Finetics™ Studio at Money20/20: Lars Sandtorv

Finetics Studio | Payments | 2/17/2016 4:19 PM

MeaWallet founder and CEO Lars Sandtorv sat down in our Finetics™ Studio on the exhibition floor at Money 20/20 with PaymentEye's Sarah Gill, to examine the past, present, and future of mobile payments. 


Sarah Gill, Reporter: Next up in Finetics Studio, we have the CEO of MeaWallet. What are the kind of main distinguishing factors about MeaWallet in the wider mobile wallets booth?

Lars Sandtorv: I think that we are quite different among everybody else because we believe that mobile banks, or a bank would like to have the wallet in existing application, maybe not in another wallet. So we're not, we believe that this should be up to the banks and the end user to decide where they can use the contactless payment and e-commerce and commerce, all that stuff.

So what we do, we deliver technology so the banks can do it really easily, much easier than anyone else can do it.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: And what's been the most important thing you've learned along the journey of launching, like scaling MeaWallet?

Lars Sandtorv: (laughs)

Sarah Gill, Reporter: I like that you started with a laugh.

Lars Sandtorv: Banking finance is slow. So you need to have a lot of time and a lot of money to do this. And, of course, it takes time to build trust. We have been, we have been lucky because we have the Bancorp, we have Seattle, we have a lot of good partners. We have been able to build this trust, and we're now seeing that we are delivering high-volume consumers as well. So, but it takes time, and you have to be patient.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: Right, because, you know, number one, it's--the idea has been around for a long time, but it does feel like now it's starting to gather some real momentum. People are starting to actually start using them.

Lars Sandtorv: Yes.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: Why now?

Lars Sandtorv: I started to work with mobile wallets, or NFC, in 2002. So this is a long time ago. And then it has been a lot of technologies, a lot of things going on in the market. And in the beginning, everything was SIM-based. And then there came the TSM, and then it has been too complex. It has been too many players in the market trying to grab a piece of the cake, as we're saying. We believe that this has to be easy, cheap, and secure. And, and the price we see today has been reduced by 80% from the old TSM side. So the TSM is, I would say, dead because the banks have no business case. They have to do the cloud-based. This is the only way for the bank to make money on this.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: What makes you passionate about this industry? Why is this, why is this what your work‑‑you know, what drives you?

Lars Sandtorv: Because it's a tough business.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: You like a challenge.

Lars Sandtorv: I like a challenge, that's for sure. I think it's, this is about--you have to understand a lot in this market, and it's really complex, because you have to understand the bank side, you have to understand the payments side, the IT side, the security side, and the MNO side. And there is not that many companies that really understand this. And we are one of, I would say, one of the few companies that really understand this. We have specialists in all segments, and this is why we are succeeding right now.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: Mobile payments, people have been excited about for quite a long time, and there's still quite a lot of new entrants coming in. Do you think we're getting near saturation?

Lars Sandtorv: Yes.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: Or do you think there's still opportunities for innovation?

Lars Sandtorv: I think it will change again, because you have, you have to have a solution that is not depending on the hardware, the bank. You have to have a flexible solution that is secure. And again, the terminals today, they are now becoming contactless. In the future, they will also support BLE. And in the near future, we will also see terminals in the cloud. Many you don't need the hardware to do the payment, because there's WiFi all around, there's 3G, 4G. So you can do a payment without--this is about certification from MasterCard, Visa, EMV. But they will come; they will open up, because it has to be simpler, it has to be easy. When you're in a store, you should not need to open your mobile. You should go to the point of sales and they're sure that this is you, and then a PIN code, a fingerprint, anything, and then you're paid.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: What, to get into looking ahead to next year, what are the kind of key trends people are going to see? If you could make a prediction in one sentence, what do you think that might be?

Lars Sandtorv: I think we have seen, from the last year to now, it's growing. It's growing a lot. And I think right now it's about--the bank must do something, unless they will lose it. So I think you will see growth straight up in the next two or three years.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: Growing the business. What is the kind of biggest challenge, you think, facing mobile payments companies at the moment? What do you think? It's not easy to say that favorably.

Lars Sandtorv: I think the main problem today is that everybody's trying to do a lock-in. The banks tried to do the lock-in, Apple tries to do the lock-in, the MNOs tries to do the lock-in, and why do they do that? That is a good question. This is the main issue, because you should be able to use your phone with any MNO, with any bank. That is the way it should be. We're not there yet, but we'll come there.

The opinions, findings, or perspectives expressed in this content are those of the participants and do not reflect the official policy or position of The Bancorp, Inc., its affiliates, or its or their employees.