26 Sep Convergence of Payment Technologies: Online Payments / Remittances / Wallets - Digital Payments / Analogue Payments

I’m busy with my Msc in Digital Currency thesis “The Next 5 Years in Online Payments Across Africa” and an interesting picture is emerging.  

Traditional payments were well siloed into banks, card, alternative payments and payment processors.  Nice and simple with a little bit of overlap between them. The new world of emerging payments is becoming more of a blurry collage of payment elements that are not easily put into boxes.

If we see payments as node to node, then whether its a bank transfer, a credit card payment, a mobile money transaction or a crypto payment or transfer then its one and the same thing.  It’s a movement of money.  

If we see money or actually anything that anyone values as kind of “assets” then why should they be running on separate rails - stock and shares, fiat money, gold, silver, property . . or any valuable asset for that matter - then they can be stored in the same place.  Why have a bank for this, a stock exchange for that, and a vault full of another. A simple wallet or series of wallets within which these assets or their synthetics can be bought and stored and transacted liquidly and interoperably.  

To get back to the topic of our realm of online payments, what it looks like is that the world of fiat, digital monies, acquiring, remittances, money transfers, cross border, debit orders is collapsing and becoming more like a spiders web or network whereby these are brought together to form a multifaceted seamless payments (or exchange of value) infrastructure and service.

Now lets look at the payors and payees - consumers, institutions, government - and money and payments.  The new payment rails, in my node-to node theory above, don’t care about these categories.  

And what about the historical definitions of wholesale vs retail payments.  A consumer goes to the bank and transfers money to another consumer. If it is cross border, the bank uses SWIFT to transfer the funds, most likely in bulk and T-Accounts are adjusted for the consumers accordingly.  Remittance companies do something similar.  

In the new world of online payments, banks, government, institutions, payment providers, remittance companies and consumers have access increasingly similar capabilities and resources at almost the same cost and in many cases greatly increased convenience.

Am I making sense?  Is the world of “online payments” never going to be the same again? 

In the meantime if you are an eCommerce company expanding to and across Africa and looking for online payment or a eCommerce payment provider in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, please click here and we’ll get you sorted.  Thank you.