Finovate Spring 2016 – Day 1 Highlights

Finovate Spring 2016 – Day 1 Highlights

I’ve just returned from Finovate’s May 2016 Conference in San Jose, where a clear theme emerged:  a combination of digital self service + human interaction + artificial intelligence.

From an enormous range of 71 presenters (I think one dropped out) here are a few personal highlights from  Day 1.

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Apple Pay isn’t doomed yet. An Australian perspective on US mobile payments

Apple Pay isn’t doomed yet.  An Australian perspective on US mobile payments

Over the last six months, the news for Apple Pay has been pretty mixed.  While the payments system has grown its footprint internationally and recorded some successes, US experience has been far from stellar.

The key trend emerging is that while US consumers are happy to trial Apple Pay, ongoing usage is disappointing.  In fact, repeat usage is declining, as reported here, here, and here (there’s lots more) which must be of great concern to Apple.

Why are US consumers failing to utilise Apple Pay in greater numbers?  One answer, according to an article on called ‘Apple Pay Meets Its Biggest Foe Yet: Consumer Apathy’, is well… consumer apathy.

I think the real answer is more nuanced than that.

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Payments innovation must engender trust

Payments innovation must engender trust

The other day I was re-reading a post from last October in Bank Innovation called The Case for More Visible Payments by Philip Ryan which highlighted an important point in the looming transformation of payments capabilities: transparency.

Much of the discussion in recent years about payments disruption has highlighted the potential benefit of new capabilities to displace the payment component of a commercial transaction to the background; simplifying the process, removing friction and emphasising the value-adding component of the transaction.

The case in point that is always cited is, of course, Uber. Recent coverage in Sydney of yet another round of outrage over Uber’s surge pricing has highlighted the brand risk associated with making payments ‘too invisible’ In the most recent spate of complaints, Uber customers have complained about fare increases of up to 800% over new year’s eve.

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