Sara Berujon (J.P. Morgan): The Advent of Mobile Payment Solutions
When a giant like J.P. Morgan acquires a major stake in Volkswagen Pay, you know that a revolution is about to take place. An interview with Sara Berujon, Head of Payments Luxembourg and Country Product Manager Western Europe.
What are your priorities?
I think the two main reasons why I was chosen for this position are my experience at PayPal and my knowledge of the markets: The European payments market on the one hand, and the Luxembourg market on the other, where I have lived for 17 years. My main priority is to accompany the current changes in the treasury, under the influence of digitization and payments. Treasury used to be static and reduced to a mere branch of the CFO. Today, it is an integrated player in a company's strategy, linking suppliers and customers through payments. We are witnessing a real revolution and J.P. Morgan wants to be one of its main catalysts.
"We are witnessing a real revolution and J.P. Morgan wants to be one of the main catalysts”
Can you explain the acquisition of Volkswagen Pay?
Volkswagen Pay and J.P. Morgan formed a joint venture in April, which has been rebranded as Mobility Payment Solutions. Our vision is to facilitate the integration of new payment methods in a seamless way. In the case of Volkswagen Pay, think of the car as a platform where the end customer can make several payments. Pay for petrol, of course, but also a takeaway order or an extension of car insurance. Some car manufacturers already allow owners to upgrade their cars with a click. We want to develop payment methods along the value chain. Many of our clients are ready to implement this approach in their own ecosystems. JP Morgan is innovating on all fronts or levels to facilitate our clients' current and future growth.
What are the challenges and opportunities you see in the payments business?
One of the main opportunities is related to the widespread adoption of ISO standards, which could enable instant cross-border payments. We would have at the global level what already works at the European level for low-value payments. The effort of a short-term investment has become imperative to open new horizons: Imagine instant payment 24/7, anywhere in the world! This very simple solution is a necessary complement to other opportunities such as blockchain. In terms of challenges, I think thought leadership is key: We need to make sure that everyone at J.P. Morgan, but also throughout Luxembourg, realizes the importance of this opportunity. This requires investing time in training, interviews, or conferences. We also need to join forces with all the local players such as Luxembourg for Finance, ATEL, ABBL, and other associations. Everyone should understand payments in a financial center like Luxembourg: The techniques, the value chain, the treasury, etc. Luxembourg already has the whole ecosystem in place to become a center of excellence in mobile payments.