Adyen’s UK CEO Colin Neil talks about payment challenges for businesses

Adyen’s UK CEO Colin Neil talks about payment challenges for businesses
Adyen’s UK CEO Colin Neil talks about payment challenges for businesses

Colin Neil is UK managing director of Dutch fintech Adyen. Adyen is one of the world’s most successful fintech companies, and specializes in the transaction area. Neil, who has over 20 years’ experience in financial services, explains why technology and customer demand are changing the industry.

What has been the single biggest change in the business payments space in the last two years?

Over the past two years, the pandemic has dramatically accelerated payment trends that were already beginning to develop. Most notable is the move to online shopping and the move away from cash. But something more significant developed as a result.

Consumers got used to fluid customer journeys during the pandemic. The boundary between the physical store and the web became blurred even for those who were most resistant to technology in the shopping experience. This mass shift required organizations to create seamless links between their stores, websites and apps, which need a much more sophisticated payment solution.

What is primarily driving these changes? Customer demand or new technology, or more choice when it comes to payment options?

Consumers certainly play a role in creating demand for these enhanced customer experiences. But there is also an element of technology that fuels innovation. Ultimately, it is not possible to provide the customer experiences that consumers now desire with a more traditional payment provider.

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Which trend do you see disrupting the space the most going forward?

More and more, organizations are beginning to see that payments can be a strategic business driver – especially for their digital transformation efforts. Not only do modern payment systems open up new customer experiences that people demand, they can help create operational efficiencies, as well as provide valuable data and intelligence that can benefit the entire business.

This will be even more important in today’s environment where companies face more competition for consumers’ discretionary spending. Adyen’s research shows that UK businesses that connect payment systems across the entire organization (operations, marketing, sales, etc.) are outperforming their competitors, adding 4% to growth. But currently only 21% of UK businesses use this approach.

The market for business payments is becoming increasingly competitive – how can providers stay ahead?

It all comes down to the fact that payments is more than just processing transactions – it’s a strategic driver for the business, both from a customer experience perspective and operationally. There are so many ways a payments partner can help improve an organization – those fintechs who are constantly engaging with merchants and thinking about how they can add value will be ahead of the game.

What should we look for when it comes to new solutions and services from Adyen?

We are constantly working with our merchants to improve our single payment platform to ensure we help them meet the needs of their customers and improve their operations. Ensuring our merchants get all the insight and intelligence they can from their payments is a top priority at the moment.

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We also recently announced the expansion beyond payments to build embedded financial products. These products will enable platforms and marketplaces to create tailored financial experiences for their users, such as small business owners or individual sellers. The series of products will allow platforms to unlock new revenue streams and increase user loyalty.

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