Some of the leaders in the payments industry gathered at Harvard University yesterday and today to share ideas during The Innovation Project powered by PYMNTS.com. The Innovation Project 2015 is an event that brings together established players, emerging disruptors and entrepreneurial visionaries in the world of payments and commerce.
During the event, Digital River’s senior vice president and general manager of Digital River World Payments, Souheil Badran moderated and presented during a panel presentation called “From Global to Local.” He shared an in-depth perspective on global payments trends and how alternative and mobile payments impact conversions. During the panel presentation, Souheil was in good company with speakers from Align Commerce, BBVA, Bitnet, HyperWallet Systems Inc., PayPal and peerTransfer.
We were pleased to have peerTransfer, one of our new payments customers, join us for the panel presentation. peerTransfer is a leading provider of global payment solutions for foreign students and educational institutions and one of the BostInno’s 50 on Fire award winners, as well as a finalist for a 2015 PYMNTS Innovator Award in the “Most Disruptive Company” category. We posed a few questions to Mike Massaro, the company’s chief executive officer, to get his insights into the global payments marketplace – thoughts that he also shared during the discussion yesterday.
Q: What is the biggest international payments trend that you’re seeing?
A: The biggest trend we are seeing on the consumer side is that simple peer-to-peer banking no longer suffices. There are a number of growing consumer segments around the globe that need to send fairly significant amounts of money to a well-defined set of merchants and institutions. peerTransfer started by facilitating tuition payments in local currency for international students and their families to colleges and universities around the world. These are relatively infrequent, sizable payments. And there are many other segments of consumers with similar needs, which involve large-ticket payments to global merchants.
Q: In your opinion, what are the three most critical building blocks for a successful international payments program?
A: The most critical building blocks include a sound business model that delivers good value for the money to all members of the “food chain,” a comprehensive technology vision rooted in a strong core infrastructure, and an unwavering commitment to compliance that goes beyond the required checks and balances. And by the way, fourth but not last: a great team.
Q: What did you talk about during the “Global to Local” panel at The Innovation Project?
A: At the Innovation Project, I discussed peerTransfer’s approach to building a payments solution that provides a great cross-border experience for international students, offering best-in-class value that costs schools nothing and saves them countless reconciliation hours. I also talked about how this payments solution can be expanded to other verticals with similar needs.
Did you attend The Innovation Project in Boston? What was your main takeaway?