Real-Time Payments: The new normal!
The transition to digital living is there for all to see. Today’s customers expect hyper-connected, frictionless purchase experiences. Real-time payments offer consumers and businesses cheaper, faster and more efficient ways to pay, especially when embedded in apps and services, that may not even be financial ones. No PSP can afford underestimating the growth and impact of worldwide real-time payments – it’s final call for late runners to fill the gap in their modernisation journey!
Welcome to the Instant Payments Era
TAS was among the technological frontrunners who facilitated banks’ access to the first European Instant schemes – EBA RT1, Nexi-Nets and TIPS. We offer our experience to help you exploit untapped opportunities brought about through real-time payments.
Enable the New Normal in real-time
Payment Service Providers are facing new challenges:
Conduct Anti-Money Laundering screening and monitoring of all transactions, while respecting challenging SLAs of the EPC scheme
Optimise liquidity continuously, 24×7, to not hinder the execution of customer-requested instant payments due to a lack of funds in PSP RTGS Dedicated Cash Accounts.
Intercept potential fraudulent payments in seconds
Instant payments are also becoming increasingly important in e-commerce and for physical merchants, as an alternative to cards, with new use cases driven by the European Request to Pay scheme.
We help PSPs overcome these challenges by providing last mile connectivity and managing back-end processes, even in SaaS mode, letting them focus on delivering the customer experience they want to offer.
Request to Pay – The missing piece to fully achieve instant digital collection in the SEPA environment
The Request to Pay (RTP) is a pan-European scheme defined by the European Payment Council allowing a creditor to send a digital request to the debtor that triggers a synchronous or asynchronous payment initiation with automatic reconciliation.
Our RTP solution delivers:
- Standard access to the European RTP network (for PSPs, TPPs, etc.)
- APIs enabling the use of RTP features in ERP applications, mobile apps, at retailer checkouts and on all channels that PSPs make available to their customers
- Business services to provide the creditor with advanced collection features, greater process control and automatic reconciliation
- Business services for the payer/customer, simplifying and automating the payment (immediate, deferred, in instalments) and providing a current and historical view of payments made and the goods and services purchased.
A single framework for a plurality of Real-time circuits
IP circuit managed by EBA Clearing
IP circuit managed by NexiPay
IP circuit managed by the European Central Bank
Faster Payments Gateway
UK real-time payments channel
Some of our clients
Bringing physical and digital together with TAS Remote Teller
TAS Remote Teller allows bank customers to carry out all the operations traditionally carried out in the branch with the teller and get in touch with a remote bank operator to enhance the bank-customer relationship thanks to technology.
An automated counter where you can carry out banking operations and speak remotely with an operator. It is TAS Remote Teller, a solution at the centre of a pilot project within one of the major Italian banking groups. The goal is to offer an automated branch, which allows you to supervise even remote areas, reducing costs significantly compared to a traditional branch. «Without however renouncing the quality of the service, the possibility of cross-selling and generating empathy and trust in the banking customer – says Valentino Bravi, CEO of TAS. By reducing branches to save costs, there is the risk of losing quality, because the branch is increasingly distant from the customer. At the moment this solution is being tested at some pilot branches of one of the major Italian banking groups and the extension of this model to other branches is also planned».
The customer talks to the operator via video
With a view to a hybrid evolution of bank branch models, the Remote Teller adapts to unattended branches: simple sitting rooms are enough to ensure privacy and comfort for the customer, characterized by the bank’s brand identity, of course. But it also finds a place in already manned branches, to streamline traditional operations and allocate the offices to other consultancy or value-added activities. «The customer who enters the branch authenticates himself with his payment card at the counter – explains Bravi. In front of him he will therefore find a maxi screen, or even more than one, where he can get in touch with a remotely connected teller, who will follow him in all the traditional operations that are carried out at the bank teller, through simple steps and a video monitoring». The TAS Remote Teller solution offers a very wide range of accessible services, covering more than 95% of the operations that are usually carried out at a bank branch.
More trust, more cross selling
The advantage is therefore to offer the same quality of service provided in presence. But by reaching customers in unmanned areas and also activating cross-selling strategies by leveraging the bank-customer relationship, even if remotely. «The possibility of speaking with an operator generates empathy and allows tellers to better understand the needs of the customers they are following – underlines Bravi. It can therefore happen that you intercept and have to respond to new customer needs: the solution therefore allows you to pass the connection to another operator, specialized for example in mortgages, or investments. A relationship of trust is generated with the operator, as well as with the bank, precisely thanks to the technology, favouring customer retention, as well as the sale of new products”.
