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MPE 2019, FEB 19-21 in BERLIN

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MPE 2015 summary

Brief information

Evolution is the keyword in the payments industry this year. As payments have evolved from a simple transaction to an integrated shopping experience following the changing path-to-purchase of the new generation shoppers, so has the MPE matured from the simple European Card Acquiring Forum in 2008 to the Merchant Payments Ecosystem reflecting the ever-changing payments industry’s transformations.

Event in numbers
  • Attendees: 570
  • Speakers: 102
  • Sponsors: 31
  • Exhibitors: 18

Summary

Evolution is the keyword in the payments industry this year. As payments have evolved from a simple transaction to an integrated shopping experience following the changing path-to-purchase of the new generation shoppers, so has the MPE matured from the simple European Card Acquiring Forum in2008 to the Merchant Payments Ecosystem reflecting the ever-changing payments industry’s transformations.

As a result, we are proud to achieve several significant firsts at this year’s conference:

1. for the first time MPE has stretched to its maximum in the breadth and depth of sessions, running 3concurrent streams and reach a magical 100 speakers to create the most comprehensive agenda ever
2. the exceptionally broad range of industry players joining MPE, coming from acquirers, payment service providers, merchants, mobile network operators, card schemes, regulators, software providers, ISOs and other industry experts have created the only holistic, multi-stakeholder payment ecosystem you will need ( not only) in 2015
3. as MPE has fully-grown to the largest payment community in Europe, so have our delegates: we have not only experienced the growth in the number of participants joining the conference but also growth in their seniority; MPE 2015 is the first to welcome the biggest portion of CEOs, Chairmen and other chief executives.

We believe that either as a merchant, a payment expert or solution provider, the MPE 2015 has helped you evaluate the impact of new challenges on your business and benefit from huge opportunities.

Please enjoy the overview of the 2015 event below. We are looking forward to seeing you in Berlin next year again!

The team of Empiria.

Chairmen summaries

Remarks on Conference Day 1 by Roger K Alexander, Non-Executive Director, Accourt

Roger joined Accourt in July 2008 as a non-executive Director. Most recently he was European President for Elavon Merchant Services and previously CEO of Switch Card Services following a distinguished career at Barclays. Roger provides support and counsel to the team at Accourt, a niche consultancy operating across the full spectrum of the Payments Value Chain, and also works with Clients on some Assignments specifically those of a strategic nature. Few leaders can match his knowledge and experience in the payment industry - combine this with his deep and genuine concern for nurturing and developing people and he makes a great addition to the team! He currently holds a number of other non-executive and advisory roles, including Caxton FX, Greenings International and The Logic Group in the UK as well as Pensio in Denmark; Roger also acts as an Advisor to the Private Equity sector where he is particularly active at present. Roger lives with his wife and family (and their dog) in Northamptonshire.

Summary

"It was interesting to hear a number of speakers talk about the first MPE (then known as ECAF) Conference in the hotel at Brussels Airport way back in 2008. The conference has grown considerably since then not just in numbers of delegates and speakers but also, fundamentally, in its reputation as the biggest and best European Conference for those of us involved in the Merchant Payments Ecosystem. I was privileged to have been at that first event and all since; this year was as good as ever and the feedback I heard during the various networking sessions was excellent.

There were 2 aspects of the conference that stood out for me. Firstly, the number of delegates who were attending their first event. It is good to see this and of course this adds to the numbers at the conference as well as the networking opportunities. The latter benefited from extra-long breaks and I am sure a lot of business was done during those interludes. That allows me to segue into the second aspect of the Conference that caught me a little by surprise. That is the innovation that we heard about during the normal sessions and in Innovation Corner. I know I shouldn’t be surprised by the constant innovation, and I have written about this before, but this year seemed to surpass others in terms of the new products and services that were discussed. Geographically, these transcend the length and breadth of Europe and whilst much starts in the USA we are seeing more European entrepreneurs benefiting from the hunger that Private Equity has for the Payments Ecosystem in our own Continent. Long may that last!

One of the debates we had on Day 1 revolved around whether customer behaviour drives this innovation or if innovation is changing customer behaviour. I guess it’s a bit of both but it remains a very interesting subject to discuss both in the office and, perhaps, over a beer or glass of wine after a hard day at the office. The social dynamics are so different now that I am inclined to think that this is a key element in the delivery of a lot of the innovative products we now see. The challenge for those involved is too ensure that such changes are understood by the customer base and we do not introduce technology for the sake of the technology alone. We all know that technology can do almost anything; creating a product or service that leverages the technology for the mutual benefit, and understanding, of all involved in the value chain has to be the goal for all involved.

