Patrick Diab talks about how Moneris contributes towards the growth of SMEs
Patrick Diab, VP, Product & Client Solutions at Moneris, oversees the ongoing evolution of the organization’s product portfolio. Mr. Diab evaluates emerging technologies and how they can be leveraged to create more agile and robust business solutions.
With over 16 years of experience in the payments industry, Mr. Diab has implemented solutions for a multitude of industry segments. He has also held roles in technology, product and client integration.
Mr. Diab has a Bachelor of Science in both Software Engineering and Economics from the University of Toronto, as well as a certificate of Strategic eBusiness Management. Previously, he has also sat on McMaster’s E-commerce Fraud Committee.
Can you tell us about some of the strategies you use to help you evaluate new innovative technologies and how they can contribute towards newer more innovative business solutions?
Moneris works closely with different groups in the payments industry, including card brands, technology solution partners and, of course, business owners. We leverage transaction data to identify emerging payment trends in spaces like ecommerce, card-present and B2B, and then work with our partners to deliver efficient business solutions that can help merchants capitalize on those trends. Some of these products are in the market today and simply need to be adapted for payment purposes, while other products call for design and development from scratch. By building strong relationships with our partners and merchants, we can stay ahead of the latest technology and serve the evolving needs of businesses.
What can you tell us about the new launch that Moneris recently announced Moneris Core, and how this will impact the business industry?
Moneris Core is our proprietary software designed to power the suite of next-generation terminals. Developed in-house, it is a new payment application that comes loaded with enhanced features like text and email receipting, multi-level password protection, store and forward for offline payment acceptance. The full-colour, touch screen navigation is unlike any other offering in the Canadian market today and supplies a consistent, intuitive user experience across terminals.
Our small-to-medium enterprise owners have long wanted a solution that is easy-to-use and easy-to-train right out of the box. Moneris Core promises to speed cardholders through the transaction process and help business close sales faster. We are excited to see how it will change the way businesses and cardholders interact with payment terminals.
What was the inspiration behind Moneris Core?
We wanted to re-imagine what the user experience could look and feel like on a payment terminal and make it more engaging and functional than ever before. We looked at other consumer products in the market, like smartwatches and smartphones, and recognized that what makes these devices so attractive to consumers is not just the hardware, but also the software that powers it.
We examined the payment flow of a sale and the primary functions that staff relies on before and after a transaction, such as daily reporting, to design an application that is user-friendly for staff, business owners and cardholders alike.
Moneris Core aims to make the transaction process simplified for both the merchant and customers. Would you say that the launch of Moneris Core will be an innovative step for payment solutions?
Moneris Core is a big step towards modernizing payment terminals to match the needs of businesses, whose operational success today depends on speed as much as size. It leverages cloud-based communication to upload user profiles and security settings within seconds of configuration, as well as automatic software updates as they become available. Using the Moneris Cloud, we are also able to extend remote terminal management, which allows our 24/7 customer service team to correct device settings on behalf of the merchant and better assist with troubleshooting.
Moneris is the only acquirer in Canada to offer a unified, bilingual experience across point-of-sale terminals. By streamlining the menu navigation and loading the software with improved payment and reporting functions, merchants can reduce the time required to train staff and interchange terminals without needing to retrain them.
What would you say is the number one benefit for SME owners to use Moneris as their main payment solution?
Moneris is committed to integrating the latest technology in an effort to provide products that can grow with your business. We believe that it doesn’t matter if you operate a global company or an SME; a robust payment solution is an essential component of every business and should be adaptable to new needs. Whether it is an iPad POS solution for retailers and restaurants starting out or a customizable hosted payment page for ecommerce, our products can grow with businesses of all sizes and sectors. When you are ready to elevate your venture, Moneris will have an improved solution to help you get to the next level.
Innovation is key to the success of any business. How does Moneris manage to stay innovative and competitive in the business industry market?
Our company is supported by talented people with ambitious ideas, and professional experience within and outside of the payments industry. We constantly strive to diversify our talent pool, and one approach that we have seen work well is our university recruitment program, which allows us to visit Canadian universities every year to talk to graduating students about Moneris. We then invite those students to apply for a one-year placement at the company, and after an intensive two-day interview process, we handpick applicants to join Moneris. These students are keen and bring a fresh perspective to the advancement of our technology platforms. They help us scrutinize our existing products to ensure Moneris is utilizing the latest in technology to its full potential, and offer creative ideas to help our new products match or exceed competitive standards.
