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A recurring theme at SourceMedia's PayThink conference held in Phoenix last week was “on file” payments. These go under numerous monikers — Invisible Payments, Default Payments, Frictionless Payment and “Uberized Payments," among others, and the topic came up across multiple sessions relating to the increasing abstraction of transactions in areas such as in-app, online and Internet of Things payments.

Some key questions were raised —

  • What happens to top of wallet models in an "on file" world?
  • Do traditional payment players effectively become a "dumb pipe" for third party technology providers?
  • Will the dynamics of consumer trust in on file payments diminish or grow in a post-Equifax world?

Numerous data sources provide insight on the growth of this new paradigm in payments and some indication of how consumers can be motivated to prefer a specific payment instrument over others.