introduction to digital payments

The introduction to our central theme was penned by Robert Craig, whose 25 years of experience in the industry make him not only as well versed as you could possibly want but also gave him a keen eye for the future.

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If you are like me, not a day goes by when I do not receive an email or update on social media about the ┬┤rise and rise┬┤ of digital payments. I read about how consumers are engaging with contactless payments, mobile payments and new form factors (wallets, wristbands, watches, stickers).

On the merchant side, I read about frictionless payments, tokenisation, mobile POS solutions, Omni-channel strategies and how retailers (physical or online) are ensuring that their customers get the best possible payment experience.

Our various Regulators are keen to get in on the act too. Whether it is by ensuring that all consumer data is appropriately secure and protected or by making sure that consumers have access to relevant products and services from both their incumbent providers but also from the wider financial services ecosystem.

If you put all this together, then it is clear we are approaching a tipping point for our industry. Depending on the market you are working in, you are either experiencing some significant turbulence in market norms and consumer behaviours, or you are watching the industry across the region and planning for the time when your consumer and merchant base starts to see material impacts of technological and consumer behavioural change.

At our recent client conference in Vienna, we were fortunate to listen to a fascinating presentation on how we should be thinking about consumer propositions. Whether it be Baby boomers, Gen X, or Millennials, we heard about their different approach to choosing providers of financial services. I learnt something new that day too: our industry is just getting to grips with Millennials, and we now have Generation Z to deal with. Consumer trends and behaviours are ever changing and there is no time to stand still. 

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At Mercury Processing Services International, we sit in the middle of all these changes. Our technology capabilities need to evolve quickly to support our client Banks. We understand that our clients face competition that is stiffer than ever before and have regulatory oversight that is unprecedented.

We are fortunate that our clients are helping us get ahead of the competition, whether it is the supporting the successful launch of G Pay in Croatia, or being acknowledged by Visa as the first processor in the region to be live as a Token Service Provider, we are making good progress.

However, we know that we will need to be more nimble and more proactive in supporting our clients in achieving their goals. 

I hope you will enjoy reading our InPayments magazine; we have attempted to pull together all the latest information from both within Mercury Processing Services International as well as across the industry with regard to digital payments. As someone who has the grey hair and scars of working in our fabulous industry for nearly 30 years, I have never seen the pace of change that we are seeing now. However, I do feel reassured that we have motivated and supportive clients that will collaborate with us to drive increasing value to consumers and merchants. It is likely to be a crazy ride, but one that will shape and change our industry for the better. Hang on everyone!