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BOOMING GLOBAL CROSS-BORDER E-COMMERCE TRADE DRIVES 48% RETAIL GROWTH FOR PPRO IN 2018

PPRO, a cross-border e-payment specialist and one of the fastest growing fintech businesses in Europe, has today announced 48% growth for the Acquiring business in Retail e-commerce in 2018. The growth comes after a strong year for PPRO, who now works with 130 global Payment Service Providers (PSPs) to offer merchants access to 140+ local payment methods to bolster cross-border trade and expand their international customer base.

 

PPRO’s successes in 2018 includes a $50 million USD investment round led by PayPal with participation from Citi Ventures and return investor HPE Growth Capital. Through this investment, PPRO has accelerated the expansion of its payment’s platform and international presence of its local, alternative payments acquiring business.

With support from 103 staff working on Acquiring across eight global offices, PPRO works with its partners to assist over 100,000 boarded merchants to boost international cross-border commerce through its unique and diverse offering of Local Payment Methods (LPMs) covering acquiring, processing and funds collection, all under one contract and without becoming a competitor to PSP partners.

 

The process of making a payment is one of the most important customer touch points, giving merchants, card issuers, and acquirers significant opportunity to shape customer perceptions, capture valuable data, and build loyalty. The relationships formed through these repeated interactions allow institutions to deepen their customer understanding, foster customer trust, and improve cross-border selling[1].

 

Ronnie D´Arienzo, Member of the Executive team and Chief Revenue Officer at PPRO said: “The payments industry is rapidly evolving and is on track to add $1 trillion in new revenue through to 20271. To become a thought leader in this fast-growing environment, we believe that personalization and customization are two key factors. Commerce moves from a channel to a customer-centric model and continues to globalize fast. In this transformation, payments will play a significant role, will be simpler, smarter and customised for consumers, more secure and transparent. Local payment methods will be the ‘rail’ to drive financial inclusion and are paramount to cross-border commerce. It is important merchants recognise this before making their first step into international markets. With booming cross border-commerce and international payments continuing to drive PPRO’s business growth, we look forward to seeing what the next five years have to offer”.

 

Key highlights include:


Methods integrated:
 PPRO has continued to grow its LPM offerings across the year and now offers 143 methods, with the latest additions including Bank Islam, Hong Leong Ban, Krungsri Bank (replacing Paysbuy), Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank, SCB, Tesco Lotus. Klarna, Union Pay as a direct acquirer and Alipay in store will be integrated this year.

 

Payment partnerships: As well as newly on-boarded methods, PPRO successfully partnered with many PSPs in 2018, including ChinaPay, PayPal, SecureTrading, Yapstone, Credorax and Isbank.. These partnerships further bolster PPRO’s extensive LPM offering to enable merchants to accept international customers, boost global reach and ultimately, increase profitability in new markets.

 

Global Footprint: In order to better support its PSP partners who are looking to expand their international trade opportunities and grow their international customer base of merchants, PPRO has this year broadened its global footprint, growing the existing office in the US and opening a new office in Singapore, with Latin America in the pipeline for 2019. This will benefit local PSPs and will provide the opportunity for PPRO to educate local merchants on the expansive international possibilities available.

 

What’s in store for 2019: One of PPRO’ s main focuses for the rest of 2019 will be to work with its PSP partners to educate the 1000,000+ boarded Merchants to improve the rate of international cross-border success. In addition to developing the extensive pipeline of PSP prospects, PPRO will accelerate the expansion of its LPM worldwide offering and further enhance the range of value-added services – watch this space!

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Finance

HOW FINANCIAL SERVICES CAN GET TO GRIPS WITH RISING SUPPLY CHAIN RISK

FINANCIAL SERVICES

By Alex Saric, smart procurement expert, Ivalua

 

UK businesses have never been more dependent on their suppliers to help them deliver goods and services to their customers. Be it retail, manufacturing or financial services, suppliers have a vital role to play when it comes to innovation and meeting customer expectations. However, as supply chains become increasingly global, businesses are potentially exposing themselves to more risk than ever before.

