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MPE 2018 summary

Event in numbers

Attendees: 900 || Speakers: 135 || Sponsors: 49 || Exhibitors: 31 || Sessions: 28 || Conference streams: 4


From 20 to 22 February, Berlin, once again, hosted the Merchant Payments Ecosystem. We've experienced fantastic three days in Berlin and the 2018 MPE conference was a great success again!

The event attracted even more delegates, exhibitors and sponsors than ever before in the conference’s history.

The industry is buzzing and we’ve seen wide range of topics covered. This year’s edition had a lot of topics to focus on. We are officially living in the PSD2 era and GDPR is just around the corner – was there ever a better opportunity to talk about data? And data as well as everything it entails, customer experience, omnichannel offerings, artificial intelligence, was one of key talking points.

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.

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

The opening morning of a great MPE event this year was dominated by two themes: ecosystem and data. In the rst session, the issue of creating an ecosystem around retail payments was touched on repeatedly (and not only by terminal manufacturers trying to create this ecosys- tem) but by other who, like me, suspect that the oppor- tunities for innovation are greatly enhanced by opening up what will soon be seen as a platform rather than the traditional Point-of-Sale (POS).

The discussion around data grew, I felt, from last year’s discussions about the emergence of the Merchant Ser- vice Provider (MSP) that can deliver added value through data analysis and management into a more sophisticated set of views about the role of the cloud, data science and in particular machine learning and arti cial intelligence points towards the industry we will see in 2020: organisa- tions competing for a share of the data even more ag- gressively than they used to compete for a share of the transaction fee.

Given the importance of this data thread to the growing ecosystem, it should come as no surprise that the topic of GDPR came up again and again. In fact, I think that we could have had a whole day just on the topic of data protection, privacy, compliance and the regulatory en- velope that will shape the more data-centric version of the merchant payments ecosystem that is being built at speed.

The title of the session was "Acquiring in a consolidated market". Looking at the presentations by our distinguished speakers, it could have been prudent to add a question mark "?" after that title. It appears that the European payment market is not yet harmonized even in a post-SEPA and post-PSD world.

Raiffeisen Bank International and Six Payment Services, two large acquirers in central Europe, mentioned the complexity of dealing with local requirements including language support, specific payment methods, and currency settlement requirements. They also highlighted the challenges for a cross-border acquirer to compete with dominant local players. The latter can leverage their "on us" traffic to partly avoid card scheme fees, and offer better conditions to merchants. Rising card scheme fees and market development funds in the region were considered to be a large barrier for cross-border acquiring, and card schemes were invited to change their pricing model to level the playing field.

Despite these challenges, there is certainly a business case for multinational companies to work with cross-border acquirers. On the panel, Ikea explained that it has centralized payment processing in 14 countries across Europe. This proves that the benefits of a centralized approach can outweigh the higher costs.

While the payment space is getting increasingly complex and dynamic, retailers have to support new channels, new payment methods, new standards, new regulations. The presentation by HPS showed how technology providers are ready help to manage this complexity by providing a centralized payment platform that can manage omnichannel payment management at the front-end, and manage smart routing of payments to multiple acquirers at the back-end.

And perhaps further standardization is around the corner. Nexo informed the audience about the current status of standardization in the different PoS network domains, and the increasing adoption of standards by leading merchants, acquirers and vendors. One of these vendors is FIS, that announced the development of a suite of test tools that will allow vendors, acquirers and processors to test the compliance of their payment systems and devices with Nexo’s payment acceptance messaging standards and specifications. After the panel session, most questions from the audience were directed to Nexo, which was an indication of the increasing relevance of standards in the European market.

The conclusion is that although hurdles still exist in the European payments market, centralization of payment management becomes a viable option for merchants. Next MPE conference we will take stock and see, if the question mark is still required in the "consolidated market" theme.

The key theme of the conference was regulation – GDPR and PSD2’s open banking provisions in particular. But, beyond a looming sense that bank transfers will become easier and therefore stronger competitors to card payments, I didn’t pick up any clear sense of when or how this will happen. Or in which markets.

