MPE 2021 / 22-25 Feb 2021

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MPE 2017 summary

Event in numbers

  • Attendees: 820
  • Speakers: 145
  • Sponsors: 37
  • Exhibitors: 30


It was a fantastic three days in Berlin and MPE2017 conference was a great success! The event attracted more delegates, exhibitors and sponsors than ever before in the conference’s ten-year history. The industry is buzzing and we’ve seen wide range of topics covered, lot of interesting presentations, discussions and it is exciting to see how dynamic the payment industry is. Supported by huge networking opportunities and decision maker participants MPE has again proven to be the place to make new contacts, meet existing prospects and long-term clients.

All things considered it was a terrific event. And we’d like to thank all sponsors & partners, speakers and participants. It would not be possible without you.

Looking forward to see you next year.


Chairmen summaries

David G.W Birch Director of Innovation at Consult Hyperion, the secure electronic transactions consultancy. He is an internationally-recognised thought leader in digital identity and digital money; named one of the global top 15 favourite sources of business information (Wired magazine) and one of the top ten most influential voices in banking (Financial Brand); listed in the top ten Twitter accounts followed by innovators, along with Bill Gates and Richard Branson (PR Daily); ranked in the top three most influential people in London’s FinTech community (City A.M.), voted one of the European “Power 50” people in digital financial services (FinTech Awards) and ranked Europe’s most influential commentator on emerging payments (Total Payments).


"This was my first visit to Merchant Payment Ecosystem despite a number of recommendations from our guys and others, and I have to say that it’s an excellent event. I was genuinely flattered to be asked to chair the first morning and the key panels. The first was with the panel about digital commerce and omnichannel payments with:

  • Gijs op de Weegh, COO, Payvision
  • Marc Birkner, Ingenico ePayments
  • June Felix, President Europe, Verifone
  • Simon Black, CEO, PPRO Group
  • Marc-Henri Desportes, General Manager, Worldline

The discussion was absolutely first-class. As I explained the audience at the time there were no rehearsed questions and no PR scripts to follow. We had a genuine conversation about a wide topic and I can see from the feedback that the delegates greatly appreciated hearing smart people speak their minds. I really hate to paraphrase such a fascinating discussion, but if forced to I would say that:

  • There is a shift underway from the POS as a device to the POS as a platform and
  • There is a convergence under way but that convergence is towards the virtual rather than the real.

In other words, the checkout and payment experience is converging to the app, not the tap (okay, that’s my bumper sticker and not exactly what the participants said but I think it conveys the sense of the discussion!) and the payment experience will be the same whether in-store, on the phone or at a web site.

The second panel was great too. The organisers did me the great honour of allowing me to cross-examine some of the industry’s most senior people on behalf of the wider audience. The panel was:

  • Ron Kalifa, Vice Chairman, Worldpay
  • Diane E. Offereins, Executive Vice President, Payment Services, Discover Global Network
  • Burkhard Ley, CFO, Wirecard
  • Michael Steinbach, CEO, equensWorldline SE
  • Paul Thomalla, SVP Global Corporate Relations and Development, ACI Worldwide

The panellists allowed me to push them on some of the tough issues facing the acquiring and processing parts of the industry. I made the point that in an environment moving towards instant, push payments the role of acquirers and processors will change substantially. Naturally, since everyone on the panel knew more about this than I did and had already thought of it, they had some great perspectives. I was particularly interested by their views on future value-added services which, it seemed to me, had a lot to do with data. Hence I was left with the impressions that

  • Some of the big plays coming in this space are no longer about devices or charging bundles or apps but about big data, analytics and machine learning, and
  • We need to begin to reframe the acquirer as a merchant service provider (MSP).

All things considered it was a terrific event."

David Birch
Chairman of the first conference day (common program)

Falk Schubert leads the ACI Worldwide (Germany) Sales team across Europe for Partner Sales. He has been focusing in recent years on expanding the reach of ACI’s PAY.ON’s Payments Gateway, providing e-commerce and omni-channel PSPs, MSPs and acquirers with access to card and alternative payment types around the world and protect their business with state of the art fraud prevention. He started his career in 2009 in PAY.ON’s online payment research team. In the ensuing years he supported the growth of PAY.ON as Key Account Manager mainly responsible for international corporate clients and projects with the scope to create a new online shopper experience and helping his clients to expand their reach beyond their existing customer base and beyond borders. He was extremely successful in helping corporate banks, acquirers and national processors to define their eCommerce strategies, and successfully implement PAY.ON technology into this strategy. Apart from his cross-border experience Falk is an expert in fraud prevention tactics and strategies. He previously spoken at conferences and trade shows in Shanghai, Beirut, Brussels and Munich.


