I’ve been involved with Anthemis Group for some time, particularly
liaising with Uday and Sean at innotribe.
I’ve also known John Chaplin for quite a while, and so I was gratified to see that John’s firm Ixaris teamed
up with Anthemis to produce this year’s Payments Innovation Jury Report.
The Report is a biannual production that captures the hot things in payments, and so here’s John’s
introduction to this year’s report:
When the Payments Innovation Jury last convened nearly
two years ago, I said that the tough economic climate of 2010 had done little
to stifle payments innovation. Fast forward to 2012 and the economy, at least
in the developed world, is still in a dire state but the payments sector is
going through an even more intense period of innovation than was witnessed in
It is not an exaggeration to say that it is an incredibly
exciting time to be working in payments. Technology trends such as the mass adoption
of smartphones and tablets, increasing availability of open APIs and the rise
of cloud computing have laid the foundations for innovation across the board in
areas such as international money transfer, prepaid, peer-to-peer consumer
payments, services for the underbanked, and the ambiguous concept of mobile
The payments sector is now a crowded market – and it’s
not just financial institutions getting in on the action. Players from many different
industries are swooping in to grab a piece of the pie: major banks are offering
new services to retain or win new customers; financial institutions and mobile
network operators are creating e-wallets; tech giants like Google and Amazon
with little heritage in payments are entering the space; the card schemes are
pouring seemingly endless money into innovation in a bid to retain their market
dominance; and a raft of start-ups – many branding themselves as part of the
‘New Finance’ movement – are trying to persuade consumers and businesses to
ditch traditional financial services for their innovative products.
And it’s not just about technology. Much of this
innovation is occurring because the ongoing financial crisis and the collapse of
trust in the banking system has led to a desire for a re-invention of financial
But of course, not all of these new ideas and services
are going to be successful. In fact, the majority are inevitably going to disappoint
their creators and supporters. Predicting which innovations will succeed and
which organisations will best exploit them is a daunting task.
This report is based on input from 25 payments innovators
from around the world, including some of the best-known names in payments. They
unquestionably have views that should be heard and heeded because there is
considerable truth in the saying, “invest in the people that have done it
before”. I hope that you find value in this snapshot of payments innovation
across the globe today, and opportunities and challenges for the future, from
those who are truly well-placed to comment.