Day 1 also saw the usual update and debate about Regulation. We heard that those in North America see European Regulation as innovative and to the benefit of all parties. Sometimes that is not the way we may see it when attempting to flex our business models and the business itself but it is perspective worthy of a wider discussion. A great deal has been done to ensure the competitive nature of the ecosystem in Europe; a lot has been achieved in relation to open access and transparency and this appears to have had the desired effect on the way we operate. Some, of course, would disagree, but all of us will agree that it has been a long road and has required a great deal of hard work to get where we are today. We now appear to have a sensibly regulated industry that works. Let’s hope that continues!

Thanks again for your support. Your interest and interaction in the various presentations is key and I hope that continues as we move through the year to reconvene in Berlin for the 9th Annual MPE Conference in February 2016.

I hope the year goes well for you all and look forward to catching up again next year. Remember, if you can’t bill it, kill it!"

Roger K Alexander
Chairman of the first conference day


Remarks on Conference Days 2 & 3 by Gary Munro, Principal Consultant, Consult Hyperion

A Principal Consultant, who joined Consult Hyperion from Gemalto where he led their Point of Sale (POS) Division in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, prior to and during its acquisition by VeriFone. Since joining Consult Hyperion, Gary has led Consult Hyperion’s Mobile POS (mPOS) activities, advising retail banks and start-ups on the hardware and software solutions that best meet their commercial and functional requirements. In parallel Gary has helped Payment Schemes to define their functional and security requirements for mPOS devices and services, authored EMV contact and contactless card and terminal specifications for major payment schemes and helped the Mobile Network Operators with their payment focused TSM services.

Summary

Day 2: Acquiring & alternative payment acceptance
In this session we focused on what is happening in the acquiring space, and how acquiring business models can adapt to the changing landscape.

Some common themes emerged across the sessions, in that acquirers are under pressure, and we can expect to see further consolidation in the acquiring space. Whilst there is pressure on acquirers, there is also growth in the market and the acquirers who can be flexible enough with their service and product offering stand the best chance to benefit from that growth. With the downward pressure on interchange threatening traditional reward programs, merchants are looking for more than just seamless cross channel payment services from their acquirers, they are looking for fast on boarding; value added services such as loyalty programs; different approaches to risk; and better data analysis to gain insight and grow their businesses. Acquirers can provide these services either through themselves, or more likely by partnering with organisations who specialise in these fields. Another takeaway from this session is that although the EU have been legislating to promote acquirers predominately operate on a local basis, there are few who truly offer a cross border service. As merchants are beginning to become international, the acquirers must also become international and operate seamlessly across borders. This brings many infrastructure challenges, as there are many payment methods and cultural issues across Europe to deal with. We can see acquirers forming alliances and partnerships in order to better position themselves to meet these cross border challenges. We can expect further changes and challenges in the acquiring space as acquirers seek to provide the services their merchants need for the changing payments landscape.

Day 3: New technologies changing merchant payments & POS

In the previous sessions we considered what is happening in the acquiring space, and discussed the levels of innovation that are and will be taking place.

In this session we took an in depth look at two innovations which are making headway today: Bitcoin & mPOS.

Bitcoin can be a volatile currency, if indeed one sees it as money or an asset. These fluctuations in its exchange value can lead to issues with its use in the payments environment. In this session we considered what Bitcoin actually is, what a miner does, the ecosystem and the proposition for merchants and consumers. All of the panellists agreed that Bitcoin is at the start of its journey and appropriate regulation is required to allow it to scale and not stifle the possibilities it can bring. However we are seeing differences in how the regulators in different countries are treating Bitcoin, which companies are working to understand. It is interesting that the costs involved in Bitcoin transactions are relatively low, allowing corporate to use it as a medium of exchange cross border, providing they can manage the exchange risk.

The session on mPOS we considered the trends in mPOS; what mPOS means to an existing acquirer; the micro-merchant challenge; where the app can bring real benefits to the merchant; and how mPOS is moving up the value chain to change the future of POS. The key learnings here are that change in the payment acceptance landscape is slow, but providing the right business models and strategies are adopted, the rewards will come. Whilst mPOS started out to address the micro-merchant market, and there are signs of slow growth in that space, it is slow. mPOS is allowing solution providers to be creative and to better address the needs of the merchants. Be they large or small. The app is central to the mPOS offering, allowing seamless integration into merchants systems to provide valuable data which will help them deliver increased profits through better understanding of their business. The number of mPOS devices is growing rapidly, providing challenges in differentiation for the manufacturers. In the near future we can expect to see further segmentation in the offerings, but crucially not only in the mPOS but POS space too.

Gary Munro
Chairman of the second and third conference day


Remarks on Conference Day 3 by Janusz Diemko, Independent Payment Consultant, JD Consulting

Janusz has over 16 years of experience in the transaction and payment processing industry. In 2006-2014 he was CEO / President of the Executive Board at First Data Poland (previously POLCARD). He was also Regional Director for Germany and Austria, and previously Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Summary

The PSP Ecommerce stream underlined the complexity that needs to be managed for merchants by either the acquirer or the PSP but more effectively through partnership between the two. To achieve this more efficiently PSPs are becoming acquirers and vice versa to provide a one stop shop which encompasses not just the payment component but the whole value chain including complex integration, fraud and risk management, customer identification across many markets, channels and for a multitude of payment instruments.

