Payment regulations and trends on the horizon at MPE Berlin 2018

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Attending MPE Berlin has become a tradition for us. It’s the way we start the year out right.

Meeting our peers and partners to chat about industry updates, common challenges, and see how we can help each other keep up with the needs and demands of merchants and consumers.

This year’s edition of MPE Berlin was insightful, with many payment laws and e-commerce developments to cover. Just like every year, we talked with some of the most inspiring speakers all about the hot topics in the sector right now. Take a look at the event recap we put together:

What’s happening now?

The current industry setting is evolving and being driven by payment regulations. That’s why we’re seeing a new wave of innovation coming from the industry players who are challenging the ways of the established ones.

In terms of the main buzzwords that are keeping things interesting right now, we have data, fraud and PSD2 regulation. These are all big priorities for both payments and e-commerce players. However, as our COO, Gijs op de Weegh pointed out, we can’t quite say they’re disruptive since payments is considered a slow industry, with hardly any disruptions happening so far. Instead, these trending topics are making the sector more efficient, enabling operators to better accommodate consumer needs and demands.

What’s next in payments?

As Ron Kalifa argued at last year’s edition of MPE Berlin, processing just transactions is a thing of the past for payments operators. We’re shifting towards offering value added services built to help merchants increase their revenue. To elaborate on this, Osama Bedier from Poynt explained: “Payments have always been about increasing sales, so we have to go back to that value proposition.” This means supporting merchants in improving their authorization rates, fighting fraud, and delivering consumer journey insights that can enhance their strategies.

Technology is still a constant interest for all of us, especially when it comes to enhancing processes and providing a smooth shopping experience for consumers. Right now, the entire industry is still more focused on regulatory changes. In other words: “For the coming years, this means [the focus is more on] GDPR, PSD2, [and] the transition to open banking,” as David Birch from Consult Hyperion explained.

When asked about what the future holds, our speakers emphasized a seamless and cashless payments ecosystem. One of the top priorities of merchants is making sure that the checkout process is short. Everyone is aware that modern-day consumers now demand a very quick and effortless checkout experience as part of their shopping journey.

Merchants also feel it’s important in the future for PSPs to collaborate with them. They want to experiment on the interface and options they offer, creating a customized experience for their customers.

What’s challenging in the payments and e-commerce space?

Payment regulations took center stage again, being considered one of priorities for everyone in the e-commerce and payments landscape. The way operators will work with customer data and have all the processes in place to be GDPR compliant is at the top of the list.

Another challenge that the speakers highlighted was understanding consumer behavior, like why and where a customer is using a device, and analyzing these insights to improve the customer journey in online payments. What we see now is that “consumers shift from one device to another, but it’s really difficult to understand why and how you can tailor it on the technology,” explained Tomasz Pieta from Booking.com.

This all links back to the third challenge that merchants are facing: new technology. With so many fast innovations on the consumers’ side, their expectations of how a retail experience should look are extremely high. On the other hand, as Osama Bedier said, merchants find themselves on the opposite side with old, aging technology that’s holding them back from delivering the experience they want to provide for their customers.

What’s the focus for payments providers?

Streamlining all the interaction points in the consumer journey is still a top priority for payment operators. They’re very focused now on a unified customer experience for consumers through the help of a secure solution. Offering a true omnichannel proposition means having “the overarching view and capabilities to bring all channels together.”

At the same time, payment providers are working to provide the proper data and tools to manage the payments process, chargebacks and fraud – the main areas of concern for merchants when it comes to payments.

Data, data, data

“Data is the new oil,” said Ghela Boskovich. It’s something that we can’t do business without anymore – everything  is connected through data. Our COO, Gijs op de Weegh, mentioned that the payments industry is at the very beginning of putting it into practice. The payments world is still working on getting a good understanding of it to build models and algorithms for using it the right way.

When starting out, set specific goals for using data to optimize your business. These could range from achieving a higher conversion rate, becoming more efficient or increasing revenue. Based on what merchants want to accomplish, data scientists can decide what to look for in the data and how to actually start using it to their benefit.

Event themes: innovation & disruption 

We tend to think of innovation as something strongly linked to technology. But according to the speakers, modern-day innovation isn’t necessarily related to any specific technology. In fact, as Neira Jones told us, it “looks like something that’s solving a real problem, helping businesses to either comply with a regulation or become stickier.”

Next to innovation, disruption popped up in most of the talks and sessions at MPE 2018. Our CPO, John Snoek, warned that sometimes the term seems a bit overused as “we just call everything disruption. But new disruption isn’t about the great innovation that will change the world, it actually means doing all the parts in the customer journey right.”

What else is hot right now in the industry?

Collective intelligence. We’re talking about collaboration between industry players to help each other understand current trends, challenges, and how to cope with them to be successful. This theme keeps reappearing at every event we attend.  Our best guess? It’ll never go out of style. That’s all thanks to constant developments and complexity in the sector – and the need to share our thoughts and experiences so we can all better understand what’s coming next.

Other topics on your mind? Feel free to get in touch with our Payment Experts for some collaborative innovation.

The author

We're a global payment processor that’s driven by a passion for technology and simplifying payments. With one single, secure platform, we power transactions for businesses across the globe. We know our way around the latest techniques in artificial intelligence, omnichannel strategies and advanced fraud prevention. The dedication to our clients shows – this is where we truly make a difference.

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