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    Building blocks of innovation: The story of Celero Xchange™

    June 24, 2020

    Some banking experts say that digital innovation can level the competition between banks and credit unions.


    But as the pace of innovation is accelerating and the process ever-evolving, credit unions need fast and seamless integration capabilities to stay nimble. Credit unions who adopt the right integration strategy, are more likely to experience a ‘leap’ than a ‘level’ when it comes to digital innovation.

    Celero’s vision of a digital ecosystem centres around our powerful integration platform, Celero Xchange™, which drives forward digital transformation and omnichannel banking strategies by enabling true integration capabilities for financial institutions, with an equally strong focus on security and regulations.

    “For Celero Xchange, we have already built functionality that some big banks in Canada haven’t been able to deliver. Even though this is a new service, Celero has started to match features that big banks are [just starting to] roll out -- and we’re like ‘we already built that last week’,” says Barb MacLean, Director, Application Development at Celero, sharing an example of Scotiabank’s 2019 announcement on setting future-dated and recurring transfers, which will be a capability in the full release of Celero’s digital banking platform.

    As a digital integration ecosystem platform, Celero Xchange is the hub that brings together an entire ecosystem of functionality, including the ability for digital banking platforms, third-party applications and core banking systems to work together to provide seamless and extraordinary banking experiences.

    “The understated value of Celero Xchange is in its how it eliminates the complexity of integration. Credit unions can act on their integration roadmap with the confidence that Celero Xchange will enable seamless connectivity of fintech applications to their secure banking systems,” says Ritesh Andley, product manager, fintech.


    That’s because the platform simplifies how different systems and applications exchange data using open APIs, which specify how software components interact.

    But the game changer for credit unions isn’t just the ability to integrate different systems and functions – it’s the relentless pursuit of simplicity in Celero’s approach to integration that is giving credit unions access to innovations that are rapid, sustainable and future-focused.

    Guiding principles drive development
    Before development started, Barb and her team set forward guiding principles for Celero Xchange and API development. These guiding principles structured delivery of this platform, ensuring it has the endurance to continually deliver innovations that meet the needs of our credit union clients.

    These guiding principles are:


    1. Reusability – When developing functionality or a new API, Barb’s team seeks to build it in a way that will ensure its longevity and adaptability for future use by other systems and applications.


    2. Standards-based – Celero Xchange is integrated with CUFX, which sets forth a single global standard for data exchange between credit unions and their technology providers. This principle is necessary to ensure technology integrations for credit unions that are less complicated to implement and easier to maintain. Celero supports multiple industry standards, including ISO 8583, ISO20022 and OAuth 2.0.

    3. Loose coupling – This principle is focused on building the platform and functionality in a manner that ties each of the different systems and applications together, but ensures they aren’t so tied together that things break when changes are made.

     

    Armed with these principles, Barb and her team began development in May 2018 and delivered the platform we know as Celero Xchange by the end of that year. Since then, the team has focused on rapidly building a flexible platform with innovative farsightedness.


    A leap forward for credit unions


    The integration capability of Celero Xchange enables credit unions to easily and affordably integrate new functionality into their core banking platform to deploy new financial tools to their account holders.

    And as Celero focuses on keeping Celero Xchange agnostic to the vendors, credit unions can work with the vendors of their choice, building a larger ecosystem of vendors and APIs. This benefits not only Celero’s clients but also the vendors who are developing newer solutions for the Canadian credit union system.

    And for Barb and Ritesh, there’s a lot of ‘cool’ factor in these innovations that will enable credit unions to deliver member experiences that are much more streamlined, extraordinary and impactful.

    “The combined strength of the pieces of the platform coming together and being able to knit it together quickly with the Celero Xchange APIs is allowing us to give our credit union clients faster access to functionality that they need to deliver continuous value for their members,” Ritesh says.

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