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.
Simon Black, CEO of PPro, explained why the growth and sophistication of cross-border commerce will continue to expand as we move into 2016.
PYMNTS: WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE BIG TRENDS IN 2015?
SB: We are really seeing a maturing of key processors and acquirers in the eCommerce space. There have been more resources of players focusing on payment processing, card acquiring and omnichannel, but I think the biggest impact will be on eCommerce companies taking a more global view in how they support merchants cross-border with eCommerce.
PYMNTS: WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS LOOKING FORWARD TO 2016?
SB: I think cross-border eCommerce will be one of the hot topics of 2016. Merchants are going to become increasingly less tolerant of patched together solutions. What they don't want is friction when they work with a processor or PSP; they want to be able to get the payment methods that their customers want quickly and instantly into their gateway. The bar is being raised by the bigger eCommerce merchants that want to trade globally and that's putting pressure on the payments service providers and acquirers. One of the big trends in 2016 is that they will need to offer a more comprehensive service covering payment methods way beyond the core methods that are prevalent in the U.S., Canada and U.K. I think 2016 will be the year of alternative payment methods, and those with ambitions to be payments service providers and acquirers on a global basis need to offer more comprehensive portfolio for payments.
PYMNTS: IN A PERFECT WORLD, WHAT DOES A CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS SYSTEM LOOK LIKE?
SB: I think there are always going to be multiple payment methods that need to be supported. Local preferences are ingrained and you're not going to be able to get all consumers around the world to move to a select number of payment methods. The perfect platform would aggregate all of those different payment methods but make it really easy for a merchant to switch on or off which ones they want to present on their checkout pages. If you combine with that the acquiring, the collecting and the moving of the money, that gets you the ideal situation."