Vipera Plc (LON:VIP) Non-Executive Director Jeremy Nicholds caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss his previous experience following his appointment as non-executive director, the focus at Vipera, the Finovate conference and the current evolving market
Q1: Great to see your recent appointment to the Vipera board, can you tell us a little bit about your previous experience?
A1: Yes, definitely. So I was most recently at Visa, I spent nine years at Visa in a variety of roles but most recently I was heading up their mobile payment, mobile money team so very much focussed on developing mobile payments across Europe and developing mobile money solutions like P2P transactions and so on. Prior to my time at Visa, I spent six years at MasterCard where I was ultimately their SVP of Sales and Marketing across Europe and then prior to getting into the world of payment schemes I was actually at NatWest Bank where I ended up running the consumer card business.
Q2: OK so what are you going to be focusing on at Vipera Plc?
A2: So my principal focus is really going to be around the sales and marketing side so working very closely with the team in terms of helping them to shape and develop the offerings that we’re actually going to take to market. We’re really then focusing on opening up in a different markets and working with them in terms of developing new partnerships and really kind of opening up new business opportunities really.
Q3: Now you attended the Finovate conference in London with the team, what were you showcasing there?
A3: So what we were showcasing this year was very much the work that we’ve been doing around contextual targeted offers so this is where we’re able to help the bank to be able to target their customers with relevant offers that actually help them, give them inner value, money off and so on or some nice promotional offer. Importantly, rather than just having more spam messaging, to provide the right offer at the right time so this is using our platforms that help understand what a customer’s interests are doing using data analytics capability and when they’re kind of most interested in what their kind of behaviour is, therefore when would be the right to time to make the right offer. So that’s what we’ve been, up on stage, demoing yesterday at Finovate and really kind of building on the prior year where we were up-showing the card control capabilities and solutions that we have which banks are kind of using to give cardholders the ability to control their spending essentially and control the use of their card in terms of amounts of money on transactions or which transactions are allowed or which kind of merchants are allowed and so on.
Q4: How do you perceive the current mobile banking market, do you think that we’re moving to become a more cashless society?
A4: It’s hugely dynamic, there’s so much inner change happening and in banks it seems to be accelerating so actually just the level of interest in terms of actually in the sector and the amount of activity we’re kind of seeing. I think we’re certainly on our way toward that cashless society and I think many of the building blocks are now in place. Importantly, and this is kind of a lot of the work I was doing at Visa, but we are seeing that the contactless exceptions infrastructure is there, increasing across Europe and should be in place in the next couple of years and should be pretty much complete. So that kind of gives you the ability to make mobile contactless payments and are using bank cloud-based solutions using some HC Technologies or the likes of Apple, Android Pay and so on. So I think we’re going to see that type of mobile payments happen, I think customers are increasingly ready to use mobile payments both in the mobile contactless sense but also in a mobile commerce sense as well. So I think there’s a way to go yet for sure, cash will be around for a good few years undoubtedly but I think that kind of direction of travel to me is very clear and that we are moving from a cashless world and at some point to a card less world. So actually instead of having bits of plastic or notes in our wallet, we’ll just carry our mobile phone, the mobile phone has all the capability that we need to be able to make transactions wherever whenever.
Q5: How do you think Vipera Plc’s positioned to best capitalise on the evolving market?
A5: So I think Vipera is very well positioned actually in all the right solutions really in terms of mobile banking, personal financial management and so on, we have good solutions there, we also have solutions, importantly, in the mobile payment space working with banks to provide their customers with capabilities to make those transactions that I’ve just been talking about and also, quite important, is the customer engagement space. So it’s not enough to be able to kind of give mobile payment capability on a phone because customers don’t go out just to make a payment, it need to be kind of more than that, so I think on that customer engagement space is really where these contextual offers come in in terms of providing reasons to make a purchase or some attractive offers and rewards and so on. So Vipera has good solutions for that space as well so in terms of being able to provide banks with a holistic offering in terms of the banking, the payment and the customer engagement space and they also have capabilities in consulting data analysis as well to help banks put together their overall offering and take that to market so they have a compelling consumer proposition.