Latest industry insights from FinTech North Future of Payments 2022

7 July 2022


5 min read

Chloe Mumford

Business people networking at an event with a blue overlay

On the 22nd of June, Answer Pay attended the FinTech North Future of Payments 2022, an event which provided insight into what’s hot in the world of payments.

The conference aimed to provide a platform for FinTech enthusiasts to share ideas, contextualize Northern FinTech innovation in a global sector, champion diversity in the sector, and feature under-represented founders — which it successfully did. It was a place to acquire knowledge and connect with new and old friends, while also being able to discover new start-ups and share knowledge on industry trends and predictions.

What were the key topics?

Some of the key topics that were discussed included:

  • Open Banking
  • Open Finance
  • Connected car technology
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Fraud & Financial Crime
  • Embedded Finance
  • The Metaverse

What was discussed?

Mike Chambers:

The Answer Pay chairman started the conversation on digital payments, and how the pandemic has accelerated their take-up. He then followed up by stating that the acceleration of digital payments has increased fraud.

An important take he had was that there should be more done to prevent fraud before it happens, rather than focusing on a solution only after it’s occurred. Customers often get reimbursed post-event, however the fraudster is still benefiting from their ill-gotten gains (sipping his piña colada in Marbella). Industry-wide action is required to prevent this.

David Beardmore:

David Beardmore from Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) went up next and underlined the company’s success in getting to 6M customers.

He claimed that the term “Open Banking” itself is a bit of a misnomer. Customers expect banks to be secure, not “open”, and in the world of GDPR this seems to go against the grain. It also isn’t necessarily exclusive to Open Banking, given efforts in other industry sectors, such as energy and their “Smart Data” plans.

He highlighted that the UK has led the way with Open Banking, but Australia and Brazil in particular are catching up fast, and failure to provide timely direction could see us surrender the initiative. A panel chaired by Helen Child also backed this point.

businessman addressing audience at an event

Barry James:

Barry provided insight into the metaverse and cryptocurrencies. He identified that crypto is happening, however, it is happening without existing market players (banks).

In addition, he claimed that a supportive regulatory environment is required to ensure that the UK has a role to play. Central Bank Digital Currencies are an essential part of that. Failure of the UK to issue its digital sterling could see non-UK-based entities issue digital sterling instead, which would be dangerous, as should that gain traction, it may be hard to govern/regulate and would cede the initiative.

Concerning the metaverse, he stated that the future is here. It isn’t necessarily digital avatars chatting to Mark Zuckerberg. It is the proliferation of Zoom calling, which means that we’re interacting digitally rather than physically.  Peter’s personal tip was to read Snow Crash.

Kevin Telford:

Kevin Telford for Parser provided a keynote and panel session on embedded finance, which could be the death knell for digital wallets. He expressed that the key to embedded finance is providing the payment process integral to the customer’s journey with the merchant. It is all about building a friction-free experience.

Furthermore, he also said how ensuring compliance is an increasing challenge as the customer for the payment provider will be the merchant and there will be reduced interaction with the end-user.  How then to ensure compliance of potentially thousands of end customers via the one merchant?

What’s the take-away?

The payments market is rapidly evolving.  New ways to transacting payments online are evolving at a pace to keep up with consumer buying behaviours—but only just.  The North of England is fast becoming the ‘Menlo Park’ of the digital payments industry, with more innovative providers located there than you can shake a stick at.  And, as it sits within the centre of that digital innovation hub, the FinTech North event is fast becoming the event to attend if you want to keep abreast of the latest changes. 

Answer Pay is delighted to play its part as a standard-bearer both for the UK digital payments industry and as one of the leading examples quoted by Leeds Council of what good looks like.