The 3rd edition of CNP EXPO, well-known payments events, took place on 19th – 22nd of May, in Orlando, Florida, attracting more than 700 attendees from banks, payment processors, merchants and technology providers. This event offered independent, reader-informed content and covered the entire card-not-present ecosystem. The goal of this great networking event is to support participants and their clients businesses by addressing the most pressing emerging issues in the payments industry.
The event covered a broad range of topics. A couple of highlights include Sarah McIlroy, the founder of FashionPlaytes, a fashion-design site for tween girls, who talked about how she uses true engagement to build a community of loyal customers and investigative journalist, Brian Krebs, who shared insight on some of the tactics criminals use to monetize credit-card information. Speakers offered further insight into subjects such as the future of fingerprint authentication and biometrics, payments and payment strategy that drives revenue, delivering a true omni-channel experience, dealing with big data, and using social media as a powerful source of information to confirm identities. Louis Kerns, head of payments at Shopify, spoke about payment gateway innovations using tactics like dynamic currency conversion, within the mobile optimization space.
The collaboration among merchants, issuers and providers provides significant value. It highlights merchant feedback, needs and challenges and the different solutions they can use to meet those needs. As Harold Paulson from eBay Enterprise observed, “the payments industry is moving fairly slow, and the players have to understand how to increase this pace and benefit from the opportunities that exist in the industry.” He emphasized the need to increase and promote more communication between issuers and merchants, since they share the same goals: they want to approve orders, want to complete transactions to complete, and to keep their customers happy.
A crucial problem all merchants face is the need to understand how to sell cross-border since it’s clear that going global is imperative. As a result, merchants are pressuring their payment providers to not only follow them across borders but to also guide the merchant internationalization process. Many emergent markets such as Brazil, Russia, China, or India increasingly interesting countries, but also very complex. As Joe Emig from Payvision explained, going global requires a different strategy depending on where you are located. For example, if you’re a merchant located in Asia, you will probably identify large target markets like Europe, US or Canada. But the question remains, how do you actually go global from Asia? The solution is often found in a domestic acquiring solution that will help you to expand your business internationally.
From my point of view, it is key to partner with the right PSP, who offers country-specific insight into local payment methods and requirements. Someone on the ground who is familiar with the language, laws and culture of the target country ensures the online payment system feels familiar to customers in that country. Don’t underestimate the impact of different regulations and the jurisdictions, as it takes more than just payments to be successful. While it’s important to have local acquiring and local payment methods, factors such as logistics, law and legislation, fraud patterns and consumer behavior are equally important.
To illustrate this, during the pre-conference day, Payvision hosted a 3-hour Grad School focused on cross-border ecommerce. The Grad School provided like-minded individuals the opportunity to get together and talk about the pressing issues that affect their countries and industries. We invited speakers with a wide range of expertise including fraud, alternative payments, ISOs & PSPs business models, mobile payments and international expansion. For those US merchants and companies who want to expand their business in Europe, Ignacio Gonzalez-Paramo, VP Global Compliance Payvision, presented the regulatory ins and outs of operating in Europe. Other presentations focused on issues surrounding expansion into the Canadian market, international expansion, fraud prevention, and increasing revenue by leveraging local knowledge, intelligence, flexibility and tailoring (LIFT). We invite you to read the detailed presentation of the sessions, watch the Grad School video and download the presentation decks here.
I found that discussions about the mobile payments market posed interesting questions. While participants agreed that the future is mobile, the perfect solution does not yet exist and it’s unclear what the future will bring for this segment. Merchants want to convert shoppers no matter what device they are using, however many consumers are still unsure about mobile payment security. As I explained during my presentation, mobile phones will not replace wallets, but new technologies will dictate the evolution of the market. It’s not clear who will be the disruptor in this space; one of the tech giants or a hot start-up could bring in a revolutionary product that will really meet the needs and wishes of all customers.
I’ll conclude with something Les Matthews from MasterCard said at the conference, “There is a lot of chaos and fragmentation in the industry, a lot of challenges on the issuing side, as well as on the merchants’ side, in terms of what it means to be ready to accept digital payments and to promote digital commerce.” Conferences like CNP EXPO really give participants the opportunity to interact with clients and potential customers, to demonstrate technology and services, and to share knowledge.
Learn about the evolution of other payments events and check also the video report from CNP EXPO 2013.