From Covid driving the ‘legitimisation’ of fintech to ‘sitting’ at a virtual table on the eighth floor of a networking room, it was an eventful introduction to the payments sector for W2 head of sales Peter Murray. Here are his thoughts about the sector and what is driving it.
Coming away from my first Pay360 I found the event and its content positive and vibrant, yet strangely familiar. For those of you in the payments space that don’t know me (and that is quite a lot), the majority of my career in the identity and technology space has been dealing with Governments, regulators and organisations that operate in another heavily regulated sector. Namely the global Gaming sector. If you are not familiar with the Gambling sector, then think payments but with a much worse reputation!
Whilst clearly the two sectors cross over and I have a few contacts that connect the sectors for me, I was keen to listen and learn in order to understand the points that mattered to those in attendance and that are vital to W2 as a business, as we remain a key supplier to our customers in this sector.
What I found was that whilst the two ecosystems are clearly different, when it comes to what matters and what is driving business then there are far more areas that unite them.
- Scalability and sustainability. Taking a business model or an innovation and looking for long term growth
- Seamless and cross border: Business is now global and customer experience (UX) is critical.
- Speed and accuracy: From KYC to instant payments business is now ‘real time’
- Customer success is key. From simply better understanding your main asset to Hyper-personalisation’, truly understanding your customer will define your long term success
- Collaboration: We all talk about the C word and some recognise its importance but is it achievable.
- Regulators are critical: there will be increased regulatory oversight from overall due diligence to customer protections and security
- In the UK it is time for a review. In the gaming sector it is the fear of the Gambling act review, whereas here it is the Chancellors review of the Fintech sector with an almost entirely positive goal of accelerating the adoption of Fintech
And it would be remiss to cover this without a mention of the other C word. Like every other aspect of our lives, COVID-19 has been a challenge for the stakeholders in the sector. But if anything, as one panellist noted, it has ‘legitimised’ fintech and where once there may have been hesitancy, now there is a rush to provide and adopt digital solutions. With a 72% increase in app use, lockdown has resulted in 5 years growth in 3 months and may have truly legitimised Fintech!
And if there was one area that really stood out? It had to be the focus on putting the customer first. How we get the customer journey right will provide the winners and losers in this most competitive of spaces. My favourite quote from the event was ‘make it easy for the customer, they deserve it!’
From a W2 perspective it was all incredibly positive and reassuring. Everything seems to fit with where we are driving the business. Removing friction, easing processes, opening up borderless trade and providing security and sustainability with the customer success 100% at the heart of everything we do.
Whilst W2 are well versed and a long standing member and advocate in the Pay360 and the EPA experience, I am very much looking forward to continuing the journey.
PS: A hats off to https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonycraddock/ and everyone at https://www.linkedin.com/company/emerging-payments-association/. Whilst there is only so much you can do with a ‘digital’ event, they kept it engaging and informative. The one part that really stood out from other virtual events W2 have attended, was the networking opportunities and the EP@home section. The other sectors we work across have not managed to crack this yet but the table format, the discussion time and the attendee’s willingness to engage was impressive. For those that took the time to inform me and show me the ropes, then I am eternally grateful.
From here in Spain,
- Safer Gambling: Are KPI’s The Key To Accountability, Trust, And Sustainability? - 18th September 2020
- Pay360: Different Sector, Same Challenges? - 6th August 2020