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By Brian Gaynor, Executive Director for European Product Solutions at J.P. Morgan. 

Let’s start with the basics, The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) was officially published by the European Commission in December 2015 and follows on from the First Payment Services Directive (PSD1), which was implemented in 2009. PSD2 will go live from 13thJanuary, 2018and will have implications for all companies in Europe that deal with payments, ranging from how to regulate the emergence of Third Party Providers (TPPs) to the need for strong customer authentication (SCA). 

Brian Gaynor

Brian Gaynor

Rapid changes in the payments sector have heralded the upgrade of PSD1. Technological advances in areas such as cloud and mobile applications have opened up the banking sector to a swathe of new competitors. These TPPs are offering new ways for customers to access their bank accounts to make payments. Over three quarters of Europeans now use mobile devices to keep track of finances and to make payments,[1] compared with just 18% in 2015.[2]

Another major change has been the continuing rise in online shopping. According to a recent survey, one in four Europeans with internet access shopped online at least once a week in 2016.[3] Unfortunately, the rise in eCommerce has resulted in a concomitant rise in cybercrime; both in data breaches and online credit card fraud. In 2016, nearly £309 million was lost to credit card fraud in eCommerce transactions in the United Kingdom. This compares to just £13.6m in 1998.[4]

It’s against this background that the European Union (EU) is implementing PSD2. There are generally two elements to European law; the need to encourage competition among financial providers, as well as the need to enhance consumer protection.

PSD2 at a glance

  • Update of First Payment Services Directive (PSD1) driven by continual rise of eCommerce and technological innovation in payments sector.
  • Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will be implemented from 13th January, 2018. The earliest date that member states are expected to have implemented Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) is August 2019.
  • PSD2 includes 112 articles and 11 mandates (specific topics that the regulators asked the European Banking Association to examine).
  • One of these mandates is around strong customer authentication (SCA) and includes guidance around exemptions and challenges.
  • Another key area is the regulation of Third Party Providers (TPPs) which could help stimulate a new generation of financial companies.

The emergence of TPPs 

Presently the main way for customers to access their bank accounts is through the products and channels provided by their banks. Under PSD2 two new regulated entities will emerge:

  • Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISP) – This allows third party companies to initiate payment on behalf of a consumer without them having to visit their online bank’s portal. PISPs offer consumers flexibility when it comes to payment.
  • Account Information Service Providers (AISP) – This will allow third party companies to access a consumer’s bank, as well as display information relating to their account. For example, this could allow a consumer to aggregate information from multiple accounts in a single application giving them an overview of their financial situation.

In order to facilitate these new providers, banks will have to provide their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to those that request it. This is quite a radical change that will provide a boost to the new generation of Fintech companies, fitting in with the EU’s desire to promote increased competition and innovation. The support for TPPs is expected to give consumers greater control and convenience as they will be able to centralise their account information and payment options on a single device.

This is anticipated to benefit the eCommerce market because it will give customers more flexible banking and payment options. There are also opportunities for merchants; for example, they could potentially utilise an AISP to get more information on a potential consumer, such as their account balance and payment flows and use it to make risk assessments.  Or they could use the information to identify and target their most high-value customers. Of course, merchants will have to radically rethink the way they obtain their customer’s consent to store personal data and ensure their processes and procedures comply with the General Data Protection Regulation.

PSD2: Key implications for merchants

Creation of PISPs Services that can initiate credit transfers on behalf of account owners (digital or card based).
Creation of AISPs Services that can collect and consolidate data across one or more deposit accounts.
Limited surcharges Merchants will not be able to surcharge payment methods with regulated interchange (e.g., 4-party consumer schemes, Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) SEPA credit transfers).
SCA Two-factor authentication will be required for all electronic payments, although there are exemptions to allow “frictionless flow”.
3-D Secure eCommerce merchants will need to integrate dynamic authentication tools (e.g., 3D Secure 2.0).

