Digital – I actually heard more than one discussion that spotlighted (somewhat) PC-based experiences. Kudos to those folks, as we sometimes get so focused on the “new” and call for the demise of the “old” (last I checked, checks are still living a pretty good life). PCs (or desktop Macs) will certainly have a play for a good long while especially with certain demographics or businesses, so while the dominance is ceding to mobile, it’s still a highly important and relevant discussion point on the digital front. Bonus point or bonus musing – where have the wearables discussions been?
Consumer centric – the overused example of loyalty and a certain caffeine supplier shows me we are still way off in getting to a fully customer centric model. It also tells me we are a ways away from cracking the loyalty nut (though a shout out to the coffee companies, as you guys are very much the poster child for this topic.)
Friction – this has been and remains a primary focus of the “payment evolution.” I still believe some friction is necessary, but agree there is still plenty work left to remove more in the payments workflow, let alone the pre-payment consumer buying experience.
IoT/connected devices – interestingly, in all the discussions I heard around the IoT topic, security didn’t come up. The focus has very much been on the positives such as the valuable added data, consumer convenience, and potential new use cases (the car keeps coming up).
AliPay – world domination? First step is acceptance, and with the announcement yesterday with First Data, we welcome a payment giant to our shores.
Open APIs – first session, first day coming out the shoot and it was SRO in the room as ACI, BBVA, Dwolla, Customers Bank and Plaid dissected and discussed one of the hottest topics our industry has right now. From PSD2 to implications in the US market, the broad topics and potential of this enabling technology and strategy were on full display.
Blockchain – what would an update be without a comment on blockchain? Visa’s announcement on a partnership with Chain may have shifted my view a bit on the “when” we’ll see blockchain and distributed ledger technology. We remain bullish on the potential and may be shifting from bearish to bullish on timing.
Now I need another double espresso!