Having years of experience in Canada is helping Moneris Solutions Corp., a Toronto-based processor and acquirer, prepare American merchants and ISOs to meet the challenges of switching from mag stripe cards to EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip cards, a company executive said. "We have a leg up," said Chris Lee, the company's President, North American Partnerships and Emerging Markets. "We're happy that we can be first movers in some areas."
Moneris gained that advantage because Canada is finishing its transition to EMV while the United States is in the beginning stages of the journey. About 95 percent of Moneris merchants in North America are prepared to accept EMV cards, Lee said. The company declined to break out the percentage for its U.S. merchants, but it's probably much higher than the approximately 50 percent of all merchants that authorities agree are EMV equipped.
The timing has also helped Moneris bring EMV-enabled products to market early in the United States, according to Lee. She mentioned the company's EMV-ready PAYD Pro, which it introduced in July 2015. PAYD Pro connects with Apple or Android phones and tablets to enable merchants to accept payments. It accepts contactless payments and helps merchants manage sales, inventory and customer profiles.
PAYD Pro came to the United States after its debut in Canada, where Moneris got its start. The company was created in December 2000 by Royal Bank of Canada Financial Group and BMO Financial Group and its Chicago-based subsidiary, Harris Bank N.A. The headquarters for U.S. operations is based just outside Chicago in Schaumburg, Ill.
With 350,000 merchant locations in North America, Moneris processes 3 billion transactions annually. It enjoys a Canadian processing market share of between 30 percent and 35 percent but does not provide figures on U.S. market share, Lee said.
"We are the leaders in the Canadian market," Lee said. "We are the current leaders in EMV in the U.S., and we have a focus to grow in the U.S." Moneris aims to expand here through strong relationships with its partner companies, which include ISOs, integrated solutions providers and banks, she added.
About 150 of the company's 1,822 employees work in the United States. The majority of the American employees work in sales, but Moneris' U.S. work force also handles underwriting, vendor management and customer relationship management. The U.S. operation is supported by the company's Canada-based technology team, Lee said.
Moneris supports a broad range of businesses but specializes in providing merchant services for restaurants, health care practices and unattended venues – which include parking and transit, she said. Specializing in merchant segments can enable merchant services providers to develop expertise, according to most acquiring-business observers.
Moneris is focused on what it considers to be the three key elements of processing: technology, innovation and people. And according to the company, its technology keeps processing cost-effective, while an ability to innovate makes it a worthy strategic partner. Referring to its experienced staff, the company added, "We've been there."
That staff of veterans includes Lee, who came to the Moneris U.S. arm a little more than three years ago to head U.S. operations. She brought 28 years of industry experience in positions with MasterCard Worldwide, National Processing Co., Bank of America Corp. and Vantiv Inc. She has also been active in the Electronic Transactions Association and is President-Elect of the Women's Network in Electronic Transactions.
At the head of the company overall is Angela Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer, who has 25 years' experience in the payments industry with stints at MasterCard, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Vital Processing Solutions (now Total System Services Inc.). As a Director of the Transition Board at Acxsys Corp. she helped guide network strategy for the nonprofit Interac Association, which oversees Canada's debit card system.
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