Interac Corp. has a 30-year history of providing electronic payment services. Like most established financial services firms, the company is under pressure from fintech startups using mobile and other advanced technologies to improve the customer experience. That’s why Interac’s executives decided to explore blockchain, in the hope that this innovative networking technology could help the company maintain its competitive edge.
Interac’s first step was taking advantage of the IBM Cloud Garage with Blockchain, which brings together business leaders, technical architects and developers to create a deeper understanding of blockchain. This precisely met the company’s needs—a way to brainstorm new blockchain use cases and business models, and then the opportunity to quickly turn concepts into production.
IBM suggested Alectra Utilities Corp., an electric utility in Canada with a million customers, as a potential blockchain partner. The two companies’ goals aligned perfectly: Alectra sought a financial services partner for a blockchain solution it had conceived, while Interac wanted to extend its network beyond financial services.