in the meantime?

We still have an existing business to run, and it will take time to develop the transition plan. We must continue to provide the same excellent service our members expect from us and continued focus on daily activities and planned projects is paramount.

It’s possible that depending on your role, the changes could affect your daily work during the transition period. We know these changes create uncertainty and may be uncomfortable for employees.

We are committed to communicating with employees and hearing from employees to ensure they are well-informed about the transition work in an open, respectful and timely manner.

How should I prepare for this change?

We recognize that change can be distracting and creates uncertainty for everyone. We hope that as we progress, ongoing, open, and honest communication will empower employees to seek information and ask the questions they need to help them through this transition. Your immediate leader and the People & Culture/Human Resources department are also always available and willing to help you with any concerns you may have.


What has been accomplished since the contract has been signed?

Please review the Biweekly Broadcast project updates for the most recent information located here.

What are the project timelines?

Project timelines are continually evolving to meet the needs of each credit union. As project plans are developed, PPI will be in touch with your credit union to provide regular updates on project timelines.

Please review the most recent payments modernization multi-year roadmap located here.

Biweekly Broadcast project updates also contain information and context about impacts to project schedules with the most recent located here.

What is the impact to members / Will our members be impacted by PPI?

It is business as usual and so the impact to members from a day-to-day perspective should be minimal or even beneficial. Members should be receiving the same excellent customer service they have come to expect.

As your credit union prepares to connect your digital and core banking platform we recommend that you review the specific benefits you anticipate to to ensure you can make members aware of any improvements in the service!

For example, there will be some excellent new payment features (such as an improved CAFT system) and we will work with all CUs to ensure both they and their members understand how these new services work prior to any roll-outs.

What are the associated costs, how much will it cost to deploy PPI, where can I find more information on pricing?

Currently all the Prairie Credit Unions are billed either by CUPS or CUCM payments for all or a majority of their payments business. This process will continue but migrate to billings under the new JV.

Will my credit union need to hire another resource to support this implementation?

IBM – as part of their business readiness approach – will work with each credit union to understand what resources they have and if more are required to support their transition to the IBM platform. Those credit unions supported by Celero will be jointly supported by Celero and PPI resources for their transitions, however, we expect the impact to Celero hosted credit unions will be minimal.

Note, credit unions are responsible to ensure their own internal business readiness to ensure your people and processes are aligned to use PaaS.

There are many moving parts to this major transition. How do we stay coordinated with so many credit unions involved?

The PPI has a very robust organizational structure in place that will manage the implementation of PaaS. This structure consists of several work streams:

  • PaaS Transition Management Board: responsible for overall program governance and program-critical decision-making
  • Transition Program Management Office: responsible for overall work stream coordination
  • Partner Teams (IBM): the CU Onboarding Team, which works closely with CUs to manage their transition to the PaaS platform and the PaaS Build team responsible for the technical build). These work streams will work closely together to ensure efficient coordination on program timelines, deliverables, and stakeholder engagement.

From an engagement perspective, the CU Onboarding Team is developing a more detailed stakeholder engagement and change management strategy. The CU Onboarding team will work to keep all credit unions engaged and informed throughout the journey as we move through the various steps in the transition to PaaS.

For more information on the PPI workstream breakdown, please review the backgrounder here.

For more information on key roles on PPI, please review meet the team here.

How open is IBM to adjusting milestones or contractual timelines given COVID-19?

To adjust to COVID-19 impacts, the project team has evaluated all timelines and milestones. From an internal project perspective, no drastic changes are required and the team will continue to work towards existing milestones.

That being said, from a credit union perspective, the needs of each credit union as they relate to how COVID-19 is impacting them and whether this causes any changes to their timelines, resourcing, availability, etc. is being considered. This is the priority. If the needs of the CUs ultimately require changes to milestones, this will be evaluated and adjusted as needed.

Have the members of the PaaS Transition Management Board been decided?

The PaaS Transition Management Board has officially been formed. Members include: Sean Lesy (Alberta Central), Garth Manness (Credit Union Central Manitoba (CUCM)), Caroline Ziober (Servus Credit Union), Eric Dillon (Conexus), and Kevin Sitka (Assiniboine).

This group will report to the Prairie Payments Joint Venture (PPJV) and will govern the PPI Project during the implementation of PaaS. The board will have a mandate focused on innovation, pricing strategy, participation in PaaS, and product development. It will act as a mechanism to provide oversight over the PaaS contract and will develop innovation opportunities benefiting the system as a whole. This board will also evaluate tax implications related to the supporting governance structures and the evolution thereof.


Fireside Chats

What are the fireside chats?

In the first week of July, fireside chats across the three Prairie provinces were held. Each session focused on perspectives around the PPI. While these sessions were targeted to credit union CEOs and their executive teams, highlights of the questions and combined answers from the sessions are provided here.

The Alberta session included: Caroline Ziober, Chief Member Experience Officer, Servus Credit Union and PaaS Transition Management Board Member and Tom Papagiannopoulos, Sr. Vice President, Outsourcing and Managed Services, Celero.

The Saskatchewan session included: Eric Dillon, CEO, Conexus Credit Union and PaaS Transition Management Board Member and Tom Papagiannopoulos, Sr. Vice President, Outsourcing and Managed Services, Celero.

The Manitoba session included: Kevin Sitka, President and CEO, Assiniboine Credit Union and PaaS Transition Management Board Member and Tom Papagiannopoulos, Sr. Vice President, Outsourcing and Managed Services, Celero.

Why do you see this initiative as critical to your credit union and the system as a whole?

  • Accelerate the credit union system’s competitiveness in payments
  • Credit unions must control their destiny, ensure member relevance and competitiveness, and enhance productivity in payments
  • Credit unions must evolve as curators of innovative, value-added products and services for members
  • Attracts, enables and can integrate new vendor relationships to credit unions
  • Enabling innovation through governance – Oversight of R&D spending is integrated into governance mechanism through the lifetime of the deal
  • Rapid integration – technology infrastructure enables rapid integration of payments innovation, regardless of where it originates (FinTech, credit unions, service providers, etc.).

What is the biggest challenge at the moment from your perspective?

  • Ensuring broader understanding of PaaS benefits for the system
  • Project alignment
  • Business development / attracting volume
  • Getting people to understand the urgency of the transition
  • COVID-19 impacts and revenue implications; take advantage and move volume into the hub
  • Realize efficiencies and savings from this initiative; reduce costs in the payments space
  • Get the costs of processing and transactions down
  • Project alignment between big system projects
  • Business development and attracting volumes

What is the number one way we will make a difference with this initiative?

