Tune In: Best PYMNTS (or Payments) Podcasts Of 2019

PYMNTS doesn’t just cover the news. We regularly feature podcast conversion with the leading experts, executives and entrepreneurs involved in transactions and commerce and all the related areas in between. And 2019 was no exception. Whether the subject was banking apps or the Internet of Things or global trends — or a host of other vital issues — our podcast discussions contained insight about the present and clarity about the future. Below are some of our best podcasts from the past 12 months. Enjoy.


When a Bank is an App — and Not the Bank’s

Banks historically, like grocery stores or gas stations, have always assumed that customers would just come to them. Banks are where consumers keep their money. Grocery stores are where consumers shop and buy their food. Gas stations are where consumers pull in and fuel up their cars. Digital has changed much of that, by giving consumers more options for how and where they shop, and certainly how and with what they pay. As Green Dot Chief Revenue Officer Brett Narlinger told Karen Webster, the same holds true for banks, particularly when it comes to millennial and Gen Z consumers.


How IoT Can Make Payments New Again

PYMNTS’ recent Intelligence of Things Tracker noted that there will 26 billion connected devices in use worldwide by 2020. As much as 85 percent of businesses will deploy Intelligence of Things (IoT) solutions over the next several months. The seamless integration of devices and payments indicates that unattended payments is poised to take off, which means unlocking new payment experiences across everyday life. In a podcast with Karen Webster, NMI CEO Vijay Sondhi delved into the ways that IoT is bringing everything — from kitchen appliances to voice-activated speakers to clothing and watches — into an ecosystem where payment providers (sometimes digital, sometimes rendered through cards) act as intermediaries in a process that makes the old new again.


Grab’s Big Payments Journey

It’s said that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. The journey to build a digital ecosystem from the ground up starts with a single step, too: Getting a critical mass of stakeholders on a vital side of that platform on board. For Grab, the Singapore-based ride-hailing app sensation turned financial services ecosystem for the 650 million people living in Southeast Asia, that first step was getting taxi drivers onboard the Grab platform. Grab Founder Anthony Tan observed the frictions associated with getting a taxi in his home country of Malaysia, and set out to change the dynamics of that business. He did that, among other things, by offering mobile phones to taxi drivers, and a better business model that put more money into their pockets.


Citi: Global Payments and Corporate Treasurers

Volatile times make for sleepless nights for corporate executives, particularly those whose job it is to manage the cash positions of their organizations. For corporate treasurers, Manish Kohli, global head of payments and receivables at Citi, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, three concerns tend to top the list: geopolitical uncertainty, cyber threats and disruption resulting from the emergence of new business models in an interconnected global market.


Credit Unions Embrace Disruption

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” — so goes the dim, cynical saying. That would seem to apply to credit unions (CUs), and to Consumers Credit Union of Illinois specifically, one of the largest CUs around, which has been in business since 1930 (before the Great Depression reached its worst depths). In a PYMNTS interview, Sean Rathjen, president and CEO of Consumers Credit Union of Illinois, discussed with Karen Webster how CUs are embracing digital services without losing sight of their roots — an exciting, but challenging effort that promises to continue in the foreseeable future.


Are Merchants Ready for PSD2?

PSD2 will change — indeed is changing — online commerce in Europe and beyond. In a podcast with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Rob Eleveld, CEO of Ekata, took note of how PSD2 and its strong customer identification (SCA) guidelines (which take effect in September) will shift checkout flows for transactions in Europe. Some verticals, such as online travel companies, will be impacted more visibly, and perhaps earlier, than other niches, he said.


Making Instant Payments a Hit

Instant payments is an innovation that doesn’t require much explanation. Getting immediate access to money is an obviously better solution than waiting for the check to arrive in the mail, or constantly refreshing a mobile banking app to see if transferred funds have been cleared for use. And, as Karen Webster noted in a recent conversation on digital disbursements with Ingo Money’s Drew Edwards, while it may not be conventional wisdom that consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) want instant payments, it is well on its way to shifting from “nice to have” to “must-have.”


What’s Next for Visa Next?

Earlier this year, Visa debuted Visa Next, a platform that offers a growing menu of beta application programming interfaces (APIs) that can be (and are being) used by issuers and issuer processors to build and test new digital-first products. Sam Shrauger, senior vice president of digital solutions at Visa, share how the platform also serves as a “new destination” for viewing new and upcoming solutions in Visa’s pipeline.


India’s Digital Payments Progress

The world has a ringside seat to the digital transformation that is happening in India in real time. The movement away from cash is an inexorable one, aided by government mandate, a confluence of technology and stakeholders (from banks to payment service providers), and a greenfield of more than 1 billion consumers willing and able to transact in bits and bytes. In an interview with PYMNTS, Jeremy Wilmot, group president for on premise and cloud P&L at ACI Worldwide, told Karen Webster that a convergence of public, digital and even physical conduits is reshaping the B2B payments landscape.


Why Payments Is Not a Solo Mission

“No person is an island,” so goes the line from an old poem, meant to show how we are all interconnected. That line may lean toward the metaphysical, but the wisdom is pretty literal when it comes to the future of banking, playing out in these last months of the 2010s. Simply put, that means consumers’ retail experiences tend to inform their expectations for financial services, said Jim Johnson, executive vice president of FI payments and wealth for FIS, in a new PYMNTS interview with Karen Webster. That also means the participation of FinTechs in making banking safer, more innovative and more seamless is vital — as are application programming interfaces (APIs).


Pay Advance and the Gig Economy

While traditional temporary and contract workers are not exactly new in the economy, the modern gig economy enabled by mobile technology is something of an economic force all its own. What emerged a little over a decade ago as a response to a financial downturn, and a host of unemployed and underemployed Americans, has evolved into a way of life for many, says Mastercard Executive Vice President Jess Turner. Today the gig economy drives $1.4 trillion in U.S. income.


The Biometric Death Knell for Payments

Rumors of the death of the password, to paraphrase Mark Twain, are not all that greatly exaggerated. But, boy, is the password hanging on — and certainly not going gently into that good night. Chalk it up to a matter of time, Philipp Pointner, chief product officer of Jumio, told Karen Webster in a PYMNTS interview, detailing what needs to happen before the password finally gives up its last gasp — and perhaps sooner rather than later.


Finding Payments’ Hidden Value

One of the themes of the coming decade — we’ve sprung for a top-shelf crystal ball here at PYMNTS, so we can state such things — is getting more value from payments, and making them an even more central part of the overall consumer experience. However, like anything interesting or worthwhile, that will be easier said than done. That’s why PYMNTS caught up with two payment experts from Endava — Global Head of Payments Delivery Petru Metzger and Senior Vice President of Payments Delivery Glenn Geil — for what amounts to a sneak peek of the coming attractions in payments in 2020, at least when it comes to value-added services


What’s Next for Merchant Services

It’s been a wild ride for payment and merchant services in 2019. Big mergers have changed the landscape, instant and same-day payments are gaining ground, and integrated services and point-of-sale (POS) systems are reshaping transactions and even some business operations. What’s happened in those areas, and what’s to come, was the subject of a  PYMNTS podcast that featured Karen Webster and Neil Randel, CEO at First American Payment Systems.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.