News

New Member spotlight Banking Payment Context (BPC)

Thursday 27th August 2020

We are pleased to welcome Banking Payment Context – or BPC – into the Alliance. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Switzerland, BPC is an independent company and a global leader in the payments field, providing payment solutions for retail banks, central banks, governments and microfinance institutions. We spoke with Jane Loginova, Global Chief Commercial Officer at BPC, to discuss the institution’s latest moves and vision for working with the Alliance.

Alliance: For the benefit of our global readership, can you explain what kind of financial services company BPC is and what services you provide?

 

Jane Loginova: Context defines our organization; we deliver innovative and relevant payment solutions to fit with today’s consumer lifestyle—whether they are banking or shopping, in urban or rural areas. BPC’s SmartVista suite provides banking, commerce and mobility solutions including digital banking, ATM & switching, payments processing, card and fraud management, financial inclusion, merchant portals, transport and smart cities solutions. We have 280 customers across 90 countries globally, from top tier banks to neobanks, Payment Service Providers (PSP) to large processors, e-commerce giants to startup merchants, and government bodies to local taxi hailing companies.

We also recently launched a few exciting new initiatives, including Safal Fasal, an agritech marketplace platform; Radar Payments, a white label payment processing company; and O-CITY, a smart city and mass transit payment platform.

Alliance: What is BPC’s mission and strategic vision? 

JL: Our motto is “bridging real life to digital.” We create digital ecosystems that bring together banks, processors, and merchants to deliver services that are relevant to customers’ daily lives. We believe that technology is only successful if it serves people’s everyday needs.  

Alliance: The World Bank’s Global Findex shows a persistent 7-percentage point gender gap in financial access. What do you see as the main barriers women face in accessing finance and how is BPC contributing to closing the gender gap? 

JL: We believe the gap is not only in access to finance—it’s also in access to financial education and tools that enable adoption, like smartphones, as well as proximity to financial institutions. So we collaborate with financial institutions to increase access in various ways; for example, through a biometric ATM in Pakistan, or an account opening kiosk in South Africa. We also know that access to financing solutions is a vicious cycle; if you have no data history, financial institutions cannot score you. That’s why our marketplace scoring utilizes data based on what you have sold. Safal Fasal, our agritech marketplace, also targets female farmer cooperatives and FPO’s. Even though it launched in the midst of the pandemic, we’ve seen immediate impact.

Alliance: As an organization that operates in 90 countries on a B2B basis, what made you decide to go B2C and develop a strategy for the female economy in particular? 

JL: We don’t target B2C directly but have taken a community approach that creates trust for end users. We deliver technology to customers through their institutions and look for innovative ways to do it—which can be hard when working with large organizations.

Alliance: How does BPC differentiate itself in the increasingly crowded fintech space? Is your women-centered strategy part of this differentiation? What role do non-financial services play?

JL: We’ve been in business for over 25 years as a private organization, which is rare in today’s world of mergers and acquisitions. We anticipated the evolution of payments and banking and have adapted. We also cover markets that not all vendors tend to cover. For instance, we’ve even built new national payment systems in countries recovering from conflict.  For us there is no small country—there are only exciting projects.

Alliance: As a B2B that serves a lot of incumbent financial services providers, do you see differences between how traditional financial institutions and fintechs cater to the women’s market? What can they learn from one another?

JL: It’s not all about the size or history of the institution; it is more about having a leadership team that will drive the agenda of the organization towards diversity. We have seen traditional institutions that embrace diversity and inclusion and walk the talk. And we see startup fintech firms that do not. So, it’s really about the mindset of leaders and their capability to lead the organization on the journey to acceptance and inclusion.

Alliance: What role does data play in bridging the financial inclusion gap? Does BPC sex-disaggregate its data? If so, do you have any initial insights to share on the disaggregation process or findings? 

JL: We have some profiling tools that can go in-depth into the customers’ profiles. It is up to the financial institution to use those the way they want to. In some regions, especially in Europe, the use of gender data is prohibited, which we’ve found actually makes it more difficult to positively impact female business owners, for example. For our agritech initiative, we disaggregate data. This helps us keep a special focus on female business owners and better support their needs.

Alliance: What’s your vision for your internal gender diversity and inclusion strategy? What about getting more women into the leadership?

JL: As you know, the fintech industry is male dominated and has been for years—from coders all the way to the top. At BPC we have experienced a change, and the change came organically. As the co-founder and CEO of Radar Payments, our new paytech, I feel particularly strongly about having a gender balance. I think that our corporate culture is benefiting from it.

Alliance: COVID-19 accelerated digital financial services around the world. What has been the impact of the pandemic on your business and your clients—and women’s use of these services in particular?  

JL: Business has accelerated hugely in payment solutions—contactless payment is everywhere now. Central banks need to deliver faster on their cashless agenda for hygiene reasons, and private banks and merchants need to offer alternative payment methods as much as they can.

Alliance: How can we make the fintech sector more gender-intelligent? How can BPC support these efforts?

JL: I think that gender intelligence is no longer just about equal representation. It is about giving both sexes the same chances to grow and appreciating their work in the same manner; and therefore, it involves much more complex ideas, like language. Often a female voice is interrupted or repeated during a meeting. We need better understanding, collaboration and appreciation.

Alliance: How did you first hear about the Financial Alliance for Women and why did you decide to join?

JL: We were introduced to the Financial Alliance for Women by one of your bank members as well as our contacts at the IFC, who noticed that some our initiatives fit well with your mission. We had engagements with your team and found that our visions aligned perfectly, so we decided to join forces. We look forward to making an impact by leveraging our current initiatives as well as being an advocate for institutions we partner with.

BPC at a glance 

Payment solutions for retail banks, central banks, governments, mobility, microfinance institutions

# of countries operating in: 90

# of total customers: 280

Type of  customers: Financial Institutions, Retail Banks, Microfinance Institutions, Payment Service Providers, Government, Transport Operators

Total # of staff: 900

* (as of December 31st, 2019)