  • The PaaS operating model establishes a strong foundation on which Prairie credit unions can build excellent member experiences and unleash digital innovation to give members greater flexibility in how they spend, track, and manage their money
  • System collaboration – some things are better not tackling alone – by coming together we have consensus and can be more rapidly integrated and evolve
  • Allows credit unions to control their destiny while maximizing individual flexibility to develop and integrate innovative technology solutions, pursue collaboration, and drive a better future for members

What are common misconceptions that you think people have about this initiative?

  • Misconception is there is no urgency to onboard unless you are a pilot credit union
    • To realize the full benefits of PaaS, PPI requires early participation and onboarding of credit unions.
    • Economies of scale (transaction costs decrease with increasing volume)
    • If onboarding is delayed, credit unions will be paying for two payments systems (PaaS and legacy systems)
  • That you don’t need to start preparing today.
    • You can start to prepare today, even if your credit union isn’t transitioning until next summer 2021
    • The earlier you get involved, collectively everyone will get to a better place and stay relevant to the membership as a whole

How has the process been for Servus/Assiniboine/Conexus?

  • Huge learning curve out of the gate
  • Every partner has their own methodology to project implementation and payments transformation
  • Group as been very appreciative of the member experience (e.g., member experience workshops)
  • Feeling much more confident about plan and timeline
  • We need credit unions to pilot these payment types
  • A partnership where the approach and plan are being tailored to Servus’ needs (not a cookie cutter approach)
  • Opportunity for Servus to differentiate and address the unique needs of their members
  • Making sure there is room and space for this initiative internally
  • Asking questions and constant communication with the team
  • Exciting and busy time
  • Making headway

From Servus’/ Assiniboine’s / Conexus’ perspective, what are some factors others need to consider for 2021?

  • Servus:
    • Carving off capacity (dollars and resources)
    • Credit unions need to determine what their strategy is and how they will be competitive in the payments space
      • Understand your members’ current pain points
        • Incorporate this thinking into the plan
    • Change management and business readiness
      • Collectively share learnings; Servus to build a repository of information to share with the group
  • Conexus:
    • Learn about what a modern payments service model might look like
    • Get this capability for members
    • Get involved and build understanding inside your CU
    • Mapping out the customer journey
    • Where can we fit this in amongst other CU initiatives
    • Have someone in your CU to take the lead on this initiative (as the point person)
  • Assiniboine:
    • Absorb the information and stay engaged in the process
    • Share experience and pave smoother path for credit unions that are onboarding later
    • Communication is critical

What piece of advice would you give to others on the call as it pertains to business readiness?

  • Servus
    • Ensure your credit union is ready and embraces change
    • Determine budgets and carve out requirements necessary for payments transformation
    • Understand your members and how your strategy addresses your members’ needs and allows you to remain competitive in the payments landscape
  • Conexus
    • Share learnings
    • Be an early adopter
    • Capitalize on learnings and collaboration opportunities
  • Assiniboine
    • Organizational change piece is critical and readiness is very important
    • Be proactive with your questions and seek out the answers; absorb information that is out there.

Pricing is a big concern, what’s the most common question you’re getting about this?

  • What will my price be and when will I know.
  • We understand its 2021 planning season for all of us and we are working hard to finalize a simplified pricing statement
  • Working on streamlining it from a contractual perspective and what you get out of the service
  • Should not cost more than it does today
  • We will host a Town hall for credit unions to ask questions regarding the Master Participation Agreement when they are ready.

Who will send the payment contract and what are the fees?

The PPI Project team will send the contract and will also provide the fee list for services.

Project synergies – there are two major projects running in parallel. PPI and the Celero’s Xpress migration. Can you talk in more detail to the coordinated approach that has been communicated?

  • The Central CEOs, alongside Celero, believe integrating the payments capabilities of both major project will ensure the best use of all system assets, create a coordinated approach to and delivery of major system initiatives, all with the goal to make it easy for the system and to position us to attract additional volumes from financial institutions beyond the prairie credit unions
  • Within the XPress work, nothing will change per se, however what will be expedited will be the evolution of the delivery of the items critical to payments and the digital experience so that they work in tandem with the PPI project.
  • For credit unions and work streams committed to Xpress digital banking platform migration, work can continue as it has.
    • Impressed with the system and the ability between Celero and PPI to move forward and bring this together in a unified fashion
    • Renewed spirit of collaboration
    • Weekly touchpoints to ensure project alignment and transparent communication
    • Two projects are like a ladder; one rung from PPI and one from Xpress, but they are very much integrated

People are curious about the timelines and organizational impacts. Could each of you talk to how timelines and give some indication of what credit unions can expect from keeping on track and what to expect in terms of organizational impacts?

  • Servus
    • Took on role as wires pilot
    • Schedule date to launch is later this fall
    • Creating a group of dedicated resources / team to focus on payments
    • Agile and iterative plans
    • Can’t launch digital solutions until eTransfer and bill payments is also ready to launch
    • Continuing to plot out overarching timeline
  • PPJV
    • The team has responded well given COVID disruption
    • Timelines are still intact
    • Still looking to have first group of pilot participants between September and December
    • On track to bring them onto the platform
    • Continue to work diligently with Celero
  • Conexus
    • Get involved and don’t be afraid to reach out to seek clarity, ask questions, and share learnings
    • On track to meet timelines
  • Assiniboine
    • There were some adjustments at the beginning but overall we haven’t missed a beat in terms of keeping things going
    • Still looking to have first group of pilot participants between September and December
    • On track to bring them onto the platform

As a board member and leader in your credit union, what do you see your role as being? Why are you here? Why are you invested in this?

  • Provide oversight over the PaaS contract and take advantage of innovation opportunities – responsible for connecting the system to innovation
  • Determine the appropriate pricing model and operations-related requirements (fraud, etc.)
  • Sequencing and sourcing of financing for the Implementation phase of PaaS
  • Evaluation of tax implications related to governance structures (and the evolution thereof)
  • Budget, making sure project is on track

If you could describe how you feel about the initiative in 1- 3 words what would they be?

  • Excited
    • About the system, for the system
  • Nervous
    • Get this right and have a repeatable process
  • Opportunity
    • A leader not a follower

When do you think you will have the financial projections completed?

The team is working on it. No later than end of July 2020.

Are there any concerns with meeting the Interac e-Transfer for Business timelines this fall?

  • No concerns from either PPI or Celero Xpress
  • Undergoing Interac development this year will scheduled production in Q1 2020
  • To learn more about Interac e-Transfer for Business (formerly Interac Instant) review the backgrounder here.