The launch of the pilot with an Italian bank
TAS also announces that a pilot project has started with one of the four major Italian banks. The goal is to bring the Remote Teller to the branch and extend this new model to various branches in the area. «Within 2 months we integrated our solution – explains Bravi. Naturally it is a customizable tool on the needs of the bank and can also be integrated through the API interfaces».
The future evolution: the shared branch
In the future, this technology could also allow banks to review their real estate strategies: think of a bank branch in a shopping centre or at a hospital. Or, again, within spaces shared with other players, banking and non-banking. «Beyond the regulatory limits, the evolution we are starting to think about is that of the shared branch, like a multi-bank store – concludes Bravi. There are a series of problems to overcome, such as cash management, but it would certainly allow banks to reduce costs, creating shared areas, where an assistant who takes care of receiving customers is sufficient”.
Accelerate the digitization of payments
TAS has created a series of end-to-end solutions for digital payments, which allow banks and e-money players to digitize payment management, also launching innovative solutions: from payments through digital wallets, up to PagoPA. «Furthermore, our Global Payment Platform (GPP) integrates with any type of payment and offers a series of advanced services, security for example – declares Bravi – but also advanced analytics solutions and anti-fraud systems» TAS also manages the world of POS services, ATMs and advanced counters. «The latter are ideal tools for people who are familiar with monitors and computers or portable devices – Bravi said. But the basic functions are so simple that, according to our surveys, they are also used by the more mature clientele who are reluctant to use digital devices. In case of difficulty, they can always contact the teller, who will be connected and will supervise the processes at each step, just like at a traditional bank teller”.
Author: AziendaBanca by G.C “TAS. Lo sportellista da remoto, per unire fisico e digitale”
English Translation by TAS
New payment experiences – SoftPos
One of the latest TAS solutions aimed at improving the user and merchant shopping experience is SoftPos, a product that is able to transform Android smartphones and tablets into contactless payment terminals, without the need for any hardware support.
SoftPos is an application that merchants can download onto their devices to turn any Android (NFC-enabled) mobile device into a payment acceptance device.
SoftPos is a completely software-based alternative to traditional payment terminals. With SoftPos, merchants can carry out contactless transactions on their mobile devices, facilitating the acquisition of PINs and authentication, without the need for additional hardware and maintaining a very high level of security.
This is a huge advantage, especially for small merchants who can make the most of the solution thanks to the low costs and operational advantages of the technology, especially in sectors where the use of contactless cards has become widespread.
In fact, for micro-businesses SoftPos is a simpler and cheaper way to accept credit or debit card payments, avoiding having to spend on the purchase of extra hardware devices.
In addition, traditional hardware can present greater barriers to adoption because you need to get to know the device while using your smartphone faces less risk of error and have a greater propensity to experiment with new use cases.
Even for large commercial realities, subject to large influxes of customers especially at certain times or periods of the year, the advantages of SoftPos are many: the possibility of offering a payment process without interruptions, the multiplication of payment points without investments in physical workstations, the possibility of acquiring payments on the go, the ease of training both the merchant and the employees on the process, the virtualization of the receipt with automatic sending to the customer’s email.
For the cardholder, it will only be necessary to decide which payment method to use between cards and mobile wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay) on their device and wait a few seconds until the transaction is completed. If a PIN is required, the app will display a PIN PAD where you can enter the data.
All this in maximum security: SoftPos is managed by TAS and is certified on the highest security standards for payment applications.
The App is available on the Google Play Store and can be used in white-label mode, allowing the rebranding of the solution or easily integrate it with any App already in use by the merchant.
The next developments include the extension of payments to the Bancomat circuit and, as soon as possible, a similar version for IOS.
From the US Market: Our Mastercard NEX service keeps getting better
In 2020, TAS introduced a new service to allow out-of-the-box connectivity to all the major US signature networks, such as Mastercard and VISA, and to the major Debit Networks such as Star, NYCE and Pulse. This delivers real benefits and convenience to both Issuers and Acquirers who are able to easily, quickly and securely accept a wide range of traditional and innovative payments, with TAS acting as an aggregator of network traffic towards Mastercard Network Gateway Services (MNGS).
