Take any type of payment within an enterprise, enable its acceptance through seamless ERP integration, and secure it with a token. That’s the job of enterprise payment acceptance solution provider Paymetric, which is driving over $30 billion worth of payments, says Paymetric CEO Asif Ramji. We recently sat down with Ramji to better understand how his company helps others accept, secure and optimize payments, and how future payments trends in the U.S. will impact Paymetric and its solutions as a whole.
You are in a unique position to describe the company that you run. Please introduce us to Paymetric.
AR: Paymetric is the global leader for integrated payments and data security. Today, we work with many Fortune 500 companies to help them accept credit cards and integrate them into their ERP applications. We also provide a data security solution called XiSecure, which is a form of tokenization to help secure those payments. We take payments anywhere they’re originated in the enterprise. We have solutions that integrate with mobile applications, e-commerce, call centers, kiosks, electronic bill presentment solutions, and even point of sale, and we then integrate them all back into the ERP systems.
Based on your experience, what are some of the ideas and trends impacting payment acceptance and data security today?
AR: For Paymetric, we primarily provide services for the B2B market, but we also do B2C. About 80 percent of our transactions are actually B2B, and one of the trends that we see is that between the buyers and suppliers looking to provide more secure and affective payment solutions coming through. Over the last 12 months, Paymetric actually had 7.6 million unique buyers leveraging our technology to pay 500+ different suppliers and driving over $30 billion worth of payments.
Through that, we found that large enterprises are really looking for more secure and integrated ways to make those payments in addition to payment acceptance.
Data breaches are constantly in the news. 56 million card numbers were stolen from Home Depot, and 83 million households and small business accounts were exposed when computer systems at JPMorgan Chase & Co. were compromised by hackers, making it one of the biggest data breaches in history. What can businesses do to mitigate the impact of data breaches?
AR: What we really do is encourage enterprises to look at a security landscape across all of their different channels. You’ll hear a lot about tokenization and P2PE encryption. For us, we encourage using our Flex Token capability, which really allows the ability to secure any type of sensitive information. Primarily, we focus on credit cards, but obviously, with a Flex Token platform, we can secure any type of information.
Our solution is unique in that it is a cloud-based, SaaS platform that can really integrate back into the ERP and replace card numbers, literally divorcing them from the original card number.
Tokenization has become a buzzword, but there is still a lot of confusion around it. What’s your perspective of how the Apple Pay announcement has changed the conversations you’re having with merchants, issuers and innovators about tokenization?
AR: I think, first of all, tokenization really is a buzzword. Anytime you use a proxy for a regular card number, people call it tokenization. Paymetric actually has a proprietary technology that again divorces the original card number and turns it into an alphanumeric token so there’s no way to get back to that original token.
With respect to Apple Pay, that’s actually focused now on B2C while Paymetric applications are targeted around B2B. What we see out there is a huge need for enterprise-level security and tokenization. For example, if you’re looking at card-present transactions, you’ll want to use P2PE tied to tokenization and think about tokenization across your entire enterprise. Leveraging technology like Paymetric has with XiPay or XiSecure allows enterprises to secure every channel where payments are accepted, and in any type of payment, whether it’s a credit card, debit card, alternative payment type, or you’re trying to integrate fraud management. All of that can be integrated and secured with Paymetric technology.
How do you think EMV will impact your business?
AR: EMV is primarily targeted toward card-present transactions. The majority of what we do is card-not-present transactions. But I think if you look at historical trends, when Europe implemented EMV, fraud moved over to North America, and when Canada implemented EMV, we saw fraud pick up in the U.S. As we see EMV implemented in the U.S., fraud will naturally shift over to card-not-present transactions. Really, the bad guys are looking for the easiest way to get raw card data, so EMV will shift fraud that way and will make Paymetric security and integration solutions that much more important to use.
Paymetric offers products that offer solutions for payment optimization and security. Could you talk a bit more about how those work?
AR: Definitely. One of the challenges that an enterprise faces is accepting integrated payments back into the ERP. What Paymetric does through our proprietary integration is help pass level 3 data. We capture the skew level data right out of the system like SAP, for example, and pass that information along to the payment processors. This allows businesses to experience a lower interchange rate for that type of payment acceptance. We call that solution XiOptimize.
President and CEO at Paymetric
Asif Ramji, Paymetric’s President and Chief Executive Officer, is a seasoned payments executive, with more than 18 years’ experience directing companies within the software and payment transaction processing industries.
Mr. Ramji has returned over $100M for his investors, partners and shareholders during his career.
Under Mr. Ramji’s leadership, Paymetric has become the global enterprise leader for cloud-based secure integrated payments and has experienced consecutive quarters of double-digit growth since 2009. Paymetric’s SaaS solutions are used by many of today’s Fortune 500 companies. Francisco Partners, a prominent silicon valley based private equity firm, recently acquired a majority stake in Paymetric.
Mr. Ramji has also held several senior executive positions with Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s WorldPay business and Moneris Solutions – one of North America’s largest payment processors.
Mr. Ramji serves on many boards and member organizations and is currently President of the Atlanta-based Technology Executives Roundtable, advisory board member for the Technology Association of Georgia’s Financial Technology Committee, a charter member of the Technology Indus Entrepreneurs, a member of the Atlanta CEO Council, Young Presidents Organization and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Ramji was recently recognized with the 2013 Executive of the Year Award from the prestigious InfoSec Group and Paymetric has been recognized by Red Herring as one of the Top 100 most promising global enterprises in 2013.