New Podcast: Fintech Unplugged with Robert Courtneidge and Suresh Vaghjiani

Two of the most respected and outspoken leaders in the payments industry go head-to-head to answer difficult and controversial questions posed by the ‘BIN of Confusion’.

Unscripted and unrehearsed, Fintech Unplugged offers informative, entertaining and often opposing perspectives on topics including the future of crypto, the problems with BIN sponsorship, why prepaid issuer processors can get such a bad rap and much more.

Fintech Unplugged is co-presented by two #1 influencers in the Payments Power Ten, Robert Courtneidge and Suresh Vaghjiani.

Listen to the podcast here

17 million Brits ready to pay with wearable devices

Overwhelming success of contactless cards peaks shopper demand for wearable payments

February 22, 2018 – One quarter (26%) of British shoppers expect to start using “tap and go” contactless payments with a smartwatch, bracelet, keyring or other forms of wearable payments, according to new figures from Mastercard.

In the UK, contactless spend on Mastercard grew by 139% in the last year, and the huge success of contactless has seen many Brits willing to explore new ways to pay. The figures come as the Netherlands embarks on a wearable payments trial for Dutch bank ABN AMRO. Alongside this continued growth, barriers to using contactless have also decreased. Concerns around fraud see the greatest decrease in the UK (-31%), building trust in Mastercard contactless technology.

Banks across Europe are also working with Mastercard to deliver this new wave in contactless payments. ABN AMRO is one of the first banks to enable worldwide payments with a wearable that’s linked to a current account, with a pilot for 500 customers of different age groups, who will be experiencing what it’s like to make contactless payments with a ring, watch, bracelet or keyring.

“Europe leads the world in contactless payments and its overwhelming success has created a demand for even greater convenience,” said Paolo Battiston, Executive Vice President Digital Payments & Labs Europe at Mastercard. “Shoppers trust in contactless is greater than ever, and in turn it seems they are ready to take this one stage further by trying contactless through connected devices. Pilots like the one we’re involved with in The Netherlands will empower consumers in the digital economy.”

Mastercard continues to work with retailers to help meet expectations surrounding wearable payments, with 42% growth in the number of retail locations accepting contactless across Europe. In the UK, 36% of all in-store transactions are contactless. The Netherlands provides an ideal test bed for wearable payments because 80% of terminals in the country already accept contactless payments. More than 50% of payments in the Netherlands are also made with contactless according to ABN AMRO. (A video showcase of this pilot launch can be accessed here.)

“With customer expectations clear and the new technology available today, the time has come to drop cumbersome methods of payment and embrace a better consumer experience through wearable payments,” said Yvonne Duits, Product Owner Payments at ABN AMRO. “We care about making things convenient for consumers and offering everyone a payment method that suits their preferences and this pilot is testament to that.”


Notes to editors

All data included from Mastercard and Maestro as well as a study conducted of 50,747 people by GCT Research, Inc within the following countries: UK (3,416 people), France, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

The UK population is an estimated 65.6 million, according to ONS (2017).

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, travelling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

For further information please contact:

Adam Keal
07710 916144

A Third of Customers Ready to Trust Tech Companies with their Bank Account

Just under a third of UK adults (30%) would be happy to sign over access to their financial data to trusted tech companies such as Apple, Google or third-party apps using such platforms, a study has revealed.

The research* by the Prepaid International Forum (PIF), the not-for-profit trade body representing the prepaid financial services sector, has been revealed following the start of ‘open banking’ in the UK.

This new ‘open banking’ legislation** (which came into force at the start of 2018) allows customers to tell banks to share financial data to properly regulated third parties.   This data is then provided in a secure way, that doesn’t reveal account passwords or access codes, but does allow third parties to analyse spending habits and help find better deals.

The PIF study shows that many people, especially younger consumers, are happy to give such permissions in order to gain financial benefits or better insights over how they manage their money.  As many as 34% of those aged 18-24 would be happy to provide permission to a company such as Apple, with slightly fewer (30%) saying that they would also trust Google with this data.

