As we embrace the possibilities offered by the technological revolution that is leading to the reinvention and creative destruction of payments, we face numerous challenges in creating an industry that serves society. Some of these challenges entail seizing new opportunities for helping society while others involve lowering the risk of emerging practices that could ultimately harm society. In the ThinkAThon you will work with your peers from across the payments industry to work through some of the most difficult problems we face in serving society at large.
Innovations in mobile commerce could intrude on consumer privacy and risk the disclosure of information that could harm consumers. Government regulators such as the FTC and the European Commission as well as consumers are worried about this. Consumer concerns and government regulation could impede the development of mobile commerce innovations that would benefit consumers by making it easier for them to shop and get better deals.
Electronic payments systems are subject to catastrophic risks of failure from software malfunctions and cyber attacks. Isolated failures wreak havoc only on the consumers and businesses directly affected by it. Thousands of customers couldn’t pay their bills or get money out of their accounts when RBS encountered a “glitch” in its software. Broader, systemic, failures are also possible and if they happened could bring much economic activity to a grinding halt.
Most people around the world don’t have bank accounts. Many don’t even have a bank near them where they could get a bank account. They pay with cash and sometimes barter. Their miserable situation is self-reinforcing. When consumers and merchants lack the basic tools of commerce, commerce doesn’t happen, economies don’t grow, and people can’t better themselves much even from hard work. And the problem isn’t just in rural areas in Africa.
New technology has made it possible to revolutionize how, and with what, merchants and consumers interact at the physical point of sale. But the fact that something is possible doesn’t mean that it is worthwhile. The new technology provides endless possibilities. That comes with multiple dead ends though: things that don’t work for consumers or merchants or payment companies or all of the above. It also comes with almost too many possibilities for a human to sort through.
Many players have their fingers on some aspect of the mobile payments experience. Handset manufacturers, operating system providers, app developers, mobile network operators, payment providers, government regulators, and maybe even your Uncle Charlie are all doing something that will affect the experience. Maybe it will all work itself out as the market disciplines players who deviate from what’s necessary to achieve the best solution. Or maybe there’s just too much money at stake for these companies to play nicely.
Featured Reports - April
- Issue 5: Making Mobile Simple for Consumers 13 February 2013
- Issue 4: The New Point of Sale 13 February 2013
- Issue 3: Financial Inclusion and the Other 2 Billion People 13 February 2013
- Issue 2: Catastrophic Failure and Systemic Risk 13 February 2013
- Issue 1: Consumer Privacy and Mobile Commerce 13 February 2013
- The Innovation Project ThinkAThon: What It’s All About 13 February 2013
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- Fifth Third Bancorp to Present at the 2013 Barclays Capital Americas Select Franchise Conference 17 May 2013
- Ernst & Young Names Borderfree CEO and President Michael Desimone as Finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year® 2013 in New York 17 May 2013
- VendScreen Adds Industry Innovator Jim Brinton to Board of Directors 17 May 2013
- Accenture to Strengthen Digital Marketing and eCommerce Capabilities with Acquisition of Acquity Group 17 May 2013
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Friday, May 17, 2013
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