The future of payments: Preparing infrastructure for future of payments and innovation

The future of payments: Preparing infrastructure for future of payments and innovation

By Julian Sawyer, Chief Operating Officer, Starling Bank

Can you please tell the Risk Insights readers a little bit about yourself, your experiences and what your current professional focus is?

Julian’s career started at Accenture which led to a 20-year journey as a management consultant (including being the Founder and CEO of Bluerock Consulting) in the Cards and Payments industry before becoming a co-founder of Starling Bank heading up all Payments, Customer Service and Payment Operations.

Julian now runs Starling Payment Services division within Starling Bank providing the only real-time access to faster payments scheme for non-scheme participants. This division created and managed by Julian wants to disrupt the payments industry by providing new and exciting payment propositions to the UK and European markets via Faster Payments, BACS and SEPA.

What, for you, are the benefits of attending a conference like the Payments Forum and what can attendees expect to learn from your session?

With the payments landscape transforming faster than it ever has, events like the Payments Forum help us keep our finger on the pulse, connect with like-minded individuals and use the platform to collaborate and innovate to drive the industry forward.

At the Payments Forum, you will be giving your insight regarding new players changing the payment landscape. How do you feel new players could impact the landscape and what impact could this have on traditional banking models?

As with any industry, technology opens the gate for change, enabling new businesses to gain access into markets that traditionally would be saturated. These new businesses with their agile infrastructure are able to to take new legislation and environmental shifts and adapt them into their business models faster enabling them to have first mover advantage, the rewards of early customer needs and the ability to be seen as the go-to provider.

What are your thoughts on the future of NPA and SEPA?

The future of SEPA and NPA is becoming even more important with new legislative and environmental changes, technology will need to develop to allow the movement of money across Europe to be more fluid.

Can you outline some of the main changes and potential challenges and opportunities seen from the introduction of PSD2 and open banking?

The introduction of PSD2 and Open Banking has enabled the gap between larger, incumbent banking institutions and agile fast moving fintechs to be reduced.

This introduction of new legislation and it aims to drive competition poses a huge opportunity for fintech businesses who already predominantly operate in the API economy enabling their businesses to connect and exchange data helping to enhance their customer experience.

The key challenge of moving toward an API centric legislative framework will fundamentally impact the larger more incumbent institutions who will require complex, expensive and time-consuming infrastructure changes to enable their data to be accessible.

Ultimately these changes provide the biggest opportunity for the customer, enabling them to get greater visibility of their data from a variety of different sources and enabling them to use that data to make calculated decisions about their financial needs.

How do you see the payments industry evolving over the next 6-12 months?

Over the next 12monhts, the platformacation of services will become more apparent  with payment services providers opening up their APIs and enabling companies across different industry verticals to take an advantage of faster-moving technology such as faster payments without having to burden themselves with the strain of regulatory process and building new infrastructure, but offer their customers access to new services, and new revenue streams.

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