Voice commerce is probably the channel that will move fastest to bank transfers since banks are moving to voice authentication anyway for customer contact. Loading e-wallets might be another popular use case. We don’t know.

There’s clearly much to play for and the widely adopted acquirer strategy of focusing on gateways seems as sensible as ever. If shoppers abandon cards for mobile banking apps, at least there is a click fee to be charged.

For the new payment ideas themselves, the advice was to mimic the charging structure of the card schemes “otherwise merchants won’t understand them.” Business models, in general, are increasingly fluid. “How do you compete with a business [like Amazon] that doesn’t need to make a profit?”

Generally, the feeling was that PSD2 is a good thing – “Euro-regulation is pro-competition, US regulation is about keeping out of gaol” but that GDPR was a bad thing. Plenty of pitfalls, an estimated $8b compliance cost but little upside.

Elsewhere, there was a consensus that 3DS2.0 shifts a large part of the fraud problem from merchants and acquirers to the issuers. This is good news for the merchant payment ecosystem, because, when implemented well, 3DS2.0 should only have a limited impact on conversion.

Making something commercially from payment data remains an issue addressed in general terms by keynote speakers but largely unsupported by product launches. My view is that the industry has had 20 years to work out how to monetise its data. If it was really a goldmine, we would have cracked the problem by now.

There were plenty of nods to AI and machine learning but there were few practical examples with the exception of the growing phalanx of undifferentiated anti-fraud vendors.

The mPOS market structure has matured around three propositions. (1) low cost payment acceptance for fiscalisation programmes (2) tablet POS for SME’s and (3) niche applications such as airlines. The big breakthrough into enterprise retail seems slow to arrive but the concept of app driven payments connected to ecosystems is here to stay.

The open question is whether this new ecosystem is led and orchestrated by the payment providers with SmartPOS propositions or by the SME-focused software vendors linking to regular integrated payment terminals.

Instant & Mobile Payments

Instant and mobile payments are being driven by regulation, but face additional challenges to meet regulatory standards. With PSD2 and GDPR framing how new payment models will and can be shaped, they also put the value of transactional data at the heart of new revenue streams for the payment industry. These two regulations also bring to light the need for new cyber security standards and the sensitivity of managing authentication and identity data in the industry.

What the session on Instant, mobile and alternative payment acceptance brought to light was that adoption of these new payment methods is not uniform, or speedy, across Europe. Not everyone is ready to ‘play ball’, and that getting a consortium together to push both customers, merchants, and banks to adopt the latest in payments is more challenging that previously assumed. Part of it is due to trust: cash is familiar and can be touched, cards are familiar and customers know the routine. Mobile wallets and digital only hasn’t yet built up the institutional trust cash and card has.

The other part of slow adoption is the inherent complexity of the new systems and the number of players. Who ultimately pays for building the new systems is also up for debate, since the business case for the customer benefits of instant payments still doesn’t address the merits of the enormous cost to build a truly instant payment rail. But despite slower adoption of mobile and instant payments, finding revenue streams and profitability in payments is still possible with new business models. It’s finding the right model that is elusive – and ultimately it will be both government, regulators, and the market that determine the model and success of instant/mobile payments.

The Fintech Revolution

Fintech is moving away from a B2C model, focusing more on B2B solutions, in part driven by regulatory initiatives like PSD2 and GDPR, which has shifted the conversation from competition to collaboration. The challenge, however, of this new collaborative environment is how to successfully partner with highly risk-averse, conservative, financial institutions with strict governance procedures and low risk appetite.

But there is a robust ecosystem to support emerging fintechs, including accelerators and regulatory sandboxes. And investment in payment technologies is increasing, however that investment is being consolidated into fewer individual investments going towards fintechs that have gained market traction and regulatory approval.

