At Interac, we‘re proud to be recognized as a top employer in Toronto thanks to our environment of innovation and collaboration that draws in curious and talented individuals.
While our benefits, culture and commitment to our communities have been recognized, what makes Interac extra-special is our excitement about the solutions we play a part in bringing to Canadians. To share more about our goal of helping to power the future of financial tech and the digital economy in Canada, we’ve caught up with leaders from the Infrastructure Technology, Mobile and Commercial Payments and the Innovation Partnerships teams to hear about their insights, stories, and passion for their work.
Infrastructure Technology: Making the impossible possible
When you think of the term “FinTech”, you probably don’t think of the framework that keeps your money and data moving, but a solid infrastructure is what helps keep our systems so seamless and secure.
The Infrastructure Technology team at Interac helps make this magic happen. From external requirements to internal support, this team builds and maintains the technical and privacy governance that helps enable the rest of our organization to do exceptional work.
Affan Syed, Director of Infrastructure Operations at 2Keys Corporation, an Interac company, gives us a glimpse into the nuances of his team. The secret sauce? Collaborative goals, growth and simplifying the complicated by making it interesting.
You and your team are responsible for a lot of very technical work – do you have a favourite technology or service?
“One type of technology that I am very passionate about is autonomous operations leveraging AI. Though people sometimes get scared when they hear about automation, there are a lot of positives. Automating repetitive work gives employees their time back so they can work on complex problems and think outside the box – which leads to creativity and innovation. In the engineering world, there are endless possibilities to upskill. Technology is dynamic and always changing, it needs creativity and products that proactively predict problems and create solutions.”
How would you explain infrastructure technology to someone who doesn’t know what it means?
“Think of infrastructure technology as people, process, and technology combined. We’re trying to support the three key pillars: our internal employees, external customers, and the applications that sit on top.”
Mobile and Commercial Payments: Certified success
If you’ve ever used Interac Debit through mobile wallet to pay for anything, you have the Mobile and Commercial Payments team to thank. This group works across all platforms as they test and certify parties using Interac services— from the businesses that accept payments to customers who use them.
Pooja Raykar, Certification Senior Technical Specialist, Mobile Payments at Interac, sits down with us today to discuss how her team goes above and beyond to support businesses and customers.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
“We are a testing team, but we also operate in a support model when required. I love that we get to play a part in bringing new technologies that millions of Canadians will use into reality – it’s exciting. For example, when we were launching and testing Interac Debit through mobile wallets, we wanted to be part of that experience. We tested into the night because the software that’s deployed into the code cannot go into production during business hours. Then, because we wanted to experience the launch go live, we stayed up until morning so that we could be the first ones to test this tech with our own cards.”
Were you always interested in the technological potential of testing and certification work?
“I immigrated to Canada on a work permit and started in this field. The technology grew with me and around me into something I couldn’t have imagined. Once you have the hang of technical aspects of how things work, it’s about how that knowledge is applied to different spaces and technologies. I’ve been with Interac for just a little over five years now and I can’t begin to describe the variety of work that I’ve done. It’s been a rollercoaster ride and I’ve loved every minute.”
Innovation Partnerships: Future-proofing connections
A subsection of the Strategy, Innovation Partnerships and Emerging Solutions department at Interac, our Innovation Partnerships team is tasked with looking at the world through a lens of what could be, and building relationships that can help us realize exciting new possibilities. For people who like planning ahead and building connections, this team offers an exciting opportunity to peer into the future of partnerships and possibilities.
Dinaro Ly, Head of Innovation Partnerships at Interac takes the time to chat with us about his team and their impact at Interac. In his own words, the team’s motto is “Always be engaging” instead of “Always be closing.” The closing of a deal or partnership is the result of deep and meaningful engagement.
What is one aspect of Innovation Partnerships that you enjoy over others?
“I like that we play a role in supporting Interac in our goal to always be recognized as a leader within the FinTech ecosystem. Right now, the focus of innovation partnerships is set primarily on financial services, but as we look to the future, the long-term growth of Interac will require broader-reaching, cross-sector, public and private partnerships. We understand that we can’t build everything on our own – that’s why we’re always connecting the dots help to build a stronger connection between partners, Canadian Financial Institutions and the broader tech ecosystem. We must take into consideration multiple partners and multiple engagements to maximize our collective resources as we peer into and help build partnerships that are driven by deep stakeholder engagement and collaboration. “
How would you describe the approach of your team?
“While we have a framework and a programmatic way to engage our collaborators and clients, we’re committed to an “always-on” approach, which means building long-lasting relationships with partners who are excited to share knowledge, co-discover and co-create with us. Plus, there’s always an opportunity to help educate the rest of the organization in understanding the risks and opportunities of these partnerships. We leverage our playbook and strategy to explore new ways of engaging and continue to maximize our resources and focus on accelerating strategic initiatives that we care about.”
Behind every Interac product are employees who brought it to life.
One key reason our employees love working at Interac? The opportunity to work on a small team that creates user-friendly solutions used by Canadians coast to coast. Our people are at the heart of everything we do. Our teams are made up of people who are passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, so when you ask them how they think their work impacts everyday Canadians? Well, they get excited:
Dinaro: “When people hear about Interac, they think about Interac Debit and Interac e-Transfer.
Not many Canadians understand that we leverage quite a few different technologies to not only help us wrap up the services and solutions we already have, but also propel the future of open banking and the Canadian digital economy. The opportunity to partner with technology leaders, start-ups and small businesses is exciting.”
Pooja: “I’ve worked on innovation that helps make Canadians’ lives faster, better, and safer. I get to see people pay with their phones or pay with their watches, and it brings a smile to my face… I worked on that.”
Affan: “My work impacts the ease of your job. The efficiency of innovation is changing everything. For example, as we work on hyper-converged infrastructure, the tech hardware is getting smaller, faster, and easier to use. It can help teams move from legacy infrastructures into greener, more efficient ones that have a lighter ecological footprint.
Because of this technology, the overall environmental carbon emissions footprint could be substantially reduced.”
Are you ready to become part of a team that helps make simple, secure, and convenient payment options for Canadians?