In our last update we communicated that several system enhancements to stabilize Interac e-Transfer® were showing positive results with improved system performance. Previous timeout issues between IBM and Celero were significantly improved, member account remediation processes were being completed with the support of IBM’s analytics team to ensure all error scenarios had been identified and reported. Improved IPCC system alerts continue to be developed to ensure participating credit unions receive timely reporting of system outages.
Recently, some unanticipated transaction failures due to database issues and related timeouts occurred. This resulted in the testing and deploying of additional fixes between December 31 and January 12, 2021 to improve IBM system performance and remove the cause of the transactions failures. The PPJV also continued working with IBM to review the system architecture and testing protocols.
We appreciate credit unions may be feeling concerned about the longevity of this issue. We continue — alongside Celero, the effected credit unions and IBM — to ensure diligent testing of the system. The CIOs of the largest credit unions (the P8 CIOs) have agreed to directly support PPJV in future testing of all systems. We will formally enable this group later in January.
We continue to remain committed to ensuring the system is stable prior to any additional credit union onboarding.
Payments Canada Approaches PPJV to Assess Interest in Real-time Rail (RTR) “Go-Live”
Payments Canada’s new real time rail payments system is expected to go live in 2022. With a key milestone being the choice of Vocalink as the clearing and settlement vendor for RTR, Payments Canada is beginning to make progress on the management of the RTR program.
We are pleased to share that the PPJV has expressed a soft interest to Payments Canada, that via our Prairie Centrals’ membership, we would like to participate directly in RTR. Enabling this feature of PaaS is an essential step forward for credit unions as it is a natural evolution of the services we provide and will enable competitiveness with major banks. It is also important for PPJV to make this commitment as it is currently not confirmed by Payments Canada whether or not provincially governed credit unions may participate in RTR directly. The PPJV will be engaging with the P8 CIOs to determine interest in directly participating in the RTR Go Live and/or working with PPJV to be a test pilot. We will share more details as we have them.
PPJV Welcomes New Team Members
The PPJV is pleased to welcome some new members to the team: Greg Feniak and Joey Frosst.
Greg Feniak has been hired as the Vice President, Strategy and Engagement for PPJV and will work closely with the PPI communications and engagement teams. He has extensive experience in financial services and payments, including working as the Chief Marketing Officer at Collabria Financial and Relationship Management Director at Alberta Central/ CUPS. He is also a Board Member of Advanced Card Technologies (ACT) bringing valuable diverse industry insight.
Joey Frosst joined the team as Manager, Strategy and Planning. Joey’s expertise lies in transformation change. She has three years of strategic consultant experience and considerable experience in business and technical management within the financial services industry. Most recently she worked at Deloitte as an Implementation Manager supporting the implementation of the ChangeScout Initiative, Deloitte’s proprietary analytics platform.
PPJV is pleased to have Greg and Joey join the team on January 25th.
MPA Finalization Targeted for February
As was communicated previously, the Master Participation Agreement (MPA) was to be distributed to designated signees in early January. This will now be delayed slightly as another review cycle of the agreement will take place with the P8 credit unions prior to broader contract distribution.
To support understanding of the MPA, a supporting Q+A document will be provided to signees. Target completion of the MPA rollout is by the end of February.
Payment Types Spotlight – AFT
AFT Payments – A Crucial Payment Type for Credit Unions AFT payments are electronic transactions between respective banking accounts. These include direct deposits (for example, payroll deposits) and pre-authorized deposits, 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). Today’s AFT transactions make up 50 to 55% of the total credit union system payments volume.
In our December 14th update, we highlighted the Interim State of AFT as part of our credit union impact assessment reviews.
Target State of AFT – What Does That Require? For AFT, the target state requires conversion to the new White Label Gui (WLG) platform as the WLG will replace CAFT. Stay tuned for WLG sessions in January that will provide a detailed walkthrough of the solution.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a lot of great questions that continue to come in from credit unions. Please continue to check the portal’s FAQs section as new ones get added regularly.