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Innovation Excellence Awards 2023

Digital Commerce Bank — A payments enabler. Building transaction banking and payments solutions

Digital Commerce Bank — A payments enabler. Building transaction banking and payments solutions

Few things in today’s world haven’t been impacted by the rise of technology. Digital transformation has revolutionized virtually every industry there is, and the banking industry is no exception. With an increasing number of our everyday tasks taking place online, it’s no surprise that daily errands such as making transactions or checking our account balances are being done online as well.

Digital banking is the new best thing that could have happened to mankind. In fact, not only has it provided a means of convenience for today’s banking times, but it has also helped individuals go paperless.

Embracing this new technological shift Digital Commerce Bank (DCBank) provides some of the finest banking services to individuals and corporations in Canada. DCBank is a Schedule 1 Canadian chartered bank. Their mission is to provide innovative payment and banking solutions to their clients. The bank’s proprietary solutions offer clients efficiency, flexibility, and convenience when it comes to their banking and payment needs. DCBank works closely with its clients, providing personalized service and customized programs that deliver increased value and competitive advantages to its clients.

Recently, CIO Bulletin spoke to Jeffrey Smith, the Co-founder, and CEO of Digital Commerce Bank, about innovation in the digital banking spaces, customer service, and the growth of DCBank. The following excerpts are from  the conversation

Q. Tell us why did you find it necessary to start a bank? How is Digital Commerce Bank similar yet different from other banks?

We found that it is very difficult to get large banks and organizations to move decisions quickly and then getting them to implement those decisions quickly is also very difficult. Initially, we set up the Bank because we couldn’t find a Bank partner that would move as fast as we and our clients wanted for the products and services we wanted to offer clients and differentiate ourselves. We pride ourselves on working with our clients and making decisions quickly and then executing those decisions to ensure clients can move forward with their business plans.

We believe by working closely with our clients and understanding their needs we can offer unique products and services and embed our knowledge and technology in their businesses to assist them in making their businesses a success.

Q. How has DCBank grown since its inception? What contributed to its growth over the years?

DCBank has a long history in the payment space. Our roots began in 1997 when DCPayments was incorporated, and we brought  affordable and profitable ATMs to the retailers in the Canadian  market. Consistent financial performance, innovative solutions, agility, and customer focus allowed DC Payments to expand the scope of its operations, adding more products and services while growing the business on both a national and international scale. In 2007 we incorporated DCBank to offer more innovative products and have greater control over the delivery and timings of those products.

DCBank has exclusively grown organically since its inception. It has been all about meeting clients, and understanding their needs then building the products and services they need on a timely and cost-effective basis. Initially, this was with a limited resource base, but as of now, we are a team of over 70 payment professionals backed up by a strong focused technology team and significant processing and technology infrastructure delivering high availability payments and banking services for our clients and those customers.

Q. Tell us about the products offered by DCBank. How are they different from the product offering of your competitors?

The world of fintech moves fast, so DCBank moves faster. We offer flexible payment solutions and banking solutions that keep up with the changing demands of our clients’ needs.=

DCBank offers integrated solutions for businesses to enhance our client’s ability to scale payments from their platforms.

Q. How does DCBank combine everyday banking with API developer tools?

DCBank has an open banking philosophy, and the core of this is the availability of all our services as APIs. Our APIs are state-of-the-art, secure, fast, and developed in-house. With this in-house technical development expertise, DCBank can provide quick solutions, immediate decisions, access to our senior IT team and support team, and where required provide customized solutions for our clients.

  • Multiple channels: Online payment platform, SFTP, API, and Webhooks
  • Developers API sandbox with a dedicated team of professionals that help clients as they need, develop competent, secure, and fast integrations with our Payment APIs.
  • Reporting and data dump through API and SFTP exports. Sometimes it is necessary to receive nicely formatted reports, other times you just need the data, so you can reconcile and recompile the information with your system.
  • Access a secure, fast, and 24x7 monitored, API production environment to manage your customers and perform actions such as the following channels: Bill payment, e-Transfer, EFT, Card Services, Digital Wallets
  • Connect easily via secure API or SFTP solutions. Access our documentation online, use Postman, or download help guides to make development easy.
  • DCBank can also develop custom solutions and reports as required

“We are dedicated to the evolving payment needs of our clients.”

