Last week, more than 400 industry leaders gathered in the beautiful city of Zürich for the 13th NextGen Payments & RegTech Forum (NPF). The two-day event was packed with exciting panels, captivating keynote speeches, compelling fireside chats, and informative Q&As. Our founder and Group CEO, Kamran Hedjri, joined the incredibly thought-provoking ‘Payments Innovation’ panel. 

With more than 1,000 minutes of top-level content, the insights were manifold. Therefore, we’ve broken it down into three key takeaways for you to digest quickly.   


1. Payment innovations  


Innovations in payment technologies have long been transforming how we pay and how transactions are processed. Chances are you’ve completed a contactless payment, used a digital wallet (Apple Pay and PayPal are popular digital wallet options), and perhaps even bought something using a blockchain-based payment.


Nevertheless, some still prefer more traditional methods of payment. The payments industry needs to focus on maximising choices, so customers always have the option of using their preferred payment method.   

Regardless of the payment method, customers want to pay, send, and receive money instantly and seamlessly. The less friction, the better.  


As such, payments are becoming embedded into everything we do. Customer expectations have changed; embedded payments are becoming the norm. People don’t want to leave an app or website when they pay, and customers want to pay in their preferred currency with their preferred payment method.   


However, the payments industry is a highly fragmented landscape in constant evolution. Establishing within payments represents one of the most monumental challenges currently faced within the industry. As we move forward, the central questions will likely be around the role of digital assets, such as stablecoins and CBDCs (central bank digital currencies), and how they will fit into the current payments landscape.   


2. Keeping up with the...payments! 


Regulation plays a critical role within the payments industry, and concurrent to the innovations in payments are regulatory innovations. Indeed, the regulator and the customer must be regarded as two key stakeholders in payments. Regulation aims to increase competition, ensure security, and promote best practices. However, given the pace of evolution in the payments industry, regulation often struggles to keep up.   


The number of new businesses in the payments space has exploded in recent years, and the types of payment services available have become incredibly diversified. The result has been inconsistent or insufficient regulation. Standardisation, particularly in an increasingly interconnected world, is a tall order. Without standardisation, navigating regulation continues to be difficult for startups, scaleups, scale-outs, and incumbents.   


Further questions are cropping up around regulating digital assets, such as cryptocurrency. The role of regulators remains uncertain, particularly given the decentralised nature of many digital assets. However, regulators have urged caution about the risks associated with digital assets. With the current absence of external regulation, payment businesses engaged with digital assets need to have an internally robust regulatory framework that privileges and protects the customer.   

 As an industry, regulators and payment businesses must collaborate. Businesses need to monitor regulatory changes to keep ahead of the curve and remain compliant. RegTech is becoming increasingly essential for supporting businesses to overcome the regulatory challenges within payments.   



3. Cybersecurity 


Cybersecurity remains the top concern of regulatory changes. Protecting customer privacy while also mitigating against fraud and improper usage are critical tasks for the payments industry. However, this is difficult in the fast-paced payments landscape and given the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks.


Technological innovations are supporting developments in the cybersecurity space. For example, biometrics authorise a payment using physical characteristics to authenticate user identity. Biometrics includes technologies that are now relatively commonplace, such as fingerprint scanning and face recognition. As the technology develops, biometrics will remove the friction of identity verification in the payment journey.   


Although still in its infancy, AI (artificial intelligence) will also play a key role in supporting cybersecurity in the payments space. While innovations are facilitating both quicker and higher volumes of payments, cybersecurity compliance often operates at a slower pace. AI can improve risk assessment speeds and enhance the process of fraud detection. The machine learning component of AI also means it learns from each transaction, increasing its competence and efficiency the longer it is implemented.  


The 13th NextGen Payments & RegTech Forum was an invaluable event. Industry leaders were able to unite and share their expertise and insights to drive the industry forward. In the fast-paced landscape of payments, having the opportunity to come together and learn from each other is critical, so we want to say a huge thank you to Qube for hosting the forum. We can’t wait to travel to Athens in September for the 14th edition of the NextGen Payments & RegTech Forum – see you there! 


About PXP Financial 

The end-to-end payment platform: PXP Financial provides a single unified payments platform to accept payments online, on mobile and at the point of sale. Powered by inhouse acquiring, 200+ alternative payment methods & financial services, PXP processes over EUR 22.7 billion annually through its unified gateway. Whatever your business needs today or tomorrow, PXP Financials’ innovative payment platform will support your business growth with all the payment services you will ever need from one source, wherever your business takes you. To find out more about PXP Financial family of companies, visit: