Some weeks after the EPCA Conference in Disneyland some thought keep coming back in my mind: payments business will never be the same … Let me summarize:
1. people’s behaviour is continuously changing giving way for new ways of transacting. Social networks, mobile phones, growing e-commerce, businesses and supply chains integrate
2. the banking industry does not seem to have their act together when it comes to pro-actively set the direction for the payments industry. SEPA for Europe is like homework from Brussels, we only do the minimum so we get a ‘check in the box’. The billions
invested are sunk costs anyway, and besides … banks have bigger problems to worry about. Who does really care whether new services will reach customers?
3. new innovative companies starting, all driven out of a specific need, but mostly without a clear view on market size or business case. That’s part of entrepreneurism. These new players use the banking infrastructure (accounts, card networks) to their
advantage. Example: Paypal would never have become so big if there hadn’t been a card network and banks. Now with a critical mass of their own, Paypal is an infrastructure on its own. And a very sophisticated one: real time clearing, currency conversion and
settlement. Not to forget the superior user experience. E-invoicing, e-payments and e-identity are the new frontiers where similar scenario’s will happen.
I see a world coming up where banks become even more regulated, sucking out all innovative energy of management and remain the regulated capital pools. The ‘making money move’ between people, governments and businesses will increasingly become the domain
of customer focused companies, because payments are more and more an information game, working independent of banks.
The voice in my head is growing stronger …