Protecting the security of customer data information has become crucial for several business owners. Especially when it comes to processing transactions securely to avoid any potential risks. What are some of the steps that Moneris is putting in place when it comes to the security of transactions?
Security is part of our DNA. Our products undergo rigorous testing and certification to comply with mandates set by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). We use end-to-end encryption to protect card data right from the point-of-sale when a transaction is initiated, and ensure it is transmitted and stored properly in our data centres. We also extend the benefits of our secure data storage to merchants in the form of our Moneris Vault and Tokenization services, so that they can process payments conveniently without exposure to sensitive data.
In addition to technological safeguards, we also work diligently to educate our merchants on what they can do to protect their terminals and transactions. Some of these steps include taking advantage of password-protection features and fraud prevention tools, as well as practicing proper payment acceptance. These are small but important steps to help protect against security threats.
Business owners face several challenges regularly. In your expert opinion, what is the biggest challenge that entrepreneurs face in the payment industry and how can Moneris help them overcome those challenges?
Businesses are facing the same challenge as everyone else, the speed of payments and technology. Commerce is evolving rapidly as new advancements in cloud technology; smart devices and the digitization of offline-to-online experiences are introduced. The answer for entrepreneurs is to work with established companies that have the infrastructure to provide reliable products and services, and scale solutions as the technology environment changes.
When it comes to payments, these companies are more likely to have integrated solutions that can easily support emerging technology and methods of payment that customers adopt, such as digital wallets. Rather than requiring merchants to maintain multiple hardware, accessories and software, an established company can implement support onto your existing system, and consolidate sophisticated new features and payment options to your existing equipment.
You’ve been with Moneris for over 16 years. Throughout the years you’ve been with the organization, what would you say has been the biggest change that revolutionized the payment solutions industry?
The biggest catalyst of change in the payments industry is technology. Payments and technology may seem synonymous to consumers today, but payments is just one part of the larger ecosystem sustained by technology that also includes mobile devices, computers and data security. Some of us can remember the days when cash and cheque were the most natural ways to pay; now it’s all about chip & PIN and tap cards. Our first-quarter transaction data for 2019 showed that more than half of all card-present transactions were contactless, which leverages the same NFC protocols that allow smartphone users to engage in multiplayer mobile games. Even the fundamental element of chip & PIN is not exclusive to payments since we also use chip technology in SIM cards for our mobile phones.
In fact, if you consider how much digital wallets has influenced our reliance on mobile phones to pay at the checkout, you can argue that mobile technology is revolutionizing the payments industry. Technology is a phenomenon that drives the way we live, work, and spend; the payment industry simply follows in its tracks.
What sets Moneris apart from other payment solutions companies?
Our focus is on security, innovation and in-house development. We are continuously looking for ways to enhance our products and make them work for businesses. We integrate the latest advancements in technology to simplify our payment products and data services, and build robust platforms on our existing infrastructure. Moneris Core is an example of this philosophy. By re-inventing the payment application, Moneris has created a framework that can support future upgrades to the payment flow, program interface and functionality, and allow us to control the complete POS user experience. By guiding our business decisions with these three key areas of focus, we can continue to remain ahead of other companies as a processor of choice for Canadian merchants.
Can you tell us about any other exciting products that Moneris has planned in the near future?
We are looking forward to the release of Moneris Checkout, our hosted pay page solution for ecommerce merchants. It offers a straightforward web integration process compared to API solutions and simplifies an essential component of any online business. We will also be releasing more devices powered by Core as part of our next-generation POS suite, and offer support for semi-integrated and pay-at-table functionality.
On a final note, did you always know you wanted to go into this line of business?
Not exactly. I joined Moneris 17 years ago as a part-time customer service representative in the call centre with the determination to work my way into the technology team. I came from a technology background and initially wanted to become a coder. Now, in my current position steering the development of our products, I get to apply my technical knowledge to broader business strategies in one of the most exciting areas of the financial sector. I am consistently blown away by the ingenuity that is brought to the payments industry. There is always something new from our team, partners, customers and even competitors, and I feel privileged to have been able to come to work every day for the past 17 years and be inspired.