As we look ahead through 2018, the coming year promises much in terms of smart payment evolution. From the regulatory standpoint, we expect the next release of SEPA Volume Specifications, further developments in the revised European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and the completion of the regulatory framework for AML (Anti Money Laundering).
From a market perspective, the growth of the fintech sector will drive further debate within an already competitive landscape. While we believe banks will continue to play a dominant role for some years to come, important questions with regard to new fintech entrants - on collaborative patterns, the role of international standards and financial data security – will need to be discussed and addressed.
Bitcoin too is likely to remain a major headline grabber in 2018. As well as the usual hype around the cryptocurrency itself, it will be interesting to follow the wider discussions in terms of the wider development of blockchain and the distributed ledger concept. Not only that, we also anticipate continued investment in advanced authentication techniques, and wider commercial roll-outs of match-on-card biometric payment mechanisms as we move through 2018.
You can be sure SPA will keep track of these, and other key issues, and report back our views and positions to support the interests and strategies of financial services providers across the world.
Before we look too far ahead, it is worth taking stock of the year in payment just past. 2017 was undoubtable a year of regulatory consolidation, and SPA was proud to play a significant role in helping to drive the agenda.
With cloud payments and strong customer authentication (SCA) both perennial topics, SPA published two positions – one exploring the European Banking Authority (EBA)'s Consultation on the draft recommendations on outsourcing to cloud service providers, the other discussing the disruptive impact of the Regulatory Technical Standard on Strong Customer Authentication (RTS on SCA). Both are available for download from our website.
Continuing our leadership on SCA, SPA contributed to the European Cards Stakeholders Group (ECSG) to achieve a common understanding of the of the constraints of the retail payments industry in conforming with the standards. SPA is pleased to note this very important issue is now solved.
SPA also participated in the Card Fraud Prevention Forum; having been invited to join in an observer capacity to advise on the role of secure technology in the fight against fraud in the context of PSD2 and SCA.
SPA continues to provide consultancy, and lead payment innovations discussions within the European Cards Stakeholders Group (ECSG).
As we move through 2018, SPA will continue to provide guidance on emerging payment instruments and new models; working to preserve and strengthen the values of security, trust and convenience that are the pillars of effective payment and successful adoption.
We are proud to have played an instrumental role in guiding the industry through uncertain and challenging regulatory times in 2017, and we continue to invest and expand our work group programs for benefit of the whole payments ecosystem.
Finally, I would like to reiterate our invitation to become part of SPA. In 2017, we launched our Advisory Council program to make it possible for non-SPA member organizations to participate, contribute and collaborate with the SPA in areas of mutual interest. If you would like more details, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
SPA would like to wish you a successful and prosperous New Year!
President, Smart Payment Association