B.C.-based Coast Capital building the ‘credit union of the future’

Digital transformation is paying off, literally, for Surrey, British Columbia-based Coast Capital Savings Credit Union.

After a 2016 vote in which 80 per cent of the provincial credit union’s members voted in favour of turning Coast Capital into a federal credit union and expanding its services across Canada, the 77-year-old organization, which has been nominated for ITWC’s Digital Transformation Awards (DTAs), is well on its way to implementing what it calls a “high-end digital strategy” expected to expand its 532,000-member base by another 50,000 over the next five years.

“Prior to the transformation, Coast Capital was a very successful provincial credit union,” chief business transformation officer Jeff Wong and vice-president of information technology Joe Wong wrote in the company’s nomination form. “Now, Coast is re-imagining how a credit union of the future should operate in the digital age as we plan to expand digitally across Canada.”

Though nominations for this year’s DTAs are now closed, we’re covering every nominee that we’ve received in ITBusiness.ca ahead of the big event, which is being held on June 14 in Toronto.

To develop its high-level digital strategy, Coast Capital collaborated with one of the so-called “big five” consulting firms (Accenture PLC, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., EY, KPMG International, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers [PwC]) on a series of iterative sessions involving both the organization’s executive committee and key business and technology leaders.

The company’s new business model includes using a digital-first approach to new members, designing a “branch of the future” that emphasizes collaborative over individual space, and developing an “innovative new product” scheduled to be launched in 2018.

Coast Capital communicated its new strategy through a CEO town hall, along with a variety of smaller department meetings and lunch and learn sessions.

“There was a deliberate focus by the executive to transform Coast into a purpose-driven organization,” Wong and Wong wrote. “Staff from across the organization participated in a series of workshops to help Coast define its new purpose and focus on the ‘why.’ A very exciting management offsite was conducted to kick off the new purpose statement and all managers were asked to champion the new focus on purpose to their teams. In addition, online training was made available to help guide managers through this transition.”

To support its efforts, Coast Capital has turned to Cisco Systems Inc., which has provided core network infrastructure including application program interfaces (APIs), microservices-based banking integration, and predictive analytics at a large enough scale to easily support its expansion across the country.

Dave Spence, Coast Capital’s account manager at Cisco, told ITBusiness.ca that like many businesses today, Coast Capital’s network requirements needed to evolve to better support the needs of both its members and business.

“By building out a more robust core network infrastructure, we were able to deliver on their mandate to expand their services across Canada as a federal credit union,” Spense wrote in an email. “We’re thrilled to have worked alongside the team to ensure their preparedness for the next steps in their digital journey.”

Wong and Wong would no doubt be more than happy to agree.

“Internally, this transformation is re-invigorating staff and building tonnes of excitement,” they wrote. “Externally, the new user experience on our digital credit union platform is expected to be innovative and transformational, and we expect to grow our membership organically by over 50,000 members in the next five years.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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