The Modular Future

February 8, 2016

Digital platforms are radically altering the industry’s value chain

The Growing Pains of Business Ownership

February 4, 2016
/   Insights

This article by Stefanie O’Connell first appeared on in November 2015. Confession – I’ve made a major mistake in growing my business. Though my earnings have climbed exponentially over the past two years, I found...

The benefits and challenges of the Internet of Things

February 3, 2016
/   Insights

The convergence of operations technology and information technology presents new and expanding market opportunities. The “Internet of Things” is a center point of this convergence. IoT can bring remarkable benefits to today’s ever-changing business...

Mobile Banking Surprises Yet to Come

It had to happen, and apparently it has: In the year just passed, according to the new report “2015 Mobile Banking, Smartphone, and Tablet Forecast” from Javelin Strategy & Research, 30% of customers used...

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

Banking innovation takes many forms, but the most successful generally start by addressing a consumer need. Over the last few decades we’ve seen some radical changes. The ATM satisfied a need for easier access to cash. Payment cards created a safer and quicker way to pay compared to cheques. Online banking lets people manage accounts without having to visit a branch.

But what’s driving payments innovation nowadays?

Integration of payment functions in social media; biometrics; mobile apps; contactless; wearable devices – these are all at the forefront of changes, posing new challenges and opportunities. All of these are transforming the way we pay and interact with banks as a result. However important or clever these changes are, the industry has to keep the consumer at the heart of its plans and a new survey shows exactly what customers want. MasterCard’s first Retail Social Listening Study, which analysed 1.6 million online conversations in 61 markets, uncovered some key trends.


Specifically, consumers want technology innovation to create more convenient ways to pay. New digital payment methods are seen as largely positive because they make it easier to pay. “Consumers specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel,” says MasterCard.

This agrees with what we’re seeing with contactless, which is exploding in popularity as consumers appreciate just how easy it is to tap-and-go. But it’s also why easy person-to-person systems like Paym in the UK are taking off. For the consumer, choice and convenience go hand in hand.


Payments are seen as a two-way process – consumers feel they ought to be rewarded for their purchases. Contactless again comes up in this context, with the research finding that consumers want to see “further acceptance of NFC payments allowing them to receive rewards for using them regularly”. MasterCard recently noted how it had seen an uptick in low value credit card transactions because people are getting savvier about rewards.

This highlights the importance of omnichannel experiences – people want to have a choice of payments but not lose out for choosing one method over another.


The third key trend was that of retailer acceptance of new payment methods. With a slew of new entrants into the arena, it can be confusing for consumers who have been used to just using a card or cash. Now they can have multiple accounts and choose from half a dozen ways to pay.

This comes back to the importance of universal, ubiquitous payments and the question of whether there are too many ways to pay. Fragmentation is the result of an explosion in innovation, but the lessons from the past suggest we need a clear way of doing things that’s the same in every situation. The ATM’s success has been based on it offering the same experience.


We could add a fourth to our list – security of payments. Data breaches, hacks and growing worries about online safety mean there is much higher awareness about the risks of electronic payments. Consumers want payments to be easy, but they want their data to be secure. While convenience, rewards and acceptance all matter a great deal for approaching payments, security remains essential.


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Brad Strothkamp

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.