Payments Innovation

Payments 2016: The Year Of Simplicity And Consolidation

Payments Simplification Consolidation

PYMNTS consulted 21 payments executives from across the industry to share their insights on the biggest takeaways from 2016 as part of the “Payments 2016, The Year Of…” eBook. We posed the same question to each executive:

If you had to answer the question, Payments was the year of …, how would you answer, and how does your answer change your world — and the world of payments, more broadly?

Here is the response from Dan Seewer, Chief Technology Officer, AOC Solutions

Payments 2016: The Year Of Simplicity And Consolidation

I remember the first time I ordered a ride using Uber. I downloaded, installed and set up the application while waiting for my luggage at the airport. Then, after a couple of taps on my phone, I got a text telling me what car would be picking me up, when it would arrive, and my driver’s name. (It was Kevin.)

When I got to where I was going, with a word of thanks to Kevin, I just got out of the car.

It was simple. And it felt like magic — like a wonderful disruption in a ride-for-hire system that hadn’t changed in any meaningful way since the first meter was placed in a vehicle, in 1897.

That sort of simplicity, that sort of disruption of an archaic system, is what the payments industry saw a lot of in 2016.

I’m talking about walking out of an Apple store with a new product without going through a checkout line. I’m talking about electronic currency finding adoption in a country like Zimbabwe, which hasn’t had its own physical currency in years. And, in the B2B space where AOC Solutions operates, I’m talking about consolidating and simplifying myriad payment systems to make life easier not just for financial institutions but their customers to boot.

We’ve had banks come to us for help because they have clients using dozens of payment systems. Instead, they want to give their entire client base a single solution. They want one place where all of their clients can go and log into a single system, no matter if they’re paying with check, wire, ACH, card, whatever.

It’s not always easy, technically, to refactor these disparate payment systems and software modules that evolved over many years, in independent silos. No one said creating simplicity for the user would be simple for the developer.

But it’s worth it.

On the accounts receivable side of the house, AOC’s companion company, 3Delta Systems Inc., just unveiled a powerful portal that offers the same sort of simplicity and consolidation with regard to remittances for all users of AOC’s EnCompass® product. A single sign-on earns suppliers a crisp, clean look at all the payment information from their buyers, complete with search and export. We expect great things from this portal, AR-Exchange®.

Simplicity. Consolidation. Disruption.

We saw a heck of a lot of it in 2016, and I think we’ve really just seen the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Where B2B payments are concerned, we’ll see a lot more of this simplicity, consolidation, and disruption in 2017 with advances in distributed ledger technology, the potential deregulation of payment standards and more advances in mobile payments.

So buckle up — even if Kevin is driving. It’s going to be an unforgettable ride.

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