ITAC 2016 Ingenious Award winner – Large Private
There are product demos and then there are product demos.
When Moneris Solutions headed to San Jose for NetSuite Inc.’s global SuiteWorld conference in May, it could’ve just promoted its cloud payment API solution with a mocked up version in a booth.
Instead, Toronto-based Moneris showed off the real deal. It integrated its API with NetSuite’s own POS software at Suite Store, an on-site pop-up shop where attendees could buy conference swag like pens, pencils and hats. Business was so brisk that the integrated Moneris/NetSuite POS solution got quite a workout.
“It was a smash hit. We did as many as 57 transactions per hour and created a highly efficient retail experience,” says Scott Derksen, senior director of platform marketing and business development at NetSuite, a leading provider of cloud-based accounting, ERP and ecommerce solutions based in San Mateo, Calif.
Speed that impressed
“The feedback was that the speed of payment (processing) was amazing,” recalls Amer Matar, chief technology officer at Moneris. “The speed of each transaction was under one second. The year before, they used another demo system and it took over a minute (per transaction).”
Speed was also on display during the installation process. It took only eight hours to integrate the Moneris API into NetSuite’s four POS terminals, significantly faster than the typical integration process of three to eight months.
“Traditionally, payment solutions have been built by pairing hardware and software together on one device to process transactions,” Matar explains. “Our team simply removed the device connection from the equation and had a direct Internet (i.e., Ethernet) connection to the (POS) terminal that communicates with the Moneris Payment Gateway in the cloud.
“They modified the API to be a very small section of code that can be inserted into the POS application. It removed development complexity and pushed all transactions to the cloud.”
Since the entire transaction is completed on Moneris’s servers, no information passes through the application or POS device. The only thing the merchant’s system has to do is display the final confirmation of a successful, approved transaction. In addition, software or security protocol updates can be done on Moneris’s side without disrupting merchant operations.
From a security standpoint, sensitive payment information captured on the merchant’s end is encrypted and sent to Moneris’s payment processing server. With no direct connectivity involved and all sensitive data kept separate from the merchant’s own system, “there’s nothing touching a PCI cardholder’s data,” says Derksen.
Although the Suite Store pop-up shop closed when SuiteWorld ended, the partnership with NetSuite lives on. The Moneris cloud-based payment API has been integrated into various NetSuite solutions, including NetSuite ERP, SuiteCommerce Advanced, SiteBuilder and SuiteCommerce InStore.
Compatible with existing EMV terminals, the Moneris API can be used with standard PC-based POS systems as well as mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
“For me, innovation is actually looking at better, simpler, faster ways of solving a customer problem,” says Matar. “We always try to focus on what customers are trying to do and a specific example is how to make payments seamless and frictionless.”
Giving people the autonomy to think
Launched in 2000 as a joint venture between BMO and RBC, Moneris is now one of the world’s largest providers of payment processing hardware and software. Moneris has become such a well-known brand that many Canadians may not even realize it’s a homegrown company.
Matar believes the firm’s diverse approach to finding and using talent helps drive innovation at Moneris.
“There’s a diversity here, not just ethnically but educationally. We have people with arts and English backgrounds and they bring a different dimension to how we look at solving a problem,” he says.
For example, Matar notes Moneris staff with arts backgrounds are especially helpful with design or user interface projects while others with linguistic training are great at translating technical things for customers in a simple way.
“So we don’t always focus on just computer science and engineering backgrounds,” he adds. “It’s about giving people the autonomy to do what they think is right using modern technology to get the job done.”