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Global, cross-channel, point of sale solutions, as well as financing options are expected to experience significant grow throughout the year. The basis for global sale innovation will be constructed thanks to the European aspirations towards integrated open banking. There are three main strategies that will be pushing the innovation forward:
For what concerns the downwards sloping economy and its possible impact on credit risk management, companies like Affirm and Greensky, which share in credit risks, are suggested to consider the optimization of underwriting, pricing, as well as recovery operations. The actors that will be most influenced by credit risks are merchant processors that deal with merchant card sales and banks that are involved in cross-border foreign exchange hedging.
The question that currently concerns many is whether the APIs in payments have a cloudless future. Companies will have to be ready to construct effective ecosystems that would give them access to the necessary type and scale of data, analytics tools and the proper touch points with customers in order to increase their value proposition in the target market. Data sharing and new API standards must be worked on by the main innovation drivers. According to the specialists, 2019 will be the year when ecosystem solutions will become more advanced in relation to fraud prevention, rewards, loyalty, integrated payments, as well as deals and offers. Besides, it is also important for industry’s actors to pay attention to data sharing standards in order to eliminate any public concerns related to data security. It would be most efficient to create specific standards for each data-related use case out there. Both, consumers and businesses, are willing to share data and allow its processing, yet only if the value proposition is right.
Now, lets talk about the main trends in B2B payment innovation. It is suggested that the principal investment will be appropriated to improved transaction transparency, cash position reporting, fraud detection and prevention, anti-money-laundering/compliance efficiency, payments hub technology, cross-border/FX transaction streamlining, and API-based partnerships with back-office solution providers. From the side of the customers, expectations generally relate to improvements in transaction status and fee transparency, mobile transacting and reporting, cash flow forecasting, information rich payments, speed of access to funds, and straight-through transaction information flow into back office systems. In addition, an increase in the spending on cash management technology is forecasted to increase significantly in 2019 and the following years.
Will fraud continue to remain as threatening as it has been? With the spread of digitalization hackers and fraudsters have managed to develop sophisticated mechanisms for illegal acquisition of customer digital payment account information. This is the reason behind the escalation of cyber-security costs. The FinTech industry has been trying to combat the issue through the application of such tools as biometrics, acoustic analysis, geolocation, and behavioral traits (swiping patterns on smartphone). These have improved fraud prevention at the stage of customer identification, as well as the general user experience. These tools will be majorly invested in as for 2019 in order to minimize potential fraud and increase personal security.
At the beginning of 2019 many began to express concerns related to shifts in card use patterns worldwide. For instance, in China QR code-based transactions have gained extreme popularity, gradual pushing US-based card brands out of the market. Meanwhile, in the US more and more users are utilizing payment credentials stored online with Uber, Airbnb, Starbucks, PayPal, Amazon etc. Researchers have presented data indicating that once a user acquires a card, it mainly stays in the eWallet. At the same time, open banking efforts in Europe are projected to create new account to account payment solutions that will decrease the need for card use. Card issuing companies will have a tough time competing with digital wallets and will have to increase their value proposition through the implementation of such means as rewards partnerships, cobranding, and auto-provisioning of card credentials. In any case, long-term impact in relation to cards use is projected to take the for of interchange fees reduction. What customers seek is flexibility, wider range of services, and simplified tools for integration, settlement and management of funds.
Last but not least, cryptocurrencies are expected to remain at the experimental stage and continue to have high volatility and lack of merchant and regulators acceptance, due to money laundering concerns.