Session: The New Payment Ecosystem

Ulf Geismar and Javier Santamaria Navarrette introduced the audience to Instant Payments and reasons to create an unified Instant Payment Scheme across Europe which the EPC is working on. Some of the dangers seem to lie in the possibility that the payments industry is not going to see the emergence of only one European wide IP scheme but multiple schemes and thus there is fear about a fragmented landscape with varying standards which might reduce the attractiveness of this major infrastructure change to the way bank transfers are handled and in its way really paving the way into a New Payment Ecosystem.

Victor Dostov’s presentation was illustrating a world where payments are a public good and the world of payment is based on what he called an “Uber”-scheme where there is no active participation of the shopper in the payment process anymore. It remains to be seen how such a world can become a reality when regulatory initiatives that we are seeing moving into an entirely different direction.

Arnaud Crouzet then was highlighting the increased importance of standardized integration approaches and presented how an organization such as NEXO establishes such standardizations and how companies involved in such a New Payment Ecosystem can profit from these initiatives.

Wallets & Contactless, Beyond

This session was giving insights how the payment world is going to change in the near future whether is because of the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), the increasingly important role of social media giants in commerce or NFC / Contactless related trends which will require new technology platforms to service the industry. While the presentations gave fascinating insights into approaches how the future might look like the panel discussion made it quite clear that merchants such as IKEA continue to focus in their expectations towards the industry on what one could consider its very basics: security, speed of transaction, convenience at the checkout and cost.

It is quite likely that those innovations required and the further improvement on the basics will need to go hand in hand and thus create a dynamic ever-changing payments environment for years to come.

Falk Schubert
Chairman of the first conference day, stream Payments Ecosystem A

Kai-Christian Claus is a Partner at EY and head of EY Innovalue's Payments Practice. He is a recognised expert in the payments industry and advises the senior management of leading banks, payments providers, acquirers, card organisations, merchants and technology companies. His focus is on strategy, restructuring and corporate finance.


First session about key “success factors in the world of digital acquiring” brought us different perspectives of growth strategies in the digitalized world of acquiring. From the first co-presentation of James Booth from PPRO group and Neeraj Gupta from Vantiv we’ve learned about the importance of APM while expanding globally and that US merchants are in selling to Europe want the “all or nothing” one single processor for all payment methods (credit card + APM) to do so. Presentation showed us this could be done via trusted partner with significant footprint in geographical area they are looking for. John Faherty from First Data presented to the audience geographical challenges for acquirers like Brexit, localization, Leadership and also opportunities for growth, as an example of this could be the market of China. Technological challenges that represent frictionless payments, IoT, FinTech companies as well as opportunities for growth represented by many APM and how will PSD2 influence all of these. John showed the blocks of acquiring product mix to be successful in digital acquiring and how do acquirer meet all those needs. Amongst other suggestions, one stood up: Partnership aspect is a key! Last presenter in this session, Jason Oxman from ETA pointed out those specific challenges for US market as well as the opportunities and drivers for 2017. A technology such as IoT and mobile payments, or package of technologies and services could be the answer to the decreasing margins and commoditization of the acquiring industry, for additional revenue. We were then joined on the panel by Hubert O'Donoghue from First Data and Robert Heinz from SHC Stolle & Heinz to discuss the success factors in the world of digital acquiring further. Additionally we’ve learned about Brexit challenges for UK payment institutions, criteria for partnerships – value added play, globalization in process, many non-bank companies in acquiring and what the mean for industry and that the cooperation with new emerging players/disruptors in the industry is essential (Amazon, Apple, Alipay, etc.)

