The payment market is currently facing a multiplicity of seemingly conflicting pressures, creating complex challenges for financial institutions and their IT managers.
While breaking down cross-national barriers, initiatives such as the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) are also opening up competition between traditional players. This has also been compounded by technological changes (especially those provided by the Internet) that have created opportunities for new entrants to propose new ways of delivering payment services, accelerating the speed of change while reducing costs.
The rapid rise of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Internet payment players is a noteworthy example. Another rapidly approaching threat is that posed by telecommunications companies as they look for new revenue streams by exploiting the ubiquity of mobile phones to provide mPayment - or mobile payment - services.
Financial institutions are faced with mounting regulatory requirements, from national constraints, card scheme requirements to SEPA and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) initiatives, to name but a few. Compliance has become a complex and critical issue, absorbing the time and effort of industry experts and requiring continual monitoring.