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February 28, 2011 02:01 ET

Retail Payments are Getting Hot

EPCA Conference: "Innovation in Retail Payments Is Back: Banks Follow but Are Crucial Partner in Risk Management"

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2011) - The upcoming 10th EPCA Conference sees a clear trend: innovation in retail payments is back, but in a different form. "Banks used to be leading in the development of new payments and transaction products. Due to the credit crisis, the internal focus of banks and the diversification of transactional business, banks have left their position to third parties like Apple, Google, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, vendors and the telecom industry", according to Harry Smorenberg, chairman of the EPCA Conference.

"The mobile channel is accelerating this growth of innovation. We see a more precise role for banks: to deliver the financial infrastructure on top of which other parties can deliver the customer value in terms of functionality, ease of use and risk. Innovation in payments can not progress in isolation. Apple can not operate their app store without the bank issued credit cards, PayPal could not have grown so far without bank's consent, NFC payments will not happen without some connection to a payment network" adds Douwe Lycklama, also chair of the EPCA Conference.

He continues: "The essential opportunity for the banking sector lies in risk management and reducing todays and future fraud. The KYC efforts of the past are a unique asset in order to reduce counterparty risks in retail payments via the online channel, both via mobile device and PC. Certainly with the SEPA infrastructure coming into place. This is value for both merchants and buyers. But this role needs to be developed actively, otherwise others will develop these capabilities over time."

Harry Smorenberg points at the fragmentation risk with so many developments taking place. "The present fragmentation of product development, channels and networks will inevitably be the next challenge for the industry. Besides the convincing of customers (buyers and merchants who might 'get lost' easily), the whole financial ecosystem has to be involved, including banks. So no innovation in isolation is the message in this network business".

The upcoming 10th EPCA Conference showcases all major trends in the retail payment area. Many bank and non-bank innovators will be present in Amsterdam 4-6 April 2011. (see: www.epcaconference.com).

10th international EPCA (European Payments Consulting Association) conference
Unlocking the Payments Potential: Imagine. Create. Innovate.
April 4-6 2011, Amsterdam

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