Shaken and Stirred: Developments in Global Payments

What struck me at the third Hogan Lovells Global Payments Conference on Monday this week, was not how bizarre 120 business people wearing earphones looked (the business equivalent of a silent disco allowing attendees to listen in to one of three presentations in the same room), but that the payments industry has changed so much since we first held this event. 

Payments seems to be the hotspot for innovation in the financial services sector and to keep up with the pace of change is a challenge for us all.  The common thread running through most of the talks, from the likes of Barclays, Coinsilium, German Payment Institution Association, GSMA, Payment Systems Regulator, Permira, SWIFT and Vocalink is that the so-called disruptors are here to stay and the established banks need to harness that technology and innovation, to deliver it to the masses, securely and reliably.  The banks have the advantage of brand, trust and years of knowledge of operating in a highly regulated environment to operate at scale and start-ups are able to innovate at a pace difficult for some larger organisations to achieve.

 So it seems that collaboration is as important as competition in this space.  We announced our own collaboration with Innovate Finance at the conference and had three members showcasing payments technology they believe we'll all be using in a few years' time. If they are right then payments wearables might outstrip headsets at next year's conference...

There was some debate around the impact tech and innovation has had at the B2B end of the spectrum, particularly in the area of cross-border payments.  There has been some disintermediation of correspondent banking in cross border payments, but distributed ledger technology may take some time to really shake things up.

This blog post was originally published on the Innovate Finance Website on 23 November 2016

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