Mastercard has renamed the service to Mastercard Networks Exchange (NEX), an intelligent routing platform that provides one connection to global and regional payment rails, reducing the cost and complications of managing individual connections. This unified approach from a trusted connectivity partner can help overcome fragmented network access and create unrivaled economies of scale.
We offer NEX in a flexible SaaS mode deployed on the Cloud for simple onboarding as a stand-alone service, seamlessly interfacing with your platforms and applications. The solution has proven to be successfully scalable and able to manage a growing volume of network traffic.
More updates also in the issuing area where we started delivering our 3D Secure component to the US market. This optimizes our customers’ buying experience while increasing sales and reducing fraud. The 3D Secure component permits the application of the EMVco standard and allows the creation of customized authentication experiences for cardholders during transactions. Today, as a result of requests from our customers, we have expanded the set of supported transactions and provide our clients with a full EMVCO-compliant chip and PIN.
Regarding the acquiring area we are onboarding a new client, a US based Fintech company focused on streamlining payments and data for the Insurance Industry by providing cost-effective payment solutions and tools to drive insurance carrier adoption and customer conversion. They will manage through the NEX Gateway Credit and Debit transactions, Card Present and e-commerce.
TAS Lab, our new research department
TAS Lab is our new research department which aims to continuously invest in innovation in the financial sector. The purpose of TAS Lab is to design technologically advanced solutions that improve how people use financial services, developing state-of-the-art products to provide banks and companies with a competitive advantage in the market.
The department currently focuses on three main research areas: quantum computing for payment fraud prevention, the development of a new phygital model of bank branches (TAS Remote Teller) and the applications of artificial intelligence to the world of payments.
Quantum computing is an emerging technology that promises to revolutionize the way data and financial transactions are handled. TAS Lab, together with the University of Verona (Italy), is exploiting this technology on concrete use cases to develop advanced solutions for the prevention of payment fraud, which allow banks and financial institutions to manage payment transactions more securely and efficiently.
The phygital bank branch, or TAS Remote Teller, represents a new frontier in the banking sector, which combines the advantages of physical presence with the convenience of digital technology. TAS Lab is exploring how this technology can be used to improve the customer banking experience, guaranteeing the physical presence of streamlined branches on the territory with virtual assistance that allows the user to carry out all the banking operations of a traditional branch in a simple and fast way.
Finally, TAS Lab is investing in artificial intelligence, developing advanced algorithms and machine learning technologies to improve data management and financial transactions.
If you are a research institution, a company or an individual with a passion for technology and innovation and are interested in collaborating with TAS Lab, please get in touch with us to submit your idea. The department is always looking for new projects and solutions.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can create the future of financial services together.
To write this article we used the artificial intelligence of Chat GPT, starting from our ideas💡.
TAS @ NACUSO Network Conference
27-30 March 2023 | Wynn Las Vegas Resort
Las Vegas is set to host one of the most anticipated events in the credit union industry. The 2023 NACUSO Network Conference will offer an exciting lineup of Keynote Speakers to challenge, inspire and encourage you with their insights. Additional topics will cover regulatory issues, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, state of the industry and CUSO hot topics.
We are thrilled to be part of this eventful moment as we showcase our latest products and services, as well as meeting with credit union leaders from across the country.
We invite you to stop by our booth to discover our advanced digital payments issuing platform that enables you to build business functionalities and deliver rich digital user experiences, across any channel, quickly and with minimum effort.
Contact us to learn more about our company and how we can help your credit union thrive.
We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!
What is embedded finance?
As part of the fintech market expansion over the last years, fintechs came up with new offerings to attract new segments in the market. Embedded finance enriches a non-financial consumer experience with a financial product. Financial products were traditionally offered by financial institutions but now they become part of a digital customer experience. It is integrated with one single platform to reduce barriers and simplify the life of users.
A company that provides non-financial services, such as an online shopping site, can offer a spot-on solution to accelerate the purchases of customers and improve the overall customer experience. Currently, retailers and gig economy companies are leading the way to embedded finance, however fitness clubs, gaming, non-profits and healthcare are expanding the use cases.
As reported in the recent study of Bain & Company in the US, transactions through embedded financial services amounted to $2.6 trillion in 2021 and will reach $7 trillion by 2026. Those numbers are an indicator of how customers are shifting their interactions with their finances, along with their customer experience.
