EML’s Ailie Kofoid Talks Partnerships, Equalizing the Payments Playing Field and Empowering Choice

Pandemic-induced lockdowns, combined with a rapid shift to online spending, has disrupted the Canadian payments ecosystem in a way that will significantly accelerate digital payments. Increasingly, partnerships are being formed to support greater financial choice and inclusion.

EML Payments has built its business around providing instant, secure payment solutions that help connect customers to their customers through whatever payment method they choose to use — anytime and anywhere a transaction is occurring.

In May, EML announced a partnership with AptPay to roll out its new EML-built prepaid card payout solution in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. AptPay enables the instant disbursement of funds through its prepaid physical, virtual or digital card product. AptPay turned to EML when it required an instant payout service to a reloadable prepaid card product to cater for the needs of the unbanked, challengers, the non-traditional banking market, the gig economy and the gaming and gambling industries.

“We really like the consumer choice model. Our products are built around that consumer choice concept. With digital access to a prepaid card solution it gives them that choice if they want quick access. We want to make that experience seamless” said Ailie Kofoid, CEO Americas at EML. “It’s the uberization of the world. People are spending their money differently than they were in the past and they aren’t going back the other way. It’s really democratizing payments.”

Across the prepaid market, the biggest growth Kofoid has seen is in challenger banks that are expanding globally — which all goes back to consumer choice and digital access at their fingertips. Prepaid, Kofoid said, plays a role in that space by providing an alternative to credit or debit by facilitating a different experience. Today, prepaid is being thought of as more of a platform than just a card, which is opening up conversations around where prepaid can evolve across the virtual card space.

Kofoid has observed that consumers are trending toward wanting more payment options in their mobile wallets, but the industry hasn’t quite kept pace in adapting to the speed at which is required to support this demand. A demand for greater choice and access is why she sees trends toward open banking and digital banking gaining momentum. This is particularly true for prepaid that is rapidly growing away from traditional gift cards into an innovative digital payment method. As consumers seek choice and embrace more mobile technologies, the industry will be forced to adapt to where, how and when businesses and consumers transact with each other.

Open Banking and Real-Time Payments as a Catalyst for Inclusion and Choice

With real-time payments and open banking on the horizon, Kofoid sees many areas for consumers and businesses to have greater choice over how, when and why they are able to transact across digital ecosystems. Partnerships like EML and AptPay propel faster payments so more consumers can participate in the digital economy. It also allows the payments industry to innovate faster.“When we combine services it makes our total offerings stronger — and it’s easier for every user to have access to one holistic solution. It equalizes the playing field,” Kofoid said.

Prepaid cards are a key service on AptPay’s one-stop disbursement platform, which will serve the unique use cases of EML customers’ distinct needs. AptPay will provide EML’s customers payment solutions that are easy, safe and fast — with the ability to build brand loyalty. With the support of EML, AptPay can serve customers across more industries.

EML’s portfolio of payment solutions offers innovative options for disbursement payouts, gifts, incentives and rewards. EML powers many of the world’s top brands and processes over $18 billion in GDV each year across 28 countries in Australia, EMEA and North America.

AptPay builds real time payment solutions for the fintech industry through API’s, payment processing and payment gateways. The end result is turn-key solutions that get customers paid faster. Kofoid said this partnership aligns well with what EML is focused on at the moment, which is innovating payouts and disbursements through payment methods that empower choice.

”We live in an increasingly digital world, where instant satisfaction is the order of the day. Payments are no exception, and it’s why we’re thrilled to support Suganthan and the AptPay team now and into the future. People owed money need it immediately,” Kofoid said. “This is the need EML is serving – the need for instant and real-time payouts, anytime and anywhere for everyone. We’re honoured to enter the Canadian market with a multiple-use reloadable offering.”

Learn more about EML’s mission here.


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