David Gudjonsson (Handpoint): “Acquirers/ISOs are faced with a dynamically changing landscape, with new players entering, new payments technology and automation – challenging the status quo”

David Gudjonsson


What are your predictions on 3 top challenges that will have the biggest impact on the Merchant Payment Ecosystem in 2019?

Relevance. Acquirers/ISOs are faced with a dynamically changing landscape, with new players entering, new payments technology and automation – challenging the status quo. If the only reason customers stay is a punishing terminal cancellation penalty, are you really going to win? Not in 2019.
Business Model. The race to the bottom, especially in the stand-alone terminal world, continues to accelerate. Merchant service fees are no longer sufficient, and additional value added services are desperately needed to stay in the game.
Legacy. Outdated on-boarding and deployment systems hinder growth, relevance, and profitability for ISOs and acquirers. The bar is set at instant merchant on-boarding with instant (remote) key loading and seamless remote terminal configuration.
NoPOS. The payment terminal is giving way to payments taken directly on consumer off-the-shelf (COTS) mobile devices. The card schemes are driving towards a contactless future, and we’ll see soon a lot of smartphones kissing each other.

Frictionless Payments — seamless payment experiences unifying online and offline commerce.

What will be the key drivers of B2C mobile payments in 2019?

Ubiquity. Stand-alone terminals are giving way to integrated mobile payments solutions (NextGenPOS), and terminals will start to disappear completely as soon as 2019 with the advent of contactless on mobile.

Automation. 12% of American retailers plan to introduce Amazon-style checkout free experiences. The technology is complex and they are probably in for a surprise, but these initiatives will set the tone for what is to come. As we have said for many years, the future of payments is payments so integrated that they disappear altogether.


Can you give us a view of what you are working on? What news would you like to launch in 2019?

SmartPOS. Stand-alone terminals are disappearing, slowly but surely, and they’re being replaced with NextGenPOS solutions, either as a system with different peripherals (tablet, printer etc.) or a single device with everything, i.e. a smartPOS terminal (touch-screen, integrated printer, wifi/4G…all- in-one). Building on our deep expertise in mobile apps and mobile payments, we’re enabling our acquiring partners to offer NextGenPOS solutions also now to be solely on a smartPOS device.
Headstart. Everything takes forever in payments, and the years-long calendar doesn’t really include days or months when it comes to launching most new payments solutions. At Handpoint, we have put a lot of effort into changing “years” to “months” in speed to market, allowing acquirers & ISOs to rapidly offer NextGenPOS and mPOS solutions in their markets.

Can you give us an update on what you’re currently working on in the area of merchant payments?

NoPOS. The payment terminal is giving way to consumer mobile devices, and the security is being moved from hardware to the cloud and a software terminal sitting on the consumer mobile device. The Handpoint system and security are based on a clever interaction between our software terminal and cloud-based gateway, and we cannot wait to get rid of the extra hardware!


How acquirers are adapting to the mobile threat and becoming more agile and technology focused?

Mobile Software Terminal. It is all about the mobile so make sure you’re part of the transition. In a world of mobile payments where the physical stand-alone terminal has gone, there is a still a need for card acceptance: on mobile devices with “software terminals” on them.

NextGenPOS to cash registers and terminals, is what PC’s were to typewriters.

What important are value-added services beyond payments in mPOS adoption and what are the opportunities for payment providers?

Survival & Stickiness. The way this market is going, value-added-services won’t just be important, they will be everything. Unless a payment provider is going to rely on to penalty exit clauses to stay in business, it will have to invest in VAS – and partnering up with NextGenPOS providers allow them to do just that. But it is not an overnight success and it starts with being exceptionally good at servicing one specific vertical, rather than all at the same time.

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ECN Team
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