Fintechs are also moving towards providing service models as platforms, rather than singular on-premise solutions: more infrastructure, back-end, and payments as a service. The API play – brought to bear by PSD2 – is giving fuel to this As-A-Service model, in hopes of using data to unlock more customer insights and operational efficiencies. Whatever model becomes de facto standard, it’s clear that fintech isn’t going away anytime soon – and that banks are either embracing finctech, or trying to become fintechs themselves.

Day 2: stream Checkout & Conversion, session New approaches in fraud detection and prevention

The presenters and panel participant in this session mostly came from organisations that provide support to the industry in the form of systems solutions and consultancy. Their presentations focused on different methods that would help manage fraud. Interestingly they had a shared view of what the current key drivers are; namely

  • Payments are moving towards real-time
  • Implementation of regulations such as PSD2 and GDPR
  • An ever-increasing amount of Data that is available, and
  • The introduction of using AI (artificial intelligence) within fraud detection systems

This combination between regulations and new technology is making fraud management a very interesting and challenging area. It was also pointed out that due to PSD2, the organisation within the value chain that is responsible for managing, reporting and in the end picking up the tab for fraud, is changing. The presenters thought it very likely that this had not yet been fully understood, especially by the PSPs.

Another major theme that was identified is that the payment eco system is evolving. This combined with the arrival of Internet of Things means that fraud management solutions have exponentially increased in complexity. Therefore, to ensure that the fraudsters and level of fraud is manged, all participants (issuers, acquirers, merchants, PSP’s, schemes, etc.) in the payments eco system need to have some form of fraud management program.

Day 2: stream Checkout & Conversion, session Cross-border e-commerce expansion

The presenters and panellists for this session came both from acquirers and service providers to the acquirers and merchants. There was an agreement that the acceptance expansion that is seen today was both driven by merchants wanting to sell in new markets as well as acquirers. The latter have acquired the tools and therefore able to help and educate the merchants in how to expand into new markets to grow both of their businesses.

Due to the specialised tools and skill needed to be successful in cross-border e-commerce environment, the acquirers saw a need to use a number of specialist partners such as PPRO and Limonetik. It was also agreed that for a merchant to be successful in a new market more than payment acceptance for the international brands would be required. The conclusion was that payment options had to mirror the local norm in the physical and e-com environments.

Interestingly the panellist did not see any need for including bit coin acceptance in the mix of payment options and if fact could not see such a need in the foreseeable future.

There was a general agreement that this is a rapidly growing area and to be successful in setting up in a new market three key challenges needed to be managed.

  • By far the most difficult and challenging area was agreed to be making the back office or behind the scene functions fit with the local environment such as compliance, reporting, reconciliation and settlement. Not a very exiting area but essential to be successful and profitable
  • Another area to master was to ensure that both the merchant and acquirer had a very good understanding of the local culture
  • The last area was to have the appropriate payment options. In other words, the service needed to include the local payment types in addition to the international card brands. This area was probably the easer of the three to implement

Day 3: Conference Outcomes

The six individuals that helped to identifying the key outcomes from conference came from Spire Payments, VeriFone, EY Innovalue, EVO Payments International, Consult Hyperion and Schonheyder & Associates. They represented different verticals of the merchant payment eco system.

With three days of presentations and panel sessions and as many as four parallel sessions no one had been able to listen to all the presentations, nor see and/or listen to all the attendees’ questions and contributions. Nonetheless there seemed to be general agreement by the panellists and the audience via their online comments and questions that no one dominating topic existed. Rather a number of key themes was the conference’s conclusion:

