Innovation in the e-commerce and payments sector could slow down due to the global disruption caused by the pandemic, while businesses look to reconsider and raise their online offerings, according to JP Morgan’s Ray McDonnell, managing director and co-head of merchant services in Europe.
While McDonnell feels innovation will have “slowed” somewhat, there was also a sense that organisations were beginning to appreciate their online strategy as a core part of their service.
“I think the important thing is that organisations now will look and say, ‘as part of our corporate strategy, have we included online and e-commerce? And if we haven’t, we need to do that now.”
McDonnell believes the coronavirus crisis has brought a renewed focus on online, particularly for more traditional “brick and mortar” businesses.
“If you think about a bricks and mortar organisation today, the focus now is, ‘I can’t be 100 percent brick and mortar anymore, I need to have an online presence,” he says.
“We’re going to see certain industries and segments change very rapidly, and have to change their internal and external processes, and I think that will make a difference to their overall strategy. One of the things that JPMorgan has driven very hard over a number of years before the coronavirus is the question, ‘how do you make sure that online and e-commerce is part of the overall corporate strategy?
“I know that sounds simple, but a lot of organisations considered online as an add-on to their core business and not a critical component for their future growth. Now the focus has turned and the view is: ‘we’ve got to make sure that our corporate strategy encompasses online and everything that happens online, because as we continue to go down this road, it’s critical,” he adds.
JP Morgan were recently named in The Nilson Report as the number one e-commerce acquirer in Europe by web transactions for the fifth year running, taking a 24.9 percent market share of all web-based transactions among the top 45 acquirers in Europe.
Despite this, the competition is getting tougher every year, says McDonnell.
“It is much more competitive than it was five years ago or 10 years ago and the industry has completely changed. And for the better – I think the competition is good.”
Looking further ahead, the managing director for commerce solutions says that much of the same challenges will remain in the form of regulation and cybersecurity.
“The difficulty is I don’t have a crystal ball… Everybody’s getting more educated – consumers, merchants and acquirers – and this is driving innovation and change across the industry.
“Cybersecurity and fraud are a huge threat to the industry and JPMorgan is well placed to support clients. European regulation such as PSD2 is driving the correct policies and procedures to protect consumers. Secure customer authentication is a great example, and will make a huge difference to how the industry is run.”