This is especially true in financial services. Whether it’s the impact of geopolitical events like Brexit or global tariff wars, supply shortages, security or the businesses impact on the environment, an organisation’s failure to identify and mitigate risk could see millions wiped off its share price, and its corporate reputation left in tatters. Risk can present itself anywhere and at any time, so financial services firms must be ready to address it. However, many simply don’t have the ability to evaluate suppliers for risk factors, leaving them wide open to business operations being hindered, or being slapped with financial penalties.

 

More suppliers, increasing risk

One reason why financial services firms aren’t able to evaluate suppliers is the breadth and scale of today’s supply chains. For example, French oil company Total said in in a recent human rights briefing paper that they work with over 150,000 direct suppliers worldwide. This is just one example of how large and varied the roster of partners has become. Research from Ivalua has found that financial services businesses on average are working with around 3,600 suppliers annually, which is evenly split between UK-based and international partners. That number is expected to rise, with 60% expecting the number of suppliers they work with to rise.

The expanding nature of suppliers is only going to expose financial services firms to more potential risk than ever before, yet 78% say they face challenges gaining complete visibility into suppliers and their activities.

A lack of supplier visibility leaves businesses unable to identify and mitigate against supply chain risk. In fact, almost three-quarters (73%) of financial services firms have experienced some type of risk during the last 12 months. These include; supplier failure (43%), environmental impact, such as pollution or waste (35%) and supply shortages (45%). Supply shortages can be among the most damaging to a business, as seen by both the KFC chicken shortage which closed stores, and the summer 2018 CO2 shortage which caused companies such as Heineken and Coca-Cola to pause production, impacting supply across Europe during the World Cup.

 

Businesses unprepared for the worst

One way financial services firms can better prepare for risk is to ensure they know what to plan for to reduce the impact. However, whilst some say they have a contingency plan in place to deal with risk, many of them are unprepared. Financial services firms admitted to not having comprehensive and deployed contingency plans in place to prepare the supply chain for risk such as; natural disasters (68%), supply shortages (67%), geopolitical changes (65%), environmental impact (63%), supplier failure (62%) and modern slavery (50%).

In order to effectively prepare for these types of risks, it’s vital that financial services businesses fully understand their suppliers, their business environment, global variations in regulations, geopolitics, and a host of other factors. But for many, there are multiple challenges when it comes to gaining this understanding. A prevailing factor is an inability to gain visibility into all suppliers and activity because supplier management data is stored in multiple locations and formats, making insights difficult to access. This leaves teams unable to review supplier activity and assess compliance.

 

Making supplier management smarter

It’s imperative that financial services businesses are able to respond or prepare for supply chain risk. Clearly, much more needs to be done to ensure they have complete visibility of suppliers, especially in an era where regulators can levy heavy fines for GDPR breaches and scandals spread in minutes over social media. These types of risks can be reduced in the future if procurement teams have a 360-degree view of suppliers which will help with contingency planning and risk management.

For example, in the instance of supply shortages, plans could be put in place that identify alternative suppliers to ensure any shortages do not impact end users. This type of supplier collaboration is paramount when it comes to managing and mitigating against supplier shortages. When it comes to regulations, financial services firms can’t allow a lack of visibility to limit their ability to ensure all suppliers are compliant.

To do this, teams must take a smarter approach to procurement that gives complete visibility into suppliers throughout the supply chain. This will allow financial services firms to identify and plan for risk, reducing the potential damage, and ensuring they are working with and awarding business to low-risk suppliers. Supply chain risk is rapidly becoming an overarching concern for financial services firms, but by providing the ability to assess suppliers, they will have all the insights they need to mitigate the impact on business operations.

