What is the payment of the future?

Blog Post created by jmather on Aug 8, 2016

So, oh, what I want to know is...what is the payment of the future?


Is it by voice?


Is it by phone?


Is it by fingerprint?


By Iris?


By ….


Innovation is happening so quickly in the payments space it is enough to make a technology geeks head spin. So let’s investigate a bit. If you have read the book “The Singularity Is Near” it may seem that speculation about how we will make payments in the relatively near future is a lost cause. After all, just around the corner we have nano-bots replacing our digestive systems and processing our food for us.


Perhaps the most near term (close to reality) piece is IoT using decentralized networks through the blockchain. Imagine a network of devices in your home taking advantage of the cost of energy to moderate usage of your appliances and placing orders for new light bulbs/detergent/batteries on demand. What do you know, now we have robots spending our hard earned money. They are tiny robots, but man can they spend fast!


I find the most fascinating piece being our transition to voice technologies. Since the computing machine was invented we have been feeding data to the machine and getting back a computed result (GIGO after all). What if this all changes from here on out with technologies like Viv? Imagine the computer now questioning and learning from us. This may truly usher in a new age of computing. I for one truly believe this is the wave of the near future.


So how might this affect payments? Profoundly? Imagine voice payments being interleaved into your daily dialogs. We call this “Voice Commerce”. But would a computing device be able to classify the nature of your intention to make a payment? These are unknowns, but these are problems being tackled right now. It will change the very nature of our payments technology and our advertising. How do you advertise in a voice first world without interrupting the conversation I’m having with my wife about where to go for dinner? What just happened to pay-per-click and banner advertisements?


I will save the discussion for another post as to how I think payments technology might tackle some of these issues, but I will mention of course that machine learning will play a big part.

So, thoughts…? Do you think that paying with your phone is so 2015? Do you think biometric payments are the future? Feel free to open the discussion below.