Innovations in digital identities and global payments at Money 20/20

Question: How many times can one visit the Aria Resort in Las Vegas for conferences in a year?  I’m currently at six and counting.  But attending the Money 20/20 conference this week with a Whitepages Pro team has been a highlight of those six visits.  Four major payment-related themes jumped at the show this year.

Vertical integration is out, systems and data collaboration are in.

Due to the heavy security focus in the payments and money transfer industry, many companies have in the past chosen to vertically integrate their payment systems stack and own it all within their IT departments.  When Jane Fraser, CEO of Citibank US Consumer Bank said in front of 6,000 people, “As banks, we traditionally like to be in control of everything, but we are realizing that to be the best, the most logical strategic path forward requires us to adopt a shared collaboration with external partners.”

API-led go-to-market strategies have arrived in payments (finally).

There were a lot of big players in attendance:

  • CA Technologies and their APIs
  • Developer SDK for building payments into any app
  • Twilio with SMS and Voice communication APIs
  • Stripe’s APIs for payments

Even so, we felt right at home with our Whitepages Pro Graph API and Developer Center for identity verification and who is behind a phone number during account origination or at the time of transaction.

Apple Pay is driving innovation:

Whether you love it or hate it, Apple Pay is certainly going to drive more innovation in the payments industry, which overall, is good for consumers.  As usual, with innovation comes opportunities and risks.  But with more consumers purchasing both digital and physical goods and doing so from their mobile devices, the need to validate identities will continue to grow in importance.  This tone was even expressed by VISA President, Ryan McInerney, with a keynote reinforcing innovation.

Payments are global and so are the needs in identity verification.

Here we’re talking about goods, especially digital goods, and services moving globally around the world with requisite payment requirements.  The demand in the industry is for global, rather than country or geo-specific identity data, is growing rapidly. We understand these needs well from our customers like Western Union and Ahbi Gupta’s presentation at the conference.  As another example, money transfer company Xoom announced a product to pay bills from the US to other countries, especially in Latin America.  For instance, a first generation US immigrant can pay their parents utility bill in Mexico or Costa Rica.

Want to learn more about how we help financial services firms identify new opportunities, reduce risk, and reduce costs? Click here for more information.  And stay tuned for what Whitepages Pro will be bringing to bear in 2015!

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