Marketing communication firm J. Walter Thompson focuses on disruption in payments and currency in its latest trend research report.
The report details the array of new ways to pay merchants and peers, and examines how the concept of currency is evolving as bitcoin and other new forms of value exchange gain steam. It also includes results of a quantitative survey of consumer attitudes conducted in the U.S. and U.K.
Friction is being removed from payments so that it will be easier to make transactions without realizing it.
The report “The Future of Payments & Currency” covers several broad trends, namely new methods of payment, news value exchange forms, and new payment players.
In terms of methods of payment, JWT finds that digital technology is opening up new ways, many of them more seamless and secure than traditional methods. Foremost among these is the mobile wallet, but other ideas coming to fruition include wearables (tapping a watch, scanning a ring, etc.), biometric solutions like pay-by-fingerprint, and simple texts or tweets.
In terms of value exchange forms, alternative currencies—ranging from cryptocurrencies to local currencies, branded currency and social media currency are supplementing or even replacing conventional money. Consumers are paying with bitcoin or tweets, and getting paid in mobile airtime.
In terms of payment players, disruption in the payments and currency sphere is opening the way for new players to act as intermediaries between consumers and their money. Consumer interaction with banks and other traditional financial institutions is starting to decrease as newcomers offer innovative or compelling solutions.
JWT notes that the the case against cash and physical cards is getting stronger, with Millennials already moving away from the status quo and adopting some alternative ideas. With today’s technology, it doesn’t make sense that we mostly still rely on cash, debit and credit cards to pay for things.