The PYMNTS team caught up with experts in the payments field to ask them their views on industry trends, predictions for the coming year and what their ideal payments system looks like — and how far off that vision is.
Bill Nichols, CEO of AnywhereCommerce, explained the implications of EMV this year and its impacts on the payments industry going forward.
"One of the biggest obstacles for us, like everybody else, has been EMV. For anything that requires any sort of certification related to EMV, whether it’s on products or on gateways, getting the certifications has been extremely difficult," Nichols said. "But that also represents an opportunity because it creates a barrier of entry if you get in there early and have a product that is certified, you can then go to market quickly. We got lucky because we had a few EMV-ready products released in the international market so we were able to easily add those into our existing channels in the U.S. and the products were ready to roll."
"When talking about delivering those transactions to the processors, those processors are very tight on their resources so it's been a long struggle to get products certified with processors," he added. "With EMV and point-to-point encryption becoming more relevant, it becomes a lot more difficult."
2016 And Beyond
"Going forward, processors need to be put on notice that they need to staff up in order to handle the growing need for certifications," Nichols said. "I don't see that demand going away anytime soon — that is our biggest challenge right now in getting products to market."
"But the security benefits of EMV are valid. From a global perspective, it was obvious that when EMV was implemented, whether done with chip and signature or chip and PIN, there was fraud reduction and you could also witness fraud migration from one country to another country that did not have EMV implemented."
Ideal Payments Systems
"There are so many things that are already legacy in the marketplace and are traditional, so that makes it very hard to break what's already there," Nichols said. "For example, Square came into the market and created an opportunity for the micro merchant but Square also lost a ton of money. Is that the ideal payments solution? Losing money to enable people to take credit cards who wouldn't necessarily take credit cards because they don't have the volume. Is that ideal? I don't know."
"If we could wipe the payments landscape slate clean, then the ideal would be issuing more secure devices and issuing more secure cards, but you can't because there is an established infrastructure that we have to deal with and evolve out of."
Bill Nichols drives the strategic direction of AnywhereCommerce to deliver best-in-class mPOS solutions in multiple global markets. Nichols has extensive experience in many facets of the payments industry and has been instrumental in delivering technology solutions to emerging markets include Asia and Latin America. He holds a Bachelor’s in Finance from California State University, Los Angeles, an MBA from the University of Southern California, along with a Master of Science degree from its School of Engineering.