Having held several senior management roles at Ingenico ePayments, Mike Goodenough has been appointed as General Manager for the EMEA region. His appointment comes at a time when the payments landscape is evolving at breakneck speeds and it’s never been more important to stay ahead of the curve.
We spoke with Mike to learn about his strategic vision for the future of payments in this diverse region.
You just started as General Manager for the EMEA business of Ingenico ePayments. What made you excited about your new role?
Europe is such a vast and interesting region with complex geographical differences. The market is more mature than other regions but presents numerous opportunities for business growth. We have a very strong presence and heritage in Europe, and I have a lot of ideas on how we can optimise our business. This, coupled with an incredibly strong team behind me, makes me very excited to start this new adventure.
What trends do you see affecting ecommerce in EMEA?
Innovation in the EU has and will continue to be driven by regulation and compliance. The EU Payments Services Directive (PSD2) and Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) have forced a lot of companies and banks to consider how they offer payments in the EU. As a result, many are considering P2P payments and Open Banking as opportunities to reach new customers. As these solutions are cheaper than card payments, ecommerce businesses are more likely to adopt them.
As a result of these changes, we’ve seen a rise in alternative payment methods (APMs) in Europe. Legislation in the EU, brought in to limit card payment costs, will mean international payment methods become more expensive and will open up markets and opportunities for businesses looking to accelerate growth.
Furthermore, transactions on mobile devices are set to increase for higher value payments. There will also be a cross-border impact on travel as traditional online payments such as WeChat Pay are moving into face-to-face (F2F) payments, feeding into an omnichannel future across Europe.
What’s your focus for the EMEA region over the coming months?
We are already on a strong path towards growth with the high touch model we have in place. Our knowledgeable and skilled teams deliver a high level of service to our customers and in 2020 we’re going to maintain that.
We also see lots of opportunity to help our customers expand internationally, particularly in challenging but high growth markets like China and Russia.
Another key focus in 2020 is to stay ahead of developments in the payments industry, particularly regulation. We need to foster a consultative approach here, helping merchants navigate the complexity of the ecosystem and by building stronger alliances with both with technical and business partners.
Lastly, there will be a further focus on key industry verticals. Last year saw some major successes in the travel industry and we want to duplicate this approach in other key areas.
What’s your advice for international ecommerce businesses looking to grow?
I think it’s important for businesses to take a high growth markets strategy. Markets like Russia and China are massive in scale and experiencing hypergrowth, but they’re traditionally difficult to crack and a strategic approach is needed to make a successful play there.
We’ve had a lot of great efforts supporting customer growth into these regions, with solutions that have delivered better remittance, lower cost and higher conversion rates. I think China and Russia are going to become even bigger focuses for EU businesses, so I’m excited to purse the opportunities in these regions even further.
You mentioned partnerships as a focus for EMEA, how do you see this benefitting the business?
The core benefit of our strategic partnerships is to open up access for the businesses that we work with. This includes payments gateways and booking systems in the travel industry, through to the management of services in digital goods for tokenization.
Furthermore, we have partnerships that are business focussed rather than service focussed. These allow us to talk to businesses and educate them on the challenges in the payments industry and how to successfully overcome them.
What industry verticals will you be focussing on in 2020?
We achieved tremendous success for our customers within the travel market and we want to build on this success even more in 2020. We have several partnerships nearing finalization that will open up payments services to airlines, travel operators and Online Travel Agents (OTAs). Strategic partnerships such as this cement our position as one of the market leaders in the travel vertical.
With that said, in 2020, our goal is to create the same model for the digital vertical, specifically video gaming. Similarly, we’ll also be taking a strategic approach to partnerships that will ensure we provide the most effective and compliant solutions to businesses. This can go beyond payments into fraud services and recurring billing.
The biggest difference between travel and gaming is flow and transaction – different approaches are needed for each vertical. Using our knowledge about different regions and sub verticals will enable us to target these populations in the ways they specifically need.
Mike Goodenough is General Manager for EMEA, responsible for the strategy and execution of the EMEA growth plan. He has extensive experience working in payments and has held senior management roles throughout his career. Most recently, Mike headed the Global Partnerships and Alliances team for Ingenico ePayments responsible for optimizing global relationships with partners such as large acquiring banks, card schemes and global alternative payment providers.
He is involved in Ingenico’s strategic growth initiatives and has more than 20 years of experience working in Global e-Commerce. Mike is a charismatic leader who enjoys working on complex projects and is well-known within the industry as a payments expert.