Alipay leads wallets waltz

Ian Rogers Payments, mobile & wallets

Consumers of banking services will be using a Chinese wallet within 10 years, or so futurist Brett King expects.

In a cautionary talk to open FINSIA’s summit on “The Age of the Customer” in Melbourne yesterday, King chastised those banks taking their chances on somehow rejuvenating aging distribution models or venerable products, pointing to the evidence that disruptive and differentiated methods work.

Alipay (from Ant Financial) was the wallet primarily on the mind of King, the author of Banking 4.0 (the third edition of King’s homage to everything fintech) and one of the founders of US fintech enabler Moven.

King suggested one of the big Chinese wallets (either Alipay or Tencent’s WeChat Pay) may become ubiquitous even in Australia, in part because of their pioneering trust in biometrics.

“It’s the face versus the 16 digit PAN, which is why by 2030 we’re probably all going to be using Chinese digital wallets,” King said.

As for banks such as NAB and Bendigo maintaining a commitment to a branch network, King mocked them.

“It’s not about making an Apple Store out of bank branches That’s not going to get you there.

“The real solution is digital inclusion.”

King’s main theme boiled down to this: “It’s not about product features. It’s about helping people save behaviourally,” an insight informing the Neobank scene in Australia.

TD Canada Trust, King offered as his prime example of this approach working for banks and customers.

Users of TD’s My Spend platform, an app dependent on US bank Moven’s technology, has seen a decline of as much as 8 per cent in monthly spending.

“Savings behaviour is far more effective, around six times more, than the best interest rates to help people to save money,” King said.