The PYMNTS team caught up with experts in the payments field to ask them their views on industry trends, predictions for the coming year and what their ideal payments system looks like.
Daniel Weiss, CEO of Chartwell Compliance, shared his opinions on how the payments industry has rolled with the punches throughout 2015, and how it might react to the challenges of the years to come.
PYMNTS: What have been some of the recurring themes in the payments and financial services industries this past year?
DW: One of the main themes that I've seen is the expansion of who's required to become licensed as a money transmitter if you're operating in the payments industry. It used to consist of companies that are conventional agent-based money transmitters. Over time, more and more FinTech businesses have evolved, which weren't able to be regulated because they were online or operating overseas. Now, though, the circle of who must be licensed keeps growing larger.
PYMNTS: As 2015 gives way to 2016, what is the industry looking ahead to?
DW: There are more companies that want control over the whole online marketplace ecosystem, like Airbnb and Microsoft. I think you'll continue to see these business that people always viewed as services or for strictly tech perspectives becoming regulated - certainly not of their own choice. But I think it'll help professionalize the industry. People imagine the FinTech industry is all T-shirts and pingpong tables, which is fine, but organizations are pivoting to becoming regulated entities that have good financial safety and management for investors. You'll see more businesses involved in payments that aren't banks and more companies, willingly or not, get regulated.
PYMNTS: Beyond 2016, what would be your ideal payments situation, and what are your realistic expectations?
DW: In five or 10 years, what's happening today will be primitive compared to then. You'll see companies that before today, no one thought of as financial services players. They're going to build big businesses and control as much of the ecosystem as possible - maybe they start acquiring or building up banks as well.