Even amongst older customers, just under a quarter (24%) of those 65 or older said they would provide Apple with permission.

This opens the door to App developers and other financial service providers using e-money tools to offer innovative financial products and services.

Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF, says:

“Smart phones and search engines have become essential tools for everyday life and this research shows that people are now willing to consider adding open banking to the list of services such devices help to improve.

“Mobile devices already offer many payment services, often using the prepaid platform to facilitate simple and secure transactions.  To many people, adding open banking feels like a small step.”

Many companies already use the functionality and ubiquity of mobile devices to offer innovative financial services and will now be able to extend their functionality.

For example, Curve is a tool that links all your accounts to one smart card using prepaid tools, which is then managed through a smart phone app, allowing you to spend from any of your accounts using a single card.  It then creates a timeline showing where all your money is going, allowing you to track your spending instantly.

Other companies are spearheading the growth of new payment technologies to expand the range of products on offer. Suresh Vaghjiani, Managing Director of Global Processing Services says:

“We work with many FinTechs, helping them to innovate and launch truly innovative products and services that are making a real difference. Now with the opportunity to access the banks’ APIs, I am sure we’ll see even more innovations that rapidly translate into benefits for customers”

Market experts feel that open banking will add fuel to the many innovations already taking place in the prepaid sector.

Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF, says:

“Providers using prepaid have been innovating with financial services and payment products for a number of years, addressing areas where traditional banking has failed to innovate or move with customer expectations.

“Open banking will only increase this trend by encouraging innovation by new Fintech companies who are adding real value to consumer and business banking in a way the banks would never have done so in the past and are struggling to do so even now.


*Research based on a Nationally Representative Survey of 1,000 UK adults.

** The UK’s Open Banking regulations came into force on 13 January 2018. It forces the nine largest UK banks to open up their data via a set of secure APIs (Application Programming Interface). The new rules coincide with the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), a new piece of EU legislation that enables third party providers, with a customer’s consent, to access a customer’s bank account and/or request information.

About PIF

The Prepaid International Forum (PIF) is the not-for-profit industry body representing the prepaid financial services sector. Driven by a believe that prepayment is a responsible way to pay for goods and services, and that consumers should be confident in the security of prepaid services and the money that is stored on their behalf, PIF advocates for policies and standards that protect and enhance the use of prepaid as a payment solution.

PIF works closely with industry, regulators, government departments, consumer bodies and the media to promote understanding of prepaid as well as providing support and education to proponents of prepaid worldwide. To learn more about PIF visit

For further information

Ursula Hutchinson
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9140

Steve Leigh
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9140
M: 07734 805 499

PIF welcomes Compass Plus to membership

Another growth boost for PIF as innovative payment solutions provider joins the Prepaid International Forum 

London, 13 February 2018 -  The Prepaid International Forum (PIF), the not-for-profit industry body representing the prepaid sector, today announced Compass Plus, an international provider of retail banking and electronic payments software for processors and financial institutions, as its latest member.

Compass Plus joins a vibrant and growing community of organisations who are rapidly transforming the way we pay and get paid. The PIF membership includes companies who are regulated under e-money and payment services legislation, and a range of other businesses who operate in the high-growth prepaid and FinTech sectors.  Governed by a representative Board of Directors since 2007, PIF works hard to make sure its members are well represented and supported within the industry.

PIF’s Commercial Director, Diane Brocklebank said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Compass Plus as our latest member. Their commitment to advancing the use of innovative payment technologies to enable a safe and seamless customer experience is perfectly aligned with our objectives. We’re thrilled to have their support. “

Darren Busby, AVP and Business Development Director, Europe at Compass Plus said:

“Compass Plus is very pleased to become a member of the PIF community. We look forward to building new relationships with likeminded organisations that promote and advocate innovation in the prepaid payments market.”


About PIF

The Prepaid International Forum (PIF) is the not-for-profit industry body representing the prepaid sector. Prepaid technology underpins a vast range of financial products, from everyday payment accounts and travel money to corporate incentive and expense management solutions.

