Why Overhauling their Card UX is a Quick Win for Banks

Why Overhauling their Card UX is a Quick Win for Banks

The flood of new digital technologies, business models and stakeholders entering the payments industry is challenging banks’ capacity to retain customers. Making quick strides to dramatically improve their payment card user experience is an easy win, says Lars Sandtorv, CEO MeaWallet.

The payments industry is on the move. As new regulations come into force a flow of new digitised payment technologies, business models and stakeholders are gaining serious traction in the market. This new school of payments is threatening to beat conventional banks at their own game. Few anticipate a wholesale demise of the banking industry as we know it, however; huge customer volumes shield most banks from serious threat. Nonetheless, it’s fair to say that banks’ grip on the market, and on their previously uncontested relationships with customers, is loosening fast. 

Central to the problem is that, compared to their fintech counterparts, banks lack the required agility to keep pace with digitalisation; something that is now demonstrably impacting their customer retention. Blaming what it dubs the ‘friction endemic in almost every legacy payment system’, a recent report from Deloitte reveals quite how quickly users are moving away from traditional payment rails.  PayPal already has 250 million users. The rising popularity of the OEM Pays (including Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay) provides yet further evidence. Apple Pay alone is on track to reach 200 million users by 2020.  And by then, the global transaction value of mobile payment apps is expected to reach $14 trillion. 


The Challenge

The challenges facing banks are particularly acute in Europe where the fintech scene is flourishing, following a boost from supportive regulations like the second Payments Services Directive (PSD2). In a recent keynote speech, European Central Bank vice-president Luis de Guindos suggested that in parallel with meeting structural challenges, the Europe’s banks must also face down increased competition from the fintech sector: “increased competition in lending, investments and payments is bound to increase pressure on retail banking revenues.”

With open banking and ‘bank direct’ payments arriving courtesy of PSD2, the ways that banks generate income is set for yet more disruption. All of this signals that banks need to find quick wins; enhancements that make the most of their current strengths. maximising revenues and offsetting rising customer attrition. This is particularly apparent for smaller banks which lack the resources to develop their own proprietary digital payment systems. 


The Solution

Overhauling their payment card infrastructure is one such opportunity. By collaborating with a specialist card payment platform provider, banks can make dramatic enhancements to their customer's card payment experience, making their services and their brand more attractive as a result. 

By combining support for the OEM Pays with additional services like EMV® Secure Remote Commerce (SRC), tokenization and token management facilities, banks can provide customers with greater flexibility and convenience, encouraging greater usage. 

So, what individual benefits do these capabilities bring to the table?

  • Payment-enabled bank apps
    By enabling a mobile banking app with wallet functionalities, customers can make in-store payments. This provides the flexibly to not only manage finances in the app, but also to make payments from the same environment.
  • Issued card to OEM Pays
    Connecting a banking app to the OEM Pays gives banks the potential to grow the customer base by providing a broader, more flexible solution, allowing consumers to select which wallet they’d prefer to use.
  • SRC enabled payments
    SRC is the next step in eCommerce that will enhance both security and user experience in online shopping. Customer benefits include a frictionless shopping experience via a reduced need for entering card and shipping information.
  • Greater customer control with a tokenized app
    Tokenization has become the new and modern standard to secure, provision and store card data to mobile, IoT devices and online merchants. With it, customers have the ability to enable push provisioning and manage tokens across multiple card schemes directly from the app.



Banks as brands

By improving functionality and increasing app usage, banks additionally stand to benefit from improved customer loyalty. This can lead to improved cross-selling opportunities improved usability keeps the bank’s brand front and centre in the mind of its customers leading to additional, more profitable revenue streams. 

Our mission at MeaWallet is to help our clients simplify mobile payments and support implementation. Our team is passionate about the subject and continually looking at the evolution and trends in the mobile payments space. We welcome your comments or invite you to get in touch directly with us at contact@meawallet.com 

Bilde av en iphone og en mac med blå/lilla bakgrunn

Get ready for the b.yond consortium launch

MeaWallet is a proud partner of the b.yond consortium, and we are excited to announce the launch of b.yond today. The user-friendly and innovative solutions will revolutionise the way bank innovate, the banking technology, and simplify the processes for banks.

B.yond is a consortium of financial services, all synonymous with innovation and quality, who have come together to deliver the best in cutting edge banking technology. The technological solution delivers a digital banking platform across all devices. You can shape your customer experience with the knowledge that your design will be received as intended, and that your users will have access to LaunchPad on their computer, smart phone or tablet.

