This month at The Fintech Times our focus switches to reflection as we look back at developments over the last 12 months. 2022 has certainly been a challenging year for everyone with global economic activity experiencing a severe slowdown, with inflation higher than seen in several decades.
We’ve reached out to our community of fintech CEOs and leaders to share their thoughts on this year’s major trends – and they’ve had lots to say! Let’s begin with GPS, Mondu and Brite Payments.
Global Processing Services (GPS)
In June, Kevin Schultz stepped into the shoes of Joanne Dewar as CEO at global payment technology platform Global Processing Services (GPS). Prior to that he served as Fiserv’s group president of digital banking. Here he shares his thoughts on 2022.
“At a macroeconomic level, 2022 has been tumultuous year resulting in a challenging economic environment for many markets around the world, and this will continue as we move into 2023. Businesses are reassessing their priorities and operating models to position for future growth and to withstand any potential economic shocks. Pivoting and adjusting their plans quickly is an essential characteristic for all high performing firms.
“We have seen both B2B and B2C businesses revaluating their technology and infrastructure to ensure that they have the right platforms in place for the customers they serve worldwide. Digital transformation accelerated during the two years of the pandemic, and from our vantage point, it has continued at pace as the world has emerged from lockdowns. Businesses that were ahead of the curve in their digital transformation journeys have capitalised on those investments and continue to enjoy first-mover advantage in 2023, able to be more agile in their product innovation and expansion.
“The demand for contactless, frictionless, and speedier digital payments solutions continued exponentially during 2022, with an array of new innovations and increased choice for consumers, particularly in the credit space and BNPL. Those companies which are coming out on top are those which are truly customer-centric, growth-oriented and partnership-driven.
“One of the standouts for me in 2022, has to be Zilch, a fast-growing BNPL provider and valued customer of ours at GPS. Zilch is taking its deep understanding of customers’ pain points and helping make their lives easier. And it’s doing so while leveraging the expertise of key partners, so it can focus on what it does best while outsourcing the rest. And it’s enjoying stunning growth as a result.
“Having been in the industry more than 40 years, I continue to be impressed with how payments growth shows no sign of slowing. The number of non-traditional players who now offer payments as a core offering is really amazing. To both grow and evolve simultaneously is no small feat, and speaks to the extreme value of payments to consumers around the world.
“The success that we at GPS are happy to fuel is based on consumer reliance and reliable services. Successful firms – be they traditional financial institutions or newcomers – will continue their growth trajectory because they understand these fundamental truths. Consumer trust is paramount and must be at the centre of everything these firms offer.”
Lena Hackelöer is the CEO and founder of Brite Payments, a second-generation challenger in the European payment space. Prior to that, she spent seven years at Klarna, where she eventually became its director of marketing. She looks at how account-to-account (A2A) payments have continued to gather momentum this year and stands out as one of the key trends within the fintech sector.
“A2A payments are made possible through open banking’s use of APIs, allowing money to be moved directly from a consumer to a merchant account – or vice versa. The benefits of such payments are significant, especially in the era of online shopping, subscription-based services, and an ever-expanding range of online marketplaces.
“Take, for example, our ‘Single Sign’ solution, launched earlier this year, which facilitates instant A2A payments without the need to input card or personal data. Our solution helps users pay up to 40 per cent faster than payments based on the standard open banking-based payment flow and represents the next generation of instant bank payments. That’s a huge positive for merchants, helping to eradicate many long-standing issues around payments.
“The growth of the subscription economy is another trend, A2A payments also offer substantial benefits to companies with subscription-based models. Unintentional failed payments, often caused by changing details or expired payment cards, can scupper the provision of these services. However, recurring payments on an A2A framework can mitigate this issue. As a result, the growing number of businesses with subscription-based offerings can reduce customer churn and unlock new opportunities.
“The growth of A2A payments also intersects with another major trend, embedded finance. The continued digitisation of everyday services is creating new use cases, and demand for these products are maturing. Payments have been at the forefront of the embedded finance revolution, but we are expecting to see many more financial services emerge within the embedded finance space in 2023.”
Philipp Povel is co-founder and co-CEO of Berlin-based Mondu, a B2B payments company. He is a serial entrepreneur and venture builder with over 15 years of experience in e-commerce and banking in Europe and Latin America. He addresses the rise in popularity of embedded finance.
“Demand for embedded finance solutions continued to increase which also drove higher adoption of open banking and need for regtech tools.
In general, regardless of trends and the area of fintech we are serving, I think we all are solving for three components:
- Time – millennials and Gen Z are demanding financial products that will not waste their time and they are hardly willing to compromise.
- Security – with increasing fraud rates and higher literacy on data protection, robust security is the foundation of any online product, more so for fintechs.
- Customisation – whether we are talking about flexible integration with other products or offering tailored solutions to end-users, customisation and diversification can help stand out among competitors.”