Types of embedded finance
Most of the development in embedded finance takes place in products like deposits, payments, issuing, lending and insurance. These offerings form an easy integration with a consumer experience, it is straight forwarded to develop new use cases and it enables different opportunities for money movement.
With embedded banking, also called Banking-as-a-Service, non-financial companies offer their users a virtual or IBAN account to hold funds and make payments. Embedded banking typically makes the most sense for sellers or service providers using a company’s platform to conduct business. It is often also the basis to offer additional embedded finance products like payments, cards and lending.
For example, an acquirer can provide merchant settlements on their own IBAN accounts that can be used by the merchant to pay for supplies.
Taking out a debit or credit card, entering the PIN or tapping the card is a friction point that can cause consumers to abandon a digital purchase should their card not be handy. It is a total frictionless process in embedded payments as no plastic card is required.
The best example is the Uber taxi paying experience where the app stores the card data and payments are frictionlessly done when ordering a taxi.
Embedded payments are not only restricted to cards, but they can also give consumers the possibility to pay directly from their bank accounts.
An interesting global survey conducted by IDC revealed that within 2030, 74% of digital consumer payments will be made with platforms offered by non-financial institutions.
Embedded Card Issuing
Branded debit and credit cards exist for quite some time. As part of embedded finance, the use cases for using cards outside traditional retail payments are unlimited. For example, in the B2B space today expense management applications are able to issue one-time virtual T&E cards and are able to perform better spending controls in order to avoid that staff members use plastic corporate cards for private use.
In the past lending money for large purchases was done via credit cards or a traditional loan with a financial institution. The rise of new players and specialists in the fintech industry has led to significant growth in the lending area. Over the past few years, several BNPL platforms such as Klarna and Afterpay proliferated and gave consumers new opportunities to access funds easily when purchasing goods and services. The report concluded by Bain & Company estimated that by 2026, the market size brought by BNPL platforms will reach $265 billion. Their research showed also how customers are inclined to spend slightly more when using BNPL platforms, increasing conversion rates and revenues. Thanks to new accessible and frictionless technologies, embedded finance in lending is now becoming a significant part of the way consumers and businesses access funding.
The continuous increase of data collected in all fields is not sparing the insurance market which collects information to be used for tailor-made and competitive policies. Embedded insurance programs differ from traditional insurance because they eliminate the insurance agent or broker for example when purchasing a new car or when using traditional payment methods. These new digital platforms enable traditional insurance companies to manage time-consuming and laborious activities such as claim registrations by offering a better customer experience, and technological platforms. We are also seeing new players outside of insurance using embedded finance to deepen customer relationships and drive loyalty. A great example is offered by Tesla, which offers competitive insurance policies when purchasing a new car, instead of being a separate part of the process.
How should an embedded finance platform look
Embedded finance platforms improve customer experience, journey and design to non-financial platforms. This is made possible thanks to an ecosystem made of partnerships between banks, technology providers, and distributors of financial products. Customers and businesses that use these modern interfaces can easily integrate their software thanks to open APIs and benefit from high levels of flexibility and configurability. Plus, a platform’s embedded finance offering comes also with scalable and reliable micro-services, flexible workflow configurations and a centralized customized dashboard that permits companies higher dynamicity and a shorter time to market.
TAS Global Payment Platform (GPP): how should an embedded finance platform look
Hundreds of financial institutions choose the TAS Global Payment Platform (GPP) to provide a better payment experience and enable faster time to market. The GPP platform is suited to any ecosystem operator between banks, technology providers, and distributors of financial products to guarantee a great and seamless customer experience. We work with businesses in digital banking, BNPL, insurance, travel and payments thanks to a highly configurable platform with open APIs.
Our embedded finance offering comes with scalable and reliable micro-services, flexible workflow configurations and a centralized custom overview that permits companies higher dynamicity.
Cascade visited TAS Headquarters
We were very pleased to welcome Cascade’s CEO Spencer Schmerling and VP of Compliance Sarah Zeal to our Italian offices in Bologna, Rome and Milan.
As a US-based Banking-as-a-Service provider, Cascade provides Mobile Banking Services, Card Issuance, and Enrolment for card programs as well as a web-based banking portal, mobile app, and contactless payment capabilities.
