Nexo & Ingenico: A lasting success story

Why nexo standards and Ingenico boast one of the best partnerships in the payments business.

nexo standards is a global association working to enable fast, borderless payments. It brings together merchants, acquirers, payment service providers, and payment stakeholders to standardize the exchange of data in what is currently a fragmented global card payment acceptance ecosystem. The messaging protocols and specifications that nexo has developed instead are the future: they adhere to ISO20022 standards, are universally applicable, and freely available around the world. 

Ingenico has been a pro-active supporter of the project from the outset and been quick to implement nexo’s latest standards. It was the first payment provider to have a nexo-certified payment acceptance platform. 

Stephane Jacquis, SVP, product / Enterprise Retail at Ingenico, is a nexo standards executive board member and chairman of the nexo standards strategic committee. Here he reveals why the relationship between the two organizations is built to last. 

How was the nexo organization born? 

nexo came to life four years ago, with the merger of 3 existing associations (EPAS org dealing with protocols, CIR dealing with European payment applications and Oscar dealing with end to end integration), to improve global interoperability in payment acceptance. Until now, each country had its own payment rules and regulations and merchants wanting to set up a multi-country payment acceptance solution had to adapt to each national payment system – costly in terms of time, effort and money.
Large retailers immediately understood that they would benefit from standardization. 

Who are the members of nexo? 

Today we have 85 members across five categories, all related to payment: acceptors, card schemes, payment service providers, processors, and vendors. Our number is growing fast, doubling over the last four years, though we are always looking for new members. 

What role did Ingenico play in nexo’s creation? 

Ingenico has been part of the nexo story from the beginning. We were proactive in its foundation and firmly believe this is where the future of payment stands. 
We continuously remain a very active member, whether investing time and resources into the technical committees, the strategic committee or in supporting organizational growth of the association.
In parallel, Ingenico always strived to make its solutions nexo ready. The Ingenico payment platform was the first to be certified under the nexo standard in 2015. 

How many transactions per year are nexo-compliant? How many are Ingenico handling? 

We don’t yet have global market figures available, though we are working within nexo on this data as we speak to be able to demonstrate the real usage and success of nexo worldwide. What we do know is that Ingenico alone handled one billion nexo-compliant transactions in early 2018, and by 2019, 30-40% of our transactions will employ a nexo-based solution. 

What are the benefits of nexo for a retailer? 

The major benefit is that it allows retailers to use the same payment application, whichever country they operate in. That is very powerful for a number of reasons. 
For businesses active internationally, it reduces the number of products and certifications required: having a single sales protocol and payment application also speed up deployment time-to-market, enable quick implementation of innovation and optimize the total cost of ownership. It allows global management of a payment solution, so if you want to add a certain card or payment service, you only need to do it once. 

Centralizing all those payments also improves the acquirer independence, and can reduce drastically transaction fees by optimizing acceptors’ financial services providers list. As shared by IKEA during the last nexo annual conference, their decision to implement nexo standards allowed them to consolidate 13 countries towards just a few acquirers, which brings them very attractive savings.     
Moreover, all payment specialists are participating to the definition of nexo solutions, which means that nexo is arguably the most flexible and future-proof payment solution you can find. In all, the reasons for choosing nexo are compelling for international but also country-based merchants.

Which retailer profile is choosing to follow nexo protocols? 

International retailers such as Carrefour and Auchan have been the first in line for nexo-ready payment solutions, as it limits the investment required for payment applications in each country. That can free up investment capacity for further innovative investment. 
With its substantial benefits, nexo-enabled infrastructure has also piqued the interest of local retailers, and more and more acquirers are using nexo to develop solutions for SMEs too. Businesses at all scales stand to gain. 

With the rise of the wallets, how does nexo facilitate the adoption of new payment methods?

Retailers across the world are looking to create one-to-one relationships with consumers and keen to accept payment in whatever format the consumer prefers, seamlessly. Wallets can easily be added to the nexo infrastructure, and the point of interaction (POI) is already connected to the back office for simple reconciliation. 
Because retailers can rapidly roll out new payment methods, it’s an optimized way of implementing a solution across a company’s whole area of operation. 
As a board member of nexo, could you tell us its next objectives? 
We need to make sure that nexo is not limited to in-store card payments. Retailers are ordinarily omnichannel today, and we need to make sure that we offer the same benefits for mobile and online customers to ensure a unified commerce strategy. 
In the same vein, we need to make sure the POI is not limited to card payments but also works for any interaction or service a merchant has with their consumer. 
The goal is to make sure that nexo, both now and as it evolves, is relevant to the strategic objectives of retailers.