Take-aways from Money 20/20 Europe 2019

In this guest blog post our VP Sales Fredrik Sjöholm shares his thoughts from Money 20/20 around using digital technology for mind-blowing onboarding success and the continued rise of biometric smart cards.

Earlier this month at Money 20/20 Europe in Amsterdam, I was fascinated by how apparent it is that by the right use of digital technology, you can transform a whole industry, like the financial sector or payments sector to reach very large customer groups in a short timeframe – it’s an exciting new phase for payments evolution!

The whole show was very much about innovation in payments and it is striking how much has moved forward since Money 20/20 Europe last year. For example, there are now a number of players who were considered new last year, or the year before, but are now much more established. New, innovative technology and payment solutions have matured and are now becoming more accepted. I think everyone agrees that the well-established, traditional banks are not the only players now, and at the same time, the ‘new’ players are no longer upstarts or challengers – they are also established. The battleground for success involves all the players and it’s very clear that having a strong customer focus will be key. Making user experience for payments services smooth, fast and secure is the challenge that all the different technologies and payment solutions to get closer to the customer need to meet.

Take for example, customer onboarding. This is a big challenge for organizations bringing both new customers on-board and delivering transformation to a digital environment for existing traditional bank customers. Plus there is ample opportunity to deliver financial inclusion, specifically for those who have never held a bank account before. One of the success stories that has really stood out for me is OVO’s extraordinary achievement in Indonesia. The company started-up just a year and a half ago and in this period – through digital technology – it has on-boarded 150 million mobile devices and is now established in over 300 cities in Indonesia, making it the #1 digital payment platform in Indonesia. That’s millions of customers who have never had a bank account before, in just 18 months – it’s simply mind-blowing! In comparison, it’s very difficult trying to imagine getting an extra 150 million customers at a traditional bank, in such a short timescale…

Another theme which has evolved significantly in the past year is KYC. I saw lots of companies discussing this topic and sharing that their range of solutions are now certified as KYC compliant. This year there were even more companies at the show providing biometric services and products to support digital onboarding and KYC checks.

Then we had biometric smart cards which I spoke to FindBiometrics about along with Sébastien Clamagirand, Vice President and General Manager Secure Payment and Identification for NXP Semiconductors. It is very encouraging to see that biometric contactless cards bringing security at no expense of user convenience are getting more mature now and are not the same novel technology as a year ago. Over the past 18 months there have been more than 20 pilots in the market, and we will soon see these cards in commercial roll-outs. The card schemes are increasingly active to certifying these biometric cards which means the timeframe for commercial adoption is getting quite close. This is another big difference from last year when pilots and certification were still ongoing. One noteworthy pilot is the announcement by Crédit Agricole that it is working with Mastercard to trial G+D’s biometric card (showcased at Money 20/20) with an integrated fingerprint sensor using NXP’s platform featuring Precise’s technology. This combination is the first one of its kind and is quite unique as the NXP platform is based on a contactless card, using the NFC field only without a built-in battery. Most importantly, in addition to delivering enhanced customer convenience, the card is highly secure as the biometric matching takes place in a secure element (a secure chip in the card). You can listen to my podcast with Sébastien and read our blog with NXP for more information and details about how this unique technology works, enabled by Precise.

By Fredrik Sjöholm, VP Sales