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Interviews

June Felix, Verifone Europe: "Payment is now the 'life blood' of commerce"

Friday 2 March 2018 | 10:00 AM CET

New payment methods are redefining how we pay at the POS and technology enables merchants to develop omnichannel strategies.

During MPE 2018, we had the pleasure of interviewing June Felix, President at Verifone Europe & Russia, on the current trends that are changing the way we pay at the POS.

As Verifone's President of Europe & Russia and member of Verifone’s Management Committee, Ms. Felix has P&L responsibility for Verifone’s full suite of card-based, mobile and on-line payment and commerce enablement solutions across these countries.

A proven global leader, Ms. Felix has held various executive management positions at multi-national companies, including Citibank, IBM, JP Morgan Chase and Booz-Allen & Hamilton. Prior to joining Verifone, Ms. Felix served as Managing Director of Citi Enterprise Payments, where she led a global business focused on creating consumer-centric mobile healthcare payments.

What are the trends that are changing the way we pay at the Point of Sales?

In terms of trends at the Point of Sales, we can see a proliferation of more and more payment methods such as MobilePay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and pay by bank account, already in the focus of PSD2. So, whether it’s different form factors or different wallets, customers now have an abundance of payment methods that they can use at the POS.

On top of this, there is also the issue of connecting these different payment methods to e-com in order to create a seamless experience for consumers. Apart from integrating different payment methods, it is also important to collect all these touchpoints and make sense of them in order to enable payments to happen in a secure and seamless way.

What technology can merchants use to deliver a personalised experience to their customers?

There are many ways in which they can do that, but the simplest way to offer a personalised experience is, I would say, tokenisation. This type of technology allows a merchant to link the customer with his/her identity in a secure and safe way whether they have been online or in-store. This ability to link the customer’s identity to his/her transactions is something new and very interesting n the commerce landscape.

Biometrics and geolocation are also two technologies that can help merchants link their customer to a particular behaviour and/or location. We [Verifone] recognize the importance of these technologies and embed them in our platforms. Our POS terminals are equipped with beacons for geolocation but also biometric identification capabilities. Many of these technologies compete with one another, but we believe that bringing them together to help link a customers’ identity with his/her behaviour.

Pay later options are also gaining traction in both the online and offline environment. What is your take on this, will we see more similar solutions in the near future?

Absolutely, in fact, we have just launched something similar with the Mash solution launched in Finland. It allows consumers to split up payments at the Point of Sales into multiple different amounts. For example, you may buy a USD 1000 sofa and you want to pay for it on a monthly basis, as suppose to paying for it all at once. I think that giving people the option to split payments creates a lot more convenience and I believe this is very much in the trend on how people want to buy. They want to be able to buy and consume things as they pay for them.

Can you elaborate on Verifone’ plans for 2018? What should we expect, in terms of new services and products?

2018 is going to be a year of great excitement for us because we have many products and features plan. This year, we are launching Verifone Connect. Verifone Connect offers us the ability to provide not only new powerful products at the Point of Sales but have those connected to online experiences, very powerful loyalty apps and integrated POS systems that allow clients to do both accounting packages and connect to bank accounts.

So that is a new exciting portfolio of services that will make it easier for both consumers and merchants to do business.

What are the key takeaways from MPE 2018? What makes it such an important payments event?

There have been some good discussions around partnerships and the eco-system, there is an openness to think about how we can take advantage of these different changes taking place in the payments industry. Verifone is keen to look at how we can leverage technology, to create new meaningful partnerships in order to solve important opportunities as well as challenges.

June Felix in dialogue with David Birch at MPE 2018

Historically payments was a special industry off to itself, if you think about the banks, the payments part was all the back-office side of the business and all the other functions such as the lending and investment banking were the sexy parts. So, the payment has always been considered the ‘plumbing’ and what we are now seeing is a shift. The payment is now the ‘life blood’ of commerce and so it changes the whole tone of how vital it is but also the role it plays in lubricating the economy and helping businesses grow.

Events such as MPE are helping to raise the payment profile even further by bringing together influential leaders from financial institutions, market infrastructures, multinational corporations and technology partners to do business and shape the future of the financial industry while recognizing excellence.

For example, the awards showcase the best of payments talent and we were thrilled to beat off some stiff competition to win the Best Merchant Payments Partnership of the Year Award for our collaboration with the digital charity box, Pennies. The award highlighted the positive contribution Verifone’s technology is making to important charities and in adding value for businesses at the point of sale.

About Verifone:

Verifone is transforming everyday transactions into opportunities for connected commerce. We are connecting more than 27 million payment devices to the cloud - merging the online and in-store shopping experience and creating the next generation of digital engagement between merchants and consumers. We are built on a 30-year history of uncompromised security. Our people are known as trusted experts that work with our clients and partners, helping to solve their most complex payments challenges. Our company has clients and partners in more than 150 countries, including the world’s best-known retail brands, financial institutions and payment providers.

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