The European Payment Initiative (EPI) is making headlines – and here in fino, we are keeping up with the latest news. The EPI has set the task to create a unified payment solution for European consumers and traders, comprising a payment card, a digital wallet and payments from person to person (P2P payments), to 16 Euro Zone banks.
We welcome and support the initiative – after all, it is our mission to optimize business processes in the finance sector, to help banks stay competitive and to create more personal freedom for people. Thus we view the provision of payment services that fulfil the customers‘ requirements as a positive step. This certainly includes the disintegration of the existing fragmentation of European private customer payments, and support of the five main goals – European reach, consumer-friendly approach, cost efficiency, security, and European identity and governance. The idea to strive for global reach in the long term, as outlined by the European Central Bank, should be lauded, too.
Create significant value
To reach this goal, and to be able to face already successful global players, the creation of strong value adds for customers should, in our opinion, be the main focus of activities. That means: simplifying payments is not enough – new, resourceful business models need to be created. To that end, it is vital to understand the context behind payments, to utilize the information and to make the customers‘ lives easier; for example by helping them to save money or automating accounting. Sounds like a dream? Well, it does, and it is – a dream that has already become reality.
With the appropriate technology, accounts can be used not just as a payment source, but also as a data source for gaining insights. Bank accounts reflect customer lives. If the respective data is fed to a user profile and supplemented with further information, for instance from invoices analyzed in the course of a document service, or from other sources, banks receive valuable information. This information can be put into context with the help of artificial intelligence and enables a comprehensive view of customers – and partners.
Be better than the global competition
It is then important to use these insights responsibly with the customer in mind. One scenario, for example, is the recommendation of products or services that exactly fit the current life situation. If, on top of that, the implementation of such a recommendation is, aided by technology, made as easy as possible, banks can exceed their customers’ expectations.
The bar has been set high – it is essential to consider this potential now, and well worth your while. The combination of tradition and innovation, the financial knowledge of banks and the data science provided by FinTech enterprises, can set the tracks to lead the EPI to success. We are always happy to advise you on this topic and help with the implementation.
Your Björn Kahle
COO of fino