SCA and the drive for increased payment protection

One of the major implications of PSD2 is the focus on improving security in the payments space by emphasising strong customer authentication. An important element of SCA is two-factor authentication. Most consumers are aware of this even if they don’t know it by that name. It’s for those situations where inputting the username and password by themselves aren’t considered secure enough, so additional steps are required. Obvious examples of such an approach are additional questions that only a consumer would know, such as “what’s my mother’s maiden name?” New approaches to two-factor authentication are emerging e.g., biometric recognition or fingerprint activation.

What is two-factor authentication?

This is authentication based on the use of two or more elements categorised as knowledge (i.e., something only the user knows), possession (i.e., something only the user possesses), and inherence (i.e., something the user is).

Within the cards space there is already a scheme in place to ensure SCA called 3-D Secure (3DS). This is a service offered by credit card providers that gives additional protection to card users by introducing another layer of password protection. The result of which is the message that customers sometimes see when completing a transaction, depending on the network upon which the card is operating.

However, there are drawbacks with 3DS in its current version. It deploys a pop-up screen which uses a different URL – thus looking rather similar to a phishing site. There’s the requirement to remember the password that has been used, something that may be problematic for a customer with several such cards. The first version of 3DS was primarily designed for PC transactions and is a clunky way of making a purchase for mobile phone users – and with smartphones increasingly deployed in eCommerce, this is a stumbling block.

3DS 2.0

To address some of these challenges a new version of 3DS has just been released. One major change of 3DS 2.0 is that it will offer the ability to authenticate a transaction using a biometric method, something that many mobile phones offer these days. By using finger prints or facial recognition the amount of fraud is potentially going to be greatly reduced while also increasing convenience for consumers. There are other upgrades too: the troublesome payment window will be discarded with and 3DS 2.0 will also allow mobile and digital wallet payment methods. This is a major change as previously only cards could be used (unsurprising, considering the origins of the technology).

Another major implication of 3DS 2.0 is that when a customer makes a purchase, the merchant will have the option of agreeing to ‘frictionless flow’ – where the payment is authorised without additional security measures. Alternatively, they can request that the payment is challenged resulting in the issuer making a risk-based authentication of the consumer and potentially asking for further security, such as two-factor authentication. Having frictionless payment is beneficial for customers and therefore merchants, as their payments can be made quickly and seamlessly. However, it can also increase the potential of fraud. One of the main implications of PSD2 is that it provides clear guidelines about how this process can be managed.

PSD2 and frictionless flow

Under PSD2 there are clear rules regarding the challenging of payments. Transactions that are under €30 will not need to be challenged, it is entirely up to the discretion of the merchant. For transactions above €30, a new procedure kicks in, one that depends on the reference fraud rates of the acquiring bank and the issuer – not the merchant.

Under PSD2, if the fraud rate is below 13 basis points (bps) there’s no requirement for a challenge for transactions of up to €100. But if the fraud rate is below 6bps that ceiling rises to €250. For those with a rate of under 1bps a transaction can be as high as €500 before there’s a need for a challenge.

There are a couple of caveats to this approach.

  • Not all low-value transactions will go unchallenged: every fifth transaction (below €30) will need to be challenged. This will also apply if the combined value of several unchallenged transactions goes above €100. This could present some difficulty for merchants who will have to deal with customers’ expectations of a frictionless process.
  • There’s also the issue of recurring transactions. If there’s a regular payment and it’s of the same amount every time, there needs only to be one challenge. However, if the amount changes for example, a mobile bill fluctuates and the amount is over €30, it would need to be challenged.

Although SCA methods can reduce fraud, they likely will also impact the speed and convenience of online shopping. However, PSD2 will not necessarily have a negative impact on eCommerce. The new regulations are predicted to drive acquirers and other entities in the payment processing ecosystem to improve their own fraud rate as that would mean they could offer frictionless flow at higher thresholds. Conversely merchants may start seeking out financial providers with a good record of fraud prevention, as this would allow them to offer more convenient payment options to their consumers with fewer challenge presentments.

