Mark Bishopp of Fortis On The Top 5 Future Payment Processing Trends
As we move further into the digital age, the world of e-commerce continues to evolve, particularly in the realm of payment processing. Cryptocurrencies, mobile wallets, contactless payments, AI-based fraud detection, and more are constantly reshaping how consumers make purchases and how businesses collect payments. Keeping abreast of these changes and understanding how to leverage them is crucial for any business operating in the e-commerce space. What are the upcoming trends in payment processing? How can businesses adapt to these trends to provide a seamless and secure transaction experience for their customers? In this interview series, we are talking to ecommerce experts, fintech innovators, and payment processing specialists, to share their “Top 5 Future Payment Processing Trends”. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Bishopp.
Mark Bishopp is a payments technology industry leader with over 25 years of financial services experience. Bishopp is the SVP of Embedded Commerce and Partnerships at Fortis, a leading integrated commerce platform. He joined Fortis in 2022 to take the Fortis platform and embedded payments business to the next level. Mark has held several payments related executive positions and has been a trusted advisor/consultant in 3rd party payments (Marketplaces, Payment Facilitation, ISO, ISV/VAR, etc.) for 15+ years. Mark is a global SME in online payments with a specific focus on Payments as a Strategic Asset (PaaSA) solutions.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you’re super busy. Before diving in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory and how you grew up? What led you to this specific career path?
Itreally comes down to luck as each life experience built on to the next. Payments was not a course in college back in the 80’s but I always knew that tech and business would combine into great things in the future. I joined PriceWaterhouse (before the Coopers) straight out of college as a CPA but quickly transferred to its newly developed Consulting firm and immediately became an expert in automating business reports. I continued to work in the financial world and in the mid to late 90’s noticed how much tech would influence payments. New models were evolving then with the start of EBAY and Paypal. I quickly became CIO of an up-and-coming payment facilitator, and the rest was history. I joined Bank of America to lead their eCommerce practice, but banks were not moving fast enough for me, and I decided to get back into consulting/advising fintech plays which meant getting to know folks like Greg Cohen (CEO of Fortis). Greg and I remained in contact over the years and most recently he convinced me to look at what Fortis has put together which I felt was a game changer. We figured out a role that was a win/win for both parties and here we are.
Can you share the most exciting story that has happened to you since you began at your company?
I just made it past my 1-year anniversary at Fortis and have a number of great success stories. If I had to pick one of the more exciting ones, I would say it was the opportunity to help Fortis come to an agreement with a large financial institution that has the potential to significantly increase revenue for Fortis. This may not sound exciting on the surface, but this was done OUTSIDE of the business plan, and we had to come up with a way to ‘fit it in’ amongst all the other high priority items.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Payments as a Strategic Asset (PaaSA) is a specific project within Fortis that will never end but rather continue to mature. The goal here is to truly help the industry understand that Payments are NOT a cost but should be treated as a strategic asset. Too many companies offering payment solutions don’t have the talent that understands how to help clients with payments and instead try to convince them that ‘cheaper is better’. I have made it part of our culture that we are here to provide value to our clients which means delivering a great fintech product specific to payments and become trusted advisors in their payments journey.
You’re a successful business leader. What are three traits about yourself that you feel helped fuel your success? Can you share a story or example for each?
For this I felt I should provide statements I live by which has truly helped my success:
- “You never know who’s watching.” Do not only do your best when people will notice but simply do the right thing every time. If you consistently do the best you can regardless of the audience, you can rest easy knowing you did the right thing which translates to positive outcomes more times than not. You will be amazed at the opportunities that will come your way.
- “Just because you could doesn’t mean you should.” Temptation (or taking the easy path) is so easy these days. Yes, you ‘could’ do something but ‘should’ you? Take that extra second before you make that next move/decision to truly decide if this is something you ‘should’ do. It took me a while to learn this one and I still get it wrong, but life is about limiting poor choices.
- “Don’t seek reciprocation.” I saved this for last as it is my favorite one. Growing up (and still to this day) I see decisions and actions both professionally and personally that are only done in expectation of reciprocation. This clouds true value. Do what is right every time, and you will reap the benefits in many forms of which reciprocation may not be one of them so why focus just on that limiting your success?
Excellent, thanks so much for sharing that. I want to shift gears and talk about e-commerce. What was the original vision for your e-commerce business? What pain point(s) were you trying to solve for your customers?
Our original vision was to enable commerce within software and platform businesses by providing an omnichannel payments offering that is tech forward. We wanted to create a company that has more industry knowledge and personal connections within fintech than any other to ensure we can truly be trusted advisors in payments.
We are working to be a true trusted advisor, guiding companies through the large payments ecosystem, regardless of whether a potential client does business with us or not. We are a solution that understands a specific business/vertical and can provide customizations when/where needed. We provide detailed, accurate and timely reports and can white label the payment solution and embed the payments process anywhere into the clients’ tech — both of which are widely requested by clients as a pain point to overcome.
How do you see the e-commerce industry evolving in the coming years?
E-commerce will evolve into simply ‘commerce’ with less and less ‘devices’ needed to conduct a transaction. Further enhancements into blockchain, biometric and AI will dominate payment investments over the next 5 years.
How do you balance the need for innovation and experimentation with maintaining a stable, reliable e-commerce infrastructure?
The technology and financial services industries are always changing. To stay ahead of the trends and provide the best value to our clients, we offer the newest technology and services while continuing to invest in compliance and our core infrastructure. We strive to be where innovation exists but also invest in our existing infrastructure. We also invest in the best talent, because we recognize talent is key to maintaining a stable, reliable infrastructure.
