The Fundamental Futurist

The future of payments in the age of data and cryptocurrency

Payments is one of the fastest growing areas in fin-tech and in distributed technology as well. Many scientists, engineers and regulatory bodies are trying to crack the code of more consumer-friendly payments. You can login to a device, provide your information and details, and a whole set of computing machines are able to help you process that.

When it comes to ease of payments, smaller transactions and understanding fees, there are multiple areas of exploration and integration. Some of the largest payment players are local and are working with government to help find a better solution to India’s growing appetite. There are various fears related to regulation and security, however with new technologies those fears are being dealt with directly. In India NPCI launched UPI based P2P payments and this is live example of consumer adoption of latest technology. NPCI is now launching second edition of this to cover more wider instruments and market space.

Even the role of the traditional payment service providers is becoming disrupted. Digital-first markets are making it that much more convenient to transact, making new innovations possible in the field. With newer, more sophisticated offerings in the market, the future of payments looks to be completely digital. While online will play a major role in the transformation, it’s going to have its own set of challenges to tackle. While most companies are shying away, few are promoting digital payments as the future of all economic transactions.

Consumer Friendly Integration

To a certain degree, there is immense push for a cash-less India from the government as well. The National Payments Corporation of India is also trying to remove the over-reliability on a bank account in support of various virtual UPI solutions. After demonetization and the expenditure of holding cash in hand, there is a significant push to making everything user-friendly when it comes to payments.

Online cash-less transactions are becoming easier than ever, owing to the fact that companies want to leverage the scale of India. With major retailers offering their own e-wallets, it makes it that much easier for them to continue. Consumers are enjoying a wider-array of mobile apps and design-first experiences. With multiple ecommerce players and online payments firms focusing on consumer-friendly integration, the payments industry looks to be future-ready.

Payments is also an area of contention when it comes to consumer-readiness. Are consumers even ready to share their valuable information with payments providers? That’s where the tech meets the marketing, and with deep value and cash-back offers, these integrations have been made seamless. Consumers love to try something new if there is significant value for them in exchange. In that way, the payments economy works itself out and new innovations can flourish.

Identification and transactions management

With an increase in data required, data management, and cloud synchronization, comes an increased focus on transactions. When there is an increase in transaction volume, there is an inherent need for better quality technology empowering that. Even when it comes to network connectivity, better tech solutions and talented staff, the future of payments depends heavily on talent pool optimization.

There is a significant amount of investment being made in the transactions management space, with more companies entering the backend of the picture. There are significant acquisitions and tech hires that are doing innovative things in the space of identification and transactions. With data management being the key requirement, the future of payments will depend on how well these companies are able to keep up with innovation.

Not only innovation, in the form of tech offered, but innovation in the backbone architecture of their infrastructure. Using AI, cloud, and blockchain can help enhance the overall offerings provided, which should push the adoption of payments innovations. That’s another significant part of the payments revolution, which will be guided by major investments in the backend of the technology.

P2P also poses a huge challenge to transactions management, with more focus on decentralization and autonomy. That’s why companies need to increase their sourcing and staffing if they’re able to deliver consistent results and provide a seamless customer experience. That’s an added factor when it comes to the future of payments, and one that needs to be looked at from all angles.

Security and AI

With the rise in the adoption of online payment apps, there is the question of security and safety. With all your information being stored in a database, there is always a chance of hacks, scams and frauds. Interestingly, one of the biggest ways that hackers get access to large format databases is through social engineering. This has been a common method across the world and is being increasingly recognized in India as well.

That’s why the future of payments is built on solid processes and resource training. All staff members have to follow security protocols, which makes it that much harder to take advantage of vulnerabilities.

There is significant investment being done in the blockchain and AI space as well, when it comes to security. AI technology is able to learn new methods of becoming increasingly secure, while blockchain stores vital login and user-information across distributed networks. This helps in fragmentizing core data and enabling increased connection as and when needed. This also means that no one data warehouse has all the necessary information for hackers to tap into.

Cryptocurrencies and digital payments

With cryptocurrencies leading the way in digital payments, there is significant scope in this market as well. While a currency can only survive if there is significant infrastructure, billions of dollars are being pumped into it right now. There are digital-only goods that are being traded like commodities, but through Bitcoin and other cryptos.

That’s been the sustaining element for cryptocurrencies – the ecosystem and the demand. They’re closely resembling existing economies and are proving to be a tough contender in the space of digital payments. While the technology backing cryptocurrencies is solid, the actual utility may be more beneficial in other areas.

Existing companies offering traditional digital payments may see immense benefits in adopting much of the technology and the overall approach of cryptocurrencies. The market is wide for various innovations, and at the core of it all crypto is fast-growing around the world.

 

About Author

Ashok Kumar Pillai

Client Technology Partner and Head of Pune Center at Altimetrik

Ashok comes with in-depth Customer Delivery and Client Engagement experience across globe. He started his career with Mastek Ltd, held leadership roles in companies like Infrasoft Technologies, ElectraCard Services (Opus software solutions) & Mphasis.

He has led many projects in Banking, Cards & Payments domain with many of the global brands in financial services sector, with around 70 customers in Asia, Middle East & Africa markets and some of the leading banks in North America & Australia.

In most of his roles he owned P&L and has rich functional experience in Client Delivery, Customer engagement, Customer Support, Professional Services & Account Management. He is experienced in off the shelf product implementations and also solution led services model.

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