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Taking Payments and Fintech for Granted? (A Lyrical Edition)

payments and fintech we take for granted

Based on a very quick search of the Googles, there are 128,014 songs that contain the lyrics “take for granted”— from the likes of Mary J. Blige, Social Distortion, Madness and Frank Sinatra as well as countless other great (and not-so-great) crooners. And that would make for a sizable Spotify playlist… and I do love my Spotify playlists (I’ve been on a Wham! kick lately).

Speaking of (or writing of) taking things for granted, I just perused my desk and spotted at least a dozen items I now take for granted, starting with my smartie phone and wireless speakers. And I’m sure you, dear reader, can identify loads of other “things” that you take for granted. Now before I continue, I’m removing heavy topics like “love” and “families” from this post, because Rantings exclude emotion for anything other than payments and fintech (and typically only if/when related to food, sports, travel and especially music).

I now welcome in my affable Rantings companion to gauge him on what we (in our industry) will take for granted… could be in 1 year, 5 years or even 10 years down the road. So Mark, we’ve pontificated about the past (the figurative fintech graveyard) and the future (what payments will bring), but we’ve yet to address a topic that has been covered in nearly 130,000 songs!!

Mark Ranta: Cashless – The ability to go completely cashless is something that is so close today that I think in 5 years’ time, we will all think back to when we couldn’t, or at least couldn’t with full confidence (some regions more so than others) go cashless, and say how bizarre was that?

Dan Ring: To quote OMC, “How bizarre, how bizarre, how bizarre.”

MR: Biometrics – The days of biometrics just being for high tech, super-secret government bunkers in sci-fi movies have come to an end. Almost every new phone is issued with at least a fingerprint scanner, if not facial recognition software. Using the indisputable biometric markers that make you, yes you, authenticate yourself is already mainstream. Taking it off the device in your hand and putting it in all of your experience channels is next. The password is hopefully on its way to a quick and decisive death!

DR: My smartie phone password is “[email protected]$” (otherwise, I can’t think of a remotely relevant song lyric).

MR: Voice – “Hey [Insert futuristic Robot sounding name], pay Tom $20 for last night’s drinks.” Voice is on the fringes today, however I can tell you Alexa has infiltrated my life way more in the past 12 months than I would have ever dreamed. Whether it’s Google, Amazon, Apple or anyone else, the voice game is so hot right now, and with the ‘taking for granted’ timeline you have thrown out here, it’s nearly impossible to leave voice off the list. Moving money with your voice is something we will all take for granted fairly soon, and we’ll wonder why we ever put up with the difficulty of opening an app on our phone for something so simple as sending $20, $40, or even $100 to a friend.

DR: “You just call out my name… and you know wherever I am” ([email protected]$).

MR: Mobile Payments – The days of mobile being a niche option are numbered. As consumers continue to get more comfortable with payments initiated from the device, more investment will go into creating new value propositions (think extended warranties, money back, loyalty, etc.), which in turn will increase adoption. I think the expectations that we put on mobile as an initiation channel were unrealistic in historical comparisons; I also think mobile is very much in its infancy. As central infrastructures move to real-time payments, the chance of mobile succeeding in realizing its full potential only increase. In five years, I believe we will all have taken this for granted!

DR: I once saw a Venmo message with the Stevie Wonder lyric “I just called to say I love you” (and I mean it from the bottom of my heart).

MR: Chip and Confusion – Tap and go will prevail and we will all think back to the chip (and well, choose your own adventure depending on card) debacle. Contactless will be omnipresent and the chip will move to the annals of history.

DR: “I'm in a state (state)…state of confusion (whooooh).” Who else is excited about this recent news of a possible Kinks reunion?

So whaddya think you’ll take for granted?