Having attended my first Customer Owned Banking Association conference (COBA) with Change Financial, I was hoping for a positive experience after such a long break between in person conferences and my expectations were far exceeded.
The Customer Owned Banking Association put on a wonderful event , one of the best I’ve attended in my career. Aside from the professionally executed conference, panels, sessions, food, and entertainment, it was the COBA members that had the greatest impact on me. They were open, positive, engaging, and curious.
The COBA 2022 conference panels, sessions and workshops centred around three key themes; Smart. Strong and Sustainable.
Whilst that is an accurate description of COBA member banks, I took away a different set of themes from the members in attendance: Enhance, Compete and Grow.
Enhance: Not surprisingly, COBA members were focused on their customer experience, it was central to almost every conversation I came across. There was an acceptance from members that their products and services needed to be enhanced. COVID has been a catalyst for greater investment in remote and digital bank services and COBA2022 showcased many of these new capabilities that banks can deliver to their customers.
Compete: COBA members are often competing for the same customers as the big 4 and larger tier 2 banks. Customer owned banks can’t compete with the big guys in terms of budgets, but through partners and SaaS offerings, there is an opportunity to match their services and provide a better customer value proposition. A great comment from one of our customers I spoke to was “I want to own my own destiny for card payments, but I don’t have to do it all on my own”.
Grow: Nearly every bank I spoke to wanted to grow their customer base. In particular, focus on new, younger customers to drive a sustainable future. Whilst murmurs of mergers and acquisitions continue, COBA members are keen to enhance their services, compete with the bigger players and ultimately grow their customer base.
The Change team was both encouraged and inspired by the energy, enthusiasm and positivity from the COBA team and their members. We’re looking forward to supporting the transformation journey for customer owned banks as they continue to enhance, compete, and grow to better rival the major banks in the future.
• Change Financial is the first non-bank business to offer New Zealand (NZ) fintechs, non-bank lenders and mutuals exclusive access to a payment Application Programming Interface (API) sandbox, previously only available through major banks.
• This free access to payment API sandbox technology ultimately enables fintech users to deliver card offerings faster to market by removing the bureaucracy and complex processes of major banks.
• Change is a card issuer in New Zealand, Australia and the United States and provides transaction processing and card management solutions in Latin America and South East Asia.
Australian based global fintech and Payments as a Service (PaaS) provider, Change Financial (Change), is the first non-bank payments specialist to launch a new payment API sandbox in New Zealand (NZ), providing fintechs, non-bank lenders and mutuals with exclusive access to this technology.
This new payment API sandbox will allow fintechs to test their digital card product and service through Changes’ Vertexon technology to improve effectiveness and efficiency whilst finessing any issues.
Demand for digital and physical card payments capabilities in New Zealand is set to rise as the e-commerce market is projected to grow by 38 percent between now and 2025, reaching US$8.8 billion, according to the March 2022 Global Payments Report.
Change CEO and Managing Director, Alastair Wilkie, explained whilst Changes’ payment API sandbox is available globally, it is particularly important for the New Zealand payments market as it is the first of its kind, allowing New Zealand fintechs access to this technology without the costs and processes attached to major banks.
Finzsoft Chief Executive, Helen Hatchard said, “Change’s new payment API sandbox will help accelerate the development of our digital services and aid growth for our New Zealand clients through innovation, supported by thorough and sophisticated development and testing.
This announcement is great news for businesses across New Zealand that are looking for physical and digital card solutions as it will provide non-bank lenders and mutuals with access to technology previously only available through the major banks,” Ms Hatchard remarked.
The 2021 Environmental Scan Report from Payments NZ notes that the need for faster, more innovative payments continues to increase, making it possible for people and businesses to better integrate their digital and physical worlds.
“Change acknowledges that the New Zealand payments space is lagging the rest of the world, and innovations like these provide fintechs with greater access to fast, reliable and well-integrated solutions that can ultimately benefit consumers,” Mr Wilkie concluded.
The API sandbox can be accessed from our Developer Resources page.
The company has successfully executed on Phase One of its growth strategy.
ASX fintech Change Financial (ASX:CCA) is laying the framework for long-term growth in the multi trillion dollar global payments market.
The company provided a market update for investors this morning, confirming it’s completed Phase One – product integration – of a three-phase strategy set out by CEO Alistair Wilkie and the CCA executive team.
The company will now focus on Phase Two — building out the Customer Ready Platform for its combined product offering, scheduled for delivery later this year.
While CCA’s short-term operations and revenue channels won’t be affected by the updated rollout, the moves are part of a broader strategy to accelerate growth and capture more of what is now a global market opportunity.
The initial phase of the strategy was focused on CCA’s technology suite, which required the integration of tech products following last year’s acquisition of Wirecard’s Australian and New Zealand assets.
In its technology update this morning, Change said it has established a cloud network and installed the new payments management platform.
The system has been developed with an API gateway that provides automated links between the payments management platform with CCA’s certified processing platform and mobile apps – all of which operates with encrypted software and advanced security settings.
The completion of Phase One “gives Change a platform to demonstrate its new capability to customers, and accelerates the sales and business development cycle”, CCA said.
In addition, the company “is already in discussions with a number of banks about bringing their technology into the cloud and onto Change’s BaaS Platform”.
A feature of CCA’s advanced technology suite is that it’s now positioned to offer a BNPL service that’s materially differentiated from other players in the market.
Traditional BNPL providers still require direct connections to the POS (point of sale) systems operated by merchants.
However, CCA’s InstallPay platform capability allows payments to be split directly to customer debit, prepaid and credit cards.
The key advantage of the platform is that banks and FinTechs can offer BNPL services, as opposed to partnering with a third-party providers and keep their customer relationships.
“It allows them to offer BNPL under their own brand, putting them back in power of the customer relationship therefore increasing engagement with their end customers,” CCA said.
The company said its unique tech advantage in the marketplace has the capacity to be “hugely disruptive to incumbent BNPL players”.
It lowers barriers to entry and provides market access to any bank or fintech that offers prepaid, debit or credit cards.
Effectively, InstallPay gives merchant clients a customisable interface around fees charged and the number of instalments.
“The functionality is live in all markets globally, and Change has a number of large clients in Latin America and Asia using the product, including one of south-east Asia’s largest banks,” CCA said.
With its multi-phase growth strategy on track and a disruptive BNPL platform live in the market, Change has also engaged a global payments advisory team to assist in identifying key opportunities in the rapidly growing global payments market.
The company has conducted an initial market assessment and “concluded the global need for its Platform solution”.
Research from McKinsey shows payments services generated revenue of almost $US2 trillion last year.
In that context, Change is now moving towards Phase 2 and 3 of its strategy to drive growth across its global client base, where it already serves 125 customers in 36 countries.
Phase 2 — the Customer Ready Platform – is due for completion in the second half of this year Phase 3 – Advanced Platform Features – scheduled for delivery by 2022.
“Combining the two platforms (certified processing platform and payments management platform) together and leveraging both the company’s existing technology and the recently acquired will accelerate Change’s product development by approximately 24 months,” CCA said.