Mastercard Digital Forum – Time to Accelerate

SEPA Cyber Technologies attended this year’s Mastercard Digital Forum on “Time To Accelerate”, which took place online on the 28th January 2021. The event consisted of eight sessions, where speakers presented their views on various topics.

The Growth of eCommerce

During the introductory session, Eimear Creaven, Division President for Western Europe at Mastercard, shared some insightful information on the eCommerce growth during the pandemic and the changes in customer behavior.

According to Creaven, there is a decline in the use of cash, as eight out of ten payments are done through contactless cards, which raises the need for advanced card issuing technologies and features. In addition to the contactless cards, it seems that people have also started to prefer using wearables and mobile devices to make payments.

New Customer Expectations

The new trend of online shopping asks for a secure online environment and raises the issue with digital authentication. Fortunately, technologies such as KYC and KYB keep evolving, and soon payments online will be the new normal.

To confirm that, Steven Van Belleghem, entrepreneur, and author of the bestseller “The Conversation Manager”, said that the eCommerce sector has experienced more growth in 8 weeks than in the last 10 years.

According to him, people now expect products and services to come directly to them. Most importantly, apart from good products and services on good prices, digital convenience becomes a critical part of the buyers’ decision-making process.

What Does the Future of Banking Look Like?

In the next module of the event, Prof. Bruno Colmant, CEO of Bank Degroof Petercam and member of the Belgian Royal Academy expressed his views on the future of the banking sector. According to him, banks should rethink their revenues models. The sustainable solutions he provided were for banks to focus more on digitalization and diversification of their product portfolios.

Fintech solutions like SEPA CoreX, a turnkey core banking solution for banks and mobile banking with easy-to-integrate open API, can help traditional banks compete with the rising popularity of neobanks.

The Potentials of Digital Identity

Digital identification was also a hot topic during the Mastercard Digital Forum. The panelists discussed the opportunities that digital identity holds. Some of the use cases that were discussed included the use of digital identification at universities and more specifically student exams as well as during interactions with governmental institutions.

The speakers also shared the possibility of including additional attributes to the person’s digital identity such as COVID-19 vaccine passport, driving license and digital signature. In the future, it is expected the digital identity to be used in political election as a voting system.

It is important to note that the owner of the digital identity decides whom to give their information and can also specify a time period for which the data can be used. This functionality allows for secure transaction of sensitive information as well as protection of human rights.

In Summary

The Mastercard Digital Forum provided us with insightful information on the development and future of the financial sector as well as which areas need further improvement and regulations. Here are our key takeaways:

  • Online shopping is here to stay.
  • People use more contactless cards, mobile devices, and wearables to make payments.
  • Customers look after digital convenience when making a decision for buying.
  • More traditional banks will shift to neobanks.
  • Digital Identification will be used more often.

The Mastercard Digital Forum finished with a discussion about the inevitable need for actions regarding the changes in the environment and Mastercard’s initiative called – Priceless Planet Coalition. Of course, the sensitive topic of diversity and inclusion was also discussed, and the company made it very clear that they are launching various projects in that direction.


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