Conversation with Mike Walters, CEO at Form3

Conversation with Mike Walters, CEO at Form3

Samee Zafar
December 4, 2023
How is the payment landscape emerging and moving towards more automation / end-to-end processing, are there any key challenges that companies and banks are facing?

The payment landscape is increasingly moving towards automation and end-to-end processing, driven by several factors:

  1. Shift to Real-Time Payments: The transition to real-time payments is a major trend. This shift brings both challenges and opportunities for banks and financial institutions, with crucial factors including technology, infrastructure, reporting, resiliency, and team preparation.
  2. Platform Approach Adoption: The global payments landscape's evolution towards real time necessitates the adoption of a platform approach for the success of financial institutions leveraging new technology providers who can invest once and provide products for consumption.
  3. Growth of Cloud Payment Processing: Payment processing is increasingly being seen as a key battleground for banks. The real-time payments market is growing rapidly, with expectations of substantial growth in the coming years. Success in scaling payment processing will depend significantly on banks’ setups and approaches.
  4. The rise of APP fraud: Fraudster have found a sweet spot with high volume, low value payments that is seeing the rise of APP year on year. The speed of real time payments, whilst bringing customers benefits, is also facilitating this type of fraud. By working with technology providers, banks can opt-in to consortium level solutions, that are able to use data from multiple institutions to determine fraud scores in near real time and allow responses to both outbound and inbound transactions (the latter being key in solving for APP fraud).
  5. Automation in Payment Testing: Automation is becoming essential in testing instant payments, like in the case of FedNow and TCH RTP in the U.S. This approach helps in saving time, reducing costs, and ensuring better quality in payment processing.

Overall, the payment landscape is rapidly evolving with a strong trend towards real-time processing and automation. The challenges faced by companies and banks in this transformation include adapting to new technologies, updating infrastructure, ensuring regulatory compliance, and training teams to handle new systems effectively. The role of cloud technology and the concept of Payments as a Service are becoming increasingly significant in addressing these challenges.

What’s the core offer that Form3 delivers?

Form3 is the world’s leading account to account payment platform. Accessed through a simple API, Form3’s multi- tenant cloud-based platform has a global footprint. The platform, augmented by use of our Orchestration services, is extensible providing access to ACH and Real-Time schemes, inflight APP fraud detection and prevention, data services and more.  Adopting Form3’s managed payment platform helps banks reduce TCO, alleviate concerns regarding future large-scale technology change, regulatory requirements and simplify their internal IT estate. Rather than tying up substantial budget on payments infrastructure and third-party systems, often just ‘keeping the lights on’, migrating to Form3 allows customers to shift focus to growth strategies and competitive advantage.

What do you do in your spare time? Hobbies etc.?

Over the last 3 years I’ve become more interested in wood working - taking fallen trees, milling those myself, drying and them making into chopping boards, benches, bowls etc. The most pleasing result so far has been a chessboard made from Yew and Pine, bordered with Oak - all from trees which have fallen in the garden and would otherwise rot away.

What is the best book you have read and recommend? (note: it does not have to be a business book)

I usually have a few books on the go as audio books and written. I’m currently listening to Climate Capitalism by Akshat Rathi, which I am really enjoying.  It’s a positive take on how technical innovation can support the changes needed to address climate change - very thought provoking. I’ve also really found interesting ‘The Future of Geography’ by Tim Marshall.  It’s all about the history of space and how the frontier has evolved over time in terms of political, commercial, and military importance - and some of the parallels with other frontiers that have evolved on earth. Sounds very geeky! But it’s absolutely fascinating to see how it is already hugely impacting the day-to-day lives of billions of people around the world - and its increasing importance in all of our futures.

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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