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CO-OP and TMG Commission Blockchain Studies from Mercator
Thursday, May 5, 2016 6:25 AM

CO-OP Financial Services and TMG are commissioning a body of work by Mercator Advisory Group on blockchain technology to help credit unions make wise decisions regarding this emerging digital ledger technology.

The first study will be completed by late summer, in time for credit unions to use during their 2017 budget planning processes. Both CO-OP and TMG will be sharing the resulting white paper with their respective clients.

A blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of transaction records hardened against tampering and revision. It includes two types of records, transactions and blocks. Transactions include the actual data stored in the blockchain, and blocks confirm exactly when and in what sequence transactions have occurred.

"We will have Mercator survey the current blockchain landscape in order to create a strategic decision framework for evaluating blockchain and other technologies," said Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP. "CO-OP and TMG wish to support the credit union movement by creating some much needed clarity around this technology."

Both CO-OP and TMG see value in blockchain technology and the transparency and security it can offer to the credit union industry. However, it is also the position of the two companies that given the complexity of the systems and environments credit unions operate in, the integration architecture of blockchain may be a major stumbling block for wide-scale adoption.

"Knowing other industries see value in blockchain, they are likely to forge ahead with developing and implementing systems to support the technology, said Shazia Manus, CEO, TMG. "Those industries that are successful in developing and implementing systems where data integrity and secure exchange of information remain unbroken will most likely pave a path for the financial services sector. Our two organizations are committed to taking a methodical approach in providing the credit union movement with the research needed to determine if there is a way to move forward."  

Tim Sloane, vice president, payments innovation at Mercator, wrote in a recent paper that "R3 CEV, a 45-bank consortium formed to implement blockchain solutions, has decided that blockchain technology is not capable of addressing the complex use cases associated with regulated entities. This revelation should cause others to take a large step back from evaluating technology and instead invest time in determining and understanding the business problem to be solved or perhaps the value chain participants the solution is likely to displace."

About TMG
TMG is dedicated to creating customized, technology-driven card processing and payment solutions for credit unions and community-based financial institutions across North America. Innovations in fraud management, loyalty programs, alternative payment systems and analytic reporting, and the competitive advantages they create, have helped TMG forge a new standard in offering cutting-edge credit, debit, ATM, prepaid card products and a P2P payment solution. For more information, visit tmg.global.

About CO-OP Financial Services
CO-OP Financial Services is a financial technology company that supports 3,500 credit unions and 60 million members by providing a cutting-edge suite of customizable tools and services. The company was the first in its industry to merge purpose, innovation and technology to help credit unions advance the industry mission of people helping people. To learn more visit co-opfs.org.