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Central 1, Vancity and First West credit unions partner to launch enhanced Interac e-Transfer® instant digital payments

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VANCOUVER, B.C., September 8, 2021 – Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1), one of the largest payments processors for Canadian financial institutions and government organizations and payments partner of choice for emerging fintechs, in collaboration with Vancity and First West credit unions has successfully launched the first phase of Interac e-Transfer® for Business. The solution is an enhancement to the existing Interac e-Transfer service that enables the receipt of real-time, account number routed and data-rich transactions.  

Vancity and First West Credit Union are the first of Central 1’s partner financial institutions to implement the solution, ensuring Canada’s strong credit union system continues to offer members best-in-class products at the leading edge of Canada’s digital payments future. 

The new Interac e-Transfer features offer real-time digital payments to personal and commercial bank accounts, with confirmation of funds received in seconds. It offers flexible payment routing options through account numbers, email addresses or mobile numbers and data-rich payments by introducing ISO20022, a global financial messaging standard. 

“Our collaboration with Vancity and First West Credit Union to introduce Interac e-Transfer for Business to their members is just the beginning of our payments modernization journey,” said Scott Robertson, Central 1’s Product Director, Payment Applications. “We’re ensuring our credit union partners can offer robust digital payments products as we move toward a faster, more flexible and secure payments infrastructure in Canada, while simultaneously positioning them for growth.”  

Canadian businesses are seeking more efficient and effective ways to send and receive payments safely and securely through their financial institutions in a post-pandemic environment. Through Central 1, Vancity and First West Credit Union are taking the lead among credit unions to ensure their members have access to the enhanced Interac solution, which reduces time-consuming manual reconciliation resulting in higher levels of efficiency and control in managing receivables and cash flow. 

“We know our members want to receive payments more efficiently. These enhancements reduce the time-consuming process of receiving and reconciling cheque payments, allowing for instant transfers,” said Kirsten Sutton, Chief Technology & Information Officer at Vancity. “The enhanced functionality for Interac e-Transfer transactions builds on our long-standing collaboration with Central 1 and Interac and provides convenience to our members. We look forward to progressing the send functionality of the solution in the coming months.” 

“Co-operative organizations become stronger through collaboration, and when member-centric values guide our product decisions— as they did here— the biggest winner is our collective membership,” says Darrell Jaggers, Chief Transformation Officer at First West Credit Union. “First West is proud to leverage our organizational strength and commitment to sustainable growth as a catalyst to help our members thrive through our innovative product solutions.” 

As a Connection Service Provider to the Interac e-Transfer platform, Central 1 will continue to roll out Interac e-Transfer for Business to their partner financial institutions over the coming months, allowing even more Canadians to leverage the remarkable power of the solution.  

Fast, seamless and transparent digital payment solutions are an important part of a businesses’ efficient operation,” says Anurag Kar, AVP, Interac Corp. “Building on the widespread adoption of Interac e-Transfer, Interac e-Transfer for Business offers enhanced capabilities like real-time, higher-value and data-rich payments to bring businesses a simplified way to pay or be paid, boosting cash flow management and overall efficiency.”  

Central 1, First West and Vancity are pleased to be among the first group of financial institutions to offer these enhancements, thereby providing the opportunity for customers to focus more on the growth of their business than transactional processes. This is a big step forward in Central 1’s multi-year payments modernization strategy that will position its partner financial institutions like First West and Vancity for growth and further innovation with the ability to provide enhanced digital services for their members. 

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About Central 1 

Central 1 cooperatively empowers credit unions and other financial institutions who deliver banking choice to Canadians. Central 1 is an integral part of Canada’s banking system, processing more than 645 million payments annually on behalf of 280 financial institutions and government organizations. With assets of $13.2 billion as at 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.

About Vancity 

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 550,000 member-owners and their communities, with offices and 55 branches located in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay, within the territories of the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw people. With $30.5 billion in assets plus assets under administration, Vancity is Canada’s largest community credit union. Vancity uses its assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Visit vancity.com for more information.  

Media contacts:

Laurie Yeh
Central 1
604 364 6332
lyeh@central1.com

Josh Juhlke
First West Credit Union
604 309 6066
jjuhlke@firstwestcu.ca

Nora Eastwood
Vancity
778 837 0394
mediarelations@vancity.com