In a most interesting presentation on payments trends, N. Vandepeute and S. Van Brussel, resp. CEO en COO of Bancontact/Payconiq, provided some eyeopening insights regarding payments in Belgium, in Europe and the world.

Contrary to our neighboring countries, cash is still king in Belgium, 66 %, followed by card payments, 33 %. Mobile apps are today hardly used in Belgium.

Some examples of remarkable, global trends made nevertheless clear that the actual payment forms in Belgium are most likely to change in the coming years. This conclusion is based on following facts.

  • Expectations of the consumers, more precisely, the millennials. For this generation, a payment is not just an action, but rather an experience.
  • The technology which is used or Tokenization. In China there are already a lot of situations where cards and cash are entirely replaced by the scanning of a QR-code. E.g. buying a hamburger or donation to the poor in the street.
  • Enormous competition of universal companies such as VISA or Mastercard oblige local players such as Bancontact/Payconiq to invest in new technology. It is the only way to obtain sufficient market share and benefit from the economies of scale.
  • The influence of Fintech companies. Nowhere in the banking landscape is the influence of Fintech so dominant as within payments.
  • Application of transparent regulation such as SEPA or GDPR. A transparent legal framework protects consumers against banking charges which are too high or against data-abuse. Besides that, it obliges the companies to offer more efficient and cheaper payment channels.

Being a local company with a European ambition, Bancontact/Payconiq wants to intensify cashless -and mobile payments in Belgium. In the first place by focusing on the ease of use and the benefits when using payment cards and mobile apps. Secondly, it wants the  millennials, who can be convinced rather easily of the benefits of mobile payments, so called “peer2peer”-experiences, to show the way to the other generations.

With their app, the company also has a strong instrument to be, not only in Belgium but also in Europe, a driver in rolling out mobile payment solutions. Economies of scale, especially within payments, are necessary to stay relevant in a constantly changing payment world.

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