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VANCOUVER, BC, November 18, 2021 – Central 1 is pleased to announce the successful launch of the latest versions of Online Banking, Mobile App and Small Business on the Forge Digital Banking Platform. Achieved with First West Credit Union across all of its regional brands: Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial, these milestones further position the platform as a leading digital solution for financial institutions across Canada. With greater emphasis on customer experience, managed infrastructure, platform security and quicker innovation, Forge will enable credit unions and financial institutions to compete more effectively with the digital offerings of larger banks and fintechs, while enabling them to focus more on customer relationships and meeting their unique needs. 

“Digital transformation is not a journey with an end date,” says Sheila Vokey, Interim President and CEO at Central 1. “We are committed to listening to our clients, evolving with technology and market trends to ensure we are equipping them with the value, peace of mind and tools needed to serve their customers today and into the future.”   

As one of the early adopters of Forge, First West Credit Union saw a pivotal opportunity to build value for their customers, as well as their industry. “With these milestones, our members are getting an enhanced user experience with a refreshed and modern look and feel that is designed for any device,” said Darrell Jaggers, Chief Transformation Officer at First West Credit Union. “With Central 1, we are on a path to delivering capabilities faster for our members through innovation and collaboration.” 

The latest versions of Forge’s digital banking channels will rely significantly more on Central 1’s intellectual property and digital banking technologies. This agile operating model will heighten efficiency, sustainability, innovation and new functionality through collaboration with clients and industry experts. 

“Thanks to those champion credit unions who helped formulate and validate the Forge 2.0 strategy – establishing a new, inclusive approach which will guide Forge 2.0 going forward. This platform was uniquely designed by Canadian credit unions for financial institutions both large and small to ensure strong competitive choice to Canadians in their banking. Forge 2.0 is the only multi-tenanted platform that brings together hundreds of financial institutions for scale while enabling highly differentiated offerings across its clients.” says Rob Paterson, Board Chair at Central 1.  “It’s an exciting moment to see this support for Forge and reinforces the incredible dedication of the Central 1 team. The board congratulates First West on their successful launch of the new platform.” 

This launch is one of many examples of collaboration with the aim to better serve Canadians for the future. Innovative refinements to the Forge public website, Forge Community ecosystem and business banking offerings are in store for the coming months, with 104 clients across Canada who have already committed to the Forge platform. 

We will evolve aspects of Forge over time as we evaluate best practices and trends and continue to welcome clients who would like to be part of this with us,” continues Vokey. “Our team will continue consulting with organizations and individuals, whether it’s through active client discussions, raised tickets and shared surveys or evaluating performance within app store reviews.”  

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About Central 1 
Central 1 cooperatively empowers credit unions and other financial institutions to deliver banking choice to Canadians. With assets of $13.2 billion as of June 30, 2021, Central 1 provides critical services at scale to enable a thriving credit union system. We do this by collaborating with our clients, developing strategies, products and services to support the financial well-being of their more than 5 million diverse customers in communities across Canada. 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 nearly $15.5 billion in total assets and assets under administration, more than 250,000 members and approximately 1,250 employees. It operates 46 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial brands. Visit firstwestcu.ca for more information on First West Credit Union.  

For media inquiries:  
Paige Strand 
Communications Manager  
Central 1   
T 778.994.9979  
E pstrand@central1.com   
Joshua Juhlke 
Communications Manager 
First West Credit Union  
T 604.309.6066 
E JJuhlke@firstwestcu.ca 

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