 

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Finance

ISO 20022 – THE BEDROCK FOR PAYMENTS TRANSFORMATION

PAYMENTS

Lauren Jones, Global Payments Ambassador, Icon Solutions

 

The financial services industry has seen ISO 20022 grow firmly over the last 15 years. What was then a small pocket of countries tackling migration has now become widespread adoption for domestic and international payments.

And with momentum building, it is clear that IS0 20022 is playing a foundational role for banks in the transformation of their infrastructures, with the rich messaging format delivering business benefits and enabling enhanced customer propositions.

 

PAYMENTS

Lauren Jones

The time is now for ISO 20022

European initiatives, such as SEPA, were the first to drive usage, but have since catalysed a network effect in other countries. Recent examples driving adoption include the New Payments Platform in Australia and the Bank of England’s Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service doing the same in the UK.

Despite the timeline delay, the SWIFT migration to ISO 20022 for cross-border payments will drive further adoption and it is clear to see why. As the world becomes more connected, having a globally interoperable standard is attractive. ISO 20022 allows banks to have a consistent experience across geographies and provides a low-risk approach to modernisation.

In the US things are moving as well. With the country’s most important payments market infrastructures, the Fedwire and The Clearing House Interbank RTP system, migrating their High Value Payment (HVP) systems almost concurrently, widespread ISO 20022 has reached a tipping point.

For US banks this means it is important to understand that ISO 2022 is no longer happening “somewhere else”. Banks dealing with the modernisation of infrastructure need to decide what will become the bedrock of their transformation efforts. ISO 20022 seems to be the only sensible choice.

 

ISO 20022 in practice

While banks in the US and across the world grapple with ISO 20022, it is crucial that they engage internal and external stakeholders early on in their journey to define their strategy. Resources should also be pulled from all areas of a bank, including technology, operations, AML, product and sales.

Implementation is not just a technical issue. Governance, sequencing and coordinating activities are all vital for success.  Banks need to lay a foundation where legacy systems are ringfenced, but it is equally important for them to understand how to move rich data through or around legacy infrastructure as early as possible.

Deciding what to do with legacy systems is a challenge for many financial institutions. Therefore it can be useful to deploy mapping or translation services in the early stages of adoption. In fact, many market infrastructure ISO 20022 programs include a phased approach where there is a like-for-like phase (where no new functionality is used), allowing adopters to become familiar with the new standard.

This is often followed by multi-year adoption of new functionality and gradual decommissioning of legacy formats.  However, mapping should not be viewed as a longer-term solution. To harness the full value of ISO 20022, supporting the standardisation natively allows banks to build from the ground up. This creates a modern data model where both internal efficiency and external value can be realised.

 

ISO 20022 is the way to deliver added value

One of the major drivers for ISO 20022 adoption is to remain competitive. By implementing a common standard banks can have a platform to innovate at pace and with lower costs.

Many banks now see ISO 20022 as a critical foundational element to deliver value to their corporate clients. But the benefits of ISO 20022 are not solely external. Increasingly, APIs are being used to support both deep integration within the bank and with a broad spectrum of fintech partners. ISO 20022 allows the capability of having a single data model across various computer languages and therefore across multiple use cases.

With a shift towards data-driven architecture, ISO 20022 allows banks to generate greater amounts of standardised data to provide targeted insight. The move to ISO 20022 will therefore be of paramount importance for banks to take advantage of richer, standardised data sets. With more payment volumes set to adopt ISO 20022 by 2025, the discussion is moving on from the standard simply serving transactional needs to the data that can be extracted from these transactions.

 

Prioritising payments transformation

In other words, over the next few years we will see payments being refocused from a commoditised proposition to a strategic, value-adding one. Yet being “data-aware” is not good enough. Banks need to be powered by that data. As cutting costs is no longer enough to sustain banks, they must use payments data to deliver more appealing propositions and revenue-boosting, value-added services.

As the adoption of ISO 20022 remains fragmented in the US for the time being, many banks will continue to question how best to take advantage of the standard. However, it should be evident that ISO 20022 is coming and the time to prepare is now.

 

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