With PSD2 the onus is on the many parties in the payments ecosystem to improve security and reduce their fraud rates. With the right solutions merchants can be compliant with the new regulations and help reduce fraud while still offering a frictionless, user-friendly experience for the majority of their customers. eCommerce is booming in Europe, but the number one reason preventing even further uptake is concern over fraud. By forcing improvements to payment processing, PSD2 could end up increasing conversion rates. 


The implementation of PSD2 is going to shake up the payment sectors. There are a number of potential advantages for merchants: purchasing processes will become easier, they will be offered more choice of financial providers (and consequently methods of payment) and there will be reduced risk of fraud.

But there will still be work to be done; merchants may need to change their systems to handle 3DS 2.0 or other SCA methods, as well as working on how to meet customers’ expectations. And because there will generally be more challenges, SCA needs to be handled in a way that minimises disruption to the purchasing process. In this sense, the regulations could spark a wave of innovation that may ultimately improve the online shopping experience.

Merchants will also have to pay closer attention to their partner acquirers and issuers. Some important differentiating factors will be the fraud rate, as well as the help provided in negotiating the PSD2 upheaval. 

PSD2 opportunities for merchants 

  • Reduced fraud rates in the industry and increased trust with consumers.
  • Innovation around two-factor authentication to make the process smoother.
  • A boost in eCommerce as consumers have more online banking and payment options.
  • Merchants can leverage new payment aggregators to increase their strategic information on consumers.

Chase Paymentech Europe Limited, trading as J.P. Morgan, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

 The information herein does not take into account individual client circumstances, objectives or needs and is not intended as a recommendation of a particular product or strategy to particular clients and any recipient of this document shall make its own independent decision. This document and the information provided herein may not be copied, published, or used, in whole or in part, for any purpose other than expressly authorised by Chase Paymentech Europe Limited.

© 2017, JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved.

[1] VisaEurope. ‘Mobile Money Takes Off as 77% of Europeans Use their Phones to Bank and Make Everyday Payments.’ Available at: Accessed October 2017.

[2]VisaEurope. ‘Mobile Payments soar as Europe embraces new ways to pay.’ Available at: Accessed October 2017.

[3]Mastercard, ‘Mastercard Index 2017 – Pan-European eCommerce and new payment trends.’ Available at: Accessed October 2017.

[4]FICO, ‘eCommerce Growth Drives Rise in UK Card Fraud.’ Available at: Accessed October 2017.

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How can businesses celebrate Halloween virtually?



How can businesses celebrate Halloween virtually? 1

Bring the spooky season to life by virtually gathering the team for fun activities during October. Even though this year’s celebrations will look a bit different, don’t let the restrictions of remote working stop the fun. Plan a virtual Halloween party and lead up to it with spooky but socially distanced activities to build suspense.

  1. Host a virtual halloween party

The Halloween tradition of a spooky soiree should definitely be on the cards for your remote team. Flesh out a part of your team’s schedule near the 31st October for some creepy fun.

Consider those devilish details, pre-arrange your party activities to avoid any deathly silences (and even more terrifying, ghosting!) at your event. Take inspiration from our virtual Halloween celebration ideas to make it the best virtual halloween party ever.

  1. Organise a murder mystery game

Has anyone on your remote team been acting suspiciously on Slack lately? A virtual murder mystery game could get to the bottom of the matter.

After selecting a theme, designate a host and have them secretly select a perpetrator before writing up clues for the rest of the team. Have the team follow a virtual scavenger hunt of hints before making their grand accusations at the virtual Halloween party.

To delve even deeper into the murder mystery, have the host create characters for each team member with big personalities to match!

  1. Host a costume competition

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a costume competition, complete with a prize for the most impressive outfit. Whilst there are some foolproof classic Halloween options like ghosts, witches, pirates and vampires, drawing new ideas from our current moment can yield some hilarious results.

  1. Collaborate on a spooky party playlist

Sure, Spotify has a whole host of spooky playlists (this one called Spooky is a fine example), but it’s much more fun to create a new one as a team.

From the Monster Mash to Rhianna’s Disturbia to Van Halen’s Running with the Devil, feed in the funky favourites ready for the virtual dance floor.

