Payment processor unveils IP options

Payment processing firm Moneris Solutions Corp. introduced a national IP network and IP payment processing systems Thursday that the company says will lower processing costs for merchants, while increasing point-of-sale (POS) functionality.

Most merchants with POS systems still use X.25 networks to transmit credit and debit card information back to processing centres, said Amer Matar, vice-president of product development for Moneris. As X.25 has become less and less common and IP has risen in use, the cost of X.25 has risen relative to IP, he noted.

Iain Grant, managing director of the Seaboard Group in Montreal, agreed that X.25 technology has become expensive for both the payment processors and their customers. “The price is probably driving people to IP-based systems,” he said.

Moneris is offering IP-based payment services across Canada to all sizes of enterprises. The company’s Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)-based network is dedicated to POS traffic, so the firm can guarantee uptime, repair times and security, Matar said.

For large enterprises who carry POS transactions to their own central processing centres, Moneris provides IP access points from the enterprise processing centre to Moneris’ processing centre. For smaller merchants Moneris will provide a managed IP connection all the way to the router in the merchant’s location.

Moneris is testing its first IP POS terminal now and expects to make the system generally available in Q2, Matera said.

In addition to cost savings, Moneris believes IP will appeal to customers because it will allow the company to integrate more functionality into its POS systems. For example, Matar said, in the future Moneris could add accounting features and enterprise plug-ins to its POS systems.

With the addition of IP services, Matar noted that Moneris now often deals with CIOs in addition to the CFOs the company dealt with in the past. “We used to sell more to the CFO,” he said. “With IP, as we make our applications richer in functionality, that is shifting a bit more into a technical discussion.”

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