Trends Impacting the Future of Payments and Finance

Earlier this week I joined US Bank’s Elavon for their latest masterclass. I discussed the disruptive trends impacting businesses and what it means for the future of payments and finance. These are some of the trends we explored:

#1 shift from digitization to ‘data’fication

#2 new faces of commerce that are emerging

#3 new paths to purchase

#4 blurring lines between our physical and digital worlds

The implications for the payments industry, and for the financial sector more broadly, are pronounced. We are already seeing some of these materialize in the following ways:

  1. Cryptocurrencies and the tokenization of the internet. As Mark Twain wrote, “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” While it might feel like a crypto winter, and the collapse of FTX feels like a blizzard, viable use-cases continue to emerge. For example, earlier this month the Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued results on the Phase I results of Project Cedar, its inaugural project to develop a technical framework for a theoretical wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC). Currently, it takes two days for most FX spot trades to settle. In the test environment, transactions on the blockchain settled in under 15 seconds on average.
  2. Embedded everything. Platforms and marketplaces are leading a revolution in embedding payments, instant payouts, and other embedded finance tools. Delivery Hero, Postmates and Uber are just some of the examples. Shopify offers embedded finance products to its customers and half of their revenue comes from their ability to offer loans to their customers. In 2021 they loaned over $3B.
  3. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is here to stay. Consumers can get large ticket items right away while paying for them in several smaller installments over just a few weeks or months and merchants love it because they can increase their basket values and move more expensive items.