  • In Europe, sufficient resources have not yet been allocated by the industry to the implementation of the new regulations such as PSD2 and GDPR as the impact on the industry will be significant. More time could have been spent at this conference on this topic. It was felt that the impact of these regulations is not fully understood
  • The merchant payment eco systems is changing at an ever-increasing speed both due to new regulations and new technology. In some ways the current industry vocabulary such as a merchant acquirer and card payment are out of date, but there does not seem to be a new vocabulary that has been agreed
  • The Payment is almost become an axillary service to what acquires have to offer the merchants. New services and functions will include more payment options for the consumer; loyalty solutions for the merchant to offer its customers, and lending products delivered to either the merchant or the consumer
  • Bitcoin, although receiving lots of press coverage, is not a significant element within the merchant payment eco system today. In fact, no one could see when it might become a relevance. Block chain as a technology - yes, but bitcoin as a payment option - no
  • Within the eco systems one is likely to continue to see significant activity within the merger and acquisition area as economy of scale helps in many areas
  • Technology changes and the emergence and adaption of new technologies continue to happen at an ever-increasing speed. Internet of Things, cloud and cloud computing, Omni channel and smart devices are all here and is already changing the way things are done as well as their business models. The new technologies that are immerging and need to be incorporated are likely to be AI (artificial intelligence) and voice

With the moderator closing yet another successful conference he ended with saying thanks to all 125 speakers, sponsors, 35 exhibitors, Empiria Group for putting together a great event, but mostly he gave thanks to the 900 attendees who came to listen, learn and network.

Cloud, smart and next generation POS

As per the Payment Redesign & Aite group analysis, the benchmark for terminal evolution is a smartphone where for P2P transactions no terminal hardware is required. All ECR providers have tablet based solutions and with the W7 end-of-life there is likely a bigger push for tablet (rather than PC based solutions).

SmartPOS is the next evolution, Michael Prazny, AEVI, market leader in this segment presented a compelling end-to-end solution where AEVI’s app store is vital to demonstrate value to retailers. AEVI tests all apps, the most favourite app amongst retailers are around customer satisfaction. Spire’s Nigel Dean compared terminals to smartphone, with the latest phone adverts not advertising the ability to make phone calls. Spire endorsed SmartPOS and announced their new product line of good looking devices just before Christmas 2017. 

Matthias Plancken, CEO and co-founder of Kachen outlined the unlocked value of tablets for retailers such as all product information available at their finger tips. Kachen allows mobile 2 mobile transaction to this iPad though relies on terminal integration to take cards.

MasterCard’s Prashant Sharma joined the panel session. MasterCard wants to increase the terminal estate with 40 Million devices to extend the reach of plastic cards.  This can partially be achieved by innovation, e.g. smartphone based devices. Panellists agreed that especially the hospitality segment could benefit from SmartPOS devices, panellist felt that there was no further need for e.g. standardisation. 

Key take-away: There was some sceptic remarks from the audience but it seems clear that SmartPOS is a mature technology although it will come at a higher price level than traditionally built terminals. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

This session was kicked off by a presentation from Richard Harris from UK based firm Feedzai. Richard outlined that contrary to popular believe artificial intelligence and machine learning are part and parcel of the payment industry today. Fraud prevention is the key area for improvement although there is nothing that stops the industry from looking at creating more insight into usage patterns to achieve more sales. Real-time ACH payments drive the industry to advanced techniques. 

Ergi Sener, CEO of BonBon Technology  presented how retailers can create more insight into how shoppers walk through their store, identifying places where they stay longer. Erni’s clear visuals, identifying shoppers and retail staff, caused a bit of a stir as shoppers can be uniquely traced through wifi although they cannot be identified.

Olaf Hofman, Chief Product Officer at  Cybertonica  completed the presentations. Given the amount of fraud, our industry has a clear business case. Cybertonica also focuses on a range of other applications, including a much more user friendly process at airports. 

Key take away: AIML seem to be mature techniques to take on the payment industry and a natural successor to rule based techniques. Our industry tends to look at fraud first, solutions to drive move volume through or understand shoppers better may also be delivered by AIML. 

Subscription commerce is rapidly growing; not just digital goods and services, but traditional manufacturers are rethinking their business models as well. All goods and services could eventually become a subscription; one can already subscribe to yachts, luxury cars, or even luxury beds. Konstantin Surkov from Netflix talked about the challenges in managing recurring payments. Some issuers provide additional account updates and schemes just started offering tokenization to better manage expired cards on file for recurring payments. Unfortunately the ‘dream issuer’ supporting recurring does not exist (yet).

