There are few areas of the financial services industry witnessing more innovation and technological growth than payments.
Consumers have access to an ever-expanding range of payment options. Contactless transactions are already familiar to millions, while mobile payments look set to take an expanding share of various markets all over the world.
Biometrics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are just two examples of other technologies set to play an increasingly prominent role in payments over the coming years.
If a recent announcement from Visa is anything to go by, there is much more technological progress to come in the industry. The company has opened a new innovation hub at its European headquarters in Paddington Basin, London, where it will collaborate with partners including financial institutions and merchants to find the payment solutions of the future.
All sorts of exciting technologies will be showcased in practical demonstrations at the center, including virtual reality, biometric authentication for ticket purchases and applications of IoT devices in connected homes and cars.
The London complex is part of a global network of Visa innovation centers, with similar projects taking place in cities like Berlin, San Francisco, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv.
Jim McCarthy, the company’s executive vice-president for innovation and strategic partnerships, said: “What makes the approach we take in our innovation centers unique is that they’re all about collaborating with clients to solve real-world consumer pain points or business problems using digital solutions.
“We’ve had great success doing this in our centers globally and are very excited to be opening a state-of-the art facility in Europe.”
Visa is not the only big name in payments placing a clear emphasis on innovation. Mastercard recently announced a new global partnership with Oracle, one of the features of which is a mobile app designed to let users make payments in restaurants or stores without waiting in line or for a sales assistant.