Second session in the stream covered topics of Partnerships, M&A and IPOs in acquiring little furher. In my keynote we’ve covered trends impacting the payment market; new regulation and technological innovation are driving these trends. Industry players adopting different strategies to deal with the upcoming challenges and we’ve dived deeper into the strategic rationale of recent partnerships, M&A and IPOs. We’ve learned that partnerships need to be reinvented in a new world of free access to accounts, open banking and managed payment ecosystems – they become “normal course of business”. That M&A continues to be the preferred way for cross-border market entry in all major industry verticals – merchant acquiring taking a pole position and IPOs will gain significantly more relevance in the payments industry globally – being the preferred path to liquidity for shareholders. Chris Winter from Discover Global Network showed us the future of payments in IoT how this will impact your business. The intersection of IoT and payments has created a security concern an order of magnitude greater than anything we’ve seen before. And that the collaboration, standardization and interoperability will be hallmarks of success here, to keep your business relevant in the future. Last co-presentation of Edward Strycharczuk and Pawel Jaszewski has been live example/case study of working alliances of EVO Payments Intl. and Raiffeisen Banks to strenghten your business via Partnership. Edward and Pawel presented what worked and what did not. Key lessons learned and recommendations of this successful partnership’s example. In the panel joined by Silvia Mensdorff- Pouilly from ACI Worldwide and Caroline Hometh from Rocketpay Group we learned further
About scale benefits leading to lower costs and that partnership is a right example for it. That you cannot achieve desired goals just by organic growth nowadays and that acquisitions are the answer. We discussed the benefits of IPOs and how public trade companies’ management works. And each of the panelists identified game changer events that may change the industry in next couple of years: Mastercard buying Vocalink, PSD2, Tech giants prioritizing their focus on payments and acquiring payment companies in future, Marketplaces (marketplace merchants).

Kai-Christian Claus
Chairman of the first conference day, stream Payments Ecosystem B

He has over 18 years of experience in the transaction and payment processing industry.
In July 2016 he became CEO of Polskie ePłatności S.A. a Polish acquirer, that was 75% acquired by Innova Capital a CEE VC / PE fund – which he was advising.
In 2015 he was providing consulting and advisory services, working on M&A projects, financing support and market analyses.


Across all of the presentations panels and themes which included Futureproofing PSP business models. Fintech in payments, Mobile and online conversions strategies and Optimising checkout and conversion strategies, the one thread interweaving all of the topics is the need to understand the customer and his detailed needs and requirements. This leads to solutions to specific problems which they are willing to pay for. This is true for Fintech startups or established players space across the areas presented and discussed in the streams. Highlights of the sessions are summarized below;

Mobile and online conversion strategies; app commerce is the key component in mobile payments, not HCE and physical phone payments. Social applications will integrate and drive payments on their platforms more successfully than trying to incorporate social into payment; but regional specifics lead to regionally strong players that cannot always easily migrate to a strong position elsewhere. Omnichannel needs to be considered and built into any solution from the start with ease of use and as far as possible providing automated / virtually invisible payments a key consideration to increase customer satisfaction; e.g. at fuel stations apps and integrated payments have a part to play to increase customer satisfaction especially in the self service / automated stations. Voice commerce though at an early stage already has many proponents and providers and many use cases to speed up orders and checkout increasing sales and satisfaction – no one large global player is seen to be able to dominate in this space.

Optimising checkout and conversion strategies; making payments simple and virtually invisible is a way to improve loyalty, sales and return purchases whilst minimizing cart abandonment. Part of this process is simplifying authentication as much as possible and utilizing mobile operator as a factor in authentication is one new possibility. Digital mobile loyalty must be built into the process for shopping and paying from the start In order to leverage the customer relationship to drive sales. Psychology and an understanding of consumers helps develop the website, and shopping and payment process to maximize sales, minimizing complexity and hassle for the consumer leading to improved loyalty satisfaction and sales.

Futureproofing business models of PSPs; as risk Is critical to PSPs with Ecommerce business which in itself is higher risk, it need to be build in to all the processes from boarding, KYC-AML to transaction authorization and merchant settlement. For PSPs to provide an omnichannel experience to the their merchants, its not enough just to tack on POS solutions to Ecommerce; merchants expect a seamless integration of systems, processes and reporting to provide payments and a unified experience for their customers leveraging knowledge about their behavior.

FinTech in merchant payments; investments in all areas of fintech are continuing to increase. Its not a question of whether but how to work with fintech startups. If the pace of change is the industry is faster than that internally for a company it is in trouble unless it can leverage partnerships; this is the case frequently in larger organisations in the current payments industry environment. . A skunksworks approach to building new products internally parallel and separate from the core organization and rolling out only once the product is ready to presented is a good option. The decision whether to buy or partner depends upon the criticality of the application, with mission critical requiring inhouse but a collaborative coopetitive model will work for new areas and addon products and processes

Janusz Diemko
Chairman of the first conference day, stream Checkout & Conversion and the second conference day, stream Payments Ecosystem

Phil is an experienced information, cyber and payments security specialist with more than 20 years’ experience of financial services and technology. He is well regarded in the industry for thought leadership and has influenced it through working with key stakeholders in the card schemes, Payment Cards Industry Security Standards Council and The UK Cards Association. He has experience of managing large PCI DSS compliance programmes and data compromise events. Phil is passionate about payment and information security and has campaigned to educate, demystify and simplify these critical business disciplines for both SMEs and corporates. UK Cyber Secure Ltd provides practical strategic and hands-on information and payment security consultancy services to organisations of all sizes and industry sectors.