Our aim is to create an environment where products and services enabled by prepaid can thrive. We inform, and liaise with, regulators, government departments, consumer bodies and the media as well as providing support and education to leading and emerging industry organisations.

To learn more about PIF visit

About Compass Plus

Compass Plus provides comprehensive, fully integrated and flexible payments software and services that help financial institutions and payment service providers meet rapidly changing market demands. Our diverse customer base spans retail banks, processing centres, national switches and personalisation centres in countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, North and South America. With more than 25 years’ experience, Compass Plus helps build and manage all-scale electronic payment systems that generate new revenues and improve profits for its customers.

PrePay Solutions Cracks Open New Partnership with Challenger Bank Coconut

The collaboration has created a full-service bank account that combines banking and accounting for freelancers, self-employed people and small businesses.

7th February 2018, London, UK – PrePay Solutions (PPS), Europe’s leading prepaid and digital banking  specialist, has partnered with new business bank account provider, Coconut, to enable the delivery of  an app-based account that uniquely manages tax and expenses for freelancers and self-employed people.

Despite accounting for 15% of the workforce, many of the UK’s 4.9m self-employed community do not have access to appropriate money, tax and expense management tools. HMRC’s Making Tax Digital Initiative, which will require all small businesses and self-employed people to file quarterly tax from April 2020, will compound this issue for unprepared freelancers.

Under the new partnership, PPS is providing full banking infrastructure and card technology to help Coconut deliver its account, which will help freelancers to manage their finances and prepare for the implementation of Making Tax Digital. Using the transaction information from the cards provided by PPS, Coconut will also be able to offer more personalised products to its customers.

Ray Brash, CEO of PrePay Solutions, said: “It is exciting to be working with a company as innovative as Coconut. As with any partnership, the chemistry has to be right and the Coconut team is perfectly aligned with our company vision and ambition.  Freelancers, sole traders and small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but they are completely underserved when it comes to fit-for-purpose digital banking & account tools. Working together with Coconut, we’re offering a completely new type of product to a growing and underserved group, helping them to benefit from personalised accounts that truly meet their business needs both now and in the future.”

The Coconut account includes a smartphone app featuring fully-automated tax management and expenses tools, as well as a contactless Mastercard for making payments in store and online. An account can be opened in minutes on a user’s mobile, and offers instant notifications on all transactions, in addition to a function for storing receipts, all feeding into a real-time tax assessment preview to help budget for tax bills.

Sam O’Connor, CEO, Coconut, added: “We’re really pleased to be working with the PPS team – they have created the best banking infrastructure product in the UK and are bringing some of the most innovative financial products to market. We’ve worked together to deliver our product in record time with our Beta launch this January. PPS is a crucial long-term partner for us.”

Coconut specialises in making business accounting instant and effortless. The company is backed by leading tech accelerator, Techstars, and was recently named one of the ten winners of the Nesta Open Up Challenge, a competition to award grants to innovative businesses using new Open Banking APIs.

Their Perfect Gift Card issued by Wirecard wins the award for the Best Prepaid Card Programme

05 February 2018 - Their Perfect Gift Card issued by Wirecard has won the award for the Best Prepaid Card Programme. The award was announced at the 2018 Cards & Payments Awards held at The Grosvenor House Hotel last week.

This year Wirecard entered with ‘Their Perfect Gift’ and nominated their Mastercard Gift Card programme.

Global Processing Services selected to be part of the UK Fintech delegation to Austria and Switzerland

Switzerland and Austria to host its annual UK Fintech Mission

London, 5th February 2018: Her Majesty’s Swiss Government is delighted to announce the third UK Fintech Mission to Switzerland which, because of its past success, this year encompasses both the Austrian and Swiss markets.  The UK Fintech trade mission will take place in Vienna and Zurich on the 6th-7th of February.

Both Austrian and Swiss financial institutions will have the opportunity to meet a carefully selected group of innovative companies from the United Kingdom. These companies have been chosen on the basis that they reflect the quality and tremendous potential of the UK’s Fintech ecosystem.

