Carrefour Group’s payment entity, Market Pay has joined forces with nexo standards. Speaking to EPI, Claude Brun, chairman of the board at nexo standards explains how the Carrefour Group has transformed its European payment infrastructure by harnessing nexo standards messaging protocols, delivering swift and transparent cross-border payments. Briony Richter reports
The rapid rate of globalisation is forcing businesses to transact more frequently across country borders. Cross-border instant payments create a much more seamless payment experience for businesses, with a platform that simplifies the payment infrastructure.
Consumers are also making more global payments. For the payments industry, this means significantly higher volumes of payments being transacted. Due to the increasing amount of global payments, consumer expectations for digitally-enabled, real-time cross-border payments are growing.
The study, conducted by Market Pay gives insight into the collaboration between Market Pay and nexo standards. Market Pay is now using nexo standards messaging protocols to enable faster and more efficient borderless payments.
Nexo standards enables swift, interoperable and borderless payments acceptance by levelling the exchange of payment acceptance data between merchants, acquirers, payment service providers and other payment stakeholders.
Speaking about how cross-border payments can transform the financial industry, Brun says: “Cross-border payments have the potential to transform the world of card payments, particularly in Europe. Understandably there have been (and will continue to be) a number of challenges to overcome in the quest for seamless and harmonised cross-border payments. One of the main challenges the industry has faced is the need for a standardised payments infrastructure.
“The members of nexo standards, are dedicated to creating a unified global payments acceptance ecosystem that harnesses the efficiency and interoperability potential of the ISO 20022 standard and have spent the last four years focusing on this very challenge. The result is the creation of a comprehensive portfolio of payment acceptance specifications and messaging protocols that adhere to ISO 20022, that is universally applicable and are freely available, globally.”
By using nexo Standards all participants in payment acceptance can interoperate effectively regardless of location. Harnessing cross-border payments with an instant payment platform enables the swift and secure transfer of money across borders.
Market Pay has reaped the benefits for the Carrefour brand since embracing nexo standards. The study reveals that since it has been established, Market Pay has taken care of 800 million transactions for Carrefour across Europe.
Highlighting the benefits of this partnership, the study shows that nexo’s Acquirer Protocol has allowed Market Pay to offer acquirer services to Carrefour Group’s businesses. It also states, that since adopting nexo, the operational efficiency has improved, saving time and money for the Carrefour Group.
The savings that are being made mean that all of Carrefour’s stores now operate on a united payment acceptance infrastructure with lower costs and speedier processes. The roll out has been implemented in Spain, France and Belgium.
So far the partnership has been successful, and in the next three years Carrefour has plans to carry out nexo protocols across all its stores in Europe. The expansion will enable Carrefour’s central unit in Paris to standardise the exchange of payment acceptance data across Europe.
The study emphasises that nexo protocols are already able to support several payment services, like Apple Pay, Carrefour Pay and C-zam. The partnership sets Carrefour up to reach its target of being PCI DSS compliant by the end of 2018.
Cross-border trade is growing so expeditiously that the pressure is starting to heighten on financial institutions to improve the efficiency of the cross-border payment process. The cross-border payments process isn’t without its flaws. Brun states: “The current global payments market is very fragmented. The incompatibility of proprietary systems, together with the varying domestic protocols and legal requirements of individual countries have resulted in acceptance infrastructures that differ between countries.
“This inevitably makes it difficult to expand into new territories or create payment infrastructures that operate across borders as every time a company wants to set up in a new country, there are another new set of protocols to understand making expansion very cost and time intensive.
“This level of fragmentation, and lack of cross-border interoperability can also prohibit the negotiation of volume-based deals between payment stakeholders and hinder the development of innovative new payment solutions.
“The international messaging protocols and specifications created by nexo standards and its members, enable payment stakeholders to standardise the exchange of payment data across countries.”
Moreover, there are several intermediaries involved in the cross-border payment process, thus, the execution time for processing cross-border payments is significantly longer than domestic payments. This increases the cost which is why it is so critical to integrate platforms that complement each other.
Brun adds: “As nexo standards is an open, global association dedicated to removing the barriers present in today’s fragmented global card payment acceptance ecosystem, it does not have ‘competitors’.
“Nexo standards enables fast, interoperable and borderless payments acceptance by standardising the exchange of payment acceptance data between merchants, acquirers, payment service providers and other payment stakeholders.”
Although the costs can be high, the study highlights that Market Pay found the ideal partner in nexo standards to centralise payments within the Carrefour Group. Before the partnership, Carrefour experienced difficulty in negotiating the nature of the pan-European acceptance infrastructure. Carrefour saw itself starting right at the beginning of the process each time it decided to set up shop in a new country.
Talking about the future of cross-border payments, Brun says: “Nexo standards works with its members and the wider payments industry to establish a standardised and universally beneficial way to apply ISO 20022, manifested in a portfolio of implementation specifications and messaging protocols.
“The association actively responds to the needs of its members and their customers to ensure that the specifications and protocols remain agile, relevant and address the evolving needs of the fast-paced payments industry.”
There are flaws surrounding cross-border payments. Sustaining an open and accessible global payments network has put a strain on cross-border infrastructure, incurring high costs. That, coupled with strict regulations is pushing the industry to re-evaluate the structure of cross-border payments.
On the other hand, most high-value payments are made via a cross-border payment process due to the speed and ability to securely transfer large amounts globally. Joining forces with nexo standards enables the Carrefour Group to process traceable transactions securely, regardless of location.