One of our sponsors this year – TSYS
The Corona pandemic still has us all in its grip and the infection figures are not yet falling to the extent that we can give the all-clear. This also means something for us and our event planning. Contrary to all our hopes to see each other live and in colour again in February, the second half of the Transactions will again take place exclusively remotely – in a really good TV studio in the Palais in Frankfurt.
Advantage: by now (almost) something like routine
But hey! By now have experience in it. After all, before Transactions 20 in November, the Banking Exchange had already been affected by the change in sign. So do we already have something like a routine in planning online-only conferences? Well, sort of and so preparations are already in full swing for the second half of TRX on 2/25/2021. Stress levels are rising!
Transactions 20½ finally kicks off tomorrow, Thursday. At #TRX20½, the forward-looking trends of the payment and banking industry will be discussed for one day, but also insights into the current developments and concepts of the industry will be given. The focus is not only on the people on stage: Above all, the guests are also given space to exchange ideas with each other and with experts and impulse providers from the industry. All this is in most cases never possible without the support of people who believe in the format.
For those who do, however, we’d like to give them the space to briefly introduce themselves and share why they think an event like Transactions is worth supporting. We talked to Rene Kruse from TSYS, the global payment service provider. The merger of Global Payments and TSYS in 2019 created the leading payments technology specialist company with 24000 employees worldwide and a growing team in Germany. Not unusual for this day and age, we met with Rene “virtually”.
Hello Rene, please tell us something about yourself.
I’m Rene Kruse, Managing Director International Markets at TSYS, a Global Payments company. I am responsible for our issuing business outside North America. I have been in the payments industry for more than 25 years and have worked in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.
Originally from Hamburg, I worked for Barclaycard International in various roles before joining TSYS, most recently as Head of IT. There I worked on technology solutions for our customers in various markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.
One of my first priorities at TSYS was enterprise change management. I am a big proponent of the continuous transformation mentality to stay agile, competitive and innovative. At TSYS, as a global fintech leader, I spend a lot of time interacting with financial institutions – albeit more virtually of late – to see how we can partner with our clients in their transformation and growth through our digital “API-first” approach.
What changes and trends are you currently observing in the payments sector?
The pandemic seems to be acting as a catalyst for change. It has accelerated the use of digital payment channels and led to a faster shift away from cash. In some markets, this digital progress is equivalent to about 2-3 years and in some industries we even see an acceleration of almost 6 years. In Germany, there is an obvious shift, with a 28% increase in the use of digital channels and services in 2020. A recent survey showed a net increase of up to 20% in intent to continue shopping online after COVID-19. We therefore expect the digitization trend to continue both in Germany and worldwide.
What opportunities do you see for banks and FinTechs to better support customers during this time?
First, it is important to make “contactless” available – for example, through contactless cards, mobile wallets or wearables – so that people can pay securely at the POS. Second, enable a frictionless customer experience across all digital channels and payment methods, especially as more and more is spent online since the lockdown. As mobile banking adoption and usage increases, companies can continue to expand their digital offerings (such as spending and authorization controls) and enter into collaborations to create value with new customer-centric services.
Despite increasing self-service through mobile apps or banking websites, physical contact centers continue to provide a valued “human voice” for the banking brand, especially during times when branches are closed or unable to open. At TSYS, we’ve seen how important contact centers are during the lockdown. And that it is necessary to adapt quickly and flexibly to enable employees to work remotely and still provide a high level of customer service.
For example, we saw a rapid increase in chargebacks processed through our contact centres in 2020 – 96% more than in 2019. During this period, we had the additional challenge of retraining nearly 100 employees to meet the increased demand. Therefore, the ability to quickly and successfully adapt its business model is also critical.
What else is TSYS doing to serve the German and international payment market?
We support both card issuers and acquirers in Germany through a range of payment processing solutions with different business models, including “full-service processing” in our European data centers and “on-premise with application management”. We are able to pass on the benefits of economies of scale to our clients and help reduce the ever-increasing regulatory and compliance burden on them so they can focus on their end customers.
