I recently represented The Fletcher Group in New York City at Tearsheet’s inaugural Power of Payments Conference and heard from some of the top professionals and brands in the payments space. From keynote presentations to panel debates to roundtable discussions, the full-day event offered rich insights into the B2B and B2C landscapes. Tearsheet encouraged conversation around the toughest questions hitting the industry’s boardrooms today:
- PaaS and BaaS: Should you become an embedded platform?
- SMBs: How do we align with their unique financial needs?
- Talent: How are you positioning opportunities to cater to the next generation?
- Big Tech: How big a threat?
- Ecommerce: Where are you seeing a convergence of traditional and ecommerce payments?
- Cryptocurrency: How long until crypto payments become an option at checkout?
- Real time payments: Does the introduction of RTP change your competitive landscape?
We heard from Wise on the evolution of cross-border payments and how the US banking ecosystem is only grazing the surface in supporting “money without borders.” The demand for transparent, speedy cross-border money movement continues to grow as consumers and small businesses have an increased awareness around fees and increased comfort in using mobile apps for managing money. We will be keeping an eye on the impending regulatory dialogue (such as the G20 report), rail enhancements and bank partnerships to address key challenges in the cross-border payments space.
Quavo, a fraud and dispute management solution, also took the stage to highlight the power of automation in today’s highly digitized world. While experts predict that by 2025, AI will power 95% of all customer interactions, the driver of automation should be clear and consistent. Businesses must be looking at how they can leverage automation and AI to train, retain, attract and create meaningful work.
Throughout the day, three speakers homed in on industry trends including Goldman Sachs, Visa and Citi. Goldman Sachs, who has built and grown its transaction banking platform, highlighted the growing need for payment solutions that are scalable (to be able to add value-add services such as lending or insurance), modernized (to be able to adapt for digitization such as flexible APIs and cloud-based software), and open (to be able to offer universal access around the globe such as open banking).
Visa focused on the consumerization of B2B payments, aptly noting that 75% of the workforce will be Millennial/Gen Z by 2025. To meet business buyers’ expectations based on their experiences in B2C commerce, businesses should be exploring mobile and virtual card offerings. Whether it be employees who want to see earned wages on-the-go, or business buyers who want to transact with their mobile devices, we should look at consumer preferences and evaluate if there is a strategic fit in B2B. Virtual cards were emphasized as being table stakes and “the future of B2B payments.” Use cases shared included online travel agencies, remote employees and infrequent travelers.
When it came to discussing the next generation of platforms, Citi highlighted the growth of embedded experiences to meet the demand for fast, frictionless and flexible payments. Enabling real-time payment notifications was cited as critical for consumers seeking instant gratification.
Overlooking the Hudson River, the day concluded with opportunities to meet the conference speakers and industry professionals while reflecting on the power of payments. The Power of Payments Conference brought together leaders from all parts of the financial ecosystem, even competitors, to share timely insights on how we can work together to do more for the industry. We look forward to the next one!