French international banking group Crédit Agricole is not only the world’s largest cooperative financial institution, but the second largest bank in France. Its rich history as the bank of farmers has given Credit Agricole a very local approach, with 100 subsidiaries in every part of France. But as Credit Agricole has developed into a modern bank, methods of data exchange needed to be modernized as well.
In the early 2000s, Crédit Agricole partnered with PKWARE using PKZIP, a flagship file compression solution that was stable and easy to use. PKZIP became the standard for file transfer between platforms. Data was compressed then exchanged through a private encrypted network. Even when the bank’s IT group was merged into a centralized group, Crédit Agricole chose PKZIP as the standard compression solution for all of their mainframe platforms. However, data exchange needs soon changed, and Credit Agricole had to be able to securely send files to subsidiaries around the world not only outside of the private encrypted network, but also to locations using different platforms.
Already deeply familiar with PKZIP and the quality of its compression, Crédit Agricole began comparing PKWARE’s compression and encryption solution for IBM, PK Encrypt. They needed a solution that included PGP compatibility, since many subsidiaries were running Linux platforms. PK Encrypt works seamlessly to compress and encrypt information from IBM mainframes while also including compatibility with PGP so information can be sent securely to Linux platforms.
Not only were the quality and pricing of PK Encrypt compelling for Crédit Agricole, the familiarity with PKWARE solutions created a seamless and easy upgrade from compression to encryption. After 20 years with PKZIP, a progression to PK Encrypt was a natural fit.
With more than one hundred thousand MIPS in play, Crédit Agricole is one of the largest users of PK Encrypt. The organization is contracted for unlimited platform connections, including Linux, and PK Encrypt has already been adopted on multiple platforms.