For Jonathan Corona, 2023 marks two decades in the adult industry. Over the past 20 years, he has ascended to the role of chief operating officer for acclaimed high-risk payment processor MobiusPay and become a regular at trade shows, where he offers hard-won wisdom on panels.
Prior to joining MobiusPay, Corona studied journalism and worked in retail, but was looking for something more, careerwise. Then a friend who was working at a processor suggested that Corona fax in his resume. He was called in for an interview, and a few days later received a job offer. A few months later, Corona discovered that his employer hadn’t even known he had a personal connection to another employee; he was delighted to learn that he had been selected for the position on his own merit.
We pride ourselves on listening to our clients, tailoring solutions that fit their business needs and providing a concierge-level experience in every interaction they have with us.
After five years, he resigned to support his then-wife’s military career. But when an old friend rang him up a couple of years later to ask if he was looking for work, he accepted a position as compliance officer at her new company. That friend was Mia Hyun and the company she had recently founded was MobiusPay. They had met years before when he was hired as the receptionist at another company Hyun co-founded. Having known her for literally half his life at that point, and considering her a dear friend, Corona jumped at the chance to work with her again.
Excelling in his role, Corona began training in risk and underwriting. Blessed with a natural proclivity for risk mitigation, loss prevention and identifying fraud, he honed his skills over the years, attending conferences and doing on-site training to learn the intricate inner workings of the front and back ends of two of the major processing platforms: TSYS and First Data.
Now, as COO of MobiusPay, Corona reflects on his professional journey and aspirations, in this executive seat interview.
XBIZ: What attitudes and habits have helped you most on your way to becoming chief operating officer?
CORONA: It’s been quite the ride. I try to learn from everyone around me, and grow personally and professionally daily. It’s gratifying to make it through to the other side of every opportunity and obstacle. I rely on Mia for guidance, to the point where I tell her that I’m going to get a plaque for my desk that says “WWMD?”
Friends and family ask me what my secret is. The truth is, there is no secret. If one wants to succeed in any endeavor, the only advice I can offer is to keep showing up. Some days will be more challenging, but if you keep showing up and putting in the work, you’ll see the fruits of your labor come to fruition.
XBIZ: What does a “typical” week look like for you?
CORONA: My week is all about building relationships. I do what I can to strengthen my relationships with my team, clients, prospective clients, banks, business partners and everyone we encounter while conducting business. I do this through phone calls, emails, text messages and social media. I meet them where they are. I get to know everyone and learn something about them. Everyone matters, and they’re all equally important to us.
Outside of maintaining relationships, we have several weekly meetings depending on department and project needs. I review merchant performance daily to maintain healthy processing activity and keep merchants out of chargeback trouble. For the merchants who do find themselves in trouble, we’ve been successful in getting them out of it. Our suite of chargeback defense has been a godsend in that regard, especially in the adult industry. I’ve seen ratios reduced by as much as 60% in most cases, and chargeback counts reduced to almost zero in other cases.
XBIZ: Discuss your management philosophy for setting goals, delegating tasks and ensuring execution.
CORONA: I have a piece of art that used to be displayed in my office, though I’ve since moved it to just inside my front door so my family can see it and read it every day. It’s a quote from President Kennedy’s speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962. It says, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills. Because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win, and the others too.” We set aspirational goals and assign ambitious tasks because it’s how we learn and grow as individuals and as a company.
It took me a very long time to learn how to delegate. I’m very protective of MobiusPay’s work and reputation, and strive for perfection and 100% customer satisfaction. This doesn’t always translate well into letting someone else do something! Eventually, I learned that no matter how hard I wish for it, there are still only 24 hours in a day, and there is only so much I can do alone. But if I train, educate and expect my team to perform to my standard, the quality of work and reputation will not only be maintained, but it will flourish.
Setting goals just outside our reach — “We choose to go to the Moon” — and defining expectations — “in this decade” — are the two primary philosophies I’ve taken away from President Kennedy’s speech, and I strive to replicate that to encourage and foster continued growth and success.
XBIZ: What are a few milestones you’re proud of achieving at MobiusPay?
CORONA: Celebrating 20 years in this industry, which has grown to become such a wonderful second family. Being promoted to a C-Level position in my 30s. Becoming the first phone call a merchant makes — and sometimes even prospective merchants — when they have a compliance, chargeback or processing question has been indescribably rewarding. Ultimately, we’re here to serve this community, which has helped us grow and succeed year-over-year for the last decade and a half.
XBIZ: How do you position MobiusPay to stay ahead of the curve with a changing payment processing landscape? Give us your elevator pitch.
CORONA: MobiusPay is a member of several professional organizations. I am the vice chair of the Fraud Special Interest Group at the Association of Payment Professionals, previously known as MAC. We make a concerted effort to stay informed about the ever-evolving landscape of electronic payments. We learn about upcoming changes and keep our clients up to date and compliant well ahead of the deadlines.
My elevator pitch is simple: MobiusPay is a registered ISO/MSP specializing in high-risk merchant account activations in the U.S. and EU. We pride ourselves on listening to our clients, tailoring solutions that fit their business needs and providing a concierge-level experience in every interaction they have with us.
XBIZ: What is the most challenging aspect of being COO at MobiusPay?
CORONA: Ensuring everyone is cared for, from our clients to our staff. I’m constantly checking on the level of service our clients are receiving and the level of support my team has. I have an open-door policy for clients and staff, and I hope everyone can feel free to come to me with their questions and concerns. I don’t take on the world’s problems alone; I have a fantastic support team. Mia and I have an incredible synergy, and when we put our heads together, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.
XBIZ: Give us a glimpse of your personal life. What are your hobbies and passions?
CORONA: I have two hobbies that I enjoy: photography and cooking. For my family, I like to prepare meals and I’m very particular about my cooking. I read the entire recipe before starting, prepare the ingredients mise en place and taste as I go. Even with my favorite dish, boeuf bourguignon, I’ll make adjustments to the recipe. I’m also an avid music lover and enjoy a variety of genres. Meeting Sarah Brightman after her Dreamchaser concert was a highlight in my life. My family, my wife and children, are my biggest passion. I take pride in my work with MobiusPay, where we help entrepreneurs bring their business ideas to life. It’s a rewarding feeling to see a business owner succeed with our help.
XBIZ: Discuss your goals for the rest of 2023 and beyond?
CORONA: Improving my physical health for my longevity and overall well-being and, of course, growth is always the goal — personal and professional. We’re constantly adding products and services to our suite of offerings. Everything from chargeback prevention and defense, text-to-pay, cash advance, which are loans secured by a business’ processing history, and everything in between. We have a solution for every opportunity a merchant can present to us. I take great pride in being a part of the constantly evolving and improving MobiusPay team.