Women in Payments: the future of the digital economy

| October 30, 2017 | By

Enhancing the customer experience, changes in the regulatory landscape and the importance of smart partnerships – three key themes that came out of a panel of inspiring female leaders in the payments industry this month, who were brought together by Women in Payments to discuss the future of the digital economy. Yoyo’s VP operations and finance, Min Teo, one of the six-strong panel, reports on how the pieces of the banking and fintech puzzle will fit together…

Earlier this month, I was invited to participate on a panel of inspiring female leaders in the payments  industry to discuss the topic: “Shaping the Digital Economy – How the Pieces of the Banking and Fintech Puzzle Will Fit Together”.

The breakfast event was organised by Women in Payments, an outstanding global organisation facilitating career development and community building for women working across the global payments ecosystem.

Attracting more than 60 women who were eager to talk payments and everything beyond, the panel was evenly split between the traditional guard of payments and the young disruptive startup world:

  • Anne Boden, CEO, Starling Bank

  • Marcia Clay, Senior Vice President of Market Development, Mastercard UK and Ireland

  • Marjan Delatinne, Sales Director Europe, Ripple

  • Alexa Fernandez, EMEA Market Development / New Digital Businesses, BBVA

  • Kate Frankish, Head of PSD2 & Open Banking Delivery, Tesco Bank

  • Min Teo, Vice President of Operations & Finance, Yoyo

From all aspects of the diverse ecosystem, the panel discussed the far reaching impact of how we work, service our customers, and interface with each other as stakeholders in the new economy.

Three key issues soon revealed themselves when it came to what would shape the digital economy in the future:

1. Changes in the regulatory landscape

There was wide agreement that 2018 is going to be the year of regulation – with PSD2 and GDPR having widespread implications across the industry.

With the deadline for compliance looming ahead, the panel discussed how each of our organisations were handling the requirements for enhanced security from the consumer.

These requirements have upped the ante for payment companies to handle customer’s data in a safer, more secure way, given the significant intrinsic value of customer identity, and disastrous repercussions should this data fall into the wrong hands.

In Yoyo’s case, we use “Double Tokenisation” to protect both customer’s personal information, as well as their financial information.

Double Tokenisation
Identity – When a user creates a new Yoyo account, a unique UID is issued. During a transaction, the Yoyo app will generate a unique token which regenerates every 30 seconds. This token transmits the UID through the scanner at the point-of-sale to Yoyo servers. This ensures that information is safeguarded and all user data is encrypted.

Payment – A separate unique token is also generated to encrypt all payment details. When a transaction occurs Yoyo makes a request to the payment provider using the token for authorisation. This token ensures that Yoyo never needs to store or transmit card information directly.

The panel also discussed the pros and cons of Open Banking and agreed that whilst it undoubtedly presents complexity for banks to implement, there are immense collaboration opportunities for fintech startups and banks.

2. The increasing importance of smart partnerships

Perhaps the most interesting topic that arose from the discussion, and in connection with Open Banking, was the question of future collaborations between the old guard and rising fintechs.

In a time where symbiotic partnerships are critical, how can both sides work together in a mutually beneficial way? Are established organisations equipped to move quickly in an agile framework? Can fintechs explore opportunities in a professional and compliant manner?

Marcia Clay spoke about Mastercard innovation team working closely with startups to utilise its established set of rails and deep client pool, while Alexa Fernandez from BBVA shared her team’s traction in promoting financial inclusion in Latin America by collaborating with fintechs on the BBVA platform.

3. Enhancing the customer experience

A major theme to emerge at the event – in this convergence of fintech, how can we deliver a superior customer experience in an age of mobile commerce?

In order to be top of wallet, front of mind, the payments industry needs to reinvent itself to go Beyond Payments and focus on value-added services that deliver an enhanced purchasing experience for consumers.

Beyond Payments
: While big payments companies are adapting to mobile payment, their only focus has been how to make transactions work, which has offered zero added-value to retailers or their customers.

Yoyo’s combined app experience is providing the fastest method of transaction for customers (seven times faster than using a contactless card), instant loyalty points or stamps, and personalised rewards that is delivered through individual basket data data analysis – all in one moment at the point of sale.

The panel also talked about providing consumers with an enhanced variety of payments (mobile, wearables), to creating seamless channels that speak to each other (omnichannel, blockchain), delivering convenience through automation (programmatic commerce and preempting consumer preferences), and deepening brand loyalty in a fleeting and noisy digital environment.


The morning event closed off on a pertinent question – one that was close to the hearts of all participants – How can we, as women in the industry, continue to work together to bring payments to greater heights?

Starling Bank’s CEO, Anne Boden, proudly declared:

“Our time is NOW!”

I wholeheartedly agree – never have women had a better network, community and platform to launch startups and build businesses as senior leaders.

Women can do Finance, women can do Technology, and women most definitely can lead the charge on FinTech. Having worked in traditionally male-dominated industries my entire career, I am proud to represent a new generation of women who believe that innovation and diversity go hand-in-hand in pushing product development to new frontiers.

We at Yoyo are committed to hiring the brightest and most diverse minds to help us build a new paradigm in payments and loyalty. Please get in touch if you identify with our mission – we would love to hear from you!