By Hana Skreta, Principal
The Miramar team recently attended Money 20/20 in Amsterdam. The event hosted a massive 6500 delegates from over 2100 companies worldwide. Seven stages saw 380 speakers from all sectors of banking, payments, fintech and financial services talk about what they were experiencing now and also what they felt was coming next for consumer payment trends. The information streaming across the stages was evidence of the sheer volume of innovation that has taken place since the event was last live. The payments market has shape shifted, and this is how.
Habits that formed quickly during the years of the pandemic have so far stuck. The volume of ecommerce purchases happening on smart phones, also known as m-commerce, has increased exponentially – the estimated figures vary massively – but as mobile wallets and contactless credit cards become increasingly popular, tech giants like Google Pay and Amazon are making their way to the forefront of the payment space. Google Pay has recently been revamped for Android and iOS users and in the US you are able to link bank accounts with various banking partnerships. Amazon Pay has also been building up its user base and the tech giant is making further moves into financial services as it’s wallet expands globally.
The buy now, pay later (BNPL) model is also finding traction in the fintech start up market as it works so successfully as a cross industry finance model. Travel, insurance, healthcare, trading and even crypto and blockchain are seeing new entrants to their BNPL ecosystems. The BNPL market in turn is having a knock-on effect to the banking sector, whose traditional credit card model is being cannibalised by the trend. Banks are fairly well placed in terms of regulation, underwriting and customer base to ride the wave too, but they need to act fast and market to their target consumer in a very different way to their traditional marketing modelling. As a result of the BNPL model, we have seen both PayPal and Klarna as examples launch ‘super apps’ that allow the user full access to an end-to-end shopping experience, where the BNPL service is enabled with any retailer whether the retailer is partnered with the BNPL provider or not. The competition in this sector is growing and the race to provide a seamless shopping experience through an entire sales journey is being hard fought by powerful tech players.
The event focussed heavily on consumer behaviour in terms of spending, and as expected use of cash, even in cash heavy markets, has lessened significantly and not bounced back to post pandemic levels. Alongside this, card payments at point of sale have shifted from physical use of cards to use of mobile devices and pass-through mobile wallets. While staged digital wallets are also seeing more traction, card information loaded on devices as a replacement to the physical card are more commonly used by the consumer as they provide an instant outcome making personal money management easier.
Event organiser Tracey Davies shared “We’ve got a whole ecosystem here from global leaders to new challengers from tech giants to up and coming start-ups.” While her co organiser Scarlett Sieber added: “We know that solutions and opportunities will probably be found at the show this week.” They were right.