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Cashless culture

18 August 2015

Disruptive technology is moving society towards a digital payments era

Early activities suggest we are in a disruptive era for fintech. As technology becomes ever more a prevalent component of daily life, we are seeing digital capabilities re-shape behaviours, and the payments industry is no exception.

It was announced earlier this year that cashless payments overtook the use of notes and coins for the first time in history, and cash volumes are expected to fall by a further 30% over the next 10 years.

Digital transactions, contactless and mobile payments are all on the rise, and as products such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay take hold of the consumer markets, businesses are also becoming wise to the digital era.

The requirement for payments to be made quickly and efficiently is something which banks and other organisations are addressing. This goes hand-in-hand with the need for effective remote and mobile transactions. On the plus side, sophisticated virtual payments generate stronger traceability of physical records, allowing for accountability and auditing accuracy.

At the present time, the fintech startup industry is generating more investment in Europe than any other. This industry’s technology-based systems and processes will continue to evolve into even slicker interfaces. They will save time and money for businesses whilst making the client and consumer side of the transaction as streamlined as possible. 

Equiniti recognised the requirement for swift and seamless global payments and its International Payments business uses state of the art technology. This means transactions are processed quickly and efficiently on behalf of organisations with global reach. Sophisticated digital payments software makes a significant difference and allows smooth processing of bulk payroll or pensions payments, and multi-national eCommerce transactions.

Success in payments comes from understanding payment culture and the needs of players in all parts of the ecosystem. Equiniti understands that this disruption will only continue and that its services need to evolve to meet the exacting needs of today’s society.

But what does the future of payments really look like? HCE (Host Card Emulation) and Cloud based payments have greatly increased possibilities for banks, telecommunication companies and other organisations offering mobile payment services. The mobile payment market is booming, and this digitisation process is bringing us closer to a world of digital cards and a cashless society.

NFC chips could also be placed inside wearable smart technology. A smart watch, ring, or Google Glass could be used instead of a phone and react to movements such as a tap, swipe, or blink of an eye. Eventually, unique biometric information might also suffice for payment, such as voice recognition, fingerprint scans, retina displays or even DNA could replace cold hard cash in the future. 

In turn, each and every new disruptive innovation will need to be carefully tested. A recent question around Contactless’ data security highlights the risk of quickly introducing/rolling-out new technologies in this arena. This is not a reason to stop innovating, more a prompt to further stress test innovations.

While expectations for consumers are changing and evolving, businesses must be proactive rather than reactive in the provision of smart technologies within the corporate world.

Business transactions emphasise immediacy, efficiency, and cost-saving. The importance of technology, such as providing slick new interfaces, is setting the tone for the new world of payments. 

Yet, it is important to remember that disruption, in this realm, is only helpful if it provides useful solutions to businesses and customers alike.


 Find out more about how Equiniti International Payments can support your business.