Payments 2016

Electronic payments is a fascinating space. There’s a ton happening there across the world. Flutterwave unifying payments across Africa and TPAGA doing the same in Latin America. I’m still on the lookout for who’s doing what in the Asian markets, though it would make sense for them to be broken into Indian/Chinese/Japanese. I assume Europe/Germany/Australia/UAE are all led by American payments systems Stripe and Paypal, because of the ubiquitous nature of English in all of those markets. Though, Germany could play out differently.

I saw a presentation for TPAGA while sitting at the closing meeting of Invictum Capital, a VC in Medellin. It’s built with a focus on cross channel payments across mobile & web. I think Stripe already has this down and locked it in by focusing solely on back end tech. Stripes introduction to the market seemed to be entirely B2B, where they protected user data on behalf of startups. I noticed it when I worked at a NYC startup in 2014. Paypal has always been more B2C and their new user interface released post-2015 really speaks to that friendliness. And speaking of really friendly UI’s for payments, I recently payed for something using Visa Checkout, the Visa payment engine.

UI is just one part of the challenge. Financial Technology is cumbersome. Regulation, legacy technology and a standard for technology and protocols across one market make it so. It’s exciting to see people tackle such a large challenge across such large geographic regions. I’ll look forward to examining these further and learning of more.

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