The digital banking solution is readily deployable with the agility and speed required in today’s digital world. LaunchPad is designed to keep you in touch with features such as: account load, physical and virtual cards, card control, payments and transfers, tokenization, savings pots and many more features.

It allows you to launch your mobile payment solution with speed to market within 4-8 weeks with a set of out-of-the-box core features and an option to further enhance with specialized vertical add-ons. The system ensures that the customer receives the rich experience you intended them to have, using intuitive interfaces and native design.

In an ever changing and complex environment b.yond is an engine room of innovation with one simple objective... make the complex simple.

MeaWallet b.yond partner

MeaWallet contributes with security solutions

As one of Europe’s leading companies within digital payments, MeaWallet provide banks with a short time to market high-quality products, such as the Mea Token Platform which is built for enabling OEM Pays, Secure Remote Commerce and Token Management.

"MeaWallet has since the beginning in 2013 focused on EMV payment tokenization. Tokenization within EMV is the new standard, and includes issuers, PSP's, Gateways, Acquires and Merchant. In December 2018 MeaWallet became the number 1 on Mastercard Digital vendor in the world. b.yond's focus is to combine the best services from the best vendors, into a combined offer. As one of the best EMV tokenization specialist, MeaWallet is a natural part of b.yond" says Lars Sandtorv, CEO and Head of MeaWallet.

Want to learn more? Contact Lars Sandtorv at lars@meawallet.com

The importance of a digital strategy

"Do you have a digital strategy?"

I often ask my customers this question and they all say yes! Based on today’s standard, the reality is that the definition of what a digital strategy encompasses, is unclear, and the definition depends on the type of institution we are talking with.

In this day and age, the number one device used to access the internet is the mobile phone, and a digital strategy should be more than just launching an app. It is true that in some sectors, you can get away with just an app, but in reality, the success of these apps is related to the problem that they solve and to the way this is communicated to the customer.

When we talk about payments, there are a few more challenges to consider, since the action of paying is not, and never was, a problem, as long as you have cash or a plastic card. So, it is more important to have a digital strategy for the organization, not only to bring value to the customer but also to align all the processes inside the organization to support this strategy, in a digital manner.

So, what is a digital strategy?

I can start with what is not a digital strategy. The pure digitization of the card (in an Issuer app or OEMPay), issuing the card instantly in the app, offering instant credit in the app or enabling the card into wearables. Alone, these features will not generate the ROI. It is important to leverage these investments and adapt the organization to support the strategy, in a digital way.

Digital strategy really comes alive when the organization, in addition to becoming customer-centric, adapts all internal processes, including channel and sales strategy to support this new touch-point with the customer. This means that it is necessary to understand customers’ patterns of behavior and adapt the communication and sales channels accordingly. The goal is ultimately to create value for the customer, whilst promoting the adoption of mobile payments. The app has to be perceived as a new communication channel, and not as a tool for payments/access to the bank. It is important to leverage this touch point, and allow not only to cross-sell relevant services to the customer in the context of where the app is being used, but also to provide them with the flexibility that they do not currently have by using the traditional methods of interacting with their financial institutions.

In this way, a digital strategy becomes more a matter of processes and communication than technology. Communication is key to the success of the strategy, since this new channel, besides enabling payments, has to be seen as a marketing one-to-one tool, so should not be handled by traditional business areas such as IT, Cards or Payments, but instead by Innovation / Marketing departments since the challenge is to generate a call to action in the app, and make it relevant for the user, while paying and using the bank services.

This is the stepping stone, and a good start, for a digital strategy which will enable the realization of an ROI within this digital era.

At MeaWallet, we have built a platform that enables banks to deploy digital services, including mobile payments, into the bank’s digital strategy. We would be pleased to discuss and share our experience, insight, and passion for the subject, and on these topics with you.

Our mission at MeaWallet is to help our clients simplify mobile payments and support implementation. Our team is passionate about the subject and continually looking at the evolution and trends in the mobile payments space. We welcome your comments or invite you to get in touch directly with us at contact@meawallet.com 

Mobile payments and trends in the UK

Mobile payments in the UK

Mobile payments have, in recent years, infiltrated the mainstream business propositions of some of
the well-known technology companies that design, develop, and sell consumer
electronics, computer software, and online services. Apple, Google and Samsung all provide mobile
payments services under the names of Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, commonly referred
to in the payments industry as the OEM Pays. These technology giants, have arguably played a
significant part in raising the collective consumer consciousness around NFC mobile payments in the
last couple of years. A number of questions remain about how far they will take their payments
proposition? What is their end game? Are they out to disrupt and compete directly with the banks?
For the moment, the answers are closely guarded and while speculation is rife, only time will tell
what the outcomes will be.

