Fintech: How PSD2 Will Change the EU Market

The Payment Services Directive 2 – PSD2 – is set to be fully implemented until the end of 2019, as banks must comply with all the regulations of the directive by September.

Although the impact cannot be measured as off now, we can see some of the changes happening already as bigger players are already taking notice of the impact the directive might have on the financial market: global fintech investment has doubled to €43 billion in 2018.

The goals of the directive

The professed goals of the directive include boosting a single market of payments for the UE, the reinforcement of safety, through the use of consumer authentication methods which comply with European standards and the accountability of payment service providers in the event of unauthorized payment transactions, more competition and innovation, by opening up the market to non-banks and innovative fintechs, and a more convenient experience for the customers, as a more consumer-centric view of the market, will be emerging.

The Shift in the Market

There will be several factors reinforcing the directive in creating a unified European Market:

  • Bigger market: as the market shifts from several autonomous markets into a single bigger one, it will become more attractive to new players and new services.
  • Scaling up: It will be cheaper for banks and other services to scale and operate in several countries when their legal frameworks are homogeneous which reduces development and compliance costs.
  • Savvy consumers: As the competition in the European market increases, so will the transparency in financial services and prices offered by European banks, which will lead to better-informed consumers, that will lead to considering foreign banks.
  • Consumers are increasingly more open to online and international shopping. This behavior can influence consumers’ banking behaviors as well.

In a nutshell, the European financial markets will change from domestic banks (the current status quo) into an open and European market, where European and international banks and non-banks will be able to offer their services.

Read more about the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) here.

Bluetech Accelerator: Meet the Bluetech Pioneers

Bluetech accelerator aims to connect the most innovative tech and ocean startups with leading players in the industry to create a new blue economy – one that is modern, data-based, technologically advanced and environmentally friendly.

Meet the Bluetech Pioneers

The BlueTech accelerator is an initiative by Ministério do Mar (the accelerator is part of its Ocean Portugal Programme) and FLAD – Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento and is powered by Direção Geral de Politíca do Mar and Beta-i.

Behind the program are 6 Bluetech pioneers – companies that are leaders in the market and are ready to partner up with startups to pilot groundbreaking solutions.

APDL

The Port of Leixões is the largest port infrastructure in Northern Portugal and one of the most important in the country, equipped with modern facilities and advanced ship management systems.

Why Bluetech?

There’s a focus on improving not only the performance of the physical port but also of the digital port. Bluetech is an opportunity to expand on the concept of port tech clusters, which can contribute to the development of their port and maritime services.

APS

The Port de Sines is the leading national port in volumes of cargo handled and is also the leading container port in the country. They have an history of over 20 years and were pioneers in the Information Systems development in Europe.

Why Bluetech?

APS believes they are in the service of the economy – Bluetech accelerator is an opportunity to develop and implement technology that will help them be more efficient in reaching this goal.

Grupo E.T.E.

Since 1936, ETE Group is the national leader in developing competitive services for the port, maritime and inland water transportation sectors. Very transversal in the sector, ETE group acts in several areas: port operations, maritime and fluvial transportation, logistics, naval engineering, naval construction, and maintenance. They have a experienced path in the field and are present in 3 different continents.

Why Bluetech?

ETE Group has innovation in its DNA. Their longtime success is based on having always believed in innovation, technology and being open to always renewing themselves, investing in new knowledge and new companies in order to become more sustainable, productive and efficient and able to provide the best service to their clients.

Portline Ocean Management

Portline Ocean was created in 2016 to operate in the complex market of shipping high-value cargo. With a deep focus on the international market, Portline Ocean has developed remarkable expertise in the transport of dry bulks and containers, together with all the related shipping activities.

Why Bluetech?

Portline Ocean aims to be in the vanguard to give the best to its clients. They are irreverent in the way approach the market and maritime shipping business, so sharing knowledge and developing solutions with like-minded startups is a not-to-miss opportunity.

Inmarsat

Inmarsat is the pioneer and world leader in mobile satellite communications, powering global connectivity for nearly four decades.