Cost savings as other institutions join us? As the founders do we get the Benefit as the founders?

  • The volume they bring is key
  • Incentive for them as well
  • Founders (Prairie CUs) get the primary benefit

Everything is big picture, what is the specific impact to the individual credit unions?

  • Connectivity: working with Celero and directly with CUs
    • Enhancements for payments services (e.g., wires)
      • Training and education will be put together for users
  • The ability to work together and bring new ideas to market; can be easily integrated into the platform
  • PPI portal resources
  • Point of Contact networks
    • Facilitate conversations and learnings

There are a lot of moving parts in this transition, it is amazing what it all touches. Forge was mentioned but is there any type of guarantee where we sit right now that the things we have committed to already will fit in with this conversion? Should we be concerned that some surprise additions will be needed to take it across the line?

  • Work to do integration with IBM
  • Celero is working closely with C1 for Forge DNA connectivity
  • Founding guiding principle
    • Infrastructure and architecture does not restrict opportunities for credit unions
    • Credit unions are still empowered to their own choices and opportunities

Historically we have relied on partners for most plumbing functions, how will this change as we move to IPCC, and after the transition?

  • Collaboration has been key to the bringing PPI to fruition
  • The fundamental difference is this time we own the partnership.
  • PaaS operating model has de-risked modernization – we shifted the obligation of regulatory compliance from IBM going forward and at the same time incorporating a commitment

For those credit unions that have chosen Forge how does this fit into the development stream?

  • The role of PPI initiative is not to pick favourites. The role is to support whatever digital destiny or connection CU’s have
  • If you are going Forge and as soon as you have your dates and are going forward with that project both the PPI team and Celero team will stand by you and support you with those integrations

Is the iso20022 data availability for all CUs included in the IBM agreement?

Yes, there’s a large collective at work defining what it should look like and we’re working with IBM to future proof the language be ready for that evolution.

Will this data be at additional cost?

  • IBM wants to build service globally and across Canada and some of the things secured in the agreement are CUs participation
  • By credit unions for credit unions and we work to bring everything in to make it robust

Is there a volume break even point?

  • Yes there is
  • This deal will be the most economical and cost-effective way to move in to payments modernization
  • Collectively we all do better together than individually
  • We’ve paid for payments when we’re done the contract with IBM
Webinar + Point of Contact Network

What are the API timelines?

Project timelines are continually evolving to meet the needs of each credit union. As project plans are developed, PPI will be in touch with your credit union to provide regular updates on project timelines.

Please review the most recent payments modernization multi-year roadmap located here

How do each of the PPI product work streams impact my credit union?

The PPI Project Team is actively developing a summary of how each of these new payment types will impact credit unions, interactions with members in credit union channels (branch, contact centre, digital channels). This summary should be ready in the near future and we will be sharing it with working groups of credit unions as soon as it is complete.

Can any credit union convert to the new e-Transfer 3.5 system when they are ready? (Not just the P7s)?

The restructured approach and timelines now allows any credit union to integrate onto the platform if their system can accept e-Transfer 3.5 messaging (note: currently MemberDirect cannot). It is no longer just the P7s or the pilots, instead it is dependent on the credit union’s current system.

Please provide clarity regarding the fraud system (Safer Payments, Interac FAS, cards, etc.).

PPI will leverage the IBM platform which includes Safer Payments that monitors and supports fraud investigations. A support desk will also be enabled to support fraud related inquiries.

The fraud management process and approach does not include cards, as this is out of PPI scope. However, the PPI team can engage with Everlink to identify synergies with card-related fraud management processes.

Will there be implementation costs?

All implementation-related costs are built into the program. The implementation cost is reflected in the credit unions’ individual pricing which is dependent on size/volume and equitably divided out as a transaction cost.

What type of new hardware (technology) will credit unions need for cheques?

PPI will work to leverage as many commonalities as possible and/or provide cheque imaging materials for credit unions to use directly. PPI will make the decision at the program level to ensure everyone has what they need for integration.

Will there need to be a Pilot credit union with each of the other “non-eBankIT” digital channels?

No, PPI is no longer taking a pilot approach. Instead we will work with whatever system the credit union is using to integrate into the platform.

How will it look like for CUPS if the front-end remains the same i.e. IWT, CAFT?

It will look no different to CUPS. There will be no change to what the systems look like until system wind-down. This timing is reflected in the revised timelines.

What is the process for MemberDirect customer moving to IPCC for e-Transfers?

PPI needs to engage C1 to understand if they will let PPI connect the MemberDirect system to IPCC. It is recommended credit unions make a decision about MemberDirect, Forge, or eBankIT by the end of next year to facilitate integration. Note: C1 will charge a punitive rate to maintain the old MemberDirect system.

It is my understanding that Interac requires financial institutions to support Interac e-Transfer for Business in June 2021. Will we get this functionality from PPI or do we need to work with Central 1 for this functionality?

Interac e-Transfer for Business (formerly Interac Instant) is rolling out in summer 2021. The code base we have developed to, which is Interac 3.5, is the code base for Interac e-Transfer for Business.

For more information on Interac e-Transfer for Business read the backgrounder here.

Many credit unions have direct access to Interac OAS for investigation purposes today. Will that access continue?

Yes, this access will continue.

Could there be some expansion on how Celero will be handling fraud alerts? What might that look like?

The fraud strategy has been developed by Celero, and they will be managing the OAS actions pertaining to fraud.

Will limits be increased for consumer e-Transfers?

Limits are not changing; PPI will match what’s currently in the system for Central 1’s Member Direct

What types of payments is PPI covering?

  1. Interac (e-Transfer)
  2. AFT
  3. Wires
  4. Bill payment
  5. Cheque processing

Has a vendor been selected for Bill Pay?

PPI has selected Telus Bill Pay solution – learn more about Telus Bill Pay in the Backgrounder here.

When will the transition plans/timelines for individual credit unions be established?

This will be addressed as part of the Credit Union Impacts discussions that are taking place over the next couple months.

Will batch EFT processes continue to exist?

Yes, it will continue to be a batch process per Payments Canada guidelines.

What is the “Impact Discussion?”

The team is currently working on identifying the various impacts to each credit union. The impact will vary depending on payment type and credit union profile.

Will Celero be ready for DNA Credit Unions to move and will Central 1 Forge Credit Unions be ready as well? Can we be moved to the PPI PaaS platform if Celero and Central 1 are ready by Q2? If not, then will those Credit Unions who are DNA and Forge be bumped to later in the year to be moved over?

