Suresh Vaghjiani, Managing Director at Global Processing Services, will contribute to a panel discussion titled ‘Building or blocked? Are traditional banks going to help or hinder the sector’ at PayExpo Europe 2017, taking place 4 & 5 October at London’s ExCeL.
Interview - Suresh Vaghjiani, Global Processing Services
Are traditional banks helping or hindering the payments industry?
It’s a double-edged sword. Historically, traditional banks have been a hindrance and quite arrogant in their approach to new financial technology and payments innovation. However, a growing segment of end customers are now demanding the transparency, flexibility and ethical business practices common to digital banks. Sensing this shift in paradigm, tradition banks have, over the past three years, worked with FinTech companies to develop and ultimately learn from them.
What steps can banks take to stop losing customers?
Traditional banks need to listen to their customers and make better use of customer driven data to dictate product development to meet the needs of the end user. For those that believe digital banks are a flash in the pan, their customer acquisition level speaks for itself. Moreover, digital banking appeal is starting to transcend age groups, forming what I call the ‘App Generation’ – savvy smartphone users with a wide range of apps, designed to either solve a problem or to provide instant gratification.Traditionally Banks have also been guarded about collaborating on ideas, which is a mistake, as industry feedback is critical when progressing new products and the success of FinTech has been built on collaboration
How is GPS addressing this new shift in paradigm?
The GPS Apex™ platform has always been known in the payments industry as the ‘proverbial sweet shop’ for FinTechs. Our clients can choose from a myriad of services, providing complete flexibility and control and allowing them to innovate and continue to push boundaries. For traditional banks, it takes up to a year to launch a new product, meaning that by the time that product is released, the service needs could have already evolved. At GPS, we can complete new card programmes within weeks, which provides clients the ultimate ‘speed to market’ to receive customer feedback and optimise their offering based on behaviour driven development.
What does GPS see as the future of payments innovation?
I think it is important to separate mobile commerce from mobile payments. Mobile commerce will continue to go from strength to strength. People have busy lives and want instant gratification, which online retail provides. I am not, however, convinced of the value of mobile payments, it is too fidgety, complicated and lacking in user experience. Most people would prefer to simply use a contactless card than fidget with their phones when speed is of the essence.
However, the reverse is true of wearables payment technology, such as rings and watches, as they combine convenience and speed for a superior user experience. Until recently, their aesthetic design was poor; often clunky, unwieldy and needing large and frequent charging. Now with new players bringing visually appealing wearable rings and watches, I believe we will see a surge in demand (for wearables) in the near future