Canadian payment services provider Interac has announced that Jeremy Wilmot is taking over from Mark O’Connell as the company’s president and CEO, effective August 1. O’Connell, who led Toronto-based Interac since 2006, is retiring at the end of October. Until then, he will assist in the transition in an advisory capacity.
Founded in 1984, Interac facilitates electronic financial transactions by linking financial institutions to other enterprises. Nearly 300 financial institutions are connected to Interac’s network. The firm, which competes against players like Visa and Mastercard, also serves as Canada’s debit card system and funds transfer network with its e-transfer service.
Mark O’Connell, who has led Toronto-based Interac since 2006, is retiring at the end of October.
Interac is set to serve as the exchange solution provider for Canada’s upcoming Real-Time Rail (RTR) payments system, alongside Mastercard’s Vocalink, which will help with clearing and settlements. Meant to modernize Canada’s core payments infrastructure by enabling payments to be sent and received within seconds, the RTR system will potentially have a significant impact on the country’s FinTech startups.
Canadian FinTech startups BetaKit spoke with in 2021 were wary of Interac’s selection for this role, noting that Interac’s system has historically been more easily accessible to financial industry incumbents like Big Five banks. This lack of equal access has been a key point of contention across the financial innovation space, including for payments startups.
For his part, O’Connell’s work as president and CEO of Interac included leading a 2018 restructuring that combined the business and its non-profit association into a single for-profit corporation and helping the firm evolve beyond just payments and into identity verification and authentication.
Wilmot began his career at ICL, now Fujitsu Services Europe, where he held various senior marketing and sales positions. Wilmot most recently served as chief product officer at Florida-based ACI Worldwide, a global real-time payments tech provider, where he also previously worked as group president and chief marketing and revenue officer during his more than 20-year ACI Worldwide tenure.
Feature image courtesy Interac.