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cards and payments conference

This year’s event was particularly interactive and provided an opportunity for everyone to take part in discussing the newest trends in digital payments but also review the influence and rise in card payments. 


LET THE EVENT BEGIN

This year's Cards and Payments event was held in Belgrade and lasted for two days. The first day 17, September was planned for presentations and panel discussion, while the second day 18, September was reserved for closed workshops on digital products and MPSI platforms for the future. The event’s second day was reserved for workshops with the banks from the Intesa Sanpaolo Banks Division which was notably engaging and all of the sides participating in them said it was a highly beneficial and refreshing experience. 

There were more than 130 participants from all over the Europe and a wide range of areas in the payments industry – banks, financial institutions, payment processors, payment solution providers, payment schemes. It was extremely interesting to have such a variety of experts in one event giving their different angles and opinions especially during the panel discussions.  

The presentation part of the event was conceptually divided into two parts – the first one covering the digital-related topics and the other one covering topics related to payment cards and cash and some very interesting issued were raised in both parts.

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Both topics are very important for the payments industry and although digital is becoming ever-present and rising, cards still remain in the top of payment methods and become truly staple of payment industry. 

Our CEO Zdenek Houser opened the event welcoming everyone present and soon after the presentation started. 


THE HOT DIGITAL TOPICS

In the digital part, our Jelena Kolega, Head of New solution design, was the first one to hold the presentation on the topic of Trends and novelties from the digital world. She dedicated an extensive timeslot to address the question of what are the drivers behing the trends to discover that it is not the big tech giants who are setting them but the users themselves. 

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Maurice Lisi, Head of Multichannel & CRM S/D, ISBD  gave an interesting overview of the new and future trends in payments .Lisi held a particularly gripping presentation covering the digital world and the future of digital payments and the presenters were visibly impressed. This is what what our Ladislav Grgac said about Lisi's presentation: "Visionary presentation from Maurice Lisi shed some light on the concept of future banking."

Continuing in the same wave of energy with a slightly different focus on cash and cards, the first topic was tokenization by our Aljoša Lovrič Petrič with Nikola Mehandžić from Mastercard who talked about the importance of having a digital strategy in this era and how it has to be backed up with security, reliability, and best-in-class technology because people do care about security sometimes more than the convenience of having digital acess. 

When talking about security and reliability in payments, our Ladislav Grgac presented our company’s Access Control Server 2.1. and how it goes with perfectly with the 3D secure protocol in our continuous aim to protect our customers and provide them with best-in-class security solutions. He particularly emphasized the benefits of our ACS solution.

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However, security is not easy especially with the new instant payments systems, like the one made by Nets - RealTime24/7 an extremely successful solution which was presented by Mads Peter Møller, from Nets’ Customer Engagement.


THE TANGIBLE SIDE OF PAYMENTS

In the payment industry, use of cards seems to be in rising – so told us Darko Novaković, Head of Processing Operations, Mercury Processing Services International. The numbers are rising in every part of the world and are now in the top payment methods so Darko took us through the usage trends in numbers.

The fact that cards are becoming very popular as something tangible that people could hold in their hands and pay with that is the reason behind Apple and N26 making their own cards. Darko talked about this interesting topic too as well as other recent developments in the card world. Contactless cards are one thing but accepting them across devices and countries is another thing we have also gone in detail with at the event. 

How are cards accepted in Germany and to what extent – this was presented by Anja Traum, Managing Director of the SME Germany Division of Concardis. From the German SME perspective, 53% of SMEs believe that cashless payments have a positive influence on their revenue and even 52% of consumer prefer to pay cashless. This means that Germany is going toward cashless, despite being a strong cash country for many years. Anja also introduced Concardis’ new product SmartPay and their new brand promise. 

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We had yet another presenter from Concardis - Nelson Burtnick SME Commerical Director, Digital Experience, Online & Mobile Product, and he talked about a very hot topic in our industry - data insight & commercialisation - from his expert stance. He presented the new merchant portal app tool that comes with SmartPay that offers merchants great insight into their transactions and everything they need to know about payments. 

In line with this he explained how strong data analytics unlock significant value for the Group and our customers. Gathering data, analyzing it with regards to customer preferences and purchase behaviour, defining insights - all of this leads to taking concrete steps and implementing them to improve sutomer experience and create business value.  

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Presenting terminals of the future and our company’s plans on developing new and upgrading application for these terminals of the future was part of Marijana Rončević’s, Head of Product Management, presentation. She started with the POS history in our company and then introduced the new EFT POS payment application being developed for Ingenico Tetra hardware platform. During her presentation, Marijana raised a very interesting topic of the further development of POS systems and hardware which are all going to the direction of the Smart terminals with completely Customer oriented features. 

PANNEL DISCUSSIONS

The first part finished with a lively panel discussion on Digital Wallets. Both panellists and the audience maintained a stimulating discourse throughout the panel, which proved to be a very useful platform for exchanging information, and everyone present was extremely positive about this interactive part of the event. 

The second part finished with another panel discussion called Cash and cards - are they still hype?. With 5 participants and the audience involved it was more than exciting to see where the discussion will lead. This is what the panellists said: 

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Krešimir Blauhorn, Head of Customer Operation

"There was on single conclusion of the discussion. We just touched some very interesting and complex topics. It is hard to come to some definite conclusions  in such format. In my opinion the most value comes from the discussion itself. Its shows different views and experience on the problems and hopefully can generate new ides how to solve the problems (or avoid them).

For me, the most interesting question come from the audience was 'What merchant wants?'. It  seems as very simple one but at the end we didn’t answer it in simple terms because there is not unique answer on it."

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Darko Novaković, Head of Processing Operations

Conclusion is that there is no conclusion, at least as I see it . Europe can’t be looked at as one entity but as 44 different countries, different user behaviour and different regulations. What interested me the most is that technology is present in all of these regions, but still adoption of new payment methods does not rely only on that. New trends are emerging fast. Fintech companies are tackling banking and payment industry with a fresh view. They are making user experience of banking and payment industry much better from customer point of view, and that is something that will drive the change. I personally believe that cards will be present for a long time, but only as a backup device for your payments.    


For more information on the event itself, speakers and presentations, you can find on the event's page - https://mercury-processing.com/events/cards-and-payments-2/- and you can also download the presentations here.