One of the premier payment events of the year in London is PayExpo, which bills itself as “the U.K.’s largest payments event.” PayExpo 15 attracted a broad cross-section of Europe’s payments industry to the London Exhibition and Convention Centre (ExCeL) over the course of two days, June 9–10. I had the pleasure of attending the event for the second year in a row and happily report that the event was again an effective means of bringing the payments community together to share knowledge and best practices as well as to network with key stakeholders across the industry.
With the scope of the payments industry continuously expanding, PayExpo has continued to add to its conference streams. The 2015 delegates were given the option of attending six separate streams—The Future of Payments Summit, Mobile Money Europe, Merchant Payments, Prepaid Gifting & Loyalty, the new Payments Security & Authentication, and Cryptocurrency. The sessions in these streams brought a broad range of payment industry professionals to the event, which made the networking periods particularly valuable. I attended sessions in the Future of Payments, Mobile Money, and Prepaid streams, which I found informative. Delegates who attended the other streams indicated that they had received valuable insight from key stakeholders and industry leaders.
One of the new features at PayExpo 2015 was the presentation of a number of start-up financial technology companies, which was sponsored by the regulatory compliance specialist NeoPay and fintech incubator Startup Bootcamp. London is becoming a global fintech hub through the launch of incubators like Startup Bootcamp as well as industry-led initiatives like the recently announced Visa Europe Collab. Even though the start-ups invited to present may never make a full impact in the industry, there is always potential for some to succeed. In places like London where fintech is flourishing, expect to see more payments industry events add financial technology to conference programs.
As the payments industry is likely to see continued disruption from nontraditional payment service providers, from within the industry, and from regulators, an event that brings together hundreds of industry experts to share and discuss best practices and glimpse the future of the industry is invaluable. For both professionals new to the industry and experienced insiders, PayExpo 2015, which attracted the right mix of payment industry participants, proved well worth attending.