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Payment technology systems: on the cusp of transformation

The payments industry has been in a state of flux for some time now, and with the rapid digitisation of data and development of emerging technologies, there’s a bevvy of technology innovations and reforms on their way…

The catalyst for the changes within the financial services industry is the evolving customer expectations with both individuals and corporates expecting speed and ease of use when carrying out day-to-day transactions. The growing ecosystem of fintech solution providers including mobile wallet providers such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, and person-to-person payment solutions such as Square Cash, Paytm and AliPay, offer these advantages when making payments. For corporate payments, governments and leading banks have been looking at simplifying cross-border payments in a bid to make the transactions instantaneous.

In this respect, the year 2016 was a notable one for the payments technology industry, with many key developments recorded during the year. Most developments centred around three major areas – mobile payments, real-time payment infrastructure and digital currency initiatives.

Banks go mobile

While the year continued to witness growth in mobile-based transactions, of note, were the initiatives by leading banks and retailers to participate actively in the mobile payments space. Leading global banks such as Citibank and Chase launched their mobile wallets – Citi Pay and ChasePay, respectively. Similarly, in Asia, Maybank launched its wallet while almost all leading banks in India announced their digital wallet. In another initiative, big banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Payments Industry Total Revenue Forecast,  Wells Fargo & Co and U.S. Bancorp, collaborated to launch their own jointly-owned system called ClearXchange, which will allow each participating banks’ customers to transfer money to the other instantaneously. Banks in Europe also made similar moves, with the UK institutions launching an app called Paym, which allows individuals to transfer up to £250 ($355) to another user’s bank account.

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.