Large players entrench themselves in consumers’ lives using different strategies.

Payments expert Mark Sievewright outlined the latest trends in the payments space during a breakout session at the PSCU Member Forum Thursday in Austin, Texas.

Among the biggest trends is the continued shift toward digital dominance in the consumer world, as evidenced by the growth of companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Walmart.

Amazon and Walmart have each sought to entrench themselves in consumers’ lives with different strategies, says Sievewright, founder of Sievewright & Associates.

“Amazon has set the standard for consumer experience, but at the same time they’ve invested in bricks and mortar and they’re looking to leverage that,” he says.

Meanwhile, Walmart is blending digital technology with its brick-and-mortar presence.

Another trend is “fintech fusion,” Sievewright says, citing $28 billion in fintech investments in 2018.

“Most of it’s going into insurance, lending, and payments,” he says, “because that’s where all the money is, that’s where all the consumers are, and that’s where all the friction exists between consumers and providers.”

Sievewright says contactless payments are ready to gain traction. “Whether we like it or not, contactless payments are here, they’re going to stay, and they’re going to be impactful for a while.”

In Europe, almost 50% of payments are already contactless, he says. “The adoption curve in countries that have it is pretty steep.”

Plus, emerging digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, biometrics, and blockchain are here to stay. Much of that transformation is driven by demographics.

Consumers today are “born digital,” Sievewright says. By the end of 2020, 52% of the U.S. population will either be millennials or members of generation Z.

“Not only is the age dynamic shifting on us, but the behavior of consumers is shifting on us at the same time,” he says. “Things like value creation will happen in a much shorter window than they do today. If somebody calls your credit union, you only have seconds to provide them with an exceptional experience. So, what gets you over that hurdle? It’s digital.”


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