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Meridian CEO says Open banking is ‘an opportunity’ for credit unions

FP | Barbara Shecter | Mar 23, 2022

Open banking and credit unions - Meridian CEO says Open banking is 'an opportunity' for credit unionsMeridian Credit Union Ltd. is looking at open banking as “an opportunity, not a problem,” says Jay-Ann Gilfoy, who took over as president and chief executive of Ontario’s largest credit union in January.

“We’re looking at it as: ‘How can this help us grow? How can this help us do the right things for our members?‘”

Gilfoy said in a recent interview with the Financial Post.

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I think we’re on a good path in terms of being able to address that as it relates to fintech partnerships and opportunities,” she added.  The credit union system as a whole has certainly come from a cooperative framework … and then on top of that, we also share back-end resources — all of the technical things that help with making payments happen,” she said.

Settlement and clearing, for example, are done through credit union “centrals” that are cooperatively owned by credit unions in each province where they operate.

The big banks, by contrast, have legacy internal technology systems built up over decades and many more customers across the country.

“If you have a banking system, you’ve got millions and millions of customers on it. The risks of getting off that core banking system are really high,” said Gilfoy.

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“Whereas credit unions have a variety of different core banking systems, but more modern, I think, in terms of design and ability.”

“We’re looking at our own technology, and our abilities to share data, protect data, make sure it’s safe from an information security perspective, but (also) we’re finding those potential partnership relationships that bring some kind of opportunity to our members, that maybe they would have had to go to a number of different places in the past to do so.”

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