Key questions for a business to determine are which markets (geographic, product, functional) it wishes to be in; how to compete in those markets; how to execute against priorities; what constraints exist – for example regulation; the required capability for success; and the business case for the proposed investment.
Developing a new strategy implies considering making a change from the status quo; this could be as a result of a new opportunity opened up by an external change (for example a regulatory change such as SEPA, or the introduction of a new technology such as smartphone apps), or in response to changing customer expectations or competitive activity.
All of this implies having a strong understanding of both the external market environment and of the capabilities of the business and how they are changing or need to change.
Accourt has been engaged on many different strategic projects; including businesses considering entering the payments market for the first time; existing payments providers wanting to expand; merchants considering pan-European operations and well-established incumbents looking to protect and grow their market share in the face of strong competition and rapid change.
Market, Customer & Competitor Insight
Accourt’s market knowledge, experience and independence means it is well-placed to gather, interpret and contextualise market data, thereby providing meaningful insights for its clients.
For a global payments provider we set out key trends in worldwide internet and mobile phone innovation and usage, and their implications for that client.
For a globally-recognised, US-based e-commerce brand we researched the worldwide prepaid card issuance market, set out key trends, implications and opportunities for the client.
For a top tier International Payment Scheme we conducted research amongst its largest acquirer customers to obtain feedback, insights and perspectives on the scheme’s performance; and identified opportunities for improvement.
For a European ACH provider we undertook a comparison study on the messaging formats/standards used in card payments and ACH payments, and forecasted the possibility of their convergence.
For a top tier International Payment Scheme we identified and provided insights into the global competitive fraud and risk management landscape.
For a North American based micropayment provider entering the European payments market – helped them develop their market entry strategy and proposition, validated their proposition through conducting primary consumer research in the relevant countries, and introduced them to key distribution partners.
A key part of the process for creating a successful strategy is developing distinctive business concepts, founded on insights into the business and its market(s).
Accourt has a well-proven workshop-driven approach to this, enabling the expertise of stakeholders across a business to share ideas and perspectives.
Accourt complements a client’s own staff through leveraging its consultants’ breadth of experience and market knowledge. This approach enables clients to rapidly focus on key opportunities.
For a pan-European mobile operator looking to expand substantially its payments activities – helped them understand better the card payments market, structure, key processes and economics. Through overlaying their own current and planned capabilities we together identified the key potential opportunities for the client. Finally, we helped to articulate market entry approach including value proposition and target audience.
For a tier 1 acquirer looking to expand its European e-commerce business – we analysed the e-commerce acquiring market in numerous geographies to inform the client as to current state, key trends and key market participants; in addition we analysed the needs of major European merchants. We then facilitated a group of senior client stakeholders through a workshop to drive idea generation and prioritisation, leading to a clear articulation of strategic priorities and the approach to implementation.
Business Case Creation and Agreement
A fundamental part of making a meaningful change is the client’s ability to reconcile the cost/value/benefit equation. This is especially important where there are multiple stakeholders or where the required investment in time and/or cost is substantial.
Accourt has a proud history of maintaining a pragmatic and realistic view of our clients’ businesses, enabling us to balance clients’ requirements against the feasibility of all available options.
For the UK retail banking industry – designed, developed and achieved agreement for the business case for industry-level fraud intelligence sharing (across the entire UK retail banking industry).
Achieving buy-in and agreement for this business case across all of the relevant UK banking groups was an especially challenging aspect of this assignment and its successful outcome is testament to Accourt’s sophisticated capability in this arena.
Why Choose Accourt
We have a team of high calibre individuals who have successfully managed numerous Regulatory and Payment Scheme applications for organisations wishing to apply for full banking, electronic money and PI licences. Our seasoned experts have both the relevant IP, hands-on experience and operational know-how to ensure successful applications.