Acquirers and payment service providers (PSPs) must continue to innovate if they are to satisfy the growing hunger of consumers and merchants for payment flexibility.
That was the key message from a panel of payments specialists at the Open Banking Expo event, hosted at the London Business Design Centre on 20 October.
Cormac Bane, a Product Manager at Global Payments, explained that it was essential for acquirers and PSPs to ensure their product suite is up to date, if they are to remain competitive.
“If you are offering these payment methods in one place, it gives merchants the opportunity to have everything from a reconciliation and support point of view. And, if companies don’t do it, they will fall behind.”
Panellists representing companies of all sizes, agreed. Holly Coventry, International Open Banking Payments Vice President at American Express, said it is a case of understanding that customer needs change over time.
She said: “For us, it is about choice. We used to be a travellers’ cheque company, but if I stood here talking about that today, there wouldn’t be much point. We have a large pool of customers. The strategy for us is ensuring we can meet customer demands.
“Innovation is all about adopting a customer-centric approach and being able to deliver what they need. It is also recognising that time moves on.”
Panellists warned that companies who are not willing to embrace change and recognise the shifts in market appetite would likely find their proposition undesirable and out of fashion.
Alexandra Broomfield, Payments Industry Specialist at BT, said recognising the needs of stakeholders in the ecosystem was ultimately a case of “self-preservation”.
She explained: “If you are not seen to be doing something with Open Banking, you are falling behind. This is not just a passing trend. The big acquirers now have their own Open Banking capabilities.
“Everybody is starting to balance, and trade off, card payment revenue with revenue from Open Banking.”
Remaining competitive in a marketplace that is full of innovation ultimately comes down to a choice between “buy and build”, according to Lawrence Byers, Product Manager at Acquired.com.
“Companies can build it internally or buy that innovation through partnering. From Acquired’s perspective, we took that decision to build it internally. We felt we wanted to influence and build the payment rail and remove any dependencies on third parties which may be detrimental to our clients.”