#CyberFLASH: How Canada Sets the Foundation for Mobile Payments Success


Canada has been considered one of the “first movers” of mobile payments – partly because the nation is often quick to adopt new technologies. And the key to making that a more widespread trend, says RBC, is about delivering a solution that meets the needs of consumers, merchants and the P2P space – and speeds up provisioning. In a recent interview, Linda Mantia, Executive Vice President, Digital, Payments & Cards at RBC, sat down with PYMNTS to discuss how its cloud solution sets out to give mobile payments a huge leg up and to do so safely and flexibly – and in a way that doesn’t compete with HCE technology.

Canadians are generally early adopters of technology and it is no different with mobile payments. In fact, Canada has been considered the “first mover” in mobile payments. In your opinion, what is driving mobile payments adoption in Canada, and what makes the country a unique market?

New technologies are changing the way consumers go about their day-to-day activities — from the way they bank to the way they shop and now the way they pay. Whether it’s in person, online or through a user’s mobile device, RBC is committed to providing our consumer and merchant clients with the most innovative, convenient and secure solutions to pay how they want, when they want.

While adoption is low right now, mobile commerce is the future. Smartphones are always on us. We check we have them before we check what we have in our wallets. Our clients are no longer turning to their devices just for text, email, and voice – they’re turning to it for everything. We believe the key element to winning in the market and igniting mobile payments is choice.

True innovation is about making sure we have the very best solution to meet the needs of the complete ecosystem – that includes consumers, merchants, and business to business. We first started experimenting in 2009 writing payment credentials to embedded secure elements and then to carrier SIM cards. We created RBC Secure Cloud so our clients could provision very quickly, instantly have access to all of their payment cards, and never have to provision anything again. Further, our patented and patent pending RBC Secure Cloud solution leveraged layered and dynamic tokenization to take security to the next level.

As Canada leads in the evolution of the mobile payments ecosystem, it falls behind in the security aspect of it. What security challenges are you facing today and how are these being addressed?

Consumers take security very seriously, especially when it comes to trusting a financial institution with their finances. We take the privacy and security of clients very seriously and we think it’s one of the reasons people turn to a bank for their payment solution. We have always been committed to providing our customers with choice – the ability to choose how, when and where they want to bank with us without compromising the value of services and advice we provide or security. This is not a new concept to us and it is why we joined the Canadian banking industry in publishing a Payments Security White Paper highlighting the need to maintain the highest level of payment security, while supporting innovation, and allowing consumers to use any mobile wallet on any mobile device they choose.

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