Day 2: Checkout & Conversion

In the morning session FinTech and “frictionless payments” were hot topics i.e. payments which happen easily, securely and without hindrance for the purchaser and fraud for the merchant were discussed. There are several industry and regulatory initiatives coming along soon which may improve or hinder frictionless payments e.g. PSD2, 3D Secure Vn2, Dynamic CVV etc.

Most fraud occurs from card details which have been stolen and then used to purchase goods fraudulently. Fraud can be tackled by preventing these thefts in the first place, authenticating the payment and/or the identity of the payee, checking that the delivery address matches the billing address, identifying fraudulent transactions through evaluating other data associated with the transaction, knowing your customer, and recognizing that customers’ typical behavior, and through the use of Issuer / Merchant collaboration tools.

Merchants need to protect themselves from fraud and accurately determine the fraudulent transactions from the good ones. Research from Ethoca has revealed that over aggressive fraud rules lead some merchants to declining thirteen times more transactions (false positive declines) than necessary.

The session looked at fraud prevention tools which take different approaches to detecting fraudulent transactions. Tools based on Big Data, Machine Learning, IP address intelligence, device finger printing and Issuer / Merchant collaboration. The tools can deliver real-time decisions at the time of payment.

A common approach across these tools was machine learning to identify the fraudulent transactions. The advantages and disadvantages were discussed. Some of the presenters said that along with the decision the reasoning for the decision was also available.

Day 3: Checkout & Conversion B

The first session continued on from the themes discussed on the previous day with a presentation on the PCI SSC’s work on producing resources for small merchants to provide simple guidance on why and how to keep payment card data safe. This is to tackle the problem of card data being stolen in the first place. This was followed by more presentations on fraud prevention tools.

Session 2 was about B2B payments, virtual and corporate cards. Alexandra Fitzpatrick gave a presentation which highlighted the difficulties and issues faced by the corporate travel industry using cards to purchase travel and accommodation on behalf of the corporate traveler and the fraud which occurs as a result of this. This is leading to more use of virtual cards in that industry.

Two Fintech companies presented their infrastructure solutions which enable corporates to efficiently exchange procurement and supply documentation and payments between organisations.

In summary, the Checkout and Conversion track gave a fascinating insight in to the issues and possible solutions for B2C and B2B payments and how the industry can move towards frictionless payments.

Phil Jones
Chairman of the second conference day, stream Checkout & Conversion and the third conference day, stream Checkout & Conversion B

Ashok is an indefatigable e-commerce professional with more than 15 years experience in e-commerce architecture and operations. He is a Payment Security Expert and certified security auditor (CPISM/A) with in-depth knowledge on PCI Compliance. Mr. Ashok Misra has considerable experience in crypto currencies and in particular in building bitcoin purchase paths. He is widely regarded as a Payment Security Expert and possesses in-depth knowledge on PCI Compliance. He has a deep knowledge of country specific payment methods and mobile payments. He is Senior Manager for Compliance at Microsoft Corporation.


I moderated a panel on alternative payments at the 10th MPE in Berlin, Germany. Berlin’s Tegal and Schönefeld airports had a major disruption due to a labour strike . That notwithstanding we had a really large number of keen participants, so much so that we ran out of time for questions and had to end before all audience questions had been answered.

In the first session on blockchain / bitcoin I had a diverse set of presenters with different viewpoints on the technology and divergent views on the solutions to the issues that befall us; For instance on the subject of scaling, a subsection of the panel felt that the community must decide if bitcoin is a store of value or a transaction network. However others felt that the scaling issue must be solved if any progress is to be made at all.

We followed with a series of presentations on digital payments. It was soon clear that there was no ‘winner takes all’ solution in the field. There is plenty of growth and so there is bound to be opportunity for multiple solutions to be winners. I am sure we are going to see specialized digital solutions for specific verticals.

Net net, the tenth MPE event was a hugely successful. It was a learning experience to moderate the Blockchain and the alternative payment sessions. I look forward to next year’s event.

Ashok Misra
Chairman of the third conference day, stream Payments Ecosystem

Diderik Schonheyder has over 40 years of experience in international payment services, card payments, security, networks, systems and technology as a consultant, project manager, senior executive and board member which gives him a unique business perspective. Recent engagements include working with TSYS, DFS in the US (owners of Discover Card, Diners Card International and PULSE), Amex in the US, JCB (Japan Credit Bureau), Euro Alliance of Payment Schemes (EAPS) in Belgium, LINK in the UK, Elavon Merchant Services in the UK, BBS in Norway, Trionis and EUFISERV in Belgium.


