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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Summit Information Systems President Kevin Sparks says Canada is a natural market for the credit union data processor. “Everyone is concerned about the rate of migrations in the U.S. The smaller credit unions are being merged into larger ones, there’s a general shrinkage going on. We saw Canada as an adjacent, natural market,” said Sparks. Summit is one of seven Fiserv credit union data processing subsidiaries. Canada has a lot of large credit unions, which fits nicely with Summit given its average U.S. CU client is $400 million. At press time, Sparks was in Ontario where Summit was taking part in a tech symposium for 15 Canadian CUs. Summit has been eyeing the international market for some time. “We’ve been building up our international side the last four years. We don’t have a physical presence [in Canada] but through Fiserv we have a division,” said Sparks. This allows Summit to operate as a DBA of Fiserv Canada, and helps with tax implications and other issues. Summit is really starting to pick up speed in Canada. It won its first Canadian credit union client, the $1.8 billion Alterna Savings in Ottowa, last July. Alterna also has a savings bank. This February, Summit signed the $1.2 billion Valley First CU of Penticon, British Columbia, another major win. Valley First is moving off of an Open Solutions, Inc. solution. OSI is another U.S.-based processor active in the Canadian market. Summit isn’t selling Canadian CUs the same product it offers its U.S. clients. The Canadian product is known as iSpectrum. “We built this from the ground up. This is not a rewrite or a transformation. It’s all Java, all browser based, n-Tier architecture, with Oracle database,” said Sparks. “The uniqueness of this architecture is there is no end of day process, it’s not batch oriented. Everything is real-time. One branch located in one geographic area can have a completely different cut off time than another branch. A day can be as long as it needs to be.” The system uses Blade Servers for easy upgrade ability. Redundant Array of Independent Devices (RAID) are used for data storage, capable of being hot-swapped without system interruption. Sparks said the system is multi-lingual and multi-currency. He noted than Canadian regulations are far less burdensome that what U.S. CUs deal with, which made system development easier. Summit’s U.S. system and iSpectrum do share some roots on the browser-based user interface. Sparks said he expected about 12 Canadian credit unions to be on hand at the tech symposium to get a tour of iSpectrum. “They get to see what we’re all about. We brought Cornerstone to talk about branching and we’ll also have a CEO roundtable,” said Sparks. -

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