They provide governments, commercial enterprises, and humanitarian organizations with mission-critical voice and high-speed data communications on land, at sea, and in the air.

Why Bluetech?

Because it’s around ports, Bluetech represents the joining of two of Inmarsat’s business units, land and maritime, in the incredibly important hub that is a maritime port. They are ready to join Inmarsat’s capabilities in these two areas, and with their digital incubation team, and program partners, together to innovate and create new solutions to help digitalize the maritime industry.

Tekever

Tekever develops advanced technology and products in areas such as the digital economy, aerial vehicles, and space industries, always with a mindset of Continuous Innovation.

Why Bluetech?

Tekever’s business is intimately linked to the sea, especially where it concerns drones and space. In both cases, they’re building infrastructure that allows for new services in the maritime area – in safety, infrastructure compliance, etc – so it makes sense for them to part of this initiative, and make this structures available for startups innovating with them.  

Read more about the Bluetech Accelerator here.

Here are the top startups joining Free Electrons Bootcamp

free-electrons-startups-bootcamp

Free Electrons, the first energy global accelerator is ready to kick off its Bootcamp phase. In total, the program received 481 applications, from 62 different countries, a ‘spread’ that talks volumes about the international reach of the program.

The program only had a 10% repeat rate, and that means 90% of the startups we attracted are new entries, and that talks to the global visibility of the program, and its growing appeal.

The bootcamp

The bootcamp, held in Dublin (Ireland) from 2nd to 4th, will be critical for the success of the program, since this is when utilities and startups meet for the first time, to discuss the challenges and what the solutions to meet those challenges will look like.

This is also when the terms for the pilots are first set, and this will pretty much define the final quality of the pilots and the program as a whole.

The selected startups

These are the innovators that will be flying to Dublin to meet the 10 Free Electrons’ partners and join the Bootcamp activities (click the tab to get to know them better):

(RE)SET accelerator arrives to boost the circular economy

(RE)SET accelerator arrives to boost the circular economy

Arwin and Beta-i are launching a new joint initiative, called (RE)SET, a European accelerator 100% dedicated to innovations in the Circular Economy. The goal is to enable major groups to identify global innovations and integrate the best ones into their economic and industrial models.

Géraldine Poivert, former Deputy Managing Director of Citeo and co-founder of Arwin, and Pedro Rocha Vieira, President of Beta-i, announced today the creation of (RE)SET, a joint venture combining Arwin’s expertise in the field of Circular Economy and Beta-I’s know-how in the field of open innovation and acceleration.

(RE)SET is the first European initiative dedicated to innovation in the circular economy sector for large groups in different industries. Between Paris and Lisbon, this project aims to support industrial groups in their ecological transformation and to place the circular economy at the heart of their strategic and industrial development.

New consumer trends, regulatory pressure, ability to attract talents or investors, and future business models around resources and energy – these are some of the complex challenges driving the circular economy

For large companies, the environmental arena is becoming clearly strategic. The challenge is no longer to convince, but to act, and move from a risk and compliance model to an opportunity and competitiveness based logic. Because the best performers on Circular Economy topics will necessarily be the best placed to become the champions of tomorrow, as the pressure on natural resources and the risks related to climate change impact the economic world.

With (RE)SET, the industry springs into action

The (RE)SET approach is simple: to associate the leaders of each industrial ecosystem with the best environmental innovations, so that they can collaborate effectively and deploy concrete solutions adapted to the needs and projects of companies. By combining the production capacities of the major groups and the inventiveness of the most innovative companies, companies can strengthen their competitiveness and find viable markets. (RE)SET aims to create a virtuous circle that combines growth and economic attractiveness, while effectively addressing the challenges of climate change.

We combine economy, ecology, strategic analysis and operational implementation. (RE)SET provides essential solutions to start the circular economy on a large scale. Yesterday’s promises are today’s truths: replacing plastic packaging, transforming food waste into biogas, eco-designing furniture or filtering microplastics in water, it is possible today if we use the right methods.

 Géraldine Poivert, co-founder of Arwin and President at (RE)SET.