Day 3 – Checkout & Conversions A – Session 1, X-border e-commerce payments

The first presentation of this session was given by a person from MasterCard. She explained to the audience the global issues and initiatives that they were undertaking to support their acquirers and their merchants. The next two presenters – the first from Iyzico and the second from PagBrasil covered in detail their actual experience in setting up and running cross boarder services in Turkey, Iran and Brazil.

Although their presentations were very different, the underlying messages were very similar and can be summarised as follows.

  • The most important, difficult and time consuming task was to set up a robust and timely settlement process
  • Next was the reality that the service must handle all the payment options available in the market and many of these are likely to be local. In fact from a volume and value point of view they are far greater than the business handled on cards with one of the international brands
  • The final underlying theme from the presenters was that one must understand the local/national markets in a very comprehensive and detailed way. Without that knowhow many problems can occur resulting in high cost

The presenters agreed that moving into x-border e-commerce payments also has several benefits. The most important was to provide services to new or current merchant customers. These merchants did not have their principle place of business in these markets, but had identified some opportunities in which they needed acquiring services support.

Common Program – Closing Sessions

To help wrap up the conference the moderator was assisted by five other panel guests from five different verticals within the acquiring value chain; Wirecard, Neste, RatePAY, Verifone and AEVI.

The panelists concluded that the key messages articulated/presented by many of the speakers, and especially those in the common sessions, were that the industry is changing rapidly due to the following key factors:

  • To be successful in this new environment of Internet of Things (IoT) and open API one has to make its customer the focus
  • New technology is allowing entrance into the “Merchant Payments Ecosystem” of new (many fintech) competitors. Having said that, no one was quite sure which technology based service would be the Uber of the payments industry, but they all thought it was likely that we would see one in the next few years – recognising of course that getting and driving a taxi is less complex than handling customers money
  • Within some markets, like the EU region, regulations and legislations are requiring significant investments which leave little time for other activities such as innovation. The most frequently mentioned regulations and legislations were MIF, PSD2, E-Money directive, GDPR and instant payment. There was a sense of – let’s get on with it – although only a few speakers could see much positive business benefits to come from this. There were also some who were concerned about the unintended consequences and how that could impact the implementation of these new initiatives. A sub part of this, and again especially within the EU region, is the promotion of standards for new areas. This is seen as positive although the challenge quite often becomes the implementation. So unless that is very similar the ecosystem around Europe may still not be very interoperable

In conclusion there was an agreement that the conference had demonstrated that we are moving from an ecosystem with relatively defined roles and challenges like e-com, mobile and the four party model to an environment of Internet of Things (IoT), Open API, and frictionless consumer experience. To achieve this the conference agreed that the industry was likely to see many new partnerships both vertically and horizontally. Up to now the major change to the payment industry has been due to technology, but industry also needs to change its business model so that in this new environment costs and revenue have a reasonable distribution.

With that the moderator closed the conference thanking all the speakers, panelists, sponsors, exhibitors, delegates, and not least the staff of the Empiria Group.

Diderik Schonheyder
Chairman of the third conference day, stream Checkout & Conversions A and Common Program - Closing Session


Wrote about us

MPE Awards 2017 - Winners

The Merchant Payments Ecosystem 2017 attendees gathered on the second night of the event to celebrate the winners of the 2017 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 2017 went home to:

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

Shortlisted parties


... 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 parties

ACI Worldwide
Alpha Payments Cloud

... 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 parties


... and the winner is

This Award will go 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 parties

Spire Payments

... and the winner is

This Award will go to the outstanding Acquirer who has developed an excellent acquiring service for merchants throughout Europe.

Shortlisted parties

AIB Merchant Services

... 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 parties

Spire Payments

... 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 parties

Web Shield

... 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 parties


... and the winner is

This Award will go to the PSP or Merchant Acquirer who provides the best overall service to its customer base.

Shortlisted parties


... 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 parties


... and the winner is

Goes to the payment solution provider o ering the best mix of security, compliance, simlicity of integration and best overall user experience for both merchants and end-users.

Shortlisted parties

GPN Data International

... and the winner is

This Award will go to the winner of the Innovation Corner competition for the most innovative start-up company in Merchant Payments Ecosystem.

... and the winner is


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

Miriam Wohlfarth, CEO & Founder, RatePay

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