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Banking on collaboration

From chip and pin to mobile wallets, the payments industry has undergone a rapid transformation in recent years. The advent of the digital age has given rise to new services and technological innovation on an unprecedented scale.

Increasingly, consumers have come to expect a connected, customer-centric purchasing experience that goes beyond a simple exchange of money. Against this backdrop, financial organisations are recognising the importance of partnering with fintech and payment providers to deliver new solutions. The key to success will be collaboration.

Consumers have come to expect a connected, customer-centric purchasing experience

June Felix, Europe and Russia president at payments and commerce giant Verifone, says: “The new financial ecosystem will be collaborative. Banks have huge regulatory constraints and legacy systems. In contrast, fintechs are nimble, creative and digitally savvy. What they share is a desire to retain and grow their customer base.”

Regulation will only serve to accelerate this growing need for collaboration. The introduction of the Payments Service Directive 2 (PSD2), which seeks to enhance competition by opening the field to new entrants, is a game-changer and will catapult the industry into an era of open banking.

“PDS2 brings with it a huge opportunity for new and innovative services, and deeper ownership of customers, especially for banks whose brand and legacy give them a distinct advantage” says Ms Felix.

Certainly, the rise of mobile services and open application programming interfaces, or APIs, is driving banks beyond their traditional confines and partnerships present the best opportunity for competitive advantage. While some may view the changing environment as challenging, Ms Felix says by leveraging the banking industry’s expertise, partnerships have the potential to revolutionise customer journeys.

Consumers have never had so many options at the retail checkout with cash, card, contactless, smart tap and mobile payments all now accepted. Verifone prides itself on not only creating nifty devices, but also innovating with partners to enable shoppers to experience payment at the point of sale in an easy, stress-free way.

An example is Verifone’s partnership with Alipay, which allows stores in the United States and Europe to accept Alipay anywhere in the store and implement marketing campaigns designed for Chinese consumers who use the Alipay app.

As a trusted partner to global and national retailers, Verifone has transformed everyday transactions into connected, next-level commerce. Part of this innovation includes Verifone Connect, an adaptable, end-to-end product that accepts payments, but also adds value at the point of sale. With features including payment services, estate management, and merchant and consumer-facing apps, Connect enables merchants to improve consumer engagement.

Verifone also recently partnered with Mash, offering consumers a “pay later” solution in stores across Europe. For Verifone, the development of services such as Mash is testament to the growing need among consumers and businesses for disruptive solutions.

Ms Felix explains: “The payments bar is set higher than ever and today’s consumer expects options. In creating a secure and open platform, Verifone has evolved and added new and exciting payment solutions to a global market.”

Indeed, what might once have been seen as purely the domain of the larger outfits has become accessible to even the smallest of retailers thanks to the development of open, agile platforms.

Ms Felix concludes: “The future is connected commerce and collaborative banking, with a shared vision for an evolved financial ecosystem that puts consumer-orientated technologies at its heart.”

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