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“E-commerce will grow by one hundred% in keeping with year” Interview with Vera Platonova, Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for Visa CISSEE

The FINANCIAL — Visa in September introduced Vera Platonova as its Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for Visa CISSE. Platonova, who labored for Visa from 2007-2010 in Ukraine, now oversees all Visa operations in seventeen markets across Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Southeast Europe, and reports to Visa’s Regional President of CEMEA, Andrew Torre.

Platonova is an exceedingly skilled government within the fee structures and retail banking sectors. Her seventeen-12 month’s career consists of approach development and implementation, business development and operational control. Platonova joins Visa from MasterCard, in which she became the General Manager for the company’s consultant office in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and Central Asia for greater than 8 years.

Georgia is the second u. S. A. Inside the World at the number of contactless transactions

As part of Visa CEMEA’s local management team, Platonova may also constitute CISSE inside the local and international Visa community, making sure that quality practice from different markets can be offered to the nearby price atmosphere.

The FINANCIAL talked with Platonova approximately Visa’s future visions and development strategy in Georgia.

Q. What is the improvement approach of Visa in Georgia and its plans for 2019 especially?

A. We will clearly pay lots more interest to the popularization of cashless bills with Visa within us of a. We can be focusing on the paintings with key stakeholders, key banks, but no longer only that. We will convey many greater resources into the USA. Georgia has been diagnosed as one of the key international locations we need to awareness. So if we’re talking approximately the mass segment, we’re thinking about what additional value we will provide to cardholders to aid banks of their efforts to drive cashless and POS usage. We can even carry a number of top class products and blessings to the marketplace. We hope to make Visa top of the wallet and power usage of this segment due to the fact there still is a lot of coins right here.

Q. What is a Visa’s position in growing payment technology?

A. As Visa is a worldwide leader of fee technologies and it’s truly very hard to maintain this position of leadership. Now the entire world is shifting to mobiles, to wallets, to all sort of gadgets, that are turning into new fee ways. We see that the future of feelies not in the plastic global, however extra inside the international of charge revel in. I assume our region is one of the most evolved globally, especially Georgia. Currently, Georgia is the second one united states inside the international by the variety of face-to-face contactless payments at POSes), right after Australia.

Q. What is Visa’s technique to blockchain in Georgia?

A. The blockchain is a very massive and distinct topic from our core business. In some markets, it’s a type of startup fashion which is sometimes adopted and from time to time not. Therefore, we definitely don’t construct our approach with a complete focus on blockchain answers because our core enterprise, the world of the charge itself, is growing too rapidly. We need to look at blockchain in 2-three years and apprehend the way it works and how it could be mixed with the normal revel in of people in payments.

Q. What are your finest demanding situations on the subject of innovation?

A. I think for this kind of 60 years of Visa’s history the demanding situations have nearly unchanged. One is the primary project is changing the behavior of cardholders – shifting to cashless payments from coins. It’s large combat which we were fighting for the previous few decades. If we take as an instance Georgia, one of the most developed markets, only around 30% of its total extent goes through cashless payments, terminals at traders. The relaxation is cash from ATMs or cashier desks. This transition from coins to cashless is developing year on year, but we’re still no longer absolutely there, it’s far a long way beforehand. We rely a lot on the revel in of mobile payments due to the fact the entire international suggests that the behavior of cardholders changes dramatically when they accumulate the possibility to pay via telephone.

We are very a good deal concerned in all kinds of social tasks, in academic tasks all over the global to carry cashless enjoy to the parts of a population for which this way of bills is not so obvious. Last yr we had a large initiative with National Bank of Georgia, based on our big platform Financial Football. We are looking to method humans from all angles, from social perspectives, from user experience views, and from technological views.

We additionally pay a variety of interest currently to e-com. In Georgia, round 50% of bills in pass boarder are completed in e-com. Overall the percentage of e-com is only nine% if we examine the home, although it’s developing. That’s why we’re doing a lot of factors to decrease humans’ fear of paying digitally.

Q. What are the main variations among the habits of Visa customers in Georgia and those in other Eastern European countries?

A. I think that customers in Georgia are certainly an instance to follow in comparison to in many of the surrounding countries, which include Europe. Georgia becomes the primary u. S . In the location of the CEMEA (90 nations) wherein Visa released its Visa payday card. Since that time Georgia has been the most developed contactless recognition marketplace with brilliant outcomes (nine out of 10 transactions are contactless here). And people are very open to any innovations. We have three issuers wallets, presented by means of TBC Bank, Bank of Georgia and VTB Bank. They are very popular and that is a signal that the humans are an awful lot extra equipped for charge innovations, on occasion even greater so than the large companies.

Q. What possibilities do you see for the development of e-commerce in Georgia?

A. E-trade proportion is the simplest 9% in the charge quantity, and 5% in transactions currently, which is pretty small. As I referred to earlier, in move-border around 50% of the extent is in e-com. I recognize that there are a number of true instances of e-com already within u. S. A. From the experience of Ukraine, Belarus, and other countries, which have already begun pretty big enlargement in e-com, I can say that this marketplace can grow with the aid of one hundred% in line with yr, dramatically and right away. A lot of responsibility for the satisfactory of this enjoy lies on banks. We are thinking about making this enjoy very clean, like an unmarried click on.

