Top challenges faced by the global acquiring industry

Comments (0) Global Acquiring, Payment Industry Trends, Payments Events

The video report below highlights the main insights discussed during Global Acquiring Conference (GAC), in London, May 5-7. As the innovation and FinTech hub in Europe, London offered the perfect stage for a CEO audience targeting strategic issues and looking to work together for the growth of the whole acquiring industry. We were joined by card schemes, the main acquirers, innovators and providers around the world, ensuring an inspiring dialogue during the GAC London’s discussions and panels.

How global is “global acquiring” today?

Mary Gerdts, CEO Post Integration, debated the very nature of global in the acquiring landscape, arguing that, from a regulatory perspective, there are regions all over the world that prohibit players from actually becoming global acquirers. “For global merchants we cannot fulfil their needs of global acquiring because we are prohibited from going outside borders and doing true global acquiring; so until the industry catches up with the way ecommerce is conducted today and removes those barriers, there really isn’t such a thing as a global acquirer”, Mary mentioned.

Going into new countries and dealing with individual regulations, habits and preferences, is one of the biggest challenges merchants face today. All they want is a complete solution towards a faster, more efficient and less costly market entrance. As an active player in the global acquiring arena, Payvision has been constantly investing in creating a unique acquiring platform to connect banks, acquirers, PSPs, and their merchants around the world.

On behalf of Payvision, I’ve been invited to participate in a panel discussion on the latest developments in e-commerce and m-commerce. The evolution of these two commerce grounds is happening at a really rapid pace, as mobile commerce is no longer a concept, we are actually witnessing a true mobile payments revolution. It is exciting times for acquirers around the world to identify and answer the main challenges merchants face today in a global ecommerce world. There were a lot of questions around technology issues and some of them missed the real point; the real needs of the end-user, the acquiring communities to actually focus on, identify them and then deliver solutions.

From MasterCard we heard that over the next twelve months we will see a lot more education within the acquiring community, more partnerships between the payment facilitators and the acquirers, with both new and traditional players stepping into the new space.

Ecommerce has been growing much more quickly than card payments overall, and the main reason is the increasing access to Internet via PCs, tablets, smartphones therefore increasing the number of merchants trading online. But, with this, online fraud is also growing and fraudsters have thousands of ways today to access people’s identity details. In a higher technology age, consumers are more concerned by security than they were 20 year ago.

The increased fraud numbers and case-studies have been discussed by Interpol itself; in this age, data breaches are not necessarily increasing in number, but the severity and the way the fraudsters use and manipulate the compromised data is. The importance of bringing the private and the public sector together was the main message from Interpol. Jim Anderson, Assistant Director Interpol, invited all the payments and acquiring industry leaders to become a team and fight back the increasingly savvy fraudsters.

In order to keep up in real time with the techniques and methods used by fraudsters and to stay one step ahead of them, Interpol revealed the opening of the innovation center in Singapore. Observing PCI compliance standards is the least merchants can do to protect themselves against online fraud. Although costly, these payment industry standards ensure the fundamentals for security and compliance within the fast-paced payments industry; as Mr. Jim Anderson from Interpol said “either you pay now, or you will have to pay a lot more later and your corporate reputation will be affected”. The cost of non-compliance is becoming sky-high.

Another topic on the GAC Conference agenda was trendy digital currencies, with Bitcoin and Tibado leading the discussions. Jon Matonis from Bitcoin Foundation mentioned that the number of Bitcoin’s transactions per day have almost doubled. The main challenge for Bitcoin now is the process around changes to the court protocol, particularly related to the block size limit which at the moment allows seven transactions per second. Tibado, on the other hand, the new kid in the digital cash town, claims to conduct 10.000-30.000 transactions per second, through a centralized and patented “live coin data base”; and one of the biggest difference between Tibado and Bitcoin is that the later one is denominated in fiat money – dollars, pounds, yen, euros, rupees, renminbi etc.

The world is flat

GAC London conference highlighted one big piece of advice for the acquiring industry; quit functioning like regional merchants, providing regional solutions, and start thinking globally and working together. The issuing side needs the acquiring side, so players have to share profitability by penetrating more markets and get more business done globally.

Read also Global acquiring increasingly important for cross-border e-commerce.

For more information on GAC London, please check: here

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