Biweekly Broadcast

Interac e-Transfer® Update

Over the past four weeks the PPJV, with the support of Celero, has been working diligently with IBM and Interac to identify and resolve root cause issues that have impacted Assiniboine and Connect First Credit Unions’ e-Transfer migrations.

It has been a dedicated and collaborative effort by many people. While this issue has been extremely unfortunate and taxing, it has confirmed the need for appropriate evaluation of checks and balances, vigorous testing, and has given the PPJV enhanced clarity and insight required for successful future e-Transfer migrations regardless of a credit union’s digital banking platform.

As communicated previously, teams have been focused on addressing system performance issues, implementing system fixes and data remediation.

Current Status

After implementing several solutions, the IPCC system is now performing better and stability is improving. Modifications have been made to the design of the IPCC environment to improve the connection to Celero’s DNA core banking system, to address the issue of multiple credits and debits as a result of transaction timeouts. IBM continues in its planning to deploy a permanent solution. IBM has also updated their Interac configuration to address and solve for the transactions timeouts between IPCC and Interac.

Finally, the impacted credit unions are nearing completion of member account corrections. The data remediation team will continue to provide support to Assiniboine and Connect First Credit Unions with daily data file reviews. The PPJV team is also implementing a robust and full audit review of every process of the IBM system for both how it works and how PPI is notified.

Moving Forward

The teams will continue to monitor and remediate any final issues to ensure eTransfer stabilization.

Celero will update all credit unions proceeding with Celero Xpress on a revised timeline in the weeks ahead. The PPJV team is still developing plans for non-Celero credit unions and is supporting Interac commercial functions. These timelines are still to be confirmed.

We are dedicated to ensuring that future migrations are stable. It is the PPJV’s commitment that until the platform is proven to be consistently stable, we will not continue with etransfer onboarding

We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for the commitment of all who are working to resolve this issue.

Master Participation Agreements (MPAs) Nearing Finalization

Master Participation Agreements – which will establish the legal relationship between credit unions and the services they will use through the PPJV – are nearing finalization with the hopes to send to credit unions before the holidays. Thanks to all credit unions who returned the required signee information.

To support understanding of the agreements, identified signees will be invited to attend a webinar hosted by the legal experts who represent the PPJV and the largest eight prairie credit unions. The webinar will take place in the early new year. Stay tuned for more information.

PPJV Priorities for Q1 2021

The end of 2020 is just around the corner and the PPI Team is beginning to shift focus to Q1 2021 priorities that include:

  • Finalize signed MPAs with all PPI participants
  • Circulate Interac e-Transfer® Onboarding Toolkit with non-Celero credit unions
    • This toolkit will guide credit unions on how to launch e-Transfer and what steps to take to apply it to their environment. It is a very comprehensive resource guide and there will be training sessions to support credit union understanding of the toolkit.
  • Conduct credit union sessions with the focus on creating further understanding of the White Label GUI, PPI’s Fraud Desk and the DIP (Digital Integration Pattern)
  • Continue to conduct CU Impact sessions, specifically around bill pay and cheques

PPJV Remains Committed to Creating Choice for All Credit Unions

The prairie centrals and the PPJV remain very clear on and committed to the go forward strategic direction of enabling modernized payment services for prairie credit unions via the Payments as a Service (PaaS) solution with IBM.

This includes remaining committed to creating choice for all credit unions regardless of the digital banking platform the credit union is on or who they are under contract with.

For credit unions moving onto Forge, the PPJV is able to integrate any digital provider. We are currently engaging Central 1 to better understand their roadmap to connect Forge to PPI’s PaaS platform. To date, we have been unable to obtain a clear commitment from Central 1 on their roadmap, timing and/or confirmation to enable integration into the planned PPJV platform.

Until Central 1’s future payment services strategy is solidified and openly communicated, we anticipate there will remain continued uncertainty, which understandably creates anxiety for prairie credit unions currently leveraging Central 1 delivered services. Please be aware that we continue to work diligently to achieve identified milestones. We will share more information as we know more.

Enabling the NextGen Credit Union with Digital Integration Pattern (DIP)

Please note: effective August 2021, the Digital Integration Pattern (DIP) is no longer being pursued. An alternate solution is under development to replace the DIP and additional information will be shared as it is available.

Digital Integration Pattern (DIP) is a light cloud-based integration platform allowing for flexibility and portability, designed to provide integration between Digital Channel, Core Banking, and PaaS. Its overall objective is to onboard volumes to PaaS platform with minimal change to Digital Channel or Core Banking System and allow credit unions to take advantage of cloud capabilities.

Built with open technologies, DIP enables credit unions to control data and their destiny, avoid lock-in to 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.)
  • Orchestrate ecosystem providers, thereby reducing friction and allowing credit unions to deploy seamlessly to any cloud provider
  • And lastly, empower credit unions to take back control with a platform that they own

Continued education sessions around the DIP will continue in the new year.

Payment Types Spotlight – Automated Funds Transfer (AFT)

AFT Payments – A Crucial Payment Type for Credit Unions
Automated Funds Transfer (AFT) payments are electronic transactions between respective banking accounts. These include direct deposits (e.g. payroll deposits) and pre-authorized debits, for which funds are pre-approved to be debited from a payee’s bank account (for example, bill payments). AFT payments are cleared through Payments Canada’s Retail Payments system (ACSS) and US Bulk Exchange (USBE).

Near Term Objective – Interim State
The team’s focus is the interim state whereby both “ends” of the process remain the same (CAFT interface/ originator file and credit union Host Banking Systems) but the middle, how the volume is processed, is changing. For credit unions, the interim state impact can be summarized as no system or resourcing requirements, and minimal operational and training impacts. The team is targeting interim readiness for Q2 2021.   

Currently the team is in the Design and Build phase, whereby the DIP scope for AFT integration has been confirmed and now the team is reviewing legacy integration requirements. Next steps include determining the scope for settlement and addressing technical dependencies with PaaS.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of great questions that continue to come in from credit unions. We’ve recently added a dedicated Interac e-Transfer® FAQ section, check it out here. See below for questions asked at the December 4 PPI webinar.

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.

Meet the Team: PPJV Welcomes Some New Faces

The PPJV is pleased to welcome some new members to the team: Sean Legros, Nelson Petracek, and Clay Radu.

Sean Legros is a Program Manager hired as part of PPJV, whose initial focus will be on the Settlement work stream.

Nelson Petracek joins the team as a shared Chief Technology Officer between Celero and PPJV. Nelson currently has direct oversight for the IBM Digital Integration Pattern (DIP) build but will also be leveraged for all future technical delivery items

Nelson’s roles over the years have ranged from developer to architect including creating solution architectures and strategies around technology areas such as blockchain, APIs, cloud, microservices-related concepts, IoT, hybrid integration, streaming analytics, and graph storage. He’s even written a book: API Success: The Journey to Digital Transformation:

Clay Radu joins the team as Program Manager for joint Celero and PPI initiatives, including the CUPS Mainframe, Payments Migration and Xchange/DIP integration. He brings more than 30 years’ experience in Information Technology Leadership.  Most recently he has focused on infrastructure and security, recently leading data centre and cloud studies to find cost-effective efficient infrastructure hosting solutions. He has managed the IT integration of over 120 M&A projects over 30 years. 

PPJV is pleased to have Sean, Nelson and Clay supporting the PPI.

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Interac eTransfer Update
MPAs Nearing Finalization
PPJV Priorities for Q1 2021
PPJV Remains Committed to Creating Choices
Enabling the NextGen Credit Union With DIP
AFT Spotlight
Meet the Team
Knowledge Centre