MPE 2020 summary

MPE 2020 conference, Feb 18-20 in Berlin is OVER!
13th edition of MPE was a HUGE SUCCESS!

1200 attendees, including 280 merchants and 300 acquiring banks & PSPs networked in a cozy atmosphere of the 5-star hotel and got inspiration from 155 TOP industry speakers, 75 solution providers showcasing cutting-edge payments & POS solutions.

Profile of participants

Geographical breakdown (%)

Industry breakdown (%)



155 SPEAKERS ON STAGE || 3 conference days || 4 tracks || Panel Discussions || Key note presentations || Break out sessions

MPE covered the latest technologies, trends & business models of merchant payment acceptance, checkout & conversion, fraud & security and changing customer shopping experience.

Amit Kurseja ,Head - External Payments,Amazon Pay India

Amit Kurseja

Head - External Payments, Amazon Pay India

Chris Skinner,Author, commentator and troublemaker,

Chris Skinner

Author, commentator and troublemaker,

David Birch,Director of Innovation,Consult Hyperion

David Birch

Director of Innovation, Consult Hyperion

Paul Stoddart,President, New Payment Platforms,Mastercard

Paul Stoddart

President, New Payment Platforms, Mastercard

Rahav Shalom-Revivo,Fintech and Cyber Innovations Manager,Israeli Ministry of Finance

Rahav Shalom-Revivo

Fintech and Cyber Innovations Manager, Israeli Ministry of Finance

Ron Kalifa,Vice Chairman,Worldpay

Ron Kalifa

Vice Chairman, Worldpay


Plenary Session videos


David Birch, Innovation Director @ Consult Hyperion


Ron Kalifa, Chairman @ Network International
Alexia Hagen, VP, Partnerships & Programmes @Mastercard
Paul Adams, International Payments Director @ Barclaycard
Isabelle Clairac, CEO @ MarketPay (Carrefour)

frederic loos

Frederic Loos

Chief Merchant Officer

Stakes are high for pan European retailers, so how to win the game?

elad cohen

Elad Cohen

VP Data Science & Research

Merchant Goals vs Consumer Needs in an Omni-Channel World: Using AI to Align Incentives & Drive Growth

paul stoddart

Paul Stoddart

President, New Payment Platform

The Opportunity in Open Banking

niklaus santschi

Niklaus Santschi


PAYONE, a radical shift to customer centricity & game changing


David Birch, Innovation Director @ Consult Hyperion


Charles Damen, SVP Payment Strategy @ WorldPay
Axel Schaefer, Advisor - Payments @ IKEA Group
Nilixa Devlukia, Founder @ Payments Solved
Nicolas Adolph, Chairman @ EPSM
Ralf Gladis, Founder & CEO @ Computop


David Birch, Innovation Director @ Consult Hyperion


Benny Tadele, Vice President Merchant Solutions @ ACI Worldwide

rory o'neill

Rory O'Neill

Chief Marketing Officer

Delivering exceptional experiences that grow international spend

martin sweeney

Martin Sweeney


Time to spring-clean your PSD2 strategy for 2020


Kai-Christian Claus, Partner, Global Payments Leader @ EY-Parthenon


Tim van Delden, Partner @ HPE Growth
Simon Black, CEO @ PPRO
Arnaud de Cartier d’Yves, Investment Director @ BlackFin Capital
Paul Scholten, Chief Executive Officer @Buckaroo B.V.
Daniel Knottenbelt, Member, Private Equity @ KKR
Axel Rebien, Chief Financial Officer @ Heidelpay Group

arik shtilman

Arik Shtilman


Going Cashless? Think Again

rahav shalom-revivo

Rahav Shalom-Revivo

Fintech and Cyber Innovations Manager
Israeli Ministry of Finance

Promoting Payment Fintechs through Cyber Security

chris skinner

Chris Skinner

Author, commentator and troublemaker

Digital Human, the Fourth Revolution of Humanity Includes Everyone

sasha pons

Sasha Pons

Product Innovation Director
Radar Payments by BPC

Bridging Real Life to Digital

david birch

David Birch

Consult Hyperion

Currency Cold War. Cash and Cryptography, Hash Rates and Hegemony


Paul Rodgers, Chairman @ Vendorcom


Chris Skinner, Author, commentator and troublemaker
Sasha Pons, Product Innovation Director @ Radar Payments by BPC
David Birch, Director @ Consult Hyperion
Yimei Wenyang, Managing Director @ Alipay Europe

Chairmen summaries

We were joined by over 70 merchants for an introductory session into retail payments, providing insight into industry landscape, core technologies and evolving trends. Starting with the basics, we went through key concepts like the four-party model, MSCs and interchange, and identification of key ecosystem players, before reviewing some of the main acceptance environments and technological platforms for instore, online and omnichannel card acceptance.

As expected, there was some lively discussion regarding pricing models for specific card types, from fully blended to interchange++, and strong interest in the impact of the latest wave of mergers and acquisitions among acquirers and processors, and whether there is scope for further consolidation in the payments industry.

We were joined Guy Douek from SafeCharge, who shared the results of an online survey the company has conducted into the changing dynamics of the payment function and its growing role in merchant organizations across the globe. In addition to commenting on the results, further insight was provided by Lev Yakimov, who manages payments at Gett, the on-demand mobility company. The survey results revealed how payments strategies have had a measurable impact on driving revenue increase, as well as reducing operating costs. This has led to the payments function becoming a greater source of competitive advantage and performance enhancement especially where fully integrated as a dedicated team in the merchant organization.

We also spent time looking into the growing threat of eCommerce fraud, guided by the expert hand of Efrat Rabinovitz from Riskified, which uses its comprehensive AI platform to combat fraudulent attacks and improve the online customer experience. Whilst highlighting the growing threat of customer account takeover in addition to transactions made with stolen card data, Efrat also showed how fraud has become more sophisticated in recent years, evolving from an amateur or semi-professional activity, to the deployment of complex purpose-made fraudulent algorithms and the leveraging of bots to scale up attacks. To combat this growing threat, an effective fraud solution needs to be highly reactive, accurate and fast, without adding needless friction to the legitimate customer’s shopping experience.

Our Day 0 programme then continued with a journey through some of the value-added applications and services that merchants are able to deploy alongside their core card payments offer. Whilst designed to encourage a more sticky relationship with the customer, or provide additional business insights, these services ultimately need to measured by their ability to drive footfall and increase spend, or otherwise deliver operational efficiency. We concluded with a review of alternative payment methods (APMs), from online and mobile wallets through to schemes based on bank transfer, instalment payments or even cryptocurrencies. The role of adding APMs alongside traditional card payments, drove a hot debate as to the potential cost benefits of some of these non-card-based schemes, especially given the lack of clarity on the ability to manage refunds or handle chargeback disputes. A great endpoint to our introductory session, which provided a very topical springboard into the main conference programme.

Session 3: The transformation, or the end of global acquiring?

  • Acquiring is globalizing at scale, driven by M&A. The recent merger between Worldline and Ingenico is another example after the mega-mergers announced last year (FIS/Worldpay, Fiserv/FirstData, Global Payments/TSYS). However, growth in card payments globally is forecasted to slow going forward as a number of alternative payment methods emerge.
  • Payments continue to be the focus of public policy, leading to new regulation and creation of standards. Examples are open banking and real-time payments.
  • Ownership and usage of data is increasingly controlled by the customer. The principles of GDPR are implemented globally both through regulation (Australia, California) and through unified data protection policies of global firms.
  • Payment acceptance is democratized as SMEs get access to “plug and play” card acceptance solutions that can be integrated with cloud-based POS systems. Providers such as SumUp now extend their services to card issuance as well.
  • Globalization of payment acceptance requires merchant support of local payment methods next to international brands. Factors to consider are speed, security, acceptance, and cost. Providers such as ACI, PPRO and Rapyd support 100-s of alternative payment methods around the world.

Session 4: Pursuing strategies to stay in the game

  • Payments is globalizing, and providers need to support companies in their quest for new markets. However, global expansion requires knowledge of country specifics such as regulation, competitive environments, and local payment methods.
  • PSPs are faced with a number of challenges as their cost base is increasing as a result of more regulation, KYC/AML compliance costs, data protection and localization requirements. At the same time, increasing competition leads to pressure on revenues.
  • In response, PSPs must develop value added services that merchants are willing to pay for. Such VAS should help merchants to increase conversion while keeping customer friction to a minimum. One area of interest are services that leverage information from multiple merchants, e.g., for credit scoring or customer insights. Identity proofing services are another example.
  • HPS presented an interesting case study of one of the largest fintech firms in Indonesia that launched a merchant acquiring platform for SMBs (using the PayFac model).

Session 3: RETAIL 2030; looked at the new technologies that can enable the provision of consumer centric value add, seamless, frictionless and integrated shopping experiences for consumers

Andrew Vorster in his Back to the Future of Payment presentation showed that the personal face to face retail experience of 40 years ago is still to be matched by modern technology. Eveline Witlox of ING talked about IOT and the need for smooth technological implementations enabling frictionless services overcoming the challenges of trust, integrations, security, privacy. James Booth of PPRO forecast that the pace of change in the next 10 years is expected to be even quicker that the last 10 which in themselves saw an explosion in numbers payment instruments and complexity of the payments landscape. Michel Legier of Payone spoke about next generation payments and the need for innovation to be borne out of in-depth understanding of consumers needs and problems and implementing technology that solves these needs whilst adding consumer value; and the need for marketing to be at the forefront of this journey of discovery. Anna Pulatna of IKEA in the panel discussion underlined the complexity in payments that merchants need to deal with and in a complex retailer such as IKEA the complexity of the customer journey online and in store varying greatly by the product. IN summary consumer behaviour and habits are forcing disruption on the industry, with mobile phone and social apps allowing immediacy and a frictionless experience which consumers expect. IOT, data and AI / machine learning, biometrics and voice commerce, personal bots will be areas of technology that need to be integrated into a seamless experience in-store and virtually. This will require regulation to enable continued trust around privacy data and security required to drive growth whilst enabling data to be traded for valuable rewards and information.

Session 4: Retail POS innovations and trends; covered three different approaches to enabling card acceptance on mobile devices

Sam Shawki of Magiccube dsicussed their technology to turn any touchscreen into a payment device, via an EMVCO certified software trusted execution environment, in essence a data vault for the payment transaction credentials. Risto Savolainen of iAxept described how their app on android devices allows a contactless card to be used turning the consumers phone into an acceptance device for card not present transaction which can also alleviate the problems with SCA for issuers and consumers. France Leduc of Mobeewave discussed the journey the company took to getting a solution for payment on screen to market, recently in cooperation with Samsung. Globally we are still at the beginning of the journey for expansion of acceptance on touchscreen devices which in the first phase will by for merchants new to acceptance but eventually will lead to replacement of the current POS and pinpad infrastructure.

MPE2020 – People for Payments #peopleforpayments

People power took centre stage as MPE2020 launched its first dedicated panel sessions on ‘People for Payments’. Shifting the focus away from technology, product plans and marketing strategies, delegates joined two panels of industry experts to explore how ‘people talent’ enables businesses to effectively implement and exceed goals and KPIs.

Moderated by Simon Stokes, Senior Partner Payments and FinTech at Greenings International, the first panel brought together Safecharge and Edgar Dunn who had commissioned research into the ‘7 habits of successful ‘new’ payments leaders’. Joined by EasyJet, the panel enabled a rich discussion into the positive impact a payments function can have on your business growth, profitability and customer experience. Download your free copy of the research at

The second panel stemmed from a survey of senior leaders in Payments conducted by Greenings International and Parkhouse Bell. This research focused on the importance and benefits of networking in the payments sector, attracting and retaining talent in a competitive landscape and how to improve diversity and balanced leadership for the benefit of all.

As merchants and payments companies increasingly seek to gain advantage and differentiate themselves through their ‘people talent’, competition to secure talent is intensifying. This creates a challenge for many organisations as they seek to fill key roles and to source, develop, and retain individuals with desirable skills.

These dedicated People for Payments panel sessions facilitated thought leadership, the sharing of practical experiences and highlighted the demand for a educational learning platform for the Payments sector. Look out for more from #peopleforpayments

DAY 1 – TRACK 4 Startup Challenge

It was my honour and privilege to chair this brand new track for MPE. And was it worth it! Having been on the conference circuit for more years than I care to remember, I know how difficult it is to get startups involved in entering awards… Well, massive Kudos to the Empiria team for getting so many startups to enter, and to our most excellent judges (Keren Aviasaf Migdal @ PaymentsOP, David Parker @ Polymath Consulting, Diderik Schonheyder @Schonheyder & Associates and Alfredo Soria @ Plug & Play Tech Center) for doing such an excellent job at whittling down the many entries to 10 contestants! The competition on Day 1 was run like a Dragon’s Den session, with 5 minute pitches and then 5 minutes for Q&A from the jury. I was impressed with the quality of entries and this is just to prove how much innovation is very much part of our lives in this industry! At the end of the afternoon, the judges had the difficult task of selecting the 3 finalists, so congratulations to KnowmeNow, SilkPay and SoftPOS for making it to the finals!

DAY 2 – Morning Plenary

We kicked off the morning with an interesting and thought provoking panel on “Private Equity coming of age”, moderated by Kai-Chriatian Klaus @EY Parthenon, with panellists from both sides of the funding value chain, leading on to the 1st keynote by Arik Shtilman @Rapyd reminding us that cash is still very much alive. This was followed by a 2nd keynote by Rahav Shalom-Revivo @Israeli Ministry of Finance on how cyber security can promote innovation in fintech, topic always close to my heart! We ended the morning on a high with the Innovation Corner Live Competition, with 5 mins pitches for our three finalists, and a tough grilling for each contestant from our Dregon’s Den-style judges! It was tough, and it was close, so congratulations to the 2020 winner, SoftPos, with their solution that converts any Android 8.0 (and above) device into a payment acceptance terminal.

Final words:

As always, MPE is the place to be if you are even remotely connected to payments! The dedication and commitment of the Empiria team for making this event bigger and better every year keeps old friends coming back and new friends joining us. So, see you next year!

Payments continues to be an attractive sector for private equity investments looking forward due to fundamental growth drivers (e.g. cash substitution) and a huge consolidation opportunity generating significant synergies through scale effects.

Investment thesis include European industry roll-up, continued growth in eCommerce, strong demand for local alternative payment methods and product innovation (e.g. in the omnichannel space).

Governance between private equity investors and senior management is typically quite informal: daily alignment, fast decision making, leveraging relationship networks and provide access to other portfolio companies. PE firms typically provide strong support to the senior management of its portfolio companies but expect superior engagement and performance from the management team at the same time


PSD2 had created a myriad of APIs standards and these are unlikely to unify anytime soon. This of course in some ways is good for business for the aggregators who can manage the challenge created to deliver a single API solution to Fintechs. Whilst it would be great to have a single Payments standard this was unlikely to happen.


The pannelists generally believed that in the next 18 months to 2 years that AISP services should start to take off but that PISP are likely to take longer, maybe up to 3 years. This period though for PISP could be much shorter in markets like the Netherlands where IDEA, a similar PISP solution already exists – although today few consumer recognise or feel comfortable using such a solution as PISP. It was commented that whilst a PSD3 would be nice what was really needed was a RTS2. Greater customer protection could certainly become a major issue as things develop and it may well be that regulators get involved if things start to badly wrong here.

The changing face of the customer shopping journey

The shopping journey will increasingly more be driven by mobile. In 2021, more people will have a smartphone than running water. The impact on the way we shop is enormous, especially in developing countries, where financial inclusion remains a struggle. In those countries having access to mobile commerce is a matter of life. It drives innovation in those countries at a much higher pace than it does in Europe for example, from a consumer point of view.

A similar trend is visible in Europe, the adoption of mobile is accelerating, and websites that are not responsive must deal with the consequences: consumers no longer look for solutions, they simply look for another website. Mobile is increasingly more perceived as the most convenient way to pay online and retailers must follow.

As consumers move to mobile, merchants follow. The first movers quickly understand that the advantages are diverse, it is a lot more than simply adding another sales channel. With mobile, mobile commerce and mobile advertising, everything is measurable. Smart retailers, the ones that know how to play with numbers get a head start compared to others.

Strong Customer Authentication poses European merchants with an additional challenge: how to make sure that the customer experience remains acceptable in a stricter regulatory framework. One of the answers is the network tokenisation through the card schemes. This is relatively new, and not widely adopted, although the advantages for both merchants and consumers are clear.

Marketplaces and latest trends in e- and m-commerce

Marketplaces are dominating e- and m-commerce these days. Today, these marketplaces represent 29% of B2C global transactions, in 2024 it is estimated 70%. Big players like Amazon have become so dominant that the industry is increasingly more looking for (local) alternatives.

The very first marketplaces, the platforms came from China. Today they show the trend to a more diverse offering, a more fragmented marketplace economy. Businesses look for a way to stand out, and that is hard when you, as a merchant or retailer, are just a number.

Finding the right marketplace to build a business on is key to be successful in the future, especially if you do business on a global scale. Local payment solutions and sales channels are the only way forward in that context, so choose your partners well. Find the ones that know the market inside out, not just the products to offer and the technology to use. The customer psychology is at least as important.

It is not just about finding the right marketplaces though. Companies like Rezolve are already looking further with the customer, beyond the single sales platform. In a partnership with Huawei, they developed a solution that merges online and offline and they promise their partners an everywhere shopping experience, by simply scanning triggers like a photo, audio, location... Very interesting developments!

Tap2Pay is another interesting case. This Polish company found a way for every merchant to start selling through social media like Messenger, Facebook... Not only is it a new gimmick for the merchant, but it provides access to a much younger generation.

Defining the future of B2B payments

B2B payments are an interesting domain. What makes this segment so special is that a balance must be found between the right level of convenience, flexibility and the necessary administration. With an accountancy department in charge of the administration, the treasury department in charge of cash management and the end-user that does the payment, there are a lot more stakeholders involved. They all need to be taken into account when you work on innovation and product development in that domain.

In a way, this segment opens a lot of opportunities to innovate, but it also creates a lot of reluctance to adopt innovation for an end-user perspective. There are success stories though, like the MPE Alumnus Enterpay. They provide invoice payments, a service that is aimed to fulfil the desire of the buyer to pay with invoice because for him it saves time and money, and for the seller because they get their money fast and securely.

Open Banking is clearly opening doors to a lot more innovation in the future. It will be interesting to see where we stand next year at MPE.

Session 2: Payment Innovations in Retail

This proved a popular and fascinating session, with 4 presentations providing different aspects of Innovation in retail payments, followed by an insightful panel discussion. The main points to come across is that innovation is happening in all parts of the retail payments ecosystem from premium retailers to more day to day retailers, in payment options and acceptance to payment types offered.

Boris Griesinger from Hugo Boss kicked off the session by highlighting some of the issues and obstacles a premium retailer has with innovation in payments, Boris explained that innovation has to come with a good business case, so the benefits to the retailer have to be clear. Ideally the removal or reduction in the number of cash desks in stores would be what retailers really want to see, perhaps the developments in Smart and SoftPOS will help here. It is clear that the lines between offline and online payments are blurring and low friction, is important in both. This was picked up by Victor Bergmann from Google who explained how Google were working to ensure Google Pay provided as seamless an experience as possible. The clear aim is to help the retailers by using Google Pay to prevent losses in conversion due to friction. The need for SCA in both online and offline payments has been one of the themes at MPE, with questions being asked about the payments industry’s state of readiness for the end of year deadline. Victor took us through Google Pay’s solution, whilst reassuring us that Google has no intention of becoming a player in Financial Services, they want Google Pay to ease the payments process to benefit the Google ecosystem and it’s users.