  1. Challenge your team to a virtual pumpkin carving competition 

A low-cost way to ignite some creativity in your team, set a challenge to create the best Jack-O-Lantern with a prize for the most frightening result.

There are no fancy tools required to carve your first pumpkin. Check out some pumpkin carving tutorials to get you started and remember, safety first, advise your team to go slow if it’s their first time experimenting with this special Halloween skill.

  1. Get creative with your virtual backgrounds

Host your morning check-in in an eerie forest. Catch up for your one-on-one (1:1) in an abandoned fairground. Hold your all-staff meetings while being chased by zombies.

The spine-tingling opportunities are endless when you’re using video chat and Google images.

Getting started with one-on-one (1:1s)? Download our Ultimate Guide to Running 1:1s  to help you get the most out of your meetings.

  1. Stream a Halloween movie together

Hosting a team movie watching party can be an amazing way to bond through the shared experience of terror. Set a time and date to tune in together then have a full debrief at your team catch-up the next morning.

Choose a movie that’s easy to find; classics are always a good option (and tend not to be too terrifying) – try Alien, The Birds or Jaws.

Alternatively, you can stream it all together using Netflix Party.

  1. Start a horror book club

A spooky novel can also be a fun way to engage with your team that can last over several weeks. Horror is one of the all-time great book club themes and experiencing a terrifying novel with others can stop you from going down a spooky rabbit hole alone.

Assign a host of the club and get them to ask the group questions about the books scariest moments and most terrifying themes. Sharing any spooky facts about the book can also give your book club an edge. For example, did you know that the idea of Dracula came to author Bram Stoker in a wild nightmare that was suspected to have been caused by bad seafood?

Have lots of book lovers at your workplace? Start a virtual book club and keep the book club tradition going throughout the entire year!

Employment Hero, one of Australia’s fastest-growing tech companies

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Five key challenges CIOs in insurance will face over the next 12 months



Five key challenges CIOs in insurance will face over the next 12 months 2

By Andrew Jenkins, Principal in the CIO & Technology Officers Practice at Odgers Berndtson, discusses five challenges CIOs will face as the world emerges into the new normal.

Even before the pandemic, CIOs in insurance had their hands full. Many insurance companies – which have historically been digital laggards – were increasingly embarking on ventures to embed customer-focused products, integrate disparate systems and data structures, and use technology to implement organisational redesign. Now, with companies six months into the pandemic, these programmes have become that much harder to implement and a number of new hurdles have emerged that technology leaders will also have to overcome. These are five of the key challenges CIOs in the insurance industry will face over the next 12 months:

1.) Implementing Agile transformation in a remote environment

Pre-pandemic, Agile transformation – the process of adapting the values, principles and practices of an organisation so that it can react rapidly to change – had been gaining traction among insurers. This was particularly true of those that saw the benefits it could bring in driving a customer-oriented approach to product development. However, Agile relies on teams physically co-locating together and using the power of shared knowledge and rapid communication. With the UK and other countries shifting in and out of lockdowns, CIOs will face an uphill battle when trying to introduce Agile programmes among entirely remote workforces. At the very least it will require the implementation of technology that can enable the same sort of collaborative environment a physical office provides.

2.) Changing the cultural mindset about the customer journey.

Insurance is a very commoditised industry and has historically focused on digital transformation to drive cost efficiency – the aim being to provide the most competitive premiums. However, market share is increasingly being consumed by firms that are investing in their approach to customer engagement and using technology to transform the end-to-end customer journey. For the leadership teams of many insurers this might seem like an unorthodox approach to digital transformation. CIOs will therefore need to work hard to bring their fellow executives round to the idea that digital innovation for the customer is more profitable than digital innovation to reduce back-end costs – it’s a cultural mindset shift that will also need to permeate through the organisation if the CIO wants to truly transform the approach to customer engagement.

