Visa Europe CEO warns on fads; claims company has edge on new rivals - Mobile World Live

Visa Europe CEO warns on fads; claims company has edge on new rivals

04 APR 2016
Europe Money 20/20

LIVE FROM MONEY 2020 EUROPE, COPENHAGEN: Nicolas Huss, CEO of Visa Europe, warned of a changing payments landscape but confided the credit card giant has a plan for keeping ahead of upstart rivals.

Huss contrasted the historic way innovation worked, which involved steady and incremental change, with the digital model, which takes hold quicker but does not stick around for so long. He chose the hoverboard, with his tongue only half in his cheek, as being emblematic of the trend. “The world has moved on, the fad is over, and no one cares.”

This is a volatile world, in which established players have to react faster. He had a number of points for how this might happen. His first point related to what he termed “viral trends and passing fads” and pointed to how quickly new traffic flows can occur in payments. He mentioned rates of growth in contactless payments, which are “unprecedented”. In 2016 Visa Europe handled a volume of more than 3.5 billion contactless payments, against 1.7 billion in 2015. This is clearly not a fad.

Huss argued that the old school development cycle is no longer valid. “The raison d’etre can half vanish before the product is even released. We must accelerate and democratise development. Or leave a vacuum that others will fill.”

This brought Huss to his second point, which is to capture more of the innovative spirit in the fintech community, for instance with innovation hubs in London, Tel Aviv and Berlin, as well as opening APIs to outside developers.

Next up, he listed a “security obsession” possessed by Visa that newcomers to the market will have to match.

Fourth was the global ripple effect which Visa Europe hopes to benefit from when it is reunited with Visa Inc to form a worldwide business. As an example, he said a global business has an advantage in combating advanced fraud.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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