Financial Services: Banking with broadband

Online Banking

The QINIQ Financial Services project examined the opportunities presented by broadband for the deliver of financial services in Nunavut’s remote communities. The project produced a set of recommendations that, when implemented, could deliver full banking services in Inuktitut to all Nunavut communities.

For Nunavummiut to have full control over their economic future, they require access to all business and personal banking services enjoyed by most other Canadians. Even with advances in electronic banking in the South and a new broadband network serving every home and building in Nunavut, certain barriers remained - from difficulty getting a bank account set up, to a continued reliance on physical cheques, and a lack of services in Inuktitut and Inuinaqtun.

NBDC staff and consultants held interviews with key banking professionals and government representatives, reviewed relevant literature on the unbanked, and conducted a review of the barriers faced by Nunavummiut in accessing banking services, focusing on communities with no physical banks – 22 of 25 Nunavut communities.

In March of 2006, NBDC published a report entitled Banking on Broadband. This report was tabled with funders and sent to various interested parties. Recommendations are included on page 16 of the final report entitled “Banking on Broadband.”

Banking over broadband goals were identified, including suggestions of various trials relying on broadband that could be considered to solve some of the challenges in delivering a wider range of banking services to Nunavummiut. As

Robbin Sinclair-Chenier (consultant), Glenn Cousins (Executive Director of Nunavut Economic Forum), Dan St. Denis (consultant), NBDC staff David Smith and Lorraine Thomas produced the final report.

Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Government of Canada funded the report.