US: Mastercard, Flywire, BlueSnap and BNP Paribas in View from the Top 

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There are plenty of defining years in the history books, and as
2020 draws to a close, it’s almost certain that the global
pandemic will ensure that this year is featured prominently. With
events cancelled, launches delayed, and country-wide lockdowns, the
way we work has changed forever. Still, for financial technology
and surrounding industries, this was also a year of challenge and
opportunity.

This December, The Fintech Times is asking industry leaders for
their
‘View from the Top’
to gain an insight into the decisions
behind the last 12-months. Today, we’re looking at fintech in the
US, hearing from Ken Moore, Mike Massaro, Ralph
Danglemeir
and Matthieu Soulé on their
2020 thoughts, plus a look ahead to 2021. Will there be a Happy New
Year? Read on…

Considering that the US is one of the largest markets globally,
it makes sense that it has a thriving fintech scene. Full of Major
banks, financial services companies and a more start-ups than you
can possibly count, the US is one of the largest fintech markets in
the world. In this View from the Top, companies Mastercard,
Flywire, BlueSnap
and BNP Paribas outline
their own 2020 experience.

 

Ken Moore, Chief
Innovation Officer, Mastercard

Ken Moore is the Chief Innovation Officer at Mastercard where
he is responsible for 
the company’s R&D initiatives
globally. With over 20 years of experience in international
financial services across retail and corporate banking, in his
opinion,
the fintech sector has managed to thrive during
2020.

“Despite the turbulence we’ve all faced as a result of this
pandemic, the fintech sector has demonstrated enduring strength and
innovation. Fintechs have taken the opportunity to inspire change
and help customers quickly adapt to unprecedented
circumstances.

“As the pandemic ushered in a new need for touchless
experiences, fintechs incorporated more biometrics and increased
security in their products – this will continue to be a focus
area for the next generation of commerce. We saw new accelerators
pop up globally within weeks of the pandemic hitting and startup
ventures skyrocketed. In May 2020, VCs invested $3B globally in
fintech startups, slightly higher than in May 2019 ($2.8B),
according to Mastercard’s research with PitchBook. Brazil-based
idwall a fintech in our Start Path network pivoted its business by
extending its ID verification solution to enable telemedicine and
verify registered medical practitioners.

“While fintech activity was on the decline heading into 2020,
Covid-19 does not seem to have further accelerated that trend.
Fintech is one of the few areas of the economy that has seen a
dramatic surge this year. As we look to 2021, there are no signs of
slowing down. We’ll see embedded fintech solutions that meet
people where they are, new digital banking solutions for small
businesses that support their growth, and fintechs focused on
sustainability and financial inclusion. We’re proud of our
history of partnering with fintechs and look forward to continuing
to co-innovate with them to scale ideas that bring more people into
the digital economy.”

 

Mike Massaro

Mike Massaro is the CEO of Flywire, a newly crowned
fintech unicorn that solves complex payment problems for businesses
and institutions. In his view buy now pay later schemes have a been
a big trend this year. 

“Today you can finance almost any consumer purchase with buy
now pay later (BNPL) programs. The BNPL craze has taken the
industry by storm and is also an incredible exemplar of embedded
finance in action.

“In 2021 we will see the BNPL trend move horizontally to
higher-value transactions and vertically to new markets. It will
not just be e-commerce and retail that allows you to pay over an
extended period, but as payments are digitised in new verticals, we
will see BNPL spread to large sum healthcare or tuition payments
for example where students and patients are offered tailored
payment plans based on the buyers specific financial profile and
needs.

“BNPL is at a tipping point in 2020 and we expect it to become
increasingly ubiquitous in 2021.”

Raplh Dangelmaier, CEO,
Bluesnap

Ralph Dangelmaier is CEO of BlueSnap, an All-in-one
Payment Platform designed to increase sales and reduce costs for
B2B and B2C companies. With more than 30 years of experience in the
payments industry, Ralph agrees that the buy now pay later boom and
other forms of flexible finance will continue to trend.

“Online retailers are racing to adopt new methods of “buy
now, pay later” (BNPL) to accommodate today’s consumer needs.
This new digital, Millennial-friendly version of instalment
payments offers more flexible payment options that allow consumers
to stretch their dollars as the Covid-19 crisis continues to affect
buying power. In fact, more than one in three consumers aged 18 to
37 say that the availability of a BNPL option has influenced their
decision to complete a purchase. Shoppers are attracted to BNPL
because it’s a cheaper option than paying the high-interest rates
that credit cards carry.

“With continued success in the B2C market, the B2B market is
catching on. BNPL solutions are solving for critical pain points
for smaller firms by helping them manage their cash flow
challenges. BNPL allows B2B organisations a lifeline, enabling them
to pay back their invoices and instalments over a more extended
period of time. Next-gen instalment providers, like Splitit, use
automation, machine learning and big data to make better loan
decisions in seconds. 

“In 2021, we will see an increased appetite for this new type
of financing by e-commerce sites, retailers and B2B businesses. The
financial flexibility allows businesses and consumers to make the
purchases they need.”

Matthieu Soulé, Head of
the Innovation Lab Slicon Valley, BNP Paribas

Matthieu Soulé is the Head of the Innovation Lab of BNP
Paribas in Silicon Valley
where he works with both early and
late-stage startups. He thinks that while 2020 has brought
challenges, start-up’s, in general, have been relatively
sheltered. 

“There’s been a lot of noise about new markets in emerging
countries however, I think we can take notice of what has happened
in China in-depth and also look at the mergers market, both B2B and
B2C, to understand this year’s successes. For us in the US it’s
the insurance markets. But if we take a look at something like
Igloo digital insurance based in Singapore, they’re looking to
expand in South East Asia and Australia. What’s more, Asia and
Indonesia are also looking to add products to the marketplace. So
worldwide there are some big changes.

“When it comes to health insurance which has been a huge
market for the US this year with Covid, we could see what’s
happening in the US, Europe and China also extending to other
geographies, which I think would be a very interesting trend. The
idea of transparency and access – having a Dr. on-demand and
knowing the price you’ll pay to speak with them – has been a
huge turning point for the industry which is predominantly a big
fish market. However, these small tech startups are helping to
innovate and links between health and nutrition for instance are
very interesting. For instance, could you pay less for insurance
depending on your lifestyle?

“From my perspective in 2021, we’ll see a lot of new
developments. I would say especially in the convergence between
retail marketplaces and insurance products. I think using
established markets like China, the US or Europe where you can
launch a product to protect issues such as climate and
sustainability for me will be a very useful thing. At the moment
I’m working with areas of banking and insurance to demonstrate
that these fields can have a positive impact on the planet, based
on business and independence.”

The post
US: Mastercard, Flywire, BlueSnap and BNP Paribas in View from the
Top 
appeared first on The Fintech Times.

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