Digital connection patterns are a choice for a credit union to make. PPI will work with any credit union’s digital channel provider to connect them to our system. Note, PPI does not support this actual integration work, it is done by the digital channel provider on PPI technical specs.

PPI is currently not aware yet of Forge’s timing to onboard and we are actively engaging C1 on their plan to connect Forge to the PPI platform. This work is being supported by Celero has done some work with C1 around possible Forge integrations but timelines have not been identified. PPI continues to coordinate with C1 and Celero on the most economical and expedient approach to connections of Xpress and/or Forge.

Interac will support Interac Instant in June 2021; will PPI support Interac Instant by June 2021? Alternatively do we work with Central 1 to offer Interac Instant and then eventually this service will be rolled into the PPI services?

PPI is on track to meet the June 2021 milestone. PPI will support full functionality for all credit unions onboarding with PPI by June 2021. In other words, PPI supports Interac e-Transfer for Business (formerly Interac Instant) and will work directly with credit unions (credit unions do not need to engage Central 1 on this matter). Further discussions may be required for credit unions who onboard after June 2021.

For more information on Interac e-Transfer for Business (formerly Interac Instant) review the backgrounder here.

What is the White Label GUI and how will this be different than CAFT interface we use today?

For all the details on the white label GUI please visit the PPI site FAQs here: https://prairiepaymentsinitiative.ca/tools/faqs#section-7

It will be “like for like” to the CAFT interface used today.

If I’m a Celero credit union who is my key contact?

Valarie Geib is the key point of contact at Celero (valarie.geib@celero.ca). She will be working in close contact with Wanda Harrick, PPJV Executive Lead.

If I am a non-Celero credit union, who is my key contact?

Your initial contact is PPJV Executive Lead for CU Engagement, Wanda Harrick. Please feel free to reach out to her with any questions you may have at wharrick@ppijv.com.

What is the Safer Payments Solution and how is notification sent to clients (enhanced fraud management)?

  • Safer Payment is a fraud prevention solution that is integrated with the IPCC-PaaS system.
  • The fraud analytics engine will ingest AFT, wire, cheque payment, bill payment, e-Transfer transactions in real time. The payment transactions will be scored against the evolving Safer Payment fraud models, and the output will generate alerts to a consortium PPJV fraud desk allowing transactions to be held until the transaction is decisioned by the CU.
  • Safer Payment provides AML wires sanction screening for international wires
  • Safer Payment provides transactional monitoring reports
  • Safer Payment project stream will also supply Fintrac daily wire data extract reporting currently provided by IWT application or Central 1 for users of the C1 MTS service.

At this time, the PPJV is in the process of determining how the fraud team will engage credit unions to review AFT/Wires that flag for fraud review. There are different options that are being explored.

For AFTs, will there be any WLG member interface built or is that something that will be the responsibility of each CU to solution for target state?

AFT’s WLG is being built as a comparable system to the existing CAFT application. This means just like today, originators will be able to login and initiate AFTs either through file upload or manual data entry. Each originator will need to be setup with an account to access WLG and we’re in the process of defining the originator transition process from CAFT to WLG.

Will the scope of RDC include both mobile and branch or is this limited to mRDC?

Yes; the PPI team will have more details relating to the RDC plan in early January. Note some aspects are still being worked through (e.g., interface to Forge).

Will the move to a new bill payment processor (Telus Pay) be invisible to our members? What about digital bill payments via online banking?

The move to the new bill pay processor will be invisible to credit union consumer members that are making payments through the credit union’s digital channels. The team is working through mapping the existing C1 database to the Telus database and identifying any gaps. Telus Pay has a very broad database and therefore the team doesn’t expect there to be many, if any, large gaps. The bill payment processor is at the interface and core banking system level, therefore, invisible to members.

What exactly does Telus bring to the table for members that isn’t there today for MemberDirect?

Telus has a database of 12K billers. Details will be further discussed at the credit union engagement meetings.

I am a bit confused of the renaming of Interac Instant. We currently have Limit Group 3 set for our personal members. This includes Instant Transfers of $250 for low dollar amounts and $3,000 with sender/recipient history. Will this functionality go away until June 2021?

Interac Instant was the internal Interac project name they had for extending their Interac services from commercial customers. They were unable to use this name for the external customer market and therefore renamed the go-to-market name as Interac e-Transfer for Business. Meetings have been / will be held to unpack the specific details related to the new functionality.

For more information on Interac e-Transfer for Business (formerly Interac Instant) review the backgrounder here.

Why is this (the MPA) taking so long? Why has the PPIJV board not approved the budget yet?

It is difficult to provide a 7-year forward look for any company, especially when the build has not been completed. The Board has to approve the budget, as well as the pricing details for the credit unions. To do so, PPI has to amalgamate various P&Ls to develop a unified reporting process, from there the team will need to complete the holistic budget build process.

Is there any forecasting costs on this?

PPI anticipates that the pricing you pay in 2020, minus a small increase in terms of CPI, is what is going to be reflected in the 2021 pricing. It’s important to recognize that once the system is up and running, all credit unions will be converting to the new system with a simplified costing structure that will be communicated later in 2021.

Do we have an indication of the magnitude of the price change in 2022?

The pricing is currently being finalized and will be communicated later in 2021.

Will we take a different approach to e-Transfer to mitigate implementation issues or risks?

e-Transfer is a complex and highly interdependent solution. Since January 2021, stability has improved and continued without further issues. For more information on the e-Transfer remediation, review the updated timeline here.

When are you expecting to get stability from the e-transfer system?

The team implemented initial fixes for the issues that arose and followed a remediation process that ensured further issues were addressed before proceeding with any other migrations. The outcome of this work, as well as a full system audit, informed the go-forward strategy. All subsequent migrations in spring and summer 2021 have gone ahead without issue. For further details on the Interac remediation process, review the timeline here.


In respect to CAFT or its replacement; will pre-settlement be required? Will members need to have funds on deposit three business days in advance or will it move to real time payment? If it moves towards real time payment, when will this be available?

AFT will be able to be processed either pre-settled or real time payment. Both options will be available with the implementation of the solution, with the access to real time payment being dependent on your payment platform integration being enabled for the function.

What will be needed out of our core banking system, as we anticipate letting them know in a timely manner of the scope of work?

The PPI Project Team has revised its approach to support revised program timelines and address challenges and risks. As a result, credit union onboarding has shifted away from an individualized, pilot-based transition, to a broader cut-over implementation approach utilizing the Digital Integration Pattern (DIP).

