Monday, July 27, 2015

Daniel Wicharz, Online Payment Industry Expert

Today we are interviewing Daniel Wicharz about the online payment industry.

Tell us a bit about your background in online payment providers.
I have worked in the online industry since 2007 and did work for leading companies such as Apple, Google, PayPal and Skrill.

What first got you interested in the field of online payment?

I liked the online payment industry from its very beginning in the late 90s. Buying something from abroad, from other continents fascinated me in that time and I still remember I bought some software abroad and paid with cash on delivery in that time. I thought straight away: there must be a better way to pay for that online. This “dream” became true very quickly.

What’s the most fulfilling part of working in this field?

Since I worked in the republic of Ireland for more than 5 years covering the German market from there I can tell you that working in the field is much more efficient as you get to meet and greet people. Even though we do have video chats and all kinds of tools nowadays nothing beats a face to face meeting and since I am a good driver I make a decent mileage every year to meet our customers on a regular basis. This fosters their trust, boosts sales and helps me doing my job.

For people who aren’t familiar with online payment, can you explain what a digital wallet is?

A digital wallet is basically an online account where you set your favorite payment options. This is usually a credit card, or in some continental European markets an alternative payment option such as direct debit or an online bank transfer.

Most people are comfortable with using services like Paypal and Skrill, but some people worry about security. Are online payment providers as secure as using a credit card at a restaurant?

Well I am sure there is more security online than in a physical location at the POS (point of sale). This is due to the fact that people simply can read your card details “on the fly”. I would compare it to the likelihood of something happening while flying versus driving a car. So after all people are more scared of flying, but it is illogical because it is certainly more secure than driving a car, the same is with using a card online (secured by SSL for instance) instead of physically handing your card over the counter.

Bitcoins are in the news a lot these days. Can you tell us a bit about them? Are they accepted by most online payment providers?

Bitcoin itself is an interesting technology but has not proven that it can get mass adoption. To be honest I am not confident it will ever become as important as real FIAT money, nevertheless it is a technology trend and worth to be observed. Future will tell if there is any benefit to online shoppers or webshops, however I haven’t seen many online companies accepting it yet.

It seems the industry is changing a lot recently, with new services constantly being released. What changes do you see on the horizon?

I am sure that online payments will evolve also to payment options in physical stores and credit cards will become virtual. Meaning: why do I need the physical plastic card, if I can simply use my mobile device which I carry with me anyway? So I am confident we will stick to the card schemes as they are, only the device will be different and cash will disappear at least in the industrialized nations in a short time frame.

With the internet becoming more available worldwide, do you see the field of providing online payment growing? 

Yes to both. The internet is far more than computers, it can and already does replace for instance a paper TV guide in most homes, it becomes mainstream to use applications and as mentioned will also ultimately be the way of payment also in physical locations. I am sure this trend will foster and even expand in the future.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

Having all our funds under the control of our bank accounts and credit cards we will have a better payment experience and tackle fraud and crime at the same time. Pick pockets do have a difficult future in a world where no cash exists and fraud prevention tools stop suspicious activities. Also no more money can get lost like in the past when people lost for instance their wallet or purse in public transport. So it benefits the overall society and the individuals.

Relevant Links
Connect with Daniel Wicharz on LinkedIn
Connect with Daniel Wicharz on XING

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