Reflecting on our responses to change

By Nicolas Huss, CEO • Visa Europe

December 19, 2016

Is it possible to take stock while moving forward faster than ever? Let’s try:

2016 will be a year few of us will forget, and for me it will always be remembered as the year Visa took that big leap forward, following becoming part of the global Visa in June. We are embracing new challenges and opportunities like never before, and looking back through some of the articles we’ve published this year, it’s interesting how many have major change as their central theme.

It’s particularly apt that our most read article of 2016 was Peter Bayley’s post about Strong Customer Authentication – A proposal by the European Banking Authority which we feel would have a serious and negative impact on everyone’s experience of digital payments.

Our survey of 5,000 consumers across the European markets was combined with our own data to make a strong case for why the proposed regulation threatens to disrupt consumers’ online shopping experience. This has provided a platform and credibility to support lobbying for smarter regulation.

Central to our strong campaigning for the retention of a risk-based approach has been our deep understanding of what this change will mean for both businesses and consumers alike, and Peter’s article was a great example of the expertise and broad vision which we’ve been able to bring to the debate.

It’s clear that the theme of consumer-led change resonates with our readers, as Tash Toothill’s October article also showed. In another of our most popular posts of the year, Tash highlighted the results of our Digital Payments Survey of more than 36,000 European consumers across 19 countries, which showed a dramatic shift in online consumer behaviour over the previous 12 months.

The survey also identified the way in which European markets broadly fall into 2 categories: Developing markets, which are bypassing traditional payment methods to further speed up digital adoption, and developed markets like the UK, where nearly 75% already use mobile payments.

But the most exciting thing about the figures Tash shared (54% of consumers now paying with mobile devices, compared to just 18% in 2015) aren’t the figures themselves, but the fact that they’ll soon be bettered by new results, increased adoption, continued growth.

Perhaps the central theme of the articles I’ve been reading this week isn’t just change – It’s how we respond to change, and the fantastic opportunities that will bring in 2017.

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