As such, the requirements for credit union interaction have changed. Credit unions will require less individualized attention, process mapping, business development and change management advisory (in the short term) however, credit unions will continue to receive ongoing two-way communication and engagement to keep informed of project progress, ensure alignment and readiness, and provide an avenue for getting questions answered.

The Credit Union Engagement Team will act as the key point of contact for all credit union needs with the subject matter expertise of our product leads for each payment type.

In addition, we have brought on a new PPJV Credit Union Engagement Lead. Wanda Harrick, who has spent her career in the credit union system leading stakeholder relations for a variety of product and system rollouts, will be the new point of contact for anything related to PaaS implementation. Please feel free to reach out to her with any questions you may have at wharrick@ppijv.com.

I would like to receive the invitation to the biweekly broadcast/zoom meetings. Tried clicking on the link in the banner for receiving updates in my mailbox but nothing happened.

Registration for the PPI portal will get anyone added to the Biweekly Broadcast e-newsletter automatically, which includes emails sharing the dates and times of quarterly PPI Webinars over Zoom. If you have registered for the PPI portal you will receive the Biweekly Broadcast and the Webinar details. If you are not receiving these updates or to unsubscribe at any time, email ppi@albertacentral.com.

Do you have a copy of the PPI 101 presentation in PPT instead of PDF?

Yes, here it is.

The FAQ note – Member Direct (MD) cannot currently support e-Transfer 3.5 messaging – The logical conclusion is that if we are on MD as of June 2021 we will not be able to convert to PaaS operating model and e-Transfer 3.5. Could you provide some insight on this? Thanks.

Interac has finalized their Development API 3.5 and expect all financial institutions who are participants to be compliant on Interac 3.5 by June 2021. This is so that they can take advantage of the new features including: enhanced fraud management, transaction scoring, Interac request to pay and Interac e-Transfer for Business.

The PPI program has been industry leading in integration, with the newest standards in payments to ensure the latest features and benefits are available to our members. We do not have the roadmap for Member Direct nor its plans to stay current with the industry standards.

I seem to be getting all the emails about PPI Updates, but don’t seem to be getting the invites to the webinars. Did I set something up incorrrectly when I signed up?? Can you please help me get notifications about the webinars?

Dial-in and link information for each webinar will be added to the site and circulated via email to all site subscribers at minimum one week in advance of the webinar. This information can also be found on the PPI site.

For credit unions that have alternate core banking systems other than Celero, there is a key deadline date of Feb 5/21 fast approaching to have all development requirements identified for next fall releases, to the core banking system provider (CGI). Will and or when will these Core Banking providers be contacted to ensure a smooth transition to the PaaS Platform is achievable?

CGI and PPI have initiated discussions surrounding integration requirements for CGI RFS360 clients. CGI has confirmed that they will have all development requirements identified by February to ensure that a smooth transition to the PaaS platform is achievable.

I had seen on the FAQ that the credit unions are being billed either by CUPS or CUCM so does that mean that we as a do not have any direct costs at all to deploy PPI is that correct? Would we be billed after from CUPS/CUCM?

Every credit union has a choice about how they connect to the PaaS platform.  PPJV specifically is working on enabling a connection for credit unions called “DIP” that is digital platform and banking system agnostic.  Credit unions are encouraged to connect with their digital and core banking providers about PaaS connection options as soon as possible. These connection costs are not included in the PaaS offering currently and so should be considered additional.   

Will CORS reporting (i.e. e-Transfer CORS reporting) that is currently in place continue to be provided after integration?

CORS reporting will remain in place after integration to the PPJV platform.

Current structure under Central 1 for e-Transfer fraud is that Interac communicates with Central 1. Central 1 has a Fraud Alert System whereby they will indicate the fraudulent transaction on the system and email the credit union/Concentra. Credit Union/Concentra would investigate and advise if transaction is legitimate or should be denied. Will there be a similar service provided under this initiative for credit unions/Concentra?

PPJV is deploying a similar service to that which Concentra receives from Central 1 and their Fraud Alert System. PPJJ is leveraging Interac’s fraud detection system and is currently creating a similar process whereby Concentra will receive email alerts regarding suspicious transactions to be validated by the credit union and member.

Central 1 provides an excessive e-Transfer report that indicates if a particular account has over a minimum number of transactions in a particular day. Will this type of reporting also be provided or if I am receiving this from Central 1 today will I continue to receive this reporting after the transition?

We are not currently building additional reporting for excessive transactions. PPJV has transaction rules in place that restrict transaction volumes and frequencies to prevent excessive or fraudulent transactions.

Where can I find more information on the PPJV transaction rules that will be in place that restrict transaction volumes and frequencies to prevent excessive or fraudulent transactions?

PPJV will be using the Interac controls that allow our system to set limits (Interac Limit Groups) on daily, weekly and monthly transactions. Members attempting to send transactions outside these parameters will be declined. These are rules that Interac sets based on transaction velocity/amounts on a rolling daily/weekly/monthly basis.

By default, credit unions offering Interac e-Transfer services use the default limits set at Interac. With the optional limit group functionality, a credit union can choose 2 of 12 groups with different values for outgoing and incoming e-Transfer transactions as well as additional features like Instant Transfer or Probationary Limits. By participating in a limit group of your choice, all limits and features of the selected group are used for e-Transfers originating from your institution.

Where may I be able to access controls or rules written on the other payment rails (i.e. RDO, bill payments, wires, AFT, etc.) that we may be able to review in order to assess the rules/controls within PPJV and how it may impact or compliment our internal fraud processes?

As the payment streams are still currently under development, it is too early to share all information on controls/rules/finalized policies and procedures for the payment rails.

AFT will support setting up each originator with transaction, daily and monthly limits. These will be based on value date plus serviceability code and handled within the AFT engine. These are limits designed to reduce settlement risk, i.e. ensuring the funds required are available.

In terms of fraud controls, these will be handled through the integration with Safer Payments for AFTs and with employing stronger security measures to the WLG itself through the mandated two factor authentication.

Where do I find the costs of payments under this initiative?

PPJV pricing has not been finalized at this time. Credit unions will be charged based on current pricing/volumes with no increase scheduled for 2021. However, payments fees may be adjusted at a later date at the discretion of the PPJV board (responsible for pricing oversight) because of marketplace factors including competitive or technical requirements to do so. A minimum one-month notice to credit unions will be provided in the event a change in fees is required.

The PPJV anticipates 2022 pricing to be presented to credit unions in Q4 2021.

Can you let me know if we believe Telus will offer Canadian Carbon Tax as a payee option? This is one (like Canadian Border Services) that comes up frequently as gaps in our current offering.

