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Complexity drives creativity

Week 13, 2012

Many examples are visible this week during CARTES in Asia show, in Hong Kong. For instance, the migration to smart payment cards, and the development of NFC in China are complex, as not everyone clearly understands the relation between People’s Bank of China and China UnionPay and all the other players, the financial institutions, Alibaba (through Alipay), and international players thanks to their presence in China. The whole industry is attracted to a project that will mean the replacement of 2.5 billion cards, but at the same time, the complexity of the project, and the multiplicity of players in the ecosystem may deter some candidates.

Similarly, mobile wallet projects, not only NFC-based, abound, leading to multiple hesitations in the industry. Many players, as well as investors are waiting for the ecosystem to stabilize before they make any participation or investment decision. The issue is this wait may hinder projects development altogether. And we all know that a technology that waits for too is at risk of never becoming mainstream.

International politics also play a role in the equation. The combination of Paypal Here announcement (cf. Smart Insights Weekly #12-12) with the company’s intention to enter the Chinese market raises more questions than it brings answers.

The good news out of this complexity, is that it fosters creativity. The industry will come up with solutions to ensure the completion of projects.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights