Payments Innovation Conference 2013 – Consumer is King

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Vocalink's Chris Dunne talking 'faster payments'

PaymentEye were at the Payments Innovation Conference 2013 at the Kings Fund in Cavendish Square this week. The Payments Council and Intellect event focussed on the opportunities to catalyse a competitive payments ecosystem through collaboration and innovation.

Chaired by BBC Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones the conference bought to light a number of interesting themes, statistics and indications as to which direction payments innovation may be heading in. Through panel sessions and a number of speakers, the future of big data, fraud and security was expertly scrutinised. However the key underlying theme was most certainly consumer behaviour and preferences as well as mobile.

“Consumer is not king. Consumer is master of the universe”, Sandra Alzetta, Senior VP and Head of Mobile/Contactless Business Unit and Innovation Strategy, Visa Europe, emphasised an earlier point in the day.

Moreover, with the number of mobile devices in the world set to outnumber the entire human population, we are certainly on the cusp of greater levels of integration and advancements in the retail experience for consumers. This notion was echoed by Andrew Kay, Group Head for Acceptance and Market Development at MasterCard.

“We don’t want to emulate leather wallets, we want to blow them away”, Said Director of Consult Hyperion, David Birch. Connectivity across a number of platforms was pointed out as the future and direction consumer experience and payments are heading in. However, this requires collaboration between various industry stakeholders in order to effectively leverage existing technologies in order to provide new business models.

In relation to this, Tony Moretta, Marketing Director of WEVE, a joint venture m-commerce platform between EE, Vodafone and O2, presented its business model. With 17 million users already opted in, the industry is keen to monitor its progress. “These guys are horrendously fierce competitors. The formation of WEVE is relatively unprecedented, but they realised there was a vital need to come together in this area”.

With customer expectations and attitudes changing – especially in the banking sector – the key to consumer understanding is a succinct grasp and ability to effectively translate transactional data and consumption/behavioural data. With smartphone development and data in abundance, the payments industry is the catalyst for change.

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