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June 21, 2012updated 04 Apr 2017 4:14pm

VocaLink strategy head prioritises m-payments

VocaLink needs to play an active role in helping banks develop mobile payments products, said VocaLinks newly-appointed managing director of strategy and business development, Paul Stoddart Stoddart, who is responsible for corporate strategy, product development and identifying new market opportunities for the UK payments processor, will lead the project to provide infrastructure for the UK Payments Councils mobile payments platform.

By James Ratcliff

VocaLink needs to play an active role in helping banks develop mobile payments products, said VocaLink’s newly-appointed managing director of strategy and business development, Paul Stoddart.

Stoddart, who is responsible for corporate strategy, product development and identifying new market opportunities for the UK payments processor, will lead the project to provide infrastructure for the UK Payments Council’s mobile payments platform.

This mobile payments platform will map mobile phone numbers to account details and  make  the database available to banks.

Stoddart does not see VocaLink’s role as simply delivering the platform and leaving the banks to drive its application. He sees his role as more collaborative and consultative.

Asked about the challenge of building the infrastructure for a P2P mobile payments platform, Stoddart said that “delivering the gateway is actually relatively straightforward”.

 

Application of m-payments platform a challenge

Stoddart explained:

“The challenge comes when you consider how that capability might be applied – that’s where it gets really interesting. We already play a primary role in the economy – running BACS and Faster Payments – and as such spend a lot of time engaging with banks, not to mention the government and other major stakeholders, on how they might be applied,” he said.

“It is fascinating to watch the way established e-commerce players like Google, Amazon and eBay are reacting to developments in mobile payments technology,” he said. “There is still a lot of experimentation around business models.”

Stoddart said that  that there is also potential for VocaLink to play a more active role in the shaping of the products being developed.

“We are well-positioned to offer insight and advice – and we have the experience and the credibility. We also have the people,” he said. “We just need to develop our abilities to deliver.”

 

Expert knowledge

Stoddart joins VocaLink from Barclays Bank, where he was responsible for M&A and Asset Disposals for Barclaycard. Prior to this, Stoddart was part of the leadership team and responsible for strategic development at RBS WorldPay prior to its acquisition by Advent International & Bain Capital.

Since the appointment of David Yates as CEO last year, VocaLink has made moves to focus its strategy, shifting away from the EU cross-border payments processing and concentrating on the UK domestic market.

“David has bought a very commercial element to VocaLink,” said Stoddart. “I am excited about the energy the company has.

“In my role at BarclayCard, and previously at WorldPay, I looked at a lot of payments assets around the world. I found that there were very few of genuinely high quality, but this company clearly is.

“However, we need a new strategy for a new banking environment. It is important that we continue to work to understand developing needs of the banks as they come under increasing pressures from shareholders and customers.”

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