GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Shaun Puckrin, Chief Product Officer at Global Processing Services (GPS)
Shaun Puckrin, Chief Product Officer at Global Processing Services (GPS) discusses how the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has impacted innovations and demand for fintech and cashless payments in this interview. Catch the complete story:
Yes, I’ve been very privileged to witness some incredibly exciting innovations in the mobile and fintech space. My experience heading up various product departments and developing propositions goes back about 20 years and has given me great insight into the way the payments industry has changed over the years.
The financial services industry has been, by and large, ruled by traditional players for decades, but the global financial crisis in 2008 paved the way for new entrants, leading to a new era of challenger banks and technology providers. Driven by frustration about how the incumbent banks had served their customers, digital processes and modern technology; challenger banks and others have firmly established themselves, offering consumers alternative ways to get financial services.
How do you see emerging tech play a key role in the fintech segment, especially when it comes to the global payments industry?
We are likely to see more new entrants with novel takes on financial services that may appeal to particular segments like freelancers, or combined with additional services like crypto. We are also seeing the launch of new services from more traditional players. Examples of this include traditional banking and payments products under new brands from established players, like the recently launched currency-focused service PagoFX from Santander.
We will also see more non-financial brands such as consumer electronics, tech companies and marketplaces offer financial products alongside their existing offerings, enabling them to capitalize on their trusted brands to add additional revenue streams or retain value in their ecosystems.
We’d love your thoughts on how payment apps and platforms are redefining the banking industry as well – how do you see newer innovations here transform the capabilities of neobanks/banking apps?
The new challengers in the marketplace have continuously raised the bar for innovation, attracting customers looking for a modern offering. Alongside this, the process of switching has become much easier, with many customers taking on accounts with challengers alongside their traditional banking account. As a result of this, the relationship between customers and traditional banks has become less intertwined. So, it’s likely we will continue to see a shift in the market as users switch between banks with increasing frequency.
To stay relevant, banks will be forced to innovate, and this is most likely to occur through partnerships, as they often lack the technology and/or are too embedded in old processes to entirely transform their offerings. This will increase competition between traditional players and challenger banks alike, who will all be vying to retain and attract customers.
Given the current (pandemic) situation across the world, we’d love to know how you think COVID-19 is going to impact or change the game for fintech?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings of traditional high street banks compared to their digital competitors and has shown that the drive to digitisation is no longer just a “nice-to-have”.
With physical means of payments, including cash and cheques, being discouraged to avoid the transmission of the virus, there will no doubt be an acceleration towards a cashless economy. However, the move away from cash may also impact certain segments of society disproportionately, including those who are unbanked or who may not have access to new technologies, and it is equally as important that these issues are addressed.
Can you also share your thoughts on other technologies/platforms in the marketplace that are game changers when it comes to enabling seamless payments for businesses and for personal use?
Fintechs looking to compete with large tech behemoths are now turning to marketplace models, which offer consumers a range of plug-and-play services to best fit their lives. Among these services is “payments-as-a-service” (PaaS).
PaaS, broadly speaking, is the integration of payments technologies – or paytech – into existing tech stacks of various businesses, financial or otherwise, to provide seamless payment options to end users across online and mobile channels. PaaS has swiftly become the norm for many businesses who do not have the ability or depth of regulatory experience to develop their own payments systems in-house and will continue to evolve as consumer demand does.
What are some of your top predictions for fintech, given the current world situation and otherwise – what kind of apps do you feel will have a greater demand over time?
Consumer demand for frictionless experiences has led a number of companies to provide “an app to rule them all” driving the evolution and integration of fintech beyond the traditional banking space, into other verticals including retail, travel and gaming. In other words, fintech is becoming part of the native user interface of non-financial products, no longer functioning as a standalone feature but instead becoming embedded.
We’ve seen this with Alipay and WeChat Pay in China, where Tencent and Alibaba have really delivered the super-app vision to their customers, allowing them to live within their ecosystem along with a payment wallet that can be used across merchants in China and beyond.
Your favorite FinanceTech quote
Not sure it’s specifically fintech-related but I think it applies to it. Roy Amara’s quote (now referred to as Amara’s law) is always worth bearing in mind:
“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
Global Processing Services (GPS) is the issuer processor enabling many of today’s most high-profile fintech innovators and disruptors. It is certified by Mastercard and Visa to process and manage any credit, debit or pre-paid card transaction globally.
Shaun is the Chief Product Officer at Global Processing Services (GPS).