Q. What are the primary advantages Verified with the aid of Visa and the way this helps to pressure e-com?

A. First of all, the important thing banks are already certified for the era ‘Verified via Visa’. They know the way to make it clean for the cardholders. The 2d factor is that it completely secured. We have finished some of the researches on what stops people from paying over the net. There are a number of points however the first one is safety, they may be involved that if some thing happens they may lose money.

So, first, it’s crucial to educate human beings on the security of payments in e-com. We are running right now with the important thing banks and some instructional group of workers on a way to supply this message to people. In 90% of cases, the leaking of credentials takes place because the cardholder discloses their personal facts by way of telephone or in a few different ways. So training and promo activities will carry human beings into e-com.

Q. How might you compare the facts of Visa card payments at some stage in 2018 in Georgia? How have they changed inside the final five years?

A. What we see from standard statistics available on the market, is that there’s the nonetheless excessive ability for growth. Domestic transactions grew around 35% on 12 months on year foundation. If we compare this indicator to 2016-17 it become round 29%. So the marketplace is growing even faster than in previous years. Cross-border transactions grew fifty-three % in 2018, vs. 28% within the previous period. Currently, the ratio of payment volumes to total volumes is 27%, in 2017 it turned into on 22%. So human beings are paying more and we see it inside the volumes.

Another sign of the maturity of the marketplace is the common price ticket. It’s presently around GEL 50, though that is slowly reducing. So we see that humans are making many more transactions for small ticket operations, so which means they pay more in their ordinary existence. We see the market is developing forty-three % on payment volumes 12 months on year without any decline. I would say that this is one of the best signs of market growth inside the region. Georgia 12 months over year indicates fantastic outcomes. People are surely changing their behavior.

Q. What about your competitors, what’s your similar method and unique offer for clients?

A. The opposition is extremely good. Without a hit and clever competition, we might not be that strong. We discover our strategy in methods. The first path is working with banks, merchants, agencies; and here we paintings to assist our companions to carry surely excessive price proposition with Visa cards to their cardholders. There are plenty of methods to obtain this: joint sports; bringing added cost advantages; driving technology; venture joint training with bankers. And another large course which we are growing proper now could be B2C, which means speaking immediately to the cardholders.

Here we will intensify our efforts to power this B2C zone and you may see inside the following few years that Visa may be in the direction of cardholders in delivering messages on how to pay, and what precisely the cardholder can get after they make transactions with Visa. I assume we need to popularize this subject matter plenty of extra to deliver the facts to people about how they could virtually get the benefits. So we can be specializing in bringing delivered fee and also turning in the message explaining how they could easily access the advantages which Visa offers.

Q. Do you think that digital wallets may additionally update card bills in the close to future? If so, how ought to cards be converted inside the future?

A. I think that plastic is only one of the dozens of charge form elements which exists. Definitely, plastic yr on year may be reduced in amount and everything will step by step flow to mobile phones, to gadgets, finger print payments, and face recognition payments. But it doesn’t imply that playing cards will disappear totally. Payment through Visa era will no longer disappear. It’s no longer about the cardboard. It’s approximately the truth which you pay. And the fact that there’s a community all around the globe uniting all banks which Visa supports to make transactions. That’s why we don’t have a worry that plastic will disappear. Moreover, we are in reality pushing this trend for mobile phones to be the primary way of creating payments ASAP.

Q. What are the worldwide fraud developments? What is the state of affairs in this regard in Georgia?

A. Fraud is everlasting and unrelenting warfare among fee structures, banks and fraudsters, which now and again come to be very smart, however on the identical time we are constructing and strengthening networks to lead them to a good deal greater state-of-the-art and shield cardholders and their records. Our part of the arena might be one of the most secured in phrases of bills. First of all, because we’re much quicker in relation to adopting new technologies.

The degree of fraud with contactless playing cards is much decrease than with chip playing cards, and with biometric reputation, it is nearly 0. So the extra we make the pass to fashionable technology, the much less fraud we’ve got.

Also, Georgian banks are extremely sophisticated. Even with all the assist of global price schemes, the banks themselves are very smart in shielding cardholders. They have online tracking systems, Visa systems for a way to make bills comfortable in additionally on-line mode. The subject matter of fraud isn’t always that warm in our part of the world and the principle problem nonetheless remains the overall monetary education of individuals who now and again would possibly disclose their non-public facts.

Q. Georgian banks refuse to cover damages within the event of card fraud and unauthorized use of playing cards. What is Visa’s coverage towards this in other nations?

A. We have a so-known as “0 legal responsibility” policy in all countries in the vicinity underneath which a cardholder is not accountable for fraud if he/she has now not disclosed their non-public data. At Visa, we work in any market of our presence according to our own rules and the laws of the united states of america. I genuinely don’t assume that banks don’t need to take at the responsibility of fraud instances. It’s probable the condition of the agreement and the way the fraud occurred. It’s a question of research in each individual case.

Q. How have the methods of criminals been changing in light of cutting-edge technological improvement?

A. Fraudsters occasionally get very smart. They’re growing new ways, new technology and answers to crack information and get non-public data. But at Visa, we’ve sturdy security controls and are constantly upgrading all the technology to defend records. We have some of the systems which banks also use and which allow identifying the use of huge records analytics to pick out and prevent fraud and block suspicious transactions on the very moment they’re taking place.

Q. What is your predominant security recommendation for your cardholders?

A. Don’t disclose your personal statistics to everybody. 99% of fraud cases manifest when someone gives his or her card to anyone or maybe tells them their pin code. The protection of human beings lies of their own hands.