The mission has the aim to simulate new collaborations amongst members of the UK Fintech delegation with that of financial institutions in Austria and Switzerland. It will also help to create new business opportunities both in these two countries and the UK. The previous two Swiss missions recorded new business worth over £30 million.

One participating delegate, Global Processing Services (GPS), leader in payment issuer processing, is an example of the high quality of selection required to be part of this mission. The company has established a strong reputation in its industry and is known for paving the way in payment innovation, its technology powering the likes of Revolut, Glint, Starling Bank, Kerv, Fortress GB and Curve just to name a few.

Neil Harris, Chief Commercial Officer at Global Processing Services, comments: “It’s an immense honour to have been selected to be part of the UK Fintech delegation to Austria and Switzerland. This trade mission provides a platform to demonstrate our technology and global capabilities to Financial Institutions based in Austria and Switzerland. It’s a true collaboration, we will learn more about their local market dynamic, and they will benefit in gaining added knowledge on existing technologies that could help them to improve their operations and innovate faster.”

Jane Owen, her Majesty’s Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein comments: “It is fantastic that so many Government and corporate entities in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the United Kingdom are joining forces for the UK Fintech Mission to Switzerland on 7 February. Between January and October 2017, £825m was invested in the UK’s financial technology companies: double the amount raised in the same period in 2016. This reflects the quality of the UK’s fintech, as does the fact that SIX Group is generously sponsoring this event for the third time in a row.”

Leigh Turner, UK Ambassador to Austria comments: “This will be a showcase of the UK’s entrepreneurial talent and underlines its status as the top global Fintech hub. We are delighted to be working with top Austrian financial institutions to create jobs and opportunity in both markets.”


For media inquiries:

Global Processing Services
Nim Haas | Head of Marketing |
Department for International Trade | Switzerland and Liechtenstein
Anna Faber | Senior Trade Officer |
Department for International Trade | British Embassy Vienna |
Lukas Wiesboeck | Press and Public Affairs Officer | |
Added note to editor:

About Global Processing Services

Global Processing Services (GPS) is the issuer processor enabling many of today’s most high-profile fintech innovators and disruptors. It is certified by Mastercard and Visa to process and manage any credit, debit or pre-paid card transaction globally.

GPS enables the emerging payments industry to deliver breakthrough innovations through a unique combination of proprietary technology, its people and partners.

At the heart of its capability is GPS Apex, its single global issuer processing platform. Built entirely by its own payment experts, GPS Apex offers easy integration with Issuers, Programme Managers, card manufacturers and many other service providers.

It has integrated with over 40 issuing banks globally and operates programmes for 100+ clients in 60 countries using over 150 currencies, enabling its clients to innovate and deliver exciting new value propositions for end users around the world.

Clients are supported by a team of talented industry experts who have chosen to join GPS from many of the most prestigious and established global payment corporations. This expertise, its powerful processing platform and trusted position within the payments ecosystem means GPS is re-drawing the lines of what is possible in payments. This is how GPS has earned its position as The PayTech Pioneer.

GPS has over 130 staff in seven offices globally, and has plans to advance this international profile aggressively as it extends its support to multiple payment companies globally and expands into new territories.

For more information:

TSYS Appoints Kelley Knutson as President of Netspend

26 January 2018 - Today, TSYS, a leading global payments solutions provider across the issuing, merchant and prepaid industries announced it has appointed Kelley Knutson as Senior Executive Vice President of TSYS and President of Netspend, a leading provider of prepaid debit cards for personal and commercial use.

Previously, Knutson served as Executive Vice President of TSYS and President of International Issuer Solutions, based in London since 2003. Knutson replaces Chuck Harris who left the company in Dec. 2017 to pursue an opportunity in the non-profit sector.

“Kelley’s vast experience in the financial industry and TSYS, made him the ideal candidate to lead our Netspend business. He has been the driver of our international issuing business and continues to deliver financial targets year after year,” said M. Troy Woods, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, TSYS. “Promoting from within TSYS is part of our culture and I’m confident Kelley will be a huge asset to Netspend, as we continue to grow our prepaid business.”

