As the last days of 2013 come to a close, payments firms across the country are busy reflecting on the experience they’ve gained to best position their strategies for the future while avoiding the issues that have dogged them in the past.
Of course, payments industry execs would be wise to acknowledge the six things that are most shaping payments as listed by Market Platform Dynamics (MPD) CEO Karen Webster and to be thinking much farther ahead than 2013 if they want to be relevant when 2014 is done. But, that doesn’t mean that payments execs can’t glean additional insight from their peers into how certain sectors will evolve in the coming days and weeks.
As PYMNTS.com begins to look ahead to 2014, we surveyed some of the top execs and thought leaders in the industry for their insight and analysis into how they can expect 2014 to shape their fortunes.
Our team asked the top brass at EVO Snap, CSI, SecureNet and i2c about their accomplishments, predictions and goals heading into the new year. The result is a candid look at how the developer, electronic payments and processing sectors could change in the coming months:
PYMNTS.com: What was your biggest accomplishment in 2013 and how will it position you for 2014?
Peter Osberg, EVO Snap: Our biggest accomplishment of 2013 was acquiring and mobilizing a new technology that positions one of the largest processors in the world to become a significant player in the integrated software space.
Keith James Stone, CSI: The formation of our alliance with MasterCard and the integration of our Purchase Control and globalVCard paysystems technology. Combining our technology and CSI’s industry-leading vendor enablement program will be a real opportunity for growth in 2014 and to change the landscape of B2B payments for years to come.
Amir Wain, i2c: 2013 was a great year for i2c with a number of accomplishments in terms of processing milestones and key relationships. Perhaps the most important of these is the formation of a global strategic alliance with Visa. The objective of the alliance is for i2c and Visa to work together to quickly implement the latest prepaid innovations across various markets in Asia Pacific, Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This alliance is a strong endorsement of the i2c platform and a validation of our “One World, One Platform” approach to processing. It will position us to bring the benefits of this model to more organizations across the globe.
Brent Warrington, SecureNet: SecureNet’s biggest accomplishment in 2013 was the delivery of the industry’s only proprietary multi-channel payments operating system that enables merchants to interact and transact with their customers through any channel. In the future, as consumers continue to demand a multi-channel approach from their merchants, we will be uniquely positioned to service this need with tools that move beyond the payment and include inventory management and real-time data analytics.
PYMNTS.com: What do you think we will see more of in 2014? Less of?
Peter Osberg, EVO Snap: In 2014 we expect to see more developers using EVO Snap* on behalf of their merchant customers to address vertical commerce needs, satisfy merchant boarding requirements and expand their reach globally. As more developers move toward integrated software solutions, we expect to see less stand-alone hardware.
Keith James Stone, CSI: More and more banks and financial institutions are moving into the virtual card payment space to offer total AP solutions, and continued strong growth of companies adopting different forms of electronic payment, with virtual card gaining more traction than ACH or wire.
Amir Wain, i2c:Given the recent news of the massive Target breach, added to the prepaid heist from earlier this year, there will be greater enforcement of security standards for payment processing and perhaps greater oversight from governments on the topic of payment security. We will also see a lot of consolidation happening in the industry as big players seek to buy innovation and talent to stay competitive. 2014 will also be the year when we see more organizations attempt to engage with consumers at a much deeper level than ever before. They will leverage payment data and event-triggered marketing campaigns to make their interactions with consumers more relevant and timely.
The hype over NFC will continue to fade as will mobile payment services that are tied to it. Instead, we will see more bridge solutions come into play, such as mobile wallets with a linked prepaid card. We will also see fewer “me too” products come out – they are just not viable in such a dynamic industry.
Brent Warrington, SecureNet: In 2014, we will see continued proliferation of software at the POS to deliver real-time business intelligence to merchants beyond the payment and less payments companies delivering to a single channel.
PYMNTS.com: If you were writing one, what would you want the New Year’s Resolution for the payments industry to be?
