Reflecting on the three days of the EFMA conference, it seems collaboration has emerged as a key factor in driving further innovation in payments.
Let’s take the example of mobile payments which has been at the centre of a number of discussions at the show. It seems the two main players – the mobile network operators (MNOs) and the banks – have reached stalemate in the evolution of this new payment
channel. MNOs believe that banks are stifling uptake of the mobile channel in favour of tried and tested channels such as the ATM and in-branch. Feedback from the operators also points towards a feeling that banks are overplaying the security risks associated
with mobile payments and are also worried about losing business to the operators. Regardless of whether these gripes are valid or not, it seems that closer collaboration between the two industry players would go some way towards resolving the current issues
surrounding mobile payments and enabling it to become a more widespread payments tool.
A similar conclusion could be reached regarding the development of a third European card scheme. Payfair, the EuroAlliance of Payment Schemes (EAPS) and the Monnet project are all pushing to make their ideas heard for the development of a third card scheme.
However, forcing the industry to choose one option over the other two, with none of them, in isolation at least, really offering anything compelling compared to the existing schemes, just doesn’t seem to make sense.
Surely, developing partnerships and a greater sense of collaboration would help to get some of these industry initiatives off the ground while also helping the payments world to evolve and innovate more quickly and efficiently…