Slideshow Top Thoughts on the Future of the Payments Industry

  • October 25 2013, 4:39pm EDT
8 Images Total

The payments industry is facing pressure from outside companies that are toppling many preconceptions about how payments should work. But industry veterans are fighting back, and they shared their strategies at SourceMedia's 2013 ATM, Debit & Prepaid Forum. (Image: ShutterStock)

Prepaid Unmasked

High-ranking executives from American Express, Green Dot and TSYS' NetSpend revealed their strategies for prepaid cards. Amex revealed that its Bluebird card, a product offered to Walmart customers, isn't based on a checking account — it's based on M-Pesa, a mobile payment system popular in Kenya. (Image: ShutterStock)

Content Continues Below

Debit Moves Downstream

As the costs of debit card programs rise, the best way to keep the product profitable is to look at smaller sales, said Cecilia Frew, a senior vice president at PNC Bank. This means taking aim at cash. (Image: ShutterStock)

Square's Big Idea

Just a week before the event, Square unveiled an email-based P2P payment system called Square Cash, catching a lot of banks' attention. Many vendors talked up their differences with Square, but "things like [Square Cash] show us that even in the things we think we're doing well today, there's opportunity to improve," said NetSpend president Chuck Harris. (Image: ShutterStock)

ATM of the Future

Fexco and First Data presented a futuristic ATM that does away with the plastic debit card — only to be followed by a presentation of the "Bitcoin ATM" (pictured), which also does away with cash withdrawals. Both machines rely on a user's mobile phone to access their accounts, be it a bank account or a Bitcoin wallet.

Content Continues Below

Prepaid Meets PFM

OnBudget's model takes software-based budgeting tools and applies them to plastic. "We're not launching another prepaid product; we're launching a new product segment, the monthly budgeting card," said OnBudget CEO Jim Collas. (Image: ShutterStock)

EMV Gets More Attention

The "stress" about the migration to EMV-chip cards in the U.S. is "one of the highest, if not the highest, priorities at Visa," said Visa's Bob Whyte. The networks had a mixed view of the potential of EMV, particularly in light of the unresolved issues of how to make EMV cards compatible with the Durbin amendment's debit-routing rules. (Image: ShutterStock)

Google Glass Clouds Up

There's been a lot of attention to Google Glass, a wearable computer that resembles a pair of eyeglasses, and other new technology such as smartwatches. But "when asked whether wearable technology would be integrated into payments in three years, no banker raised hands," observed New Control's Jim Marous, in a tweet from the event.