In the second instalment of our PIF Board Member Q&A series, we asked Brian Lawlor, Director of Sales and Business Development at Wirecard Card Solutions what he sees as the major challenges facing the prepaid and fintech sectors and why he become involved in PIF.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the industry in 2019?
The biggest challenge right now is the ever-changing world of regulation – GDPR, PSD2 and Brexit etc.
All of these are a massive distraction to day-to-day business and naturally, players in the financial sector have to oblige and implement changes, things like Open Banking and Secure Customer Authentication. These come as a great strain on both resource and cost and there never appears to be an end in sight of something new that businesses must implement.
I am also nervous that some of the newer FinTechs, whilst providing fantastic solutions, do not have a sustainable business model. I feel that one ‘car crash’ could have far reaching consequences for the whole industry.
What are the most important changes we’ll see in the prepaid and fintech sectors over the next two years?
I think the biggest thing that we will see is two things. We will see more and more FinTechs obtaining their own licenses, be it e-money, banking and/or scheme licenses, and I believe because of the additional strains of implementing regulation, we will see a lot more consolidation in the industry.
Why did you decide to get involved with PIF as a member of the Board?
I decided to get involved as I’ve always been a great admirer and supporter of PIF and the fantastic and tireless effort they put into improving the reputation of the industry as well as lobbying against rules and regulation that would have damaging effects to players in the space and their customers.
Why do you think the work PIF does is important to the industry?
I genuinely believe that without the work PIF does, there are many players in the space that may not have survived in order to continue trading as businesses. I also strongly believe that with their help in maintaining and improving the reputation of the industry, we have seen and continue to see huge investment into the industry.
What are your aspirations for PIF and what do you hope to accomplish during your term on the Board?
I want to see PIF grow. I want to see PIF’s voice get louder and in order to do that we need to generate more memberships or commercialise PIF more so that we can put more investment in and do more great work for the industry which will only help us all as businesses to grow and be successful!