Hi Roger and Nick, what do you work on at FEXCO and at Worldline?
Roger: I am the global Head of Sales for FEXCO Merchant Services. This position was instituted a few years ago to cover our different markets and segments on a global level.
Nick: I am the Head of the Acquiring Processing Business Division in our Global Business Line FPL*, which covers markets such as France, Germany and India.
When did you join your respective companies and what were you doing before?
Roger: I joined FEXCO in January 2003. Before that, I worked for PayPal as the EMEA** Merchant Acquisition Manager.
Nick: I joined Worldline in 2004 when the software company I worked for was acquired by Atos. This company, specialized in payment software, was established in 2001 and I was working there as the CTO.
Roger, can you tell us more about FEXCO?
FEXCO, which stands for Foreign Exchange Corporate, was created thirty years ago and is the largest privately-owned financial company in Ireland. Its core business revolves around currencies in areas such as trading and foreign exchange. FEXCO invented Dynamic Currency Conversion, commonly known as DCC, fifteen years ago. 2,300 employees currently work for the FEXCO Group and my Business Unit, FEXCO Merchant Services, employs 220 team members. We serve more than 35 acquirers (ed: banks, for the most part) across the globe and, consequently, 105,000 merchants in more than 26 countries, through these acquirers.
Worldline and FEXCO have been partners for a few years now; can you elaborate on this partnership and our joint achievements throughout the years?
Roger: Our partnership is very important and strategic for FEXCO. Indeed, working closely with Worldline, we are able to provide comprehensive turn-key solutions to major acquirers in Europe. We have several different projects under this partnership. For example:
- In France, Worldline Sips fully integrates our DCC solution. Sips covers more than 100 clients in this market, including Société Générale, for example.
- In Belgium, Worldline and FEXCO offer DCC as an integrated solution for the hotel industry.
Nick: Following the projects mentioned by Roger, and using them as a solid base, Worldline and FEXCO have taken the challenge to build a brand-new solution for the ATM*** channel. While Worldline has experience working in this channel, this new solution, DCC at ATM, is a new business for us. In this regard, both companies have already achieved quite a few milestones, such as defining the scope of services, building the E2E solution for the authorization part, establishing all the sales and marketing materials and training the salesforces.
As you just mentioned, we are working on the launch of our new joint service, Dynamic Currency Conversion at ATMs. Concretely, what does this service offer and what are the benefits for consumers?
Roger: This new service enables foreign cardholders to pay for withdraws from ATMs in their home currency instead of the ATM’s local currency. The main benefit is that consumers will have a precise understanding of the applied exchange rate at the time of the transaction.
Nick: What are at stake in this case, for cardholders, are choice, transparency and disclosure. As Roger discussed, cardholders will have the full knowledge of their withdrawal amount in their home currency. Additionally, they will remove the exchange rate risk from the transactions with this service.
How does this new service benefit banks?
Roger: Today, a lot of banks are considering various strategic options for their ATM network, for example:
- Outsourcing to reduce cost
- Creating value-added services to increase revenue
Dynamic Currency Conversion is one of these value-added services but the market for this type of services will grow in the coming years. In certain countries, you can already recharge your mobile phone plan and even pay your bills via an ATM.
Nick: Taking a broader approach, banks’ ATM networks could play a crucial role in their digitization efforts. Accounting for the fact that bank branches are cost-heavy and consumers are more tech-savvy, ATMs will continue to be useful. Indeed, until we truly become a cashless society, consumers will still need a place to withdraw and deposit money, especially if branches are not readily available. As Roger mentioned, ATMs, in countries outside of Europe, have stepped out of their standard services and have started to become an important channel for the banks’ digitization.
Both companies were present together at ATMIA’s European ATMs 2015 summit in London. How did this event go for you?
Roger: This event gave us the opportunity to showcase our strong partnership and our offer to the market.
Nick: In addition to what Roger said, it was, in my opinion, a major milestone for the work done on this particular solution over the last six months. Furthermore, I was able to present our DCC at ATM solution to banks as there are a lot of opportunities for this new service in the European market.
Thank you for your time today. I will leave you with one final question: we live in a hyper connected digital world and, suddenly, you find yourself stranded on a desert island, which electronic product do you have to have with you?
Nick: My eBook reader…
Roger: … and a solar charger!