Furthermore, Orcun Akca from Enaviga stressed the fact that payment managers should work closely together with marketing to get a better understanding of the profile of their customers. Payment habits can vary per country, per generation, income segment, education, spending behaviour etc. You need to have these insights in order to choose from the 200+ payment methods and optimize their checkout page. On their end, PSPs need to have a real understanding of the business of their merchants.

The other speakers at the Festival of Online Payments talked about alternative payment methods; Google Pay (e-wallet), Fortomo (Direct Carrier Billing), Trustly, przelewy24, and SafetyPay (OBeP/Online Banking e-Payments). Google Pay announced its global rollout on Tuesday 20th of February, bringing Android Pay and Google wallet under one single brand.

There is an argument to be made that ‘APM’, as a term, is getting outdated, since Online Banking e-Payments are becoming increasingly dominant and, in some markets, have already become the dominant payment method (e.g. Poland, The Netherlands). PDS2 will further drive this growth since Online Banking ePayments are fully aligned with this directive; offering a safe and secure (SCA) payment option.

In the Polish ecommerce market, cards do not play a role. Bank e-transfers and cash-on-delivery are the preferred payment methods. Piotr Kurczewski predicts that the share of cash-on-delivery payment methods will decrease and that Blik (a mobile payment powered by banks) will become more popular to pay for goods delivered at home.

In Latam, SafetyPay offers both bank transfers and cash payments. They are primarily active in travel, OTA, multi-level marketing, and ecommerce. They make these services available for the part of the population that does not have access to traditional banking services. This method is also offered as a recovery payment method if a credit card gets denied.

Direct Carrier billing is payment method makes it possible for merchants to tap into markets with low bank/card penetration. Fortumo developed over time from a payment method for micro payments (apps/games) to a payment method for digital goods and services and now it is moving into insurance, ecommerce, and travel. As a result, fees are getting more competitive for these segments.

It gave me great pleasure to welcome everyone once more to Merchant Payment Ecosystem 2018 where I chaired the afternoon plenary session on 21st February.. As we all know, from merchant payments to multichannel retailing, from customer experience, to mobile innovation and new business models, from loyalty, to big data and technology disruption, not forgetting regulations, MPE always has something for everyone, and this year did not disappoint! Indeed, it is undeniable that since its inception 11 years ago, Merchant Payments Ecosystem has become a calendar date not to be missed for all those interested in this exciting, fast moving and multi-faceted industry. The afternoon started in style with the Innovation Corner, a Dragon’s Den-like competition in which five innovative start-ups had the opportunity to showcase their ground-breaking solutions. Their pitch was followed by fierce questions from the “Dragons”: Melisande Mual, Managing Director, Publisher at The Paypers, Don Ginsel, Founder & CEO at Holland Fintech and Diderik Schonheyder, Managing Director Schonheyder & Associates. The five competitors were Kaching, ID-Pal, Divido, CreditClick and Appex Fintech, and the winner was decided by the audience who voted on the MPE app (which was particular popular with the audience for interacting with conference proceedings). So congratulations to ID-Pal, which perhaps proves once more that Identity is indeed the new money (with a nod to my good friend Dave Birch who was also on chair duty for this year’s conference)... 

This was then followed by three keynote presentations to set the scene with Jason Gardner, Founder & CEO at Marqeta, Justin Fraser, VP of Enterprise and Alliances Sales at Cybersource and Zanda Brivule-Jansone, CEO at Worldline Baltics. The Regulations session which followed was fascinating, with four excellent presentations by Iddo De Jong, Principal Expert at the European Central Bank, Andrea Dunlop, CEO Acquiring & Card Solutions at Paysafe Group, Carolyn Sweeney, Director of Business Development at The Chargeback Company and Marijke Koninckx, Product Marketing Manager at BPC Banking Technologies. Suffice to say that PSD2 and Open Banking were extensively discussed! The speakers were then joined by Axel Schäfer, Advisor on Payments at IKEA and John Basquill, Editor at PaymentsCompliance for a lively panel session which I had the pleasure to moderate, with lots of interaction from the audience via the MPE App! We certainly could have talked for much longer!

