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Can payment-options give chatbots a push in the right direction?

ChatbotThe future of chatbots is unknown. When Facebook announced in 2016 that it would allow developers to place chatbots on its Messenger app, the expectations were high. According to Vice President David Marcus from Facebook Messenger 100,000 chatbots were launched on their platform since then (status April 2017). This way, companies were able to dramatically reduce the workload of their customer service employees. At the same time, they would improve user experience. Read more

Building the future of payments during the ECB’s TIPSapp Challenge

Mark Munne on stage_1“Instant Payment is faster than the security check-in at the ECB”, those were the opening words of Marc Bayle de Jessé of the European Central Bank himself. But a lot of people made it to Frankfurt on February 6 2018  to see sixteen companies present their instant payment solutions and to engage in the interesting discussion panels during the TIPSapp Challenge, organized by the European Central Bank.

The challenge each of the companies had to face was not the time span of five or ten seconds as in instant payments, but they had only five minutes on stage to present their solutions to the audience. All of them managed the task very successfully. The interested listeners got to see a variety of solutions from all over Europe. Read more

Four cases to demonstrate user-friendly solutions for Instant Payments during the ECB’s TIPSapp Challenge

TIPSappChallengeInstant Payments is a quantum leap in payments. Consumers can send money as quickly as email and corporates have instant certainty. equensWorldline has prepared two apps to demonstrate its thought-leadership in providing instant payment, that will be presented during the TIPSapp Challenge, organized by the ECB, on 6 February 2018. The challenge is meant to boost public awareness of Instant Payments across Europe.

In the long run, the European Central Banks’ (ECB) vision on Instant Payments is that they will become the new normal. However, a market infrastructure alone will not be enough to ensure that European citizens will use Instant Payments. People will need to be able to initiate Instant Payments with user-friendly apps they actually like to use. This can only be done with user-friendly technology, because the market will decide which Instant Payments solutions and use cases to use and when to use. Read more

Interview with Gilles Grapinet, CEO Worldline, about PSD2

GrapinetA PSD2 interview with Worldline’s CEO, Gilles Grapinet, by Norfico.

On Saturday 13th January, the long-awaited Revised Payment Services Directive, PSD2, has come into force in all European countries.

The PSD2 is probably the most ground-breaking piece of legislation concerning the financial industry ever adopted by the EU. It has been debated endlesslyduring the past couple of years, and its impact on the financial industry – including the fast-growing fintech part – is anticipated with great excitement, mixed with a certain amount of fear and trepidation.

In this interview, we ask Worldline’s CEO, Gilles Grapinet, about his and Worldline’s expectations of the PSD2. And since Mr Grapinet considers himself a believer in the European project and Worldline is a truly pan-European payment leader, it probably comes as no big surprise that expectations for the near future are high, not only for Worldline, but for a wide range of players within the industry – including banks, merchants, and obviously fintech companies.

What is your overall view on the new Payment Services Directive? What is important about it and what impact do you expect to see from it going forward?

Grapinet: “The PSD2 is a game-changing regulation. It is not just another set of rules in the world of banking. It is a way to unleash the value of data – in this case of course banking and payment data – and it has the potential to create a new type of economy model for banks as well as for several other parties. During the last fifteen years, we have seen several examples of radically new business models based on access to data. The PSD2 brings the platform economy concept into banking, and nobody should understate what that means. Another key aspect of the PSD2 is security. The SecurePay initiative had introduced requirements to secure online payments. Now with the PSD2, security will cover all transactions through the reinforcement of customers’ authentication. Trust and security are essential in the digital world and the PSD2 will make users more confident in this new ecosystem. Read more

Paving the way for instant payments across Europe

ECBThis guest blog is written by Mehdi Manaa, Deputy Director General Market Infrastructure and Payments, European Central Bank.

The availability of a safe and efficient market infrastructure that can process and settle instant payments across Europe is one of the cornerstones of European payments innovation. In the context of the Eurosystem’s strategic review of the future developments of its market infrastructure and related central bank services, it was decided to develop a pan-European instant payment settlement service in central bank money. The TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) service will be launched in November 2018.