3.) Adapting the business model to make greater use of public and private cloud platforms

Using cloud platforms – whether that is working with a cloud provider or investing in a private platform – can improve the speed to market for new products, enhance the claims experience for customers and help firms expand globally. There are now insurers that have built leading policy, claims and underwriting platforms simply in partnership with Google. However, like customer engagement, CIOs face an embedded mindset within the executive team, where the idea of cloud investment is often still viewed as just a method to modernise legacy infrastructure. CIOs will need to change the hearts and minds of fellow c-suite executives if their company is to truly unlock the power of cloud technology.

4.) Implementing technology to maintain and build culture in a mixed workforce

A mixed model of on-site and remote working is the future of work. Especially as countries seesaw between implementing and lifting lockdowns, workforces will be made up of hybrid digital and on-site employees. Working closely with the people function, CIOs will need to consider the sort of technology that can maintain team cohesion, ensure visibility so that remote and on-site employees are performance managed equally, and that will enable people to mimic the ‘watercooler’ moments remotely. Most employees now expect a blended remote and on-site working lifestyle. Insurance firms will therefore need a technology infrastructure that replicates for remote employees both the collateral learning that comes from sitting next to someone and the collective engagement that comes from office camaraderie.

5.) Adopt newly defined leadership traits

When Coronavirus began to upend both the social and business environment, certain leadership traits quickly emerged as the most successful for navigating organisations through the crisis. The best c-suite leaders demonstrated a desire to communicate consistently and to convey a message of ‘we’re all in this together’. When managing the most distressing aspects of the virus’ impact, they used compassion, empathy and humility to connect with their teams and displayed genuine authenticity, regardless of the function they led. Importantly, the most successful leaders were, and still are, making brave decisions at speed, and are now either building upon or adapting their organisation’s cultural identity to instil a sense of purpose in the workplace. Due to the demands of the pandemic, CIOs have found themselves in the hotseat and their role is central in guiding organisations out of the crisis; adopting these new leadership traits will be paramount to their success in achieving this.

CIOs in insurance face a particularly tough challenge – an industry that is on the one hand taking steps to redefine itself digitally, but on the other is still working under traditional approaches to technology, all of which is taking place during a global pandemic. To come out stronger on the other side, CIOs will need to convince their fellow c-suites of the benefits of investing in the customer journey, help their business unlock the power of the cloud, and make remote-working a long-term success that coincides with transformation. Finally, and while it may seem obvious, they should remember that the world has changed, and that this change demands a new quality of leadership.

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LightArt’s Project Demonstrate What The Future Hold For Real Estate Market



LightArt's Project Demonstrate What The Future Hold For Real Estate Market 3

This piece explores how LightArt byTom John Or-Paz seeks to leverage art to improve neighborhoods at scale in the branded real estate sector.

Tom John Or-Paz’s LightArt Project Demonstrates What The Future Hold For Real Estate Market

Urban neighborhoods across many cities of the world have been recording a rapid rise in gentrification over the last few decades. Sometimes, multiple neighborhoods in the same city are gentrified simultaneously, as in the case of Washington DC with close to 150 gentrified neighborhoods between 2000 and 2013.

LightArt's Project Demonstrate What The Future Hold For Real Estate Market 4

Depending on who you ask, gentrification could either be seen as a blessing, a curse, or a mix of both. Urban theorist Richard Florida observes that gentrification is a symptom and potentially a cure, for the scarcity of quality urbanism.

In his words, “the driving force behind gentrification is the far larger process of spiky reurbanization—itself propelled by large-scale public and private investment in everything from transit, schools, and parks to private research institutions and housing redevelopment.” This peice explores how LightArt, a new player in the branded real estate industry seeks to leverage art to improve neighborhoods at scale.

The process of gentrification and its impact on real estate

There’s no single all-encompassing definition for gentrification but it broadly refers to a process by which a neighborhood experiences some infrastructural and socioeconomic changes due to a surge in real estate investments and an influx of new higher-income residents into an erstwhile historically disinvested neighborhood.

On the plus side, gentrification can transform disinvested neighborhoods into thriving centers of economic prosperity. The influx of real estate investments leads to the renovation of infrastructure, parks, and public areas. The rise in construction activity leads to a job boom, and the newly-opened service and retail businesses also hire more people. There’s also been a direct correlation between gentrified neighborhoods and an increase in the property tax base which in turn provides more funding for local public schools and makes the local police force better equipped.

