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Comment: Change and opportunity defining today's payments sector

For those retailers wanting to hear all the latest payments industry news and meet up with the key suppliers then RBTE is the place to be. Make sure you have marked up your calendars to be at London's Olympia on the 10 and/or 11 March. Go ahead and complete your free event registration now if you have not already done so.

Consumer payments will once again be an integral part of RBTE, and this year our line-up looks to be the strongest ever. We have recruited a great set of speakers for the payments conference theatre – which is sponsored by ACI Worldwide this year – from all stakeholder groups, including leading omnichannel retailers Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Tesco, eCommerce merchants like LuxFix, international payment schemes Visa, PayPal and JCB, acquirers such as WorldPay, the UK Cards Association, industry consultants and retail research organisations.

They will be discussing all the latest payment initiatives through keynote addresses, case studies and participation in interactive panel sessions. Topics will include the mass consumer adoption of contactless cards, the introduction of tablet and smartphone-based mobile payments, and many new payment options. Regulations continue to have significant impact on retailers and that is why visitors will hear from Payments Systems Europe on how the changes in Visa/MasterCard interchange fees and the arrival of a UK Payments regulator will impact them. There will also be the latest news from the PCI Security Standards Council.

There has never before been a period of such change and opportunities in the payments sector with many new technologies arriving, alternative payment options being created, product launches, merger and acquisition activity and new suppliers appearing, as well as changes to the underlying commercial terms. At RBTE you have the chance to meet the industry leaders, have your questions answered and learn from your peers. If you need assistance on any payments-related matter then I – in my role as in-house payments expert – can help point you in the right direction.

Starbucks will discuss how mobile payments and digital wallets are changing the face of retail and Transport for London will share its extensive contactless experience. Payments directly out of a bank account are currently a hot topic and a realistic threat to the traditional plastic card. At RBTE you can learn more about this from Barclays Pingit, Klarna and Zapp. On the exhibition floor you can check out all the latest card readers and PIN pads from industry leaders: Ingenico, Magtek, Miura, Spire Payments and Verifone.

Payment service providers continue to drive much of the innovation in the payments sector and that is why we are delighted to have DataCash, FIS, Ingenico, Optimal Payments, PxP and Verifone exhibiting, as well as SagePay which is sponsoring an eCommerce bootcamp and the roundtable on how technology is revolutionising the in-store customer experience. All electronic payment transactions need fast and secure communication networks and the three specialists in this field TNS, Phoenix Managed Networks and Vodat International are all here, too.

And if it is Bitcoin you want to learn more about then we have that covered too thanks to a contribution from BitReserve. Where else can you hear so much payments news, meet so many payments industry stakeholders; talk with the major payment solution providers and all for FREE and under one roof. We look forward to seeing both familiar faces and first time visitors at Olympia on 10-11 March.

Mark McMurtrie is an independent consultant focused on consumer payments and technologies. He provides a range of advisory services for retailers through his company Payments Consultancy.

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Payments Consultancy Ltd