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The Card and Payments Awards 2016: Here are the Winners

The Cards & Payments Awards 2016 took place the other day, so I thought I’d pick out the three Awards that interest me the most: Best Technology Initiative; Best Initiative in Mobile Payments; and Best Industry Innovation.

BEST TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE

Winner: Bottomline Technologies

Bottomline’s Agency Services is a relatively new solution, and the interest it is generating is extremely exciting for all involved.

The prepaid industry addresses many challenges within the financial sector, providing alternative ways of making funds readily available.  One major challenge to development is how funds are transferred to and from the account.  Consumers demand simplicity, speed and intuitive value-add offerings.  Stringent security and compliance rules combined with legacy infrastructure, make innovation costly, high risk and difficult. Prepaid programmes offer a compliant, affordable and scalable financial instrument.  In a market predicting an annual compound growth rate of 20%, Agency Services is proving to be a remarkable success.  With over 180,000 accounts already issued, Bottomline’s Agency Services provides a gateway into the central banking system, now enabling third parties to deliver the same functional benefits as traditional bank accounts. This presents many advantages for both programme providers and end-users. Five programme managers have already integrated the solution within their platform, adding new ACH rails to their offering. Bottomline aims to leverage its existing solution portfolio to strengthen the existing offering further, especially around bank account fraud detection and prevention, transaction reconciliation, cyber risk management and document automation.

JUDGES COMMENTS

The arrival of ACH to the prepaid world changes the shape of the prepaid business model and delivers “Banking lite” capability to the underbanked.  This was an impressive submission.

THE OTHER FINALISTS

Bank of America Merrill Lynch with Bank of America Merrill Lynch Travel Pro

Barclaycard with Penny for London

Checkout.com with Checkout.com featuring checkout.js and the Hub

Elavon with Elavon Contactless Charity Device

Worldpay reducing half-time scrums with Worldpay Total

BEST INITIATIVE IN MOBILE PAYMENTS

Winner: Vodafone

Vodafone, Carta Worldwide, Raphaels Bank and card schemes have teamed up to release one of the most advanced, contactless, mobile payment apps in Europe – the Vodafone Wallet. A wallet that is first and foremost customer focused.

“The digital wallet just took another step forward. With a few clicks, customers will be able to add payment cards to their Vodafone Wallet and use Android smartphones for transactions at contactless terminals.” Mark Ritzmann, Head of mCommerce, Vodafone

Set to be a global competitor on the Android platform, Vodafone’ s new mobile app was released in five European countries in 2015 (Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands). The new Vodafone Wallet was created to be user-centric, which began with listening to what the user actually wants. User data (in-market learnings and focus group feedback) influenced both the user interface design and the user experience. Vodafone’s customers will be able to add up to 5 Debit or Credit Cards from any bank to their Vodafone Wallet quickly and securely using an innovative, proxy tokenisation solution. Customers can choose and are not restricted in which ones to use.

JUDGES COMMENTS

In the rapidly changing world of mobile payments and tokenisation the judges were impressed by the more differentiated, Vodafone submission which eloquently articulated a well-conceived, developed and rolled out consumer proposition offering real consumer choice.

THE OTHER FINALISTS

American Express with Apple Pay

Barclaycard’s Precisionpay Mobile App

Boku’s Carrier Billing

MBNA Apple Pay

The New Vodafone Wallet

BEST INDUSTRY INNOVATION

Winner: Kalixa Payments Group

In partnership with Santander UK, Kalixa Payments Group has delivered a truly unique payments solution which transforms the way in which consumers collect and spend shared funds.  KiTTi brings the old fashioned cash jam jar concept into the 21st century with its innovative solution for digital money collection via an APP and is the first of its kind in the UK. KiTTi powers a totally new way of handling shared funding by allowing up to 100 participants per KiTTi to fund events from a combined holiday abroad to a parents wedding anniversary gift, providing a solution to consumers currently not available from traditional providers of financial services. The KiTTi owner is provided with a prepaid card that allows access to the MasterCard network allowing the funds to be spent anywhere in the world. Kalixa ‘s integrated platform handles all KiTTi payment functionality including the mobile wallet (funds transfers and management, gateway and acquiring services, transaction processing and card tokenization), the prepaid contactless card (account provisioning, card issuance and transaction processing) and operational services (customer services including contact centre, as well as risk and anti-money laundering systems). This ensures that the entire payment process is delivered and managed by a single provider in Kalixa.

JUDGES COMMENTS

The judges liked the innovation of the pre-funded approach that KiTTi offers coupled with the functionality of an online app. The judges agreed that this money management app is likely to resonate well with the “What ‘s App” generation and the product has a multitude of uses which takes away the pain of collecting contributions for group funded activity.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

NewDay & VisualDNA

THE OTHER FINALISTS

Advanced Payment Solutions with the APS Business Cash Advance Processing

Barclaycard Purchase Plan

PayPal Working Capital

Santander Spendlytics

You can checkout the whole Awards by downloading the brochure but, for the record, the other winners were:

Best Prepaid Product of the Year

Winner: Pockit and Wirecard Card Solutions

Pockit Prepaid MasterCard for Everyday Spending.

Highly Commended: Prepaid Financial Services MasterCard for Integrated Payments

Best Loyalty or Benefit Programme of the Year

Winner: Worldpay

Worldpay Benefits Club

Best Security or Anti-Fraud Development

Winner: Santander

Santander with Ethoca

Best CSR Programme

Winner: MBNA

MBNA Number Cruncherz

Best Retailer Achievement in Payments

Winner: Monsoon Accessorize

Worldpay Total Mobile – Transforming the instore experience

Best Achievement in TCF

Winner: Nationwide Building Society

Transparency – Treating our Customers Fairly

Best Alternative or Digital Payments Programme

Winner: PayPal

PayPal Credit

Highly Commended: Black Horse for Black HorseSignIt

Best Marketing Credit Card Campaign of the Year

Winner: American Express

American Express Amex Offers

Best Achievement in Customer Service

Winner: Lloyds Banking Group

Putting the Customer First

Best Business Card Programme

Winner: Suits Me and Contis Group

Suits Me Prepaid Visa Debit Card

Best Payments Industry Newcomer

Winner: truRating

tru-Rating – faster, smarter, consumer insight.

Industry Achievement of the Year 

Winner: Colm Lyon

Best Design of the Year

Winner: American Express

American Express Mobile App

Highly Commended: MBNA – The biodegradable WWF Credit Card

Highly Commended: Virgin Money – Virgin Money Sex Pistols Card Designs

Best Debit Card Programme of the Year

Winner: Nationwide Building Society

FlexOne – Best Youth Current Account

Best Credit Card Product of the Year

Winner: Lloyds Bank

New Low Rate Card

The Judges Award

Winner: Virgin Money Cards Business

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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