TIPS establishes the groundwork for the smooth functioning of pan-European instant payments. It gives the market a basis for the provision of products and services that create value for customers and enables more competition among the payment service providers. Read more

Cybersecurity in bank increases customer confidence

cyber securityThe cyber threat, because of its widespread, uncontrolled and transnational nature, is one of the most concerning challenges for all organizations today. The most exposed countries are the Western ones, because they have sophisticated and IT-based critical infrastructures.

Looking at the annual Clusit report on ICT Security in Italy there are serious elements of concern. The increasing adoption of cloud-based services involves an outward opening of ICT systems, which traditionally tended to be kept closed or open to an ideally controlled sector ecosystem. Even the recent PSD2 legislation brings greater openness to much less controlled subjects and contexts. Therefore, this trend requires an approach that makes the principles of “security by design / by default” a pivotal point, in line with those that have always been security best practices in the industry. Read more

Host Card Emulation is the real breakthrough for mobile payments

mobile paymentsThe market for mobile payments has always been fragmented, because banks, telephone manufacturers and telecom providers all offered their own solutions. Mobile payments have therefore never gained traction with the majority. The introduction of Host Card Emulation (HCE) can be seen as a real breakthrough for mobile payments, because it unifies the market and can be deployed on a global scale. Recent examples of banks introducing mobile payments are Belfius Bank in Belgium and Postbank in Germany.

In this interview, Cezara Ceobanu, product manager HCE at equensWorldline, explains this technology and its contribution to mobile payments. Read more

The future? Banks become open ecosystems and collaborate with fintechs

ecosystemWith the introduction of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), data of the bank customer, after his consent, becomes practically a common good. As of January 2018, banks are obliged to open up bank account details to third parties. This makes the PSD2 perhaps the most disruptive and exciting development in years. This introduction, combined with the possibilities offered by new technologies, will create opportunities for innovation and new digital business models such as paying with social media. This changes the rules of the game and clears the way to a virtual open banking ecosystem.

Tech giants like Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, Amazon and Apple have all flourished in the open platform economy by providing a platform for third parties; a business model based on a combination of community, data and technology. This increases the value of the platform as soon as there are more people who use the platform. Moreover, this open ecosystem is much more powerful, because various platforms exchange information with each other. This is where it becomes interesting for the payment industry that is constantly challenged by disruptive fintechs. But what is the role of banks in this new economy? Read more

Why it is not wise to waste time with only a few months until PSD2 is the new reality for banks   

Open bankingWith only a few months left before the implementation, it seems that the general opinion about PSD2 can be divided in two sides. On the one hand, there are the banks and consumers who don’t trust companies with bank details. According to research by Accenture, a clear majority of Brits is unwilling to share their financial data with those companies. On the other hand, there are those who see the possibilities of the new open banking ecosystem, where the consumer is in control to share the data with selected partners he trusts. In this blog, I would like to focus on the possibilities of Open Banking and to explore the chances instead of the setting boundaries.

When PSD2 is being rolled out in January 2018, it will be an important step towards a fully interoperable digital market. Consumers will profit from better services by third-party suppliers based on their banking account information, but banks, in general, see an uncertain future. ‘Many bankers fear that PSD2 will cause them to lose control of the client interface and so remain unsure how to respond to the PSD2. As a result, they follow a defensive, wait-and-see stance that is risk averse’, according to recent research from PwC. Read more

SIBOS day 3 – How API’s can be the game changer for the financial industry

Sibos 2017The panel discussion on the third day of SIBOS revolved around open banking and API’s. It was titled as ‘Disruptive threat or innovative opportunity’. The panel was formed by Jonathan Davey (Executive General Manager, NAB Labs & NAB Ventures at National Australia Bank), Erik Zingmark (Co-Head of Transaction Banking at Nordea), Louise Beaumont (Strategic Advisor, Open Bank at Publicis.Sapient), Carolyn Burke (Enterprise Payments at RBC) and Michael Tang (Global Financial Services Digital Transformation Leader at Deloitte) moderated the session.

The panel session started with a question about the promise of open banking. Beaumont (Publicis.Sapient) kicked off by explaining the four drivers behind open banking: regulation, consumer behavior, technology and competition. In her eyes, open banking should be about the promise to the consumer: “In the future you should be able to use services based on what you are willing to share.” Burke (RBC) was convinced that, with all these new players and developments, everything is fine until something goes wrong. People then know where to find the banks. Read more