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ICE VOX will feature 150+ industry leaders, thought-leaders, commentators and CEOs.

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Viktoria Soltesz , Payment Consultant and Businesswoman of the Year in 2023 is now an author, with “Moving Money-How Banks Think”, her new book , which has been published by all Amazon stores , since January 2024.

Viktoria, the CEO and founder of PSP Angels Group, is an independent payment consultancy firm. With a deep understanding of the payments market and a network of financial institutions and banks, she offers personalized payment consultation services to help clients run their businesses globally.

She walks readers through history and explains basic banking principles in her book “ How Banks think “. She also delves into the payment options, policies and requirements associated with online payments.

Viktoria: Congratulations on your publication and thanks for sharing more details about your book with us! You introduce yourself in the foreword to the book. In it, you describe your background, your career, and the fascinating story of your journey into online payments. Please give us an introduction.

In England, I began my adventure, working for a renowned accounting software firm, and witnessing the globalization in financial practices. I moved to Cyprus at the same time as the Euro was adopted, which gave me a unique insight into Cyprus’ financial dynamics. In Cyprus I began working as an accountant and financial advisor, managing global transactions and offering tax planning. After facing various challenges in banking and payment compliance, I decided to learn more about the industry. I founded PSP Angels as an independent payment consultant. The book aims to educate business about compliance and promote understanding between payment service providers and clients.

By blending personal stories, my own professional experience, and real-time experiences, I discuss the difficulties businesses have in dealing with the ever-changing landscape of online payment. This book is intended to make online payments easier, more secure and better understood, as well as encourage open discussion within the industry.

You mention in the book that “Financial Literacy”, “Payments Literacy”, isn’t taught at schools. What are the most important points businesses need to be aware of when establishing their financial operation? What is the basic of Financial Literacy and Payments Literacy “?

Understanding the basic concepts of finance, accounting, taxation, and financial terms is essential for any business. Financial literacy is the ability to plan and manage your money in a way that will help you achieve future goals. Understanding financial concepts and terms helps business owners make better decisions about debt, savings and investments. On the contrary, Payments Literacy can be neglected or misunderstood. In schools the concept “how money flows” is not taught, but today, all businesses must understand various payment systems and processes. Payments literacy covers a wide range of financial topics, such as online transactions, electronic transfers and traditional banking. Businesses must understand the importance of cybersecurity and the different compliance and regulatory environment, and plan ahead for banking and payment. They should also source and select providers that are appropriate for their transactions. To meet the needs of local customers, all international businesses need to know about different payment options. Financial literacy is essential for business success, and Payments Literacy complements it.

You mention early attempts at financial compliance, rigid banking processes and complicated bank structures as you recount your payment journey and the difficulties you faced. This was between the years 2000 and 2010. What has changed in the past few years? Do you think that the compliance process has settled down, and have banking and payment processes become clearer and more friendly for businesses and consumers?

Payment and banking challenges have grown more complex, and I think they will continue to grow. Payment and banking are becoming more complex for all parties involved as businesses move to online platforms. It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain transparency, ensure compliance and manage the risks of uncertain service providers and territories. These challenges are made more complex by the emergence of emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency payments and a variety of asset and currency management options. Then there are the requirements for cybersecurity and data security. Today, businesses must not only be familiar with the financial structure of the past, but they also need to know how to adjust to the changing landscapes in digital payments, payment methods, and banking. To successfully address these complex challenges, businesses need to be more aware, have a strategic plan, and stay informed of the changing regulatory environment and evolving technology.

What are the key innovations or contributions that Fintech has made over its long history to the payments market?

Fintech has become a major force in reshaping traditional payment and banking markets. The need for innovation in such an established industry has been felt and the improvements to efficiency and accessibility have made financial transactions more accessible and efficient. Mobile payments are a notable contribution, as they allow individuals and companies to conduct seamless transactions via their smartphones. The shift from traditional to mobile solutions simplifies payment processes and promotes financial inclusion by reaching people who previously had no access to banking services. The global market has been opened by this.

Fintech has also given us digital wallets, peer-to-peer payments platforms and fast and safe fund transfers. The innovations that have been introduced by fintech companies are changing consumer expectations. They now place a greater emphasis on convenience, speed and security when it comes to financial transactions. Fintech is a driving force behind data analytics and has enabled more sophisticated fraud prevention and risk assessment measures. Integration of Application Programming Interfaces has been a key factor in encouraging collaboration between Fintech and financial institutions. The interconnected ecosystem led to the development of a variety of financial solutions, from advanced investment platforms to automated budgeting software.

In terms of Fintech in practice, what are the current applications and how do they impact traditional payment methods today?

Although blockchain and cryptocurrency hold great promise, they are currently facing challenges when it comes to practical implementation in everyday payment systems. Due to the lack of regulations, these technologies are vulnerable to scams and misuse, which undermines their potential. The tarnished image of these technologies prevents their widespread adoption despite the fact that they are being adopted at an increasing rate. Authorities in every country are concerned that transactions not monitored could facilitate criminal activity or tax evasion. Despite efforts to bring about order and implement regulation, the situation is still complex. This allows creative people to take advantage of gray areas. Unfortunately, the potential benefits that blockchains and cryptocurrencies can offer, like enhanced security and greater transparency, is still being overshadowed. In order to achieve widespread adoption, not only do we need technological advances but also coordinated efforts in order to resolve regulatory ambiguities. Education is key to ensuring that users are aware of the responsible and legitimate use of these technologies. Blockchain and cryptocurrency’s transformative power may be hindered until a well-regulated and balanced approach is implemented. It is clear that a thorough and well-regulated integration of blockchain into the mainstream payment system is essential.

The readers will get the chance to meet and have their books signed by you at the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit on the 26-27th March 2024. You will participate as an expert in two panels, “Capital Navigation: Securing Investment: Expert Strategies”. What are the main points that you plan to discuss?

In my upcoming presentation, I will share practical tips that can help you navigate the common challenges faced by banking and payment providers, their digital assets and payment methods. These are primarily present in the iGaming industry. I will be focusing on my goal of providing insights to more secure and cost-effective banking and payment services. Unfortunately, the iGaming industry is still struggling with serious banking and payment challenges and global fund transfer complexities. I will offer tips on how to execute these transactions more efficiently and safely. It is our goal to provide real-life advice and conduct workshops to empower people to confidently navigate financial transactions.

You mention in ‘Moving Money-How Banks Think’ that you want to introduce a different approach for both payment planning as well as execution. Your book contains some key insights for business people and individuals. In what fields can you offer professional advice?

The book is a distillation of my years of online experience. It’s a guide that will help you minimize risks and maximize costs. In my consultancy, I aim to fill knowledge gaps with a comprehensive explanation of fundamental economic and banking concepts. My consulting work helps businesses stay informed about the latest trends in banking and payment. I help businesses by offering insights on staying updated about emerging payment and banking trends. Also, I provide advice on how to navigate legal landscapes and ensure data security while protecting consumer rights. I have over 20 years of experience in the financial and payment industries. This helps me to help businesses create effective payment plans that will work for complex online banking and payment flows. This approach is intended to provide businesses with all the knowledge they need to navigate successfully the complex world of payment.

Viktoria, thank you so much for this fascinating interview! The Prague Gaming & TECH Summit is coming up in March. We hope to see you there, where we can learn about exciting new developments and have our books autographed!

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