In the UK, banks are facing continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and how this will affect their
future business, resources are stretched as a result of competing priorities to meet regulatory
deadlines such as MiFID II, PSD2 and GDPR, and to cap it off, budgets are shrinking, and spending is
being more closely scrutinized. Considering these and other challenges, the majority of banks are
nevertheless showing signs of continuous and growing investment in technology, to address not only
regulatory issues, but also in recognition that their existing legacy systems are too inflexible and
limiting to address the needs of the bank of the future.

Challenger banks, increasingly present in the UK market, are gaining traction along with the monikerof “disrupter”. Some challenger banks, now offer services going beyond traditional current accounts
and are actively targeting specific segments such as SMEs and Corporates. Their clear advantage is
in their ability to develop their technology stacks by eschewing models of bespoke development in
favor of off the shelf solutions and strategic partnerships with FinTech companies. They are not
bound by the legacy constraints of the traditional banks.
One common feature of the tech giants, banks and challenger banks is their burgeoning interest in
mobile payments.

The mobile payments landscape in the UK is dominated by the OEM Pays. It is not really surprising
that with all the pressures outlined above that banks, and, to a lesser degree, challenger banks have
adopted Apple, Google and Samsung as the lynchpin of their consumer mobile payments strategy.
By rolling out the OEM pays, they are, arguably taking the path of least resistance. There is, some
would argue, value in the relative ease of rolling out a mobile payments service backed by a trusted
name in technology.

For the end customer, NFC enabled mobile phones are the norm, as is the brand association. The
OEM Pay platforms on offer are ready and enabled straight out of the box. Add a funding source –
credit or debit card – and the service “just works”.

One very successful use case in the UK is around transport. TfL (Transport for London), in addition
to their Oyster Card program, has enabled all their terminals for contactless and NFC payments.
Commuters are increasingly using their phones to pay for public transport. In 2017, one in 10
journeys were made with mobile devices, equating to more than 31 million journeys.


With the proliferation of contactless POS terminals in retail locations and the fact that most POS
terminals will be NFC enabled in Europe by 2020, we can already see momentum building. Forrester
predicts that the European mobile payments market will vault to €148 billion by 2021. Mobile in-
person payments will grow the fastest, increasing almost fivefold between 2016 and 2021, from €4.6
billion in 2016 to €22.8 billion in 2021; they will account for nearly 16% of all mobile payments in the

Mobile payments are gaining traction and given the fast pace of change are likely to evolve in the
coming years. But are the banks missing a trick? Could they be leveraging mobile payments as a
conduit to promote their own bank apps and value-added services? Arguably, yes. In the current
environment, OEM Pays are co-existing alongside the bank apps. By choosing to pay through an
OEM Pay, customers are disintermediated from their bank as they can “fund” their mobile payment
purchases with any card issued by any institution. While the banks are paying out a small
percentage to Apple for the Apple Pay service, Google does not charge for the service but rather
collects payment transaction data. This was also showcased in the short clip attached from a BBC documentary entitled Billion Dollar Deals and How They Changed the World.

At a time when banks are competing to retain their customers, it seems counter-intuitive to be
giving away a valuable commodity which they possess. This is data that can be analyzed and used to
upsell customers relevant products such as, personal loans, mortgages and other revenue
generating products and services. It is the glue that can create sticky customer relationships and
retain their custom over the course of changing life events. By combining the mobile payment
functionality (be it as Issuer Pay and/or OEM Pay) into the single bank app, both parties benefit. The
bank, gains greater visibility on the habits and ensuing trends of their customers, together with the
added value of being able to target products and services tailored to their needs. For consumers, it
gives them a choice of payment options all the while using a single trusted app for all their payment
and banking needs.

At MeaWallet, we have built our platform to turn banks’ mobile payment aspirations into reality and
support the evolution of their mobile strategy. We would be pleased to discuss and share our
experience, insight and passion for the subject with you. Leave a message to have Regional Sales Director of the UK, Ness Diwan, get in touch.