The future of money

Pelwasha Faquiryan
SVP, Strategic Markets
Elavon, Inc.

The Future of Money.PNG

What’s your story?

Prior to joining Elavon I spent several years at Ingenico where I had the opportunity to interface with the Elavon team, who was one of the strategic partners that I managed. I was immediately impressed by Elavon’s culture and the people, from the CEO down to the field sales representatives. I found these individuals to be driven, motivated and on a path to win. So it was a natural progression and a perfect fit for me to elevate my career in payments with Elavon. I’ve now been here three years and I’m still having loads of fun. I truly believe in the value we bring to customers and am passionate about driving their success.

Alternative Payments are trending like crazy. What’s going on with this?

Alternative payments are all the buzz right now as new entrants to market and traditional providers alike try to monetize a frictionless experience across the payments ecosystem.

Our Elavon innovation team is fully plugged in to the many ways consumers are shopping, buying and choosing to pay. We provide merchants and customers with payment acceptance tools that are both convenient and secure.

Technology has made a huge jump with Card and Cash not being the default payment method for shoppers. People are moving to more convenient methods such as their mobile wallets, which means they no longer need to get their physical wallet out and fumble for the right card. Instead they just require their mobile, making payments easy and the shopper journey simple.

A key question to ask is “Where are your customers visiting from?” If they are local or traveling from abroad to stay in your hotel, do you offer their local currency? If a shopper can see how much something will cost them in their local currency, they will be more comfortable making the payment. We may be familiar with card based transactions, but there are hundreds of payment methods around the world, and we are always looking to expand our offerings to best suit our customers.

As a global organization, Elavon is well placed to see the changing face of payments. In Europe we are now offering more than 50 local payment methods for our merchants to provide their shoppers in an ecommerce environment, which we are looking to replicate on our North American platform, as we already support local Canadian payment methods and card wallets today.

As other new alternative payment trends emerge, we always pay close attention to the benefits and risks associated with those trends. We are diligent to introduce only those payment methods that we know are secure and appropriate for our clients, and the broader industry.

Cyber Security is always on everyone’s mind. How do you and your team stay alert?

We are managing an inherently dynamic security environment, so we invest in strengthening and maturing our cyber-resilience. Our strategy is intelligence-driven, risk-based, customer-centric, and continually adaptive. This means that we anticipate emerging threats and risks, enable business growth while protecting existing revenue, and safeguard our information and customers and provide solid security solutions.

Cybersecurity is a community effort. Just like the bad guys, we collaborate with the global security community to bolster our intelligence and have unparalleled partnerships with groups such as the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), Payments Processor Information Sharing Council (PPISC), Financial Services Roundtable (BITS), Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC), and the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC).

Elavon is also globally regulated, so have external regulators and examiners that monitor our cybersecurity on a monthly basis. We have adopted global security standards and get annual external attestations for the Payment Card Industry (PCI) and externally certified for ISO 27001. To stay on our toes, our parent company conducts regular, unannounced penetration tests on Elavon.

What’s new with Elavon this year? Any new launches?

We are thrilled to announce that we are launching a new product this spring focused on third-party payments for hotels. Our new solution called Converge Hospitality fills a big gap in the industry by allowing third party invoicing and payments through a cloud-based solution. Historically, hotels have had to issue a paper form to patrons who want to pay for an amenity on behalf of a hotel guest, such as a bottle of champagne. That form contains the customer’s card number and sometimes a photocopy of the payment card or driver’s license, which can be a security hazard if that information got in the wrong hands. Now, hotel staff can instantly issue a digital invoice via email to a third party customer or Meeting Planner. The third party customer can securely pay for an Amenity or Room-Related Charge online directly through the linked invoice – using their credit/debit cards or ACH. Hotels will no longer need to fax, email or take credit card numbers over the phone.

What’s currently your favorite to read?

The Beaumont Series

What TV show is your Netflix obsession?

Ozark

What’s your favorite hotel amenity?

Slippers

What’s your go-to outfit to travel in?

Yoga pants, sweatshirt and my converse

What’s your favorite restaurant in Atlanta?

Umi’s for sushi, Amalfi’s for Italian

Do you prefer business travel in New York City or LA?

New York