The wind came in from Africa; MRC Malta 2018

The wind came in from Africa; MRC Malta 2018

The wind is in from Africa

Last night I couldn't sleep

Oh, you know it sure is hard to leave here Carey

But it's really not my home

MRC’s Autumn event rolled into Malta, presumably in the expectation of some lovely weather on the holiday island. No such luck as a storm blew in churning up the sea under a slate sky. With the notable exception of the 25 degree temperatures we could have been in Galway.

All the more reason then to stay in the sessions which this year had a strong flavour of PSD2 and 3DS, the two looming acronyms threatening to transform the world of payments and fraud. For me at this edition of the MRC event the panels were better than the solo speakers. I think perhaps the sessions were too long for the solo speakers making them stretch material to fill the time.

There was an excellent panel hosted by Brian Dammeir of Adyen who is always good value at these events. Booking.com, Netflix, BS Payone and Edgar Dunn were the participants offering a number of viewpoints on how 3DS is going to impact the world of payments.

Brian was right to point out that talk of exemptions to the SCA element offered no get out from having a good 3DS implementation in place for merchants. So anyone who values acceptance (i.e. merchants who want to stay in business) need to be ready to step up to a 3DS challenge in an elegant way.

An important exemption to all this is recurring payments and merchant initiated payments. Netflix for example does not have to seek cardholder permission for every billing attempt - as was feared.

PSD2 and 3DS 2.0 permeated numerous sessions and the variety in terms of awareness, concern and expectations is striking. If I were to synthesise the opinions that I heard (allowing for my own bias):

- Neither is going to bring an end to digital fraud. They will change it in ways we can't yet predict but it won't make fraud go away. The rewards are too rich and the means too easy to believe that the fraudsters are simply going to pack it in.

- 3DS 2.0 has real potential. If nothing else it allows much richer information to be shared on the pipe between merchant and issuer. How that information will be used is as yet unknown but potentially opens up some new business opportunities and chances for innovation.

- Businesses are getting ready. After a long phony war and with GDPR out of the way (or at least the deadline past) it's clear that businesses are finally thinking hard about how they are going to act.

Back to the event, I was asked to do the Ignite session. 4 minutes, 20 slides @ 12 seconds each. I did it, it was fine, I occasionally referred to the slides. I even had people approach me at the reception later to ask me to explain more about our product. So not too bad.

But my suggestion for next year though is 3 minutes, no slides. Just talk about something. Or for a real challenge; make each person present the deck for a different company.  Slides roulette.

Finally thanks to Ravelin partners Ethoca for hosting a wonderful party. And of course to Una and the gang at MRC for hosting a terrific event.

Before you go, we’re hosting a webinar with the MRC and our very own detection team on how machine learning has transformed fraud detection, so if you’d like to join, you can find all the details here.

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