Ok super. Here is the central question of our interview. What five emerging trends do you believe will have the biggest impact on payment processing in e-commerce? Please explain each in detail.
- Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology: Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as advancements in blockchain technology, are reshaping the landscape of payments. They offer decentralized, secure and fast transactions without the need for intermediaries like banks. This empowers consumers with more control over their funds and provides e-commerce businesses with a borderless payment option. As cryptocurrencies become more widely adopted and integrated into payment gateways, they have the potential to revolutionize online transactions.
- Digital Wallets and Contactless Payments: Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and other mobile payment solutions are gaining popularity due to their convenience and enhanced security features. These technologies allow users to store multiple payment methods in one place and make seamless, contactless transactions. With the proliferation of NFC-enabled devices, customers are increasingly opting for this quick and secure payment method, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated the adoption of contactless payments.
- Biometric Authentication: Biometric authentication methods such as fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and voice recognition are becoming more prevalent in e-commerce payment processing. These technologies provide an extra layer of security by using unique physiological or behavioral characteristics to verify a user’s identity. By integrating biometrics into payment systems, businesses can offer a frictionless yet highly secure payment experience, reducing the risk of fraud and enhancing customer trust.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI and machine learning algorithms are revolutionizing fraud detection and prevention in e-commerce payments. These technologies analyze vast amounts of data to identify suspicious patterns and anomalies, allowing for real-time risk assessment. By leveraging AI-driven fraud prevention solutions, e-commerce platforms can significantly reduce instances of payment fraud, providing a safer environment for both merchants and consumers.
- Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs): CBDCs are digital representations of a country’s official currency issued and regulated by its central bank. As governments around the world explore the concept of CBDCs, they have the potential to streamline cross-border transactions, reduce transaction costs, and provide a secure, government-backed digital payment option. CBDCs could play a pivotal role in shaping the future of e-commerce payments by offering a trusted digital alternative to traditional currencies.
These emerging trends in payment processing are poised to transform the e-commerce landscape. From decentralized cryptocurrencies to advanced biometric authentication, the evolution of payment technologies is creating exciting opportunities for innovation and enhanced user experiences in commerce overall. It’s an exciting time for the world of commerce, and I’m eager to see how these trends continue to shape the industry.
Is there a past trend that’s now common practice in payment processing that you would have spent 50% more time focusing on? Which one and why?
Cashless and Card-not-Present payment experiences. Those that adopted this early on without a huge cost (think dot com bust) did well and are now leaders in the space.
Looking ahead, what are the biggest opportunities and challenges facing payment processing for e-commerce, and how do you plan to address them in the coming years?
There are several significant opportunities and challenges within e-commerce. Let’s delve into each:
Global Expansion and Market Access: The opportunity to tap into new international markets continues to grow. With advancements in payment technologies and increased globalization, e-commerce businesses have the potential to reach a broader customer base.
Innovation in Payment Methods: Emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies, digital wallets and biometric authentication present opportunities for more efficient, secure and convenient payment experiences. Integrating these methods can enhance user satisfaction and trust.
Enhanced User Experience: Streamlining the payment process, reducing friction, and ensuring a seamless checkout experience can lead to higher conversion rates and customer retention. Implementing user-centric design principles and leveraging cutting-edge technologies can help achieve this.
Personalization and Data Analytics: Harnessing data analytics and AI-driven insights can enable e-commerce platforms to offer personalized payment options, promotions, and recommendations tailored to individual customer preferences. This can boost customer loyalty and increase sales.
Regulatory Compliance and Security: Staying ahead of evolving regulatory requirements and investing in robust security measures is crucial. This not only ensures legal compliance but also builds trust with customers concerned about the safety of their financial information.
Cybersecurity and Fraud Prevention: As e-commerce transactions increase, so do the risks associated with cyberattacks and fraud. Continuous investment in advanced security measures, such as multi-factor authentication and AI-powered fraud detection, is essential.
Cross-Border Transactions and Currency Conversion: Handling international payments comes with complexities related to currency exchange rates, cross-border fees, and compliance with different regional regulations. Implementing seamless cross-border payment solutions will be vital.
Payment Disputes and Chargebacks: Resolving payment disputes and chargebacks can be time-consuming and costly. Establishing clear policies, providing transparent communication, and leveraging data analytics to identify and address potential issues early can help mitigate this challenge.
Technological Integration and Scalability: Adapting to new payment technologies and ensuring the scalability of payment processing systems as transaction volumes grow is a significant technical challenge. Investing in flexible, scalable infrastructure will be crucial.
Customer Trust and Data Privacy: With increasing concerns about data privacy, ensuring secure handling of customer information and transparent communication about privacy practices is paramount. Complying with data protection regulations like GDPR is essential.
To address these opportunities and challenges, it’s important to focus on a multi-faceted approach. This includes continuous innovation and technology adoption, robust security measures, compliance and regulatory expertise, user-centric experience and collaboration and partnerships. At Fortis, we incorporate each of these, ensuring we stay at the forefront of payment processing trends, continue to offer secure solutions with AI-driven fraud prevention and prioritize collaboration so we can provide frictionless payment experiences and address any challenges. By staying agile, innovative, and customer-focused, we aim to navigate these opportunities and challenges to continue providing best-in-class payment processing solutions for the e-commerce landscape in the coming years.
You are a person of significant influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 😊
Get back to being respectful, hardworking people and stop walking on eggshells wondering if someone will not like your statement/actions. Be truthful but not hurtful.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I want to thank you so much for your time and for sharing your expertise with us. I wish you continued success!
By Authority Magazine | https://medium.com/authority-magazine/mark-bishopp-of-fortis-on-the-top-5-future-payment-processing-trends-d176e68a2ce6