During this quiet period of time, it’s a good time for reflection and I was lucky enough to be commissioned to produce some research on how European FinTech influencers see the future of payments post-pandemic.
I’m releasing the report today and here’s the opening summary:
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe in early 2020, it hit hard, and it hit fast. Spreading quickly through the continent, Italy was the first to enter lockdown, with Spain, Germany, the UK, and the rest of Europe all locking down soon after in mid-March.
Several major headlines at that time was to avoid using cash, or at least to wash your hands after handling them. Those of us in the industry have known this for years, but it was not until a World Health Organisation (WHO) representative advised to use contactless payments when possible that it became better known to the wider European population at large.
In a conversation between The Daily Telegraph and a representative of the WHO, there was a specific question about bank note usage to which the WHO representative responded: “We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses … when possible it’s a good idea to use contactless payments”.
This raised the question of whether people would move to contactless payments and in what form? It also led to card issuers raising the limits of contactless payments. In the UK, limits increased from £30 ($37) per transaction to £45 ($55) from April 1 2020; Poland raised the limit to 100PLN ($25); France, Ireland, Greece and Malta increased contactless payment limits from €30 to €50 from May 11 2020; and more countries followed suit across Europe.
However, there are some hygiene issues with contactless payments too. Contactless requires touching the debit card or credit card against a terminal. Depending on the value of the transaction or availability of contactless payment technology, the cardholder may be required to type a personal identification number (PIN) on a PIN pad. The PIN pads and contactless terminals are unlikely to be cleaned after each use creating potential risk of virus transmission.
This raises further questions to consider: Will consumers naturally move away from cash and card payments to truly contactless payments on mobile telephones? Will this crisis change their behaviours and, if so, will it change their behaviour for the short term or long term?
To find out the answer to these questions, Chris Skinner interviewed many of the leading authorities in payments, FinTech and finance across Europe during April and May 2020. The interviewees included:
- Andrea Dunlop, Chairwoman of the Emerging Payments Association.
- Antonio Grasso, founder and CEO of Italian start-up Digital Business Innovation srl;
- Chris Gledhill, one of the world’s top-ranking authorities on FinTech;
- Devie Mohan, a researcher, writer and speaker, and co-founder and CEO of Burnmark, a fintech research company;
- Gijs Boudewijn, Deputy General Manager at the Dutch Payments Association and Chair of the Payment Systems Committee of the European Banking Federation;
- Matteo Rizzi, formerly of SWIFT where he co-founded Innotribe, and the founder of FinTechStage, a platform for investors, innovators, and start-ups to foster FinTech innovation;
- Miriam Wohlfarth, Managing Director and co-founder of RatePAY;
- Paolo Sironi, one of the most respected voices in the FinTech industry;
- Rich Turrin, an international best-selling author, and award-winning executive;
- Simon Cocking, Chief Editor at Irish Tech News;
- Simon Taylor, co-founder and blockchain lead at 11:FS; and
- Urs Bolt, consistently ranked as one of the top Swiss FinTech influencers.
This report presents the key findings and outcomes of these interviews.
You can get the report for free by providing the info below …
… then check your inbox for a download link (fyi, my download email went to the spam folder!).