by Paul Alfing.
On Tuesday 14th of January I was invited by Trustly Spain to give an overview of the trends in e-commerce and the development and future of the e-payments industry in Europe. I received an invitation because, despite the growth of e-commerce, this subject is rarely discussed among Spanish journalists. The audience consisted of Spanish journalists, among them El País, El Mundo, EFE, and Forbes, and some CEOs and CFOs of big Spanish merchants.
We met in the Casa Árabe, Madrid. The line of my presentation was first an overview on what’s going on in European e-commerce with facts & figures and via the vision of Ecommerce Europe on payments more on the Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2). The focus was on the last part as I had the strong impression that it was a rather new topic, but perhaps that was partly due to the fact that it all had to be translated by an interpreter. On the other hand, in Spain almost all transactions online are done by credit card. That made it even more interesting for me to elaborate on the possibilities within PSD2, for example the creation of Third Party Payment Service Providers (TPP). Because, the idea of banks opening up their payment accounts for third parties to get information or initiate payments is inspiring and can boost innovation.
One question was how this all related to SEPA. This PSD2 regulation is perhaps the best concrete consequence: a TPP is making it possible to pay an Italian merchant, using a German TPP with a Spanish bank account. A real, useable European dimension. But next to this is needed a seamless shopping experience for consumers to do online purchases whenever and wherever. Needed for that is a wallet solution for online identification, delivery preferences and payments. The remark that also a credit card can be put in a wallet made for some journalists the presented circle of innovation on payments complete.
It was most interesting to present our thoughts and vision on payments to a relatively new group. It sharpens your own ideas and sometimes it forces you to be more practical and less theoretical. That exercise is fruitful for all parties involved.