Lynne Mackan-Roy Keeps Cambrian Contemporary

Lynne Mackan-Roy, chief information and technology officer for Cambrian Credit Union, continuously modernises the credit union’s banking system

As a child, Lynne Mackan-Roy would watch her father take apart toasters, radios, and even cars. So naturally, she quickly developed that same inquisitive passion for technology.

“My dad always had a very open mind and he made me think about how I could do things and figure out how things worked,” she says. “Once I got down that rabbit hole, there was no turning back.”

Lynne Mackan-Roy Cambrian Credit Union
Lynne Mackan-Roy, Chief Information & Technology Officer, Cambrian Credit UnionPhoto: Courtesy of Cambrian Credit Union

Mackan-Roy’s career path has been shaped by this passion, starting with a construction company where she worked on an HP 9000 mainframe with construction materials, followed by work at a leasing company where she worked IT and handled the leasing of fleets of vehicles.

“I’ve done quite a bit in IT—keypunch operator to programming to compiling programs written in Fortran,” she explains. “There was always a programmer who mentored me, so I’ve been very lucky in my career to have someone take me down the path and experience all of these technology innovations.”

Now, Mackan-Roy works at Cambrian Credit Union, which serves the Winnipeg and Selkirk Canadian marketplaces, and over the past twenty-six years, she has completely modernised the company’s banking system.

“When I joined, I was hired to convert them to an in-house banking system they had purchased,” she explains. “It was hard because it’s not easy to convert from one banking system to an in-house banking system. There was a great deal to do.”

Mackan-Roy worked on the conversion plan for eight months, ensuring that Cambrian had the latest advancements and would stay up with the times and compete with other credit unions.

“There is big pressure to keep Cambrian up to date with the new technology and we are a very fast follower.”

At the time, online banking wasn’t formalised and adopted, but when that segment started to evolve, she was one of the first to learn about the particulars thanks to her board work at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).

“The connections I made there were imperative for my understanding of online banking and how the internet worked,” she notes. “In my job, I have to stay a step or two ahead. I always try to have strategic planning for the next couple of years and I need to look forward to those years. Although we can pivot pretty easily, I do need to plan for that future.”

Of course, this attention toward detail and proactivity comes in handy with customers and partners alike. “Lynne continues to be a fantastic client and partner,” says Keith Shiner, vice president of financial services at custom software solutions company Intelliware.What makes Cambrian a great partner? An ability and willingness to advance initiatives with just the right amount of detail required to make informed decisions. Lynne has empowered our team to do our best work; she recognizes our expertise, allowing us to operate in the way we can deliver the best value at the highest quality. Always a pleasure to work with.” 

A Techy Inside and Outside Cambrian

Away from the office, tech is also a huge part of Lynne Mackan-Roy’s life as she takes advantage of everything that’s available. Not only is she an avid podcast listener, but she also has decked her home out in the latest, greatest personal technologies.

“I still believe voice recognition and AI will play a big part of our tomorrow. I have Alexa in my own home, and I built a geo-fence for a specific location and when I go through that location using locations services on my iPhone, it triggers actions that turn on my driveway lights, opens my garage door, and unlocks the back door. My husband tells me if I die, he would have to move out of the house because he knows nothing about technology,” Mackan-Roy says, laughing.

More so, the ability to pivot easily is particularly important when it comes to security, as cybersecurity is one of the most important concerns today.

“It’s not like it used to be. Back in the old days, the security team needed to make sure our PCs were secure and antivirus protection was up to date, but now in 2020, the whole selection of things to worry about in the threat landscape is much broader,” Mackan-Roy says. “Just the Internet of Things alone. There are so many devices out there vulnerable, mobile banking is a big one, and I expect the smart phone devices will be compromised eventually and the threat in that arena will be a lot more than it is today.”

While she can secure Cambrian’s channels and servers, the credit union—like any company—is vulnerable because of the devices of members that aren’t protected properly. It’s pushing the company to do a lot more with security than ever before.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Mackan-Roy’s responsibilities. In fact, in the next few years, she is forming the most aggressive strategic planning that she’s ever done before to upgrade the company’s technology stock.

“We also have payment modernisation. Payments Canada is moving towards their initiative to upgrade their payment ecosystem so that Canada is on more of a global level playing field with other countries,” she says. “Currently payments like a wire transfer to a different country could take up to ten business days, but they are modernising their payment infrastructure, so all financial institutions have to change our payment types to be compliant with a new standard.”

That means all payments need to be rewritten for the ISO 20022 standard, which will take Mackan-Roy’s developers a full year to program, test, and implement.Then there’s open banking at the doorstep. She explains that’s its not just an IT issue but will change Cambrian’s business model like never before and for the Fintechs there are still a lot of rules to be determined as there’s no government standards or legislation yet.

That’s something she knows her team is ready to handle. Mackan-Roy leads a development team, an operations team, a mobile apps team and a quality assurance team, and combined they’ve rewritten 99 percent of Cambrian’s banking system under her leadership.

“There is big pressure to keep Cambrian up to date with the new technology and we are a very fast follower,” Mackan-Roy notes. “These initiatives are exciting but there’s a lot of work that has to be put into this as well. On the financial services end, there is still a lot of unknown and we’re going to have to deal with them as they come and pivot in the right direction at the pace of change that keeps us competitive.”

FSC Financial Software Consulting Inc. is an independent consulting firm specializing in the development and maintenance of core, online and mobile banking systems. We have supported Lynne and Cambrian Credit Union in being a leader in the market through technology and innovation for 28 years.

Intelliware develops enterprise-grade software solutions. We build software that enables organizations such as Cambrian Credit union to achieve their business objectives. With Intelliware, you are not just buying an individual developer’s time. You are getting access to our entire team in a partnership you can leverage to realize substantive business value. From access to our senior technical architects, to working with some of the most experienced Agile practitioners anywhere, choosing Intelliware gives you benefits above and beyond successfully delivering production software.