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Missing EBAday 2020 already? Our major takeaways

Written by Paul Thomalla Global Head of Payments
Team high fiving

This year EBAday 2020 brought together some of the industry’s sharpest and most influential minds to discuss and debate what’s driving change in the payments space and how can we better serve the customers of the future.

I’m sure, like me, you felt this year’s move to a virtual event was a fantastic success. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of knowledgeable speakers who provided practical advice about how we can help to move this industry forward.

Speaking with Teresa Connors from Payment Matters, she summed the event up perfectly with her 3 Cs:

  • Connectivity: More and more it is about connecting not only with our customers, but also with providers – be they Fintechs, developers, or vendors. Building an ecosystem approach is key. It is also important to think about connectivity when talking about the systems we use.
  • Change: Things are in no way slowing down for us in payments. With upcoming regulatory changes, as well as the migration to ISO20022 and the role of instant payments and request to pay, there is still a lot on the horizon for banks to be mindful of.
  • Culture: Throughout this year, we have all seen a move (through necessity) to a culture more embracing of digital. Changes that had previously taken 10 years have happened in a matter of six months, and this will be something that will continue.

Below are some of my key takeaways from this year’s event.

Regulation is here to help, but we need to be ready

Regulators are sometimes seen as the referees in the markets, but this year much of the talk was around how frameworks like the Retail Payments Strategy (RPS) were an example of a more direct involvement by the European Payments Council to drive innovation in the payments systems. With the main policy initiative calling for the roll-out of instant payments by the end of 2021, banks will need to consider how they are going to be able to meet this deadline and take advantage of all that this can bring to both consumers and corporates.

Adopt the ISO 20022 standard as early as possible

With much talk about the benefits and value that the move to ISO 20022 can bring for both the banks and their customers, it was worrying to see that in one audience poll 30% of the attendees were yet to start their implementation journey. Banks may still be underestimating the complexity and number of systems that will be impacted by this migration as it is far from a simple upgrade of processes.

It should also not just be seen as a technical project but one that requires a real strategic element. The migration to ISO provides an opportunity for banks to review their processes and simplify them. It’s not just about replacing one standard with another that is richer. It’s about enhancing and growing your customers’ experiences, not just replicating them.

Instant needs interoperability

There was a lot of talk that, over the next 24 months, we will really see the use of services provided by instant payments begin to accelerate. With the previously mentioned RPS driving the banks forward to provide this service, as well as the roll-out of request to pay, it was thought by many that this is now the time for instant payments in Europe. But for it to truly flourish, ubiquity and interoperability are needed as customers no longer shop or do business within a national boundary. Banks need to be able to reconcile and manage liquidity on a 24/7 basis, and fragmentation within this process will need to be addressed.

The value of instant payments was seen not just in terms of speed but possibly more importantly around the certainty of the payment and knowing that it can be done 24/7. This is where banks will be able to truly innovate and create the solutions that their customers are asking for.  

Watch on demand

To hear more and find out what Daniel Szmukler, EBA, and Teresa Connors, Payment Matters, thought about the event, listen to our EBAday 2020 Wrap Up video available on demand.

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