“Consumers don’t want to spend more” was one of the most important take-away from Money2020 payments event, which took place in Las Vegas, November 2014. It is the first time the payments industry is really listening to the consumer. The paradigm has shifted, now merchants want to be unique by asking for financial products and services that will answer card holders’ demands for new keep-it-simple solutions. As Google’s Head of UX said “companies should focus more on the tasks that people really need to accomplish with payments or financial products”.
Together with Amazon, Alipay US, and Worldpay, we conducted a panel discussion on “Global E- and M- Commerce Trends & Drivers”, talking about the current dynamics and the key drivers and opportunities in cross-border ecommerce. Everybody agreed on the rapidly evolving pace of global and mobile commerce, occurring in different regions worldwide. One piece of advice for merchants was to conduct in-depth peer analysis, to make sure they choose the best vendor and cross-border ecommerce solution.
We noticed great buzz around Apple Pay, of course; people impressed by the speed of Apple’s accomplishment in mobile payments, and how “Apple Pay converged the experience of digital e-commerce and mobile commerce”, bringing all the players together and creating a standard they can build on.
Interesting topics were: financial inclusion and how to deliver new financial services into mass markets without conventional banking infrastructure, affecting billions of people; biometrics considered to really change the future of payments and how consumers interact with their service providers; data breach and fraud triggered people’s attention, to learn more about tech companies that apply their solutions more broadly to solve this growing problem; the legal complexities of payments for ecommerce, mobile payments, and for social media platforms, especially when considering the different countries taking part in cross-border ecommerce, each posing unique challenges. David Thompson from Western Union forecast that millennials will set the trends in payment technology by demanding fast, easy-to-use solutions, with multiple currencies, multiple languages, on any form factor, and wanting to be informed by the status of their transaction as opposed to a process.
Square’s Creative Principal, Andrew Lin doesn’t expect to see cash registers on the counter anymore; the payment processes will seamlessly happen in the background. Airbnb is focused on pushing payments into the background too, now that the payment credentials can be stored on mobile devices, in user accounts.
Mobile conversion, trust and transparency are important keywords for today’s payment ecosystem, with cross-border ecommerce dragging up a lot of opportunities, but also challenges. People are focused on removing the barriers and friction points, especially when it comes to conducting cross-border payments under one unified ecosystem. The best positioned company to solve this seems to be Facebook. With new players like Apple and Google asking for a piece of the payments pie, it is an exciting moment in the evolution of the payments industry.
Last but not least, Kenneth Chenault, CEO AMEX, advised payments companies and merchants not only to embrace change, but to really understand how to meet the customers’ needs by offering differing values. One has to understand the whole commerce journey and the role payments plays in that journey. Only then one can be disruptive!
Money2020 has become a massive payments event; 7,500 people gathered under the roof of Aria Resort, representing more than 1,000 CEOs and other payment geeks, from over 2,000 companies, offering extraordinarily good networking. We asked the participants to summarize the event in one word, to really understand the value it brought to the attendees and to the whole payments ecosystem. Innovation, expansive, spot-on, informative, comprehensive, partnerships, frenzy, comprehensive and collaborative were only a few of the stated words.