“The MRC is great at bringing together industry specialists in risk, law enforcement and compliance”: Catherine Moore, European President and MD for J.P. Morgan Merchant Services

Catherine (Cat) Moore is European President and Managing Director for J.P. Morgan Merchant Services, the merchant acquiring and payment processing arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. She currently leads a European team headquartered in Dublin, to grow, develop and manage existing businesses and propose new technical solutions and strategies.

We sat down with Cat Moore at the Merchant Risk Council (MRC) event in London to discuss her role in the industry, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the future of fraud and cybersecurity and how the conference plays an imperative role in bringing together industry figures.

From client-facing to building partnerships

When asked about her role at the bank, Cat says: “I look after our merchant acquiring and payment processing business for Europe. I’ve been with J.P. Morgan for seven years. I originally started in Treasury Services in London and then moved into card services where I ran the commercial cards portfolio in Europe. Prior to that, I worked for American Express for eight years.”

She states that she’s enjoyed working on a variety of roles in the industry, with her focus shifting from client-facing to more partnership-centric and concentrating on strategic business solutions.

When discussing her role within the company, she says: “I look after teams in Dublin, London and Frankfurt, managing and growing existing businesses as well as understanding e-commerce merchants’ technical solutions and strategies.”

Cat tells me she’s part of the global board for the MRC, the organisation founded by merchants who wanted to address issues with fraud and chargebacks.

“The MRC is great at bringing together industry specialists in risk, law enforcement and compliance aspects to network and discuss the latest developments, challenges and opportunities in the payments industry.

We also see a lot of our clients here, so it’s great to spend time with them to hear what’s important to them and get feedback to relay back to the business, and obviously talk to new customers as well.”

This year, J.P. Morgan sponsored the MRC’s Women in Payments luncheon on the first day of the conference. “Both J.P. Morgan and I think it’s really important to support women in the fintech industry where we still don’t see that many represented.”

Focusing on awareness is critical when preparing for GDPR

The GDPR session was one of the main talks that J.P. Morgan ran to educate delegates about the importance of the GDPR, the opportunities and challenges, the requirements being placed on merchants and preparing for implementation.

“It was surprising to see the limited awareness there is around the implications of the GDPR requirements, the risks of getting it wrong in terms of fines, and frankly the opportunities that could be presented if you get it right for brand building and standardisation. This will help merchants get to a more standard operating procedure.”

Cat states that one of the main takeaways from the discussion was awareness. “It’s very possible that key figures in businesses may not be aware of what their company’s infrastructure is on risk and fraud.” She goes on to describe the importance of customer profiling and how it is also key when analysing fraud and chargebacks. “It will be a challenge for some of the practices which merchants have, to make lives easier for their customers and address customer profiling. If you have the situation where you’re interrupting good sales because you’ve got so many points of friction, you end up not looking after the consumer, and upsetting them because they just can’t get through the process.”

Co-operating with issuers on data analysis

When discussing the importance of fraud and security, Cat stresses that analysing data is key for any business model. “According to the 2016 Nilson Reports 1, 2, we’re the largest merchant acquirer globally, based on the volumes that we process – we have a lot of good consistency and consolidation because we are e-commerce focused.

“Our role is to take data and information that’s produced through reporting and working with clients, to help analyse it and give them insights.”

Cat explains that there’s always an adept way to see how fraud is happening.

“On the first day of the conference there was an issuer session focused on merchants. As an acquiring bank, we represent the merchants but there are also the cardholders that are represented by the issuing banks. The question of importance here is, how do we work better with them to make sure that we get better data coming through?”

Much as Cat discussed the importance of analysing data, she understands that not all data can be analysed. However: “It doesn’t help merchants when they do not know whether it’s a credit line issue or a timing issue, or whether the card has expired.

“If they get better information and more co-operation with the issuers, it’s going to be better for everyone, because not only do you prevent fraud but you get a better consumer experience.”

Don’t leave cybersecurity behind

Cat goes on to explain how PSD2 will introduce an interesting era for the banking sector. “PSD2 is the next generation,” she says. “It’s imperative that banks are complying with these regulations.”

She links the aspect of portability to where GDPR and PSD2 overlap. Control over data and credentials will no doubt be a banking game changer, with exponential value embedded in customer data. “It’s going to be a really compelling time.”

Cat mentions that cyber is a key trend regulators are watching. “Cybersecurity is at the top of everyone’s list, not just for financial services. It’s not just how you’re managing data and giving people consent, but how are you protecting it.

“There’s emphasis in the industry to ensure we’re doing everything we can; to invest, understand and stay ahead.”

Cat says that it’s inevitable that there will always be issues in the industry, but “it’s about how you react and deal with them.”

This interview was originally published on bobsguide.com

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