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Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

The global payments landscape is undergoing a revolution driven by the ever-increasing penetration of smartphones and the ubiquitous access to the internet. From the migration of cash and card payments to payments made over digital channels, the payments industry is experiencing deep structural changes. On the retail side, increasing number of customers are using mobile devices to make online and in-store purchases, while corporate users are seeking new ways to enhance the transparency and predictability of payments. Together, these trends pose a host of challenges and opportunities to companies operating within the mobile payments industry.

The recent migration to EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) standards is considered to be one of the biggest reasons behind increasing adoption of mobile payments technology by merchants. Many merchants have already installed chip readers not only to avoid liability resulting from fraudulent transactions, but also to implement mobile payments solutions. While this has added value to the bottom line of companies offering mobile payment solutions, such as Square and iZettle, the companies must keep up with the evolving needs and demands of customers in order to stay competitive.

As consumers increasingly use their phones and other handheld devices to shop anytime, anywhere they like, merchants must ensure a consistent experience to customers across all channels. To keep up with merchant requirements, mobile payment companies must integrate value-added features into their solutions, such as pre-authorization, split payments, and advanced customer analytics.

While the need to deliver more meaningful experiences to customers continues to inspire innovation, it also creates new security challenges for the providers of mobile payment solutions. They must invest in the latest technology and equipment, as well as ensure compliance with PCI-DSS to ensure foolproof transmission of customers’ financial information.

Apart from evolving needs and demands of customers, a number of non-traditional players have caused significant disruption in the mobile payments industry, ranging from tech firms like Google and eBay to retailers, telecom companies, and device manufacturers like Apple and Samsung. While a competitive marketplace drives product innovation, it also poses new challenges to the profitability of market-leading companies like PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard. To cope with the challenge, these companies are working in collaboration with technology-focused startups. For instance, MasterCard recently introduced its Start Path program that aims to gather a diverse set of companies on a single platform in order to design innovative payment solutions.

At Allen Austin, we understand that mobile payment services are rare in their need for collaboration across multiple sectors.  We assist them in finding competent leaders who have the unique ability to navigate through and find success in unfamiliar new markets. We devise customized talent solutions to help our clients recruit and retain leaders who not only ensure compliance with all financial and consumer-based regulations, but also work in close collaboration with different industry players to stay ahead of their competitors and achieve sustainable profitability.

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