The payments industry is always changing, so how do companies like Interac stay ahead of the curve? The answer is simple: we anticipate the opportunities of the future and hire the powerhouse employees we need to achieve them.
Meet five Interac employees whose jobs didn’t exist as they are ten, five or even three years ago. Detailing their responsibilities in their own words, these professionals will outline the roles they play in one of Canada’s leading payments brands, from disrupting cross-border commerce to talent recruitment and everything in between.
Paul Kiela: Senior Manager, Cybersecurity Operations
Breaking down security barriers.
I’m a jack of all trades in terms of IT. I came to Interac as a security analyst, with a background in a variety of technical systems, including Unix since the early ‘90s. Since then, we’ve hired a number of fantastic additional specialists. Having the technical background to lead the team is what gave me the leg up on getting into the position I am right now.
The important thing, both right now and in the future, is elevating the core competency of security teams. As attacks get more sophisticated, they blend into the baseline more and more. You’ve always got to be looking for the needle in the haystack, but that needle is only going to get smaller and smaller in the next 10 years. That means your incident response, your baseline detection, all these things have to be top-notch.
Breaking down the barriers between security and other departments is also critical. We go through a number of consultations any time a product is developed. There’s an end-to-end lifecycle for security validation. When you’re developing new products, security can’t be an afterthought. We have to be embedded throughout the process.
Mamata Krishnamurthy: Senior Manager, Digital Payments
Pushing the limits of her comfort zone.
I joined Interac to help kickstart our e-commerce strategy. Being new to payments, I was always learning on the job, constantly hungry for information. There was never a day when I felt that I knew it all.
Today, I manage the entire e-commerce portfolio, which is massive in terms of what we do here at Interac. This means we are not only powering the Canadian payment industry but also ensuring Canadians can make payments both domestically and abroad. The world is moving toward this highly digital experience where merchants need to stay relevant, which means providing a seamless customer experience.
Seeing how my career has grown in this environment, I’ve learned to never get comfortable in what I’m doing, you should always be slightly out of your comfort zone. This will motivate you to continue learning and acquiring new skills because what you did ten years ago may not necessarily be relevant anymore.
Rich Ramos: Senior Manager, Customer Experience and Design
Exploring new territories in payments.
My background is in media and design, but the payments industry offers me a major opportunity to work in new territories that haven’t been explored yet. Especially today, with the rise of digital transactions and as organizations work to achieve seamless, frictionless and transparent user experiences.
When I joined Interac, my role was completely new. We didn’t have a centralized, internal resource to focus on design thinking and customer experience. Today, I work with product owners and teams across the organization to help determine how people will use the solutions of tomorrow. It involves conceptualization, analyzing research, and understanding how to anticipate upcoming trends. It’s exciting to lay the foundation for how people will use our solutions once they’re out in the wild.
At Interac, our goal is to be the leaders and disrupters, rather than having others do the disrupting for us. Every time I come to work, there’s always something new to learn. Interac fosters a foundation of education and open communication, which helps a lot. From your first day, you’re working in an open environment – even if you’re working with someone at the VP level, they don’t look down on you. You work together and collaborate on projects to get the job done. Being able to pick the brains of people at different levels is invaluable—I’ve learned so much just by having casual conversations around the office.
Michael Rose: Senior Manager, Fraud Analytics
Protecting Canadians with machine learning.
Ever since I was in university, I’ve worked in the data science and machine learning spaces. As things progressed, I saw the data science field was about to explode. My work at Interac gives me the opportunity to apply all the new and exciting machine learning tools in order to make a big impact on the lives of everyday people.
So much of the money movement in Canada runs through our platform, so it also gives us a consortium view of the whole of legitimate and fraudulent behaviours. It makes us experts, and we can come to the table and help design systems that keep legitimate systems safe while detecting fraud. That’s crucial as we prepare for the fraud of tomorrow. We know what works and what doesn’t. When somebody comes into the industry and wants to work together, we try to engage those partnerships. At the end of the day, we’re trying to prevent criminals from stealing funds, and that mission will never end.
It’s an exciting time in our industry. There’s a burst of FinTech, payments, and major tech organizations all working in the industry together. This means criminals are excited, too, because they hop on new products and features quickly. That’s why we’re diligent about anticipating how they’ll use the service fraudulently and how we can prevent this from happening. That’s led to more focus on machine learning and AI. And we have to stay ahead of it all.