APEX Europe Speakers to Tackle New Business Opportunities in Payments
By Kate Fitzgerald, Emerging Payments Editor
When top payments and retail executives gather at All Payments Expo (APEX) Europe May 18-20, 2015 in Marbella, Spain, a key theme will be identifying and navigating new business opportunities surrounding emerging payments technologies, like mobile wallets and host card emulation (HCE).
Featuring speakers and attendees from more than 20 countries, APEX Europe’s program has keynotes and panel discussions that tackle broad technology and industry developments, while track sessions dig deeper into relevant business and regulatory issues for prepaid providers and retailers.
Understanding HCE and how it’s making mobile payments accessible to a wider field of companies will be the subject of a kickoff keynote by Christian von Hammel-Bonten, executive vice president of telecommunications at Wirecard AG. Wirecard is a 2015 Paybefore Awards Europe Winner for Change Agent of the Year, honored for its work in HCE and wearables technology. “Cloud-based mobile payments supported by HCE have the potential to really change the game for a lot of players,” von Hammel-Bonten tells Paybefore.
HCE’s Breakthrough Benefits
HCE technology is expanding opportunities in mobile payments development, because it provides a way to securely store payments card credentials in the cloud, a much simpler approach than the traditional method of requiring credentials to be stored physically within a handset or its SIM card, according to von Hammel-Bonten.
HCE’s cloud-based approach cuts the cost and time of launching a mobile payments program by eliminating the heavier technical work required to integrate payments card programs with hardware-based secure elements. HCE also negates the need to involve a third party to manage the relationship between the card issuer and the secure element’s supplier, von Hammel-Bonten notes. And, HCE technology isn’t geared only for payments; it also can support mobile approaches for loyalty, couponing and various other value-added services, he adds.
|“Cloud-based mobile payments supported by HCE have the potential to really change the game for a lot of players.”
—Christian von Hammel-Bonten, Wirecard
HCE is poised for growth among credit, debit and prepaid card issuers looking to go mobile, and Europe is especially primed for growth with HCE, because of the region’s solid base of EMV and contactless terminals already installed in many markets, von Hammel-Bonten suggests. HCE is understood well at the technical level, but the learning curve for many payments players now interested in integrating and applying HCE into existing systems is not insignificant, he notes.
Disruption Brings New Players, New Roles
HCE is only one example of several disruptive payments technologies opening up the field to new types of players—including merchants—which Ulrika Axelsson, a senior consultant with Stockholm-based consulting firm Centigo SE, will discuss in another APEX presentation. Retailers are eager to harness consumers’ growing reliance on smartphones for new mobile payments services, Axelsson believes. “New roles are emerging for players in the value chain,” she says, noting that retailers want payments to be cheaper and more efficient than traditional models. Device manufacturers and social media networks also are keen to enter payments-related businesses and services by “putting a priority on the customer experience, extending value and adding transparency,” Axelsson says.
New payments technologies also can revolutionize traditional business processes, according to several speakers on the program. One example is PosteMobile, the mobile financial services arm of Gruppo Poste Italiane, Italy’s state-run postal service.
Inside Poste Italiane’s NFC Push
Poste Italiane’s financial services unit BancoPosta issues prepaid and debit cards, and within the last few years the operation also has become a leader in contactless payments, according to Daniela Manuello, head of marketing for PosteMobile. At APEX Europe, Manuello will deliver a keynote speech describing how the agency is developing contactless payments to drive efficiency and improve convenience for consumers.
More than 90 percent of BancoPosta’s payment cards are NFC-based and enable mobile transactions via PosteMobile’s SuperSIM NFC card, and most of Poste Italiane’s postal service counters are equipped with NFC-enabled POS terminals, Manuello tells Paybefore. The majority of the agency’s 26,000 postal carriers also use NFC-enabled hand-held payments devices to encourage card payments for greater speed and security, instead of cash. “Poste Italiane is far advanced and the only postal service known to have such a fully developed NFC strategy,” Manuello tells Paybefore.
Paybefore readers registering for APEX receive an exclusive discount code: XU2940PBF. For more information, visit the conference Website.