(Also see our Day 2 wrap up)
As day 1 of The Point 2016 dawned, Payments NZ Chief Executive Steve Wiggins kicked off the event by setting the audience a challenge – to take New Zealand payments to the next level. He asked “the jeans and suits to work together”, for the benefit of Kiwis.
Tuesday’s sessions showed not only the importance of collaboration to meet the challenges faced in the payments sector, but also the high value consumers place on simple, easy transactions, and the significance of frictionless payments for the wider economy.
After a welcome by Principal Sponsor VocaLink, MC Nadine Chalmers-Ross started the day’s sessions refereeing a panel of c-suite bank executives. The panellists discussed how customers’ (digital) wallets were now the focus of intense competition between banks, telcos and other organisations. However, there are also good reasons for them to collaborate given high investment costs, consumer expectations of seamless transactions and common risks such as fraud.
Risk continued to feature heavily in the next keynote, which was by Grant Spencer of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ). He emphasised the work the RBNZ is doing to maintain the resilience of the payments system through a period of major change, and the importance of this for the wider NZ economy.
David Birch then took to the stage. As he described the imminent arrival of ‘Cardmageddon’ he pulled no punches in questioning the ongoing centrality of banks to payments. David argued that consumers don’t care about ‘payments’, they just want to buy things. Although he light-heartedly labelled most of the audience ‘dinosaurs’, David was also constructive, advising banks to focus on becoming custodians of identities rather than just money.
After re-fuelling over lunch, helped by a lolly-packed dessert table, the delegates split into two breakout streams.
Breakout stream 1 started with Leigh Flounders of Latipay describing the payments innovations currently underway in China. John Banfield then outlined how in the Australian market BPAY is making waves, having been used by 8/10 Australians in the past 12 months. The stream concluded with a panel discussion centred on customers’ demand for a frictionless payments experience.
Meanwhile, breakout stream 2 had David Beardmore from the UK’s Open Data Institute talking about the move from big data to open data. Ian Jacobs of W3C summarised their work to make the internet more ecommerce-friendly, and was followed by an expert panel session that discussed the barriers to consumer-led innovation.
The streams recombined, and Michael Moon of SWIFT explained how disruption and competition are shaping the payments sector. Joe Cunningham then described how Visa is “unbundling” the internet as part of efforts to make life simple for consumers.
It was then time for the Dragon’s Den-style Fintech Innovation Challenge sponsored by Paymark. This is described more fully in the winner announcement article, but needless to say it was jam-packed with high-quality pitches, hard-hitting questions and potentially game-changing ideas.
As the day concluded the delegates cast their votes, crowning Dexibit the deserving challenge winner. However, all the competitors for the challenge have played their part trying the meet the challenge laid down by Steve Wiggins: to take payments to the next level.
On day 2 of the conference a whole host of pressing payments topics will be presented and discussed. Expect to hear more about fraud, real-time experiences and other topics that will shape New Zealand’s future payments landscape.
Join the conversation: @Payments_NZ
Read our Day 2 wrap up