A third approach to innovation in payments came from Petr Baron from TBIBank, who looked at how an innovative approach to payments acceptance by a bank was boosting revenues for merchants. TBIBank’s merchants were in need of a financing solution, so TBIBank came up with a method of checkout financing, allowing customers to purchase furniture etc with finance at the point of sale. By digitising the process, they were able to enable finance checks in seconds, whether online or offline, thus providing a better payments experience for both customer and merchant. The use of innovation benefits the bank, merchant and customer, and easily fits the bill of providing a compelling business case.

As we move towards a more cashless society and enhanced payment options, fraud becomes a larger issue for all concerned. Neil Smith of Forter explained that with the rise of digital payments, there is also a rise in fraud. Friendly fraud is becoming a larger concern to merchants, where customers claim to have never received the goods, or refund abuse where they wear an expensive outfit for an event before returning it saying it doesn’t fit etc. Normal fraud rules aren’t able to cope with the modern fraudsters, and fraud solution suppliers, such as Forter, are making use of ML & AI to help merchants make more informed fraud decisions. Fraud is problem for all parts of the payments ecosystem, it’s no longer the case that the merchant can rely on Issuer systems to check that a card is stolen or not. As the nature of fraud changes, so too must the industries response to it.

Session 3: Payment Innovations in Hospitality & Travel

This is a fascinating area of payments, where there is much innovation occurring in not only the payment acceptance, but the use of data to help the customer make informed choices, as well enabling the merchant or broker to present the relevant options to the consumer. As we discussed in the panel session, all of the issues are not yet resolved, PSD2 and SCA is proving to be a major challenge to the hospitality and travel sector, with concerns that the solutions needed to resolve dynamic linking may not be sufficiently in place to prevent “soft” declines come the end of the year.

Pascal Burg from Edgar Dunn kicked off the session with a fascinating presentation on what is driving change in the airline sector and how this was creating new opportunities. PSD2 is creating a number of opportunities around alternative payment types, simplifying the use of bank transfers, the emergence of digital innovators such as Alipay and LINE Pay. Pascal explained that it’s not just the payment methods that are changing, the people are changing too, the expectation of faster customer experiences, the use of social media in determining which airline / package to buy are all bringing about changes in how people travel and interact with travel suppliers. The use of digital channels to grow business was a theme followed up in the presentation by Dimitri Farber from Tiller, who focused on the Hotels, Restaurants and Cafes sector, where digital marketing, front of house and in-app ordering, click & collect, social media are all playing a big part in the ability of restaurants in particular to grow. The emergence of digital services such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Open Table etc provide new places for restaurants to market and attract additional customers. This is only possible if the merchant has a suitable POS capable of handling the orders from the different channels, managing reservations etc. This requires POS systems to carry out complex operations whilst at the same time being able to integrate or remove the digital services that are appropriate to the hotel, restaurant, café.

For the panel session we were joined by Zack Powers of FareHarbor and Rajat Hubli of Omio. This lead to an entertaining discussion of experience booking and payments in the Hospitality and Travel industry. The focus is on enabling the consumer to customise and pay for their holiday and optional experiences in a single place, whether that be through an airline or broker web site or app. Providing the right options to the right people is paramount to delighting the consumer and maximising revenues.


Wrote about us

MPE 2020 event coverage by MPs, speakers, award winners


ibanXS The Paypers


Addity Payments

Video coverage

Paypers Fintech Finance


The winners of the Merchant Payments Ecosystem Awards 2020 were announced during 2nd conference day (February 19) at the prestigious MPE Awards Gala Dinner & Ceremony, attended by 1000+ MPE 2020 conference participants.

MPE Awards history started in 2010 as the first European awards to recognize the outstanding role of card acquirers, processors, PSP’s, POS and payment solution providers and to honor companies and individuals who helped move the industry forward.


MPE History