On the other side of the coin, there are arguments that gentrification eventually prices out longtime residents of a neighborhood from renting or buying properties in a place they’ve called home for decades. There’s also the argument that lower-income residents of gentrifying neighborhoods often become economically marginalized. Another critical but unquantifiable effect of gentrification is the argument that it destroys the soul of neighborhoods.

How LightArt wants to merge art and real estate to improve the curb appeal of neighborhoods at scale

Tom John Or-Paz, a millionaire entrepreneur believes that art can be a valuable tool to improve the curb appeal of neighborhoods and to unlock the positive features of gentrification at scale. Tom wants to rethink neighborhoods through his new company, LightArt, a branded real estate company seeking to facilitate the intersection between modern art, intentional design, and functional living spaces.

According to Tom, “for us, art is an emotional journey that turns a standard project into a way of life.” LightArt works with a team of cultural consultants, artists, designers, and architects to transform a regular property into the envy of the neighborhood by combining art and color with community life.

Tom John Or-Paz has been involved in the branded real estate space since 2013 when he was the Senior VP of Business Developments at Fashion TV, a position from which he led the company to launch its first branded real estate project. Afterward, he got involved with many other branded real estate projects across Europe, the Middle East, and emerging Asia.

Tom John Or-Paz started LightArt in 2019 and now, LightArt is starting out with its first branded real estate in the Florentine neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Israel. The neighborhood had previously been known for commerce and trade, it had a TV series named after it in the 1990s and it is now gradually being transformed into an urban bohemian neighborhood with pristine beaches, excellent nightlife, and Bauhaus-inspired buildings for artsy souls.

There’s no particular rhythm or rhyme to how or where gentrification happens. In Lisbon Portugal, the medieval Mouraria neighborhood used to be dilapidated up until 2009 when it started getting gentrified. It has now become a dining destination with fantastic hilltop views.

The same is true if you’ve recently been to the Villa Crespo neighborhood of Buenos Aires in Argentina, you’ll most likely remember its nice mix of modern art, cool retail shops, and historic synagogues. Yet, it wasn’t always that cool and it had previously been a crumbling relic of a historically Jewish community before being revived by gentrifiers.

LightArt however differentiates itself from the competition in the branded real estate sector by working with real estate developers in the post-planning and permit stage by infusing art into their base designs.

Beyond infusing art into the designs, LightArt also ensures that the properties are outfitted with the latest smart home technology systems from the ground up. The properties have leading smart home technology, automated parking service, and an app-based property management service. LightArt also works with the property developers to market the properties to the right prospects.

LightArt also commissions and provides the artwork for the external and public areas of the properties while working with the people that purchase the properties to style the interior to match their art tastes and design preferences. LightArt then  facilitates a concierge service that refreshes the look and feel of the property by refreshing and replaces the artwork every quarter.

What does the future hold of the real estate market?

Branded real estate is becoming increasingly popular and they could become the new standard for the real estate industry. Liam Bailey, head of Residential Research at Knight Frank and author of the Global Branded Residences – 2019 report observes that “it seems likely that as global wealth creation expands, the demand for high-quality residential development property in key global centers will undoubtedly rise.

Apart from the appeal and emotional sentiments of living in a branded property, branded properties provide an additional layer of trust, security, and provenance because the success of the venture influences how the brand name attached to the project is perceived.

Likewise, Liam’s report also shows that that branded real estate also benefits the property developer. For instance, branded real estate is reportedly valued by as much as 34% on average than non-branded properties. Granted, the higher valuation of branded real estate varies from  5.7%in Jakarta to 45%  in Puerto Rico and as high as 120% in some exotic markets such as Dubai.

Branded real estate provides more identification and endorsement for people who want to be associated with the lifestyle of the brand. Thankfully, art unifies people across socio-economic divides and LightArt might be up to something in its bid to leverage art to get the best out of gentrification without robbing neigborhoods of their souls.


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