Hi Cyril, what do you work on at MyBank?
I am in charge of Business Development at MyBank throughout the SEPA zone, therefore, for all of Europe. My role is to showcase MyBank to our partners, whether they are bankers, payment service providers or service providers to these 2 industries.
When did you join MyBank and what were you doing before?
I joined MyBank two and half years ago. I discovered the Payment Industry through payment cards when I worked for Citibank as KAM (ed: Key Account Manager) for the French and Benelux markets. I continued my career in the banking world by integrating Société Générale before joining MyBank..
Can you tell us what MyBank does?
MyBank is a real-time authorization solution that allows consumers to be automatically redirected to their online banking portal (ed: from the payment page of an e-commerce website, for example) to securely validate a transfer or an order for future withdrawals in favor of an e-Commerce merchant or biller. MyBank breaks down the hang-ups and risks associated with the need to enter your credit card number online.
How do you think online purchases and payments have evolved in the last few years?
E-Commerce is quite a success and this, in part, because of the payment card. Nevertheless, it is true that, as of now, less than half of European consumers, who use the Internet, actually buy online and I think we have reached a ceiling in terms of online shopping paid by card. In fact, the card is not fully adapted to the online payment experience for several reasons including the fraud risks and the cards’ payment limits, which are defined by issuers and merchants to protect themselves against potential frauds. There is therefore an important potential for growth, particularly in the B2B sector. Indeed, a recent study showed that only 20% of companies in France buy and pay online.
What roles did SEPA, e-SEPA & SEPAmail have in these changes and how?
First of all, we cannot ignore the fact that SEPA was a gargantuan and complex project. But this project to create a single payment market in Europe allows all citizens, businesses and institutions in the European Union to have one unique payment experience no matter where the payer and payee are. SEPA overcomes borders and will help the trade development between European countries.
How are the consumers impacted by SEPA?
Clearly, it is the disappearance of borders in terms of payments. In addition, costs related to transfers become the same regardless of the country from which the payments are made and where they are received. Furthermore, bank transfers’ timing has been smoothed across the SEPA zone and is now D+1. Finally, the dispute rules, which used to differ by country, are the same and a transfer is now irrevocable, which provides insurance and reliability and this too will benefit cross-border trading.
The cost impact and the simplification will facilitate cross-border trading. Moreover, the benefits for consumers will also apply to merchants.
And what about the impacts on the banks?
The banks’ primary goal is to offer their customers simple, effective and secure payment methods. However, until now, any given major European e-retailer was forced to sign a separate card agreement with a different bank in each country. Banks can now offer companies a single contract covering the entire SEPA zone. Financial institutions are therefore working on creating high value-added services around this simplified and reliable system.
What major changes do you foresee for online purchases and payments in the near future?
Authorities are very active on payments’ regulations in Europe. Moreover, the second directive on payments will be a breakthrough, as it will allow third parties to have access, on behalf of their clients, to their bank accounts. Services based on this feature already exist in some countries and these are value-added services to consumers. What comes to mind, for example, are accounts aggregators, which, from a single interface, enable consumers to consult all their accounts and carry out banking operations from this single interface. The second major step, in terms of regulation, is the publication, by the EBA (ed: Euro Banking Authority), of recommendations relating to online payment security including, for example, the requirement for strong authentication, as of 1st January 2015, of the payer for online purchases. Concretely, this means that, from 1st August 2015, online card payment in Europe will need to be covered by 3D Secure. The online buying experience is going to drastically change and the conversion rate will also be impacted. The benefit of this disruption will be the emergence of new, innovative and responsive players that will create value-added services for customers. It is therefore surprising that this industry’s major players have yet to really react to these recommendations by the EBA, even though they clearly challenge one of the key successes of e-commerce, the one-click purchase, in favor of security and trust.
Can you tell us more about the partnership between MyBank and Worldline?
MyBank is an initiative from ABE Clearing, which traditionally offers payments infrastructures to the banking world in a collaborative manner, therefore we also work collaboratively and have banks and payment services providers participate in our solution, so that these entities can, themselves, bring this solution to their customers. It is up to our partners to put in place the needed technical and commercial infrastructures for the deployment of these services to end consumers. Worldline is therefore involved in the construction of the technical infrastructure and gives access to these services to banks, amongst others.
You were at the UniverSwiftNet conference recently, what is your most memorable memory of this event?
There was a lot of talk about SEPA in the last couple of years. People are now considering the next logical step, which is how to profit from the benefits associated with this project, and its value-added services.
What did strike you the most during this day of conferences?
The interest for the e-mandate, which is a real opportunity for companies both in terms of costs and ease of management. Debit is still quite used in France and remains, to this day, on a pre-SEPA system and will continue to be until February 2016. The TIP (ed: Interbank Payment document) will have to be retired at that time and people are looking for effective solutions that comply with the regulations in place.
Any anecdotes from UniverSwiftNet to share with us?
We expected to primarily meet e-Commerce players there. However, industrialists, such as cement and car manufacturers, came to meet us. We realized that these industries were faced with real digitization and payment processing problems that MyBank could solve.
Thank you for your time today, Cyril. I will leave you with one final question: we live in a hyper connected digital world and, suddenly, you find yourself stranded on a desert island, which electronic product do you have to have with you?
My e-reader. It combines reading comfort, the ability to have with you thousands of digital books and low power consumption and can therefore be used for months without having to be charged. So it is, in my opinion, the perfect electronic product.