12 November 2014
We all got a friendly reminder yesterday from event MC Nadine Chalmers-Ross that just as the 2014 Payments NZ conference was named, speakers should all be prepared to Get to The Point (or risk getting cut off!)
This was always going to be tough: the conference programme showed a rich line up of keynotes and breakout sessions, all promising fascinating insight. A number of speakers acknowledged the gentle but formidable custodianship of the clock by keeping presentations as brief as possible.
The day started with a rousing welcome from the Chief Executive, Steve Wiggins, who set the context for the two days of sessions by payments systems, banking and financial services leaders from around the globe, with a snapshot of the current market in New Zealand. Notably, he touched on a number of key pressure points to which most of the delegation could relate:
Steve was the first to suggest that the impact of data – more knowledge about customers and what they want – would be a major theme of the conference. The CEO panel that followed echoed his sentiments. Representatives from Xero, Loyalty NZ, Payments NZ, Qrious and Pinnacle Life discussed the need for businesses to really take note of that what data said, and adapt.
Customer expectations, they argued, drive everything.
And where businesses won't adapt, they said, markets adapt. Mark Rushworth, CEO of Paymark later called this the “Uber-isation” effect, using “getting to your destination and just getting out of the car,” as a kind of metaphor for the ease of transacting the market should expect come next. Xero head Rod Drury argued to that end, “Payments should be part of New Zealand's technology plan.”
A speech by Deputy Head of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Grant Spencer, focused heavily on risk as a result of this fast moving market. An RBNZ press release followed that said “innovative new services and reducing cost for users,” led to “greater risk.” The release went on to say the bank was looking to “strengthen its oversight regime.”
We imbibed more good data throughout the presentation of a 46 country Global Payments Systems Analysis by Dr Leo Lipis (joining by Skype), and a second panel including representatives of VISA, Paystation and EFTPOS NZ/Verifone, that advocated for more sector collaboration, even between “traditional competitors.” The data theme continued in the parallel breakout streams on mobile payments and identity & fraud. Access to data has been the foundation of innovations like YQ, RealMe and biometrics.
The afternoon's quickfire sessions focused on recent happenings in the Pacific. O3B networks is bringing the islands fibre-speed broadband through a revolutionary network of satellites, economist Kerry Burridge brought us up to speed on the difference EFTPOS is making in Nuie, and Bank of Cook Islands Managing Director Vaine Nooana-Arioka rounded out the day with a serious challenge: the BCI needs a new payments partner, she said.
And she wouldn't be leaving the conference without one.
Day two has kicked off, with plenty of speakers from overseas and here in our diverse Pacific back yard. Expect to hear a lot more about the impact of data in our Adapt to Thrive and Digital World streams today. Visa NZ and Westpac have both delivered compelling presentations on payments digital future this morning already.
Join the conversation: @Payments_NZ