Payments Leader

Investing in Relationships – Using Resources Wisely

May 18, 2018

Jim Johnson, FIS | Head of Financial Institution Payments

What makes you speak up?

Recently, FIS launched its inaugural Retail Payments Summit as part of our annual FIS Connect client conference. Listening to so many clients discuss their successes, I was struck by how important it is for companies to invest in building relationships, not just solutions. In the end, the best successes were found through true partnerships: investments in people, roadmaps, technology, retail payment solutions, and collaboration.

The Retail Payments Summit was designed to give clients direct access to FIS’ leadership and subject matter experts, as well as offer them a voice to share where they want to see FIS drive its investments and innovations.

Attendees took the opportunity to be vocal, engaging and strategic with the time they invested. Constant opportunity for client/vendor collaboration throughout the year is a very crucial piece in the overall relationship. Other opportunities for engagement examples are user groups, webinars, forums and quarterly business meetings. What I took away from the Retail Payments Summit were three areas of interest. In fact, I think they are of global interest!

  • Combatting fraud in payments as fraudsters continuously search for new ways to line their pockets with other people’s money
  • Getting rid of unnecessary and time-consuming processes by providing clients with more self-service controls
  • Ensuring that clients have a voice in how their partners invest and have visibility into the roadmaps for future activities

Investment in Retail Payments fraud protections and education

Both MasterCard and Visa have reported more than a 50 percent decline in fraud among chip-enabled merchants, but when opportunities dry up in one area, fraudsters migrate to more fertile ground. Skimming remains a big problem, especially for petroleum retailers that were given additional time to become EMV-compliant. But more fraud is moving online, and we’re seeing waves of phishing scams and hacking to obtain information from individual’s computers.

In response, it’s important that we all continue to invest in fraud protection solutions. For example, new solutions can give real-time fraud protection control to consumers through text messages that verify the purchaser when a transaction occurs outside normal purchasing habits or geography. Fraudulent activity can then be shut down at the source. Additionally, products that establish a unique digital identity for each consumer will strengthen identification verification and authentication, and reduce friction that exists with cumbersome routines.

Gone will be the days of answering questions about your first car and your kindergarten teacher’s name. Instead, AI (Artificial Intelligence) models that analyze far-reaching data elements and transactions will exponentially strengthen fraud prevention tools.

But building fraud solutions for clients and their customers is only one part of a wise investment. Another important part of combatting fraud is connecting clients with educational opportunities that help them navigate through the tough world of fraudsters. We did this through discussion panels at our Retail Payments Summit.

Reducing red tape

Automated self-service tools enable clients to make non-risky changes on their own. Let me give you an example of where bureaucracy can be reduced without risk: Suppose a card issuer wants to change limits on a specific BIN (Bank Identification Number) from $500 to $1,000 per day. Normally, the issuer would make a request to its partner to make the change, a ticket would be opened and the database team would schedule the change. However, this process requires time and effort, resulting in the issuer waiting far too long for the change.

Moving forward, we must put the power in the hands of the issuer and give them a means to quickly and easily manage their program. We must reduce friction for the issuers and create tools that eliminate time spent by back-office people on the phone and time waiting for the change to occur. Where feasible, reducing manual intervention improves efficiency and enables clients to react to their own customer bases quickly, in a controlled way that doesn’t increase risk.

Investing in listening to clients’ concerns can pay off for both parties in improved efficiency.

If you want a voice, speak up!

In life – both business and personal – we all want our voices to be heard. As new entrants and consumer demand in payments dictate how to ingest payments, the collaboration and partnerships clients have with their vendors is critical.


Jim Johnson

FIS | Head of Financial Institution Payments

Jim is a results-driven executive with 21 years of experience at FIS, successfully leading businesses and serving his client’s needs in the financial, retail, government and insurance sectors. He oversees Business Operations, Information Technology, Development, Project Management and Implementations for Financial Institution Payments. Jim is heavily focused on implementing strategic planning and execution, focusing on talent and teamwork, and relying on metrics to measure success.