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A Tale of Two Cities…err Conferences

The once stable ground on which we have all built our houses has shifted—the paper batch-based and brick and mortar world, which have been the cornerstones of the financial services industry for the better part of the past century, have been dragged out into the middle of the mat and are on their last breath (that breath could be a long, drawn out, record breaking one, but the last gasp none the less has started.) Mobility, Virtual Currencies and, most importantly, Real-Time have made the wave of disruption a gathering tsunami that is just off-shore.

 Money 20/20 AFP

While none of these topics is new and most have been lingering and building momentum over the past decade, they have reached their tipping points.

In Mobility, we have seen the introduction of Apple Pay, which has been discussed to a point where my mother could tell you what it is, finally tip the mobile payment scale to the point where every cashier in the US has been asked the question “Do you accept (insert mobile payment schema here)?”

In Virtual Currencies, Bitcoin has been ‘on again off again’ front page news for the past year. Governments around the globe have conducted special sessions on how to deal with this new way of transacting and protecting the interests of the state. Individuals can now buy everyday items at brick and mortar locations, including tickets to see the NBA’s Sacramento Kings (where great seats are usually available). 

And in Real-Time, the news came out this week that The Clearing House has, according to Finextra, finally “woken up” to real-time payments and are kicking off a multi-year project to make real-time low value payments a reality (joining other leading economies in a real-time reality).

These key themes will dominate banking and payments professionals descending upon the desert and our nation’s capital. They will be discussed, dissected and hopefully better understood by everyone as these two shows adjourn because as the wave of disruption has been inching closer to our shores, will you be ready?

Payments Expert

ACI Worldwide powers electronic payments for financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world with its broad and integrated suite of electronic payment software.