The list of TELUS Tax Payment available tax types exclusively for Commercial Members is attached here. Please note:

  1. Many CRA tax types are included for personal and commercial members in the regular Bill Pay database.
  2. TELUS continues to add tax authorities to the database regularly. At present there are over 70 tax federal and provincial tax authorities to date.

When e-Transfer for Business is implemented, will the $25,000 transaction limit for incoming transfers be the only limit and the daily, weekly and 30 day limits will no longer apply? Will we still have daily, weekly, etc. rolling limits for sending transfers?

Yes that is correct. With e-Transfer for Business, Interac will be eliminating the rolling and cumulative limits on received transactions. That said, Interac is still finalizing the limit approach so they may introduce other safeguards.


General Technical Questions

What client Information is contained in PaaS (i.e. what type of originator profile is maintained)?

Here is the data stored inside the engine:

Partner Table

  • Partner ID
  • Name
  • Parent Partner ID (When
  • Originator is Corporate)
  • Customer Type (OFI / Corporate)
  • Address 1
  • Address 2
  • Address 3
  • City
  • State
  • Region
  • Country
  • Region Code

Partner Profile Table

  • Partner ID
  • Partner Version
  • Account Number
  • Bank Code
  • Account Type
  • Currency Code
  • Name
  • Pre-fund Indicator
  • Limit Check Indicator
  • Default Indictor
  • Account Status
  • Profile Category

Where can I find sequence diagrams for various payment types?

Sequence diagrams can be found via Confluence in the following folder: https://ipccprojects.atlassian.net/l/c/KJtqhQV5

Who will be responsible for owning and operating the CSN node?

PPI will continue to own the CSN node. From an operating perspective, IBM will maintain hardware and connectivity to CSN node.

Where can I access the shared Confluence space?

The shared Confluence space can be accessed here: https://ipccprojects.atlassian.net/l/c/iymz206Z

Where can I find technical documentation for certain payment types?

Sequence diagrams can be found via the following Confluence link: https://ipccprojects.atlassian.net/l/c/0HprVhiS

API specifications can be found here: https://ipccprojects.atlassian.net/l/c/znnSF0yQ

Will the IBM wires system provide anything to facilitate settlement with credit unions and postings to accounting/banking systems?

The “Transaction Summary Report” is supported by PaaS, which contains all transaction data processed during the day.

Does IBM wires system have BIC, ABA and/or holiday calendar management?

Wires engine will manage LVTS Participant BICs (17 BICs, as of April 16) and onboarded CU institution codes and transits. IPCC will not manage any other BICs or ABAs in PaaS. SWIFT Ref file will be used for SWIFT BICs, and IPCC will not update SWIFT Ref related data. International wires provider will use their sources for BIC and ABA information.

What value add does IBMs wires solution provide over Expertus EPS?

IPCC PaaS provides a more comprehensive payments processing platform that provides greater flexibility, agility and augments capabilities beyond that offered by Expertus (e.g. third generation AI-based AML/Sanctions/Fraud detection, standardized and future-proofed interfaces, flexibility to choose any member-facing UI, resilient IT platform with built-in redundancies to support agreed Service level commitments, fully-managed service including infrastructure, application and business operations support, etc.).

Further details on IPCC PaaS platform and the value proposition can be found at: https://www.ibm.com/ca-en/marketplace/ibm-payments-centres-canada

Are recurring wires possible using white-label graphical user interface?

Yes, it will be added as part of the roadmap items. For example, sent monthly on a specific date.

Can we use future dated transactions after cut-off?

Future dated transactions will be released at the opening of the next day.

How is information about fraud detection communicated back when using file-based transfer?

Safer payments team will provide information back to your organization to determine next steps.

Is there encryption on AFTs?

APIs all have a level of encryption. In addition, all data follows security and encryption legislation for Canada.

Where can I find information relating to API specs, updates and fixes?

APIs can be found via the following Confluence space: https://ipccprojects.atlassian.net/l/c/RjV1jQ2s

Is there a source of truth for documented API end points? Sequence diagrams and other documentation have conflicting names. Is this there a place this is documented in domain-specific language?

The source of truth for API end points is the YAML. Excel spreadsheets have been removed to avoid any confusion. Business rules will be updated on an ongoing basis to align with domain-specific language.

API specs are still changing even daily. Where can we find up-to-date API specs?

a. IPCC has a bi-weekly release cycle for API Specs. Exceptions are made to hot-fix based on client’s request. In each release note, we will be publishing the version number of the API document specification:

With respect to file processing, can we send existing CPA formats? Will IPCC be translating existing CPA formats to ISO? Are we expected to get an API back or existing files in the old format for CU incoming files?

Yes, IPCC handles Payments Canada’s industry standards (e.g. CPA005, X9, X12 EDI, etc.)

If CUs require to send non-standard files, then we can leverage the Digital Integration Pattern to handle translation to ISO20022 or one of the acceptable industry standard files.

Ideally, we would encourage CUs to adopt the modern, industry standard output API / files from PaaS as they are richer in data and provide standardization for CU’s interfaces (future proofing). However, we also understand that each CU may have different modernization roadmap / timelines. Hence, we are currently exploring a PoC with PPI using Digital Integration Patter (DIP), previously referred to as Digital Core, to see if DIP can transform PaaS standard output files into the various files that CU’s require.

Is the token service within the VPN / Direct Connect tunnels or expected to be publicly available?

The token service must be VPN / Direct Connect tunnels.

Would a credit union be able to reject portions of the package or would the whole package need to be rejected?

The whole package will be rejected if any error occurs

White Label Graphical User Interface (GUI)

What functionality does the Graphical User Interface (GUI) provide?

White Label Graphical User Interface will provide features such as: Initiation (e.g. manual entry, file upload, system integration), Pre-processing (e.g. semantic validation, BIC validation, payment type correction), Control (e.g. transaction validation, approval per file or transaction) and Visibility (e.g. Real-time dashboard, search engine, reporting).

What components of White Label GUI can I create roles for?

Roles can be created for every action or application program interface. As you configure White Label GUI you will need to clarify role creation and configuration to ensure it meets your needs.

Can I set up more than one role for a single person?

A single person can be setup for more than one role. For example, someone who works at more than one branch can have several roles based on the activities they complete at each branch.

If you don’t have single sign on, is there a way to create users?

Yes, but more information is required to map users to roles. For example, approval limits for users by role.

When requesting access to White Label GUI, are users locked down until they complete the authentication process?

Yes, this can be configured. As soon as a user is created they receive an email to create a password and configure their multi-factor authentication.

