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.
James Bergman, Executive Director of Processing,com, spoke to us about trends in the FinTech space, how the payments processing space is evolving and what challenges merchants face in the acquiring space today.
PYMNTS: What are the big trends you're seeing in the FinTech space in 2015?
JB: "As an international and domestic PSP, we're seeing a big trend in merchants seeking in-region acquiring solutions for traffic, as well as a growing demand for off-shore acquiring as merchants seek to grow their volume in line with their corporate strategies. There is a big lack of obvious natural acquiring solutions. We believe we've seen a trend of merchants on a global basis finding it hard to locate a partner who is able to offer them a complete menu in terms of acquiring solutions both here in the U.S. ... as well as for merchants who are located in Europe, Australia, Asia, etc."
PYMNTS: What are the successes you are seeing in the space and what trends are here to stay?
"In the EMV and contactless payments landscape, we've seen a big trend around consolidation in the space. So we've seen a lot of payments solutions providers — whether it's through acquisitions or through mergers — we've seen a seismic shift toward some large MSPs similar to ourselves who now work with a number of these organization as individual offices who are reaching out to us to find solutions for their merchants."
PYMNTS: What are some of the barriers and challenges you're seeing?
"For merchants, there is a challenge around finding the right acquiring partners. Acquiring partners who understand their specific industry, their specific needs. ... There are a lot of acquires that have recently come into the market in other regions of the world where these acquiring banks don't have a fundamental understanding of the merchant's requirements, the merchant's funding model — how they need to pay."
PYMNTS: Looking ahead to next year, what are your predictions you're seeing for payments for next year? And how are you keeping up with the trends?
"In the issuing space, as well as in the cardholder present space, the move to EMV and also to chip has been huge. From an acquiring standpoint, we're seeing some interesting trends more on the off-shore basis. From a domestic acquiring piece, we're seeing a lot of merchants who are based domestically, seeking to expand their businesses on a global basis and looking for more regional and global partners who have an understanding in what they are doing."
What does your ideal payments system look like?
"For us it's largely driven around what our merchants need. I think there are a lot of payment companies that have gone out there and marketed or tried to develop what they think is right for their individual merchants and for the consumers that belong to those merchants. From our standpoint, it's having a focus of majoring on the experience of our acquiring banks that we work with. ... Payments companies need to keep up with the times, they need to keep up with the trends that are being driven. It's now not only around individual cardholder usage, but now it's around devices, mobile payments and all of that. I think 2016 is going to see further advent of that. And 2017, if we look out down the road, it's going to be a very interesting landscape indeed."
James Bergman serves as the Executive Director and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Processing.com. He oversees Sales and Marketing on a global scale. Prior to joining Processing.com and Transact Europe, James held various senior executive positions within global payment companies in Europe, North America and Asia. James is based in the Miami office.