What 2017's CES Show Says About the Future of Payments
AND we’re off! I hope the fruit cake has run its course, the holiday hangover has lifted and your respective New Years have started off on the right foot. With 2016 now fully in the rear view (and for many, that’s a good thing), we can shift our focus forward…and just like every other year, we’re off and running with CES—for the newest and greatest and, in most instances, evolutionary gains in consumer technology. While not directly a payments event, this is one of my favorites to follow as it gives a very solid hint at where consumers are headed, which in turn tells us where our focus as payment solution providers will be heading in the next 3 to 5 years, be it Smart Cars, Smart TVs, wearables, new smart phones, or the newest tech that goes smart squared—what we see at this show is what consumers will be buying in the months and years to come. So what have we learned so far?
Voice-Controlled Personal Assistants. I don’t want to just call out Amazon’s Alexa devices, but will admit that’s what I have been playing with to date. The new and improved devices from Google, Lenovo, and Amazon all show this space is set to explode. While not new, we may be looking at a tipping point for the voice-controlled UI space, which will only continue to improve and evolve. The days of having to constantly yell (and re-yell) your commands to a first-gen voice recognition software appear to be behind us. The potential of using voice commands for banking needs is something we all should already be looking at from the consumer market, all the way into the business market. The potential for disruption here is something anyone working on digital channels can’t ignore.
New Laptops. On the surface, this seems like a step backwards…why are we focusing on laptops when the tablet already overtook its spot as the main computing device (at least in terms of sales and commentary). For me, it indicates the continued need for a large form factor. There are plenty of times where more space is needed to do whatever it is you are doing, and if you look back to the last iPad updates, the need is understood by going much larger. I know the line has been blurred on what’s a tablet and what’s a laptop, but the trend I’m watching has less to do with the semantics of whether it’s a larger tablet or a lighter laptop and more to do with using the full real estate of the larger screens in question. Simplicity of design is still key, but leveraging space to maximize content is what consumers are wanting.
Wearables. I won’t spend too much time on the smart watch category because I think we have been watching the over-hyped revolutionary force of smart watches. I do believe connected wearables however are still running far below their potential. With earbuds taking a top focus this year, which isn’t surprising given Apple’s move to remove the headphone jack from their phone design, I think wearables is still a ‘front and center’ trend to watch (or listen to as it may be). Wearables are trying to make the jump from novelty to mass market appeal, with the caveat of the fitness and personal health category, which I feel has already gone past the tipping point.
CES is just the starting point for what is sure to be a fun and exciting year for payments. Looking forward to sharing insights with you along the journey and hoping to connect with as many of you as possible this year (my New Year’s resolution that I will not break!). Here’s to 2017!
Related blog posts
Beyond the Bargains: How China Singles Day Became Unstoppable
Another year, another China Singles Day. After the clock struck midnight and November 11th got underway, the records fell fast – and frequently – with sales eventually reaching USD $25.3 billion. This represents a 39% rise over 2016, which was in turn 24.4% higher than 2015. The growth trend is as predictable as it is impressive.
The Seasons Are Changing (And So Are Fraud and Regulations)
If you smell the air, you can sense the seasons changing; a little crispy cold moving in suddenly, the leaves are reddening and the winds of Faster Payments and PSD2 are kicking up. Smooth transition, right? So, yeah, seasons change, and so do regulatory regimes. In the US, we’ve been largely left to our own discretions about how to run our fraud shops, with some regulatory oversight regarding disputes handling. Historically, financial institution processes around authentication and fraud monitoring (including analytics and strategy) could be anything or nothing, depending on an institution’s risk appetite. Like the seasons, this might be in transition.
Dumbing Down Payments and Fintech Jargon… Just in Time for the Holidays!
Mark, is there a slightly less insulting phrase for “dumbing down” something? I ask because there are some terms and topics making bigly waves today and many/most consumers outside of payments/banking/fintech/tech might not understand their significance and why they should care. With that, can we take a moment to simplify these terms and topics, while also conveying their importance to the masses—from your mother-in-law to your daughter’s daycare provider to “the old man sitting next to me making love to his tonic and gin” (I’m a sucker for Billy Joel).
The Art of Open Banking, Part 2: On the March
In the first part of my talk with @digitalbankguru (aka Mark Ranta) and @Lui_Zurawski (aka Lu Zurawski), we discussed plans that best prepare an organization for Open Banking, and in this second chapter, we explore some use cases for delivering value.
What Makes Latin America An Attractive Market for Cryptocurrencies? [¿Qué Hace a Latinoamérica un Mercado Atractivo para Las Criptomonedas?]
Cryptocurrencies are one of today’s hottest topics – seemingly in every corner of the globe. Bitcoin continues to be the most popular – and certainly the most well-known – though digital currencies have been blossoming at an unprecedented pace recently. There are currently more than 16 million Bitcoins in existence, and it is expected that there will be more than 22 million by 2022. Worldwide acceptance is growing, with over 9,800 businesses registered on the Coinmap website, compared to 2013 when there were only 133 businesses registered.
Apple iPhone X: Could it Drive Consumers to Use Mobile as Their Primary Payment Method?
Apple’s new iPhone X is set to arrive in stores globally this Friday. As with every new iPhone launch, experts have been debating the ins and outs of the Apple X for weeks, while fans are expected to queue overnight to get their hands on one.
Face ID is one of the hallmark features of the new device – the primary way to unlock the new phone is with the face scanner. More importantly, the new iPhone X will use the technology not only to unlock the phone, but also to authorize mobile payments.
The Art of Open Banking, Part 1: Laying Plans
I recently had a great discussion with @digitalbankguru (aka Mark Ranta) and @Lui_Zurawski (aka Lu Zurawski) on what it takes to be ready for the revolution in Open Banking. It was a truly global discussion, with stories from North America, Europe and Asia; the conversation part philosophical treatise and part strategy roadmap. Following is a summary of the first part of our wide-ranging discussion on preparing for the Open Banking era.
How 'Mega Trends' Are Shaping Payments in India
In a previous blog post, I wrote about the impact of demonetization in India and the staggering growth of new digital payment types. Building further on this, I want explore some of the “mega trends” in payments, and how India is embracing the opportunities presented by these trends.
Bringing Home the Payments Bacon (And Other ‘Sizzles’ Such as PSD2, GDPR, AI and Big Data)
Mark, we’ve closed out another hectic Money20/20; my eyes are still dry; my throat is still sore; I still reek of cigarettes; I’ve eaten a lot of bacon on a stick (thanks to Zelle, a great group of people and a great partner)! So for the most part, this year’s event has been another win. And I haven’t even referenced the many terrific sessions during the week (well, I guess I just did).
What Do Open APIs Mean for Banking Business Models? PSD2 Points of View
As the January 2018 deadline creeps closer, PSD2 – and by association instant payments and open banking – is the hot topic in the payments industry. The impact of PSD2 will be felt beyond Europe’s physical borders, as it brings open banking to the fore. As with any global issue, ideas around how best to address the challenges of open banking are fragmented, and opinions differ between retail and corporate banking.