At a Glance
• Achieved a 100% year-on-year increase in customer base since moving to the cloud
• Seamlessly managed a 400% year-on-year increase in transactions thanks to elastic cloud scalability
• First bank in Canada, front-to-back in the public cloud
• Named ‘Best Bank in Canada’ for two consecutive years due to innovative digital services
EQ Bank launched in 2016 with a groundbreaking vision. As one of the first digital-only banks in Canada, the bank aims to reimagine how customers interact with their financial services provider, offering a smarter and more flexible alternative to the complexity and hassle of traditional banking.
Daniel Broten, Chief Technology Officer at EQ Bank, explains: “We’re on a mission to change the status quo, with unique retail banking services that enrich the lives of our customers. As a digital-only bank, we have a major advantage over traditional banks, as we don’t have to maintain branches and therefore have more resources available to provide customer-centric services at the best possible rates.”
Meeting evolving customer demands
For EQ Bank, responding to rapidly-changing customer expectations is today’s biggest challenge. Consumers increasingly expect their financial services provider to deliver everything from faster payments solutions and more flexible lending services to user-friendly budgeting tools and much more, all available at the touch of a button. Thankfully, innovation and agility is built into the DNA of EQ Bank.
“We are always looking to react quickly to customer feedback and bring to market more innovative services. For example, we are creating frictionless digital journeys to allow users to open joint accounts in just a few clicks that would normally involve cumbersome paperwork and authentication steps.”Daniel Broten, Chief Technology Officer at EQ Bank
Gearing up for further growth
In 2016, EQ Bank used an on-premises deployment of Temenos core banking to support its launch. The core platform proved a crucial component in the early success of the bank, providing the tools for real-time transaction processing and digital product development. Customer deposits rose rapidly, reaching more than 100 million Canadian dollars in the first few weeks. To manage the next stage of its growth journey and handle rocketing volumes of customer transactions, EQ Bank considered the smartest way to scale its infrastructure.
“We realized that a cloud-first model would unlock benefits in terms of scalability, reliability, and security,” adds Daniel Broten. “Plus, we knew the cloud would help with product development and give us more time to think about digital innovation rather than infrastructure management.”
EQ Bank was also keen to extend its strong commitment to environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG) issues into its IT strategy, as Daniel Broten confirms: “Our ESG program is an important part of our business. We aim to do as much as possible to reduce our carbon emissions, and a move to cloud would help meet our goals.”
Transitioning to a flexible cloud model
To underpin the new strategy, EQ Bank decided to deploy an updated version of Temenos core banking running on the Temenos banking cloud. The move provided the performance, scalability, and agility needed by EQ Bank to manage ongoing customer volumes—and made the bank one of the first in Canada to use a core infrastructure fully-hosted in a public cloud environment.
Daniel Broten explains: “As we had used Temenos core banking for several years, we knew that Temenos offered excellent capabilities, so transitioning to the Temenos banking cloud was the natural choice. Being able to host the systems on Microsoft Azure in our local region was another big advantage.”
Working closely with Temenos, EQ Bank completed the upgrade of Temenos core banking and the migration to the Temenos banking cloud in just 12 months.
“Going live inside one year was really pleasing, the support from Temenos accelerated the changeover, and the fact we run the systems with minimal customizations reduced the complexity of what could have been a tricky process. Our learning curve on the Temenos banking cloud was quick and easy.”Daniel Broten, Chief Technology Officer at EQ Bank
Creating enhanced digital services
EQ Bank is developing and rolling out some of the most innovative digital banking services available in Canada. For example, as part of its inclusion policy, the bank is creating customized onboarding journeys to help indigenous Canadians to access financial services. Similarly, EQ Bank has launched a new low-cost, multi-currency money transfer service through an integration with leading payments provider Wise.
Daniel Broten continues: “Setting up the integration between Temenos core banking and Wise was very simple. We quickly and efficiently connected all the debit, credits and payment types needed to allow our customers to make transactions. And we could do this without having to recode any APIs. Using the Temenos banking cloud makes it easy for our teams to design, develop and launch new products.”
Reaching even more customers
The switch to the Temenos banking cloud has enabled EQ Bank to continue its rapid growth, onboarding huge numbers of new customers quickly and easily. The bank has increased its share of the Canadian retail banking market, and looks set to soon become the seventh-largest operator in the country. The cloud-based automation increases EQ Bank’s monthly releases from a handful to 40 demonstrating rapid iteration, real-time feedback, and zero downtime
“Since moving to the Temenos banking cloud, we have achieved a 100% increase in our customer base, and seamlessly managed a 400% increase in transaction volumes. The flexibility and resilience of the Temenos solution has been vital to our ongoing growth; we simply would not have been able to accommodate such rapid expansion without the elastic scalability of the cloud.”Daniel Broten, Chief Technology Officer at EQ Bank
The innovative new services launched by EQ Bank have gone down extremely well with consumers. So much so that in both 2021 and 2022, EQ Bank was named ‘Canada’s Best Bank’ by the international publication Forbes Magazine, based on feedback from 45,000 consumers.
Building a more sustainable business model
Adopting the cloud model has also helped EQ Bank to achieve its sustainability goals. Moving away from an on-premises core banking infrastructure has allowed EQ Bank to reduce power consumption within its data center, cutting carbon emissions and helping to minimize its impact on the environment.
Daniel Broten comments: “We are very proud of how the cloud helps us to reduce our carbon footprint. We can monitor our cloud resource consumption closely, and ensure that we are using server configurations and processes that optimize performance and energy-efficiency.”
Laying foundations for future success
With a state-of-the-art, cloud-based core banking infrastructure from Temenos, EQ Bank is well-placed to connect with partner ecosystems and to thrive when open banking reaches Canada.
Daniel Broten adds: “Having such extensive API capabilities with Temenos core banking and the Temenos banking cloud puts us in a strong position to develop more integrations with fintechs and to share data securely with third-party providers. These will be essential points both to comply with open banking regulations and to seize the commercial opportunities that the new model will create.”
Moving forward, EQ Bank is keen to continue the alliance with Temenos, including serving as a member of the Temenos Ambassador Program. This enables the bank to join seminars on industry trends, provide feedback on capabilities and functionality, and to influence the roadmap for new releases of Temenos solutions.
“Temenos is a fantastic partner to EQ Bank and has been integral to our rise as one of the most successful and innovative operators in the Canadian retail banking space. We are looking forward to the additional benefits we will unleash from Temenos Data Hub and Temenos Payments hub that we are implementing currently. We can’t wait for the release of new Temenos solutions, especially around data, analytics, and payments, which will help us offer even greater value to our customers“Daniel Broten, Chief Technology Officer at EQ Bank
We partnered successfully with
Microsoft’s Financial Services group helps financial firms leverage technology to amplify the impact their people can deliver to drive business success.
Wise is a global technology company, building the best way for people, businesses and financial institutions to move money around the world.