A summary of the main considerations from the presentations and the panel discussions in this stream are:

  • Customers expect PSP to manage away more of the complexity in the value chain – its more than just payment and in the changing interchange environment additional services are a key requirement to ensure continued revenue growth
  • Markets are different and need a localised approach
    • CEE; cash is still king in ecommerce with local direct bank payment transactions the main electronic payment methods
    • High interchange which has led to development of the ACH type payments is now dropping but customer habits mean the conversion to cash will not automatic nor quick
    • ACH type payments such as ZAPP (UK) or BLIK (Poland) may start gaining traction in certain markets; due to lower cost and ease of use in ecommerce
    • Brazil is the 5th largest ecommerce market in the world but with many local specifics which may be hard to manage without local partnerships
  • Customers want ease of use and security in their payment instruments – providing both is not at all simple; providing simplicity is complex!
  • Marketspaces are the 2nd coming of ecommerce as they simplify the shopping experience for customers, whilst increasing sales for merchants as they allow access to a large pool of customers

The world is not getting any simpler and customer expectations are only increasing. Participants in the merchant payment ecosystem need to cooperate to fulfill the needs of their customers, providing comprehensive services that are both secure and easy to use.

Janusz Diemko
Chairman of the third conference day

MPE Awards 2015 - Winners

The Merchant Payments Ecosystem 2015 attendees gathered on the second night of the event to celebrate the winners of the 2015 MPE Awards and to network during a gala dinner.

The awards committee, consisting of recognized independent consultants and dedicated press professionals, was impressed by the number of entries that came in at the end of last year and beginning of this year.

This year, a great amount of new, budding companies entered the awards contest and some of them not only made it to the finals, but eventually left behind some of the largest, well established players, impressing the awards committee…

...and the beautiful „Guiding Hand“ statuette in 2015 went home to:

This award goes to the outstanding Acquirer who has developed an excellent acquiring service for merchants throughout Europe:

Shortlisted

EVO Payments International

AIB Merchant Services

Credorax

... and the winner is


Goes to the acquirer, the processor, the network services provider, the payment services provider, the payment scheme, the MNO or the solution provider, who was able to offer innovative or the most complete offering regarding card, mobile or online acceptance in different channels:

Shortlisted

AIB Merchant Services

Allied Wallet

Alpha Payments Cloud

... and the winner is


Goes to the acquirer, the processor, the network services provider, the payment services provider, the payment scheme, the MNO or the solution provider, who has the best performing security system, as expressed by merchant satisfaction, fraud rates or security breaches:

Shortlisted

Inform

ThreatMetrix

Iovation

... and the winner is


Goes to the organisation which has shown how data can be turned into actionable information (insight) for the customer. It is specifically targeted at increasing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns (and/or customer retention) and creating an opportunity to enhance customer loyalty:

Shortlisted

Global Payments

Traxpay

Webshield

... and the winner is


Goes to the processor or network service provdier who offered the most innovative services to acquirers (and therefore, ultimately, to merchants) or to merchants directly:

Shortlisted

inpay

OmniPay

eService

... and the winner is


Goes to the acquirer, the payment services provider, the network services provider, the MNO or the payment scheme, who did set-up the best offer, programme, or system, to service international merchants:

Shortlisted

EVO Payments International

inpay

Alpha Payments Cloud

... and the winner is


Goes to the acquirer, MNO, data player, direct carrier or payment solution provider who launched the best performing initiative to increase mobile payments at several merchant segments:

Shortlisted

Denizbank

BKM

Wirecard

... and the winner is


Goes to the payment solution provider who offers the best shopping experience for consumers via using smartphones, tablets or PDAs as a POS:

Shortlisted

Worldline

Credorax

Globetel

... and the winner is


Goes to the PSP or Merchant Acquirer who provides the best overall service to its customer base:

Shortlisted

eService

Allied Wallet

Digital River

... and the winner is


Goes to any of the players in the Merchant Payments Ecosystem who have created and implemented a new payment product or service; this could include electronic wallets, online banking electronic payments, mobile based payments, electronic vouchers and other online money transmission services:

Shortlisted

Global Payments

MyBank

Zapp

... and the winner is


The Payment Startup Innovator award goes to the “game changing start-up” that offers the best solution improving customer payment experience or interaction beyond payments by using innovative digital technology:


Goes to an individual who made an exceptional contribution to the development of the card acquiring or payment acceptance business in its widest interpretation, covering merchant business, as well as processing of accepted card, online or mobile payments transactions, security, networked services, contribution to the development and the success of schemes, etc:

... and the winner is
Koen Vanpraet, Chief Commercial Officer, Credorax

MPE History