MPE 2024 – PayTech Thoughts

Let me summarize my first hours at MPE in Berlin: I went from payment talks to unexpected guest speakers, to imagining Rihanna as the next MPE star moderator and finding ideas on how to inject fun into Digital Wallets

As we all know, the payments industry is one of the most complex, encompassing a wide range of topics, diverse verticals, customer groups, and communities. It also includes a variety of players in the payment value chain, each with different targets and focus areas. This level of comprehensiveness is unparalleled in any other industry.

At MPE, you can really feel this diversity, making the conference a vibrant place for doing business. The confrontation of companies such as Mastercard next to Deutsche Bank, ASOS next to the NBA, and chargeback players like Justt (who, by the way, provided nice cups – the summer drink will be served in style!) illustrates this diversity well. Having attended MPE several times now, I've never felt as entertained and invigorated as I did this time.

"It might be the last time you see me here… potentially next year I could be replaced by an AI Hologram next year."

David Birch

Dead or alive, who would you want to moderate MPE?

David Birch's opening remarks made me laugh but also left me thoughtful and reflective. He joked, "It might be the last time you see me here… potentially next year I could be replaced by an AI Hologram next year." The audience chuckled, but his point is rooted in reality. The success of the ABBA-show in London and the discussions around a QUEEN show that would bring Freddie Mercury back on stage have proven that anyone can deliver an impressive performance, regardless of being dead or alive. So, who would you prefer to see moderating MPE next time? My vote goes to Rihanna, apologies to David, but it's time we infused some female power into this industry. Live or as a hologram: Rihanna's mix of entertainment charm, entrepreneurial drive, and financial skills would work well, don’t you think?

Will the “in-person” of today be the “in-person” of tomorrow?

This question followed Birch's AI comment. And this is a valid point. Whether it's a cashier smiling and making small talk as they process your payment at the POS, a self-service kiosk in the city center where you grab an ice-cold Coke, or a hologram asking for your cryptocurrency code, the essence of in-person transactions will remain. For us at Aevi, who are dedicated to innovating the in-person payment space. Our digital-first mindset and our ambition to make in-person payments as innovative as e-commerce payments already align with this futuristic approach. In our opinion, the in-person payment space is not going anywhere. It’s just getting more and more digital and seamless and the lines between card-present and card-not-present transactions will increasingly blur.

Additionally, virtual reality (VR) is becoming mainstream in various sectors such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing, and retail is no exception. Retailers can now offer shopping experiences that surpass traditional online shopping, allowing customers to virtually pick up items and move around. This advancement blurs the line further between physical and online payments even more. What do you think: Will these payments be considered online? Is it e-commerce, or is it a digital version of in-person payments?

Collage of pictures from MPE Berlin 2024 where Aevi was present

Who do you trust more with payments: your bank or your sports team?

During the opening talk, Kenny Ebanyat, "the first payments hire for the NBA," cleverly stated that "payments run the world" and that the industry is fun. Facing the challenge of global brand growth and fan base strengthening, NBA, like many other merchants, recognizes the importance of seamless payment experiences for attracting and retaining customers.

Kenny made a good point in response to what Kilian Thalhammer from Deutsche Bank said about shoppers being lazy and mainly caring about convenience. Kenny brought up the idea that feeling secure during payments matters a lot, even if it's just the feeling of security. He then asked, "Would you trust your sports team more than your local bank?" Personally, I could see the younger generation, who are really into their teams, leaning more towards trusting them. It's all about emotions, the brand, and how well a business fits with your values and lifestyle.

Who has the best service package alongside their payment offering?

Martina Weimart from EPI Company touched on a crucial aspect: consumers' desire for control and for more than just a basic payment offering. Merchants are driven to provide value to their customers through visibility, control, and additional services and features integrated with their payment options. Ultimately, the business that can offer the best service package atop a secure, seamless, and innovative payment solution will bring the most value to both merchants and customers.

Another buzzword throughout the show was 'digital wallets'. David shared a personal story about wallets. He rarely carries his 'real' wallet, as it doesn't hold money or any other mean of payment. Instead, like many of us, he keeps his digital cards in his mobile wallet. His physical wallet is filled with loyalty cards, IDs, membership cards, and little keepsakes—like a picture of loved ones or a lucky charm. This shift towards digital payments raises questions about merging payments and personal items in the digital wallet pushing for convenience and bringing everything together. I think it's an interesting idea—imagine digitizing even our most sentimental stuff! Well, check this out from Bitneki.


These were just some first impressions to share, overall MPE 2024 was a blast, giving us a peek into a future where payments are more than just transactions; they're experiences. As we navigate this blend of digital and physical, it's clear that the real winners will be those who make paying not just easy, but memorable. So, here's to the next wave of innovations that'll keep us tapping, swiping, and smiling. 

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