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.
Chris Winship, partner at FTV Capital, shared his thoughts on how the payments industry has overcome a number of obstacles in 2015 to set up a potentially game-changing 2016 and beyond.
PYMNTS: What have been some of the biggest trends in 2015 that have posed challenges?
CW: eCommerce and mCommerce are the big trends as they relate to payments. The world is still very much driven by cash and plastic at a high level, but it's being changed very quickly by cards as transactions are moving online and into mobile devices. Security and fraud are also gaining some steam. As transactions move online, it raises a whole host of issues. Most of our clients that moved toward eCommerce and mCommerce were also very interested in their security capabilities and compliance with Visa, MasterCard and companies like that.
PYMNTS: Moving into 2016, what are you expecting?
CW: I'm actually expecting more of the same. From a macro-economic perspective, what I see in the U.S. economy is quite strong - interest rates are low and unemployment is low. Specific to fintech and payments, the interesting trend I'm watching is the bigger startups going public and consolidating. In order to meet the growth expectations of public markets, they can't do it on their own organically - they need to acquire. This was a big year for consolidation, but I think 2016 is going to be even bigger. Cross-border payments will also be big next year. When things go online and mobile, it really opens things up to the world. Five years ago, the technology and payments ecosystem didn't exist, but there are now a bunch of companies out there that can help merchants do all that.
PYMNTS: What do you see as the ideal payments solution?
CW: Transparent but seamless. The best example I can use is Uber. Everyone uses Uber now and you don't even think about the payment. It just magically happens. You sign up and put your credit card number in and nobody even thinks about it anymore. That is the holy grail of payments. You need to be able to move money and deal with all these complex things, but you still need to keep it transparent and seamless for the consumer. It's happening, but it's not ubiquitous. It's just starting to go in that direction, and that's what I see as the goal.