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The next generation of fintech start-ups and innovators are providing customer-centric solutions that are easy to use and affordable. The payments space, where banks are highly regulated and businesses have limited technology options available, remains highly underserved. One Toronto-based fintech company took notice of the opportunity.
Dream Payments has designed a secure cloud-based infrastructure that enables banks and leading merchant acquirers to provide businesses of all sizes with unique mobile point of sale (POS) solutions, and they've launched a version of their mobile POS service across Canada in partnership with TD Bank and TELUS.
The EMV (Chip and PIN) and PCI certified solutions from Dream Payments accept both credit and debit card transactions, as well as contactless payments. Now considered the only off-the-shelf EMV POS solution in North America, Dream's unique technology allows for rapid and cost effective onboarding of new business clients in as little as 15 minutes, while offering secure and efficient mobile transaction processing.
While many fintech companies see themselves as disruptors, Dream's strategy is to "disrupt the disruptors," according to Christian Ali, Chief Marketing Officer, Dream Payments. "Banks and merchant acquirers need to innovate through partnerships, collaboration and 'co-opetition' to stay relevant," explained Ali. So rather than competing against the top financial institutions, Ali says, "we are partnering with them to deliver better solutions to market faster."
Dream offers a defensive and offensive strategy for banks. "[We are] a solution provider that partners with the banks and payment processors to allow them to compete directly with the companies that seek to displace them, and we give them the tools to out-innovate, and differentiate themselves," adds Ali.
"Financial Services is a highly regulated market, and being in Ontario provides some major advantages to us," says Ali. "It allows us to procure the experienced talent that you can't find anywhere else: senior leaders, engineers and developers to help build out our solution."
The five largest Canadian banks are all headquartered in Toronto, Ontario which ranks as one of the largest financial centres in the world. This concentration means that the leadership, compliance, regulatory experience, information security, and technical talent required for Dream Payments to grow are all available.
Ali also explained that many of Dream Payments' partners, including TD Bank's Merchant Services, and TELUS are located nearby. "It would have been more difficult to get a national program off the ground if we were not as close."
He also noted one really important advantage that Dream Payments found in Ontario. It is "also the right place to find early stage investors that understand fintech and believe in our vision."
Dream Payments recently announced a partnership with Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks. QuickBooks is the leading accounting system used by small businesses. The partnership will allow POS transactions completed through Dream Payments to automatically be uploaded in real-time through the cloud into the business' QuickBooks Online records. This integration has the potential to save small business owners several hours' worth of manual accounting entries each week and reduce bookkeeping and administrative errors.
Real-time information showing POS transactions and related deposits and withdrawals are available through Dream Payments' Merchant Web Dashboard. Ali highlights Dream's online tools, explaining that these provide "metrics and visibility traditionally unavailable to them until now." These insights will help to better manage cash flow while providing more effective and timely operating analytics.
With its success in Ontario and across Canada, Dream Payments' scalable offering is now a proven solution for bigger markets around the world. The opportunity for expansion beyond the Canadian market is great, especially as it looks to the U.S.
Canada adopted chip and PIN technology early in 2011. In contrast, the U.S. became the last developed country in the world to embrace chip and PIN technology with their October 1, 2015 Liability Shift. With its proven success in Canada, Dream Payments has a significant advantage towards offering secure, EMV, cloud-based mobile POS solutions in the largest bank card market in the world.
June 29, 2016
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All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted. Information is accurate at the time of publication.