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Agenda

Companies throughout Europe are facing strong economic headwinds as inflation rises above 10 percent and interest rates at the ECB hit 2 percent and rising. Whilst economic forecasts predict slower growth in 2023, the European economy is forecast to pick up to 1.5% growth and inflation to fall to 2.6% in 2024, according to the European Commission. Yet the underlying fundamentals in Europe are strong, with budget deficits and unemployment rates across Europe remaining stable, as business holds firm through the downturn and recovery. The long trajectory for European business is upwards and the role of payments in propelling efficiency in B2B transactions, as well as optimising working capital in that process, is essential to the success of commerce. In this conference, business, banks and technology partners discuss the latest iterations and markers in the evolution of the European B2B payments ecosystem, and share ideas, experiences and insights on how corporates can improve, integrate and innovate commercial payments systems for greater wins. 

9:00am

Welcome address

9:15am

State of the Market

The impact of high inflation, elevated rates and lower growth on European corporates

Europe’s economic outlook has weakened due to rising inflation, interest rate hikes and lower growth forecasts, with a technical recession Q1 2023 and projected growth between 0.2-0.6 percent for the year, according to various forecasts by the EIU, IMF, and ECB. Higher energy prices caused by Russia cutting supplies in response to EU sanctions is the key factor driving inflation. In this session we analyse the impacts of inflation on business in Europe, including the tech sector, how higher rates are influencing spending, investment and borrowing, and the impacts on corporate liquidity and working capital.

10:00am

Towards PSD3: Keeping pace with the regulatory evolution of commercial payments in Europe

Regulation of payments in Europe is complex with multilayered supervision. As the European Commission evolves regulation beyond PSD2 with consultations towards PSD3, several institutions, in the ECB, EBA and FCA in the UK as well as national payment systems regulators, all play a  role in the shaping of the next iterations of payments policies. Key developments include secure customer authentication (SCA) review, and whether measures should be strengthened, buy now pay later (BNPL) regulation, open banking and finance regulation, currency conversion cost, as well as ongoing interchange review. Here regulatory stakeholders assess how changes will affect commercial payments for European businesses in the future.

10:00am

Growth verticals and corporate payments

Whilst T&E has traditionally been the largest spend category in commercial cards, growth markets and the diversification of spend categories in B2B markets fall into sectors where each market has different payment and transactional practices and solutions. In this session roundtables, we take a deep dive into the payment pain points and solutions evolving in growth verticals, including fleet & fuel and logistics, healthcare, government, education and  other sectors.

10:45am

Networking Session

10:45am

Networking Session

11:30am

Payment leaders on innovation and growth

Payment leaders in this session explore how the changed economic conditions in Europe of higher prices and rates coupled with lower growth, are impacting the development of the payments ecosystem in terms of investment in product development and innovation, how enterprises of all sizes are managing payments challenges, and how the digitisation of payment systems and technologies can help companies through the current environment.  

12:15pm

Roundtables- Digitisation and payments transformation

The roundtables focus on the key areas of payments technologies that are evolving in corporate payment systems in Europe and the discussions will focus on their implementation and execution in a corporate context: Delegates choose 1

  1. AP/AR automation
  2. Digital Currencies
  3. Embedded Finance
  4. Virtual Cards
  5. Merchant Acquiring
  6. Spend Management
  7. Fintech partnerships
  8. Sustainability
  9. Regulation
  10. Growth Verticals
1:00pm

Lunch and networking

2:00pm

B2B marketplaces and ecommerce payments growth

The European B2B payments market is growing at 7 percent annually and currently is projected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2025, according to Statistica. In Germany alone, the market was 204 billion U.S. in 2021 and forecast to reach almost 313 billion U.S dollars 2025. In this session we take a look at the key drivers for growth, the evolution of payment technologies  available to B2B merchants in Europe, including cards, payment apps and embedded payments, and how B2B markets are evolving  in different countries and sectors, with perspectives from corporates, banks and fintechs in the B2B ecosystem.

2:45pm

Optimising working capital in inflationary markets

With 23 million small businesses in the EU, representing 99 percent of all companies, the payments challenges of smaller firms is a core focus in the B2B payments markets. For many small businesses, working capital is a critical lever for business liquidity which can be challenging to sustain in an inflationary cycle and elevated rate environment. In this session we examine the challenges to maintaining optimal working capital, and the technical tools that can help a healthy cash conversion cycle, reducing DPOs and DSOs, to ensure good flows. We also take a look at factoring and reverse factoring (SCF) solutions for SMB companies involved in supply chains and ask how payment systems technologies and products can drive capital efficiency and optimisation. 

