Expert Insights: The inside scoops into the 2023 payments landscape

Expert Insights: The inside scoops into the 2023 payments landscape

As the world of payments rapidly evolved throughout 2023, here at Payment Expert we’ve been consistent in our approach of staying true to our name by providing you with a closer look at the latest payments trends with the help of some of the biggest experts in the field.

The following summary is a roundup of the most important highlights that you might’ve missed throughout this year, and also a reminder of what to keep your eyes on as the world of payments moves into 2024.  

Open Banking

The continuous growth of Open Banking across the globe has undeniably set the foundations for the next chapter of the payments journey. 

Nick Schiavo, Canadian Council of Innovators

The adoption of Open Banking should no longer be a question of choice but rather a mandatory requirement, as “stagnation is one of the worst scenarios any country can face”, Nick Schiavo explained. 

As the Director of Federal Affairs to the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI), Schiavo gave an in-depth look at the importance of Open Banking to Canada and how it can positively impact the country’s economy. 

Paul Zulone, ConnectPay

Open Banking was also placed in the spotlight by Paula Zulone, Head of Sales and Accounts at ConnectPay, but this time as a useful tool to evolve the igaming payment experience. 

Part of the Payment Expert Innovation Series, Zulone explained that the speed and security that Open Banking provides is vital for operators that want to save money and at the same time facilitate instantaneous payouts, thus optimising the player experience. 

Dave Glaser, Dwolla

To keep Open Banking’s advancements in check and ensure a safe transition of the payments infrastructure, there also needs to be a robust framework in place. 

This year saw the introduction of a proposal by the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that requires financial institutions to provide customers with their financial data in a machine-readable format. 

Payment Expert revealed how this would promote better financial choices by speaking with Dave Glaser, President and CEO of Dwolla, who reminded that all regulation around Open Banking should encourage transparency, innovation and foster competition. 

Blockchain and cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies proved to be another key trend as they continuously integrated themselves into the mainstream fabric of payments. 

Danny Brewster, twentyone

Our team managed to interview an early crypto adopter in the face of Danny Brewster, who established his company twentyone in Manchester with the goal of introducing businesses to Bitcoin and showing how it can improve on the services that traditional banks offer. 

In his discussion with Payment Expert, Brewster looked back on his eventful life in blockchain and cryptocurrency, whilst looking ahead to the future operations of twentyone.

“The launch of twentyone is to provide things that we, at FastBitcoins, would have greatly appreciated when we started out,” he said.

“We offer an understanding platform where our customers aren’t in theory having their account pulled out from under because of a lack of appetite or a lack of understanding about their business. We are solving our own problems and in turn solving issues for other people as well.” 

Sean Mackay, CoinPayments

The gambling industry once again showed how adaptable it can be by quickly recognising the seismic potential that cryptocurrencies have, especially for the igaming sector. 

Sean Mackay, CEO at CoinPayments, sat down with Payment Expert to discuss how igaming operators can benefit from cutting down on lengthy payment processing and troublesome payment acceptance by adopting the use of digital currencies. 

Chris Ford, R3

Various countries across the globe are becoming increasingly aware of the huge role blockchain and cryptocurrency are playing in both their local and in the global economy.

The UK is no exception to this and the government and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have been examining how the sector can be better regulated to play a positive role in British finance.

By embracing greater regulation of cryptocurrency, the UK will move towards ‘a more open, connected and trusted financial market’, argued Chris Ford, Head of Government Affairs at R3

Betting and gaming

Gambling goes hand-in-hand with the latest trends in payments, with betting and gaming operators needing to stay one step ahead to ensure the smoothest customer journey, as well as keep track of fraud and AML challenges.

Rebkah Jackson, GBG

Staying on the topic of gambling, faster deposits and withdrawals should always come as a priority – but never at the expense of security. 

Rebekah Jackson, Director of Gaming at GBG, took us through some of the challenges when it comes to ensuring that a balanced approach to AML strategies is in place. 

Liron Warhaftig, BetMGM

This year’s improved collaboration between the gambling sector and the payment industry was also highlighted by Liron Warhaftig, VP Product at BetMGM, as he emphasised the importance of innovation for player retention and conversion rates. 

Ahead of his appearance at the SBC Summit Barcelona, Warhaftig emphasised the efficient use of data as crucial for decision-making and identifying pain points in the customer journey. 

Andrea McGeachin, NeoSurf

Heading out to one of SBC’s conferences, Payment Expert was able to speak with Andrea McGeachin, CEO of NeoSurf, at the SBC Summit North America in New Jersey.

McGeachin continued the conversation of safety by reflecting on her company’s first year of operations in the US and how collaboration on player protection spans across multiple states. 

Cross-border payments

Last, but not least, Payment Expert couldn’t close the curtain on 2023 without taking a look at the importance of international commerce, as ensuring efficiency in these transactions has become more important than ever in the current economic climate.

Ugne Buraciene, payabl.

For payabl, alternative payments methods (APMs) were the key to revolutionsing cross-border payments in 2023 and beyond, whilst also emphasising the importance of risk and fraud management.

“It’s never a good time for a business to become a victim of fraud, but during an economic downturn the result could be devastating,” said Ugne Buraciene, payabl CEO.

Fraudsters are crafty and are always developing new fraud schemes. We’re currently seeing a rise in ‘friendly fraud’, where cardholders try to cheat merchants and banks.

Mark Hewlett, Universal Partners

The cross-border payments landscape is at an all time high due to a ‘myriad of contributing factors’, argued Mark Hewlett, COO of Universal Partners, such as a more globalised economy and innovative methods and technologies.

In this in-depth interview, Hewlett broke down the impact of Open Banking and cryptocurrencies, and the contributions payments business, FMIs, regulators and governments have made to this development.