And the day wouldn’t be complete with the prestigious MPE Awards, which I had the privilege to co-host with Alex Rolfe! Congratulations to all the winners and to the Empiria Team for their fantastic work and I am certainly looking forward to MPE 2019!

I had the pleasure of chairing Day 3 of the Payment Ecosystem Stream.

In the fist session we looked into the digital shopping journey and loyalty. With excellent presentations from Billpay and Stripe on the digital journey complemented by Zencard and Loylogic focusing on Loyalty, Izicap then joined us for a lively panel discussion to uncover more. There were some great points raised. Both Stripe and Billpay pointed out that even todaya majority of digital commerce checkouts failed to get some of the payment basics right, which in turn leads to delays, retries, friction which in turn leads to lower conversion rates. Billpay & Stripe focus on conversion rates, using A & B testing to understand what works and what doesn’t’ work in the digital shopping experience.  Loyalty also faces many challenges. When merchants provide loyalty schemes, they do so in order to incentivise the consumer to return or increase the amount of spend. However only 10% of potential transactions involve loyalty schemes. Once loyalty points / coupons are issued they are a liability on the merchant who issued them, therefore it is in the merchants interest that those points are redeemed. Loylogic discussed new ways of increasing the way to redeem loyalty points, thus increasing their attractiveness to consumers to acquire them. Contactless payments, providing speed and efficiency at the checkout does not lend itself to loyalty, Zencard have come up with a solution to tie the loyalty card to the contactless payment instrument, thus simplifying the process, making it easier for points to be collected and redeemed.  One significant point to make, was that merchants are prepared to pay higher acquirer fees for value added services that work.

The second session focused on the how payments industry copes with the impact of major regulatory change. We were fortunate enough to have speakers from Customweb discussing how PSD2 will disrupt the payments industry, with threats and opportunities for all players; Union Pay International provided some fascinating insight as to how regulation can constrain the incumbent scheme and banks, whilst new players such as WeChat; Allipay have a free ride. It will be interesting to see the correlation between what happened in China to what happens in Europe under PSD2. Trulioo discussed how companies can provide APIs and services to automated compliance and avoid the associated fines. Interestingly only 2% of compliance is automated, so we can see how things can go awry. However with companies looking to operate in multiple markets, compliance is a major challenge to get right. There are clear opportunities for companies to provide services and grow helping others through the myriad of regulatory challenges they face.

I had the pleasure of moderating once again at MPE; for 2018 the NextGenPOS Stream, which was split into two sessions; Wallets & NFC and Monetising NexGenPOS. The presentations covered new integrated value added services on POS systems such integration of delivery, accounting services, transaction financing, wallets and loyalty, and the monetisation of these services creating tangible benefits for both consumers and merchants.

The first morning session covered “Mobile wallets and NFC”, with Ulf Geismar - Edgar Dunn, discussing wallets across the world provided by a mix of Bank, non banks and telecom but all requiring ease of use and the frictionless payments capability leading to increasing usage of the mobile as a physical payment means, Michael Rolph - Yoyo wallet, highlighted the need for add-on-value for merchant and consumers in a wallet by providing loyalty, discounts, targeted marketing.  Jason Oxman – ETA; underlined the differences between the USA ecosystem and Europe with the USA making strides in EMV and mobile payments but still has a way to go to achieve European contactless payment penetration, though certain mobile wallets such as Starbucks are achieving ubiquity. Andrey Makarov - MTS; highlighted the need for a comprehensive set of products and services built into any mobile wallet including transport, prepaid top-up, payments of all types, and loyalty which can be offered white label to other partners, even banks, and underscored the critical success factor a mobile operator possesses; a vast customer base into which he can cross sell the service.

