Back to work

The holidays have officially wrapped up, as evidenced by all of my co-workers reporting back to their desks this morning.  Stories, funny and tragic were shared and now it’s back to the matter at hand, which for me is, “What is the future of payments?”

Consumer expectations around the shopping experience continue to favor more convenience and for years consumers have told us they want their payments to be “fast, secure, and convenient”.  The response was the launch of “The Pays” – ApplePay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, along with a multitude of mobile wallets that fulfill on what consumers told us they wanted.  

The trouble is, after the initial hype and uptake my bleeding edge types, the new adoption rates have been falling.  Why?

As I see it, there is a struggle in the minds of consumer between convenience and trust.  Trust goes beyond security in that while I believe Google (for example) will hold me information secure, I don’t know that I trust it will not use my information in ways I either don’t know or don’t approve of.  

Financial institutions have built this trust up over centuries sine the days of the Medici’s.  I believe consumers feel their data is another asset, just like the car or house title, or the stock certificates.  It’s clear to me retailers are applying technology to make the shopping experience very convenient and secure.  It’s a matter of time before they build trust among their customers.  

The implications for financial institutions isn’t that payments will move to retailers – financial institutions will do this for the foreseeable future.  It’s a battle of brand influence and who is perceived to deliver value.  This is important because those who deliver value will be those who can charge a premium.

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