Interview: Fredric Hellsten, Manager Strategic Payments Projects – LeoVegas Group

Interview Fredric Hellstel

In partnership with Merchant Payments Ecosystem 2022, E-Commerce Nation had the pleasure to interview Fredric Hellsten, Manager Strategic Payments Projects at LeoVegas. In this interview, you will learn more about the challenges faced by e-retailers when it comes to payment strategies or the future of consumption with the BNPL, among others.

Can you introduce yourself and your background?

My name is Fredric Hellsten and I have an extensive background in the financial sector of which 8 years in the payment area. I have been fortuned to experience large organisations and start-ups in companies like Nordea, Visa, M (from the Volvo Group) and Scania.

I have had the opportunity to be part of starting and building from scratch when it comes to teams, groups and organisations. I believe in building trust, create strong teams, that you should love your work, communicate openly, take responsibility and to work hard. I am currently holding the role as Manager strategic Payments Projects where I am a part of the Payments department management team. Much of my time goes into looking at the future of payments in the name of LeoVegas Payment department.

Can you introduce your company and its activities?

LeoVegas is the premier GameTech company and is at the forefront of using state-of-the-art technology for mobile gaming, we are the King of Casino. Our strategy from the start has been “Mobile First”, which means that product and technology development for all of the brands are focused on mobile devices and product innovation. LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group operates several scalable and global brands and each brand have their own tone, but all convey a sense of fun that permeates the entire customer interaction. What the brands all share in common is that they are targeted at customers who view their gaming as entertainment.

We are talking to each other in the context of the MPE. Is this your first participation?

This is the first time I am attending the MPE.

What is the added value you are looking to find at MPE?

LeoVegas is a company in the iGaming industry, and we tend to attend iGaming centred fairs. Attending events like MPE could help us breaking out from that pattern and make us see and discover things and companies we might not come across normally.

Why would you recommend payment professionals to attend MPE 2022?

As I have not yet attended MPE I have a hard time recommending it.

What topics are in the MPE 2022 agenda close to your heart?

Open Banking, Digital Currencies & Cryptocurrency, security & Fraud Prevention.

What do you think about the BNPL and its future?

N/A as LeoVegas is not an ecommerce company. My personal opinion looking at Buy Now pay Later solution is that it is a good solution when used in the right way. In Sweden there is a saying that you should never buy anything with money you don’t have. It comes from the old days when it was considered to borrow money.

While there is a good point in this, however lending money can be a good thing if one can handle it. Offering BNPL solutions should come hand in hand with good insights from the individual’s economy. With that I don’t mean that the individual has a lot of money to pay back, there should be a payment behaviour that is healthy and cater for being able to pay back the money. As a summary it is a good solution when used in the right way.

Valuations in the open banking space are soaring far beyond revenues. What are investors betting on?

It is hard to say exactly what investors are betting for. My guess it is that open banking as a payment method is gaining more and more business from other payment solutions. Hence, the area is growing and start being a larger part of total payment transactions. The use cases for how to use open banking are also growing and with that the potential to gain more revenue in open banking.

What are the lessons learned from VRP rollout and implementation in UK and Europe so far?

It is still early days looking at VRG but as it contributes a lot to convenience, control and security it is something that can create a winner and most probably take out Direct Debit and CPA. I don’t know if there are any lessons learned as this open banking initiative has yet not been fully implemented. What is needed is that all banks offer it and all third-party providers (TPPs) to offer it to their payment service users. These agreements need to include a competitive price and who is liable if something goes wrong.

What needs to be done to improve the customer experience and take up?

Collaboration is crucial when it comes to open banking. There needs to be agreements between TPPs and banks, that is the foundation going forward to an improved customer experience.

How will we get consumers to feel secure and safe? 

This is a hard nut to crack and is always in development going forward. With that said: education is key. Educating consumers about open banking will be one of the corner stones for consumers to feel secure and safe.

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Thibault Herpin
Hi, my name is Thibault Herpin. I'm in charge of strategic content for E-commerce Nation. I'm happy to share my experience in the fields of digital marketing and E-commerce through my content. Do not hesitate to contact me !