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The evolution of payments in the post-FTX world

Given the rise of payment banks, revenue, and others – it is imperative on payment processors provide a better experience, not just to retail customers but to SMEs too. Emerging technologies are reshaping the way we transact, particularly with the emergence of cryptocurrencies, CBDCs, and other digital currencies.

The future of payment in a web3 world is difficult to predict with new technologies and platforms constantly hitting the market, challenging traditional financial institutions’ chokehold on the industry. Today, consumers have more choices than ever, which is forcing many banks and financial service providers to be more creative with how they connect to customers and deliver innovative services.

Making Dollars and Sense of Web3

Working in this industry, I’m regularly asking myself, ‘how will payment converge with cryptocurrencies and the growing popularity of the metaverse?’ It’s clear the metaverse is taking shape concretely as many of our clients are building up their virtual presence on the platform, engaging with customers and other forward-thinking brands. Consequently, banks are looking at how they launch their brand and services within this space.

There’s significant potential to serve premium customers through the platform, providing a more immersive and bespoke experience. However, how will digital payments and on-site crypto enhance the metaverse experience? We’ve already seen cryptocurrencies used to purchase other digital assets such as NFTs and accessories for avatars, plus Mastercard has opened crypto trading capabilities to banks to further the read of digital payment.

From decentralised finance and cryptocurrencies to peer-to-peer lending, technology is transforming how institutions interact with markets and consumers, shifting the power and control to platform providers and digital disruptors. However, the move to decentralised finance brings with it numerous concerns regarding cybersecurity, digital identity, biometrics, and whether these platforms can process payments quickly and securely enough to handle true scalability.

Maintaining Speed, Scale, and Security

Several ASEAN countries have also linked their respective real-time payment systems, such as Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Similar trends have been observed in Africa where there is a push for pan-African payment systems to accelerate settlement, lower costs, reduce settlement risks, and mitigate liquidity risk. The development of cross-border payment services can leverage existing real-time infrastructure and technology to provide real-time visibility and ongoing cybersecurity.

EBA Clearing, SWIFT, and The Clearing House are piloting a service at the end of this year to facilitate immediate cross-border (IXB) payments. The program already has a contribution from 24 financial institutions, including marquee brands such as Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, and Wells Fargo.

The aim is to improve cross-border payments by leveraging the fastest domestic payment options across a comprehensive network of providers. Payment corridors will continue opening, which should hopefully make IXB payments more secure and seamless for users with real-time visibility and the support of ISO 20022 message standards.

Another example of this cross-border innovation is RTGS.global, a liquidity network that provides the bank-only infrastructure to transform cross-border transactions by locking and transferring liquidity ownership in real-time. RTGS.global’s infrastructure is cloud-native, designed to address the speed, costs, opacity, and inaccessibility of cross-border payments.

RTGS.global supports edge-to-edge encryption using APIs that are ISO 20022 compatible to securely transmit rich data alongside payment orders. By providing real-time visibility, RTGS.global ensures ‘just-in-time liquidity’ by providing bilateral transactions to ensure real-time visibility and insights for banks, customers, and regulators.

These emerging platforms demonstrate how a partnership between financial services and technology providers can elevate the speed, scale, and standards of financial transactions worldwide. Banks see operational cost reduction and a more intuitive experience for customers. Meanwhile, platform providers tap into the network, experience, and frameworks of established financial service providers. With synergy between technology and finance, we can help power innovative and sustainable financing globally.

Regulatory Support for Innovation

Policymakers and regulatory frameworks are often forced to catch up to tech innovators, setting rules and standards after the fact. We need a joint effort to ensure regulation protects stakeholders without stifling innovation and creativity. It’s a delicate balance, but both sides can leverage the other’s expertise and experience.

I hope that the payment tech innovations I’ve discussed improve financial access, literacy, and autonomy – particularly within underserviced and emerging economies. With payments becoming increasingly digitalised, people are slowly gaining greater control of their money while technology continues improving the way we protect and invest our resources.

Historically, financial control has been restricted to a select number of long-standing institutions, so it’s encouraging to see cryptocurrency, blockchain, and other emerging digital payment platforms empower organisations and individuals, providing more opportunities to transact and earn at scale, ensuring more freedom over people’s financial future.

 

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