Alternative Finances

Innovation, Regulation And Payments Hubs: Global Payments’ Future

It’s obvious that the global payments ecosystem is undergoing rapid innovation. What’s less apparent is what’s causing such change.

To discuss some of the key factors that drive the global payments system, Market Platform Dynamics CEO Karen Webster spoke with Matt Friend, managing director at Accenture, to learn how his company views the major forces behind the industry.

According to Friend, the global payments industry is largely driven by six different “macro forces”: ongoing global regulation and compliance, the changing customer, alternative payment providers, competitive repositioning, industrialization of the payments value chain and emergence of payments hubs.

Friend said that while all of those forces will have major impact on global payments, regulations and compliances are arguably worthy of the most short-term focus.

“There is more focus on compliance efforts, and making sure that each organization, whether it’s merchants, payment providers or financial institutions, understand what is required of them right now, and how they can position and take steps to be properly prepared in the longer term,” Friend said. “It’s going to be influential for a long time.”

Asked by Webster whether he thought the changes in regulations hindered payments innovation, Friend gave a candid response.

“I don’t think it’s affecting innovation too broadly as much as people are being much more measured about how quickly they go to market,” Friend explained. “In particular, some of the alternative payment providers are recognizing that the federal-financial regulatory marketplace is one that has to be thought of and acted upon clearly.

So while you still may want to go to market as quickly as you can, to gain that first move advantage, you absolutely don’t want to be the one that moves quickly in the market, but does so and has an unfortunate regulatory backlash that could potentially harm a product.”

To hear more Friend and Webster on the forces that drive global payments, the effects of regulations, the definition of payments hubs and more, listen to the full podcast below.

To access the Accenture Payments Transformation Series, visit Accenture here.


*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.

To read a transcript of the audio conversation, click here.

Matt Friend

Managing Director – Payments, Banking, North America

Matt Friend is a Managing Director with Accenture focused on banking and payments, where he is responsible for helping drive payments industry perspectives, from thought leadership to the growth of key payments assets. Prior to joining Accenture, Friend was a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton’s financial services group, focusing on strategic technologies and innovation. Friend has worked closely with several treasury bureaus, the Federal Reserve and multiple government agencies, as well as several leading financial institutions involved in payments, collections, accounting and business process reengineering. Prior to joining Booz Allen, Friend served as director at the US Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service. Friend also served as an attorney-advisor for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions on tax, electronic banking and accounting issues and clerked for the Honorable Eugene Lerner, Circuit Court of Maryland.

Email Matt Friend with questions at


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