As the year draws to a close, Payment Expert has been discussing some of the key trends from fintech, payments, and crypto, whilst also exploring what else lies ahead in 2023. 

John Mitchell – CEO & Co-Founder of global banking service provider Episode Six – discussed how cloud-native payments have evolved during 2022, learning from clients’ wants and needs, and what emerging technologies we should be on the lookout for next year. 

Payment Expert: Firstly John, how would you best describe Episode Six’s year, what have been some of the company’s key milestones achieved 2022?

John Mitchell: 2022 was a great success, which is a great testament to our people and our technology. We expanded across different markets (particularly APAC), increased our client base, diversified our product offerings, and grew our headcount. 

At Money 20/20, WebSummit, and SIBOS, we reconnected with customers, partners, and the wider industry. We plan to carry this momentum and set up for what looks to be like a phenomenal 2023 for Episode Six.

PE: What have been some of the key trends and developments that have occurred this year when it pertains to cloud-native payments? 

JM: It’s the cloud, which may seem odd since people have been talking about the cloud for at least a decade. But the payments industry is beginning to realise that cloud-native payments is something completely different than just lifting existing technology stacks and implementing them in the cloud. 

There’s been more recognition and an increased awareness of born-in-the-cloud and cloud-native paytechs, such as Episode Six. More companies are placing their technology in the cloud, utilising its benefits more than ever, and appreciating what it can offer.

PE: What are some of the more pressing needs Episode Six has learned from its clients and how have you helped serve those needs? 

JM: One of the best parts of my job is talking to businesses large and small around the world on a daily basis. One message I repeatedly hear from customers is they need solutions that they can implement in pieces and integrate in a methodical and controlled way. 

We knew we had an answer for them with progressive modernization, so that’s something we’ve been talking about with potential customers and partners. We’ve been telling them, “You can move to new technology without having to undergo a massively expensive and risky infrastructure replacement. There’s a better way to inject innovation into your payment technology stack.” 

Over time, our larger clients will be able to increasingly move more of their efforts into this new technology and reap the benefits.

PE: What can you say about the current trend in the banking industry of a shift to an open-architecture industry. What does this entail and will this only accelerate in 2023?

JM: In regards to an open-architecture industry within financial institutions, I believe this trend will likely continue on the same path it’s currently on. The challengers seemed to have slowed down due to headwinds and the current economic conditions. 

However, the pace of change might be speeding up for the larger financial institutions to become involved. One way to trim budgets is to remove the burden required to maintain legacy technology, as reducing costs is at the forefront of many discussions.

PE: Furthermore, what do you anticipate to be some of the emerging technologies and trends that will shape the industry next year?

JM: A more open architecture will lend itself to better adaptations of newer technologies, particularly around the continued evolution of AI and ML. Hollywood’s vision of life-changing AI and ML may still be a long way off, but in the near term, AI and ML will have a significant impact on fraud and risk management.

PE: Episode Six has expanded its presence around the world, but what are some of the jurisdictions that E6 is aiming to break into next year?

JM: We’ve had great success this year in Southeast Asia – we partnered with Galaxy FinX in Vietnam – while our partnership with HSBC to power its PayMe mobile wallet marks our third anniversary in East Asia. Southeast Asia is a rich tapestry of countries, cultures, and languages. It’s one of the things that make the region so vibrant and amazing. 

From a business perspective, the different languages and rules can pose a challenge, but our technology and business model are built on flexibility, so we plan to continue our growth in this region next year. 

Our attention will also be focused on continuing to expand our footprint across Australia and New Zealand while growing rapidly in both the US and throughout Europe too. As for new jurisdictions, we will launch in India next year. That is just one of the many that’s on our list.