How to pay? By card, cash or fridge? 4YFN19 Sponsor Visa Explains

The song “Cash Rules Everything Around Me” by the Wu-Tang Clan is a hip hop classic, but where does it stand in an increasingly cashless society? Transactions may be more seamless than ever, but money still very much rules the world: the amazing array of goods and services that we enjoy are all underpinned by the exchange of capital. The transition to digital payments and the advent of all manner of payment options has stopped us from reaching from our wallets and started us down a path of development that touches everything from fintech to entertainment.

We are honoured to welcome Visa as a sponsor at 4YFN19. From the roll out of now nearly ubiquitous contactless payments to the introduction of Visa Checkout to speed up personal payments, Visa has been instrumental in driving forward innovation in commerce.

To get a better understanding of how the evolution of payments is impacting the startup ecosystem, we spoke to Bill Gajda, Visa’s SVP, Digital Partnerships, FinTech and Ventures. Here he tells us about Visa’s view on the future of money and what the trends in payments look like worldwide.

What are you hoping to do at 4 Years from Now?

We’re looking forward to engaging with the many innovators, disruptors and challengers at 4 Years From Now. We strongly believe that partnership, collaboration and investment across our ecosystem is fundamental in encouraging innovation which is not just good for consumers but good for business. We’re open to hear about some of the ways new players in the market are shaping the future of our experiences as consumers. Whether its developments in transportation and mobility or new retail concepts, Visa is excited to champion, celebrate and enable innovation at 4YFN.

How do you think VISA will change 4 Years from Now?

As commerce continues to evolve, so too will Visa as we continue to look at how we can make digital payments simpler, more secure and increasingly seamless. We will not only continue to innovate and invent new, better, more secure ways to pay and be paid but will also increasingly support others in our ecosystem to do so.

What does VISA think about the future of money? Will we become a cashless society?

As consumers, we are increasingly untethered from both the place and moment of paying is invisible. We step into a taxi, a hotel, a store, a theatre, and we don’t stop to pay. Online or in a store, we no longer reach for our wallet. Others can will initiate transaction in our names – like our fridge, or our car.

At Visa we don’t believe money is going to disappear, we will still need to manage our money and juggle complex financial lives. We need to plan when and how and where we spend. However, we expect new payment methods, channels and innovations to determine how we pay and get paid.

What technologies does VISA think will take over from contactless cards? Will these become ubiquitous?

We’ve seen consumers and merchants really embrace contactless technology over the past few years.

Wherever implemented, contactless cards have taken off rapidly as consumers embrace this fast, simple and secure way of tapping to pay. Many markets around the world have gone from single digit penetration to over 50% in the last few years including Australia, the UK and Canada. Nevertheless, the payment space is experiencing rapid transformation and we’re seeing new technologies emerge all the time.

Mobile payments are increasingly popular and have been adopted widely across Europe and beyond. As consumers continue to embrace smartphones, Mobile payment services – Apple, Google and Samsung- make digital payments even more accessible to consumers globally, resulting in an increasingly cashless world.

At Visa, we also believe that biometrics will play an important role in the future of payments. Today, millions of people are using their fingerprint to pay in-store and in-app with their mobile devices.

As the payments industry moves away from static data elements such as PINs, passwords, and security codes, we believe that biometrics can and should play a greater role in the authentication experience.

How is VISA approaching innovation? What programs does it have to discover and commercialise new technologies?

Visa’s approach to innovation in the 21st century is anchored in a belief that paying with Visa in the digital world should be just as simple — if not even simpler — than when you pay with Visa in the physical world. Over the last several years, Visa has fundamentally evolved both our platforms and how we work with partners and clients to encourage a broadening of the commerce ecosystem.

We do this through ensuring that we provide clients and partners access to an open platform that serves 3.2 billion account holders. Our Visa Developer Platforms also provides simplified access to many of our most in-demand products and services, allowing anyone to transform great ideas into new digital commerce experiences. We also collaborate with a broad range of partners from BigTech to FinTech enabling innovation to flourish so that ultimately, consumers have choice. Our FinTech fast-track programme is designed to on board disruptive start-ups in as little as 4 weeks so they can leverage our access, network, reach and expertise to grow their business.

Most of all, we have a relentless focus on looking ahead. Core to our success is Visa’s ability to anticipate the future and evolve so we continue to partner and invest in forward thinking technology that helps us achieve our vision of being the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere.

We tend to think of payments as via debit or credit card? Are there other forms of payments we should be thinking about as future technologies?

Rather than focusing on cards or cash, we see payments as becoming a more intuitive and embedded part of any buying or selling experience, whether it’s a subscription service like Netflix, a quick-service restaurant like Pizza Express in the UK that allows in-app payments at the table, or a service provider like Taiwan Taxi that gives customers the flexibility to pay by card in the car or in-app.

The entire payments ecosystem has seen an onslaught of new ways to pay that go far beyond the card and make digital payments even more accessible to consumers globally. Examples include the growth of QR codes across Asia; increase in payments capabilities in messaging platforms (e.g., Facebook Messenger, WeChat, LINE), mobile payment services (e.g., Visa Checkout, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay); IoT devices that can make almost anything a point of sale (STAT: By 2020, 21 billion devices will be connected to the Internet) and even blockchain-powered payments protocols that are designed to operate leveraging the trusted and reliable payment ecosystem (e.g., B2B Connect)