Andrew Vorster, Vice President of R&D and Adam Banks, Chief Technology Officer for Visa Europe delivered a fascinating double act at the Financial Services Club the other night.
The theme of the presentation was: the future of payments and technology, and covered seven key trends that Andrew and Adam have identified that will disrupt payments:
- Compute power becomes ever more abundant, affordable and accessible;
- Devices continue to evolve, liberating more power for more people in more places;
- Always on, always there, always aware, always informed and always connected;
- Our real lives become replicated and reflected in a parallel, digital universe;
- Businesses gather enough data and processing power to become all-knowing;
- The world becomes a more open and collaborative place in which to operate; and
- Traditional identity management models become increasingly unsustainable.
A good example is with Square.
Square provides such ubiquity that babysitters are now using it.
It enables both parties to find better service.
The babysitter, for example, charges $10 an hour. The parents get home after being out for five and a half hours and that means you need $55 in cash in your pocket.
No cash? Then a quick drive-by ATM visit is in order.
Then you get home and you find that the babysitter had to change a diaper ($10), order food in ($15) and it’s now 00:45 so 45 minutes has been on double time ($3:75 extra).
Another drive-by at the ATM on the way home as you drop off the babysitter.
All in all, an expensive night ($83:75 for a babysitter!!!! are you mad? I’d do it for $50 J ).
Anyways, the babysitters are now all issued with Square dongles and it’s made life far easier.
The parents no longer needs to stop by the ATMs, and it’s far more painless putting a card in a machine than seeing those crispy new notes crossing hands.
Take another example: the issue of identity.
We all know how annoying it is when your bank declines an overseas transaction (if not, read about the last time it happened to me).
Andrew cited one UK bank spends £18 million a year just on false positive overseas transaction service calls!
Come on, you can easily reduce this cost by contextual based location identification.
Using an integration of payment and mobile, that’s what we have today.
The only real issue is that, even with mobile identification with geoproximity, you still have identity issues.
What if someone stole your phone and all that?
So the real issue will always be identity.
That is also changing however.
Andrew cited the fact that the FBI can no longer create undercover agents, as criminals now check the social profiles of new members of the hood.
If you don’t have a credible three year or more social presence, with all the friendships, photos and stuff to prove it, then you’re dead meat.
In fact, social media has changed everything, Andrew underlined.
And he finished his presentation with this award-winning ad from the Guardian newspapers to illustrate this point.
Love the video and it just goes to show how things can twist and turn on the winds of social pressure (just look at what happened to Andrew Mitchell, the Government’s Chief Whip over here, if you want to see how online social can influence outcomes).
At the end of Andrew’s presentation, Adam and Andrew took a range of questions from the audeince that included the way in which card companies are selling data to whether contactless will really take-off to how and why there is no effective identity management system.