Is there a way to import users from my wire transfer system into White Label GUI / PaaS?

Yes, this can be done from a CSV file that would need to be reviewed to ensure accuracy.

What types of wires can be conducted in White Label GUI?

This is configurable. Multiple types of wires can be selected from dropdown for payments. For example, just “wires” or you can have “domestic wires”, “international wires”, “USD wires”, etc.

Can Expertus be configured for standard workflows or does it require customization?

Yes, configuration for standard workflows takes a few hours. Any customization to non-standard business processes require design and development.

Can the system logs from White Label GUI be exported?

Logs can be exported but need to work with you to determine the format they will be provided in.

Is there a timeout limit for wires conducted in White Label GUI?

There is not a timeout limit for the wire specifically, however, the system after 10 minutes of inactivity will log you out. This is not customizable due to system security requirements.

Can you future date a wire in White Label GUI? What about a future dated wire involving foreign exchange?

Yes, you can future date a wire. If the wire involves foreign exchange It would re-process from the beginning using the spot rate.

Are templates saved by one user or available to all?

Templates are available to all in the organizations.

Are transaction approvals done once a day or for every transaction?

Approvals can be completed for every transaction.

Can I approve my own transaction if it is in within my approval limit?

Users can never approve their own transaction no matter what their limit – this is a control to ensure transactions are always reviewed.

When are reports created and what is their timing for distribution?

White Label GUI autogenerates reports and distributes them to whoever is on the distribution list.

How long are White Label GUI reports stored?

Reports are stored for seven years.

Can White Label GUI reports be generated by user role, branch and location?

Yes, this just needs to be configured.

Do “super users” in White Label GUI have the ability to view reports?

No, only those assigned access to view reports.

Is Expertus located in a multi-tenanted environment?

Yes, your data is encrypted, segregated and stored in the IBM cloud – which is multi-tenanted with other financial institutions in order to maximize the economies of scale and keep the cost-per-transaction down.
We can work with you on any specific security requirements your organization has.

Can a user view other organizations information within White Label GUI?

Users only receive a view of information for the organization they have permissions for.

What is the planned scope for the Digital Integration Pattern (aka Digital Core)?

The planned scope for the Digital Integration Pattern is integration of channel experiences and core systems to the PaaS platform, with the following flow:

A. Request from Digital Channel UI received by Inner API (based on Digital Channel integration needs)
B. Requests written to Payment Request topic
C. Streaming application processes request into format for IPCC API
D. Based on success or error, update written to Processed Topic or Error Topic in Kafka
E. Streaming application processes request into format for Core Banking system of record (ie: Fiserv DNA API or Ovation API)
F. All topics (Payment Request, Processed, or Error) used for real-time analytics and dashboards

Is there any translation occurring in DIP? If so, where?

The translation occurs at step A (to IPCC format Initiate Payment APIs), and step E (to Core APIs).

The goal is to minimize required changes in CU’s systems to support the move to PaaS, and provide the capability to support multiple channel UIs and Core systems.

What concepts are we trying to prove during POC?

The Proof of Concept objective is to prove the technology integration pattern of DIP, using Interac e-Transfer Send money use case:

  • Log into ebankIT to launch Interac e-Transfer
  • ebankIT calls IPCC’s non-payment APIs: getContacts API and getTransferOptions to get member’s contacts from Interac
  • Member selects an Auto-deposit pilot recipient to pay and submits
  • ebankIT calls IPCC PaaS sendPayment (pain.001) API
  • IPCC PaaS validates and posts to DNA / Ovation using IPCC DDA Posting request (camt.051)
  • Core banking completes debit to member’s account
  • IPCC completes processing and provides response back to ebankIT

Are we testing planned or future scope as well? One use was for Core Banking to stream data. Would a test of this be in scope for the POC?

Planned scope – the POC is focused on an end-to-end e-Transfer use case. Based on successful POC and decision to move forward, the remaining payment times would be built.

Streaming data from Core Banking is a potential future roadmap item. Our focus is PaaS integration (channel UI, PaaS, Core Banking).

On potential future roadmaps, other institutions have streamed real-time events to (a) be able to build new experiences without building them in the core, (b) serve reads from the event stream rather than needing to go back to the core each time, (c) accelerate the speed of M&A integration.

We want to understand what change to current known state is impacted by the introduction of DIP. For example, Are there any changes to Confluence (APIs) as a result of introducing the digital core or will the workflows be updated to reflect the changes are introduced by the APIs?

Although the APIs won’t be changing, updated sequence diagrams to reflect the role of DIP for the POCs will be delivered during the POC period.

Will be you be providing documentation / processes required to support performance and business continuity of the digital core?

Yes, since DIP performance and business continuity will align to PaaS for production since the same level of availability is expected.

Are there any opportunities for the other credit unions to review the current state discovery as well as the gap analysis?

PPI will share the gap analysis spreadsheet as well as the summarization of the gaps with appropriate credit union representatives.

What criteria were used to determine gap prioritization for the WLG?

Prioritization was dependent on “is this something that is of high use in the CAFT interface or in IWT today”, “is it a regulation requirement”, “is it a feature that provides a big benefit in terms of usability”.  The number one driver was whether this would make it more difficult for credit union users to utilize the WLG – if yes, then this became a priority item. Out of the design sessions, where pain points were discussed, if it was something that we didn’t have a solution for, or the solution in the WLG was the same as in the CAFT today, then it wasn’t flagged as a critical item for remediation, but it was put into the product backlog.

Are you feeling the WLG will be more user friendly for members who use CAFT? Will there be extensive training required for our business members?

As with any new interface, the WLG will require training. It is a modern user-friendly interface that is very different than the CAFT interface used today, and therefore requires the user to adapt to something new.

How are you ensuring the design principles established in March and personas are being incorporated into the WLG?

PPI is going back and looking at the design principles and personas in comparison to the demo sessions.

Will credit unions get access to the WLG at some point prior to going live to assess how it will work with our processes?

Yes – PPI is looking at releasing a sandbox environment for getting acquainted with the WLG.

Will the focus still be on like for like functionality or has there been any enhancements to CAFT functionality added based on the design sessions or pain points identified?

The focus has been on like for like functionality. We have gained enhancements based on the base functionality of the WLG.

How will the code be sent for the two-factor authentication?

The code will either be set to go to a cell phone via an Android app, or through an add-on to the Chrome browser called “Chrome Authenticator” (found on the Chrome web store here).

What will the transition between the legacy system to WLG look like for the credit unions as well as CAFT member users?

