Pathways to payment transformation
“If you don’t have a coherent mobile strategy in place right now, you might as well close up shop today.”
Often, though, a problem for established players in the financial services space is figuring out how to go digital without ditching the legacy systems they’ve spent years and millions putting in place.In saying this, Mobile Payments Today Editor Will Hernandez was being a touch hyperbolic, of course. But he also was giving due emphasis to the importance of getting on board with the movement toward digital payments.
Hernandez and others addressed this difficult question in a Nov. 12 webinar cohosted by Mobile Payments Today, ATM Marketplace and Infosys, a multinational provider of consulting, technology, outsourcing and next-generation services.
The free, one-hour event, “New and Renew — Initiatives, strategies and new approaches for payment transformation,” revealed what companies view as priorities in implementing a digital strategy and how they plan to use digital services and solutions to maximize their growth.
Hernandez opened the presentation with an overview of “Payment Strategy: Renew the Old, Ring in the New,” a global survey and report produced by Mobile Payments Today, Infosys and ATM Marketplace and published to coincide with the webinar.
Among the key survey results Hernandez cited:
- mobility tops the list of digital technologies seen to offer the most significant positive financial impact on respondents’ businesses;
- faster transaction speed tops the list of ways respondents are using digital to influence customer experience, followed by omnichannel capabilities; and
- focusing on customers is a priority for respondents’ digital strategy, followed by gaining a competitive edge and creating a unified customer experience.
Ron Mazursky, founder and board member of NYPAY and director of strategic initiatives at Jack Henry & Associates, walked webinar participants through recommendations from the report.
Mazursky touched on the importance of integrating digital capabilities such as enhanced payment transactions, mobile and online authentication controls and, especially, real-time transactions and settlement.
“If we refer to the research, we can underline the importance of real-time payments,” Mazursky said. “We are seeing a “Wild West” environment now at hand in real-time payments. … Thousands of financial institutions and millions of DDA accounts now have or will soon have access to some aspect of real-time payments — and this doesn’t include the Federal Reserve Faster Payments Initiative and cryptocurrency solutions in development.”
Nans Sivaram, vice president and regional head of cards and payments at Infosys, rounded out the presentation with a look at a new approach to several issues that providers must address if they wish to compete effectively in a bold new digital world:
- address legacy systems — “Legacy systems will not be able to cope with the pace of change taking place in digital payments and will leave companies vulnerable to disruption from nontraditional payments industry entrants.”
- update digital offerings — “Participants in the payments industry need to make their digital payments offerings more convenient, faster, easier, secure, and seamless across multiple channels to meet customer expectations.”
- find the right partner — “This will be key to a successful ‘new and renew’ transformation process.”
Sivaram said that Infosys’ approach to creating a digital strategy is borrowed from AiKiDō, a Japanese martial art whose philosophy is described in its name:
- ai – combining
- ki – energy
- dō – path
At Infosys, this translates to a synthesis of platforms and components; management based on the knowledge inherent in the company; and a “design-thinking and design-led” strategy that has empathy with the end user at its core. Because, he said, “Digital is not about chasing the next fad but about truly identifying and solving human-centric needs using digital-age tools.”