3:30pm

Networking Session

4:00pm

Merchant acquiring and acceptance in Europe

Merchants or suppliers on the sell side of the transaction have a host of different technologies available to them to accept payments from buyers. Often the choice of payment modality is driven by cost and speed of settlement. In this session merchants discuss their needs and pain points in payment acceptance and banks discuss their strategies and solutions to enable merchants in Europe to optimise their payment acceptance systems and processes with a holistic integrated payables solution.

4:45pm

Sustainability, ESG and D&I in payments ecosystems

As companies and financial institutions are increasingly required to report on environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability metrics to investors and shareholders, the payments industry, and the companies that provide solutions, also are embedding ESG KPIs in their operations. In payments, sustainability is increasingly part of supply chain agreements, and ESG scoring is a key feature in supplier selection. Within good governance, is the practice of positive diversity and inclusion policies within the company and the practice of attracting and retaining diverse talent in wider business. In this session we look at the implementation and impacts of ESG and D&I in the payments ecosystem and the benefits of positive policies for all.

5:30pm

Networking reception

9:00am

Welcome

9:15am

Corporate case studies on payments transformation through process digitisation

In this session corporates in Europe talk through their digital payments transformation journeys, including the processes they went through to identify the need for change, building the business case, selecting software solutions, integrating AP/AR and STP digital solutions with legacy systems and ERP/TMS systems, the internal and external stakeholders involved, the cost benefits, and the positive outcomes for the business. 

 

Enterprise Case Study – Roche

Insights in the processes of payment and collections on behalf of, virtual accounts, intraday statements and cash visibility, as well as analysis in payment tracking and correspondent banks.

11:30am

Virtual cards and their commercial applications

Virtual card use in B2B markets is growing rapidly in Europe, driven by their payment automation and straight-through processing benefits, operational cost reductions in eliminating manual processes, greater spend controls and visibility, access to real-time transaction data and the enhanced digital experience and efficiencies in the execution of payments. This session focuses on how virtual cards are embedded in purchasing and procurement workflows in different sector use cases, highlighting challenges and benefits in VCN implementation and their application and interoperability in multiple payment systems, including ERP and TMS systems. 

12:15pm

Roundtables- Digitisation and payments transformation

Digitisation and payments transformation

The roundtables focus on the key areas of payments technologies that are evolving in corporate payment systems in Europe and the discussions will focus on their implementation and execution in a corporate context: Delegate choose 1.

  1. AP/AR automation
  2. Digital Currencies
  3. Embedded Finance
  4. Virtual Cards
  5. Merchant Acquiring
  6. Spend Management
  7. Fintech partnerships
  8. Sustainability
  9. Regulation
  10. Growth Verticals
1:00pm

Lunch

2:00pm

Fintech partnerships and showcase

Fintechs in Europe are cumulatively valued at $US430bn out of a global total of $US2.2 trn according to McKinsey. Whilst fintechs are the transformative force in the payments marketplace, innovating solutions and disrupting business models, traditional banks service the mainstay of corporate B2B payments. In this session we look at the evolution of the bank-fintech-corporate relationship, and also showcase new innovative fintechs in the B2B space. 

2:45pm

Embedded payments, PaaS and open finance

The global embedded payments market stands at around US$50bn and is forecast to triple in size by the end of decade, according to market analysts. The number of non-financial companies offering embedded payment solutions in their apps and ecommerce sites is also growing exponentially as it creates revenue for the seller and drives consumers and businesses through the payments process. This coupled with payments as a service (PaaS) offered by financial institutions to non-financial companies, has made bolt on payment solutions a technological reality for companies. Layer in open finance, and the ability of third parties to aggregate payment data and offer payment services, creating a new non-FI payments ecosystem in B2B markets. In this session companies and their technology providers talk through the process of embedding finance and the benefits to the business.

3:30pm

Digital money and crypto technologies in Europe

Whilst visionaries see that we will all be doing business on blockchain in the metaverse and transacting in digital currencies in the near future (and we are already there with much of the technology), the reality for the majority of business in Europe is that  transactions still remain rooted in purchases orders invoices and remittances, and process change is incremental. Whilst digitisation of manual processes, and the investment in digital money movement technologies gathers pace in business, the future of money, such as crypto and tokens forms only a small percentage of business transactions. As regulators develop stablecoins pegged to real currencies, such as the e-euro, then e-coin adoption is likely to accelerate faster than in the currently volatile and unregulated crypto environment. Tokenization is also likely to gather pace as regulators roll out standards. In this session we look at European corporate use cases and perspectives on blockchain, digital currencies and what businesses need to know now about the future of money.

4:15pm

Summary and Close