The interim state of AFT will be to move the legacy engine off of the host over to the PaaS engine. User transition will likely be a two-step process with users first set up before they are on the system.


How will credit unions get onboarded?

It depends on the platforms. There are three different scenarios credit unions may fall under:

Scenario 1: DNA Credit Unions – Using Celero Xchange™ and Celero Xpress™

For those credit unions utilizing Celero Xpress as your digital banking platform and Celero’s DNA core banking platform, PPJV and Celero have completed the connectivity required between Celero’s systems and the PaaS platform. The required integration capabilities are ready through Celero Xchange digital ecosystem integration platform, enabling your credit union to adopt e-Transfer as soon as your credit union implements Celero Xpress in production. Please reach out to Valarie Geib – Valarie.geib@celero.ca to discuss your readiness plan.

Scenario 2: DNA Credit Union – Using Celero Xchange and another Digital Banking Platform of Choice

For those credit unions using Celero’s DNA core banking platform and another digital banking platform of choice (e.g. Forge, eBankIT, VeriPark), Celero will play a critical role in establishing the connectivity between the DNA core banking platform and your digital banking platform provider using the Celero Xchange. Credit unions in this scenario should engage your digital provider and your Celero account executive to establish the next steps towards integration with the PaaS platform.

Scenario 3: Other Core Banking Platforms and Digital Banking Platforms For those credit unions using other core banking and digital banking providers, you can still leverage the e-Transfer through PaaS. To do this, both your digital banking provider and your core banking provider can integrate to the PaaS platform using the DIP. Please engage in these readiness discussions with your providers so the PPJV can begin to support the onboarding of your credit union to Interac 3.5.

How will PPI help credit unions onboard?

The PPI Project team is developing an e-Transfer onboarding toolkit for credit unions. This toolkit includes information relating to: what you need to know to get started, readiness checklists, how PPI will support you, and guidelines for communications to members. 

Will staff training be provided?

Yes, training will be available, but the source depends on the integration pattern / platform. For example, Celero is the trainer for Celero Xchange.

Will the member see anything different after transferring over?

The functionality will remain unchanged for all channels. However, the member transaction journey will be dependent on the digital banking platform.

Does every credit union cut over at the same time for e-Transfer?

For e-Transfer, cutover is dependent upon credit unions connectivity being in place. This is accomplished by credit unions working with their digital and core banking platform providers to complete integration to the IPCC solution.

Is there an interim state as it relates to credit union impact?

PPI is targeting to provide agnostic digital channel support. Therefore, there is no planned interim state.

What should the focus be for credit unions?

The biggest challenge for PPI is ensuring credit union readiness for connectivity. Credit unions can support by focusing on their digital channel readiness and enablement.

What are the plans for bulk e-Transfer?

Bulk e-Transfer is not in the current build set. This decision was made because this is not something the system currently uses. PPI will look to include this service in the future pending credit union demand.

Will history be available?

History will be available going forward as new transactions are made, however, historical cutover records / data will not be copied over.

What sort of data migration process is in place with Interac?

Member emails, mobile, alias information, auto deposit registration, and recipient lists are all being copied over into the new environment. This means there is no reregistration process required.

What fraud management is in place for Interac?

The target state includes PPI staffed fraud investigations and a policy desk, as well as enhanced fraud scoring. PPI is also setting up an IBM back-office and ticketing system, which will also support all payment types.

Interac itself has a robust fraud management system. Its fraud monitoring is consortium based, meaning all financial institutions that use e-Transfer feed back fraud information which helps in real time decisioning.


What part of DIP is open sourced (e.g., is it just the code or entirely built of open-sourced components)? Is there any proprietary software?

The code IBM is developing is owned by PPI, and therefore is PPI’s intellectual capital. DIP itself is comprised of both open source and proprietary components.

Will IPCC’s helpdesk have the ability to investigate the flow of messages through DIP for troubleshooting? If there is a payment message that hasn’t arrived, whose responsibility is it?

The ability for IBM and credit unions to see the transaction flow exists; however, further discussions are required to define this process. The degree of accessibility for credit unions to have their individual message queues will be determined when PPI works with credit unions to define the operational model.

What parts of DIP do credit unions have access to? Is the API surface that mimics IPCC part of DIP or is that separate from DIP?

That DIP API Platform (running within the IBM Kubernetes Service / IKS) that includes Payment Mediation, Batch Posting, and Kafka is part of DIP. The API surface that mirrors a direct IPCC connection is included as part of DIP.

Is DIP designed so that there is only one logical instance of DIP, but contains services that may be specific to an individual credit union?

The inbound event does determine the route of the transaction through the system, and topics are used as targets to determine what piece of code executes, but you still have to write the code that is specific to the credit union. The event determines the route of the transaction through the system.

Is there potential to decouple errors / retries in terms of how DIP talks to the Core Banking System, so it can intelligently decide whether to retry?

Yes, that is possible; however, a key objective of DIP is to ease the integration burden and put it more in the “middle” by leveraging the power of the cloud. DIP will include a few core patterns to leverage across credit unions, but the objective of DIP is to reduce the amount of code and reliance on making changes to the core banking systems.

DIP SLA was 99% within 1 second, is that per direction?

This is per “zipping” through DIP in terms of the request response. This is not taking into account the time it spends in the Core Banking System, as this is not something DIP can control. Note, Interac just published new standards last week, and now has a 10-second response time on send and receive money (previously it was 20 seconds).

What is the advantage of DIP vs going native API?

Built with open technologies, DIP enables credit unions to control data and their destiny, reduce dependency on proprietary tools and technologies, and serve data in real-time to the processes and experiences that will define credit unions’ futures. These are key features that will enable credit unions to:

Adopt a common data model, allowing for integration inside and outside the credit union (minimizing coding, language requirements, etc.).
And lastly, empower credit unions to take back control with a platform that they own.

Is DIP required to maintain existing settlement procedures?

Settlement will continue as expected at this time, as well as the reports still available through OAS.  

What expectation is there of the core banking system and credit union to prepare for DIP?

The DIP team will work with credit unions directly to determine the appropriate path for a given integration.

Is the 30 transactions per second (tps) for the entire system or per credit union connection?

It is for the entire system.

How does the overall architecture account for Interac e-Transfer for Business (formerly Interac Instant) transaction response time without incurring timeouts, considering the overhead for message translation and communication with the banking systems, Interac, Central 1?

It is a distributed system, and therefore, each piece of the system requires a budgeted response time in the overall transaction. Therefore, there is a small time budgeted for DIP.

For more information on Interac e-Transfer for Business (formerly Interac Instant) review the backgrounder here.


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