As we approach the Women in Payments Symposium for EMEA, where the best of female talent in payments will be gathering to discuss the latest industry developments, excitement is building. The theme for this year is “Women – Driving the Pulse of Payments.” Speakers will cover a wide range of topics, from current payments issues to fintech developments to leadership trends. This event will offer insights into the ever-evolving payments industry, as well as analyses and ideas for women looking to stay on top.
The Symposium is our key annual event where we continue to foster a supportive and empowering international community, inspiring women to reach new heights in what remains a male-dominated field. Gender diversity across the financial services industry remains a pressing issue, as within financial services institutions, women worldwide held only 19% of C-suite roles and 5% of CEO positions in 2021.
As we look ahead to 2023, various trends will likely shape the future of payments in Europe. Here’s a sneak peek of what will be discussed at our upcoming symposium:
“Europe is a region that is experiencing a rapid pace of transformation in the payments space, largely driven by technological advancements and consumer preferences,” says Lisa Scott, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Banked. “The acceleration of e-commerce has 2023 seeing an increased focus on security not merely as a factor of fraud management but a key customer experience concern. A challenge remains in ensuring that comprehensive security measures are still meeting consumer expectations for a seamless digital experience.”
“The integration of mobile and digital identity through the usage of biometric methods is a probable solution and is already used in methods like account-to-account (A2A) payments today,” she continues. “Relatedly, we are likely to see the continued need for banks, merchants and payment service providers to diversify their current acceptance and enable more alternative payment methods. The reality is the majority of banks are not yet ready for solutions like A2A payments but consumer demand and increasing regulatory pressures are creating a catalyst for greater collaboration within the payment industry as banks strive to boost their technology stacks.”
For Merusha Naidu, Global Head of Network Partnerships at Paymentology, those offering innovative, flexible and purposeful payment solutions with a focus on sustainability are likely to succeed. She says: “This year has brought a host of economic challenges – as a result, consumers are seeking more flexible and sustainable payment solutions to help them during these trying times. Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) options, instalment plans, and credit products are increasingly popular as they allow customers to manage their finances more effectively. Additionally, sustainable payment solutions are gaining importance as consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and (those who can) are willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly options.”
Maria Campbell, Chief Operating Officer at UK fintech bank Griffin, is excited for the rise of embedded payments in Europe this year: “Customers are starting to expect seamless, effortless payment experiences, and we’re seeing this trend gain momentum. It’s been brewing for some time, and our behavioural changes around the pandemic have accelerated it: the increase in cashless payments, contactless payments via QR codes, innovative payment solutions like BNPL becoming established. Customers are primed to expect and appreciate quick and easy payment options. If customers are demanding a better payment experience – and the regulatory landscape is pushing for better customer outcomes – a rise in embedded payments is inevitable.”
“We can expect Instant Payments adoption to continue to grow exponentially,” says Elena Gomez, Global Head of Domestic Payments, Treasury and Trade Solutions, Citi. “We’ve got to look at the future, where instant payments will be part of everything we do. Consumers will continue to drive the increase of payment solutions that are fast, convenient and provide transparency – this will further support the growth of solutions such as QR codes or alias payments and e-wallets interoperability. While digital natives will continue to drive the growth of pay as you go/earn flows, we can also expect to see more traditional corporates and flows to start to migrate to Instant. We expect this migration will be particularly influenced by the increasing rollout of solutions like Request to Pay and Instant Direct Debits, which will significantly help simplify invoice and recurrent collection flows.”
Dr. Ruth Wandhöfer, a world-leading expert in payments and one of the foremost authorities on transaction banking regulatory and innovation in financial technology matters, believes this year will bring a combination of old and new world development: “In the old world, many changes are coming down the regulatory pipeline when we think about SEPA instant payments as well as the third Payment Services Directive. As for the new world, we await the approval of MiCAR – Europe’s Crypto-Asset Regulation – and observe an increasing focus on all things digital assets, both from a new business model perspective – think about the enablement of near-instant cross-border payments leveraging Stablecoins – as well as further regulatory scrutiny.”
“Web3 will continue to emerge as a key trend in 2023 across banking and payments in particular. Web3 offers banks the capabilities to expand their reach beyond traditional touchpoints and platforms, allowing them to reach new users while offering greater security and control,” adds Nathalie Oestmann, Chief Operating Officer at Outlier Ventures. “As such, there is an obvious new digital currency that needs to be seriously considered and incorporated with providers that can help support them in their adoption of this new ecosystem of verified collectors, merchants, exchanges and service providers.”
Marieke Flament, CEO of Near Foundation, has her eyes firmly cast on decentralised finance: “We are in an interesting moment in time where we have seen quantitative easing in the traditional financial world for years. Since the pandemic, governments have been injecting money into the economy, and we are now witnessing large financial institutions that are failing. There has never been a better moment for DeFi. I believe there is a way for DeFi to work with the traditional financial world to help create a stronger financial system, even if the regulatory landscape, particularly in the US, is causing doubts on whether this can be achieved.”
This is just a hint of what’s to come – be sure to tune in for more updates as we get closer to the event. We look forward to sharing further insights and helping to shape the future of the payments industry together.
The Women in Payments Symposium is a unique event that provides perspectives from key women leaders in payments, supports diversity and gender parity, and includes topics impacting all aspects of the payments ecosystem. The 2023 theme is “Women- Driving the Pulse of Payments” – register for your spot here.