In this first instalment of our PIF Board Member Q&A series, we asked Paul Swinton, CEO of B4B Payments and Chairman of the PIF Board what he sees as the challenges, changes and role for PIF in the rapidly evolving payments space.
What is the biggest challenge facing the industry in 2019?
The final elements of the PSD2 implementation in September 2019 regarding secure customer authentication (SCA) and the “open banking” elements whereby authorised third-party participants (TPPs) can access customer data for all EMI and PI customer account data.
This has a huge impact on the industry both from an implementation perspective (data supply) for current members and to see how business models will evolve to drive positive customer experiences on the data usage side.
What are the most important changes we’ll see in the prepaid and fintech sectors over the next two years?
A great deal of money from VCs has been pumped into the fintech arena in the last few years. I believe that we will see some of the business models evolve as pressure to move from user accumulation to paying customers and revenue generation comes to bear. Long term models that balance customer needs with viable products will evolve. Hopefully we will stop seeing everything for free.
Why did you decide to get involved with PIF as a member of the Board?
Being a veteran of the prepaid industry for over 12 years and being a co-founder of my own business, I know exactly how difficult it is to navigate the rules which are ever changing. PIF simplifies this for us all and having attended a number of sessions over the years I genuinely understand the value of a cooperative approach to getting stuff done. I hope that my experience at the coal face can collectively help PIF continue providing great advice and value for its members.
Why do you think the work PIF does is important to the industry?
Regulation is rapidly evolving within our industry with 2017/18/19 as particularly difficult to navigate. This is unlikely to end given the press interest (which often precedes regulator interest) in the so-called Unicorns emerging in the sector.
As the majority of companies are relatively new and small (compared to the incumbents) it is really important to have a unified industry body that collectively speaks for the community at a regulator level and with a voice to the press and media. PIF has been doing that for over a decade and has had many wins that would have been impossible for individual members to achieve.
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 to include more members and broaden its appeal to program managers in particular. These are the guys who lead the innovation and typically need the most help appraising regulations and needing support in terms of press coverage and getting their message across. Collectively we can all help further the cause.