The emergence of geo-targeting and mobile payment and wallet technologies has meant that we talk a lot less about the future of “advertising” than “marketing.” All this was crystal clear this week at the third annual edition of Money2020 in Las Vegas, a showcase for payment innovations, and a major boomtown, too. Attendance climbed from 4,000 attendees in 2013 to 7,500 attendees this year. Next year, the show will move to much larger quarters at The Venetian, and add a European edition.
BIA/Kelsey participated in this year’s festivities by presenting new research into card linking trends during a special offsite session hosted by The Cardlinx Association.
ApplePay – not part of the program, incidentally — was clearly the big driver of this year’s event, rebuilding momentum lost from earlier efforts by Google Wallet and others. As Visa President Ryan McInerney noted, the high awareness of ApplePay generally, and its use of tokenization has brought a real sense that payment technologies have moved beyond credit card account numbers towards high impulse and efficient transactions.
It will also help open the door to a new generation of payments, promotions and services – even if many features, such as NFC contactless payments, won’t be in widespread use for several years.
Kicking off the show, McKinsey & Co.’s Philip Bruno and Kausik Rajgopal highlighted six major payment themes. These included:
1. Point of Sale evolution
2. Payment security
4. Globalization of commerce
5. New credit models
6. New partnerships and acquisitions
Things are happening very fast in this space, noted Bruno. It was just 17 years ago that ecommerce began. It has now crossed the trillion dollar mark.
American Express CEO Kenneth Chennault, during an opening interview, said that when it comes down to payment innovation, it all comes down to one thing: Merchants want to grow sales. Does the innovation “help merchants meet customer needs?” he asked. “Do they provide incentives for changing customer behavior?”
Chennault expressed confidence that Amex, for one, is providing marketing insights that “allow us to provide different types of promotions and offers to drive more business. Not just acceptance, but engagement,” he emphasized.
Other industry leaders also spoke about appealing to merchant needs. Heartland Payments CEO Bob Carr, for instance, said that they key thing with payment innovations is not to give advantages to a merchant’s best customers without disintermediating merchant margins. “The problem with othwerwise useful sites like OpenTable and GrubHub is that they disintermediate margins,” he said.