EPCA Payment Summit Brussels 2014: Insights day 1

Comments (0) Global Card Processing, Payments Events, Payments Regulation

EPCA Payment Summit 2014, the main payment conference in Europe, took place in Brussels on 12 and 13 March. Speakers shared their knowledge on topics covering most of the relevant aspects of the payment industry, such as e-payments, e-identity and compliance, online fraud and new concepts; from virtual currencies to multichannel online banking, ECB secure recommendations and customer authentication, cross-border online fraud, an interchange case in Poland, due diligence, e-wallets, big data, and biometric payments. EPCA Payment summit brought together a very active audience, prepared to debate and get a better understanding of what the future holds for the payments industry.

The summit kicked off with three pre-conference expert sessions focused on interchange, Bitcoin, and PSDii and access to the account. The future of interchange was discussed by Krzysztof Korus, the founder of Prudentiz in Poland, who explained that the first result of decreasing the interchange fees showed that card schemes were not ready to absorb the losses, and reducing fees led to an increase in other fees for consumers, such as transaction fees. The main question for this panel was “How to measure the success of interchange fees reduction regulation?” with Korus highlighting the need for specific KPIs to assess this regulation. Lots of “mights” and “coulds” were used by the speakers, and the audience reiterated the complexity of this topic. One thing is certain: Polish regulation is not a benchmark for the rest of Europe, as it was very specific to the local market and banks, to the corporate product and the climate for fees reductions.

As VP Global Compliance in Payvision, I delivered an overview of how the Recommendations for the Security of Internet Payments, published by the European Central Bank in January 2013, might impact the payments business. I also delivered a comprehensive analysis of the entire piece. Strong customer authentication is one recommendation that I believe might act as a real game changer for the payments arena. I also gave the audience some items of advice on how to manage the regulatory risks in order to move in the right direction, striking a balance between efficiency and growth on the one hand, and safety on the other.

Pierre Petit, Deputy Director General, European Central Bank, discussed the issue of standardization, essential for the creation of a genuine European payments market. The European card markets are still very fragmented; each company has its own standards and communication/procedures. Standards are multiple across countries, schemes and domains, and this seems to be the most important remaining obstacle for the integration of European card markets to be implemented effectively, as it poses a great challenge when having to integrate multiple national solutions under one European platform. Setting the security requirements is crucial, and so is payment data protection. The bottom line? Scheme management and processing should become independent so as to achieve fair competition in the market and to create integrated European standards. Referring to innovation, Petit added that this concept should not be connected to the payment instruments, but to making use of the payment instruments, to those solutions that link together merchants, consumers, payment providers, and third-party providers in a safe way, enabling cross-border ecommerce.

MasterCard talked about the future of payments, highlighting the new digital ecosystem, the ongoing convergence of physical and digital worlds, changing the day-to-day shopping experience of consumers radically, and the way merchants serve their customers and their need to deliver great experiences to customers across all their channels. PAY.ON elaborated on the new trends in cross-border online fraud and the specific challenges of cross-border eCommerce, today’s threats in practice, the role PSPs have in reducing business complexities on the merchant side, strong customer authentication being the new norm and its role in conversions and user experience, and how to increase awareness of fraud challenges to merchants, regulators, banks and card schemes.

Learn more about Day 2 of the EPCA Payment Summit 2014.

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