Voice of the Industry

CMSPI's Retail Payments Conference: 5 takeaways from Europe's leading retailers

Monday 14 November 2022 15:13 CET | Editor: Raluca Constantinescu | Voice of the industry

On Tuesday, 8 November, we saw the return of the Retail Payments Conference from global payments advisors CMSPI. The event brought together the largest merchants and payments providers from across Europe. Here’s our five key takeaways from the day.

Collaboration is key 

Amongst Europe’s leading merchants and payment firms, one core theme permeated the whole day: together. But why was collaboration front of mind? 

CMSPI estimates that merchants could lose EUR 68 million to incorrectly-declined transactions in a few weeks' time. That’s just over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And it’s only in Germany. Throughout 2021, they estimate that figure reaches EUR 40.8 billion at the European level. Each one of those transactions will touch multiple different partners – and it often takes direct communication with each of them, from fraud providers to hundreds of issuing banks, to identify the true reason for an error amidst a blur of generic transaction decline codes. 

That’s just one example, but this interconnectivity is true for every time a customer hits a checkout page. Building effective, data-driven communication with all partners will become increasingly integral to payments strategy as inflation shakes up the payments ecosystem. 


Photography credit: Rory James

The perception of payments is shifting 

For years, the payments process was seen as a commodity – a mere cost of doing business that retailers had to accept, and a part of the sales process that customers had to tolerate. But with digitalisation generating stronger retail competition than ever and increasing the cost of payments acceptance in tandem, the RPC made it clear that that view doesn’t hold in 2022. 

Amongst the leading retailers, payments have rapidly become a core tool for customer acquisition, the development of loyalty, and driving incremental revenue. Many retailers are developing dedicated payments teams to streamline the process of coordinating a once-side-of-desk activity into a central element of their retail strategy. 

Disruption as a strategy 

The RPC saw keynote speeches from the likes of Monique Negennman of the Directorate-General for Competition at the European Commission, the organisation responsible for the EU’s groundbreaking Interchange Fee Regulation. Retailers also discussed the Payments Systems Regulator’s investigation into scheme fees in the UK, as well as new debit routing developments in the US and Australia

Whilst regulation in payments is core to ensuring a competitive, innovative environment for all, many merchants explored ways in which they could take the future of payments into their own hands. In the face of record inflation across the Eurozone and the rising percentage fees that come with it, seeking out true disruption between payment methods, as well as building flexibility and redundancy into supply chains, were top-of-mind for many of Europe’s largest players. 

Photography credit: Rory James

Act European, think domestic 

Despite multiple pan-European initiatives, the payment preferences of European customers continue to be some of the most diverse in the world. From Open Banking to domestic card schemes, servicing the local twist on every payment method means a strong localisation strategy for leading multinational retailers. 

At the RPC, merchants explored the multifaceted acquiring setups that these demands create, the complex fee structures that come with cross-border flows, and the increasingly intricate business cases that fuel every decision from integration to checkout. 

Data, data, data 

From alternative payment methods, to fraud rulesets, to scheme fee audits, every road at the RPC led to one thing: data. Merchants with the data to benchmark their performance against competitors. Merchants with the data to hold their payments partners to account. Merchants with the ability to see exactly which partner was declining their transactions when payments were processed by a specific third-party. Above all else, those were the merchants – the ones with not only the reporting and analytics they needed, but with the ability to turn them into actionable insights – who would be best equipped heading into 2023 and beyond. 

About the Retail Payments Conference 

The RPC brought together not only the foremost retailers from Europe and the UK but the payments ecosystem too, with the purpose of making payments more productive, together. The must-attend one-day event featured keynote speakers, presenters, and breakout sessions focused on the most pressing topics and challenges facing merchants, designed by retail experts. 

About CMSPI 

At CMSPI, our payments experts provide advisory services and powerful analytics. Our ultimate goal? Supporting a more innovative and productive payments ecosystem. For hundreds of clients across the globe, our insights help improve performance and create positive change.

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Keywords: CMSPI, retail, merchants, online payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: CMSPI
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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