Fintech’s balancing act: Key takeaways from Money 20/20 Europe

June 14, 2019

Arnaud Crouzet, VP of Security and Consulting at FIME

Last week saw Europe’s largest Fintech event return to Amsterdam: Money 20/20 Europe. The conference brought together all stakeholders from across the industry. It took a deep dive into the major developments shaping the world of payments as we know it. Enhancing the consumer experience remained a constant theme throughout. But it’s worth taking a closer look at some of the other big topics shaping discussions on the floor.

Open banking – a global pursuit?

This year, those discussing open banking had notably expanded and diversified. With a variety of players including Mastercard, Yolt and even Facebook sharing their insights, how to deliver more valuable, open services was one of the hottest topics at the show.

recent survey from Mastercard revealed digital banking is now a part of everyday life in Europe. 84% of respondents use digital banking services at least once a month, and 38% once a week. The same survey finds nearly 85% of consumers remaining unaware of what open banking actually is. Despite this, the change in consumer behaviour reflects demand for these types of services has never been higher.

Rather than just seeing PSD2 as a painful technical and regulatory headache, banks are beginning to champion the real objective of open banking in their strategy: facilitating more valuable and engaging consumer experiences. With this in mind, open banking is no longer just a European pursuit either. From the Middle East to North America, many banks have already begun their digital transformation projects in a bid to get ahead.

Omnichannel payments = omnichannel authentication?

Another trend that came to the fore at the event was the growth of card-not-present (CNP) transactions across e-commerce, m-commerce and remote commerce channels. With m-commerce expected to jump by 29.9% by the end of 2019, customers are increasingly expecting more seamless, omnichannel payment experiences.

But as more diverse and digital ways to pay rise, so does fraud. Delivering strong customer authentication (SCA) remains a priority. However, debate was rife about how to add new security measures without simply creating more points of friction for consumers. Friction that is, in turn, harming the sales of retailers.

Enter: EMV® 3-D Secure (3DS), a messaging protocol used to identify and verify cardholders for CNP transactions. The specification improves communication between the issuing bank, the acquirer and the merchant. With more work ‘in the background’, it’s able to streamline the user experience, improve approval rates and reduce fraud.

A compelling authentication solution fit for the digital, omnichannel age, right? But, as with any major system upgrade, implementation does not come without its challenges. The support from a trusted implementation partner can be key to minimize unexpected delays and costs on the path to service launch.

nexo standards: Acceptance is the first step

nexo standards is an organization that’s gathered real momentum in recent years – and its presence at the event reflected that. It hosted a roundtable at the show entitled nexo standards as a basis to compete: Learn how to build differentiation. I was delighted to join the discussion and consider the big challenges facing the fragmented global payments acceptance market.

The session received interest from a wide variety of international stakeholders. The participants included payment schemes, payment processors, merchants and vendors. The not-for-profit member association is truly committed to incorporating all stakeholders into its efforts: both in who defines the specifications, and who they serve.

Here again, the focus on consumer experience re-emerged. nexo standards offers the opportunity for all payment acceptance stakeholders to free internal resource from historical technical integration intricacies, to enhancing the user experience.

Getting the balance right

Money 20/20 Europe highlighted several challenges the industry is currently juggling. Achieving regulatory compliance is unavoidable. Delivering strong security and reducing fraud is imperative. But increasingly, stakeholders in financial services cannot afford to neglect innovation.

We’re in an age of true digital transformation. To remain competitive, the delivery of more seamless and valuable consumer experiences is just as important. To get the balance right however, players don’t have to go it alone. Partnering with a long-term expert in the payments industry can take the strain of compliance and streamline the path to launch.

Find out more about how we can support your digital transformation project.


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