Harald Flatscher, Managing Director at PSA Payment Services Austria, agrees: “The expectations of the consumer change, but of course payment must remain easy. Consumers don’t care about technical standards, but it must work wherever they are, 24/7. That’s something that must be achieved by the entire payment industry.” It’s not as simple as it sounds: the fast pace of everyday life means that customer expectations have changed, and continue to change. Flatscher says that “standing still means you’re out of business in no time.”
Thalhammer explains: “Everything is moving fast – consumers are moving fast, and trends are moving fast. The payment industry is now 20–25 years old, and has generated a lot of legacy in the past that makes it difficult for us to move fast. And that’s a challenge for all of the players.”
Legacy systems are indeed an issue. Few people fully understand the systems behind incumbent banks, systems that have been pieced together over decades. Trying to keep pace with dynamic fintechs can cause headaches.
Yet Jukka Yliuntinen, Head of Digital Payment Solutions, G+D, sees the need for rapid digitalization as both a challenge and an opportunity: “It’s happening so fast,” he notes, that it cannot be avoided. It’s a chance for banks to develop, upgrade, and adapt, and a chance to respond to customer demands with innovation and cutting-edge solutions.
By implementing solutions such as tokenization technology, for example, payment is made frictionless, convenient, and much more secure. India is already reaping the benefits of tokenization, with impressive digital payments growth, and with central banks inching closer to issuing CBDCs, digital payment is set to become much more customer-friendly.