A Future of Finance webinar with Payment Professionals, Banks, Central Banks, Settlement Organisations, Technology Companies, Public Policy Makers and Regulators
Thursday February 10 at 2pm UK time
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the PayPal IPO. At the time, the failure of the conventional payments industry to respond to the epic potential of e-commerce on the Internet surprised even the more thoughtful bankers. Two decades later, that institutional inertia looks negligent rather than surprising. The loss of payments revenues by banks to technology companies represents a loss of shareholder value that far exceeds what the owners of banks lost in the financial crisis of 2007-08. With e-commerce continuing to grow, especially across borders, the frenzy created by the indifference of the banks continues. It is estimated that there are around 10,000 payment service providers (PSPs) of various sorts – acquirers, processors, facilitators, aggregators, gateways and digital wallet providers – now contending for pieces of the payments industry around the world. Yet the so-called revolution in payments amounts to no more than twin measures of the negligence of the banks: an increase in customer convenience that the banks should have provided plus a massive transfer of value from the owners of banks to the owners of technology companies. Every one of those 10,000 PSPs relies either on existing payments infrastructures or existing payments banks to provide a service. They are parasitic rather than transformational. A truly transformational innovation would dispense with the need for bank accounts altogether. It would also jettison the continuing reliance on the existing payments market infrastructures such as card networks, automated clearing houses and central bank-operated Real Time Gross Settlement systems (RTGSs) – what payments aficionados call “rails.” Lastly, a true innovation would undermine the current monopolies enjoyed by central banks over the issue of central bank money and banks over the issue of commercial bank money. Just such an innovation is now becoming visible in the crypto-currency and Decentralised Finance (DeFi) markets, which rely on software plus the Internet plus cryptography to enable anyone to issue digital money and anyone to use it to pay and get paid directly using digital wallets. These innovations have the potential to bypass the PSPs. They also have the potential to break the central bank and bank duopoly in the creation of money, allowing multiple forms of money to be issued and used to settle claims. New forms of money could fuse payments and monies into a single process in which money is indistinguishable from payment. Indeed, both payments and monies could be reduced to mere components of a single transactional process in which goods and services are bought and sold through exchanges of data that include the exchange of value. The value created by innovations of this kind will stem not from price or service but from the fact that the transactions they facilitate create data. If that data is owned not by the innovators but by their customers, it will have the power to overthrow more than the banks and the PSPs. It is certainly powerful enough to dislodge banks from their current roles in money creation through manufacturing credit, and in the selection of creditworthy borrowers. It may even be forceful enough to shift the balance of power in capitalism altogether, by making buyers more powerful than sellers.
Among the topics to be discussed at this webinar are:
- Payments technology companies have disrupted incumbents but have they transformed anything?
- Could new forms of money based on digital technologies and cryptography transform the payments industry?
- Does the existence of money depend on its acceptability as a means of payment?
- Is it possible for multiple forms of money to co-exist?
- What forms will new types of money take?
- Which new forms of money are likely to endure?
- Can anybody issue money?
- Can money express values?
- Can money create new networks or communities of interest?
- Can technologies replace banks as transaction record-keepers?
- Can non-banks create money without creating credit?
- Can technologies replace banks as credit assessors and credit intermediaries?
- Are payments a data business?
- Does the true value in the use of digital money as a means of settling transactions (a) service quality (b) price (or cost) or (c) data?
- Who should own the data created by transactions – and what are the consequences of that ownership?
Nick Ogden, Founder and Executive Director at RTGS.global
An entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in banking, payments and fintech, Nick Ogden is internationally recognised as the inventor of ecommerce, building the world’s first e-commerce store, the Wine Warehouse in 1994. This led to the creation of BarclaySquare in 1995, a Joint venture with Barclays Bank which was the first bank endorsed e-commerce shopping mall in the world.
Nick is the founder and Executive Director of RTGS.global. RTGS.global validates liquidity transparency around transactions matched to multi-currency payment instructions. RTGS.global aims to deliver transactional integrity, security, risk reduction and settlement finality to central and commercial banks globally.
Nick is the founder of ClearBank and serves as an advisor to the board. ClearBank® is the first new UK clearing bank in 250 years. Founded in 2014, ClearBank® serves regulated financial institutions in the UK and employs 300 people in London.
Chris Hamilton, Principal at Hamilton Platform
Chris is a specialist adviser on strategy, designing and implementing of national payments infrastructure, especially for developing economies. He has previously headed up the national payments operators in Australia and South Africa, and divides his time between Africa and Asia.
Joe Higginson, Chief Commercial Officer at Identitii
Joe Higginson has spent two decades in the payments sector, working across sales, marketing, commercial development, and product innovation. During his time at Travelex, Western Union, and Investec he worked with hundreds of financial institutions and fintech clients.
Joe is currently Chief Commercial Officer at Identitii, and works to develop commercial relations and implement go-to-market strategies.
Moderated by Dominic Hobson Co-Founder at Future of Finance
Dominic Hobson has worked for himself for 30 years. He was one of the founders of Asset International, a transatlantic financial publishing, events and survey business, which was sold in 2009.
Since then, Dominic has contributed to the work of two data businesses covering financial markets, run a peer group network for hedge fund managers, and co-founded the Future of Finance, which hosts events on innovation in finance.
As one half of Hobson Cardew, Dominic also provides consultancy services to a number of financial services businesses and market infrastructures.