‘What’s Top Of Mind?’ Penny Hughes’ column

How Form3’s positive progress in 2023 will continue this year

As we commence a new working year, I would like to take time to reflect on the positive progress Form3 made in 2023 – and how this will shape work in 2024.

It has been really pleasing to pass significant operational milestones and take big steps to help tier one banks transform their payments technology. Together with significant new and follow-on investment, Form3 is well positioned to keep up the pace of this innovation, whilst pursuing a path to sustainable financing.

In addition to our milestones and funding, the change of roles for Michael Mueller to Executive Chair, and Mike Walters to CEO - as well as related top team recruitment and restructuring - has allowed the new team to own and be accountable for projections and performance for 2024 and beyond.

Externally, it is nice also to be recognised as a leader in our field. At recent industry awards, Form3 was announced as Tech Team of the Year and Women in Tech - Spearheading Growth at the Banking Tech Awards. Never forget, it's top talent that delivers the best tech.

At our recent Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) meeting, Mike shared his crucial 8 ‘must-do's’ for his first six months as new CEO. This includes delivering multi-cloud implementation, significant scaling of transactions, market progress in the US, development of fraud detection capability, and getting a fast and mutually successful start to Form3’s VISA relationship.

Alongside Mike’s goals, our strategic investors were clear that their top priority for Form3 remains be brilliant in run. It's tangible how important the Form3 platform is becoming for our banking customers who need to lead on payments transformation. 

We also had a very engaged discussion on the early proof of concept work Form3 has completed in relation to tackling authorised push payment (APP) fraud. Early results are very encouraging, with significant improvement of fraud capture of false positives. It is estimated that APP fraud losses amount to £0.5bn in UK. As this challenge is now real for banks, the opportunity to reduce fraud and look after customers is of great commercial interest. Our ambition is to go live with our APP fraud solution during 2024 - and keen interest in it is evident. 

Given the strategic nature and the calibre of institutions represented on our SAB, it provides an opportunity to invite external parties to bring valuable perspectives to our work. Delighted partners from McKinsey joined us to highlight the conclusions of their recent global study of payments. This reinforced the tailwinds supporting fintechs and banks as partners in payment tech transformation. Major trends include breakthrough in tech modernisation, shift to real-time payments, and the need to stay ahead of financial crime, all core to the product pathway for Form3. We look forward to inviting more external guests to inform our dialogue this year.  

Finally, it just remains for me to wish you all the best for 2024.

Written by

Penny Hughes CBE Board Member

Penny is a very experienced business leader. After a 10-year executive career with Coca-Cola, Penny has enjoyed a busy Non-Executive portfolio, working on more than 20 Boards covering consumer brands, mobile and media tech, banking, leisure and property. Brands include: The Body Shop, The Gap & Morrison’s Supermarkets, Aston Martin Lagonda; Vodafone, Trinity Mirror & Reuters, Skandinaviska Enkilda Banken & Royal Bank of Scotland; The Gym Group; iQ Student Accommodation & Riverstone retirement living.

Alongside her business career, Penny enjoys family life and various not-for-profit responsibilities that have included Trustee, British Museum and President, Advertising Association.