View the full press release:

PIF in the News: Prepaid cards delivering dividends for councils

Local Government News - Governments across the world have switched to prepaid cards as a modern alternative to cash when it comes to distributing payments to its citizens who opt not to use bank transfers. However, the UK is only now starting to fully seize the opportunity.

Cash-based government payments are inconvenient and expensive to administer, as well as being less secure and harder to track. Despite the UK being second only to Italy in Europe in its need to replace cash, with an estimated £3bn of transfers each year, it is only now that these types of prepaid schemes are being adopted. Read the full article

FinTech foes join forces to launch multi-currency payment solution UPayCard

Two #1 Payments Power 10 superheroes have come together to drive FinTech innovation and reduce the complexity involved with payment legislation.

LONDON, January 15, 2018: International payments company Moorwand and leading global issuer processer GPS have joined forces to launch the UPayCard branded prepaid card solution to the UK market.

UPayCard is a global multi-currency service for businesses and consumers. It is the first programme to be launched by Moorwand and was brought to market in a record time of less than eight weeks.

Account users have access to a comprehensive multi-currency payment solution that allows them to easily make transfers between accounts present on the same UPayCard system. The service provides added value for both consumers and businesses alike, reducing time of fund transfers and enabling secure instant payments in currencies other than US Dollars.

Once seen as industry FinTech rivals, Robert Courtneidge, the newly appointed CEO of Moorwand, and Suresh Vaghjiani, Managing Director at GPS, recently stepped into a boxing ring dressed as the Joker and Batman respectively for the PayExpo 2017 Payments Punch-up - a lively annual debate on the hottest finTech topics of the day. Despite Suresh adding a third consecutive debate victory to his total, the two men have had a long lasting professional relationship and have always shared one common vision to drive change and innovation in the payments industry.

“It’s great to finally be on the same team as Suresh,” said Robert. “We are combining our unique strengths to ‘save the world’ – or at least to ‘rescue’ Programme Managers from the growing confusion of what is possible within the increasingly complex world of payments legislation and rules around BIN access to create a strong, transparent engagement with them. GPS is perfect for Moorwand as we need a partner that can move fast so our Programme Managers can leap ‘with a single bound’ into new products and markets with speed and confidence. We will also help them to work safely with the new ‘crypto –nite’ that is tainting the emerging payments industry. GPS has already helped us to rapidly launch the UPayCard Solution – and there is much more to come.”

Suresh Vaghjiani, Managing Director, GPS comments: “Robert’s recent appointment as CEO of Moorwand creates a compelling proposition for Programme Managers. With a lawyer of Robert’s calibre at the helm and his long and distinguished career as a specialist in payments law means that Moorwand’s BIN sponsorship solution is exactly what the market has been waiting for. We are delighted to have been selected by Moorwand to help them into their next phase of growth and their issuing services for cryptocurrencies.”


About Moorwand

Moorwand Ltd. is an international business that provides payment services to merchants and customers in the EEA. They are licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom (license #500709) as a regulated Electronic Money Institution to issue electronic money (e-money) and provide payment services throughout EEA.  They are principal members of Mastercard and Visa as an Issuer of payment cards and an Acquirer of payment transactions.

About Global Processing Services

Global Processing Services (GPS) is the issuer processor enabling many of today’s most high-profile fintech innovators and disruptors. It is certified by Mastercard and Visa to process and manage any credit, debit or pre-paid card transaction globally.

GPS enables the emerging payments industry to deliver breakthrough innovations through a unique combination of proprietary technology, its people and partners.

At the heart of its capability is GPS Apex, its single global issuer processing platform. Built entirely by its own payment experts, GPS Apex offers easy integration with Issuers, Programme Managers, card manufacturers and many other service providers.

It has integrated with over 40 issuing banks globally and operates programmes for 100+ clients in 60 countries using over 150 currencies, enabling its clients to innovate and deliver exciting new value propositions for end users around the world. 

Media enquiries:


Sarah Broughton
T: 07890 463 063

Global Processing Services
Nim Haas
T: 020 7553 8845