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  • Thierry Spanjaard

One-click away society

For more than 30 years, Trustech (previously Cartes) remains the best place to learn about the latest trends about payments, identity and other aspects of the secure transactions industry. This year, the conference started with a broad overview of payment trends by Michel Leger, Ingenico, who mentioned he has been in the payments industry for more than 39 years and Grégoire Toussaint, Edgar, Dunn & Company, also a veteran of our industry.

Both of them, as experts of the industry, could have elaborated endlessly about each piece of specification and usage of payment systems. But they are best at analyzing the major trends that drive the evolution of our payment systems.

Especially Michel Leger elaborated on the demands from younger generations: everything must be in their phone and everything has to be one-click away. If not, if the user experience still has too much friction, they will not even consider going through a complex operation to complete a transaction or register for a service. Being conscious of this is the main driver for our industry to focus on user experience!

Also, in our digital always-on always-online world, innovation can be way faster than in the past. A new evolution, a new development is now deployed thanks to the cloud infrastructure and reaches both consumers and merchants in weeks where a couple decades ago, years were needed. However, only consumer demand drives adoption. User experience is core not only for consumers but also for merchants: they need to be able to add applications, integrate easily new payment means, drive their users to BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) options, or switch between acquirers.

At the same time and, under the influence of the geopolitical context, regulation and consumer demand, new payment systems emerge continuously. Integration of payment in larger systems such as WeChat or Alipay drive innovation, domestic schemes like Mir in Russia or Bizum in Spain become significant players, Fintech take a growing share of the payment market, and CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies) are around the corner … This situation allows for the emergence of new players and new technologies. However, adoption is not always as fast as one expects: it has taken a decade for Apple Pay and Android Pay wallets to be recognized globally and account for a significant share of payments. Payment remains complex and consumer is king in deciding to adopt new payment behaviors.

The evolution from the traditional strongbox-centric payment terminal architecture to the mPOS and now to the SoftPOS is the best example of the changes in our industry: less hardware, more software and services, faster turnaround, ease in integrating new functions, etc.

Photo credits: Thierry Spanjaard - Thierry Spanjaard - Unsplash+

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