Last week I was very fortunate to attend the Prepaid International Forum (PIF) in the United Kingdom. I was invited by Craig James, PIFs Chairman, and his colleague Diane Brocklebank, PIF’s Commercial Director. Craig is the Founder and CEO of Neopay and is an NBPCA Board Member.
Now that we have gotten all the titles and acronyms out of the way, simply put, I thorough enjoyed my time at PIF. It was wonderful to be surrounded by experts from the UK innovative payments community. However, I was surprised to learn that the payments community in the U.K. is going through the same transition the innovative payments community is going through in the U.S.
It is clear that in the U.S. and the U.K. innovation is outpacing education. New ideas, innovation, and change in the payments sector is happening at such a rapid pace that products that were just merely concepts five years ago are on now in people’s wallets, phones, or wrists. The burden is on the industry to make sure that all stakeholders: policymakers, media, law enforcement and most importantly – consumers are aware of how our products work, the rules and regulations that are in place today to protect consumers, and there is still more change to come.
What is critical for success in the U.S. and the U.K. is a thorough understanding of the regulatory environment of each market. Issuers in each country strive to make sure they have clear disclosures, set clear standards for AML, and know their customers. Which brings me back to PIF’s event last week. PIF is tackling these issues head on and making sure their members are prepared to address the issues that innovative payments industry may encounter now and in the future.
The NBPCA (and eventually the Innovative Payments Association starting in January 1, 2019) looks forward to collaborating with our partners across the pond because I believe that our shared challenges and experiences lends itself to shared learning, which in turn will eventually lead to new understanding on how the payments community can better serve consumers.
We must always keep in mind that only until there is a nexus between consumer education and regulatory understanding can the innovative payments communities in both countries reach their potential.