Conversation with Laurent Blanchard, CEO at Ingenico

Conversation with Laurent Blanchard, CEO at Ingenico

Gregoire Toussaint
April 2, 2024

Gregoire Toussaint (Director, Paris) recently spoke with Laurent Blanchard, CEO at Ingenico. During the conversation, Laurent talked about the firm and how it adapts to the changing client needs, as well as his views on the most relevant payment innovations expected in coming years

1. Ingenico is a long-established and well-known company, but could you briefly introduce the company and the key services offered across the payment acceptance value chain?

Ingenico is a French fintech with a global reach. We have a legacy of more than forty years in the industry and are proud to be recognized as the worldwide leader in payment acceptance and services. Ingenico has consistently evolved to meet the changing demands of customers and of the market which is why we see our mission as helping to move commerce forward.

We consistently drive innovation in payment acceptance. Our offer includes the latest in payment hardware and applications that are designed to make transactions smooth and secure at the point of sale. Terminals like our Android based Axium range, or our SoftPOS option, Phos by Ingenico, ensure merchants can accept payments anytime, anywhere on any device.

Our solutions provide everything our clients need to set up, run, and maintain terminal estates efficiently. With solutions like Ingenico Manage 360 they can deploy, maintain, and service their estates, fixing problems faster through real time remote access. But it goes much further. It allows them to connect, manage and unlock the commerce capabilities of their merchants with access to our app store of services, providing a one-stop-shop for operational excellence.

Those services include everything from loyalty programs to flexible payment solutions like Buy Now Pay Later, and QR Code. Ingenico integrates the services that merchants need and want to run their business and grow their revenues. Through partnerships with leading service providers, we provide solutions that enhance and expand the customer experience.

2. Considering the dynamic payments ecosystem, how does Ingenico adapt to meet the ever-changing client needs and what are Ingenico’s objectives for 2024?

Our focus is on harnessing emerging technologies, fostering a culture of innovation, and delivering tangible value to our customers.

Our client centric team brings together deep knowledge and extensive experience in payments and technology to help our customers and partners grow and optimize their businesses globally.

3. What do you think are the most relevant innovations that will shake the payment acceptance ecosystem in Europe in the coming years?

The retail landscape is evolving rapidly. Online retailers continue to grow and expectations for the in-store payment experience, are to some extent being driven by the online experience. In response to this, physical stores are adapting by incorporating more data-driven strategies and diversifying their payment options. This may include implementing customer loyalty programs, utilizing in-store analytics, and exploring innovative payment solutions to enhance the shopping experience and foster customer loyalty. And of course, omnichannel is becoming increasingly real.

But in the short-term, innovation in payments will continue to be focused on streamlining the buying process for consumers, making transactions easier and more convenient.

These include digital wallets, tokenization, QR, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), and Open Banking, all of which are now active payment methods instore. Cryptocurrencies are also gaining traction in some markets.

In the longer term – but perhaps sooner than you might expect – technologies like Palm Vein and other biometrics, perhaps associated to digital identity, can be expected to become more prevalent, enhancing security and convenience for consumers.

And of course, AI will come to payment services like everywhere else: artificial intelligence is revolutionizing payment services, enabling personalized user experiences and terminal interface customization, catering to individual preferences, context, and behaviors. For a start, AI raises the risk of fraud, so we will need to counter that with even more security, and we will certainly use AI to counter these. But of course, there will be plenty more.

But payments, like every other industry, also needs to consider its impact on the world and how to improve accessibility, financial inclusion, and its environmental footprint. As an industry, we are at the start of a journey in these areas, but it is one to which I am personally particularly attached.

4. What do you do in your spare time?

I’m fond of activities that nourish both my body and my mind. One of my main hobbies is practicing yoga. It not only enhances my physical well-being but also cultivates mental clarity and inner peace.

Whenever time and opportunity align, I indulge in the thrill of mountaineering. And I am huge opera fan! I am captivated by the grandeur of the music, the power of the performances, and the timeless stories.

5. What book are you reading, or which is one of your favourite books?

I enjoy reading across a wide range of genres and topics from historical to political, from philosophical to spiritual. Each book offers a unique perspective, new knowledge, or an immersive escape.

The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of Edgar, Dunn & Company. The information and views expressed in this publication belong solely to the author(s).

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