San Diego provided a wonderful venue for another NACHA Payments conference from April 21-24. The theme this year was “Innovation,” and mobile was all the buzz. The keynote speaker was the noted Brett King, who spoke about the quick demise of the Pony Express when businesses didn’t quickly adapt to changes in technology. The financial services industry needs to make sure it can react and continue to innovate—not just move existing products, services, and processes to other form factors or channels. We need to keep up with the digital world. If you walked by concurrent mobile sessions, you would often see a dozen or more people standing outside as the sessions had filled to capacity.
I presented a session entitled “B2B Payments: Innovation in a Dynamic and Growing Market.” I was fortunate to have Erin McCune of Glenbrook Partners as my co-presenter. The Payments Innovation Jury Report 2013 had just been released, so we were able to include some of their insightful graphs and quotes. A sample quote we referenced alluded to the undeniable fact that “traditional businesses, particularly banks, have far too strict internal silos to ever truly drive real innovation. Adding their legacy, risk-averse mindset, it makes it extremely difficult for them to think of disruptive steps forward to innovating.“ The bottom line? There is definitely no lack of need for B2B payments innovation, but banks are not seen as the leaders—new market entrants are. The best way to achieve innovation is to partner with companies with innovative solutions, or with innovative start-ups.
Looking forward to the next great conference in Orlando in early April 2014.