Cloud Computing

Enabling Smarter Payments with Cloud

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As consumers embrace new technologies, they expect a great user experience and security features that are second-to-none. From a payments perspective, we at Interac have seen massive shifts in consumer behavior that reflect the adoption of new, secure technologies. For example, since we began our migration to chip card technology in 2009, we have seen Interac debit card fraud losses due to skimming decline to less than a basis point of fraud.

In recent years, the rollout of contactless payment technologies, such as Interac Flash, enabled consumers to make purchases simply and securely by holding their card up to a terminal at checkout to make a contactless debit transaction.

Today, we’re moving to a new digital future where tokenization will become the new standard for not just mobile – but digital payments. Tokenization, which replaces a consumer’s financial information with a secure token, sets the standard for secure debit transactions and is a natural evolution of our strong security value proposition.

To help us launch our Interac Token Service Provider (TSP) earlier this year, we partnered with key technology innovators, like IBM, to assist in our development. The Interac TSP is a proprietary token generation and management service, and is the first one ever built by a domestic debit network. It works by replacing a consumer’s financial information with a secure digital token unique to each individual, and specific to a single device or account. Our TSP gives us the secure foundation that is required to build and integrate digital payment platforms.

Although the security with our TSP was unquestionable, we needed to ensure consumers had increased speed and convenience when making digital transactions. That’s why we partnered with IBM Cloud to use their cloud services to host the Interac TSP. This gave us the ability to manage a greater volume of financial data, without the limitations of space that would be present on traditional servers. The increased flexibility given by IBM gave us the opportunity to offer consumers a fast and easy way to pay with digital payments.

This spring, we publicly launched the first solution that leveraged the Interac TSP, Interac on Apple Pay. Consumers with Interac debit cards issued by all five of Canada’s largest banks can now add their cards to Apple Pay on eligible devices. With Canadians using Interac an average of 16 million times daily to pay and exchange money, Interac on Apple Pay is significant for the adoption of mobile payments. It is also a huge success for our organization. We are the first domestic debit network in the world to launch on Apple Pay, and saw a seamless integration with our network.

With the Interac TSP proving successful, we’ve opened the door of possibilities for future applications. With our Interac TSP backed by the leading performance of the IBM Cloud, we’ll continue fostering our digital payments strategy that will position us as leaders in financial technology and payment innovation.

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, IBM

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