Entire industries and ecosystems have been transformed very quickly thanks to Open Innovation’s new methods. By using the methods we have developed and proven in trade, electronics and energy to solve the problems of climate change, we will enable major groups to integrate the best environmental solutions to meet these now strategic challenges.

Pedro Rocha Vieira, CEO at Beta-i.

A first program dedicated to Plastic-free Packaging

The first (RE)SET Open Innovation Circular program concerns plastic packaging. Made mainly of materials that are non-renewable and non-degradable and with high carbon emissions, plastic is a key component of our daily activities.

Why packaging first? Because plastic has made it possible to make significant progress on this market to fight food waste, create robust food barriers, lighten containers and above all lower costs. Today, 41% of all plastic production is used for packaging. However, these do not degrade when abandoned and are extremely difficult to recycle into an economic equation that makes sense.

In line with their commitment to the “National Plastics Pact for 2025”, Carrefour and Système U will be the first companies to engage (RE)SET to find the most promising plastic packaging alternatives, for use in stores and retail spaces. The accelerator will allow them to replace part of their plastic portfolio with improved fiber packaging, and to bring about faster change in the technologies and materials used.

Get to know (RE)SET Retail here.

Commitment towards a sustainable future

Several other programs are being prepared with major sponsors in the areas of water, capital goods, biowaste or textiles, for example. Through these programs, (RE)SET and its partners are taking a step by step approach, balanced with both conviction and efficiency, in the fight against climate change.

Get to know the (RE)SET project here.

The Impact of PSD2 in the European Fintech Market

The Impact of PSD2 in the European Fintech Market

On our Fintech Trends of 2019 report, we highlighted that one of the big trends would be change brought on by new regulations, namely the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). It’s a European Union Directive with the aim to contribute to the creation of a single market of payment services in Europe.

The directive

The Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), enables bank customers, both consumers, and businesses, to use third-party providers to manage their finances, aiming to be safe for all entities involved, efficient in time and in costs and communications infrastructure, innovative by opening opportunities for new services and competitive, pushing for an ecosystem where several providers work on.

The new players

PSD2 creates the conditions for any client (private or business) to authorize their bank to give access to their account and payment information to any other providers properly authorized by national regulations – what is called Third Party Providers (TPP).

These third party providers can be Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISP), that provide payment alternatives to credit and debit cards, Account Information Service Providers (AISP), that aggregate information, online, information from multiple accounts and offer their customers an overview of their financial position, or Account Servicing Payment Service Providers (ASPSP), that make available and hold the payment accounts of consumers.

In a nutshell, the open banking API allows these third-party providers to access consumers’ financial information (with their permission) so they can provide them with new and innovative services.

A consumer-centric market

With the implementation of PSD2, banks will no longer be competing with just other banks, but every other financial services provider. Changing the payments value chain and which business models are profitable, will result in a more consumer-centric approach to the business.

As consumers expect an increased digitalization, banks will have a harder time differentiating themselves, so they will be partnering up with startups in fintech to provide new services and better experiences, fitting customers’ convenience and expectations.

The benefits

In the end, PSD2 is a directive working towards a more open and innovative fintech market that will achieve:

  • More security in electronic payments: Through the use of consumer authentication methods which comply with European standards and the accountability of payment service providers in the event of unauthorized payment transactions
  • Better protection against fraud and payment incidents for both consumers and merchants: By certifying all payment service providers who may have access to consumers’ bank details
  • The emergence of payment methods tailored to consumers and merchants: thanks to reduced costs in infrastructure and transactions.

The impact of it all is still to be seen – banks must comply with all the regulations of the directive by September 2019 – but bigger players are already taking notice of the impact the directive might have on the financial market: global fintech investment has doubled to €43 billion in 2018, according to DealRoom.co.

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Smart Open Lisboa: Meep, a new way to move around the city

Smart Open Lisboa: Meep, a new way to move around the city

Smart Open Lisboa continues to unite the biggest players in different sectors in Lisbon with the most innovative startups to create a better user experience of the city for Lisbon’s citizens. Rethink spoke with Guillermo Campoamor, CEO of Meep, to get to know their work in the program and the future of mobility.