Peter Osberg, EVO Snap: We’d like to see all payment industry participants resolve to better understand how to partner more effectively with other members of the payments value chain to enhance merchant offerings.
Keith James Stone, CSI: I would like to continue seeing top talent recruitment into the payment space from developers to operations and support. Our rapidly changing technology requires candidates who have not only technical expertise, but also soft skills such as dependability, adaptability and communication to evolve with these changes.
Amir Wain, i2c:A good New Year’s Resolution for the payments industry would be to come together in the spirit of collaboration and create an open standard for mobile payments. We need to understand that consumers want to carry one wallet that will hold all of their credentials, not just the ones issued by one entity or a small group.
There have been far too many players attempting to “win” the mobile payments land grab by pursuing strategies based on proprietary standards. In my view, any scheme that attempts to lock consumers into a service or force their hands in anyway will ultimately fail. If we want to bring the benefits of mobile payments to the general public, it is time for the industry to come together to determine a path forward.
Brent Warrington, SecureNet: Start innovating to the needs of the merchant and consumer. ——
Peter Osberg, Senior Vice President EVO Snap*
Peter Osberg is a former executive at IP Commerce and head of EVO’s new integrated payments group called EVO Snap*.
Keith James Stone Founder, CEO CSI Enterprises, Inc; Founder, President & CEO globalVCard paysystems
Keith James Stone Founder, CEO CSI Enterprises, Inc Founder, President & CEO globalVCard paysystems Keith J. Stone currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of CSI Enterprises, Inc. with a twenty-four year history. Mr. Stone resigned his dual role as President and Managing Director of GE Capital Fleet Services Brazil/Latin American Operations in late 2000, residing in Sao Paulo, Brazil. GE Capital Services in early 1997 purchased CSI’s South American operations CSI Fleet Services do Brasil/Latin America. LTDA.
Then ten years prior to the South American acquisition he was, as is today, the President and CEO of CSI Enterprises, Inc., globalVCard paysystems Inc. and globalVCard Inc. Canada. Proven innovator, entrepreneur, strategist, pioneer, and inventor, Mr. Stone has founded and guided numerous U.S. and international companies to successful outcomes all with zero venture capital funding or outside investment. Mr. Stone’s zero debt strategy allows true independence without negative outside influence. This allows the companies to stay true to their core values, fostering true innovation without debt influences.
Amir Wain Chief Executive Officer
Amir Wain Chief Executive Officer Amir Wain is a pioneer in the prepaid card industry. He founded Innovative Private Limited, a software-development firm, in 1987 and led the development of the transaction processing platform FastCash. Propelled by the success of Innovative and expanding market opportunities, Wain founded i2c Inc. in 2001 and with his team, launched My Card Place (MCP), i2c’s customizable, feature-rich card processing platform. Under Wain, i2c has introduced a number of prepaid industry firsts, including its Campaign Manager, Giftogram and i-Coupons products. He introduced the term “Prepaid2.0” to describe the change in mindset that embraces previously underserved cardholders as valuable customers and leads to comprehensive and flexible lifestyle products that incorporate value-added services and foster customer loyalty. At i2c, Wain continues to develop his vision with strategies to meet the needs of the evolving prepaid marketplace.
Brent Warrington, CEO, SecureNet Payment Systems
With over 18 years of experience in advancing commerce in the payments industry, Brent delivers skilled leadership for SecureNet’s growth initiatives and market expansion strategy as Chief Executive Officer. Brent is an experienced industry leader, providing strategic direction for the evolution of multi-channel, seamless payments integration, as well as oversight of long-term strategy initiatives and the daily operations of all business divisions.
Prior to joining SecureNet, Brent played a vital role in a number of successful executive management teams including CEO of FundsXpress Inc., a successful online banking startup, and Senior Vice President and General Manager of ePayments at First Data Corporation. Brent also served as Vice President of Marketing for Great American Insurance Company, where he was responsible for developing industry-leading comprehensive online and offline marketing strategies. When Brent finds a rare moment away from the office he can be found at his Texas ranch, likely planning his next hunting or fishing expedition.