Cascade was TAS’s first US customer, and has launched a number of card programs with Mastercard and Visa using TAS’s Card Issuing and Processing software. The project, which involved the integration into the American interbank clearing house (ACH), was completed in Q4 2020, and the first card programs launched in Q1-Q2 2021.
At the end of November, Spencer and Sarah came to visit TAS to get an update on the company and its offering and learn of the product and service roadmap.
“We are very happy with this visit and very impressed with the members of the senior leadership team who we met. We are very confident with TAS’s deep knowledge of the payments sector and its ability to provide innovative solutions to the market”, Cascade’s CEO Spencer Schmerling said.
“We appreciate the trust Cascade put in TAS and in our ability to create and deliver solutions and services around the world”, TAS CEO Valentino Bravi added.
“We enthusiastically welcomed Spencer and Sarah to Italy. We have built a strong partnership with Cascade that we are sure will lead to new interesting projects in the future” Peter Caiazzi, SVP Product Development, TAS International commented.
Fintech Finance interviews Mario Mendia
At Sibos 2022, we sat down with Mario Mendia, the Senior Vice President of International Markets at TAS Group, to discuss the emergence of payments-as-a-service and its potential in making banking more accessible to all possible demographics.
Looking at the trends at this year’s Sibos, Mendia is most excited about the digital developments in cross-border payments and CBDC, and the growing presence of cloud technology in major financial institutions.
TAS Group’s roadmap to innovation in global payments
TAS Group’s Mario Mendia, Senior Vice President – International Markets, and Andrew Quartermaine, TAS International Managing Director, join FinextraTV at Sibos 2022 to discuss TAS’s recent rebranding, their focus on innovation in their product strategy and their views regarding cooperation and competition in the crowded global payments landscape.
TAS @ UNITI Mobility Payment Forum 2022
5-6 October, Hamburg
Infraxis together with its Partner CCC welcome you to the UNITI Mobility Payment Forum 2022.
We’d be delighted to meet you and discuss your future needs in the areas of fleet card management, fuel payment processing and loyalty, which you can now select to be delivered as fully outsourced processing, SaaS or self-managed solutions.
Infraxis brings the “Build Your Own Card” paradigm to the area of fleet cards, allowing the full card lifecycle to be managed through secure APIs. Fleet card issuers can now focus on customer growth, retention and profitablity, using cards, apps and loyalty programs that seamlessly integrate to form a bespoke customer experience.
Visit Infraxis – CCC booth to discover PayStorm Fuel
TAS @ Sibos 2022
10 – 13 October | RAI, Amsterdam
Sibos is back in-person and TAS is again among the official exhibitors. We can’t wait to meet you in Amsterdam where SWIFT will host a full conference programme and exhibition, along with a wide range of networking events. The agenda will feature business leaders and topic experts from across the financial community and beyond, discussing the most impactful trends in technology, regulation, risks and sustainability. If you can’t make it in person, join Sibos virtually by connecting to the digital conference experience that will extend Sibos to delegates around the world.
Stop by our booth D76 to share insights on the latest trends on digital payments, liquidity management, payment schemes connectivity, open banking and much more.
TAS launches SoftPos to accept contactless payments from Android devices
Thanks to the agreement signed with Danish fintech SoftPay, TAS will enable the acquiring of contactless payments from Android mobile devices in Italy. The benefit provided by the SoftPos solution to merchants is simple and immediate: allowing to transform their phones into a ready-to-use payment terminal, without the need for additional certified hardware, thus reducing the heterogeneity and complexity of multi-device management at the point of sale.
The shopping experience is also improved for the buyer, who can complete the payment faster, avoiding long queues at the checkout.
The merchant APP is available on the Google Play Store and can be used in white label mode, or easily integrated with any APP already in use by the merchant.
The solution is certified with Visa and Mastercard, and is also available for mobile wallets – such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay – whose payments are processed in a similar way to standard EMV transactions managed by traditional POS devices. For maximum user security, a specific certified component manages the typing of the PIN on Glass on the Android device, ensuring absolute confidentiality.
The SoftPos solution is offered by TAS to banking operators and their processors as a service in Cloud; in this way the impact on the Service Provider is minimal, avoiding to disrupt the infrastructures already in use to manage the POS channel.
Get in touch to discover how we can help in achieving your business goals