Meep App

Meep App is a multimodal journey planner that combines all modes of transportation available in a city into a single app. With Meep, users can plan, book and pay for rides, eliminating the need to use more than one application.

Through the app, customers can choose the best way to reach their destination, according to their own priorities: being able to choose between the cheapest, the faster or the greener routes.

smart-open-lisboa-meep-startup-app

Meep’s App

SOL Mobility Piloting

For their SOL Mobility pilot, Meep partnered up with Carris, Emel (specifically Gira, the bike sharing component) and CML (Câmara de Lisboa) to aggregate all transportation resources into a single app. Lisbon locals and tourists would be able to plan their daily routes using bicycles and buses. The Meep app would display real-time information for both the bus stops and bike stations so users will have the opportunity to combine both modes of transport in a single route, based on their preferences. Through this pilot, they hoped to improve the mobility ecosystem, making public transportation more attractive and increasing the accessibility of the city by creating routes that no one has previously provided.

RT: What were your goals in joining SOL Mobility?

GC: Our primary goal with SOL Mobility was to create a feasible pilot in Lisbon that would become a successful product deployment, integrating all transport operators in the city. We recognized that the participating partners in the program are key players in the mobility ecosystem who could, therefore, help us establish a network in Lisbon, and make it possible to deploy Meep as efficiently as possible. A very important component to our goal was to be able to adapt Meep to the local market. Thanks to the insights and mentorship we received through SOL Mobility, we managed to quickly adjust certain features within Meep to accommodate the unique characteristics of the city like creating a custom button through which users can apply their monthly pass.

RT: How was developing the pilot along with the partners?

GC: Developing the pilot with the partners added a valuable perspective to our experience in deploying Meep. We were able to observe and learn from the developments along the path to launch, especially changes and needs in integrations. For example, at the beginning, Carris and Gira were the first to jump onboard as principal partners, while Camara de Lisboa joined as an observer. As we made progress and our positive impact on the city spread, other partners outside the SOL mobility program like ecooltra and emov joined the platform. We also saw some partners, who had expressed interest from the start, have to opt out due to technical difficulties.

RT: What is the impact you believe an app like Meep can bring to the city of Lisbon?

GC: All features of Meep aim to improve city life and travel by decreasing the use of private cars and making transport more accessible, user-friendly and ecological. Through more efficient, integrated travel, Meep will reduce travel costs and conserve much-needed time for Lisbon residents. Further, by creating previously unexplored routes, remote areas will become more connected and therefore more livable. Meep will also make life easier and more mobile with in-app ticketing and payments – the next step in deployment. As we continue to develop, we hope the platform will serve as a mobility marketplace within which users can interact with the information in the platform and with each other, giving the city of Lisbon the most accurate and updated user behavior and data with which it will better serve the people.  

RT: Are there any first results of success you can share?

GC: Thus far, we have seen Meep users in Lisbon use the app to create endless combinations of different transport modes between buses, bikes, motorcycles, metro (Gira) and scooters. We are growing fast, and more and more people are choosing Meep as their preferred transportation app. Since our recent launch in November, we have more than a thousand active users per week. For now, they are mostly younger techies who want a better way to move around.

RT: What are the next goals for Meep?

GC: Next goals for Meep in Lisbon are to add kick-scooters to the platform and to progressively integrate payments for current operators.  

We are also actively increasing the area that Meep covers in Lisbon so that we can connect to other municipalities. We believe this is important for current and potential Lisbon Meep users because many of them commute back and forth on a regular basis.

We are excited to see how the app progresses in the city, and how we can use the data to advance city living and tourism.

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Mobility as a Service

Meep believes they are an integrating part of a new business model – Mobility as a Service – that is rising to meet the new challenges of mobility in the cities.

The pressure of population growth, pollution, and traffic in the cities demand that we re-think how transportation services are currently provided and used, to streamline one of the most important parts of city living: getting around.

We can’t wait to see where Meep and Lisbon’s mobility solutions go next, and we’re also very excited about the startups on SOL Housing, the new vertical of Smart Open Lisboa, that kicked its Bootcamp this week – read about it here.