Financial IT: Pease tell us more about GPS and your background?
Shaun Puckrin: At its core, GPS is an issuer-processor. So, we enable the evolving fintech industry to easily offer innovative payment features to their customers. We enable this via our award-winning technology platform GPS Apex, our expert employees, and our unparalleled partner network.
To give you an idea of who we work with, our customers include Revolut, Starling Bank and Curve, and we work with many other UK businesses who run their programs through us. Furthermore, GPS works with multiple insurers to provide plenty of flexibility for our customers to create bespoke programs that meet their customer’s specific needs.
Financial IT: Who are your major clients and what is market demand at this time?
Shaun Puckrin: We recently expanded into the APAC region and have set up offices in Singapore and Australia. Now, we have a base to serve clients in Asia and further afield. We’ve already had great success and have some exciting customers lined up in the APAC region.
The growth in fintechs that we’ve seen in Europe and the U.S. is now happening everywhere. As a result, we are seeing traditional banks wanting to launch their own challenger brands, as part of their digital transformation journey. We are well positioned to help incumbent banks launch digital brands, as well as are working with a wide range of neobanks and other new entrants - helping both to serve all types of customers.
Financial IT: What value does GPS bring to society? Please determine the key challenges and benefits for all market participants such as tech companies and end-users?
Shaun Puckrin: We have many interesting features that allow our customers to help their customers (consumers or businesses). Working with more than 40 issuing banks around the world, we carry out programs for more than 150+ customers in 60 countries using more than 150 currencies. Our network allows our customers to innovate and offer exciting new solutions to end users around the world.
While the COVID-19 situation has affected all of us in some way, many fintechs are managing to provide value to their customers through the crisis by diversifying with new products. For example, making use of secondary card functionalities and launching specific products that enable people to shop on someone else’s behalf, as demonstrated by Starling Bank with their ‘Connected card’. This can help to make sure that the vulnerable stay safe at home while a trusted family member or friend uses their card and ensures the former still have full control over their card spending.
Financial IT: The fintech scene has yet to digest such a drastic impact as the coronavirus crisis – as do most companies worldwide. What are the main challenges facing companies now? Do they pass the "Digital Stress" test?
Shaun Puckrin: The fact of the matter is we’re not all in the same boat during this crisis. This has hit both individuals and businesses to varying degrees, with some having actually managed to grow as a result of the crisis. Ultimately, this is entirely unchartered territory.
The most significant shift we’re seeing is towards digital and away from cash. That is what’s unified almost every country facing the current climate - the move away from cash towards card and contactless payments. To not get left behind, businesses need to be able to react to this shift efficiently. Those that can’t will ultimately struggle in the long run.
Financial IT: What are your predictions for the payment industry 2020-2021?
Shaun Puckrin: GPS are looking to continue expanding geographically so that we can service customers all around the world. We’re well on our way to doing that, already powering a lot of the fintech activity that’s out there.
In the COVID-19 pandemic we are seeing a big shift towards card payments over cash in a bid to reduce contact in the payment process. However, it won’t just be cards that get the boost. We will see other types of alternative payment methods (APMs) increasing in usage as customers test out new forms of digital payment.
Companies will have to adapt to accommodate this shift in APM usage, especially legacy companies. We’ve seen this happen in parts of the APAC region already, including the issues those companies faced in the transition and now the rest of the world will have to go through that experience.
The other big area that I think will see change is the banking sector, specifically because of the ongoing legacy of Open Banking. Whether this be market or regulation driven, this technology will further enable innovative companies to bring new services to consumers and change the types of companies who can offer them.