Fintech: Canadian banks pilot Canada’s first electronic cash card (Mondex)
CIBC and Mondex Association (from two banks to a consortium of 10)
In the early days of electronic banking….Canada’s first foray into electronic cash payment platforms:
In 1996, I was hired on contract as the Manager Communications with CIBC to co-lead with RBC the PR effort for a pilot of Mondex, electronic cash payment system. This was Canada’s first e-cash product in Canada. The launch site was Guelph, Ontario yet the mandate for building awareness was national and international in scope.
The goals were to enlist all banks in Canada in joining the Mondex Association and in expanding the pilot of Mondex e-cash in Canada. Additionally our related goals were to garner advance interest and support from merchants, consumers and a myriad of other stakeholders.
My role was initially to develop and oversee communications strategies internally for CIBC (addressing all key internal bank stakeholders); as well as external communications. Working with several competitive banking partners, I spearheaded various external communications campaigns and provided PR counsel to the executive teams throughout the pilot stages as well as the evolution of group of banking partners. I provided strategic counsel, developed positioning statements, supported executives in media interview preparation — and much more.
When Mondex expanded to a broader consortium of 10 financial institutions, I was invited to join the newly formed Mondex Association and was only one of two staff that was unanimously voted to join the association by all of the banking partners.
The ongoing communications program resulted in extensive media coverage locally, nationally and internationally. The Guelph pilot became an international showcase for Mondex. The PR coverage helped the banks sell-down efforts, resulting in 10 financial institutions buying into the consortium. The entity became the Mondex Association.
The launch campaign for Mondex in Canada earned exceptional volume and quality of media coverage and earned awards for media relations excellence from International Business Communicators Association (IABC).