By Caitriona Whelan, Managing Director Legal and Compliance Executive, Payen
What for you are the benefits of attending a conference like the Payments Europe Summit and what have attendees learnt from your session?
The Payments Europe Summit provides a great platform to hear about the most current trends and issues in the Payments sector whilst at the same time offers great networking opportunities. Over the two days many topical issues from regulation to innovation were discussed, debated and digested. As the tsunami of regulation continues to impact the industry it will be good to hear from participants how they are dealing with it given the various constraints we are all experiencing right now. Given that this event took place post General Election we were in a position to understand more fully how we as an industry proceed from a regulatory perspective going forward into 2020.
How can risk professionals manage compliance amidst political uncertainty and evolving regulatory landscape?
Fundamentally every organisation needs to continually monitor the external environment in order to identify potential risks and opportunities to the organisation. In conjunction with awareness there is a need for training and education from Board level down to ensure full commitment and buy in on a risk-based approach. Investment in People, Processes and Systems is necessary in order to be equipped to take on these challenges. As a collective the industry should continue to influence regulators and key individuals in policy making in order to help shape legislation and regulation.
Why is alignment with stringent regulations a key concern?
Conflicts on interpretation of regulation is an ongoing challenge raising concerns of non-compliance. This leaves a company open to intervention by a regulator possibly resulting in financial penalties as well as reputational damage. From a Change programme perspective if there is no clear interpretation in can result in overspend and delivery of a non compliant solution. All of which could have a detrimental impact on customer service.
What are the challenges of aligning requirements with changes to customer behaviour?
In this 24/7 online world, customer behaviour tends to drive change in the payments ecosystem. Understandably we have to deliver on customer experience however not to the detriment of safe and secure payments. There has been an exponential increase in online fraud leading regulators around the world to intervene through the introduction of regulation to protect consumers. The industry acknowledges the need for this regulation however as we have seen with for example SCA there is no clear strategy, specification for roll out and more often than not each country rolls out a different version thus causing confusion in the marketplace. The main challenges of alignment are to understand what we are doing and why and then work as a collective to ensure delivery of a sustainable, efficient solution which actually addresses consumer needs.
What measures do you think would be valuable to keeping up with the pace of change in a global environment?
The introduction and adoption of global standards would help ensure consistency, uniformity and interoperability. As the industry moves more towards the roll out of business process automation combined with the introduction of more substantial regtech and legaltech I expect these solutions to help keep up with the change of pace in the global payments environment.