We work closely with Amazon Web Services so that our partners can benefit from a cloud-optimized platform. Benefits include increased availability, scalability and agility, reduced operating costs, faster product rollouts and “pay as you grow” models.
We are strongly focused on the further expansion of our APIs. We have been providing API-centric solutions for some time now and were awarded a technology award from our industry for our “Mobile Banking Cardholder Empowerment APIs”. We also invest in digital transformation for our partners and seamless customer experiences with RESTful APIs. In recent years, we have been actively involved in Berlin Group’s API consultations and we enrich our clients’ payment ecosystems with innovative API-driven services.
As a partner to both traditional and neo-banks, what do you think are the key success factors to future-proof growth?
As the shift from cash to digital payments accelerates due to the convenience of paying with smartphones and other devices, all market participants must focus on the customer relationship and customer value. It’s a highly competitive market, and challenger banks have managed to gain a foothold with disruption models. They offer benefits such as frictionless digital customer experiences, fast onboarding, low fees and attractive digital offers. Traditional banks can also grow their market share, with an innovative mindset, the right technology and an efficient business model.
At TSYS, we have partnered with challenger banks and helped them on their journey to becoming credit card leaders. Similarly, we support established banks that have successfully become first movers with seamless digital customer experiences and products. The key success factors are a customer-centric focus and advanced payment technology solutions for future growth.
“The key success factors are a customer-centric focus and advanced payment technology solutions.”
In order to achieve continuous acceleration of business, fast time-to-market is of great importance. API and microservice solutions are an enabler for future-proofing and speed. They enable fast and efficient orchestration of new digital products across multiple innovative channels.
With our API-centric approach, we offer our customers easy yet secure integration and the ability to enrich their ecosystems with additional data. One example is the seamless integration of machine learning into fraud prevention and scoring decisions. With a partner like TSYS, these solutions can be delivered by the partner ecosystem. They can also be integrated by the customer, through the TSYS “Integration Layer”, an API toolkit or our developer portal. Either way, with our digital technology framework, payment companies have the opportunity to compete or collaborate and expand the market with innovative services that are personalized and add value.
To survive and grow in the marketplace over the long term, companies must operate with optimal operational efficiency and agility. That’s why we offer several business models, such as “pay-as-you-grow” services and API product flexibility, that accelerate business growth. We are passionate about working with our partners to help shape the future of payments in the fast-growing market here in Germany.
After the great guests is before the great guests
Following our November guests Dan McCrum, Verena Pausder and Sascha Lobo, we are once again bringing national and international stars and hidden champions from the business world to our “digital” Transactions stage in February. Who’s all this? We’re simply picking up where we left off at Transactions 20 in November, and look forward to guests discussing the important issues facing the industry and providing an outlook on current developments. We welcome, among others, Aya Jaff, who will reflect on “Get Green or Die Tryin'” in her keynote, as well as Tom Dapp, Kristina Walcker-Mayer, Verena Thaler, Imke Jacob, Alexander Bechtel and many many more.
Bam! Also remotely connected will be Edward Snowden, who not only has his own opinion on the topic of data protection, but will also provide exciting insights.
Good news: There are still tickets available – be there!
Be part of it!! Lucky is who already has his ticket for the event. They retain their validity and can be redeemed again without any problems. If you don’t have a ticket yet, we have excellent news for you – there are still some available here: https://www.eventbrite.de/e/transactions-2012-teil-2-tickets-130009216065.
And if you get a ticket now you will automatically have access to the past Transactions 20½ lectures. In other words, get a ticket and you’ll get the concentrated load: Sascha Lobo, Verena Pausder, Aya Jaff, Edward Snowden and many, many more! You can find the complete line-up as well as all speakers at www.transactions.io!
We’re bringing the Transaction 20½ online stream right to your door.