Modernizing payment operations with trusted data


Prairie Payments Joint Venture (PPJV) offers innovative payment solutions to modernize the financial industry’s payment services in Canada. Its solutions are compatible with core banking systems and digital platforms and are at the forefront of digital transformation through safe, secure, and innovative “payments as a service.”

“We’re owned by three credit unions in the Canadian Prairies, and we manage payment processing for credit unions, processing electronic transfers, automatic fund transfers, and wires. Now, we’re on a journey of payment modernization, especially with the advent of real-time rails, which will be bill payments in real time,” explains Ahmad El-Kays, head of data architecture at PPJV.

Canada’s financial sector has traditionally been dominated by large and slow-moving financial institutions resistant to change. However, recent Canadian regulations are requiring large financial institutions and credit unions to digitize payment processing for greater oversight and risk control. The effort will provide greater transparency, security, and trust in Canada’s financial services industry. 

As part of modernizing payment systems, PPJV is creating a payments-as-a-service platform using Teradata VantageCloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This gives financial institutions and credit unions greater access to better serve clients needs. PPJV’s cloud analytics and data platform supports:

  • Faster payment options
  • Data-rich payments
  • Transaction transparency
  • Easier payments
  • Cross-border payments
  • Activity-based oversight
  • Open and risk-based access

“A lot of credit unions are too small, in terms of clients and resources, so we’re helping them modernize, bringing the credit unions the ability to self-serve and analyze their payment data,” explains El-Kays.

PPJV will offer the platform using VantageCloud to manage the infrastructure, data management, governance, and metadata so that credit unions can perform self-service analytics on its data. 

“We’re enabling the flow of data by managing the ingestion, cataloging, security, and capabilities to consume data. Credit unions can bring their own data, beyond payment data, and do analytics,” details El-Kays.


Modernizing payment operations builds confidence with trusted data

The financial sector is built on trust. Consumers depend on banks and credit unions to keep accounts, payments, and wire transfers secure. When unauthorized transactions or payments occur, consumer trust erodes and credit unions and banks are at risk of losing clientele. Moreover, regulators seek to effectively manage money movement as the flow of money impacts growth, financial sector success, and economic stability. 

Digital payment operations support regulatory and compliance demands for improving transparency and real-time detection. Analytics and data platforms create opportunities to further leverage data beyond individual payment or transaction activity. Greater transparency of payments will lead to fewer fraudulent transactions and increase financial sector confidence.

“Having payment insights and data in a cloud analytics and data platform allows us to look at payments overall—not just for a specific credit union, but for all credit unions we serve—which creates a better chance to detect fraudulent activity,” El-Kays highlights. “Rather than doing analytics on a few thousand transactions, analytics can be done on millions of transactions because the size of the data will grow significantly, allowing for better detection.”

With these insights into payments, PPJV spans many credit unions—rather than siloed insights into one credit union—providing greater transparency into potential fraud. 

Modernizing payment operations builds confidence with trusted data

Ethical use of data powers trusted AI innovation

With the cloud analytics and data platform in place, PPJV is turning its attention to innovating in artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI. Natural language processing brings opportunities for credit unions to more easily query their data without having advanced analytics skills.

“We’re looking at the ability to use plain language to query Teradata’s Financial Services Data Model and the analytics database. Those clients that are small and might not have the technical ability to do analytics using traditional tools, like SQL, Python, or R, will be able to do the analytics by querying their data using natural language processing,” highlights El-Kays.

El-Kays says the ethical use of data is a crucial component of trusted AI, particularly when managing client payments and transfers.

“We must ensure that the models are used ethically. AI/ML models are intended to serve our clients and their clients—not any other purposes. We need to explain and validate results produced from the models to ensure they are producing the right results,” concludes El-Kays.

By providing the cataloging, data security, data access monitoring, access logging, and data permissions, PPJV gives credit unions confidence in data harmonization and governance for payment processing.

“The credit unions know it’s secure, safe, and trusted,” says El-Kays.

Not only is data governance building trust, but modernized payment platforms also create opportunities for greater insights and transparency into payments. 

“Data-rich payments provide a lot of information around the payer, payee, and accounts. This is all information that previously wasn’t captured. The more information we have, the more insights and analytics can be done,” describes El-Kays.

Moreover, payment transparency and activity-based oversight gives greater insights into transaction behaviors to better detect fraud.

“With activity-based oversight, we can use data to look at the activity of customers transacting. By performing analytics into payment activities, like what the individual does and where they transact, we can identify patterns and other opportunities that feed fraud models. If something is out of the norm, credit unions can trigger fraud alerts—or, better yet, stop the transaction as it’s happening,” explains El-Kays.

VantageCloud on AWS unlocks and empowers data for PPJV’s customers by providing a flexible, accessible, and trusted data platform.

“We looked at some of the capabilities that exist in the marketplace. We need a strong vendor that actually understands the space and knows how to deliver on implementing analytics and data. We considered cost, performance, stability, and capabilities. Ultimately, we decided that VantageCloud would be our best choice,” El-Kays shares.



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