The next session was “Monetising NextGenPOS”; which underlined the importance of partnering and not competing with the other providers in the POS ecosystem such as acquirers for the payment process and hardware (POS, MPOS wallet or future services); for hardware suppliers of the POS ECR systems and software, for integrators of ECR and other software with merchants, with banks and finance providers. Sean Wilson – Sage; underscored requirements of SME merchants that Sage can satisfy such as integration of POS ECR systems with accounting systems providing simplified booking, reconciliation and reporting of transactions, Reinhard Martens- Gastrofix; provided an overview of the company products and services across EMEA showing the complexity around local tax requirements which need to be fulfilled, and the importance of integration with other partners software. Christer Holloman – Divido showed that online real-time financing for sales in ecommerce, but only if made quick and easy, is a huge opportunity for merchants and banks to decrease shopping cart abandonment by 30%+ and increase sales profitability and margins.  Andy Chen – Weorder presented the multitude of partnerships accross the POS-ECR landscape that need to be integrated by merchants to provide seamless ordering, delivery, payments and reporting solutions, which the Weorder application can support.

Overall as payments are becoming commoditised it will become ever more important to cosset the consumer and merchants with valued added products that will actually value and use, especially financing, loyalty and offers. In order achieve this merchants and consumers need quick and easy services tailored and integrated into the new cloud based world, which is being increasingly regulated e.g. GDPR but also opened up by PSD2. May the exciting times continue unabated for longer providing challenges but also huge opportunities for solutions focused on solving partners’ problems.


Wrote about us

MPE 2018 event coverage by MPs, speakers, award winners

The Paypers (Article)
G2A Pay (blog)
The Paypers (interview)
James Butland (LinkedIn)

MPE Awards 2018 - Winners

The Merchant Payments Ecosystem 2018 attendees gathered on the second night of the event to celebrate the winners of the 2018 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 2018 went home to:

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

Shortlisted parties

First Data

... and the winner is

This Award will go to the PSP who o ers the best and most e cient mix of payment options, providing the best overall service to its customer base.

Shortlisted parties

GPN DATA - Connected Payment Platforms

... and the winner is

Goes to the processor or the network services provider, who o ered the most innovative services to acquirers, PSPs (and therefore, ultimately, to merchants) or to merchants directly.

Shortlisted parties


... 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 payment providers for customer-focused on-boarding process/solution meeting merchant demand for fast on-boarding

Shortlisted parties

Web Shield

... and the winner is

Goes to provider for best use of integrated POS/ Smart POS/ Mobile POS solutions to merchants and/or SMB helping them to accept payments, improve business results with value added services and revolutionise the customer shopping experience in-store

Shortlisted parties


... and the winner is

Provider or solution that most e ectively facilitates merchant payment payment transactions without requiring the consumer to directly use a payment card.

Shortlisted parties

Saxo Payments Banking Circle

... and the winner is

Goes to the provider who did set-up the best o er, programme, or system, to service international merchants.

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 o er innovative or the most complete o ering regarding card, mobile or online acceptance in di erent channels.

Shortlisted parties

SIX Payment Services
AltaPay, a Valitor Company

... and the winner is

Goes to the provider, who has the best performing security system, Best Identity Veri cation and Authentication Solution as expressed by merchant satisfaction, fraud rates or security breaches.

Shortlisted parties

ACI Worldwide

... and the winner is

Goes to the provider for Best Data Management and Infrastructure; Best Use of Data in a Merchant payment Product or Service delivery and Best advanced analytics & Data Science, Goes to the organisation which has shown how data can be turned into actionable information (insight) for the customer. It is speci cally targeted at increasing the e ectiveness of marketing campaigns (and/or customer retention) and creating an opportunity to enhance customer loyalty.

Shortlisted parties


... and the winner is

Goes to the Solution/ Provider that most e ectively facilitate digital customer purchases using a mobile device. Includes any method supporting mobile commerce, like open and closed wallets, apps, direct-carrier billing, etc.

Shortlisted parties

First Data

... and the winner is

Best enhancement or design/ development of payment product/ solution/service prepared through acquisition, collaboration and, or partnerships by and between payment technology providers, payment companies, merchants and POS solution providers.

Shortlisted parties


... and the winner is

MPE History