FirstOntario Credit Union readies for Open Banking with Everlink, Flinks

Ellie Duncan
09 Jan 2024

Canada’s Everlink Payment Services and Flinks have been chosen by FirstOntario Credit Union to deliver its Open Banking functionality, following a recent commitment from the government to legislate “consumer-driven banking”.

Together, Everlink and Flinks will provide the credit union with a secure, market-tested Open Banking solution, ahead of the intended rollout of consumer-driven banking in 2025.

FirstOntario is one of Canada’s biggest credit unions, with $6.5 billion in assets under management.

“Enhancing our digital capabilities to provide a better and more efficient member experience is a key strategic priority for our organisation,” said Lloyd Smith, chief executive officer of FirstOntario.

“Open Banking is a much-anticipated opportunity in the financial services marketplace and it’s important that we are ready to offer this emerging service as soon as it’s legislatively enabled.”

The existing partnership between Everlink and Flinks enables financial institutions to launch Flinks’ Open Banking infrastructure product, called ‘Outbound’, by leveraging Everlink’s ‘Digital Solutions’.

Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf

Flinks CEO Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf

Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf, Flinks’ chief executive officer, said there is an opportunity for credit unions to secure “a competitive edge” as Open Banking gains “momentum” in Canada.

“We are excited to work with Everlink to provide FirstOntario with progressive and secure Open Banking functionality to elevate the banking experience for their members,” he added.

Financial institutions are facing a “challenging period” as they “attempt to navigate the shifting and unchartered waters” of Open Banking in Canada, according to Everlink president and chief executive officer Mark Ripplinger.

“This is why forward-thinking organizations, like FirstOntario, put their faith in a trusted partner like Everlink who has a 20-year history of successfully delivering payment innovations, and a market-leader like Flinks, to ensure that they can remain competitive in the years to come.”

In the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, the Canadian government promised to “develop and implement a legislative framework for consumer-driven banking that will enable consumers to securely and confidently access their financial data and, in turn, safely use services that can help them improve their financial outcomes”, with the legislative framework to be introduced in this year’s Budget.