Interac® Payment Innovation Accelerating Growth of Digital Payments in Canada

by Sarah Grotta 0

One of the many announcements that came out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was the launch by Interac, the Canadian domestic debit network, of its own token service provider (TSP) capability. As reported in Morningstar:

“The Interac TSP is core to our digital strategy and solidifies our position as a driver of innovation and champion of secure debit payments,” said Mark O’Connell, President and CEO, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. “It offers the security and customization that our consumers and clients demand with the capability for tokenized digital debit transactions on any device or mobile wallet that supports it.”

These services are being provided through partnerships that include IBM, Bell ID as the tokenization software provider and Everlink, the bank and credit union services provider.

The debit networks in the US have not made similar announcements yet. Issuer payment tokenization is all taking place through the TSP services offered by the global network brands as launched with Apple Pay last year. Of course, the playing field is different in the US, not the least of which is the complication brought by 13 different debit networks and the slow start in the adoption of mobile transactions. Canada in contrast has a simplified infrastructure and a consumer base that is adopting contactless and mobile.

“Canadian consumers have always been eager to adopt new mobile technologies, and we see a very strong interest for mobile wallets,” said Alon Kronenberg, an IBM executive specializing in mobile technologies. “The Interac TSP, underpinned by IBM’s secure cloud infrastructure and implementation services, is a key building block to enable financial institutions to more easily offer mobile wallet capabilities to their clients. We are enthusiastic about the impact tokenization solutions, such as this collaboration with Interac and Bell ID, will have to drive wide adoption of secure digital payments, not just in Canada but around the world.”

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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