Using Central 1’s Forge Digital Banking Platform, credit unions and other financial institutions can offer Canadians leading digital experiences in today’s fast-evolving fintech landscape
VANCOUVER, BC, August 1, 2019 – Central 1 Credit Union is pleased to announce the launch of its full retail suite on the Forge Digital Banking Platform– comprised of public website, mobile banking app, and online banking capabilities. First announced in October 2018, the Forge platform puts the control in the hands of its clients, providing them with the ability to design and take ownership of their digital offerings, all with a user experience that is unparalleled in Canada today.
With today’s announcement, all three Forge service offerings are now in active use across Canada, as a shared and cost-effective solution that meets stringent security standards, is easy to implement and fully customizable.
“Our clients across Canada understand their members’ desire for seamless and continually-improved digital services, and with the rollout of our full Forge retail suite, they will be able to deliver on that promise,” said Mark Blucher, President and CEO of Central 1. “Forge is fully adapted to the needs of financial institutions of all sizes, enabling them to remain at the forefront of ever-evolving digital banking experiences and expectations.”
Forge has been designed with multi-tenancy capabilities – in other words, allowing for the secure use of a shared platform by multiple financial institutions – making it possible to facilitate ongoing and collaborative innovation, as well as to simply and effectively deploy new technology. To date, roughly 80 of Central 1’s clients – accounting for one-third of all credit unions in Canada – have already signed up to use Forge, many before the platform’s official debut.
Today, BC-based First West Credit Union and its Envision Financial division have begun their release of all three retail channels. This builds on FirstOntario Credit Union’s full launch of a Forge public website in early March, and last week’s full release of the Forge-based mobile app by Alterna Bank.
“We’re so pleased to partner with Central 1 and serve as a lead Champion for Forge,” said Launi Skinner, CEO of First West Credit Union. “Forge is going to allow our members to interact with us in a more seamless, intuitive and personalized way, and give us the ability to be much more nimble and responsive than ever before. This is a really exciting time for First West and we look forward to bringing this new, enhanced digital experience to our members.”
“We’d like to thank our Champions for their unwavering commitment, without which we couldn’t have reached today’s milestone” says Blucher. “Looking ahead, we’re especially excited by the capacity we’ve built into Forge to keep our clients on the leading edge of new digital strategies that will further strengthen their market share.”
Forge will be a key point of intersection between its users and fintechs, and a means of coordinating and amplifying its users’ in-house development capacities. “Forge is a collective and competitive solution that will enable all its users to punch above their weight in the marketplace,” added Blucher.
While today’s announcement brings development of the Forge retail banking channels close to completion, work continues on a suite of Forge-based capacities for the benefit of business banking clients. These channels are expected to launch in early 2020, and will form an important part of many clients’ strategies to expand their involvement in this market segment.
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About Central 1
Central 1 is a preferred partner for financial, digital banking and payment products and services – fueling the success of businesses across Canada. With $16.9 billion in assets, we leverage our scale, strength and expertise to power progress for more than 250 credit unions and other financial institutions, enhancing the financial well-being of more than 5 million customers from coast to coast. For more information, visit www.central1.com.
About First West Credit Union
First West Credit Union offers members the financial strength, comprehensive product selection and extended branch network of a large financial institution while maintaining local brand identities and a unique grassroots approach to service. Led by Launi Skinner, First West is British Columbia’s third-largest credit union with $10 billion in assets, nearly 250,000 members and more than 1,700 employees. It operates 50 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial, Valley First, Enderby & District Financial and Island Savings brands. Visit firstwestcu.ca for more information on First West Credit Union.
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