Mario Klapsis is general manager for the UK at Trustly and a payments industry veteran. He recently shared his view on why a more open payments environment matters in the Raconteur in the Sunday Times.
How is the payment industry evolving?
We live in a time when more people elect to shop and bank online rather than in person, a trend significantly accelerated by Covid-19. Consumers expect seamless and secure experiences when transacting from their laptops, mobiles or other devices. In response, online payment choices are exploding. As such, it is an exciting time for consumers, merchants and payment solution providers. One factor that enables this progress is the way consumer data is collected, analysed and shared, with the traditional banking and payments models quickly losing ground.
Based on a more open ecosystem, consumers are able to access their banking and personal ID information in a secure fashion to identify and validate themselves or use their payment credentials to transact online. This is enabling new services such as open data, open finance and open banking.
What is driving these changes?
These changes are the result of a combination of technological evolution and regulatory enablement. Merchants can easily adopt new payment solutions to provide value-added services and smooth experiences to consumers. This is a virtuous cycle as the resulting convenience is appreciated by consumers who move more of their shopping and banking online. The coronavirus pandemic has led to an evolution in consumer behaviour and the payments landscape has changed remarkably. Pain points in the payment process had to be overcome quickly to deal with the wholesale shift online as everyone began working and shopping from home. As restrictions are lifted, these drivers of change will come even further into play.
Why does a more open payment environment matter?
Consumers want to buy goods and services, trade, and game online in secure environments without any obstacles – both locally and across borders. For example, we believe that consumers should be able to take out a loan, trade or send money abroad quickly and securely without spending time visiting bank branches or filling in complex forms. For their part, merchants should be able to receive payments in a cost-effective way to provide convenient online experiences that encourage loyalty.
How will this open payment environment come about?
Regulation is encouraging change on national and regional levels, driving innovation globally. Banks and card networks are adapting at pace and UK consumers are now more willing to share their data with a trusted payment provider in return for value-added services.
Open data, which is safeguarded by UK regulation, drives the creation of a more open payment environment in which transactions are integrated deeper into online experiences. Openness drives innovation by enabling experiences that are designed for online, rather than a virtual adaptation of a physical payment. What’s more, open data helps service providers expand trade opportunities, for example in instant refunds and cross-border payments.
Where is the payments industry heading in the future?
Payments will be seamlessly embedded into the online experience, whether that is buying a product or a service, gaming, investing, sending money or travelling. Payments companies that address the pain points of merchants and consumers to facilitate more trade will do well. Offering innovative value-added products like instant refunds or cross-border transactions is crucial. At Trustly, we focus on providing simpler, more convenient and faster online payments.
We enable people to pay directly from their bank accounts. Trustly is a relatively new payment method that empowers people who prefer to spend online with the money they have and not the money they would like to have. For us, it is all about creating positive and secure online experiences.
About Mario Klapsis
Mario is the Vice President Financial Services & Sales, as well as General Manager UK. His team is responsible for setting up the strategy, articulating and distributing the relevant solutions, and driving accelerated growth for our Financial Services business. He has over 20 years of experience in change management and business development worldwide. He has been focusing on the global payments industry for the last 15 years, first with American Express and now with Trustly.