Toronto’s fintech hub provided the perfect environment for competitive growth and innovation The pandemic changed many things about our lives, but one of the biggest transformations is in the way that we shop. Instead of walking into a store and browsing before buying something, many of us now lean on eCommerce sites like Amazon and even order our groceries online. According to Statistics Canada, 82% of Canadians shopped online in 2021 compared to 73% in 2018. Rob Hyde, Payment Source CEO, shared news of the company’s latest DirectPay service and his belief there is a better way to pay, and be paid, for everyday things in our lives. But for the one million Canadians who are unbanked (don’t have a bank account), and another million or two that are underbanked (do not have access to a wide range of convenient or everyday banking services), shopping online can be tricky if not impossible. As consumers move online, they are still most commonly being faced with a credit card payment option. Fortunately, Payment Source has been able to help with its innovative payment solutions focused on financial inclusion to ensure Canadians can pay using their preferred payment method. Payment Source believes there is a better way to pay, and be paid, for everyday things in our lives. “There’s a social good element that motivates us and drives us,” says CEO Rob Hyde. The Toronto-based company is part of a growing crop of more than 750 fintech companies in Ontario—the largest cluster on the continent behind New York—revolutionizing how we spend money. And Hyde says the company wouldn’t have been so successful without being based in a city like Toronto. “You’ve got both tech talent in Ontario, and you’ve got financial knowledge with all the big banks in Toronto, so it becomes an incubator for ideas,” he said. Toronto, a part of Ontario’s innovation corridor, is North America’s fastest-growing tech market, and was recently touted for the biggest “brain gain” in the 2022 CBRE Scoring Tech Talent report. A lifeline for underbanked Canadians Payment Source has managed to be a force for good, allowing the eight percent of Canadians who don’t have a credit card for privacy, debt or personal reasons to make purchases online. “We’re not saying you should never use credit—we offer that in some of our solutions as well,” Hyde said. “But we are saying that people shouldn’t be forced to pick one payment method because that organization or that group has just decided that’s the only way that they can do it.” But Payment Source’s cards aren’t just for people without credit cards or bank accounts—they’re also for anyone hoping to manage their spending and stay out of debt. “I can give a card like this to my kids and not worry that I am going to give them blank carte blanche on my credit limit,” Hyde says. Toronto’s recipe for innovation In recent years, Payment Source has received numerous accolades, including being named Canada’s Best Managed Company for five years in a row and Most Empowering Payment Solutions Enterprise in the 2022 Canadian Business Awards. As one of 148 Ontario delegates at this year’s Collision conference, Payment Source is a key player Toronto’s bustling tech scene. Toronto’s environment of cooperative support and competitive motivation has helped push Payment Source to develop its innovative fintech solutions: “There’s a large ‘cooperatition’ environment here that really helps advance new ideas and create new value,” Hyde said. For Hyde, being based in Ontario has helped the company grow to the heights it has because it contains so many great fintech companies and collaborative associations who understand that competitiveness isn’t the only thing that breeds innovation—it’s also cooperation. Picture your business within Ontario’s booming fintech industry and explore the province’s robust incentive programs and services.