“In 2020, G+D and Netcetera entered into a strategic partnership that is proving to be much more than just the sum of its parts,” says Gabrielle Bugat. A member of the senior management team at G+D, she is responsible for the smartcard business and digital payment security. G+D has acquired a 30 percent stake in Netcetera. The Switzerland-based specialist for bespoke software and digital payment methods has expanded rapidly since it was founded in 1996 and provides solutions for mobile payment, mobile banking, and smart mobility. In addition to some 2,000 banks and financial services providers – among them MasterCard and Switzerland’s largest bank – Netcetera’s customers include e-commerce providers and transportation companies. “In terms of service portfolio and customer structure, G+D and Netcetera are an excellent fit. This will enable us to benefit from each other’s strengths and capture a bigger share of the fast-growing digital payments market,” says Netcetera CEO and co-founder Andrej Vckovski.
The two partners operate in a dynamic environment. The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely accelerated the existing trend towards online shopping and digital and contactless payment, either by card or by Near Field Communication (NFC) on a smartphone. “Demand for banknotes has increased during the pandemic, but we’ve also seen a boom in digital payment transactions since the start of 2020. That trend is very likely to continue after Covid has been conquered,” says Bugat. G+D and Netcetera both firmly believe that providers with solutions that combine security and user-friendliness will be the ones to gain an attractive share of the market.
“When people use digital payment methods, they want to have the same peace of mind as when they pull a banknote out of their wallet,” says Bugat. Vckovski adds: “It’s like the chicken and egg scenario: customers use a digital payment method if it’s widely accepted, familiar, and straightforward. At the same time, further expansion of mobile payment options boosts customer confidence. The common denominator in this equation is convenience. If people find digital payment easy and practical, they’ll use it more frequently.”
Going forward, G+D and Netcetera are set to provide more easy, practical, and secure solutions. Banking is one of the areas they will focus on. If a bank wants to remain competitive, it will need to offer customers a full range of payment options in the future. High ATM density ensures a ready supply of cash. Cashless payments can be made using payment cards and card functions on smartphones. Additionally, phones can serve as digital wallets for managing payments and storing things like customer cards, loyalty cards, and shopping coupons. The CONVEGO® wallet solution created by G+D in 2017 for Dutch bank Rabobank even allows users to find and pay for parking spaces in the city center automatically. Juniper Research predicts that half the world’s population will have a digital wallet by 2024. “People who want even more will be able to use their cell phones for a full range of banking services, including digital transfers, loan applications, and video meetings with customer advisors,” says Vckovski.