Q. Can you explain briefly about the Digital Wallets DCBank offers? Can customers use them to  store cryptocurrencies?

DCBank offers wallet solutions for clients as an alternative to Bank accounts whereby corporate clients can provide Bank like financial services to their clients. This allows clients to setup multiple sub accounts under their master accounts to make clients funds easier to manage and reconcile.

Q. What is DCBank’s Banking-as-a-Service platform? How is it beneficial to customers?

Banking-as-a-service (BaaS) is fundamental to our business. We believe you only need to buy the services that you need and not things you don’t require. Clients can pick what productsand services they need and which ones they don’t. We are flexible. We enable our clients to brand, rebrand our services to build their client solutions.

One of the unique things about DCB is that we own and control our processing infrastructure. This dramatically increases the speed our clients can bring ideas to the market and ensure maximum options as we invest significantly in this infrastructure. DCBank’s BaaS Production Platform is monitored 24x7. Our tools provide every piece of data required to make the Platform scale to our client’s needs and keep it performing optimally around the clock.

Q. DCBank offers some incredibly innovative and generous partnership programs. How did they come about?

All of our products and services are a result of us listening to our clients and potential clients on how we can assist them with their objectives. DCBank believes in community development and corporate social responsibility.

Tell us about DCBanks corporate responsibilty and community involvement programs

My First Bicycle: DCB and its shareholders are the primary funders of My First Bicycle Foundation. The My First Bicycle Foundation provides financially disadvantaged children in Canada can apply for a brand-new bicycle, helmet, and lock. It feels great to see the joy in the eyes of a child when they get their first bicycle that enables freedom and responsibility. The donations are subject to an application process and validation the household meets charity guidelines.

The Fintech Prize: DCBank is the title sponsor of the Fintech Award, and together with Platform Calgary aims to accelerate the growth of fintech startups and transform Calgary into a global hub for fintech innovation. DCBank is leading the Award with a financial commitment of $1M over four years. This year’s beneficiaries were Fillip (250k) and Miq (60k) and they plan to invest this money to grow their business in Calgary.

Fundica: As part of our continuous effort to promote Canadian business growth, DCBank is offering free access to one of Canada’s most relevant funding tools for entrepreneurs. In partnership with Fundica, DCBank is pleased to present the AI-powered search tool to assist your business in locating both government and private-sector funding and financial support. The search tool is updated in real-time by automated web discovery, tracking bots, investors, and a team of funding specialists.

Q. What were some of the challenges DCBank faced over the years? How did the bank overcome these challenges?

The challenges we have faced are consistent with most businesses – we are a business of people and talent and building a team takes time and resources. This is one of the most rewarding things I do, but it’s also the hardest as the performance bar keeps moving up and the team always needs to improve – yesterday’s excellence is tomorrow’s mediocrity – we need to continually improve.

Q. Would you like us to highlight something important happening in your bank that we may have missed asking?

DCBank is typically the front runner in innovation and enabling fintechs, we believe fintechs are our partners, not our competitors and we are here to find a way to say “Yes”, not “No.”

Paving the way for digital banking innovations with robust and secure products and services

Jeffrey Smith is a Co-founder of DCBank and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Smith is an entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in operating, financing, growing, and managing large-scale international financial services businesses.

He was the President, Chief Executive Officer, Director, and co-founder of DirectCash Payments Inc., a publicly traded financial services company with operations in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Mexico. He has extensive experience in business valuation, the public equity and debt capital markets. He has sourced, negotiated, financed, and integrated numerous acquisitions in Canada and internationally.

In 2013, Mr. Smith was honored as Industry Person of the Year – Prepaid & Payments by Payments eXchange, and in 2005, he was the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Prairies Region).

“Our Banking-as-a-Service Platform has everything you need to build intuitive, secure, and responsive financial products.”

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